12 July, 2015

Letter from NYC (44) 2015 (6): Feasts

Click pics to enlarge.

Letter from NYC (44) 2015 (6): Feasts

Warning: This is basically a diary type entry on certain incorrigible audiophiles, and I wish to convey the joy we had in gatherings; nothing much on hifi matters.

1. Andy's Surprise
One day my friend and analog guru Andy L called up and said he is inviting everyone to his house for lunch. There will be a hired cook and a surprise. This had me guessing to no avail. Someone he wants us to meet? But we audio people don't usually get so personal, no?

When I arrived the house was packed, wine was flowing, and the cook was working frantically in the kitchen. The surprise turned out to be Andy's newest acquisition, a mint Goldmund Reference turntable (with Decca cartridge; you can barely see the TT in the top pic - center, behind another TT). Indeed, that is worth celebrating!

LR Setup The living room setup has changed a lot since my last report (here). Andy's JBL's, which I never got to report on, now are in the dining room (see lower pic) and the living room corners are taken up by Altec's! Those are A5 cabinets housing 515's with the 288's on top. Low bass is augmented by subwoofers. Preamp is an ARC SP-6C and amps are Canary 300B monoblocks. System is not yet perfectly tuned but still sounds decent enough. You wouldn't expect less from Andy.

The Feast The diminutive cook, a middle aged woman from the 四川 Sichuan (Szechuan) province of China, used to be a caretaker for Andy's mother. What a find! This is Sichuan cuisine at its authentic best. The lady actually brings back from her home province some of the indispensable ingredients. We talked at length with her after the meal. Like all great cooks, she prides herself on the layers, subtleties and differentiation her food brings to the palette.  No two dishes should taste the same (and they didn't). I live in HK, where Sichuan food is hardly ever authentic. I travel often to nearby Shenzhen, where Sichuan food abounds, but still this meal got them all beat. 有痲有辣,有濃有淡,五味俱全。

2. Two Much of a Good Thing?
Soon after, Andy hosted a similar, but smaller, similarly catered lunch party for his senior citizen upstate NY (report here) and younger Long Island friends (a psychologist audiophile and his beautiful nurse girlfriend). It was nice to meet up with Milty and Ming (Lao Tang) again, but for an incidence.

Near the end of the delicious lunch, I turned around to talk to Ming, and he slumped on my shoulder! Our competent nurse determined he had briefly lost his pulse due to orthostatic hypotension. Nonetheless, we played safe and called in the medics, who insisted on talking him to the hospital, where he spent the the evening, until his wife (also a nurse) took him home AMA. Ming had simply not eaten and drunken enough water, we all thought.

3. Return Visit to Upstate NY
Soon after we returned to Upstate. Milty's system had changed a bit, with a Schiit Gugnir DAC and some Chinese CDP and preamp at the front. We spent a little time tweaking his stuff before having a big lunch, as usual. Then we went to Ming's place. He has embraced CAS, and even gave me his Roksan transport!!!! I have to thank Ming here. Also, Ming treated us to a marvelous meal at a local Greek restaurant. Superb!

4. Simple is Best
I actually got to meet up with Andy once more, a simple noodle lunch with just Simon and Mark. Andy's Noodle with Beef is simply excellent, and we enjoyed a few bottles of wine. Wonderful!


No comments:

Post a Comment