Tag Archives: turkey

Loving Dick (Tracy)

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s love of Dick (Tracy) reminds him of his Turkey cliffhanger with Tyra Banks.  New Excerpt Available.

A good, dramatic cliffhanger has always had a special place in my heart.  I was reminded of this love yesterday upon opening a parcel from my sister Paige.  She had been going through the DVD collection of my father who recently passed away and thought there were a few gems I might enjoy.  Thankfully, there was no Terror of Tiny Town, perhaps the all time worst movie ever produced that my father watched endlessly.  But peeking around Liza-Sally Bowles on the cover of  Cabaret was an entire set of Dick Tracy serials.  Now I’m not talking the Warren Beatty-Madonna version, but the original 1937 campy series with the legendary (to me) Ralph Bird in the marquee role battling the evil villain Spider.

I fell in love with Dick (pun intended) when I was about five and my father took the family every Sunday afternoon to Dallas’ old Grenada Theater to watch a black-and-white classic like Freaks (a horror film about sideshow performers) preceded by an episode of Dick Tracy.  I remember screaming out for my hero about to be killed by San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, collapsing from the villain Spider’s dangerous sonic weapon!  How could I possibly wait until the next week to find out what happened to my detective boyfriend?  My father just smiled knowingly.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had left ABCityblog readers with a cliffhanger of sorts.  A friend who was catching up on postings wrote me to say that she couldn’t believe I just left everyone hanging at the end of the Turkey Trouble episode—my fateful encounter with an Istanbul hustler before Tyra’s arrival.

So, here’s the ending to that tale, with a viewer advisory: this will probably be the last excerpt released before the entire book is published in print and e-book form early next year.  How’s that for a cliffhanger?

(Ahh, don’t worry.  I’ll keep posting original stuff.)

CLICK HERE for Second Excerpt from Alphabet City’s Episode 7: Turkey Trouble.

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Filed under Alphabet City Excerpt, Tyra

Turkey Trouble

Today on Alphabet City: A tragic “honor” killing in Turkey reminds Jon Paul of his trouble in Istanbul with a gay hustler while on tour with Tyra.

Last week as I was beginning to cook the big Thanksgiving meal and make final preparations for my Spit List, I came across an article in the New York Times about a man named Ahmet Yildiz who was brutally killed in Istanbul by his father for being gay.  The reporter and sociologists refer to it as an “honor” killing—which I find horrific and gruesome.  The premise of the article is that modern Turkey is battling fundamentalist Islamic ideology as can be seen in acceptance of cross-dressing pop-stars but murders of gay men.

I must admit that I had lulled myself into believing that things must have progressed for gays and lesbians in the metropolis of Istanbul since I visited many years ago with Tyra Banks.  I thought it was daring then that I ventured out to find exotic gay nightlife, and would up in a heap of trouble.  But nothing as tragic as Mr. Yildiz.  As an American, I was able to return to a land where I might not be able to marry my partner, but I at least feel free from being hunted down by a family member justifying their action in the name of “honor.”

If it were still Thanksgiving, I’d add “Honor Killings” to my Spit List.  In the meantime, I offer up an excerpt of the story about an experience in Istanbul that caused me years of shame.

CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from Episode 7: Turkey Trouble.

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Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: A Kitchen Knightmares Special

Today on Alphabet City: Overshadowed by Juan Pablo on Thanksgiving, Jon Paul feels like Charlie Brown.

In the debut posting of the series Kitchen Knightmares, I acknowledged that no one wants to hear me whine about being married to a chef.  But I really get worked up about the issue when Thanksgiving approaches because none of my guests ever give me any credit for cooking the meal.  Since Chef Juan Pablo hails from Mexico City, I usually bar him from the kitchen claiming that only an American can appreciate the meal’s historical underpinnings.  I’m not interested in his South of the Border suggestion to add chipotles to my green bean concoction.  Usually, he’s happy to escape the kitchen, and always willing to accept the compliments when our friends remark year after year, “Chef’s done it again!”

I’m like the Charlie Brown of Thanksgiving.  Try as I might, I just can’t get through to our friends that I spend days preparing our annual spread.  While fellow Texan Angela gets kudos for her trio of pies, I get nada from friends for my buffet of casseroles and cranberries.  It’s odd that Chef gets all credit for the food, because in the beginning my dishes were straight-up white-trash—not at all things they’d expect from Juan Pablo.

“My goodness, everything sure is brown.  And starchy,” observed my Australian friend Rebecca when she first joined us about eight years ago.

Rebecca worked for the UN and was accustomed to more exotic flavors it seemed.  She had a difficult time distinguishing between the line-up of Pyrex dishes offering down home casseroles made with Cream of Mushroom soup: broccoli-rice, green bean, and potato.  Later, she tried to hide the sour look on her face when she reluctantly tasted a frothy pistachio green concoction known ominously as Watergate Salad.  At that point, I made a vow to break from my Texas ways and embrace some more “elegant” Yankee traditions.

That’s when I turned to Bon Appétit for help.  Over time, their November issue has provided easy-to-make upscale suggestions, many of which have become part of my repertoire.  No more canned cranberries—my crowd-pleasing recipe: Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel, my stained page torn out from BA, Nov. 2001.  After years of therapy, I’m adding an interpretation of a vegetable that I’ve hated for decades: brussels sprouts—the unpleasant smell of which I associate with my sister Paige’s after-school snack doused in vinegar.  BA’s advice?  Make them into a slaw—Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple Glazed Pecans!

This year, we celebrate a very special moment at the table—it will be Chef’s first Thanksgiving as a certified United States citizen.  In honor, I’m tearing down my wall and am allowing him into the kitchen on this holiday.  His first suggestion?  Spice up the turkey and gravy.  At first I was suspect.  But then while I was flipping through an old BA, just a few pages down from my cranberry specialty, I spotted a recipe for a Citrus-Glazed Turkey with Chipotle Gravy.  A little immigrant influence never hurt anyone—why that’s what has made this country great!  Viva America!

The only downside?  A jazzed-up turkey is exactly the kind of food our guests expect from Chef, not me.  And that means no one will ever give me my hard-earned kitchen credit.  Good grief, a Charlie Brown Kitchen Knightmare for sure.

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