Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Cheeses of Washington Heights---And A Fun New Quiz!

With money in the bank (thanks again, y’all!) and a paycheck coming, I feel like I’m spending my first weekend ever as an actual New Yorker—I’m suddenly not worried about money (I need to budget, but I have enough to live on), and I can suddenly slow down and take the long view: start building a comedy set, shop around calmly for agents, etc. I’ve been smiling all day.

And in my first act as a relatively stable New Yorker, I went to my local market and for some reason noticed, for the very first time, just how much very groovy cheese we have available here. So much that I had to take notes. I mean, we have all the usuals—Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Monterey Jack—and the usual outliers—Muenster, Gorgonzola, Edam. We even have cheeses that I’ve heard about all the time but have never actually seen: Fontina, Roquefort, and Stilton.

But that’s just the iceberg’s tip. Here’s a list of all the cheeses I can walk two blocks to get. Thank god I’m lactose-intolerant, or I’d immediately develop a new expensive habit.

To make it interesting, I’ve also added into this list the names of four European rappers and hip-hop groups. (One each of Dutch, French, Italian and Swiss, if you care.) Can you tell which is which?

Bucherondin de chevre
Ronkari sheep cheese
campoerial iberico
Lucien Revolucien
Valdeon blue
onetik blue de basque
Assalti Frontali
bleu d’Avergne
Etorki le fromage basque
de Spookrijders
blacksticks blue
tomme des pyrenees
tomme de savoie
Irish Swiss/Kerry gold
italian pecorino romano

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: This is a great neighborhood.


Before I get e-mail I should mention: No, for some reason I saw no Parmesan and no Bel Paese. (And my capitalization skills are spotty, when it comes to cheese. The labels in the store were all lowercase; that seems to be their house style.) On the other hand, there was not only tons of variations on goat cheese, but the deli counter also had Fat-Free and Low-Fat versions of biggies like Swiss and Cheddar. So maybe the explanation is that Parmesan and Bel Paese aren't health-food-store-friendly. Or maybe it's just the neighborhood: for some reason there's so much demand for Romano that they actually had two huge wheels the size of tree stumps on tables in the aisle.

I'll post the answers in a few days.


Anonymous Trip said...

I would so buy the CD of a group called Ronkari Sheep Cheese.

5/22/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

Actually, what's cool is there were a bunch of different forms of goat cheese, including one that was bright yellow, had red veins, and was apparently dipped at some point in port wine. The name---which, if pluralized, would be an equally irresistible band---was The Drunken Goat.

5/23/2006 7:34 AM  
Blogger Tristram Shandy said...

Isn’t “Irish Swiss/Kerry gold” a Morrissey song? He’s no rapper!

5/24/2006 6:36 PM  

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