Tuesday, November 19, 2030

Living in a world meant for other people

Living in a world meant for other people
#Author #ArtLover #FoodLover #LGBTQ #Kindle #KindleUnlimited #Paperback

Welcome to my blog! My name is James Halat. I am an author of contemporary fiction that falls into the categories of Gay and Lesbian, Coming of Age, Magical Realism, and Psychological, depending upon which book you pick up. I started this blog as a place to share my interests in writing, reading, art, food, travel, and whatever else comes to mind, as well as a place for my books to call home. I hope you enjoy your visit. Subscribe if you like what you see, and please feel free to contact me anytime. Links are at the bottom of this post and in the main menu above. Enjoy!

Coming Soon!

"Michael reaches over, takes my hand. I look away to the trees, 
the colors, the searing blue sky."

"How does a 12 year old obtain a pint of whiskey? 
He makes friends with the junior high school alcoholic."

"It takes my keen eye no time at all to discern 
that Clifford is prettier than Claudia."

"I don't count the days. There are too many of them."

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Coming soon on Amazon!

Look for it on Amazon soon!

"Michael reaches over, takes my hand. I look away to the trees, the colors, the searing blue sky."

We join Nino several years after The Story of Teddy and Eddie, as he tries to come to terms with the truth about his grandfather. With the help of his uncle Sal, a drunk homebody, and a young Paolo, a recent immigrant from Italy who brings with him an eerie connection to Nino’s grandfather, Nino struggles to make his way through the labyrinth of memories that pour from his head, not all of them seemingly his own.

A Delicate Child is a powerful look into the unknown connections that shape an individual and the triggers that bring those connections into the light, in the end exposing the hidden relationships that, for better or worse, exist just beneath the surface of accepted realities.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#FoodLover - My love affair with Japanese cuisine - Shirasu

During my first month in Tokyo, I am taken to a neighborhood izakaya in Takadanobaba called Momem Ya by the owner of the jazz bar I frequent. The restaurant is secluded in a basement, a small but comfortable space, perfect for two at the counter, or groups at the Japanese-style tables hugging the walls.. It has a friendly staff and delightful menu. Both change over the years, yet remain uncompromisingly friendly and delightful. Jazz music hangs over the open kitchen as we wait for our food to be cooked. 

Chefs in the Open Kitchen of Momen Ya 

This first visit, I am introduced to shirasu, pictured below. There is a lot of food on the table that night, and I dig into the shirasu like I do the other new food I try - with trepidation, excitement, and anticipation. I take in a mouthful, then another. A delicious flavor, new to me. A delicate taste. I think I am eating some sort of Japanese steamed vegetable. I ask my host what it is. He smiles and tells me to look closer. It is only when I look closer that I notice the little black eyes on these "vegetables." Turns out that shirasu is the young of sardines. I eat little creatures without realizing it. Later I find that these delicious creatures are often included in salads, prepared as below, or toasted, a sort of Japanese crouton. 

Shirasu: Blow Up the Picture to See the Little Eyes

So I continue to eat the little creatures. I surprise myself in a way. Before moving to Japan, I am not that adventurous with food. Sure, I'll try foods from various countries. But I always choose things from the menu that I think I might like, that will go down easy. But all that changes in Japan. I suppose having sake with my meals helps, but whatever the case, I become open to a whole new range of flavors and textures I might pass on before this experience: raw beef tongue cut and served like sashimi - a specialty of Sendai, whale bacon, horse meat sashimi, raw chicken, seared only at the edges, or a raw egg mixed with my steamed rice. With fresh food, it seems you can do almost anything!

If you're ever in Tokyo or any place in Japan, I encourage you to try new things, expand your horizons. You might be surprised what sorts of food you will like.

Friday, July 28, 2017

#FoodLover - My love affair with Japanese cuisine - Natto gyoza

In this introductory post on Japanese food, I have selected a dish that actually has its origins in China, and only makes it's way to Japan in the last century (or so I have been told). That dish is gyoza. Of course, I have the opportunity to eat various dumplings before I come to Japan, but the flavor and consistency of Japanese gyoza is an unexpected treat for me. 

Natto Gyoza

The gyoza pictured above is natto gyoza, not something you find in most restaurants, but one of my favorites. The reason is the natto. Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soy beans. It is notoriously stinky, has an unusually strong flavor, and when eaten normally it sits in a fluid having the consistency of spit. I'm not a fan of this version. But when cooked in gyoza, you end up with an unmistakeable aroma and a noticeable bite to the flavor of the standard fare of minced ground pork, chives, green onion, cabbage, ginger, and garlic. Add a light crisp on one side, and a dipping sauce of equal amounts soy sauce and Japanese vinegar (and maybe something spicy), and the result is a fully satisfying dining experience. So even though gyoza is relatively new to Japan, this version is distinctly Japanese, and I highly recommend that you try it on your next visit to Japan.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

#ArtLover - NYC artist Julia Jacquette

Julia Jacquette is and artist born and raised in NYC. Back in the day she showed at the Holly Solomon Gallery. (Sorry, the lighting is a little dark here, but it's a beautiful painting) #tokyo #newyork #art #juliajacquette #hollysolomon

Sunday, July 9, 2017

#ArtLover - NYC artist Christopher Tanner

NYC Artist and one time east village neighbor Christopher Tanner #tokyo #newyork #art #christophertanner

#ArtLover - American artist Marjorie Strider

American Pop Artist and good friend Marjorie Strider 1931-2014 #tokyo #newyork #art #popart #marjoriestrider

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