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This week's Counter Intelligence goes bi-coastal, as our critic travels to New York City — there for the James Beard awards, of which he picked up a few more to stash in his overstuffed Altadena closet — to check out the dinner scene. Man, or some of them, cannot live in San Gabriel Valley noodle shops alone. (Try Flushing.)

Have you ever been to one of those parties where everybody asks you what you've been reading, or if you've seen any good movies? Because if you're in New York City anywhere around what has become known as Beard Weekend, that slip of time between the James Beard media and cookbook award banquet that generally takes place on Friday, and the James Beard restaurant awards on Monday, “Where have you eaten?” is a question that will be asked 100 times, in detail perhaps more probing than anything you had in mind.

Read the complete story in Gold's Counter Intelligence, “A Part of It.”