Of all my many mottos, maybe my most used is: Expect the worst — you’ll never be disappointed. And never was that more applicable than when I got called for jury duty. I went kicking and bitching, feeling only slightly better when my consort pointed out that someone so obsessed with pol porn should give a fuck about how the system works. So I bought a weekly Metrocard rather than my usual $20 one, I brought 16 books to read and I was determined to stay mellow for the minimum-required two days and more-likely 10 days expected for service. Which of course meant I was liberated in midafternoon on my first day. I had plenty of time at lunch and afterward to wander around the neighborhood I still know best from the weeks after 9/11, when most of it had no electricity, let alone phone service. I was struck by how many restaurants are now Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian, but after my Great Disappointment at Nha Trang, I suspect it remains a destination primarily for one cuisine. You can get better Asian all over town now. But Chinese might still be best there, at least in Manhattan. Unfortunately, Cambodian didn’t get much of a chance uptown. The little place I kept passing on Third in the Nineties but never crossing the avenue to try is gone. I used to think flacks would be the new dinosaurs, in this wonderful age of all-knowing blogs with their shoe leather-meets-cellphone street “reporters.” But obviously, without professional help in catapulting the propaganda, you’re doomed. Especially in a neighborhood where the kool kidz don’t congregate.