Monday, June 30, 2008

Best There are Many Things That I Would Like to Say to You

File this one under "sweeping the internets"...

When it was announced that Jay-Z would be headlining the world-famous, rock-intensive Glastonbury Festival this year, Oasis' Noel Gallagher said this selection was "wrong"and:

If it ain't broke don't fix it. If you start to break it then people aren't going to go. I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance.

Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curve ball in on a Sunday night you go 'Kylie Minogue?' I don't know about it. But I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong.

At Glastonbury, Jay responded thusly:

I believe that, in the British vernacular, this is counts as what they call "taking the piss."

Best Turns Out I Walked a Lot Further Than I Thought I Did This Evening

But here's the game: Do you know New York and me well enough to discern tale of this decent sized urban hike?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Best Why Must Life Be Full of So Much Wonder and Joy?

Saturday morning. Let me tell you about it. I went and saw a $6 viewing (something I'm beginning to truly believe in) of Kung Fu Panda with Ali. Kung Fu Panda was excellent, funny enough for adults and in many ways a perfectly legitimate kung fu movie. I wish I had planned ahead better and invited Andy. My Dad really liked it, that's probably one of the reasons I saw it. This is what my Dad said about it in an email he sent me this week (By the way, Blake is my nephew, he's five. Unless his mother leaves a comment that says he's six. But I counted it out in my brain and I'm pretty sure he's five.)

I went to see Kung Fu Panda last night with Blake. I was't looking forward to it, but I loved it. It is funny without being gross and it has a tender heart. I would give it 4 stars.

You know, he was right about it being funny without being gross. I don't think there was any bathroom humor in it at all. And a lot of the cool stuff in the movie I enjoyed it but I could also tell that if I were younger (much younger) I'd have really been eating it up and drawing it when I got home.

Anyway. Here's where the Wonder and Joy comes in.

For lunch we headed to the Momofuku Noodle Bar because I totally neglect the Noodle Bar. The Ssam Bar is one avenue closer to me and I love it so much that it takes more willpower than I've got to pass it up to go to the Noodle Bar. But Saturday I set the goal and we made it over to the Noodle Bar and as I was charting out a course to deliciousness I got a great idea (because I was craving a pork bowl so bad) and said to Ali, "Hey, what if we have lunch here AND at the Ssam Bar" and Ali said "Yes!"

Hallelujah! Perfect Saturday lunches!

So we took it easy at the Noodle Bar and canceled a couple of dishes and had ourselves the magnificent pork buns (available at both establishments):

And then their smoked chicken wings with pickled chili, garlic, scallions. SO incredibly tasty and a much more generous plate of wings than I had been expecting. The sauce they came in was so villainously delicious, if it isn't in Pete's cookbook I'll just die.

And right before leaving a whim struck me and I slurped my first oysters. Glidden point oysters with spicy pickled shallot and horseradish, to be precise. Tasted like sushi, wet, salty sushi. I'd do it again and don't know what took me so long. Oh, and maybe we poured the leftover wing sauce over the nori noodles after the oysters were done and ate them up so we could finish off the sauce? You really have to just trust me on how great that wing sauce was. Is.

Then it was off to the Ssam Bar. On the way: This bike!

At the Ssam Bar it was sublime business as usual with the pork bowl (We split it. It's big.)

And I had the bread and butter for the first time. The bread & goats butter and morel butter, that is. Turns out some bread and butter is worth paying for.

A morel turns out to be a mushroom. When I saw that the bread came with morel butter I decided not to ask what a morel was for fear of getting creeped out...what if it was some kind of gland?

Speaking of glands...

Ali nixed ordering the famous veal sweetbreads at the noodle bar because they were veal, not because they were thymus glands.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Best Bitter Truth

The first twenty minutes of Wall-E were among the best twenty minutes of my life. So much joy, so much wonder. I was so happy.

Then he goes to space and sheesh, they pretty much lost me. Sorry. A little repetitive, a little yawners.

I was hoping for a thrilling and charming finale, like the zipping around on the doors in Monsters, Inc. Nope. I mean there was some good stuff here and there, but almost but not quite.

Three stars. That's all I can give.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Best Just Some Things I Want to Show You

One: This is the cat that lives in the window of a plant shop on 6th Avenue in the high twenties. He's been there for at least a couple of years. Usually he's just chillin like this in the window. It's not a normal plant store where he lives, more like a store that has been overrun by plants. If this picture weren't so all cat/no store then maybe my point would be clearer.

Two: There is a new piece of art temporarily residing at Rockefeller Center and it is called "What My Daddy Gave Me" by Chris Burden and it is a 65 foot tall erector set tower. And this is the real deal 1950's metal erector stuff, extremely imposing and impressive. So delicate yet so sturdy. I wonder why it doesn't collapse under its on weight? Probably some infrastructure tricks. Also, I wonder how much it weighs.

Three: After admiring the tower I passed through Rockefeller Center and saw this gathering of real estate people congratulating each other on being so awesome down in the area that's the ice rink during the winter. Are you ready to see a LOT of lobster?

Then check this out! (you're going to have to click)

Four: Walking down 86th Street last week I saw the most beautiful thing that there is to see in the world: A new taco truck! And just blocks from the stake center?! I could not resist investigating! One taco al pastor, please!

Oh no. Oh dear. Taco Truck dreams dashed. Can you spot at least 4 things wrong with this taco al pastor? I mean, can you spot 4 things that I would consider wrong with this taco?

Five: This is me in a hat.

Six: 116th Street by Dusk.

Seven: 116th Street by night.

Eight: This is Lucifer, the superhero Ace invented. His powers are that he's a foot taller than the Hulk, he breaths fire, has horns, and kills people. His weakness is that after he defeats the Hulk, he dies.

Nine: Pop Quiz! (possibly easier than the taco question) Do you think I went into this store to have a look around?

Ten: This is a cheeseburger I made last week. It's a blue cheese cheeseburger that I made by mixing the blue cheese in with the meat before frying. Then I topped it with more cheese and some bacon (not pictured) and then soaked the bun with hot wing sauce. Served it with a side of frogs on a logs. Success!

Eleven: New York is so awesome because it's just a big neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best Sky High Lodging

This happened two weeks ago...

Perhaps you are familiar with the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle?

And you know that the northern tower houses the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel, right?

Couple of weeks ago an amigo of ours had (poor guy) to spend a few nights in a suite there for work. For the sake of decorum (something I may or may not be known for, depending on who the knower is) I'll refrain from saying which specific friend (but here's a hint: they're in one of these photos and I already disclosed that it was a male) or for what purpose (except that it was for work and it wasn't illegal) and I definitely won't be totally gauche and say what I think the room cost a night BUT I will say that until that evening I don't think I had ever been to a four-figure hotel room and I'm not saying if, since that evening, that fact about me has changed or not. While other socialized, I mostly inspected. Oh! And the suite was on the 42nd floor, maybe the 43rd? Possibly the 45th. Definitely no higher than that, though.

The living area.

The sleeping area. Consider the view!

The rest area. (A few times before I had heard that the Mandarin's showers were something else and it did certainly look like it could get the job done. Plus it had a Japanese robo-toilet there, too.)

With the suite well inspected I spent the rest of my visit behind the curtains looking out the windows with the binoculars inspecting New York city from high up. I was teased for this, but I deserved it.

Lamp. I think we all know how we all feel about you by now.

Best Recommended Reading V

I'm working on it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Best We Are Headed for a Trend

Working certainly has limited my ability to blog, but it has also introduced a more regimented nature to Steady Mobbin'. For instance, it now seems near certain that each Tuesday will bring another addition to the Best Recommended Reading series and now, look at this! For the second Monday in a row I've posted a music video with a girl on a bicycle and mysterious nightthings!

M83 - Don't Save Us from the Flames

Thinking about "What's a Girl to Do?" this week reminded me of this video and how much I liked it and probably part of the reason I like "What's a Girl to Do" so much is because of how it reminds me of this's a vicious circle of liking.

Now, a call to the Anonymouses: Who is the girl in this video? She's somebody. She's in a band (uhh...too bad I don't know which one, but it's an all girl band and it's not the Like and come to think of it it might not be an ALL girl band) and she used to turn up on thecobrasnake pretty often (she might still but I'm less of a frequenter to that website these days).

Anyway, Happy Monday and hope you like the video. Doesn't it seem a lot longer than three minutes twelve seconds? So much happens.

Might be hard to find another girl on a bicycle video for next week, might have to drop the requirement that the video feature nightthings.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Best Friday Evening Outing

This Friday night, not the Friday night last week or the Friday night two weeks ago but THIS Friday night, the one that just happened, I went to Prospect Park with some good people to hear the Met's only free park concert of the summer (usually there's a few—this year, just one).

What good people did I go with?

Good people like Stephanie and Kirsten

And Holly

It was a bit of a walk through the park to the performance spot

But once we got to the spot there was no wondering if you were in the wrong place. Very good members of our party showed up hours early to get us a good little spot on the lawn.

That night Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu sang. They're married and I was told they were famous. Tonight I talked with my dad and asked about the pair to get a better sense of their legitimacy, Dad said "Well, they're definitely one of the most famous married couples in Opera" (I paraphrase). To my ears, they were fine...and I speak not as a guy who had been dragged against his will to hear these people, I speak as a guy who has been to probably a dozen operas. So perhaps I'm gaining a tiny bit of a sense of what's hot and what's not? Maybe. They mostly sang stuff that I didn't recognize from Operas I hadn't heard of, but for the encore they sang all of the big pop hits of the Opera, you know, Nessun Dorma and whatnot.


More good people:

Craig and the bag of Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches.

Talmadge (at first I had written "My boy Talmadge" but decided it wasn't dignified enough for him or for our relationship)

Amber and Brian.

This is Sean. Sean was the mastermind of the activity and organized it with a militaristic level of planning and preparation (and I say that as a compliment and in seriousness, if you were wondering. Sean gets jobs done, that's the sense I'm getting. If I were interviewing, he'd be hired.)

Stephanie and Kirsten. Kirsten is talking to Collin. On my phone. Since you were wondering.

Amber and Anna, post-nightfall.

Stephanie, Heather, Me, Darkness.

There were more good people than that, but you know how it can be with getting pictures of everyone.

And if you were thinking that these pictures looked a little different from usual, Good Job. I took them with my little Sony camera that I won last year because I wanted something that would fit better in my pocket than my other camera. My pants had small pockets that night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Best 6:00AM Miracle

Got up early today to go to the Temple. Was worried a subway ride might leave me getting there too late so I caught myself a cab at six a.m. And then something incredible happened:

See that blue x? That's how far my cab driver got before his first red light this morning--from 12th street to 63rd--in other words, two blocks shy (with a light at just about every single block) of the whole way from my house to the Temple. Amazing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Best You Are All a Bunch of Dopes

No exemption even if you're wearing them ironically. Same strictness even if you're wearing them to be ironic about people that wear them ironically.

Each time I see some grown kid or little adult wearing them on the street or the internet I'm whisked back to a memory from 1986: Summer Fun Fair at my elementary school, I win a black pair (so this is when they weren't retro but cutting edge) playing the game where you want to push the bowling ball over the hump but not all the way to the end, right? And I think I'm so cool. I am THRILLED to have won them, I can feel my life turning around when I hold them in my hands. I go home. I immediately sit on them and break them in half at the nose. There's a stabbing in my pride and a draining of my joy. I feel the residue of this instant crestfallenness of twentytwo summers past whenever I glance these upon the guy who hands out the Metro at my stop or for sale on St Marks or any 5th Avenue streetcorner. Kanye, you brought heartbreak back to me.

Best Recommended Reading IV: FAIL!

This week's Recommended Read is "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. It rounds out the perfect little trifecta of Araby-stories from my English 251 experience BUT I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere on the internet. Weird. I found links to websites that would help you write a paper on it and excerpts from it posted on Christian inspirational message boards (hrrm?) but the short story, in its entirety, that I could not find on the internet.

Great job, internet. I thought you were supposed to have everything. Guess not. Superhighway downgraded to thoroughfare as far as I'm concerned.

Now I wait for a hotshot Anonymous to show up in the comments saying "Drrr, obviously you don't know how to use a search engine because [a href="link"]here's[/a] your story!

Come on Anonymous, make me look dumb. I want to read this story again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Best Train to Trainwreck Town

I was thinking about this video today, thinking about how it's absolutely perfect. And I know that if you're the type to have already seen it then you've already seen it, but come on. Absolutely perfect and terrifically creepy. Wish I could find a higher quality version.

Bat for Lashes, "What's a Girl to Do?"

When I listen to this song I think of "Be My Baby."
Oh, look at this, if you go to the wikipedia page for "Be My Baby" they list songs that lift its famous drum sound, and you'll find "What's a Girl to Do?" on that list. See?

Best Internet Real Estate Discovery

Lauren Conrad's parents' house (as featured often in Laguna Beach and a couple of times in the Hills, not that I'm into those things anymore) is for sale. About $18m, about 8,000 sq/ft, sitting on about 11.5 acres.

Eleven and a half acres in Laguna Beach? Are you serious?

The Listing.

I'll admit it, I think I'd rather take my $18m to California than New York, but this (the triplex penthouse atop 11 Spring) looks like a pretty decent home, especially when you consider it used to look like this.

Best Two Things I Did this Weekend

1) I went to see the Incredible Hulk with Ace. I liked the movie fine while watching it, but it's best to not think about it too much afterwards. Solid 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 star movie, really. But I can't believe this movie got made and that people are watching it, that shows are selling out. Really? We're all that excited to see another Hulk movie? And it made me think about the first Hulk, which actually I remember liking and seeming a lot more like a movie than this one even though it's absolutely reviled by so many. Still, this movie was fine and I especially liked the extended shots of the favela at the beginning. Really took me back to Mexico City. I think a whole movie that was just tracking shots of Latin American slums would be pretty much the best movie you could make. I'm telling you. But if you ain't never been to the ghetto don't ever come to the ghetto, 'cause you wouldn't understand the ghetto.

When I started that paragraph I didn't see it ending like that.

Oh, and Ace liked it too.

2) Sunday afternoon I made a salad. A wilted spinach salad with grilled onions and a warm feta dressing. This one is a winner. This salad is serious. Oh. And steak. Tossed in a tiny bit of steak. Someone invite me to a group dinner and ask me to bring the salad and I'll make the entree wish it never showed up.

Maybe that was a little cocky of me, let me take it back and say I just really believe in this salad.

Bonus Item:

3) How could I almost forget? Ate mad sushi Friday night at Blue Ribbon Sushi w/ Jeff & Lindsay. After this platter (and some appetizers and some soups) Jeff and I still felt like animals so we had to have a few more rolls, which maybe put us over the edge of how much raw fish one can comfortably consume but really it was becoming a question of how far too far could go.

One More Bonus Item I Thought of When Glancing at iPhoto:

4) I don't know what setting my camera was accidentally set on when Ali took this picture of Lisa but there better be a way for me to figure it out from the EXIF data because when I first saw it I was like "that's no good" but then I looked at it again for a while and was like "yeah, that's kind of good."