Tuesday, June 30, 2009
By now, I really really hope you've all seen this London Craigslist posting:
Naturally, I responded telling the poster that I was very interested in the tickets and that seeing this show would be an absolute dream come true. I never heard back from him, he probably sold those tickets right away.
Fortunately for me, there were plenty of other tickets posted for sale from earlier on Thursday or previous days. I wrote a couple of these people, obliviously telling them the same thing: I was very interested in their tickets and that seeing Michael Jackson in concert would be an absolute dream come true. These are the responses that I got:
Attempts to continue negotiations were unsuccessful.
And if you think I'm bad for having emailed these people, just think about this: someone stole my Odwalla fruit drink that I bought yesterday to have for breakfast today. Karma? I'll never involve myself in internet chicanery again.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I don't have a window at work but out in the hall the views are pretty excellent, I'm way downtown and up higher than anything around so you can see out onto the river, to Jersey, and beyond.
This week there was a gigantic yacht anchored near Ellis Island. It stayed there for several days, it was driving me nuts, just sitting there in the middle of everything, being absolutely gigantic. The Ellis Island/Liberty Island ferries all passed by it real close, like tiny fish investigating a docile whale. I began wondering if this boat was something special or if gigantic yachts were always out there in the river, I just never noticed.
A little research revealed the following: The yacht is "Le Grand Bleu." It was built in 2000 and is 370 feet long and it's on its second billionaire Russian owner. For a nice up close shot check this out. Honestly, that picture doesn't really do it justice, it really stood out from 35 stories in the air and at least a half-mile away. It seemed to be two or three times as tall as the double-decker Island Ferries. It was something but I hope it's gone when I get in this morning. Too much of a distraction, too much to worry about.
But what our billionaire friend is up to doesn't seem like such a bad vacation: have your yacht sailed across the Atlantic, park it off Manhattan, take the speedboat into the island for the day, come home and spend the evening on your waterbound palace. I'd do it, and I suffer a bit of boatphobia. (Well, except for that one time)
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Also, the borders of the WTC site are filled with absolute vampires and plenty of visitors from Spain and Akron sticking their necks out.
And did you know we've got crossing guards down here, too? In yellow vests. But the crossing guard I honor is an aggressive cab or barreling delivery truck.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I wish I had thought of this yesterday but instead I thought of it today. Anyway, if you wish to honor MJ (and you think it's still timely) wear White Socks to work (or wherever it is you go) on Monday! They'll probably look best with a darker, shorter, tighter pair of pants.
AND if you do, please send a picture.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
First off, what's more American than a hot dog? (and also: do I look at all like I've been working like a dragon lately?)
I'll tell you what's more American than a hotdog...having that hot dog with Keri (who we haven't seen since this best post ever from three years ago) and meeting her husband Keith. If you were wondering if Keith was cool, just look closely: first trip ever to the Shake Shack and he's having a double stack with the deepfried, cheesefilled portobello mushroom on it. Case Closed.
Also last week I had dinner at this new place in Williamsburg called the Brooklyn Star. It's a southern-style restaurant run by one of the original partners at Momofuku. So, yes, that was what drew me to this American meal.
But what will bring me back is their Countryfried Steak. Enormous. Delicious.
Shrimp and grits and fried eggs? Why not.
Also very good: their Dr. Pepper Ribs appetizer and strawberries deepfried in cornbread dessert.
And the Brooklyn Star isn't too far from the Barcade, and what's more American than than old arcade games? OR falling in love with Gauntlet and digging crazily for a few more quarters?
But, listen, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been Momofukuin'. Since the Bo Ssam I've been there a few times...uhm, maybe Noodle Bar 3 times and Ssam twice?
Something worth reporting is the Noodle Bar now features $20 three course lunches and $30 four course dinners. The selections vary daily and nearly never repeat and, qualitywise, are an enormous bargain--practically half the price of what it could cost to order these meals a la carte.
I've had the lunch once, they started me off with a radish and anchovie paste amuse boche.
Followed by raw scallops in bacon dashi.
Then a very decent little hanger steak with spicy greens, Japanese mushrooms, and beef jus.
The final course is a cup or cone of softserve. Presently the Noodle Bar features rhubarb and shortcake flavored softserves, ideally served in a twist. The rhubarb is good but the shortcake is SERIOUSLY delicious. Favorite Momofuku ice cream yet. No. Tied with the old snickerdoodle.
One drawback to the new meal-centric menu is the noodle bar has scaled back the rest of the menu. Most problematic is they rotate their old noodle bar bowl dishes, so you never know if the kimchi stew or cold spicy noodles or what will be on the menu. Straight up pork and chicken ramen are long gone, but the one with two types of pork and a poached egg is always on the menu.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Aware that this movie opened in England seven hours before Chicago time and the morning papers would be on the streets, after writing the above I looked up the first reviews as a reality check. I was reassured: "Like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan!" (Bradshaw, Guardian); "Sums up everything that is most tedious, crass and despicable about modern Hollywood!" (Tookey, Daily Mail); "A giant, lumbering idiot of a movie!" (Edwards, Daily Mirror). The first American review, however, reported that it "feels destined to be the biggest movie of all time" (Todd Gilchrist, Cinematical). It’s certainly the biggest something of all time.
Could it be possible that Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen will bring 99% of the world together in agreeance on at least one thing?
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (PG-13, 149 minutes). A horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination. One star."
I was almost looking forward to how indignant this movie was going to make me until I realized: I don't have to see it. So I won't.
Remember his He's Just Not That Into You review? Classic.
Saturday night. Everyone heads to the Pyramid Club in honor of Chris' birthday. As with all nights where I'm going to be clubbin', I start out at Hillary and Grace's place.
Then it's off to the club. Here's the man of honor, Mr. Chris Vermillion.
I don't know if I've met all the Bakers yet, but this one is Julia. She's in town to work on their kitchen. In the background please note an Advanced Style candidate, an older gentlemen camped out with some drinks and a sketchpad, capturing all our youthful energy for the ages.
Let's get serious and get down to business.
Luis is always at everything and always in such a jolly mood. He gets the spirit award.
What is it that we can't keep our eyes off?
The Dance Master, that's who.
This is just me in my standard pose for being photographed in clubs.
Suvi & friend.
There was this terribly annoying camera crew there. I don't know what on earth for. To ruin the fun, I suppose. I hear they were from Brazil.
Everyone: Hands up!
Best part of the night? "Beat It" came on and Jamar started putting on such a show that the Dance Master had to descend amongst us mortals to challenge him.
It was an amazing dance battle.
Ok. Here's the thing. Do you know what kind of a club Pyramid is? It's an 80's club. They have an 80's dance party every night of the week, I think. So that means that in all these pictures we were 80's dancing, believe it or not. Isn't it nice to see an 80's club that isn't beating you over the head with fluorescent colors or requiring everyone to show up dressed as a goof? Good job, Pyramid club.
Farewell, Dance Master.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Old people. They're great. From my grandfathers I've been taught a lot of important things and some of those things had to do with fashion/design/etc. Grandpa Barnes left in me a strong impression of the importance of Sunday Best and looking sharp for church, from Grandpa Taylor's closets I've inherited outlandish polyester shirts to wear in High School, Guayaberas in every possible color that I still put to use, great windbreakers, a great winter coat, and if we just had the same shoe size I'd be up to my ears in well maintained shoes and cowboy boots. And thanks to my Greatgrandpa Condie I've had sharp hats that wouldn't fit, a tuxedo that sort of fit, plenty pretied neckties (he never undid the knots), and some fine wool pants that fit in High School.
But my Grandfathers weren't the only stylish old people I've ever known or seen. You see totally cool looking old people on the street everyday. They're everywhere. EXCEPT, it seemed for a while, on the internet.
But get this: I found this a last week called Advanced Style. It's a street fashion blog, a la the Sartorialist and others, BUT ONLY OF OLD PEOPLE.
Seriously. How awesome. A blog just about old people dressing sharper than you or I.
Here's some samples I pulled from the blog but please, go check it out yourself. And also, a funny thing happened while collecting these images: I discovered a little game, a little game called find the old people that your friends might grow up into. So you'll see my guesses here and there amongst these photos. And listen, everyone, please just have a nice little sense of humor about this. I'm not saying this person IS you, I know you're not 90 yet. Take it easy. And also, just because I didn't find an old person that reminded me of you it doesn't mean I wasn't trying. And readers, feel free to play along if you can think of any matches.
No, wait. THIS is Collin.
Jeff B. (Obvs.)
Jeff R.? No, maybe Jeff M.
And finally, ME:
Overall I give the blog an A+ for concept and a solid B for content (you'll see a lot of repetition of pictures if you read the whole thing) but, man, what a find.