Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best Christmastime Art Visit

Up at the Park Avenue Armory there's this thing where artist Ann Hamilton has hung all these superlong swings from the superhigh ceilings.  As part of my New York Orphan Christmas, I went and checked it out Christmas Eve morning.

I'd never even been in the Park Avenue Armory.  It's plenty interesting all by itself.

Of course, stepping into the the giant main room with all the swings swinging and the big sheet swaying, along with these mysterious readers reading, it was enough to make me walk slow for a second and wonder what I was seeing.

I don't know how she got so high.  Probably got an underdog from a ten foot tall person or something.

Fellow orphan Pearl.

It's awful hard to take a picture while you yourself are swinging.  It's also awful hard to know if there's a two or three year old walking behind you while you swing so, please, Mothers, keep an eye on those kids.

OK, be honest (but agree with me): Doesn't this photo make you think I build the exhibit?  It makes ME think I built it and I know I didn't build it.

There was this, like, Harry Potter situation where these cloaked individuals read from these long, long scrolls.  It was being broadcast to radios inside paper bags on the floors.

Lots and lots of wires from the swings to the sheet in the middle of the room, there was some connection between its motion and our swinging.  

Stairs to where I don't think I was supposed to go.

All in all, quite the show.  I recommend a visit.  I believe it's open until January 6th.

Additional Reading: NY Times article all about the show.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Christmas Present of 2011

Last year I got a membership at the Film Forum for Christmas.  That means I got to see movies for cheaper there.  It was great, the freedom go to my favorite theater as much as I care to.  Here's what I saw last year.  Typed up here it doesn't seem like so many, but in real life it felt like I was visiting quite regularly.
  • Laura
  • A Separation -- That movie about an Iranian couple trying to get a divorce.  A bummer, but not the bummer I had been expecting.
  • A Man Escaped--An old movie about a man escaping from prison.  I like how it was just about him escaping prison.
  • The Searchers--Many call this the greatest Western.  Uhhh.  Maybe Westerns weren't all that great?
  • Children of Paradise
  • Ruggles of Red Gap
  • The Graduate--Didn't realize how funny it was.
  • The Gang's All Here--Busby Berkeley/Carmen Miranda mind bender.  Perhaps the inspiration for Tron?
  • Celine and Julie Go Boating--Magnificently weird superlong French film.  Loved it.
  • Bonjour Tristesse
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Django--Super violent Spaghetti Western that launched 1000 imitators, "Django" is the "Famous Rays Pizza" of movies.
  • Funny Face
  • The Wolfman -- See Below
  • The Mummy -- Scary movie double feature. The Wolfman is only just so-so, the Mummy is rad.
  • Spanish Dracula -- A Spanish language version filmed at the same time as the classic Bela Lugosi version on the same sets.
  • Citizen Kane--Watched this to see if it was better than Vertigo.  It most certainly is. 
  • Why Worry?--Harold Lloyd movie about a rich hypochondriac who goes to South America to recouperate.  Brilliant.  So funny.
  • Vertigo -- Watched to see if it was the Best Movie of All Time (as some poll declared).  It most certainly isn't.
  • Safety Last--That Harold Lloyd where he hangs from a clock.  Why Worry? is funnier.
  • Grand Amour
  • Holy Motors--Also magnificently weird.  One of the only New Releases I saw at the Film Forum this year.
  • Girl Shy
  • Man in the White Suit--The only movie I saw at the Film Forum this year that I straight up did not care for.
  • Tess -- So good.
  • The Conformist
  • Il Sorpasso -- File Under "So Good" as well.
Christmas 2012, my membership was renewed.  I look forward to another fine year of fine films, starting tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Best It's Christmas Time, Here's Christmas Stuff

Hey, why don't I stop posting food for a minute and talk about human beings?

Well, it's Friday evening and Christmas vaction has officially begun.  I'm celebrating Kevin McAllister-style this year, minus the fancy hotel, but Christmassy happenings have been in full swing for weeks and weeks now.

Two Saturday nights ago Kristin and Gabe hosted a fine and fancy gathering on Gabe's roof.  Here's a photo from the party I quite liked that I stole out of Kristin's Facebook album.

All month long I've been involved with the Church's Sub 4 Santa activity, a service project that just won't die.  As I write I've got three big bags of presents sitting in my room we've been waiting 2+ weeks for someone to pick up and take to the UES building.  Wait.  You know what.  No Sub 4 Santa complaining.  No Sub 4 Santa stories.  It's a joy to serve.  But this is a photo from two Monday nights ago when we were organizing the gifts.  I wimped out and went home at 1 am.  There were people that didn't go home until 6am.  It's a lot of work, this Santa'ing.

I've had a couple of Christmas packages sent to me, both of which have been lost in the mail.  But I've received some nice cards, often with customizations on the envelopes.

Last Friday night Ines and Laura hosted a Holiday party at their apartment.  Here's Ines and Broek.

The next night I did the music for another party way downtown.  Don't be fooled, I'm using the simplest DJ'ing software in the universe now.  Basically it's iTunes with a crossfader.

Somedays I celebrate the coming of Christmas by eating a Chips Ahoy cookie in the lobby during work.

Wednesday night Patricia and I decided to charge up our Christmas Spirits by admiring the Christmas sites of midtown.

Windows at Bergdorf Goodman

Assorted lit up jewelry stores,

Collapsing shoe displays,

On over to the Rockefeller Center tree,

And finished up with a look at the Gingerbread Houses at the Parker Meridian.

The thing about the Parker Meridian Gingerbread Houses is that every year they're cool, but there's not very many of them.  If you bundled up all the kids and headed to midtown just to see them, well, it takes maybe 5 minutes to get a good look at them.  Better have other plans in the neighborhood.

Origami'd Christmas tree in the lobby.

And finally, Thursday night celebrated Taco Navidad with Jeff, Ryan, Kelsea and Dave at La CabaƱa.  No pictures of tacos or chalupas or tortas, but here's some kids that came in and found themselves immediately transfixed by that night's telenovela.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best Gimjanging

From the comments to my first Kimchi post:

Preparing kimchi in November (to last through the winter) is called gimjang and is an important Korean tradition. Sort of like canning fruit in the summer used to be here. So you're starting your experiment at an auspicious time. -MJP

Remember when I put my kimchi in the fridge? After two weeks of getting funky, it was time to party!

Not much to look at, but the smell!  I could have eaten the whole experiment like it was a salad.

But instead, I experimented with the experiment.  First up?  Kimchi Stew with chicken and rice cakes.

Not a good picture in the least.  Flavorwise, I put in too much mirin and not enough ramen broth.  And I wish I had had roast pork around instead of buying a chicken.  Still, I liked.  The leftovers were even better.

Second Experiment: Bacon and Brussels Sprouts.

To be put on top of a healthy portion of pureed kimchi.

The result?  A bowl of super heaven.  I could not help myself, I ate the whole pound of sprouts on the spot.  Vegetables!

Experiment Three: Kimchi Fried Rice.  Because it seemed like just the job for my stinky cabbage.

Experiment Four: My second attempt at Mission Chinese's Thrice-cooked Bacon and Rice Cakes with a side of kimchi puree for stirring into it.

And Experiment Number Five: Kimchi Apple Salad with Bacon and Maple Labne.  First I plated it like they do at the Ssam Bar:

But this is how I really ate it:

Okay, actually this is how I really ate it.

The Stew, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple Salad (and Kimchi itself) all came from the Momofuku Cookbook.  The other two were improvisations.   My kimchi is nearly gone now and I can't imagine how horrible it would be to not have some of the puree on hand at all times, so looks like I'll be gimjanging again soon.