weekend recap

Sooo…I gained 5 lbs in the last 3 weeks. And although there are more tragic events around the world I can’t help take this as a point of departure for my current state of spastic multidinous mental combustion. There have been so many monkeys in my brain jumping from one nerve branch to another keeping me from writing in my blog, contemplating on those art shows and reflectively reviewing them. Its a transitional moment in my life, with a possible move in store, and I just have to schedule my schedule properly so as not to overwhelm and mentalize myself.

Things that have been on my mind lately: I saw an amazing loft for rent on craigslist in Carroll Gardens that would be shared by 3 people and it would’ve been a perfect opportunity for me to utilize the living room as an event space, to curate/rotate art work, hold happenings and extend my network. But I was thinking way to above and ahead of myself. Before I start showing anything and organizing anything I need to build on my nonexisting network and get myself back into the art loop. I haven’t seen any shows all summer and anytime I browse through any of the billion art mags and blogs that float around I feel so abandoned, outcast and misinformed. So rather than obsess over my TONY, New York and New Yorker magazines that list events I know I won’t attend, I’d like to take the next few months, the next year, to do some serious research: recall some art history barely learned in school, keep up to date with all the worthy and not so worthy shows around town, attend openings and not be such a self-conscious dork and actually talk to people, and eventually build a network of trusted people (rare) that will help pave my way. I know this is all real personal blibber blabber that you don’t care to hear, but I need to get it out of system and make myself as transparent as possible so I can unwind that anxious knot in my solar plexus and third eye. So in the end, that loft in Carroll Gardens was sacrificed, it was too expensive and not the right timing. I’ll make a new post about renewing my lease and start a search for a roommate.

I’ll also post a separate post about my friend Cristina’s daschund Reggie who is in the hospital for intestinal obstruction and needs YOUR help in paying for the bill. Cristina is a dear friend and also has a blog you should check out. More on her later.

Over the weekend I ate dinner for a friend’s birthday party at Zum Schneider, a Bavarian indoor Biergarten in the East Vilage. I can’t help prounounce the place with a heavy bellicose German accent with a hearty throaty obnoxious laugh to follow. The crowd was pretty yuppie but the food was pretty amazing. A continuous flow of carb infested drowned our table, a variety of sausage Weiner Schnitzels and potato salad, cucumber salad, German pancake, apple sauce, apple fritters…We all had a taste of each other’s plates and I overindulged a bit and was incapable of breathing normally shortly afterwards. We went out to some bar nearby (careless blogger forgot name of place) that whose walls were surrounded by classic olden photographs of celebrities and other weirdos. There was a live three piece band who played awful music from hootie and the blowfish to celine dion.

Friday night I browsed the recent Cooking Light issue and was excited to find a recipe that utilized the veggies that’s been patiently waiting in my fridge for quite some time. It’s a simple warming meal: Herbed Chicken and Dumplings. I substituted the chicken for firm tofu and served stir fry kale and couscous (obviously a fave) to compliment.

The recipe:

Cooking spray

8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces (one container tofu cut in bite size pieces)

3/4 cup (1/4 inch) diagonally cut celery

1/2 cup (1/4inch) diagonally cut carrot

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

3 parsley sprigs

1 bay leaf (mine was dried)

3 cups fat free, less sodium chicken broth (used veggie broth, probably ended up being more bland)

2.25 ounces all purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup 1% low fat milk (used soy milk)

1. Hear a large saucepan over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray ( I just used regular oil). Add chicken (tofu to pan); cook 4 minutes (mine was more like 15, till tofu turned brown on outside), browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add celery and next 5 ingredient through bay leaf to pan; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute. Add broth to pan; bring mixture to a boil over, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, chopped parsley, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk, stirring just until moist. Spoon by heaping teaspoonfuls into broth mixture (this was the best fun part); cover and simmer 10 minutes or until dumplings are done. Discard parsley sprigs and bay leaf.

Serves two (served me three)

Those little dumplings were so soft and chewy and it wasn’t a soupy dish, more a thick broth, mix with couscous and delight in the combo sort of dish. The best part though was the kale. I’ve never really had kale before but was curious as it looked thick and bitter. But wow, kale is crunchy and bittersweet, between arugula and spinach almost. I should practice learning my taste vocabulary because I can’t really properly describe it, for all I know its sour and meaty to you. Anyway I found a recipe online but basically just sauteed garlic and ginger on a pan in ghee rather than oil which provides the sweetness and threw in the kale, some soy sauce and sesame seeds and a little bit of water. Heaven.

Then, for dessert we ate chocolate brownie cookie  from Choice in Clinton Hill and topped it with Hagen Das Vanilla Ice Cream. Orgasm.

Saturday was errands day, I am shit broke so was determined to keep my grocery shopping to a minimum, so refrained from buying anything but apples from farmer’s market and breakfast material at The Garden. I spent some time in the park with Mellow and quickly after made my way to the NY Art Book Fair, Printed Matter’s annual fair of art books and editions. Printed Matter is a favorite art book store for many, founded by AA Bronson. It was held this year at Phillips de Pury and as opposed to open layouts of the past with just rows of tables, it was more like an official art fair with separated walls giving each vendor a proper booth. This compartmentalized layout made the browsing less flowy but it did provide more focus to each vendor’s goodies. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, I was too caught up drooling and wishing I was one of many zine/artist book/magazine makers sitting at their humble booth. The difference between a  book fair and an art fair is the lack of pretentiousness, people are far more friendly (not that I am one to chatter, self-consciousness limitation syndrome) and reach out to speak freely about what they’ve got in store to share with you. I’ve seen edition prints, a mini exhibitino by On Kawara, handmade crafted zines and illustrations, theory and criticism books, and artist catalogues. Links to follow.

Afterwords I headed over to Deitch to catch the last day of Chris Johanson’s show, I was dismissive at first but the installation kind of grew on me. Im impressed the all encompassing environment that every show at Deitch provides, I’m sure it must cost a fortune but Jeffrey Deitch is an admirable art dealer who has a keen eye and a balanced budget to keep providing cutting edge shows.  More on this later.

In the evening I cooked a simple pasta dish with kale and pancetta and garlic. Unfortunately I don’t remember which recipe I followed but it wasn’t a super special dish so I won’t digress further.

Sunday was a beautifully warm sunny day which only prevented me from writing. I obssessed ALL weekend about this loft and traying to make a decision just becoming increasingly annoyed at my indecisiveness. I spent some time at the cafe but didn’t stay long. Evan joined me to the park and we ran into a dog holloween parade/costume contest and although I knew abou the event, I didn’t think to dress up Mellow in a costume. We did go to District Dog to try on an outfit but that was about as far as I would go. After witnessing this though I plan on dressing him up and torturing him next Holloween.

why...me...

Kudos to those who handmade the costumes. 1st prize went to the G train, who was a bit stubborn and delayed in advancing up to stage. 2nd prize were to the boom box and mix tape, impressively detailed, with matching breeds! amazing!

The parade/contest made me feel like I was really part of a community, there were familiar faces, familiar dogs, laughter, light hearted goodness everywhere and I thought, why should I move when I’ve developed friendships here in the last year and live right freakin next to the park and I have a beautiful big renovated apt already? In the end I’ve decided not to take the loft and resign the lease and stay put. I realize I run away whenever I am comfortable, i won’t be doing that this time.

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