Monthly Archives: May 2010

Mark Your Calendar May 28 – June 4

TONIGHT

– One of my favorite artists in the world, James Hyde, opens tonight at Pierogi’s Boier!

Whitney will be open til midnight tonight on pay-what-you-wish basis so make sure to check out the biennial if you haven’t seen it yet.

Raccoon Fighter played at the food market last week and they’re at Don Hills tonight.

SATURDAY

– My girl Jenny organized another Score! Pop Up event, and this one should be bigger than ever. Bring your old stuff, take home some new old stuff and have a merry day.

House of Yes is hosting a short Indie film festival that starts at noon til 10pm.

– I’m taking the Newtown Creek Visitor Tour today, face mask in tow.

Momix will potentially be very cheesy and glitzy but that ain’t necessarily a bad thing. Runs thru June 6th, I’m going tonight.

SUNDAY

– I’ve heard some groans when I told folks I want to watch the entire Cremaster series at IFC tonight. I haven’t seen it yet!

– Believe it or not I haven’t seen Marina Abramovic’s retrospective at MoMA yet. Crazy, I know. So I’m going at the break o’ dawn today to try to guarantee a starring contest with her.

MONDAY

Bklyn Yard returns and starts off summer with some serious foodage. Greenpoint Food market will be there alongside a row of food trucks. Prepare to loosen that belt and not lose the pounds you hoped to lose for bikini season.

TUESDAY

Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a brewer’s night, with a vegetarian dinner and beer pairing. $45 bucks a pop but it might be worth it.

WEDNESDAY

– My dearly beloved Jon is back in town and playing with Jim as Anxieteam tonight at Pete’s Candy Store. Stoked.

THURSDAY

Cinema 16 returns and Greenpoint Food Market’s La Tia Faby will be there selling empanadas. Lemonade will score four short films including Shirley Clarke’s Bridges Go Round, Ezra Johnson’s W.V.B., PSA Coney Island from 1940s, and Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space.

Round Robin artists Mary and Martin will open their studios for a visit.

FRIDAY

– Today kicks off Bushwick Open Studios with a party at Beauty Bar.

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Sea bass Without Tamarind

I moved into a new apartment in April. It’s a cozy studio with the kitchen spread out to half the space, taking place of a living room. I was beyond relieved to finally have the opportunity to live alone, to not consider any other living form other than my dog and myself. That I would have a kitchen all to myself was a luxurious daydream come true and I am altogether flabbergasted that in the last month and a half I’ve only cooked meals a handful times. That I haven’t been inspired to flip through the magazines, to browse the hundreds of food blogs and pick up a recipe to experiment with is inexplicable considering this was all I was doing last year into early this year. Much has to do with having a ridiculous schedule but still, that’s no excuse. I finally took advantage of a compulsive moment to cook and eat alone a couple days ago and spent nearly three hours gathering ingredients for this dish that resulted in enough improvising to have made me anxious and prepared for disaster.

The most recent issue of Saveur ran a brief story on the culture and food of Kenya and the cuisine of coastal East Africa. Coconut milk, chiles, ginger, rice, couscous, and plenty a fish are the staples from this region and I quickly glanced at the recipe for Samaki Wa Kupaka (Grilled Whole Fish with Tamarind) and figured this was my chance to take ownership and pride over my kitchen.

Shopping for the ingredients led to a grueling search for tamarind paste, which there were none of in North Brooklyn. It was close to 8pm and I was not condoning a trek into the city or queens to obtain this dried fruit paste/concentrate. After googling for substitutes I decided to replace the cursed thing with molasses and lemon juice. I found no calculated amount to equal a 1/4 cup of the paste so I just combined coconut milk with the molasses and juice until the color resembled that of the picture in the magazine. I braced for the worst in making this thing, I hate not following recipes, seeing as how I’m just not a seasoned cook with an acquired palate for well balanced tastes and distinguishments. Well, you should have seen my face upon retrieving the fish from the oven, forking that oh so delicate meat into a single bite of pure sweet deliciousness. I was very impressed with myself.

I am quickly learning bass is my favorite type of fish to consume, the texture is a perfect combination of flaky and chewy and it’s taste is subtle but still fishy enough. I’m sure I overdid it on the molasses as I only tasted a hint air of coconut and sweetness dominated the fish, which I didn’t mind considering I have a serious sweet tooth.

I bottomed the fish with a bed of curried couscous which is literally couscous with a teaspoon of curry powder. When I put leftovers to warm in a pan, the couscous got stir-fried which made them awesomely crunchy. The asparagus I sauteed in an iron skillet with some ramp butter, courtesy Nicole and Doug of Small Scale Productions and Luminous Kitchen (you can find it this Saturday at GFM), splattered with salt and pepper.

It was a well-rounded meal in terms of varying textures and tastes and look forward to actually following the recipe once I get my hands on some goddamn tamarind paste.

Sea Bass without Tamarind

1lb sea bass filets (2 filets)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 dried red peppers, minced

1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced

Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup canned coconut milk

1/2 cup molasses

Juice of another lemon

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. ground corinader

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Canola oil

1. Put fish into 9×13″ baking dish and season with salt & pepper. Combine garlic, red pepper, ginger, and lemon juice in small bowl and rub fish with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Meanwhile, heat coconut milk, molasses, and lemon with spices in saucepan over low heat and stir while cooking for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat oven to broil, uncover fish, brush with oil, then with some of them non-tamarind sauce. Cook fish, flipping every few minutes and basting often with the sauce for about 15 – 20 minutes.

3. Eat and enjoy.

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Mark Your Calendar: May 14 – May 20

It’s Friday! It’s going to be one hella super fanatical epilepsy-fit inducing hyperventilating gyrational weekend folks. I’m pretty stoked.

TONIGHT

– Today, until 6:30pm is the last day to catch the ever so kickass performance/video artist Kate Gilmore at Bryant Park as she assigns 7 women in cheap and bright professional garb to be silent and stomp above a 10×10′ yellow cube in which a hollow middle space allows you to walk in and listen to the endless drone of deep tapping.

William Powhida gives a performance/lecture titled Surviving the Art World Using the Art of Sorcery at Hyperallergic. It’s sold out but you can get on the waitlist. Also, you can watch it live here.

NY Photo Festival launched on Wednesday and runs through the weekend.

– I want to watch Daddy Longlegs, which starts showing today at IFC.

– Oh my god, New York Uke Fest launched on Wednesday and considering I mediocrally play the profound and hysterical instrument it seems natural that I’d have the need to attend. Runs through Sunday.

– Moses Pendleton’s Momix launched last night and runs through June 6th, playing mostly at Joyce Theater. It looks plenty trippy. I bought tickets for the 29th.

SATURDAY

– The International Contemporary Furniture Fair launches at Jacob Javits center. I went a couple years ago and was quite humble by some of these pieces of functional art. It was honestly more impressive and provoking than an art fair. Highly recommended.

Slidluck Potshow returns tonight and boy have we got some ambitious goals to share with YOU. So, we’re trying to break world record for LARGEST FUCKING POTLUCK EVER. Right now the recorded number of potluck dishes contributed to any given party is like 604 or something. We need to hella break that. SO, please please please join us starting 7pm with any made up dish you can conjure up in your kitchen and bear witness to what could be the most glorious and historical potluck, EVER.

– The ever empowered Olympia has been working her ASS off for this show the last few months and I can hardly wait to run over to that foreign land called New Jersey and attend the opening day of her show rightfully titled Escape From New York. 43 contemporary artists will strut their stuff within a cavernous old warehouse, actively engaging with the space and contributing to a notion that it’s not all that happening in Manhattan, and Jersey is actually, well, kinda fucking awesome. Can’t. Wait!!!!!!

Hester Street Fair happens again this weekend, it’s been all the buzz about town. Make sure to check out my girl Bheki and her art studded bags. I’m jealous of the smiley video they have on their website. Can someone do that for my market too please?

– I discovered Chicha Libre while reading through the band list for Sunday’s Taste event and not only discovered their amazing sound but the venue that they’ll be playing tonight, Barbes. I am all for cumbia, old school latin beats, and the like and this venue highlights many local worldly talents. Chica Libre will start playing every Monday as well.

– The big day is here. Franklin St. Immersion will be a day long discount fest with more than 20 stores offering drink specials and discounts. Pick up a card at Diamond or Champion to get even more stuff and free stuff. Indulgence.

Lab 24/7 is hosting an improv cooking session with 8 cooks toying with ingredients to what will hopefully amount to a delicious meal. It’s $75 per which is a tad much for me but is an awesome idea.

Crystal Stilts are playing at Glasslands tonight, for $12 it’s a steal.

Sparkseed is throwing a fundraiser at UC Lounge with cheap drinks and dancing. Now THAT’s how you support an awesome organization.

SUNDAY

Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint is a tasting benefit to build Northside Town Hall inside 212 Firehouse. It’s going to be a delicious event. A pile of local restaurants will be giving away their signature mini plates and Greenpoint Food Market will be at the corner inside Superior vans to show some goods from a few vendors. Come hungry. Oh also, my favorite band of all time People’s Champs will be playing outside Superior at 3pm.

Huckleberry Bar is hosting what sounds to be both an intimidating and intoxicating night of classic cocktails and absinthe induced debauchery. The bar is participating in a series of events called Manhattan Cocktail Classic, celebrating the craft of cocktails and will feature Death in the Afternoon, a signature drink that Hemingway made famous. Tix are $50 but will be well worth your tipsy. I will most certainly be there after already having tasted a gargantuan amount of food at Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint.

– Greenpoint’s own Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is hosting a seed swap & plant sale from 9 – 4pm. Learn how to plant and eat your own food!

MONDAY

– Jamie Hook’s Open City Dialogue at Pete’s Candy Store finishes off the season with Practical Alchemy: An Investigation in to the secrets of life and death. I am intrigued, also because there will be free cupcakes. Mmmmm….Free Cupcakes….

Ed Varie, Apartamento Magazine, and Seems Books join forces for an evening of food and revelry at Tasca, a project to celebrate a recent issue of Apartamento featuring limited seating dinners for free. I rsvp for today but received no response so it might be sold out already. Boo.

TUESDAY

– It’s Mellow’s 2 year birthday today. I will do nothing but give him shitloads of kisses and make him a doggy cake in which I will stuff his face in.

– I will also celebrate Mellow’s bday by going to No Lights No Lycra, dancing all my aggressions away in the dark inside a church in Greenpoint.

– Every Tuesday thru June, Jimmy No. 43 hosts $10 beer tastings. Awesome.

– My dear Mark of Fostercare plays at Glasslands. This will be a trippy performance.

WEDNESDAY

– Hunter’s MFA students are presenting a thesis opening. I’ve gone almost every season and was mostly disappointed minus a few who blow me away every time. Show is held at Hunter College Times Square Gallery located at 450 W. 41st btw 9 & 10 ave and runs thru June 19th. Opening tonight is from 6 – 8pm. Look out for works by Daniel Nelson.

– My favorite DJs Finger on the Pulse is hosting their first BBQ blowout at Roberta’s. Should be kickin’.

– Famed Burlesque extraordinaire Gigi La Femme presents The Beauty Show under St. Marks Theatre.

THURSDAY

– Karen started Markets of New York to cover just that, and she’s launching her book inside Chelsea Market at 6pm.


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Plates and Records Supperclub: Brunch Edition Recap

photo courtesy lauren silberman

On Saturday Ram and I kicked ass as we saw to the return of our supperclub Plates and Records. Guest star chef Georgie came on board and made this amazing lemon curd to add onto our brunch menu, lathering it onto wild berry scones and french toast. Read the full recap here. Join the mailing list so you can get a taste of our awesomeness next time.

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Mark Your Calender: May 7 – May 14

I cannot believe a week has gone by already. It’s May 7th? Really?? I need to sit down and think really hard about this. How the HELL is time whizzing by so DAMN FAST?!! I vowed starting on the first to restrict my diet a bit and lose them extra rolls of chins and bellies but all I’ve done the last 7 days was eat tacos and sweet plantains at midnight and raisin danishes and apple crisps in the morning. I haven’t gone jogging every other day like I planned, nor have I practiced yoga couple days a week as I vowed. Yea. Trying to cook at home often is not so easy either when you’re flying about every night attending this that and the other thing. At least I’m having a blast doing it all and eating it all, albeit with the consequence of a major guilt trip and hypersensitized anxiety. I’m convinced it’s the coming of warm weather that I absolutely refuse to be tamed and disciplined. I am also noticing as the years progress I lose less and less winter fat as summer approaches. It’s a depressing realization, as is learning my skin is less suntan friendly, I’ll really need to start wearing sunblock before the leathery skin thing happens and skin cancer is one summer away. Aaah the drudgeries of aging.

TONIGHT
The Affordable Art Fair launches tonight and runs through Sunday. Buy works from $100 – 10,000. Anything for $10 I can buy??

NY Gallery Week launches tonight and runs through Sunday and special events include book signing tonight by Dana Schutz at Zach Feuer.

The Unaffordable Art Fair opens tonight at NY Studio Gallery, sharing a message of unfair economic treatment towards artists. Participating artists includes one of my faves Jsun Laliberte.

– An exhibition of new photography by emerging artists opens at Winkleman Gallery tonight. Looks really good.

The Performancy Forum‘s night of experimental performances happens tonight with film, theater, music, and video.

Future Archaeology‘s Canopy Assemblage is a one night exhibition viewing of a living/synthetic ecosystem hosted by Northside Townhall at Firehouse 212 in Williamsburg.

SATURDAY

NY Gallery Week’s participating gallery Wallspace hosts a talk titled Appropriation: Exploring Curatorial Methodologies for a Historical/Contemporary Exhibition with Anne Ellegood and Johanna Burton. I had a major crush on Burton for the longest time.

– Ram and I brought out supperclub Plates & Records back and we’re hosting a brunch tomorrow. Spots are filled but join our facebook group or email us to join us for future eatings.

– I’m pretty excited to see Alwin Nikolais’ Centennial dance performance at Joyce Theater this weekend. The costume and set design, the movement and sound looks completely funky and enticing.

Glasslands is hosting a rockabilly prom!

Dr. Sketchy‘s live cabaret extravaganza is tonight at Slipper Room.

SUNDAY

NY Gallery Week and Anthology Film Archives are putting together a Wilhelm Sasnal screening. Also on Sunday is featured a book signing with T.J. Wilcox, talk with David Joselit, Irving Sandler, and Jorge Pardo. Also Martin Creed opens at Gavin Brown.

Jimmy’s No.43 is kicking off Pig Week with a butchering demo and lunch. The two don’t go together very well for me. I’d rather eat first, then butcher. Then throw up.

White Columns is having a benefit auction with free brunch preview!

May 12

NY Photo Festival launches. Make sure to check out the works of Osang Gwon and Lucas Blalock when you’re there.

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Micmacs and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

On Monday evening I had the privilege to watch a special screening of Micmacs, originally launched here during Tribeca Film Festival. It was held inside a lecture hall at Columbia University and was followed by Q & A session with the one and only Jean  Pierre Jeunet. That I would have the opportunity to be in the same room as the mastermind behind Amelie gave me all sorts of ticks and butterflies and I was grateful to be able to watch the film outside of Tribeca, considering it was sold out. First and foremost, thank you to the Zimblaman for hooking me up and making some awesome shit happen.

Micmacs was a visually gripping film, and its story leaned toward light-hearted action comedy with a slight tinge of moral-laden reality-checking tragic undertones. Political views were subtle if at all apparent, and left you feeling pretty damn good and giddy in the end.

As a boy, Bazil experienced the tragic death of his father, who tragically died during a search and destroy land mines raid. At the funeral Bazil engraves the logo of the arsenal company who created these bombs and will serve his life’s purpose as an adult. Years later, while tending to his job as a lowly video store cashier, Bazil becomes victim to a drive by where a gun set loose freakishly lands and shoots a bullet straight to his head. Miraculously enough Bazil stays alive, bullet still in tact in his noggin. He gets hold of the bullet made by an arsenal company competing with the folks that lead his father’s death. Now living jobless and without a home, he is discovered by a collective family living in a junk yard with the sole purpose of salvaging and repurposing, junk. These seven hysterically unique characters become his adopted family and the film goes on with the lone goal of seeking revenge and exposing the deceits of these two companies. A cartographer, a humanified calculator, a junkyard artist, an old time ex-prisoner, a record breaking human canonball, a contortionist, and a fairytale big mama figure all join forces as they formulate grand trickstersque schemes against the bad guys. The movie ultimately ends with lies and deceits exposed, thanks to video confessions and social media distribution, not violence and mass killings.

I will regrettably admit Micmacs didn’t meet up to my expectations of being the next big iconic Amelie. First of all, I had no idea Jeunet was responsible for both A Very Long Engagement and Alien Resurrection. Um, what was he thinking?? How can the man who made the greatness and sweetness that is Amelie be responsible to such cheese and its side affects such as Alien Resurrection? But I digress. Micmacs is very much in par with another movie he made in the 90s, Delicatessen. Both are cinematographically similar, both utilize a dark brown, earthy, industrial decay/debris, ominously rotting color palette and environment. Steam and smoke is prevalent in every other scene, the poor and lowly is romanticized and juxtaposed to the rich and corporate (more in Micmacs). Dreamy child-like imagination runs amok with playful and cute anecdotes between costume, facial expressions, object manipulation and character engagement, all the while emphasizing a dark and ominous energy throughout.

Jeunet himself is a sprightly round man with witty and sharp humor. He resembles an overgrown boy but with a more articulate brain. In speaking about his creative process, it seems there is much preparation involved in making of a film, almost to an obsessive level, with sketches, story boards of every scene, etc, but it also apparent is his ability to allow certain aspects, such as production design, to be wholehearted handed over to another individual with pure trust that it will turn out the way he envisioned. Political undertones are not a focus for the filmmaker, but a message is heard. He is highly influenced by other films and incorporates plenty references (none of which I was able to pinpoint) in this movie. Silence and Sound has always been of utmost importance, subtlety and lack of music is as much as focus as what defines its soundtrack. You’ll find many familiar faces in this movie with characters from Delicatessen and Amelie and others. He is most interested in character actors, folks with interesting faces that can play an exquisitely unique role.

Considering I am a non-film-buff I found it highly educational to hear a filmmaker, let alone my favorite filmmaker, speak about the making of his movie. It made me realize how NOT easy it is to make a feature film, especially if there is no budget for it. A movie this official takes a shit load of talented people and  a whole lot of money. I’d like to make a challenge to anyone, including myself, to create a feature film with as little as $1000. Is that humanely possible?

I will also admit one issue I have with Jeunet and his movie. I’ve heard it before, that French folks are homophobes and racist, but it’s just not something that ever crossed my mind. And here, if only briefly, I was accosted with this stereotype. At one point in the movie, Bazil asks his posse to focus their gaze and pay attention. They are give him a questionable glance and after a moment of silence he affirms “No not GAYS, GAZE!”. That was bizarre to me. And I wondered how that translated from French. Also during Q&A I don’t know what it was regarding but he TOTALLY made a racist joke and not many people laughed. Ouch. Other than that he’s kind of wonderful.

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Inoteca

I’ve been eating out quite often lately which is a big nono considering I don’t have the cash to do so. I apparently enjoy spending money I don’t have. Luckily, my homeslice Mai works at Inoteca, a wonderful classical Italian wine bar and restaurant located in the Lower East Side and Gramercy and I stop by every so often to munch from a delicious selection of traditional dishes. I haven’t taken photos of their signature bruschettes but I highly highly recommend you try the fig mascarpone, found at their Gramercy space. It is unreal in its sweetness, smoothness, richness and goodness. Their polenta with mushrooms and onions are prime comfort food, warm and gratifyingly mushy, flavorful and filling.

Last night Mai and I strolled from Gramercy’s Inoteca to the one on Rivington and prepared ourselves for a delectable meal. I started off with three bruschettes; the fagiolo del giorno, ricotta fresca & pomodoro, and caponata di verdure. My main meal was a crispy and overtly spiced pollo al mattone with asparagus, mushrooms and ramps. The skin was charred ever so crunchily, the meat thin and tender. The vegetables were scarcely portioned but deliciously seasoned with what seemed like a soy sauce and red pepper base. I could be totally off there, I am not one to guess tastes. Nonetheless I loved the texture combo and the salty savory richness of the dish. Mai started off with the beets and orange salad and had a panini sandwich that was a bit too dry for my tastes.

The best part of the meal though is always dessert, in my humble opinion. The sous chef greeted my dear homeslice and surprised us with a most mouthwatering dessert: panna cotta with poached strawberries in some sort of wine sauce. It was SO GOOD. I absolutely love fruity desserts, especially if its combined with some sort of chocolately or thick creamy base like ice cream or such. However I am not a big fan of cheesecake, that shit makes me nauseous. Panna cotta is an eggless pudding, here sprinkled with a high vanilla dosage, making it super indulgent in and on itself. The poached strawberries maintained their seedy crunch whilst giving off the most sensual slimy chew, and taking a bite with both strawberry and pudding lathered in the sauce was pure unadulterated sex. I will most definitely be coming back for more. Over and over and over.

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