Hey folks, I know I’ve been an errant blogger. Bad girl! ha ha, i mean bad Woman, I mean, good effort, nice try, better luck next time. I mean…. here are some photos of my recent trip to Silver Lake aka a fun neighborhood in L A. There are some photos of Venice and Santa Monica too. I really enjoyed hanging out at Intelligentsia cafe on Sunset and checking out the local take on Hipster fashion, going to the West Hollywood Farmer’s Market, where I had amazing lavender honey ice cream and dipping into the hot springs in Ohai. Here are the pics:
Archive for the Food Category
Dear Fucked in Park Slope,
It’s as bad as you said. No, it’s worse. When you spoke of the Food Coop and Tea Lounge, I commiserated and hated in solidarity. But, the real life version is, oh so much, worse. As I sit here in Tea Lounge attempting to have a freelancers daytime public internet moment, I am surrounded by approximately 50 toddlers, 2s and 3s, during a performance by a kiddy band. I feel I’ve crossed into a very dark realm. They just played a song called “I can do it all by myself” to the exact same tune as that “Don’t turn your back on me brother” song. Oh, but it’s too late for that, my brothers and sisters have turned their backs and stayed on the safe side of the tracks. I will now think twice before complaining about the ghetto-ness of Bed-Stuy. At least there it’s safe to venture out by day, without a trendy baby sling.
The Brooklyn Socialite
It’s been another busy week friends. Since last I wrote I saw The Girlfriend Experience and Fixer:The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi at the Tribeca Film Festival, went to a Print vs Blog talk at the Tribeca Y, had a poetry reading and danced the blues off at two Brooklyn house parties. Plus, I had another successful meal at Buttermilk Channel, this time brunch. Their biscuits are pretty good, but not as good as mine! I also had a chance to live it up a little bit on Saturday while actually reading peacefully in the sun in Choice Greene’s backyard patio. On the way there I passed an awesome kids clown show on Grand, in front of the Still Hip clothing store. Apparently they are having them every Saturday, if you love costumes and clowns, and environmentally themed, musical children’s performances as much as I do, then definitely check it out!
First a note about Brooklyn house parties and then onto my film reviews. Note: They rule! Ha, ha, no really they do. OMG Michelle played at the one on Friday night, which was at this house called Mansion (not to be confused with the snooty Manhattan club, Mansion.) DJ Designer Impostor played and on Sat, DJ Shomi Noise was awesome. Aside from being my friend, she is also a generally great DJ!
Ok film. So, the two films were extremely different than each other, the first Steven Soderberg’s new opus on high class prostitutes, who give their customers the illusion that they are somehow in a loving relationship with each other, was less than spectacular. Although the directer himself, with huge successes like Erin Brochevich, Sex Lies and Videotape, and Traffic under his belt, was wildly confident during the Q & A after, several elements of the film caused me to take pause.
He typecast, if you will, non-actors to play the roles of the prostitute and her personal trainer boyfriend. He didn’t give them a script and instead set them up with a situation and encouraged them to ad lib. Although this technique was quite successful in Ballast it fell very short in The Girlfriend Experience. Soderberg claimed, during his talk back, that if people didn’t know that was his method, we never would have noticed. I beg to differ.
The holes in the dialogue were obvious. The language was incidental and often seemed forced. Many of the relationships were unconvincing and the main character, played by porn actress, Sasha Grey, was stiff and boring to watch. If you made a film about me walking around NY having somewhat random conversations with strangers, I’m sure I would also be stiff and boring to watch. Why? Because I’m not an actor and films which follow non-actors are usually called documentaries. Why not just call the whole thing off, and make a documentary about a real prostitute who offers the girlfriend experience? Just asking.
Speaking of documentaries, let’s talk a bit about the really good film that I saw at Tribeca. But first, a note about opinions. Yes everyone has one, and some people start blogs and share them, people like me. But Tony Ortega, editor, and Michael Cohen, publisher, of the Village Voice have a bit of a bone to pick with people like us. However, the founder of Gothamist and a writer from Mashable, who sat on a panel with them on Thursday, they kinda think us bloggers are great. If you’re interested in finding out more about this secret society who is bringing down the media oligarchy, come to the Brooklyn Blogfest on Thursday, that’s where most of our upcoming schemes for world domination will be hatched.
No, to be fair, Ortega claimed to support bloggers, to want to maintain the integrity of the Voice, and most shockingly, he insisted that the Voice is still making good money. Strange, those claims seem to run counter to the Voice‘s recent massive layoffs and to their stubborn attempt to remain the source of NYC event advice. Unless they become a little more cutting edge with their suggestions, I don’t see people continuing to look to them to find out what’s happening.
But that’s just my opinion, and it’s here in my blog, not pretending to be impartial in some newspaper. Anyway enough angst right? Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi without necessarily seeking to do so, makes a very different and much more compelling argument in favor of the old media establishment. There is absolutely a place for researched, well-sourced journalism, especially in terms of foreign correspondence.
Fixer is a documentary that follows Christian Parenti, a Nation journalist, on a fact gathering trip through Afghanistan. As he travels around the country, meeting with Taliban leaders, villagers and any other potential sources of information, Ian Olds, the filmmaker is in the back seat of the car, a fly on the wall, observing Parenti’s transactions. In order to navigate this active war zone, Parenti requires help from what is known in the journo trade as a fixer.
A fixer is a local person who makes contact with potential sources, estimates the level of risk in traveling to various areas and then facilitates the actual journey by driving the foreign journalist to the rendezvous points and serving as translator while there. More than a middle man, Parenti’s fixer, Ajmal Naqshbandi was a journalist in his own right and as portrayed in the film, was a very savvy and intelligent individual. He died not long after the journey that Parenti and Olds took with him.
On another fixer job, working for an Italian journalist, Naqshbandi and the Italian were both kidnapped by a notorious Taliban leader. This man is known to have kidnapped and brutally executed several people. We are told at the start of the film that Naqshbandi died in this cruel way, but that his Italian employer was released relatively unharmed. The rest of the film navigates how the fixer got to that point and questions why he was not saved.
I was glad to see that Fixer won best documentary at Tribeca. It is truly an interrogative film. It forces us to question A. what is really going on in Afghanistan, B. how much that self-government and democracy actually protects Afghan citizens and C. How we would even begin to answer these questions without the field researched findings of foreign corespondents funded by media institutions.
1 point scored for blogs and 1 for old media. Looks like a tie Tony.
Just when I thought that I would drown in the post-bullshit of NYC, after a weekend of overpriced and over SALTED dinner at Blue Hill restaurant (which by the way claims to be awesome, and local and multiple-star, but actually is just a salt paddy with really snobby people inside of it), artstar self-importance, tonight at a DEITCH opening, which required a trek to LIC and seemed to be more about the scene than the medium, errant roommates that don’t pay their bills and even fake-farmers-market-hippies who sell milk at the farmers market and are obviously fake hippies, because they’re not even nice! After all of this, I discovered Andy L, on a trackback mission from here, my blog spot, to Bed-Stuy Banana, then finally to Andy L. Every so often, I make a virtual friend, who doesn’t know me yet, and Andy is one such friend.
Not only is he subverting the culture sufficiently by using yelp as his blog, like that poet who Amazon reviews like it’s her job, but he, like me, has a crush on that Hasidic Bartender who works at Sputnik. Yes Andy, I agree:
“Dear Hasidic Waiter at Sputnik,
You’re a darling of a man. You’ve changed the way I think about Sputnik. I used to hate Sputnik…..I’m not sure where to go from here. I don’t want to come on too strong and seem like a creep, although I pretty much am a creep. For now, I guess I’ll do what I always do with a crush; stare at them awkwardly, possibly mumble something incoherent, and run away. Maybe it’s for the best.
As for Sputnik Bar itself, I don’t really like it there. Like I mentioned earlier, I hate Pratt and the Taaffe Lofts.” read more
But don’t stop there that is just the tip of the iceberg, he reviews every single place in the neighborhood from Tip Top Bar, which he loves to Home Depot, which he hates, not forgeting to discuss schools, fried chicken joints, dry cleaners and all manner of place in between. That’s art Dietch.
Woah, so I survived my Birthday Fail and my general FOB, Fear of Birthday, much in part to a dear friend’s handiwork in 1. Taking me on a brilliant day trip to Beacon, New York, where we checked out the Dia, and hung around on its beautiful grounds, which almost made me feel like I was back in Europe, met the Queen of Glass Blowing and ate local food at Homespun (delicious). and 2. By encouraging me to persevere after the Frankies Fail and actually attempt to make a reservation elsewhere.
That elsewhere turned out to be Buttermilk Channel and it was the perfect choice. They were accommodating to a T. They gave us a long table, lined with a church pew, happily agreed to store our ice cream cake in their fridge, let us sit before the whole party arrived and Thanked us for coming, in a very genuine manner. I was impressed, not only by the service, but also by the fare. My Spanish friend could not get over the maple syrup sauce that came with my Buttermilk Chicken on Waffles, neither could I, nor Slate Honey, who sat on the other side of me, we all ate some, and shared the whipped potatoes Substitution that they gracefully allowed me to make. The local cheese plate, with honey and fried grapes was also amazing, as well as the New York state Chardonnay and Cabernet blend. I had to be a committed locavore and try both!
Thank you friends and thank you Buttermilk Channel for an awesome, laid-back, local Birthday.
We’ve discussed my vegan-envy in the past, but this sentiment has now reached new heights. After seeing Food Inc. I’ve been pretty much unable to eat meat, and quite uncomfortable with eating corn products.
True, it’s only been 2 days, but I feel pretty serious about this new conviction. The film details the social impact of the meat industry, as well as its environmental impact and effect on animal welfare. Meatpacking and processing is now one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and the very small number of employers actively recruit illegal Mexican immigrants to work in the plants. Under constant threat of deportation, the workers will then submit to the most dangerous conditions and minimal salaries.
Farmers who raise soybeans, corn and chickens fare no better within the American food industry. Monsanto, famous for having created Agent Orange and for championing genetically engineered food has patented the soybean. That corporation now owns a piece of natural life. This means that all over the country farmers are being sued and harassed for growing non- Monsanto seeds. Since the dawn of agriculture farmers have saved their own seeds, but now the law says that only corporate owned and sold seeds are permissible, seeds that require toxic Monsanto fertilizers in order to grow.
It gets worse, remember Mad Cow disease, aka E. coli. This is not a mutant strand that appeared out of nowhere, it is a disease created by the meat industry’s practice of feeding cows corn, in place of their natural grass diet and confining them in inhumane conditions, where they are left standing in their own feces. When one cow contracts this virus, it easily spread to the others, and it then finds itself mixed into meat at processing plants.
These are just a few examples, the list of abuses is long. Yet, because of the powerful legislative bargaining power of corporate food interests, there is no law in place to require labelling of GE or cloned foods and Kevins Law, the legislation that would hold the meat industry accountable for e coli deaths, and protect against further infections has still not passed 7 years after its proposal.
I have long been an organic food eater, have tended to favor local over corporate and am even a member of my local csa( community supported agriculture), but I wasn’t exactly a purist before. I’d eat microwave popcorn and dubious diner hamburgers, but I’m just about ready to make a locavore pledge… To Know Where my Food has Come From and to understand its true social, environmental, and animal welfare costs.
The Food Inc trailer- Directed by Robert Keener
My fingers have been itching all day, lets face it I’m an internet junkie, the iphone isn’t enough and I’ve been fiending. In an attempt to deal with my separation anxiety, I did what most junkies do, I cleaned my room. After yesterday’s dust film, I figured it was time. I stole a few moments with my broken old laptop and then I did what all good Socialites do, I went out. The first event of the evening was a truly lovely affair. I was overwhelmed, in a good way, by all the beautiful black people in the room. I felt like I was at Aaron Davis hall or in the old BAM. Beyond just staring at beautiful people, which I’m told I have the habit of doing, I heard some really good poetry. The highlights for me were Devonne Heyward, who offered up a shy avalanche of liquid meaning, Erica Mapp, who cautioned us not to pursue those who don’t give freely(amen!), and Amanda Morgan, whose queer suburban tales resonated for me. Pretty much everyone was great though, and Cave Canem seems to be a cool organization. They offer writing workshops for people of color and organize talented writers on a national scale.
Afterwards I got to check out Wild Ginger, a vegan joint on Broome. Prior to entering, I was feeling a little sceptical of its ability to be veganfabulous, but it was indeed. Nice scallion pancakes, mango salad, excellent steamed dumplings, green tea ice cream…all good. The waitstaff are also really cute and human. It’s not pretentious at all and reasonably priced too!
Then I did manage to make it to the Midnight screening at 92 St Y Tribeca of Ladies and Gentlemen the Stains. The leading role in this film is played by Diane Lane and it was made the same year that I was born. Like Times Square, The Stains has a girl power, feminist, vaguely lesbo theme. It’s cool, really funny somehow. Some of the characters include a spoofy, takes itself seriously British band, and a Bob Marley quoting Jamaican band promoter, called lawnboy. He gives a pretty crazy soliloquy at one point. The basic premise it that Diane, her kid sister and her blonde cousin, want to be loved, be fierce, make money and become famous. They realize that the way to achieve all of these goals is to appear on tv and wear incredibly bright eye shadow and no pants. Maybe they’re on to something.