Sunday, December 14, 2008

Signs of the End of Times

We can no longer spell. That Playstation ad on Houston and Lafayette is gone. Illy files its "pumpkin latte" drink, already a desecration, under "Reach and Creamy." Soup kitchens--that is kitchens in which soup is made--have lines out the door. And The New Museum, once a sign of a resurgent Bowery with Ugo Rondinone's rainbow sign acting as a beacon of good things to come, has forebodingly changed its message. "Hell ye! Hell ye! The end is nigh!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Leo Rosten: Insufferable.

Last week I picked up a used copy of Leo Rosten's People I Have Loved, Known or Admired from the one dollar racks in front of the Strand. Yippee, I thought. I had liked The Joys of Yiddish when I found it in my grandparent's basement in Kokomo, IN. So clever, so vibrant, so Jewy. But as I started reading Rosten's book, I realized this guy is truly terrible. All the corny jokes, the volubility, the wisecracking that is lovable when my grandfather does not age well. Read years later, it comes across as bad, undisciplined, try-y writing. One opening paragraph in particular is intolerable.

I've known Wilbur since he was knee high to a romalea microptera--and the fact that I write "Romalea microptera" instead of grasshopper shows you the peculiar influence he (Wilbur, not the grasshopper) has had on my life.

It's like someone is doing that sharp-shooter motion and clicking their tongue after every sentence. Oy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Wenn Poetry

  • The Hanson Brothers end their barefoot walk bringing attention to the poverty and AIDS crises in Africa, San Diego, California 16.11.08

  • Ted Danson seen buying groceries at Whole Foods in Brentwood, Los Angeles-16.11.08

  • Lindsay Lohan leaving her hotel carrying a can of CokeLondon, England - 16.11.08

  • Actor Arnold Vosloo taking his pit bull terrier for a walk. Santa Monica, California 15.11.08

  • Amy Winehouse steps out of her house and approaches a taxi, but then apaprently changes her mind. London, England--16.11.08

  • Victoria Beckham shops at Saks Fifth Avenue with her son Cruz Beckham, who is dressed in a Robin costume
    Los Angeles, California - 14.11.08

  • Yanni, the famous pianist, out jogging in Acapulco before performing a string of concerts in the Mexican city
    Acapulco, Mexico - 13.11.08

I Saw The Death of Print On Broadway

Deathofprint Though I'm not one to read too much into happenstance omens, oh man, I passed this on Broadway the other day. A puddle of wet magazines discarded among the autumn leaves and dog shit. The crow flies! We're all doomed! What does this inauspicious muddle of magazines tell us? Who is the first to go? Well, judging from this pile, W Magazine is on the way out. Ditto GOOD although we all knew that. And, of course, PRINT is a goner. Deadsville.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Offering from Wenn.

This is evidently some of the things the public would like to see pictures of. A collection of captions from Wenn, a photowire service used by newspapers and magazines.

  • Paul O'Grady signs copies of his new book 'Paul O'Grady: At my mothers knee..and other low joints' at Foyles book store

  • Joaquin Cortes attends a judgement on the paternity of his former personal assistant Katie Asumu's son.

  • Mickey Rourke goes for an evening stroll along the Via Condotti with his dog Loki

  • Judd Nelson leaving the Chateau Marmont hotel, unrecognizable wearing round rimmed glasses and sporting a beard

  • Omarosa signs copies of her book 'The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn It On and Off'

  • Tila Tequila hosts the grand opening of 'Tacos and Tequlias'

  • Janice Dickinson looking very happy as she leaves a pharmacy

  • Anika Noni Rose from 'Dreamgirls' and her son visit a bank

  • A very tired looking Lily Allen arrives home, talking on her mobile phone

  • Paris Hilton arrives back at her hotel, and poses for pictures in a red dress

  • Reese Witherspoon getting back to her car after leaving a children's book store. She seems to have fallen over and badly grazed her right knee

  • Celebrities out and about on Robertson Boulevard

  • Kelly Brook walks arm-in-arm with her boyfriend Danny Cipriani, holding a pot of Creme De La Mer face cream

  • Katie Price aka Jordan leaving Movida nightclub appearing rather worse for wear, and carrying a model of the Eiffel Tower

  • Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter celebrates Sean 'Diddy' Combs' appearance on the 'Black on Black L'Uomo Vogue' cover at 1 Oak

  • Elbow performing at Liverpool University

  • Christina Ricci out and about in Beverly Hills

  • Eva Mendes leaving her gym in West Hollywood

  • Rapper T.I. went shopping at Niketown today with friends and a documentary film crew while under house arrest

  • Charlie Sheen and his wife Brooke Mueller are expecting twins, her mother has confirmed

  • 'Dancing With The Stars' professional dancer Karina Smirnoff is embarrassed after a magazine article about her and fellow dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy is read out by her stylist, Ricardo Lauritzen of B2V salon

  • Carrie Underwood has her waxwork figure unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Times Square

  • Rachael Ray shopping at Curve on Robertson Boulevard

Monday, October 13, 2008

Two Condoms and A Novel

Img 0600-1
Found on the street, just south of Delancey by the base of the Williamsburg Bridge: Two Magnum condom wrappers, some lube and a copy of the Stranger. Better than a Joseph Cornell box!

El Bulli's Genius Bully Ferran Adria Destroys Times

Ferran-Adria-1The crowd that filtered in to the Times Center which, Lord Almighty is like some sort of spacious temple, was giddy with anticipation to see Ferran Adria, chef of El Bulli, TV personality and chef Anthony Bourdain and interlocutor Eric Asimov. They queued for an hour or more. One woman did the entire Saturday crossword puzzle, in pen, in an hour.

Once inside the auditorium, four chairs sat on the stage. "Oh my god," said the woman next to me, "who is the fourth chair for?" Red Red Wine played over the speaker. "Oh my god," said the woman next to me, "this is my ring tone." She was here to see Eric Asimov, the wine guy from the Times. "I hear he is the grandson of Isaac Asimov. Someone who knew him personally told me." He's not. He's his nephew. Drew Neirporent sat in the second row. Behind me some cute asian girl kept on looking at me like she thought I had dirty hair, which is accurate.

Soon enough Mr. Asimov sauntered on stage with a strange and compelling strut. He was followed by a very tall Bourdain and a very bull-like Adria. The fourth chair was for the translator, a very very cute Spaniard. Though Adria speaks English, he prefers Spanish. Vale! Adria was clearly the star. Bourdain was his back up. Eric Asimov said a total of about three things, none of them relevant and all of them ignored. He would ask a question and even before it was translated to Adria, the chef would be answering. His reply rarely had anything to do with Asimov's query but were consistently enlightening. He was simply reading his manifesto, interrupted occasionally by a question and pausing momentarily to allow Bouraain to interject. What really stuck with me is Ferria's insistence that he was creating a new language, a language spoken by avant garde cuisiniers around the world. With this new language he was engaging his diners in conversation. "Cuisine is a dialogue" he said on numerous occasions.

Bourdain manned up to approaching El Bulli with a hostile attitude. But after he ate there---he was the first person to actually eat with Adria---he said. it was like "Eric Clapton seeing Jimi Hendrix play." That makes Bourdain Clapton to Adria's Hendrix which is, well, a tad overly self-regarding but he said it with a smile. He then called his meal, "the most important meal on the planet." Asimov did ask one good question for which Adria's non-answer is germane. "There's not going to be an El Bulli in Las Vegas?" he asked. Adria replied, "El Bulli has become a monster. It's impossible to tame." Which is, what, a yes or just another moment of disregard?

Other tidbits: The are 70 people who work at El Bulli for 50 diners. Adria supervises their staff meal every day. The meal he's most excited for in New York? Katz's Delicatessen.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Joseph Stalin Dictator Special No Choice


For lunch yesterday I found myself in the culinary chamberpot of Midtown Manhattan. Thankfully Zach Brooks at Midtown Lunch offers a handy map of carts/delis worth their salt. Instead of getting an overpriced wilted salad from Digby's, I gamboled over to Hallo Berlin!, a German soul food cart on 54th and 5th Avenue.

Now I'm not one for ironic Stalin nostalgia (especially after reading the Gulag Archipelago...ok, ok, I'm only on Volume One which is DEPRESSING) but how could you say nyet to a special called the "Joseph Stalin Dictator Special No Choice" when it contains one Berliner Knockfrank, one Bratwurst, topped with German fries, Red & White cabbage, satueed Onion and Small Soup all for $8.00? Quite simply, you can't. Next to that the Angela Merkel Democracy Special, which comes with free choice of any two wurst and a bonus Bavarian Meatball, pales in comparison. No soup! Cabage? No good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

They Came For Israel For Vesuvio

Img 0519
Sad Soho bakery Vesuvio has been closed due to oven trouble according to a note in the window. For the tourists who flock, somewhat annoyingly, to the area, this is a tragedy. Israelis, Indians and Sicilians have been writing well-wishing notes. It's like the Wailing Wall. Except for one fuck who wrote, "More lies." Actually, upon reflection, that's exactly what I'd stick in the Wailing Wall too.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We (wifey and me) just got back from our mini-honeymoon (a night at the Bowery, a night at the Greenwich Hotel). Walking home from Tribeca on Collister Street, one of those great Tribeca alleys, we found this graffiti. Somewhat disappointingly there's a website called Rodstuartlovesthehamptons and the whole thing seems rather engineered. It's safe to say there's no website behind this piece of street prophesy:

Monday, August 25, 2008

From Gay Talese's 1961 book New york: A Serendipiter's Journey:
At 7 a.m. a floridly robust little man, looking very Parisien in a blue beret and turtle-necked sweater, moves in a hurried step along Park Avenue visiting his wealthy lady friends--making certain that each is given a brisk, before-brekfast rubdown. The uniformed doormen greet him warmly and call him either "Biz" or "Mac"
because he is Biz Mackey, a ladies' masseur extraordinaire.

Mr. Mackey is spry and straight-spined, and always carries a black leather grip containing liniments, creams and the towels of his trade. Up the elevator he goes; then, half an hour later, he is down again, and off to another lady--an opera singer, a movie actress, a lady police lieutenant.

Biz Mackey, a former featherweight prizefighter, started rubbing women the right way in Paris, in the twenties. He lost a fight during a European tour and decided he'd had enough. A friend suggested he go to school for masseurs and six months later he had his first customer--Claire Luce, the actress then starring in the Folies-Bergere.

Friday, August 15, 2008

DuMont Disaster

After a rainstorm. Dumont. 7:30. Dinner Rush. Packed. Back and Front. In and Out. In a moment, smoke. Kitchen. Fire? No. Exhaust stopped working. Diners flee to garden like bees smoked from hive. No more burgers. Anger. Disgruntled diners. New waitress. We order Strip Steak. She writes Skirt. We get Hanger. "They're the same thing in my mind," she says. Not true. Steaks on the house. Nice.

A birthday group from the outer boroughs, smoking, in front. Outside. Unhappy. "She doesn't want cake this year. She wants a fry volcano," says a fat girl smoking Parliaments. "We gotta get some fries and make them into a cone and put ketchup on them." Another guy in the party, "But these fries are mad expensive. Where's the closest McDonald's?" The Parliament girl, "We can use [Dumont's] plates. What the fuck are they gonna say? You can't use our plate?" They look at each other. "We should have gone to Falafel Chula."

[Photo: Sarah Is Me]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Big Announcement.

Dear Friends,

I'm getting married. That's me in the World War I Italian Infantry uniform, holding a rose. The woman behind me in traditional housewife garb is my fiancée. Her name is Ana Mascarenhas Heeren. I met her the first day I ever came to New York back in 1999. That's long enough to know she is brilliant, beautiful and Brazilian. Also that I love her and will forever. Nuptials are set soon (August 29) at City Hall for families. At some point after that, we'll have a much larger raucous celebration.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehit, Lion!

Picture 1-8

Clay Davis is alive and well and living as a ballsy Mexican lady who isn't afraid of lions. [NYT]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Yorker Cover Insulting to Crustaceans, Jews, Humans, Hamptons, Porches

Cover Newyorker 190Once again in a failed attempt at satire, the staff at the New Yorker has managed to publish an incendiary cartoon cover. It seems like last week's Obama kerfluffle didn't teach them anything. This week's cover depicts a bunch of affluent whites carousing while their crustacean dinner escapes through the kitchen window with the aid of a red-and-white tablecloth. Clearly this is a veiled attack against the Jews. In this case, the humanoid character with the Semitic nose (on the right) is shown drinking some sort of red wine. Not only are lobsters a food no self-respecting Jew would eat (shellfish aren't kosher) but this diner is shown with a glass of red wine in front of him. Red wine does not go with lobster. Karen MacNeil, chair of the professional wine studies program at The Culinary Institute of America recommends an Albariño from Galicia or a Oregon Pinot Gris. At any rate such an insulting depiction of American Jewry should not go unmentioned.

Then there is the issue of the lobsters, a noble and brave species, who have in the past, faced their fate with the sealy Stoic resolve of a true warrior. Like good Soviet soldiers, they would never retreat. Better to die nobly than live as a coward. This cover, in which the lobsters prefer ignoble escape, is an insult to homards worldwide.

The Princes of Google Image Search


How did John Paczkowsk, the senior editor at the website All Things Digital and a graduate of Brown University somehow rise to the primo spot in Google Image Search for "John," one of the most common male names? How did Josh Trentine, the CEO of Overload Personal Training, become the prince of all Josh's on Moderate Safe Search All Images? And Peter! Professor Peter Guttorp, a Swedish Professor of Statistics. These men have no right to crow from atop their perches. Especially John. Peter, I'm completely happy with. "He received a B.S. in mathematics, mathematical statistics, and musicology from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1974, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1980. He joined the University of Washington faculty in September 1980." That's great. Also, the top three Peters all have full beards.

As for Josh, though I'm not entirely happy with an orange bodybuilder representing visually my namesake, it's slightly better than 2nd place:

Members Josh

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wall-E and the Fall of Man

I, like you and me and everyone we know, wrote about Wall-E and the Fall of Man [Huffington Post]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

American Blogged (Foreigners Dirty!)

Img 0395

On a recent trip to Atlantic City, I escaped the Las Vegas colonial outpost for the seedier spectacular boardwalk. There was a light drizzle and the boardwalk was mostly empty. Crap souvenir shops faced the dunes beyond which the Atlantic Ocean stretched darkly. Cheek-to-jowl, stores sold t-shirts that read, "Atlantic Fucking City" or that pictured Tweetie Bird in baggy shorts. (I thought that trend disappeared in the nineties but perhaps it's resurgent.) One store proudly proclaimed, "American Owned" (right) which, yay! Hey! I'm American too. We all love our country right? Then I noticed a woman in a sari in the store next door (left). Ah, I thought. I get it. You, sir, are forming a dialectical pair! What you are really saying is "Don't Buy From the Dirty Foreigner/Terrorist!" Why didn't you just say so? I will buy my creepy clowny AC t-shirts from you, my fellow American because implied racism masked as patriotism is something all Americans share!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It Came From the New Yorker

Introducing a new and hopefully one-time feature in which we feature a sentence found in the pages of the august publication The New Yorker which induces its reader to dry heavee while reading the said sentence on the J train, much to the displeasure and discomfort of his fellow passengers. Today's sentence comes from Atul Gawande's essay on itching called, The Itch. Without further ado, presenting "It Came From the New Yorker" June 20, 2008 edition:

One morning, after she was awakened by her bedside alarm, she sat up and, she recalled, “this fluid came down my face, this greenish liquid.” She pressed a square of gauze to her head and went to see her doctor again. M. showed the doctor the fluid on the dressing. The doctor looked closely at the wound. She shined a light on it and in M.’s eyes. Then she walked out of the room and called an ambulance. Only in the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, after the doctors started swarming, and one told her she needed surgery now, did M. learn what had happened. She had scratched through her skull during the night—and all the way into her brain.

Please join us next week for "It Came From the New Yorker" and have your air sickness bag ready!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Portrait of The Artist As A Young Punk

When I was just a baby, my mama told me, "Ace, always be a good boy, don't ever pierce your face"
But I shot my face full of metal, just to watch her sigh.
Now when I see those older photos
I hang my head and ask why?

Blogging Live from the Borgata

Img 0383Right now I am at the Water Club, the new non-gaming hotel in Atlantic City which is adjoined by a long interminable passage way to the Borgata, a newish gaming hotel in Atlantic City. The external architecture is all aviator glasses. Inside--in the gaming portion of the hotel--it smells weird and reminds me of hell. It's a modern voluntary Gulag where the old go to lose their money and the young to lose their youth. I feel like I've somehow entered into an automated phone system like Dennis Quaid in Innerspace. Logic, to the extent to which it exists here, is completely internal. The outside world is sealed off and 27 floors below me. And down there too are sad fat people in khaki and Hawaiian shirts who haven't yet figured out that the house always wins. This perhaps explains why I've blockaded myself into my room where, thankfully, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Leaving New York

Someone with very nice handwriting is moving away from New York City to Austin. He spent a great deal of time making a To Do list before he left. Then he left the list on a sidewalk in Soho. His loss is our gain. The abandoned list provides not only some life lessons but a primer on what a strategic evacuation from the city might look like:
 Users Joshuastein Library Application-Support Ecto Attachments Page-Two
So sad! Return Blue Jeans! Return Toothpaste to work!But also: I believe in karma!

Wednesday In Review

There are now ten million millionaires in the world. Every floor of a new 1,378 foot tower in Dubai will rotate 360 degrees, separately. A dog with cancer was voted the Ugliest dog in the world. A dog with no front legs gets wheels instead. It may be the cutest dog in the world. Pussy hound Anthony Weiner wants more models to receive H1-B visas to stay in America. Mastercard, along with Visa, agreed to pay American Express $1.8 billion. Top Chef is coming to Williamsburg. Real World has already come to downtown Brooklyn.

Friday, June 20, 2008

There Will Be Yellow

Img 0371The space that used to be the old schooly Buffa's Restaurant in NoLIta was recently taken over by Hecho Inc--the design company behind the Box--and turned into something called Delicatessen. I walked by it today. Plywood is down. Windows are up. In short, it'll be yellow and glossy on the outside with garage-type glass doors a la Soho Park which is across the street. It looks a lot, in fact, like a downtown version of Cafeteria, the Chelsea restaurant owned by Mark Thomas Amadei, one of the co-owners of Delicatessen. It's like Cafeteria mixed with the color scheme from S'Mac. Dicey maybe delicious but for now, dicey.

Rejected Tiger Accepted By Dog!

Picture 1-7

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Laliberte Insanity...A Lot of It

I posted a while back about the soon-to-be karmic reckoning of Kristian Laliberte's perfidy. He's not happy about this and sent me a lengthy and insane email. He thinks I'm writing a story about him. I'm not. God, that kind of seems like torture. Also, Laliberte--even while defending himself from throwing his friends under the bus--throws his friends under the bus. Particularly absurd parts are in bold:

Hi Josh,
I wish I didn't have to write this email. I have to leave for the airport in about one hour, but I wanted to send this to you before I got to a computer free area.I have received several texts, calls, and emails regarding an article you are writing about me. I am sure you've managed to scrounge up enough testimonials from former friends or writers at "serious" publications to construct an amusing account of my alleged actions.
>You claim you have proof of me sending reports of people to contacts at such illustrious and trustworthy news outlets like Gawker (your former alma mater) and Page Six. I'm sure your story is based on emails sent from someone who hacked into my gmail and forwarded emails (mostly doctored) to an anonymous yahoo account (, and also hacked into my facebook and wrote a string of graphic, disgusting, and damaging emails to specific individuals. The self-same person had interactions via my gmail with people who assumed it was me writing. I am not perfect--I've made mistakes, but the extent and depth of the perpertrator's obsession with discrediting me has led him or her to severely alter the truth.
I know you have certain strong feelings for me, as evidenced by your blog. I get that your line of work is to infiltrate people's private lives and dig up dirt that may or may not be true. I understand that you have to pretend to like people like me when you interview us when your whole plan of attack is to trash us (even though that particular aspect of your personality scares the shit out of me). I even realize that you have no scruples about sending my private correspondence to you to other sites to further publicize your career at the gossip rags you so eloquently write for.
However, the particular article you are now writing is based on a series of events you can have little knowledge of, despite how much information your "sources" may have provided you. I am in the midst of a criminal investigation against the individual (s) who broke into my facebook and my gmail. This criminal investigation will result in said individuals charged with crimes ranging from identity theft and fraud to harassment and stalking.I don't want to have to rope my lawyer into this conversation, but I feel like I have little choice if you continue to question people who have been involved in this sick person's singular vendetta against me.
I know for a fact that the people behind this sinister prank will be revealed in as little as two weeks time. They made a lot of stupid mistakes--logging in from a private computer, sending information to people that I never knew, talking about events that I was out of the country for, etc. I really don't want you to be involved with hindering a criminal and legal investigation--which I think your baseless article will be doing. I'm sure you have some fantastic pull quotes from unscrupulous editors or people that I have never been friends with---but again, they mean nothing in the face of the fact that someone HACKED into my gmail and facebook and manipulated and twisted information.
I readily admit I've made mistakes. I was naive to trust people like you when I moved to New York. I didn't understand the toxic nature that defines the very insulated social world that I work in. At this point and time however, I know who my real friends are, I love my job and my family and I have very little time for anything other than those three major components of my life. Your suggestions of me air kissing those who hate me are so off base it's laughable. I'm a germophobic and notoriously shy. I rarely approach someone unless I'm introduced to them--although I'd probably make an exception for David Beckham :).
Please let me know if you need to speak to the defectives or lawyers who are in the process of identifying and prosecuting the people behind this pretty despicable act. I don't know who had the time to mount such a crazy campaign to hurt me, but I can hazard several guesses.
I don't dislike you, although I have every reason to. I actually enjoy your writing style, even though you divulge more personal information than I'd be comfortable revealing. However it's clear that you despise me. I am not even sure if a lawyer's cease and desist letter will stop you from doing what you want, but again, I don't want it to come to that. I have no vendetta against you, and I can't believe I even have to interrupt my packing to address this ridiculous article.
This line from your blog doesn't even make sense: . He's sent items to nearly every single gossip columnist reporting on the relationship-breaking contretemps of nearly every single friend he's had.
If you knew me even a little, you know that I've kept my friends I've had since day one in this city except for two people, one of whom has written an expose betraying all those he/she used to work with (and is writing a follow up about the very "socials" she/he befriended) and the other who's severe drug problems, thievery, rampant stds, and bulemia forced me to cut off the friendship. As for your allegations concerning anyone involving never knew who wrote it until they themselves revealed it. I certainly would never send tips to a website that consistently and cruelly trashed me. I guess I'm just so confused about how much time you think I might have to do all you are intimating. I am not sure about writing freelance, but starting a clothing and a pr firm takes so much time that by the time I'm out I'm just there to spend time with my friends, not gossip about them. I know personal information that about people. If I had been a "rat" that information would have long been known. The fact that I still have the same friends that I had when I graduated Columbia in 2005 says alot.

Please just leave me alone . I don't know if your homophobic or what--but its starting to creep me out. Your investigative campaign is hurtful in the extreme. Stop emailing my friends about me. Stop writing about me. Stop thinking about me. Just leave. me. alone.
Thanks so much for your time,
I hope this email may have somewhat illuminated your clarity of what you are attempting to write about.

The Axe Detailer!

I got a sponge bath and wrote about it for the NY Times. [NYT]

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jay Z Bites Kanye In New Lil Wayne

In the outstanding new Lil Wayne album I thought one of Jay-Z's rhymes quite outstanding and also outstanding familiar. In "Mr. Carter" Jay says:

"I see Euros

That's right, plural "

Meanwhile, in Kanye West's song Gone, the mercurial rapper shanghais these words into his rhyming scheme:

"My dawg worked at Taco Bell, hooked us up plural

Fired a week later the manager count the churros

Sometimes I can't believe it when I look up in the mirrow

How we out in Europe, spend in Euros

They claim you never know what you got 'til it's GONE"

File Under Cassandra Complex: GABE STULMAN OUT AT LITTLE OWL


Ghost Riders in NYMag

Also a piece I've been working very hard on and that means a lot to me just ran in New York Magazine. It's called Ghost Riders and tells the story of every one of the 35 cyclists who have died in New York City whose deaths are memorialized by Ghost Bikes. Other victims--whose Ghost Bikes have been removed or neglected--aren't included. [Photos by Christopher Griffith]

Beyond the Velvet Rope...

This Sunday my story about clubs inside of clubs, the fetus in fetu of nightlife, came out in Page Six Magazine. Check it out. [JPG/ Text]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

From Russia With Love

Happily I awoke on Sunday morning to see a line of young buxom women in bikinis and wet t-shirts, chests protruding, on the cover of the NYT online. Supposedly it's a story about Russia [NYT]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The End of the World Is Nigh

26 Dolphins Commit Mass Suicide in Cornwall [Guardian]

Confessions of A Freelancer

I'm writing about a slightly amoral but charming guy---you'll read the piece soon, I promise--and wanted to describe his actions as immoral and negating all that is good in the world. I tried "uncalculatingly Jarrysian" after Alfred Jarry but that got spell-checked to Parisian. Then I thought, and this is embarrassing, "uncalculatingly Hobbesian" sounds good. Sadly, I have no idea what Hobbesian means, other than it has to do with Thomas Hobbes. But I'll use it anyway. Function follows form! Fake it til you make it. Etc.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lower East Side Roller Coaster Mall Mystery Revealed!

Back in the shitshow days of my youth when I lived in a tiny fifth floor walkup in the Lower East Side, I came home from work one day severely put out and what I thought was the latest nail in the coffin of the neighborhood: a large sign for a huge mall with a 200' roller coaster protruding out of the top of it. I was working at Gawker at the time and conjectured it was a prop from J.J. Abram's movie that was filming then. I was wrong. This weekend I went to see You Don't Mess with The Zohan, after reading a breathlessly Jewy review by A.O. Scott. Long story short, it's not J.J. Abram's that was responsible for the mall. It was Adam Sandler. (Slightly less satisfying) The mall is part of a plan by evil developer in the movie named Walbridge played by boxing announcer Michael Buffer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How are Bdelloid Rotifiers Like Married Couples?

From Olivia Judson's NYT blog:

As far as anyone can tell, the bdelloid rotifers are ancient asexuals: they appear to have been living entirely without sex for more than 85 million years. And each time we learn more details of their lifestyle, the wackier it becomes.

Evolving to live without sex is easy; all sorts of organisms do it the whole time.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Was Ex-White House Press Man Scott McClellan Once Fuckable?

The year was 1986. The place was Austin, TX. Scottie McClellan was the man men wanted to be and women wanted to be with. A golden child with a tennis racket in one hand, a glint in his eye and a problematic future ahead of him. A high school classmate of Scott's write:

He was a senior when I was a sophmore and there was a golden light bathed around him at all times. He was sweet and smart and all the things that senior boys should be (when you're a brace face sophomore)... He was also on the tennis team (HOT!) and in the Senior Senate with - wait for it- Ian Moore. Ian was in the same class and was, as you can image, completely cool. He was a blonde, beautiful, entitled guy. Outstandingly attractive (although never a big one with the ladies?). Unrecognizable now. It all comes from the Austin High< Yearbook, The Comet/1986.

Sm Yearbook Tennis - Full Page018 Copy

Friday, May 30, 2008

Girlfriend On The Wii

Nintendo's Wii Fit has been getting a lot of press, including these two NYTimes articles that were nearly identical: here and here. It's also spawned a Youtube genre heretofore unexploited, namely: guys taping their ladies playing Wii Fit's Hula game. Above, best of show.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This Can't End Well


Two Moments of Sharon Stone Wisdom

Sharon Stone:

Well you know it was very interesting. at first I was not happy at how the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And so I had been concerned about how to think and what to do about that because I don't like...that. Then I was very concerned about how we should deal with the Olympics because they are not being very nice to the Dalai Lama who is a good friend of mine. And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened and I thought is HTat karma, that you're not nice that the bad things happen to you. Then I got a letter from the Tibetan foundation that they wanted to go and be helpful and that made me cry. And they asked me if I would write a quote about that and I said I would. That was a big lesson to me: that sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service to people who aren't nice to you and that's a big lesson to me.

Sharon Stone:

Have you ever fucked on cocaine, Nick? It's nice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Love Money!!!

Look! The world we live in is horrible! Though it is true, I do love money. Thanks NB and CS!

    Kristian Laliberte Gets His Revenge

    Weird that I know this and that I'm posting it here but sometimes I like to pass on unsubstantiated rumors. This latest one involves a man named Kristian Laliberte. If you don't know who he is, (this means you, Papa Frank!) I've written about Laliberte a couple of times in the past. He always pops up at these socialite events and air-kisses the people who hate him. I used to feel sorry for him because he must have known that he was kissing the cheek that would soon throw him under the bus. But now, according to a good and reliable source, Laliberte was at least as duplicitous as his haters.

    Recently, as reported on Gawker, someone hacked into...oh fuck this. I don't care about any of it. This is the kernel:

    Kristian Laliberte has been selling his friends up the river from day one. He sent the Olivia Palermo email to Socialite Rank that caused no small amount of pain for that woman. He's sent items to nearly every single gossip columnist reporting on the relationship-breaking contretemps of nearly every single friend he's had. Anyway, someone---who I could not find out---hacked into his Gmail account and sent those tipster letters to another anonymous account. They plan on revealing all Laliberte's perfidy in a few weeks time.

    In some ways I feel bad for those betrayed by Laliberte. On the other hand, his careful observations leaked to major publications were perhaps the least he could do to repay his acquaintances for all their faux-friendships and duplicity.

    Monday, May 26, 2008

    Times Reporter Doesn't Know What A Pound Is. Awk.

    In its ongoing slavering over anything Barack-related, a New York Times reporter wrote this of Obama's head aid, Reggie Love. "Mr. Love is raffish, always joking with the Secret Service, offering closed-fist high-fives to members of the news media and making frequent appearances in the daily pool reports." The reporter in this case is named Ashley Parker. It is cute how she doesn't know that a closed-fist high-five is also called a pound in the parlance of well, nearly anybody who would refer to it. It's adorable really. Like when grandparents or presidents say "the Google." But then I came across Ashley Parker's byline in this incredibly annoying On Language article she wrote in 2006 and realized it's actually annoying. Like when grandparents or presidents say "the Google." From the piece:

    “Rudabega!” she began. “This is maj awk. And the def of typ. Ashley gets away with everything. But I get caught the first time. And it is the first time — I prom. I prom, madre. So true. I’m sor. I’m really sor.”

    The entire article was about that ceaselessly annoying linguistic habit of a certain type of girl to abbreviate words that have no business being abridged. I'm sure it's the article that launched a thousand awks, typs and proms. Parker was id'd as "an editorial assistant at The Times, where she does off-the-heez research for Maureen Dowd." Groan. There will be no closed-fist high-fives for members of the new media for that.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Gia Kourlas, Kind of a Bitch

    New York Times dance critic lady Gia Kourlas went to the same American Ballet Theatre Opening Night Gala that I went to but she hated it. From her review:

    No matter the sense of occasion that a ballet gala affords — the gowns, the celebrity sightings, the air kisses — once the actual dancing gets under way, it’s best to consider the expression “one step forward, two steps back.”

    Then she poo-poo'd Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, the husband-and-wife duo who performed Jessica Lang's (crap) "Splendid Isolation III" calling them "overwrought" which they weren't. Diana Vishneva who met her end with much flapping of her wings, much beautiful flapping of her wings really, gets called only "somewhat improved." Also Kourlas mistakes pedagogical dancing of Etudes as insipid because she missed the point. All this would have been cool if she hadn't raved about the dumbest hokiest shitshow I've ever seen at the ballet, The Last Judgement of Paris. In this reinterpreted version, three ex-principle dancers are old whores. They waddle and strut and waft their twats across the stage. This is definitely not what I want to see. Ballet should be beautiful. Not an ugly joke. Anyway, Kourlas writes:

    The highlight was the revival of “Judgment of Paris,” a comic gem from 1938 (and out of Ballet Theater’s repertory since 1958) by Antony Tudor, in which the Greek legend is set in a dive, a bar so dilapidated that you practically smell its stale smoke. The misery extends to its staff: a wearied Waiter (Victor Barbee) and three creaky chorus girls.

    Kourlas is right that the entire theatre ate it up but only because it was easy, vulgar and thickly nostalgic. The real gems of the evening were the actual moments of beauty (Cornejo's massive jumps in Le Corsaire and Angel Corella in Giselle.) Oh yeah, and when this old white dude in a tuxedo asked a distinguished black dude (one of the few people of color) in a tux where his seat was. The black man gave the guy a withering look and chuckled, "I don't work here." This left the cute date of Old Whitey giggling very uncomfortably.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    The Worst Moving Company In the World

    The White Glove Moving Company was founded 17 years ago. Apparently in that time they haven't figured out that having a man with what appears to be Ectrodactyly (monstrous fingers) painted on the side of their truck might not be such a good business practice. Well, to be fair, he only has monstrous fingers on one hand. On the other hand, he is missing three fingers and a thumb. It should also be noted yes, he is wearing a tuxedo t-shirt and holding Manhattan on a tray propped up by his monster hands.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    What Is Your Neighbor Watching?

    Netflix has this nifty feature that allows you to see the top 5 favorite movies in your zip code. My zipcode, 11211, is Williamsburg. There are approximately 84,422 people living here. 53,734 whites, 4,087 blacks, 409 Native Americans, 1,900 Asians, 19,887 Others. The most popular movies are

    • La Jetée: In a devastated Paris in the aftermath of WWIII, The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, hoping to send someone back to the pre-war world for food, supplies and maybe a solution to their dire position

    • The Holy Mountain: A Christlike figure wanders through bizarre, grotesque scenarios filled with religious and sacrilegious imagery.

    • Blow Up: A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing

    • Do The Right Thing: On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

    • Solaris: A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.

    Despair, pretension, easy sex, pop music, violence, hate, photography, isolation, trouble. Yup, sounds like 11211.

    [Click on image to enlarge]

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Coney Island

    Yesterday I biked from Williamsburg to Coney Island. It didn't take that long and I got to see a lot of Jews, which is always nice.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    This is Why Bloomberg Is My Hero

    I've been thinking for a while of getting a Michael Bloomberg tattoo on my back to go with the Serge Gainsbourg one. My back will be, as I envision it, a pantheon of Jewish male role models. I was waiting to see if Bloomberg was going to run for president (in which case I'd hold off until after the election. Who wants a loser tattooed on his back?) but this clip pretty much has cemented my conviction. Although! I'm not sure if I agree that the reporter is implying Bloomberg is lying. He may just be implying that the claim being made is on a disputed issue.

    My Mom Came To Visit

    My mother Marcia came to New York for Mother's Day. I made her pose in front of annoying street art inspired ad campaigns. This one is looks like a Shepard Fairey but is instead an ad for the upcoming Disney movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. [Thanks, Dog Art Today!] We also had rice pudding at Rice to Riches, a NoLIta store and clearly a mob front.

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    The Judgment of Paris. It's A-OK!

    I recently reviewed CompanyXIV's The Judgment of Paris for the Brooklyn Paper. Check it out!

    I Saw Niko Bellic In Soho

    Walking along Spring Street today, I spotted Niko Bellic, the Eastern European protagonist of the bestselling video game media phenomenon known as Grand Theft Auto IV. Little known fact about Niko. He shops at the French Connection! And his girlfriend's feet were tired.

    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Is This the End of Williamsburg?

    Img 0296At 9:55 pm last night, on the way home from Diner, we saw a private Action dump truck knock over a traffic light and street sign. A loud crash, a puff of smoke, a tumbling post, a final crash. Silence. Jews poked their heads out of their offices. On the street lay Bedford Avenue, in shambles. The dumptruck dudes got out, looked at each other and then beat it. A cop car drove by but apparently didn't notice the enormous pole and traffic light laying across the middle of the intersection. Another cop car drove by but didn't stop. Finally, I called 3-1-1. They said they couldn't help me but transferred me to 9-1-1. They didn't know where Havemeyer was. I hung up and jogged to another cop car parked at the Williamsburg Bridge Bus Depot. "There's a street sign that a dump truck just crashed into. It's in the middle of Broadway and Bedford," I said. "Oh yeah?" asked the cop. "Yeah. Maybe you want to check it out?" I suggested helpfully. No dice. The cops just sat there. Then another cop car pulled up and they chatted for a while. I don't think law enforcement officials realize that the famed Williamsburg hipster nonchalance doesn't apply when one is fulfilling one's duty as a representative of civil society.

    Thursday, May 08, 2008

    Let Them Eat Kate (Moss)

    Photo 220The other night, after the Topic magazine party at the Rusty Knot and before misero Mexican food at Tortilla Flats, i stopped by this Agent Provocateur party at Milk Studios. I was excited because Kate Moss was going to be there. Kate Moss, as many of you know, is extremely attractive. The good news: She was there. The bad news: She wasn't doing press. The good news: There was a gift bag.

    This was particularly heartening since Agent Provocateur is a lingerie line and I was pretty sure there would be lingerie I could bring home to my girlfriend that would further endear me to her. The gift bag came in a big pink AP bag. Inside the bag was a big AP box, wrapped with black satin ribbon. "Sweet!" I thought, as I stuffed the bag in my backpack and shoved off.

    The bad news: All that was inside the box was a small t-shirt with the words "Let Them Eat Kate" on it. Hmmm, disappointing! This is certainly not lingerie. This isn't even something I think most women would wear. It is a little vulgar, from a cunnilingual standpoint. It would also be strange, I imagine, to wear if your name is not Kate. And finally, I jumped in with Moss in the elevator down, she's all bones and an East London accent. There's no nourishment there anyway.

    Wednesday, May 07, 2008

    That 32 Mile Article Is Published Today.

    My hips no longer ache. I treasure my life a wee bit more. And there's an article in today's Guardian about it.
    Also, hello Brian Gallagher! I hope work is going well for you today. JDS

    Monday, May 05, 2008

    32 Miles!!!

    I walked 32 miles around Manhattan on Saturday. Hips hurt too much to walk. Read about it in the Guardian. More TK

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Does This Make Me Racist Or Just Weirdly Obsessed?

    Last night I covered a Tribeca Film Festival Arts dinner thingie at AGO, the new DeNiro restaurant in Tribeca for Page Six Magazine. I was psyched because Padma Lakshmi was going to be there. I like Padma Lakshmi alot. I was planning on suggesting we hike up in Harriman State Park (they have some great trails!) and then maybe smoke a fat joint and listen to NPR. Maybe Lopate. Maybe Lehrer. Maybe even Jonathan Schwartz if it's on the weekend.

    Anyway, so I'm there. I just spoke to Christo and Jeannne-Claude. Oh, sorry. They insist it be written as Jeanne-Claude & Christo when I spotted Padma from across the room. She was so cute. So svelte. So all over Ed Burns. Whatever. I thought. He's got nothing on me. So I was all ready to make my move when a kind hearted PR woman informed me that no indeed, that was Christy Turlington I was going to ask out on a date. My inamorata was not coming. I felt foolish and at the same time full of awe that these two women look almost exactly alike. Did I think this because one is a minority and one is a half minority;. Indian, Latina, respectively.? Could it be that I--as a white male--am fundamentally unable to tell the difference between those outside of my immediate racial cohorts? But then I thought of that Nat King Cole song "The Very Thought of You":

    The mere idea of you, the longing here for you
    Youll never know how slow the moments go till Im near to you
    I see your face in every flower
    Your eyes in stars above
    Its just the thought of you
    The very thought of you, my love

    Maybe I was just being sweet and I didn't even know it. "I see your face in every supermodel/ Your eyes in every half-El Salvadorean covergirl...

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    The Best Party Photo Blog In Existence (I'm Pretty Sure)


    Look Whoo Whoo Whoo Is Out Now!

    Gabe Stulman, once partner in Little Owl and Market Table with Joey Campanaro. In late February, we once posted he was out at Little Owl. But he emailed us and said that wasn't true. So then we said he said he was in at Little Owl. Guess what? From an inside source: He's out at Little Owl. He's out at Market Table. Joey and he parted ways. He's still a part owner at one of the restaurants (I forget which one. I'm pretty sure though it's Little Owl he's the part owner of still) but definitely the partnership is doneski. This from a reputable person telling us this. Also, a little bit, WE TOLD YOU SO! And finally, Abbe Diaz: You are crazy and you have a dirty idiot wind filled mouth. And of course Gabe is denying the whole thing (not the Diaz thing. The other one.) Time will tell.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Another Thing I Hate

    As long as I'm in a crummy mood, another thing I hate are those "Official Lifeguard" t-shirts that people wear even though they are emphatically not official lifeguards. It's a little bit like--at least in my weltenschauung in which choking accidents and CPR are just a faulty swallow away at every moment--wearing a souvenir EMT outfit that says, "Official Medical Personnel" at a crime scene. It also reminds me of that David Cross bit where he bemoans the misuse of the world "literally."


    When the Ex Writes a Blog, Dirty Laundry Is Aired [NYT]

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    New York Times Front Page

    Click to enlarge.

    Street Food Without the Street

    I have a piece today that went up in the Guardian about "Street Food Without the Street" in New York. Here it is!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Things I Hate: A Partial List

    • Waiting
    • David Sedaris (his voice is annoying. He's twee and naff.)
    • Terry Gross (I used to lover her but she got more dumb!)
    • Dane Cook (that is obvious)
    • Andy Borowitz (because he always tries to hit on whatever girlfriend I have at the time)
    • How you can't cut and paste emails on the iPhone
    • Asshole publicists (You know I'm writing the story so why not cooperate?)
    • Taxes!
    • People who Clip Their Toe or Fingernails on the Subway. It's not a public activity that.
    • Ingrown Hairs (Unsightly and Painful)
    • Cilantro (It's genetic!)
    • Bright Eyes
    • Genetics
    • Dianetics
    • Diegesis
    • Exegesis
    • Some of my ex's
    • When men sign emails "xo"
    • Verizon

    Going Upstate!

    I'm going upstate in late April for a few days for a travel piece for the Guardian. Laurel Ptak is coming with me. She'll be taking photographs. We're winding our way up the Hudson River for four days. If anyone has any suggestions of what to do please send me an email at Thank you and good night.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Now I Get it, Jezebel!

    I just watched William Wyler's 1938 film Jezebel starring Bette Davis (and her eyes) as a southern belle who refuses to conform to hegemonic gender and class norms. I used to work for Gawker, whose sister site is Jezebel and I began to wonder why Nick and Anna named it that. Clearly Jezebel as a concept precedes the movie (starting with the Old Testament carrying into the New and reiterated in thousands of forms) but Bette Davis arguably is the kind of communally called upon image associated with the word. Weirdly, when a Jezebel writer named Moe Tkacik explained why they chose the name, she neglected completely to mention the movie.

    Clearly the appeal of a beautiful outspoken forward-thinking woman is self-explanatory but--in the movie and probably inadvertently in the blog but definitely there as well, is the knowledge---obscured from the writers in one case by dramatic irony and the other by narcissism, that one's Jezebellian outspokenness and flailings for attention operate within a system in which complete devotion to fulfillment of desires is or can be harmful to others. The underlying assumption in the behavior of Davis' character Julie is that freedom of expression and from societal mores are ends in themselves; What one actually says or does is immaterial; who one hurts in the process is incidental. This same treatment of what is essentially a means as an end underlies the logic of aspirationally iconoclastic writers that one finds on the pages of Jezebel. (Not all of them, some of them.) And you can almost see the resolution and character arc. Just as Davis repents for wearing the red dress at the Olympus Ball--not because she has come to agree with the rigid strictures of New Orleans society but because she learns to love Preston more than her pride--so too will these writers who spray binary shit into the world under the guise of wit and intelligence be led off to a leper colony where their colleagues-- who too have shared so much of themselves that their limbs and noses are falling off--finally repent of their selfish heedlessness.

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    B2 is the Ideal Newspaper Page

    Sitting at Florent, next to, incidentally Miranda July, I picked up a copy of today's Times and flipped to the Metro section. Unlikely choice (like the steak frites at 10:30 in the morning) but similarly fulfilling. The entire section was mindblowing but page B2 was weirdly the best single page of news I've ever read. That's not to say it's good news. The story focused on rape, murder, animal abuse, and drugs. But as measured by sensationalism and sordid details one couldn't ask for more.

    • Rape Word Not on the Sleeve But Over the Heart: Susan Dominus' profile of a never-been-raped Williamsburg feminist named Jennifer Baumgardner who has designed t-shirts that say "Raped" on them to be worn by women who have been sexually assaulted to "force [the issue] into everyday conversation." This idea is so so so bad on so many levels. Not the least of which is that perhaps rape shouldn't be forced into everyday conversation and certainly not one instigated by a t-shirt. It does however include this line about a raped woman wearing the shirt. "[A]s Ms. Clifford walked out the door, intending to wear the T-shirt to pick up her preschooler around the corner, it was easy to worry on her behalf about the other mothers’ reactions. Would they assume her son’s mother was deeply damaged, not just by the information displayed on the shirt, but by her choice to announce it on a pale pink T-shirt?"
    • Battling to Retain a Touch of the 19th Century: The perfect Metro story. Ye olde horse and carriage argument. A bunch of liberal activists (including "pop singer Pink" grandstanding on an issue (horse and carriage rides in the city) about which they know little versus the salt-of-the-earth stable proprietor "Irish-born Mr. McKeever, a goateed string bean of 39" who "grew up riding and grooming the dozen horses, mostly hunters, on his parents’ farm."
    • In Plainfield, N.J., 27 Are Arrested in Raid Aimed at Gangs: "When the raids were over, the police said, they had seized, from 39 homes, a dozen handguns, about $18,000 in cash, as well as crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and a three-foot-long alligator."
    • After backing Father in Murder Tiral, Sons Now Blame Him: A 72-year old man kills his 57-year old wife. His sons, in their 20s, defend him and blame her. Spare him punishment. A year later, they change their story. He's now to blame. The best part of this story is why he killed her. "Mrs. Odierno became increasingly unstable, hoarding toilet paper, bumping into her sons for no reason, and once unscrewing every light bulb in the chandelier."

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    LOL: The sentence is doneville!

    From this NYT article on this report:
    James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, drew laughs when he expressed concern about what he called “the slow destruction of the basic unit of human thought, the sentence,” because young Americans are doing most of their writing in disjointed prose composed in Internet chat rooms or in cellphone text messages.
    “The sentence is the biggest casualty,” Mr. Billington said. “To what extent is students’ writing getting clearer? Is that still being taught?”

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Recent Activities

    • Saw Julie White in the new play called From Up Here. Recommended.
    • Saw Grupo Corpo at BAM. Somewhat recommended.
    • Ate at Franny's Pizza in Park Slope. Great pizza but their eagerness to inform you of their locally sourced sustainable produce/pork/energy is really grating.
    • Read Journey to the End of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan (Celine); Dan Yack and The Confessions of Dan Yack, (Blaise Cendrars); Berlin Stories (Christopher Isherwood).
    • Made my mom read Journey to the End of the Night. "It's so depressing!"
    • Ran into a now married ex working at Dumont Burger. Delicious burger...after all these years.
    • Gruyere and black peppercorn sausage at Cafe Katja. Six Points Ale. Righteous.
    • Watched Tampopo. Got excited for ramen and the newly opened Ippudo and also raw egg sucking.
    • Applied for a new credit card which was dumb since I can't even pay the one I have and this one has a $450 annual fee.
    • Debated going to see the Counterfeiters and decided against it. Will go tonight. Maybe with a German.
    • Ducked out of ballet class after the barre to finish an article on deadline.
    • While at Cafe Katja, a friend and I had a very loud discussion in which he used the word "taint" often, much to the distress of the dining dating couple next to us. The tables are close together.
    • Became embroiled in a discussion with said couple as to whether Pinkberry, Yolato or Red Mango is the best frozen yogurt. The lady part of the couple wouldn't engage with us since she had been listening from the start to our debased conversation and clearly thought little of us.
    • Uploaded a bunch of new and old clips to my site. Check out the pelican piece.
    • Totally 100% fell for Jezebel's April Fool's joke. (We sold ourselves to Conde Nast.)

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    F/U/C: A.O. Scott, Bill Clinton, Lou Duva

    The new Fuck, Marry, Kill has been replaced in these fatherless times with a paternal version: Father, Uncle, Cousin. In our first installment, we feature A.O. Scott, the New York Times film critic; Bill Clinton, a former United States President; and Lou Duva, a legendary boxing trainer. Things to keep in mind, I suppose, are level of support (both financially and emotionally); level of patience, tough love/coddling love. DNA isn't an issue since they aren't your biological fathers at any rate. Cousin is also not exactly equal to kill. It's more like a stranger but with an underlying current of affection. Uncle is clearly more paternal but without real responsibility (but also without the rewards that that intimacy brings). Father is clearly the most involved in your life, the man who metes out discipline but also love.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Courbet and His Lady Coverin' Ways

    At the exhaustive and exciting Courbet exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one is immediately struck by how much of a woman Courbet shows. Even though you knew it was coming, his Origin of the World, a close-up of a hirsute lady-flower, is shocking. Ditto Sleep, a painting of two naked women, who are definitely not asleep though they are sleeping together. But the more interesting part to me was what he covered up about women. In both of the above paintings, The Wounded Man and the posthumous portrait of the Socialist philosophe Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Courbet obscured images of women with a blanket and a work basket, respectively. This we know, or at least I know, from the helpful curatorial texts alongside the paintings. (Hats off to Gary Tinterow abd Kathryn Calley Galitzm the curators in charge of the show.)

    In L'homme Blessé, Courbet paints himself sensually on the brink of either sleep or death. It turns out that the wound and the blanket are latecomers to the piece. In the original version, revealed in an x-radiograph, the brown blanket is occupied with the presumably toothsome figure of Virginie Binet, a young lady with whom Courbet was involved. (They were doin' it.) By the time the painting was finished however, the couple was doneski. In the aftermath, he replaced her with a blankie. Kind of sweet. Kind of savvy. By replacing the wounds of war for the hounds of love, Courbet completely changes the theme of the painting into something much more serious. A teacher at Mt. Holyoke recently wrote, the painting "shows a Christ-like figure who has presumably sacrificed his life for a cause. Courbet sacrificed his comfortable bourgeoisie lifestyle to live like a bohemian in Paris." Um, or he is just a fuckin' baby who in a fit of pique threw a blanket over a picture of an ex. Something we've all done before.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Department of Blithe Idiocy: Pot. Kettle. Black. Starring Danyelle Freeman!

    From idiotic smushy-face restaurant critic Danyelle Freeman's review of Commerce in the Daily News that came with the headline Trying Too Hard Can Be Trying. A few words into the review Freeman writes the cuisine is "rife with ambition and refinement" and that the Oysters are "luxuriating in a Champagne sauce." She's right! Trying too hard can be trying. Wait. There's more. Particularly germane blatant hypocrisy in red.

    Though there are a handful of successes on the menu, too many dishes amounted to overworked compositions with little payoff. A poached chicken breast, deprived of its skin, proved a bland centerpiece for a mushy assemblage of potato purée, mushrooms and a braised mixture of cabbage and brussel sprouts. A $52 steamed dorade for two offered no real flavor at all, sinking into a watery verjus scattered with plum tomatoes. Even worse, a stuffed veal breast was entirely obscured by a chalky stuffing and a heavy-handed tarragon mustard sauce.

    Then there were misplaced sweet potato tortelloni doused in a pomegranate molasses, so cloying that they were better suited to the dessert menu.

    Bent on proving his versatility and culinary repertoire, Moore overreaches with a self-conscious and pricey menu that feels notably out of sync with the informal tavern setting.

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Meet Audrina's New Love Interest: A Douche Named Mitch

    Hey do you watch the MTV series called The Hills? Me neither! But I do know it's scripted? How? Well first of all it's obvious. Second of all, according to our very well placed tipster, they just auditioned and cast this dude for Audrina's new love interest. His name is Mitch. He's in a shitty band called Love Automatic, managed weirdly by Josh Madden. From our tipster: "He's not supposed to be telling anyone but he is." Also, his MySpace page says, "big things are happening for me.i write music with the band Love automatic. my life is good and only getting better." Just keep telling yourself that, Mitch C!