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

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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.