29 October 2007

Lou Uh Vulle

Hey, where were My Better Half and i this last weekend? You get three guesses.




We were in Louisville! My father-in-law was attending a "green-industry" conference (lawn care, landscaping, arborculture, etc) and receiving a major award from Lawn & Landscape Magazine, so we (and a bunch of other folks) decided to make a family weekend of it. MBH's mom, sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins drove or flew in, including the Kentucky arm of her family (based in Lexington).

On Friday, after flying in and attending the award ceremony, we went out to eat with a huge group at Vincenzo's, an Italian place that was fantastic. I think half the table (including myself) had veal in one form or another, and there was virtually no food left on any plates by the time they were cleared. Dessert was a little show of its own: strawberries foster, prepared tableside (of course), accompanied by constant patter from the ebullient serving captain, Garry.

The next day MBH and i got to hang out for the afternoon with our pals Temple and Lucie and their one-year-old Kemp ("Kempie"). T&L used to live in the Boston area, but decided that it was too crazy expensive, and moved to Louisville (Temple's original stomping ground) in time for Kempie's arrival. Lucie works from home (or a coffeeshop), doing publication design and whatnot. Temple's an architect, currently at Tucker Booker Donhoff + Partners; TBD primarily does shopping centers and stuff, but their main office (which we got to see) is a LEED-certified building that the firm designed.

We had a very good time in Louisville. My only gripe is that the people who live there say the city's name funny.

26 October 2007

Ball and Snowman

Our friend Brian is a printmaker/publisher over on the little island. Last night was the print release for a piece Brian did with artist Todd Hebert:

Todd, it turns out, grew up in North Dakota, as did i. Brian asked whether we had lived anywhere near each other -- not really.

25 October 2007

Curry Leaf

The New York Supper Club met again last night. Well, OK, it's really just My Better Half and myself, and friends Jess & Mike and Keren & Adam. This month Keren and Adam selected Curry Leaf, which was yummy, inexpensive (for Manhattan), and relaxed.

24 October 2007

The Shins

Last night My Better Half and i met up with friends Abby and Josh at Empanada Mama before heading over to Terminal 5 to see the Shins. Once again Josh picked a winner on the restaurant front: we all enjoyed our deeleeshos empanadas.

Terminal 5 is (i think) a new venue in New York, a bit larger than the old ballrooms that are my favorites. The sound quality is a little sub-par, especially when it gets loud (though still much better than, say, the Middle East). The Shins put on a fun show as always. Highlights: a slow(er) version of "New Slang"; an encore cover of Pink Floyd's "Breathe".

22 October 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my birthday!

My Better Half gave me two great birthday presents. First, a Monda sculpture and photograph ("From a Silk Purse") that i've loved since i first saw it at Keith's first New York show. Second, knowing that i love Indian food and that we don't eat it as often as i might like, MBH did some legwork and found Spicy Mina in Flushing, where we enjoyed a wonderful meal with Keith & Beth, Karin & Alex, and Josh and Abby. I took home a good birthday haul, too, including one of the first bottles of rye whiskey made in New York state since Prohibition.

21 October 2007

Na-Nu Na-Nu, Shabu-Shabu

Our friends Eling and Dane were in town last night, so My Better Half and i met them for dinner on the little island. We foolishly had never eaten anywhere in the Korean strip on West 32nd Street, so we popped into a place called Pho32 & Shabu, which (as its name and location imply) serves up Vietnamese pho and Japanese shabu-shabu for a primarily Korean crowd. Thankfully the menu is in both Korean and English.

Now, i know that many of my faithful readers have been eating shabu-shabu since they wore swaddling clothes, but this was my first time, so i was pretty excited. It's got some of the same make-your-own-meal appeal (or lack thereof, i suppose, for some) as Korean barbecue: you get a bowl of broth simmering on a hotplate, some very thinly sliced raw meat, and a big plate of veggies, bean curd, and fish cakes to play with. It's a very fun thing to do with a small table-full of friends -- an "interactive meal" as Eling described it -- and a bit easier on the stomach than, say, an enormous fondue.

The verdict: yums.

19 October 2007

Beach Party 1910

I've been enjoying the old-timey photo-blog "Shorpy" for a while now. They often feature photos of New York City from the early 20th century, and it's amusing to check out what's changed and what hasn't.

Here's a shot of beachgoers at Coney Island, 1910-ish.

18 October 2007

The US Military Was Recruiting on a Gay Website

But they've stopped, thank goodness. Who knows what could have happened! They might have mistakenly recruited someone to commit... National Service While Gay.

15 October 2007

Last Week, Redux

Wednesday: My Better Half and i flew to Los Angeles, arriving around noon. She headed to the Galerie, while i finished a day's work by the hotel pool. Later i swung by the new gallery space myself for a sneak peek at the show, and MBH and i joined Eric and Rob (the gallery's tech guy and general fixer) for dinner at Sky Bar (meh).

Thursday: Another day of work and another visit to the gallery, this time for the inaugural opening of Galerie Mourlot Los Angeles! The gallery space is very nice (and very large, compared to the New York location), including some nicely landscaped outdoor space. Keith's work looked great as usual, especially the four-panel "Double Crossing Yourself" (about half-way down this page).

The customary post-opening dinner took place next door at Il Piccolino, an Italian restaurant run by a French-speaking Belgian that serves a fantastic steak frite -- as if the restaurant were made specifically for Eric.

Friday: After more pool-side work, MBH and i hooked up with friends Ivan and Sarah for dinner at Hugo's, which Ivan had billed (correctly) as "healthy food that tastes good". Then we headed back to their place to hang out with them and Twiggy the pug, and play some games on the Wii; MBH struck me several times with the Wii controller, but i didn't take it personally.

Saturday: MBH and i met Ivan at the poured-concrete studio where he's working (and becoming a partner), making counter tops and an ever-increasing assortment of other things. (Some cool concrete vases of Ivan's were on display at Keith's opening.) It's amazing to see what all can be done with that stuff, and great to see Ivan excited about what directions the studio might go.

For lunch we met up with Sarah at one of LA's crazy shopping malls and ate in the food court, which puts most American fast food to shame. A bowl of brown rice, chicken, and vegetable curry, with vegetables that are actually fresh -- mmmmmm.

Back at Ivan & Sarah's, Ivan beat me at Scrabble (barely), while MBH and Sarah went shopping. We watched the Red Sox start winning game 2 of the ALCS... Then Ivan & Sarah went to see Morrissey's "last" performance, while MBH & I returned to our hotel to ...watch the Red Sox lose game 2. Then to bed.

Sunday: We met Ivan and Sarah for brunch at Frank's Coffee Shop, which proves that even a greasy eggs and corned-beef hash breakfast can be made healthier on the west coast without compromising deliciousness. Then they dropped us off at the airport, where we met up with Keith and Beth and flew back home.

Where it finally feels like October, thank goodness.

09 October 2007

Last Week

Sunday: flew into San Jose.

Monday: first day on the new job. Lots of introductions, admin stuff, getting set up on the tool chain. Lunch: Indian buffet! Lunch may be the only redeeming factor for an office physically located in Silicon Valley.

Monday night: went with a small group of colleagues and SO's to see "You Tubed" at the Climate Theater in San Francisco, wherein the troupe reenact various silly YouTube videos. Highlights: The Laughing Yogi and the finale, "I Wanna Love You Tender". Dinner: really good Thai.

Tuesday: second day of work. More paperwork. Getting into the rhythm of things. Lunch: Vietnamese (pho). Dinner: burritos in the Mission with friends Dave & Marlene. Mmmmm... California burritos...

Wednesday: day three. Finally ditch the part of the tool chain that's been giving me the most grief and is not strictly necessary. Lunch: more pho (different place).

Wednesday night: dinner with friend Phil at Kitsho in Cupertino. Sushi chef and owner Howard serves up better sushi than i've ever had before. Also: real grated wasabi, which i'd never tasted before. Wow. If you like sushi and you're ever in that area, sit at the counter and take whatever the chef gives you.

Then, the red-eye back home.

Thursday: stopped by the gallery for the Anthony Fisher opening. Still exhausted from the red-eye, so My Better Half had to attend Eric's customary post-show dinner alone.

Saturday: MBH & i saw "Love Sucks", a "punk-rock musical" co-written by friend Matt's brother Stephen. Kind of a cross between Hedwig and Grease. Lighthearted and fun. Visited briefly with Matt & Amy (down for the weekend from the Boston area) and some of Matt's/Stephen's family.

Sunday: MBH & i visited a couple Open House New York sites with friends Josh & Abby; i wish i had been paying better attention sooner, there were some very interesting things we could have seen, including the substation at our subway stop in Brooklyn.

We met up with Matt & Amy & Harry the welsh terrier for an early dinner, and then called it a night.

06 October 2007


Frito-Lay is now the largest buyer of pumpkin in the US. They better not be driving up the price of my kaddo!