New Whole Foods on Bowery
Check out this sneak peak of the new Whole Foods on the Bowery from their pre-opening party last night. We live in a weird time that people are celebrating the opening of a grocery store that already has several locations in the city, but ooh-- Jacques Torres chocolates and a Belgian fry bar! SRosen calls it grocery shopping in the post-modern age. I say produce is the new black. Permalink • 0 comments •
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
a hale & hearty birthday
Matt, Sam, Ben, Bob, Bobbo, and I took Lerman to Hale & Hearty today to celebrate both (a) the end of the "Mac and Cheese and Beef Soup" February Monthly Special; and (b) Dave's 25th birthday. The birthday boy was in good spirits and we all enjoyed our disease-inducing pseudo-soup. Who doesn't love an event.
Clear eyes, clogged arteries, can't lose.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
dave lerman: our pillow paparazzo
Holy media whore, Batman! Rocketboom's video of the pillow fight features none other than our own i-banker-cum-gothamist-photog-whore Dave Lerman. Eat your heart out, Amanda Congdon. Permalink • 0 comments •
Monday, February 26, 2007
so much for having a good eye
Took my parents to the Armory Show this weekend and saw several great artists whose work I'm completely unfamiliar with. My parents loved a Korean painter who, we were told, "spends 17 hours a day on his works and approaches painting like meditation." They were drawn to a piece that I guess can be called a hyper-realism still life of a stack of books. I'm doing a lousy job of describing the work, but it's a stunning piece of exquisite detail.
Over at another gallery's space, I was drawn to a piece that was made up of elaborate line drawings, sketched with graphite on looseleaf and small paper scraps. Put together, the collage looked like a beautifully detailed comic book montage. I asked about the artist, Zak Smith, took the gallery director's card, and felt very good about myself for educating myself on a talented new artist. Then I got home and learned that Zak Smith is actually a Cooper Union and Yale-educated artist and porn star. His piece at The Armory Show was not particularly erotic, but I find this whole thing pretty entertaining. Ambitious (and clean) as the pieces were, I'm not expecting to purchase any of his art anytime soon. Permalink • 0 comments •
Saturday, February 24, 2007
feathers of love
Source: Dave Lerman.
Today I learned that few things are more fun on a Saturday afternoon than a massive, 1,000 person pillow fight. I was interviewed with Bob by a French TV show (I'm horrified about what might come of that), made friends with a bumblebee, and hit hundreds of people over the head with my 499 pieces of down cotton awesomeness. The center of the pillowfight felt more like the middle of a rugby scrum than it did some kind of ironic hipster joke; it was so packed that I could barely raise my arms over my head to strike one of my meticulously practiced pillow knockout blows. Perhaps I was too eager for the catharsis...
All was well and amusing as the 4 of us started to leave after our hour or so of pillow fighting. Then, walking back along 14th street, some crazed middle-aged woman began yelling at us and telling us that the feathers we were releasing into the air was producing "enough dust to cause air conditioner clogging for 3 weeks." She then started yelling at us calling us everything from irresponsible to racist - with no basis for any of this - gradually raising her voice to the point of shouting at the end of her bizarre diatribe. The outcome of this is that going forward, anytime any of my friends does something stupid, I'm going to say that you've now clogged my air conditioner for 3 weeks. There's potential here.
That being said, it was really fun. It felt like there were as many photographers as there were pillow fighters, and we thought that everyone seemed to have a great time. Lots of Dave's pics are below, plus the full show on Dave's photoblog.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
skip lines, piss off crowds
Source: FlyClear.com via Thrillist.
I just read about a company called Clear that, through a special partnership with the TSA, allows air travelers to register with them to bypass check-in lines at airports. As a Clear member, you pay $99 a year to have the right to go straight to a special Clear members-only check-in station at the airport, where your bags are scanned immediately and you can proceed straight through to the gate with no hour long waits to clear security.
Clear members are pre-screened before being able to join and provided with a biometric card, which is either a fancy way of saying "card" or it means that they employ some kind of fingerprint system, I'm not sure which. Regardless, this is an intriguing program to me. Post-9/11 air travel ranges from mediocre to impossibly horrible. In light of the hundreds of cancelled flights over Presidents' Day weekend, JetBlue created a customer Bill of Rights and issued an apology letter from their CEO, which they emailed to all of their customers and posted on their website.
Considering that air travel does not appear to be getting any easier anytime soon, I think Clear sounds like a fantastic idea. At $100 a year, Clear is a relatively low-cost way to improve the hassles and expense of airport bureaucracy. Business travelers lose thousands of hours of productivity waiting in lines at airports. The ability to skip through those lines would seem to greatly improve that.
One thing that's unclear about Clear is how effective it will be. Currently, they're in just one terminal at JFK, as well as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Newark. The promise is that more are on the way, but I'm not sure how long that will take and I certainly wouldn't join until at the very least they're in an entire airport in NYC and not just one terminal. I'm not sure how many members they currently have, but presumably their membership is still pretty low. I also wonder what they are paying to the TSA and their employees to stay in business.
Then there's the civil liberties question. Say that Clear works as it should and costs what they're selling it for currently. What rights will we be giving up to take advantage of something like this? All Clear members have to provide fingerprints and pass background checks. Does the "biometric card" that Clear provides its members allow the government to track people? What else is Clear doing with their members' data?
I'll be interested to follow this one over the next few months/years. It could take awhile for this to catch on, and there's the possiblity that there will be backlash similar to the way Russians have reacted to the rent-a-motorcade service that allows the wealthy to steer clear of traffic there. We'll see what happens. Permalink • 0 comments •
Saturday, February 17, 2007
A Reason to Start Liking the Knicks
David Lee, the stellar sophomore who's currently the only likable player on the Knicks, scored 30 points on 14-14 shooting and won the MVP of the NBA Future Stars game tonight at All Star Weekend. I've written already that I don't enjoy watching the Knicks anymore, but if the Knicks can just get rid of the entire starting lineup, Isiah Thomas, and probably Jim Dolan, there might be hope yet. Plus, once the whole roster is gone, the Knicks will have the cap room to pursue LeBron.
On another note, I'm watching the McDonald's Celebrity All-Star game right now. Following a Jim Gray softball interview with Barry Bonds, Tom Tolbert went off in no particular direction about the impact of Barry Bonds' hitting 756. That's three minutes of my life that I can never get back. Permalink • 0 comments •
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Catfighting Season Begins TodayThe Barney's warehouse sale begins today. If you've never been before, I will paint the picture for you.
For men, it's a nice way to get shirts at half price and maybe even find a suit at a nice discount.
For women, it's sort of like a convention of local militias agreeing to meet on neutral ground, then breaking out into an elbow-nudging turf war to gain control of the Manolos. It's like regular war, only with five inch heels and black instead of camo. Because black is the new black.
Bless. Permalink • 0 comments •
Baby Likes It CheapLast night I went to a Valentine's Day Chocolate Appreciation class at the Institute of Culinary Education on West 23rd St. It was taught by a culinary historian and chocolate expert who was a lot of fun. I learned that chocolate was refined first for consumption in beverages as a female-friendly beverage. The coffee and tea that dominated Europe in the 19th century, it was thought, were too harsh for the genteel female. I believe that drinkable chocolate's rise in popularity was also involved in the creation of the modern tea kettle, but I might have gotten mixed up by that point. There were a lot of slides.
I also learned that in the early 1900's as doctors began to understand a bit about nutrition, it was thought that all calories were created equal and that one calorie of chocolate was akin to one calorie of a fruit or vegetable. This led Hershey's to promote chocolate, with its high caloric content, as "a meal in itself." Men also wore bowler hats during that era, but I did not learn about bowler hats last night.
Then I ate about an entire box of chocolates. Mostly we were served dark chocolates, presented on attractive plates and paired with dessert wines that tasted like a cross between vinegar and ass. Dark chocolate is considered the more sophisticated cocoa product, so I guess it's no surprise that I didn't really enjoy it. Milk chocolate, the cheapo stuff that I grew up on (give me a bag of M&M's and I'm happy), is considered less "pure" and far less impressive among the chocophile set. My professor described most of these chocolates as "the type of thing that if it were a person you met at a party, you'd say that person is 'nice,' but someone I want to take home with me." Jacques Torres, home of perhaps the best chocolate I've ever had in my life, was also roundly dissed.
Promiscuity or intentions of my professor notwithstanding, my girlfriend and I both preferred the sweeter milk chocolate that "tastes like crappy kids' stuff," as one of the chocolate snobs in my class said. Regardless of our lack of sophistication in the chocolate world, it was a great time and I learned a lot about chocolate. And now that I've discovered the relative cheapness of my palette's sweet tooth, I'm not eating any chocolate for a month. Or at least a few hours. Permalink • 0 comments •
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I still love Becky'sWent to Becky's w/AJ tonight and had a blast. Highlights include beating Arielle at darts, a cameo by SRosen, and Amber the waitress buying me a shot of Jager.
Labels: nycPermalink • 0 comments •
Thursday, February 01, 2007