A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Wednesday, November 30

imix 11.30

i make a new on-the-go mix just about every morning. here's what i'm listening to, shuffled, today:

wolf parade: shine a light
finley quay/beth orton: dice
smashing pumpkins: 1979
shout out louds: very loud
radiohead: where i end and you begin
pixies: bone machine
interpol: c'mere
grandaddy: the crystal lake
the editors: munich
art brut: fight
strokes: juicebox
deerhoof: running thoughts
echo and the bunnymen: lips like sugar
franz ferdinand: do you want to
depeche mode: personal jesus (pump mix)
ok go: this will be our year
blur: bang
u2: in a little while
matt pond pa: halloween
death cab for cutie: marching bands of manhattan
animal collective: did you see the words


Monday, November 28

art shows

yes, there was lots of love and laughter and eating and christmas shopping and walking all over this beautiful city this long thanksgiving weekend...

there was also lots and lots of art.

on friday, fueled by city bakery cookies and hot chocolate, scoboco did the chelsea gallery thing*. as always, there was no shortage of temptations, the most engaging of which happened to be next door to each other, on 10th avenue just north of 18th street.

at bellwether, through december 3, there's the marc swanson show, which had some cool etchings done on mirrors and a kind of creepy forest set up in the back room, with floor-to-ceiling trees (made from trees) from whose branches hang birdcages filled with old bottles, and all kinds of animal-looking parts, and weird flags, and a giant stuffed peacock, and like i said to bo and co, if you saw this in a REAL forest you would run SO fast.

also kind of creepy was mona hatoum's "mobile home" piece, at alexander and bonin next door, through december 22. here, about 20 pieces of furniture and other "domestic objects" were strung on wires betweeen two metal bike-rack-looking barriers. each wire had a hidden motor which slowly dragged the object across the floor or through the air. each item moved at different times, and at different speeds, and it just looked like the whole thing was haunted.

we had seen michael joo's "still life" a while ago, on that ridiculously rainy day back in september (at the bohen foundation, on 13th street between 9th and washington, through february 4), but i just want to mention it here because it's definitely worth stopping in to check out. the space is pretty big and features a life-sized zebra with its black stripes removed, and an infant's skeleton hidden in a garden of pods and a bear doing something i can't remember. dominating the room, however, is a herd of eviscerated caribou with cameras hidden in their bellies hanging in a helix from the ceiling and breaking through the floor into the dark basement below. it, too, is kind of creepy. but in a good way.

then on saturday dglass and i braved the crowds (and there were definitely crowds) and went to the met for the van gogh and calatrava exhibitions, both of which we really enjoyed. the van gogh drawings are total genius, as you'd expect, but the fact that he drew some of his most famous paintings AFTER he was done adds to the fascination. for example, his painting "cypresses" is on display, and next to it are two or three drawings of the work he did to send to friends. yes, it was packed, but it's only here until december 31, and has that sort of once-in-a-lifetime feel to it.

after such a big exhibit the calatrava was nice and small and beautiful. including drawings, scale models and a surprising number of sculptures, the show was made even more interesting because of his two huge projects about to be built in manhattan.

*important: when you want to get your kids out of the house on a freezing cold day to go gallery hopping, never actually TELL them you're going gallery hopping until the last possible moment. ideally, as they're putting on their coats... or as you're walking to the train. if they ask where you're going any earlier in the process than that, be vague. because no matter how much fun we have each time we do this--and we definitely do, every single time--somehow the IDEA of looking at (possibly lame) art all afternoon just never cuts it.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 24


...for bo and co, who give me so much love, and allow me to make mistakes, and make me smile and laugh, and constantly push me to be a better father, and are the best part of my life.

...for dglass, and all the love and best-friendship she gives me, and who teaches me something new about myself and my world every day, and who encourages me to be the man i've always dreamed i could be, and is a total inspiration in my life. and for her daughters, whom i adore.

...for my sister e, and her courageous decision to become a single mom, and for bringing a new baby into all our lives in time for christmas.

...for my mom and my dad and stepmom, who i know will always be there for me, even if i forget to ask.

...for my brothers, whose journeys through life in so many ways resemble my own.

...for my amazing friends, all going through different things in their lives today--good and sad and scary and joyous--all of whom know they can ask me for help at any time; all of whom would be willing to help me if i needed it.

...that i feel young, healthy, strong, and so happy to be alive.

happy thanksgiving.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 23

imix 11.23

i make a new on-the-go mix just about every morning. here's what i'm listening to, shuffled, today:

madonna: love profusion
walkmen: my old man
sunny day real estate: red elephant
sonic youth: sunday
the roots: double trouble
radiohead: there there
pixies: monkey gone to heaven
modest mouse: bury me with it
kanye west: gone
dialated peoples: this way
interpol: lief erickson
three 6 mafia: stay fly
she wants revenge: out of control
art brut: fight
the rakes: retreat
the strokes: juicebox
shout out louds: the comeback
franz ferdinand: the outsiders
broken social scene: cause = time
damien rice: lonelily
calexio/iron and wine: he lays in the reins
gang of four: damaged goods
iggy pop: the passenger
hot hot heat: middle of nowhere
public enemy: you're gonna get yours
the decembrists: on the bus mall
coldplay: white shadows
art brut: we formed a band
clap your hands say yeah: over and over again
brian jonestown massacre: hide and seek
arcade fire: neighborhood #3


Sunday, November 20

we heart cheese

granted, it's not the most radical of limbs to go out on, but scoboco loves cheese. me and bo slightly more than co, perhaps, but she's a cheese fiend just the same. so when i first heard about say cheese on 45th and 9th--"home of the grilled cheese sandwich" --i knew it was only a matter of time before we lunched there.

that time, as it turned out, was saturday.

after being greeted by the almost too-eager-to-please owner and admiring the hilariously random decor, we each had some version of "the basic", for which you can choose one of maybe six standard grilled-cheese cheeses (american, cheddar, jack, provolone, swiss, muenster, probably something else i'm forgetting), then add on things like avocado or bacon or tomato, etc. the ingredients are fresh and nicely proportioned, and it's served on crunchy, tasty, buttery sourdough. and it's served ON something i've never seen before: a basket with tin foil stretched over the top to form a sort of elevated plate. like the guy had all these baskets already, and didn't want to spring for "flat" plates. though wouldn't his ongoing tinfoil costs outweigh a one-time purchase of regular tableware?

anyway, our sandwiches were big and satisfying and delicious, as were the curly fries (always gets a bonus in my book, when a place serves curly fries... it's like they care enough to put a little love into it) and the creamy, flavorful tomato soup. and it was pretty reasonable, like $25 for the three of us, with tip.

all in all, a perfect, cozy, warming treat for a chilly day. we're definitely going back... if only to try to figure out what the heck that owl is doing up there! (click on image to enlarge)

speaking of non-controversial stances, harry potter and the goblet of fire? the verdict is unanimous: fun, scary, thrilling, slightly saggy in the middle (that's just me, actually), tear-jerkingly sad, cool cgi, well acted (the movie's adults), enormously appealing (the movie's kids), a total must-see. to paraphrase dglass, we loooooooooooved it!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 17

what i would do this weekend...

...if i could be three places at once.

the new harry potter. we got our tickets on tuesday for a saturday late afternoon show. yes, that may a little extreme in the planning department, but friday night's shows at the regal in union square were all sold out as of thursday afternoon...

weird performance art by gelatin. ok, this could be a total miss, but i'd like to see how these guys, sealed in their "machine," would replicate a concept like, say... "it is what it is,"or a smell like cilantro. bonus: the same artists put a giant pink bunny on a hill in italy, and are leaving it there for 20 years. UPDATE: a friend of mine called me today and said this was great. he saw someone put an old clock in the machine and, a little while later, out came a new, funky clock (they got their old clock back, too). and he reminded me it's going on 24 hours a day until wednesday.

bodyvox does "civilization unplugged" at the joyce theater. i can't say i know too much about this, except it looks cool and high-energy and multi-media and there's one dance in which the audience uses their cell phones. UPDATE: this got a terrible review in the times today.

cut and paste design competition. finally! graphic designers get their own "iron chef"! yup, the eight carefully selected contestants go head to head with 15 minutes to come up with a design that "best exemplifies a theme, with the materials and tools provided," both on G5s and "analog" supplies like sharpies, fabric and "found objects." this is an elimination tournament going on saturday night the 19th at 10pm down in tribeca. to me? sounds goofy and filled with loud (heckling?) spectators and totally fun. (ps: dglass would have kicked some serious design-y ass in this sucker. next year, babe. just wait till next year.)

sights and ice and cheese
. another thing i'd like to do this sunny weekend but no way do we have time, except for the cheese part: go to top of the rock, the recently reopened observation deck atop rockefeller center, and nicely covered by gothamist, here; go skating at the new bryant park rink (i walked by a couple of weeks ago and it looked big and fun and not too crowded.. but that was before thanksgiving-to-new years tourist season really kicked in); go grilled-cheese-eating at "say cheese," discussed here last friday, but yet to be tried.

also still-to-be-done: ps1, calatrava at the met, and canstruction (ends saturday!)... man it's great to live in this town.

but if you don't feel like going out, you could always stay home and stare at these all weekend! (thanks mug.)

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 16

imix 11.16

i make a new on-the-go mix just about every morning. here's what i'm listening to, shuffled, today:

wolf parade: lousy pictures
shout out louds: a track and a train
wolf parade: modern world
secret machines: road leads where it's led
rancid: it's quite alright
rancid: radio havana
new order: blue monday (95 remix)
interpol: length of love
three 6 mafia: stay fly
she wants revenge: tear you apart
japanese gum: her space holiday
shout out louds: the comeback
broken social scene: 7/4 shoreline
50 cent and mobb deep: outta control
nervous nellie: come down, find out
pharrell: can i have it like that
blink 182: adam's song
little brother: lovin' it
audioslave: doesn't remind me
danger doom/talib kweli: old school
madonna: hung up
death cab for cutie: title and registration
death cab for cutie: we laugh indoors
clap your hands say yeah: in this home on ice


Tuesday, November 15

believe the hype

what a spectacular, warm, fall-ish, new york city weekend: two perfect days--to steal mug's nice turn of phrase--to "stroll the hell out of this city."

and stroll we did: from as high as 75th to as low as rivington; from battery park city over to norfolk street.

of course, strolling means popping into stores and museums and such. and you get hungry, doing all that strolling, so you also need to stop every now and then for snacks and treats. and when it's time to rest, it's time for a movie.

here are three highlights from the weekend's adventures, all things that got great reviews, and then met or exceeded my expectations...

the richard tuttle show at the whitney was excellent. some of his pieces--especially the collage-y ones--look like the kinds of things bo and co used to bring home from kindergarten, and i mean that in the best way. others stuff is so minimalist you can't help but smile (a favorite was called something like "one line" and it was just that: a two-inch line, drawn in pencil, on a piece of ruled paper... little wonder, as the times pointed out last friday, the last time there was a major tuttle retrospective, in the 70s, people walked out saying "are you KIDDING me?"). his colors are beautiful, his restraint brilliant, his lines carefully considered, the handmade frames perfect, and taken as a whole--it's a pretty large exhibition--it just makes you feel lighter, and peaceful, inside. i'm definitely going back with bo and co, especially since there's a dglass-endorsed ed rusha show starting there this weekend.

if you're within ten blocks of rivington and norfolk and you feel like something sweet and delicious, maybe with an espresso or a cup of tea, you absolutely have to grab a table at schiller's liquor bar and get the toffee pudding. i'm not kidding. this is a requirement. i had read about this dessert in time out new york a couple of weeks ago and they were right: it was UNbelievable. it's a dense toffee cake poured over with heated caramel sauce, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. it's cold, it's warm, it's chewy, it's sweet, it's total heaven. schiller's serves a complete brunch and dinner, too, but we just did the toffee and coffee (and tea). bonus: everyone who works there is friendly and cute and smiley and the place itself is this cool old... something-or-other. we couldn't figure out what it used to be... anyone know?

i thought no way is pride and prejudice going to be as good as everyone's saying. i was wrong. THIS is the movie to see: sumptuous, funny, exceedingly clever (obviously: it's austen), wonderfully romantic, filled with great performances, especially matthew macfadyen as darcy--watch for the one moment he smiles--and keira knightley as elizabeth, and brenda blethyn as mrs. bennet (so hysterical in both senses of the word) and really everyone else, too. and the lizzie/darcy first kiss you're waiting for the whole movie? they totally deliver the goods. an absolute lump-in-the-throat, tears-in-the-eyes, "true-love-IS-real!" moment.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, November 11

SOOO much to do!

i don't even know where to start.

bo and co are with their mom this weekend... but either way, there's no possible way to see and do and eat everything that's going on around town these days. fall in new york city is pretty amazing, no? a quick look at the possiblities for the next couple of weeks...

movies (with and/or without the daughters): jarhead (yes, the reviews were mediocre, but i think it looks cool), pride and prejudice (seems totally fun and romantic), cape of good hope (sounds uplifting, and a probable boco pick), pulse (SUPER creepy... can i get anyone to go with me is the question), jesus is magic (i saw the trailer for this online like a year ago and have wanted to see it ever since)... and next weekend, obviously, is the new harry potter.

museums: i definitely want to take boco to ps1 soon, especially for john kessler's "hyper kinetic" site installation, "the palace at 4 a.m.", and some of the photography exhibits sound cool, too. i also just like the whole vibe of that place, even when the exhibits are so-so. the met has a couple of interesting things going on... the sure-to-be-packed van gogh drawings, of course, but also i know bo and co would enjoy the santiago calatrava "sculpture into architecture" exhibit—it's models, it's immediately relevant because of the two nyc projects he's working on now, it's magical and dynamic and almost avian. then i just read this morning in the times about richard tuttle's show at the whitney, which also looks like a must to check out. and the guggenheim has marina abramovic recreating classic performance art pieces from the 60s and 70s which sounds totally cool and wince-inducing and definitely not for kids.

food: dglass overheard someone talking about what sounds like a new (?) sure-bet quick-bite place, "say cheese" over on 45th and 9th, featuring a tasty array of grilled cheese varieties. and i can't wait to try this dessert i saw featured in time out new york a few weeks back, a toffee/ice cream concoction served up at schiller's liquor bar on rivington and norfork.

if i were to go dancing saturday night (and heck, maybe i will) i would definitely go to the sullivan room (on sullivan street between bleeker and west 3rd) to hear mazi's "dirty, mind-bending" house.

canstruction starts this weekend, too, which the three of us LOVED last year. basically, all these architecture and construction firms from around the country build amazing things--massive hot dogs, the brooklyn bridge, an octopus, etc--from cans of food. it's held at the new york design center on lex and 32nd. admission is a can of food. it'll make you smile and the pieces are spread throughout showrooms on like a dozen floors (so there's a treasure-hunt-y aspect to it) and it's awesome.

and tonight i'm seeing a dance performance... my second one this week! if you enjoy a little miming and clowning with your amazing acrobatics, you should see bright abyss, which is running through sunday.

oh yeah, i also need to buy some pants. any suggestions?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 8

year and a half

i woke up this morning thinking about favorite-nights-out in recent memory, without-the-kids division.

there's been a lot.

i've had amazingly, insanely delicious tasting-menu feasts at megu (in tribeca) and wd-50 (on the les) for a couple of special occasions. i went to paris last year for the time in my life (first time in europe, too), and that was pretty much perfect all around, night and day. harvest out in montauk, au pied de cochon in montreal's plateau mont-royal (by far the most--only?--interesting neighborhood in that town), dancing at opaline in the east village, seeing the pixies at jones beach: these were all special and memorable for different reasons.

but my absolute BEST night on the town in, say, the last year and a half came--what a coincidence!--18 months ago today. it was all pretty simple, actually. resto leon (on 12th and third) for excellent steak frites and too-oniony steak tartar and a nice, comfortable, cozy vibe and the host greets you like he's known you for years; australian homemade on st. marks for ice cream (not nearly as good as cones on bleeker, or any ben and jerry's for that matter, but nice and creamy all the same), eaten in thompkins square park across the street (which is an excellent make-out spot, by the way... but not on this night); then down to i-forget on houston street to see alt-country legends american ambulance.

the night was long, it was late, it was beautiful. and it changed my life.

the best.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, November 7

weekend wrap up

random thoughts from this beautiful nyc weekend

1. in the sweet and chewy genre, the cookies at city bakery--the big ones near the registers, either chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin--are hands-down the tastiest in town.

2. the north end of central park can be truly spectacular. yesterday it looked like we were in new england or something, with the leaves in their full, fireworks-y glory, and those wide vistas you can get up there above 96th street.... and someone had made a huge, perfect heart on the ground out of fallen leaves (reminded me of andy goldsworthy) next to that pond right near the 103rd and cpw entrance, all red and orange and romantic. yes, i should have taken some pictures.

3. dancing with daughters is absolutely the greatest thing ever invented... even if it's square dancing!

4. after the 24-hour show at swiss institute (which was totally silly and entertaining, though it's too bad dglass didn't answer her phone), bo, co and i had fun on saturday goofing around in two new soho stores. you may have read about burton (on spring and mercer) in the times last week or whenever it was--that review that self-righteously spent about half its words on the 420 stash-pack they sell? anyway, the place is definitely chill, like a hipper niketown, with historic snowboards embedded under fiberglass below the floor (so you can "stand" on them) and a huge screen playing non-stop, totally sick snowboard videos (and co appreciated the comfy viewing couches) and lots of browseable burton and gravis accessories and clothing in addition to the hardcore gear and, best of all, a "cold weather" dressing room to try on jackets. really, it's just a big walk-in freezer with a full-length mirror, but it's decked out with huge ice blocks (with rubber butt-mats for sitting) and a deer head mounted on the wall and you can pretend you're locked in and make your kids laugh nervously....

we're uncle- and cousins-to-be so also fun for us was giggle, on wooster near spring, filled with high-end, design-y kids stuff but not pretentious and it has a cute stroller parking area up front and lots of seating (for nursing moms and tired 9-year-olds) and reasonably priced toys and beautiful but totally too expensive crib sheets from dwell and $700 stokke strollers that are way cooler than the ubiquitous, $900 (!!!) bugaboo strollers, though both price tags make my jaw drop.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 4

adult movies

there was this roz chast cartoon i saw years ago that pictured an "adult bookstore" and in the window were such decidely non-titillating titles like "taking out a mortgage" and "dealing with your double chin."

i've seen three "adult" movies recently that i really liked a lot. so if you're looking for some hot grown-up action this weekend, you may want to consider...

good night, and good luck. more than one person has pointed out that this movie is kind of thin... that george clooney assembled a great cast and then didn't give them anything to do... that it feels SO historical he might as well have just used old film clips for murrow, like he does for mccarthy... and, yes, that's all true. BUT clooney as fred friendly, david strathairn as murrow and frank langella as bill paley are all excellent, i thought--you can't keep your eyes off of them when they're on screen, which is almost every scene. and i couldn't help but feel all proud of and moved by this great moment in real-life liberal courage, when these people (albeit rich and powerful people) stood up for what was right against the forces of evil. i left the theater feeling great.

capote. a friend of mine put it well: this is a brilliant portrait of EXTREME self-centeredness. phillip seymour hoffman is perfect as truman capote... liar, narcissist, life of the party, insecure crybaby, lovable, witty, infuriating, total genuis. and, really, the whole cast is terrific (especially catherine keener as harper lee), and the "worlds-collide" contrast between kansas and nyc (physically, emotionally, culturally) is nicely played, and though it drags a little in last half hour, right now this is the movie to beat this fall.

paradise now. this is the riveting, horrifying, challenging story of two best friends, said and khaled, palestinians on the west bank, called upon to blow themselves up (and take as many israeli soldier and civilians as possible with them) in the struggle against occupying israel. there are flaws in the logic and storytelling, and i definitely wish i hadn't seen the trailer like 10 times before the movie, but there's so much to recommend here that it doesn't really matter. the guys playing said and khaled are great, the set-up is harrowing, the issues raised are not easily settled, and even if everything else in the movie had been terrible, just the fact that it's filmed on the rubble-strewn, impoverished, bitter, ancient, beautiful west bank would have made it worth seeing. and that ending... not unexpected, but a total stunner all the same.


Thursday, November 3

weekend fun

well it looks like this weekend with bo and co is pretty jammed with plans... all totally fun plans, to be sure--art class and soccer and a fall family dance at boco's school and bo's doing a sleepover and my sister's having her baby shower (yay for e!!!! and happy birthday today!!)--but it leaves us with not much walking-around-having-adventures time.

maybe we can squeeze this in though: the 24-hour incidental, running from noon to noon, saturday to sunday, down at the swiss institute, (495 broadway between spring and broome), part of the performa 05 celebration of "contemporary performance in the visual arts." ok, i know that all sounds kind of weighty and maybe even boring, but this show seems like it could be fun. basically, 10 artists will be doing their thing, live, for 24 hours straight, in the space. one has an interactive sound piece going on; another piece involves a crew being filmed building a bench and screen for the first 12 hours, and then they show the film for the next 12 hours; one guy will spend the entire time asleep in a hammock; another is going to build and install what sounds like a rain machine. etc. again: it's all going on at once, for 24 hours straight. sounds slightly chaotic, probably goofy, almost certainly interesting to watch for a little while. note: this is type of thing i NEVER actually tell my kids we're going to, because if i revealed too many details, i'd have a total rebellion on my hands. better to leave it kind of vague, and just say we're going to go see "something that might be really cool"...

and if we do go check it out, we'll have to eat some lunch, right? i had a delicious sandwich at olive's last weekend (on prince between wooster and greene). it had been almost a year since i last had one from there, and had forgotten how well they make them: fresh fillings, excellent bread, all ingredients in the proper proportions. lots of variety and totally first-rate, it's a good soho quick-bite alternative to rubens empanadas. the cookies are never as good as they look, though, i don't think.

we then might walk up to parsons on 13th and fifth for the taxi-design show i saw on gothamist today. parsons shows can be pretty hit or miss, but no matter what, we'd be on our way to where the cookies are always even BETTER than they look, city bakery, on 18th between fifth and sixth. or... maybe we'll just go here first for lunch, and grab a plate of their french toast, which happens to be the absolute best ever! it's caramelized, it's thick and chewy, it's total heaven. and they have niman ranch bacon. and if you haven't tried their hot chocolate with homemade marshmallow, what the heck are you waiting for? a hot chocolate festival or something?!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Father Demo Square

Labels: , ,