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

Friday, December 30

not enough colors; too much garlic

so after a perfect week of so many beautiful presents and lots of laughs with lots of loved ones and like 528 pounds of chocolate treats, scoboco finally had a chance to go on a nyc adventure today.

and i must say, we were pretty whelmed.

first stop was the cooper-hewitt (on fifth and 91st) for the fashion in colors show, which has received rave reviews. the concept sounds pretty cool: here are 300 years of fashion design (read: dresses), organized by color. so the blue room has blue walls and blue lighting and blue mannequins and blue designs; in the black room, it's all black; the red room, it's red; etc. but though it appeared to be flawlessly executed, scoboco kind of shrugged. co wished there were more colors (there were six). bo wished there were more fashions (there were 68). i wished i was more interested in dresses.

then it was down to soho/nolita for shopping (nice half-price ornaments at the moma store!) and goofing around and searching for this modular cheese platter/serving board thing i could have sworn i had seen somewhere down there (sur la table? noooo... moma? noooo.... crate and barrel? noooo.... moss? noooo... clio? nooooo...), but maybe it was a dream.

anyway, that whole part of the day was fun and great and then we went for an early dinner at 24 prince (between elizabeth and mott) which i read good things about. given our state--tired, cold, starving to death--it wouldn't have taken much to have us swooning, but i'm afraid they didn't quite deliver. the mac and cheese "spring rolls" were frustratingly bland. the potato and fennel soup was more of a potato and garlic soup: not bad, but not what i wanted. the fried chicken was well cooked--crispy skin, moist meat--but fairly forgettable. the risotto, with shitakes and tomato, pretty standard. the best dish was bo's: meatloaf, wrapped in a flaky crust, topped with just the right amount of sweet bbq sauce (pictured, thank you gothamist). the service was friendly (though 15 minutes after our waiter had announced to us what his "three favorites things on the menu" were, he must have changed his mind, because i overheard him tell another table three different things!) and we liked the logo and apparantly there's a secret bar in the basement. but really? it was ok. just ok.

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Friday, December 23

the pond

we go skating maybe three times every winter, and pretty much always at lasker rink. even though it's tiny, there's almost never any tourists, the music is usually fun, and the prices are much more reasonable than wolman, or chelsa piers, or, obviously, rock center.

today, though, scoboco went skating just off the deuce (can you imagine such a thing, like back in the 80s?!) on the heavily-corporate-sponsored "pond" in bryant park, and we had a blast. it's always such a treat to watch bo and co get their skate legs. trust me, we're no pros, but we can get around once we get used to it again...

the rink is a nice size--bigger than lasker or rock center--and though it's free to skate, after rentals and locker we dropped $27 for the hour and half (you could skate longer... if you were nuts). of course it was crowded--it's two days before christmas in midtown, after all--but the vibe was festive and the rental skates good and it was all well organized and they have snacks and drinks if you want and boco loved every minute of it and mostly, for me, it was just a goof to ice skate in that once far-from-wholesome location.

the pond (behind the nypl, on 42nd street, just off sixth avenue) is only around until january 16th. and since this'll probably be my last post for a little bit, i just want to say...

merry christmas.

happy holidays.

hope you're well and safe and filled with comfort and joy.

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Thursday, December 22


scoboco loves tons of things about christmastime.

there's the presents, obviously: shopping for, giving and receiving... and the fact that there always seems to be four pounds of chocolates wherever we go (including our kitchen)... and the lights and decorations all over this beautiful city and, most especially, trimming our own tree... and time with family, friends, laughter, love, etc.

we also love love LOVE christmas songs. in fact, we listen to christmas mixes pretty much non-stop these days when we're home, which sounds like it could get a little sickening unless, like us, 1) you don't start too early in the season 2) you enjoy ALL types of xmas tunes, old and new.

here, then, are this year's favorite 25 (though there's about 40 more that are in regular rotation)

darlene love: christmas (baby please come home)*
low: just like christmas
harry connick jr: (it must have been ol') santa clause
john lennon: so this is christmas
judy garland: have yourself a merry little christmas
nat king cole: the christmas song
johnny mathis: sleigh ride
run dmc: christmas in hollis
beach boys: christmas day
the whos down in whoville: welcome christmas
charlotte church: o holy night
weezer: the christmas song
brenda lee: rockin around the christmas tree
mariah carey: all i want for christmas is you
andy williams: it's the most wonderful time of the year
burl ives: holly jolly christmas
carpenters: merry christmas darling
vince guaraldi trio: christmastime is here**
stevie wonder: someday at christmas
bobby helms: jingle bell rock
alvin and the chipmunks: the christmas song
eurythmics: winter wonderland
bing crosby: do you hear what i hear?
diana ross and the supremes: silver bells
darlene love: white christmas

anyone have any favorites we've missed?

* of all christmas songs, this tune seems to have the most really good covers (o holy night is right up there, too). we like u2 and death cab for cutie's versions of this as well, but the ronettes' one gets the nod here for it's longevity.
** yeah, the whole hark-the-herald-angels-sing part--from the gang doing "loo loo loo, loo loo loo loo loo", then shouting "merry christmas charlie brown!" before breaking into song--ALWAYS gives us goosebumps... but christmastime is here is a better song, don't you think?


Thursday, December 15


if co WASN'T going to a birthday party from 3 - 7 on sunday, we would definitely do this:

early dinner at piola, on 12th between broadway and university. i've been to this hip italian/pizza place a bunch with dglass, and co and i had a great time eating here a few weeks ago. and, really, what's not to love? there are like 40 kinds of thin-crust pizza with interesting toppings combos and everyone i've ever tried has been great. the salads are big and tasty and shareable. the staff is friendly and smiley and tattooed and cute. the decor and signage is cool. the art is appealing (sometimes... it rotates). the music fun but not too loud. the prices reasonable. AND they have authentic guarana soda!

then we would walk down to washington square park for...

unsilent night (the christmas piece). for 12 years now composer phil kline has done this, and for 12 years i've missed it. basically, it's "like a christmas carolling party except we don't sing, but rather carry boom boxes, each playing a separate tape which is part of the piece." you bring a boom box, he gives you a tape, everyone hits "play" at the same time. apparantly last year there were 100 boom boxes participating, and more than 500 people joined the stroll over to tompkins square park. sounds loud and joyful and filled with good cheer to me. the piece starts at 7:00, and kline asks that you arrive by 6:45 to get ready. more info is here.

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Wednesday, December 14

imix 12.14

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

amusement parks on fire: venosa
badly drawn boy: the shining
yo la tengo: some kinda fatigue
brand new: the boy who blocked his own shot*
nas: just a moment
built to spill: carry the zero
franz ferdinand: outsiders
arcade fire/david bowie: wake up (live)
louis xiv: finding out true love is blind
pinback: fortress
blackstreet: no diggity
matt pond pa: emblems
jawbreaker: ashtray monument
joseph arthur: evidence
pharrell: can i have it like that
belle and sebastian: the boy with the arab strap
pavement: texas never whispers**
smashing pumpkins: 1979
deb talen: my favorite coat
brian eno: the true wheel

* i love the line in this song: "girl i like the skin stretched over your bones... " an excellent compliment, no?
** the last time i went to cbgbs was to see pavement, like maybe 12 years ago, and though i yelled repeatedly for them to play this tune, they did not. but keanu reeves was standing right next to me, and i had him cracking up laughing.


Monday, December 12

two things

between christmas shopping and parties and visiting e and baby pabs, there hasn't been much time for doing post-worthy scoboco stuff... except maybe for these two things, both of which dglass and i enjoyed yesterday.

1 the fried baby artichoke appetizer--"carciofi alla giudia"--at col legno on east 9th street. this one of the best dishes i've had in a while... really more roasted than fried (there's no breading involved), it's both crispy and soft, packed with artichoke flavor, nicely balanced with salt and lemon and mint. the rest of the meal was tasty too, and very reasonable, but i'd go back just for that appy. not that any of this is my discovery: dglass has been loving this dish for years...

2 brokeback mountain. ang lee's much-buzzed new film is beautiful to look at, features strong performances from start to finish (yes, heath ledger is as terrific as everyone says, but i wish he hadn't mumbled SO much!) and, emotionally, totally delivers on love's longing and pain, if less so on the actual love itself. bleak and touching, epic and heart-breaking, it's definitely a must-see.

one more thing: absolutely, it's wonderful that you almost never have to wait on lines for movies anymore--and if you fandango with even the mildest planning-neurosis, nothing's ever sold out--but it kind of sucks, no?, to have to sit in the third row when you arrive at the theater a good 20 minutes before showtime! when did everyone in town start showing up SO early to every movie?

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Wednesday, December 7


scoboco is now officially an uncle and two cousins!!

my sister e gave birth to baby pabs at 2:17 this afternoon.

sooooooooooooooooo exciting!!!!

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imix 12.7

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

the rapture: out of the races and on to the track
strokes: the modern age
animal collective: grass
stiff little fingers: breakout
death cab for cutie: a lack of color
shout out louds: the comeback (remix)
pixies: holiday song
matt pond pa: halloween
notorious big: big poppa
low: monkey (remix)*
cure: in between days
van halen: hot for teacher
kanye west: never let you down
scissor sisters: comfortably numb
earlimart: unintentional tape manipulation
jawbreaker: do you still hate me?
decembrists: on the bus mall
death cab for cutie: we laugh indoors
coldplay: what if
brian jonestown massacre: nailing honey to the bee
ice cube: steady mobbin'**
beastie boys: hey fuck you
amusement parks on fire: venus in cancer

* listen to this tune and you'd never guess that low does one of the sweetest, prettiest holiday songs around, "just like christmas." but they do.
** i hadn't thought of this song in YEARS until i was doing like my second or third scoboco post and suddenly i got all weird al on myself and started singing "steady blogging." yes: total loser.


Sunday, December 4

golden dragon acrobats

it's always entertaining to watch people do things really, really, really well. to pull a few random examples from my brain: master glass blowers, tiger woods in that amex ad, the nasa geeks in the book "lost moon," hillary clinton working a crowd.

none of the above were at the new victory theater this afternoon, so all of scoboco's attention was on the golden dragon chinese acrobats. and they were unbelievably good at what they've chosen to try to be good at: juggling hats, and volleyballs (with their feet), and umbrellas (also with feet); contorting their bodies until they seemed almost boneless while, for example, balancing ten trays of shot-glass pyramids on their hands and feet and mouth and torso and head; standing on one hand atop a teetering, 50-foot tower of chairs--a slow-building stunt that had the entire audience visibly twisting with anxiety and suspense in our seats.

the costumes were nicely cheesy (though i just overheard bo describe them on the phone to her mom as "amazing," so what do i know?), the music safe but lively (i.e., that old enigma chestnut, mea culpa, with the gregorian chants), the choreography and stage mannerisms totally goofy. they did stuff that was so incredible you just had to laugh out loud. the three of us wore huge grins the entire two-hour show.

the golden dragon acrobats will be at the new victory through january 1. i got our seats just two days ago, on friday, but the theater was totally full, and when i called they were sold out of the $25 and $10 tix, so i had to splurge on the $50 orchestra seats, which were awesome but not necessary.

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Saturday, December 3

"organized fun"

i don't even really know what to call them...

a comedy troupe? improv guerrillas? benevolent pranksters?

either way, they are the men and women of improv everywhere, and they are dedicated to causing "scenes of chaos and joy in public places."

personally? i'm a huge fan of chaos and joy... and if it's all going down in public, so much the better. not surprising, then, that one of my best afternoons in recent memory was courtesy of the improv everywhere crew and their "mp3 experiment 2.0". they have a lengthy, highly entertaining description and a million photos of this mission on their web site (as well as of all their other missions), but basically:

i was one of maybe 200 random people who had downloaded a 20 minute mp3 from their website, and my only instructions were 1. don't listen to it yet 2. show up at sheep meadow by 3:00 on october 16th. so i went and i sat and i wondered who else lounging around with headphones on was in on whatever it was that was about to happen. when someone yelled "ok, now!" i hit play on my ipod, and the goofiness began. me and the 200 other "agents" spread all over the meadow suddenly stood up. we danced to "bust a move". we walked like zombies to "thriller". we met our team captains (mine was the bee) and did an enormous amount of incredibly silly things as onlooker "civilians" who happened to be in the park watched and laughed and no doubt wondered what the heck was going on, since they couldn't hear any of the directions, or the jokes that has us agents cracking up, or the music that was our soundtrack.

the whole thing was beautifully done. it was unbelievably fun. it made a huge amount of people --both agents and onlookers--very very happy.

and coming in january: the fifth annual no-pants subway ride!

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