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

Saturday, January 28

art shows

so scoboco hooked up with baby pablito yesterday (stunningly warm para enerno, no?) and did the chelsea gallery thing. and though much of our attention was on baby pabs (now seven weeks old and smiling!), we did get to see some fun/good/cool/interesting art.

the afternoon began at that newish diner, named the diner, on 9th avenue and 14th street (which replaced the oldish diner, maybe also named the diner, a couple of months ago). pretty standard brunch stuff, but a good vibe and friendly waitresses. then it was off to the shows...

but first, pablito's hungry, so we pull into the chelsea market and while my mom feeds him, me and boco feast on freebie treats at the, what?, dozen or so bakeries in the complex.

and THEN it was off to the shows! here's what we liked the most...

• breaking and entering: the art of the video game, at pace wildenstein, 545 w22, through jan 28. especially cool was john haddock's complete "screenshots", in which terrible events of the past 50 or so years--the mlk assasination, columbine, that famous execution in vietnam, the la riots after the rodney king verdict--as well as not-terrible movie scenes, are rendered as video game screenshots, created in a three-quarters, from-above perspective and starring sims-like characters. it was an interesting parenting experience to explain the story behind these scenes to bo and co.

• willie cole: sole to soul at alexander and bonin, on 10th avenue just north of 18th street, through feb 18. basically: three or four massive wreaths made out of women's shoes. bo said it reminded her of andy goldsworthy, except with shoes instead of, say, leaves.

• mike cloud at max protech, 511 w22, through feb 11. we liked these bright, simple, maze-like paintings punctuated by plastic parts from children's games.

and when dglass and i went gallery-going last weekend, we liked these shows:

• warren isensee at danese, 535 w24, through feb 11. i really enjoyed these geometric, colorful paintings.

• paula scher at maya stendhal, 545 w20, no longer up. we both liked this a lot and bo and co would have LOVED it (it was her maps filled with words stuff), but it's over. oh well.

• thomas hirschhorn: superficial engagement, at barbara gladstone, 515 w24, through feb 11. this is a huge piece, starring mannequins hammered-full with nails and screws, oversize coffins, spirograph drawings, crude signage, graphic photographs of humans destroyed in war... it's totally over-the-top, dizzying, challenging, gross, painful, truthful, overwhelming, absolutely not appropriate for kids and, in my opinion, a must see.

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Wednesday, January 25

imix 1.25

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

sun kil moon: carry me ohio*
adolescents: amobea**
black flag: rise above
film school: on and on
and you will know us by the trail of dead: will you smile again for me
a gun called tension: 5 + 1
tiga: good as gold
the flaming lips: the w.a.n.d.
the roots: sacrifice
the magic numbers: love me like you***
young jeezy/akon: soul survivor
david bowie: ashes to ashes
the innocence mission: bright as yellow
talking heads: artists only
wilco: jesus, etc.
rolling stones: sway

* if you have any fondness for neil young and crazy horse, this should be the next disc you buy. coming up next week: dglass's solo acoustic cover of "ohio"!! (fingers crossed...)
** i guess i was feeling nostagic this morning when i made this mix... the stones, bowie, t-heads, black flag and this seminal loud-and-fast los angeles punk band. i probably heard this song 200 times in 1981/82.
*** i've heard so much hype about, and adoration for, this sunny, poppy band that i keep trying their stuff. still not convinced, though.


Tuesday, January 24

best sushi in town?

ok i hear what you're saying... scoboco's probably only been to like .003% of nyc's sushi restaurants, so what do they know?

well that's true. but here's what i can tell you...

i've enjoyed some pretty amazing meals at blue ribbon sushi in soho, and at tribeca's megu (the tasting menu is awesome). for consistently fresh and tasty chirashi, you can't go wrong with japonica, on university place. jewel bako, on east 5th street, is overrated, in my opinion (admittedly based on only one meal)... better to go across the street to jake's luxury oyster bar. i also like local spots like tomo on 111th and broadway, jorelomen or whatever it's called on e4th (though it can be inconsistent, it's very cheap), and sushi hana on amsterdam in the 80s.

so there's that.

and then there's ushi wakamaru.

now, this place doesn't look like much... a pretty generic sushi bar, with maybe three tables on the other wall, on a nothing stretch of west houston, between mcdougal and sullivan. but the one time dglass and i tried walking in, the place was booked all night, and crowd at the bar was entirely japanese. and when i called to get a res last friday, only one table was available, and the bar was full until closing. and i totally understand why.

i ordered the sushi special, and, from start to finish, i've never had a more delicious serving of fish in my life. the sushi--10 pieces of things like uni and fluke and eel and salmon roe and toro, and 3 pieces of cut yellowtail roll--was utterly pristine, unbelievably scrumptious. even the tamago was amazing! dglass's chirashi (coming in at a very reasonable $20, to my $35 dish) was also beautiful, loaded with chopped pieces of tuna, yellowtail, eel, salmon, and something else.

an outstanding meal. from now on, this is the go-to place for special-treat sushi.

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Monday, January 23

economy candy

i love snacks.

sweet, salty, fruity, cheesy, doughy, cold, hot, liquidy, crunchy, gooey, whatever... i love 'em all.

this past sunday i was reminded once again of one of my favorite spots to stock up on snacks when dglass and i went went to economy candy, on rivington between ludlow and essex (or online, here).

the selection here is unbelievable... and unbelievably tempting. it's just non-stop, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling treats! they've got old school candy that gets me all nostalgic just from looking at the packaging (skybar, anyone? adams sour cherry gum?); crazy newfangled stuff; hand-dipped chocolate-covered delights (the smores are amazing--total sugar bombs); fancy chocolates and marzipan; bulk penny candy and movie-theater-faves and top-notch dried fruits and nuts (try the butter toffee pecans... it's like eating pecan pie, minus the pie) and on and on and on. and it's all cheap, so i get even more tempted, and leave with a big shopping bag filled with things i don't need but definitely want.

with kids or without, if you're hanging on the les, it's totally worth a stop. heck, it's a destination in and of itself!

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Thursday, January 19


momofuku calls itself "the best noodle bar in new york city," and they might be right. dglass was SO sweet last night and treated me to an absolutely perfect bowl of ramen at this sliver of a restaurant on 1st avenue between 10th and 11th. it was my second time, her first, and i can't wait to go back again—and next time with bo and co, total noodle heads both.

you can't go wrong here... everyone around us was eating different things and loving every bite—especially, it seems, the steamed buns. you get to know your neighbor's dinner pretty well, because you're all sitting on top of each other (there are no tables, just a long bar that winds arounds back onto itself) but in a friendly, mellow-vibe, shared-good-meal kind of way.

anyway, i had the momofuku ramen, with its two kinds of unbelievably RICH and tender pork, poached egg, greens, seaweed and scallions. dglass had the chicken ramen with greens and some other stuff. it was all warming and flavorful and totally delicious. you should note that this place is no secret. we got there around 7:30 and only had to wait just a bit, but the line was pretty long when we left an hour later.

momofuku is, of course, also really fun to say, especially in mock anger, and especially once you know that in japanese it means "lucky peach."

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Monday, January 16


i'm pretty sure robert rauschenberg was my first ever "favorite artist." it was when i was 14 or 15, and my best friend tod showed me a book of some of his stuff, and he probably said something revelatory like "man, these are so cool," and so i of course thought so, too.

anyway, today boco finally got out from under their homework and so we took advantage of the dr. king three-day and went to see the rauschenberg "combines" show (read: collages) at the metropolitan. and, man, his stuff is so cool.

the exhibit is nice and big and the pieces vary widely in complexity and tone and size and, i guess, dimensionality. there's the goat sculpture, the one with the tire around its stomach... and the big gold one, with the ceramic puppy in the wagon... and his "summer rental" series, which i love because of the colors and his use of type... and his "man" and "woman" pieces, nicely positioned here so they can "see" each other from across the gallery floor.... and the one with the chair, and the one with the ladder, and the "tower" with the umbrella on top....

i thought it was a great show, living up to my high expectations. and bo and co enjoyed it too... co said they reminded her of "i spy", and they both liked the humor and visual puns and trickery. and the whole experience made me so grateful for the millionth time that i live in this incredible city... where, between grabbing some groceries and returning clothes at the gap, me and my daughters can just pop in and see some of this century's most amazing, most influential art.

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Wednesday, January 11

imix 1.11

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

the strokes: you only live once
public enemy: can't truss it
snow patrol: chocolate
shout out louds: a track and a train
rogue wave: 10:1
radiohead: there there
madonna: ray of light*
kanye west: gone
magic numbers: love me like you
the frames: pavement tune
broken social scene: almost crimes
peter gabriel: in your eyes
nine inch nails: only
oasis: love like a bomb
amusment parks on fire: eighty eight
sufjan strevens: john wayne gacy, jr.**
dandy warhols: last high
beastie boys: shazam!
animal collective: did you see the worlds
the arcade fire: neighborhood #3 (power out)

* i had heard this a dozen times and thought, if anything: yeah, whatever. then for some reason, at a dance almost two years ago, it had me jumping in the air, and i've loved it ever since. funny how your emotional response to music can be changed so drastically by timing and context.
** got to be the prettiest song ever written about serial killer.


Tuesday, January 10

egon schiele

ok first things first: the neue galerie, on 86th street right off fifth avenue--it's one of those beautiful old mansions--thinks it's a bit too high and mighty for the average art-viewer. 1) it's overly expensive, charging $15 for like a six-room space. 2) and this with an obviously popular and i'm sure ridiculously overpriced viennese cafe on the first floor, catering to fancy-pants tourists and old-money uesiders. 3) most unforgivable, children under the age of 12 aren't even allowed in! i mean... wtf, right?! like, bo and co aren't "mature" enough to view your precious german and austrian art?!

so: not for the easily-irritated-by-snootiness, that neue galerie. of which, thankfully, i am not one.


all that said, the egon shiele show (pronounced "shelly," UPDATE: or perhaps "sheelay," at least according to the guide we overheard), there until february 20, is pretty terrific. heavy on the portraits, self- and otherwise, the more than 150 drawings and too-few paintings (his colors are so great, we wanted much more) show shiele at his most expressive, creepiest best. i particularly love the way he does hands: long and strong and skeletal. backs and butts and lips, too, he gets exactly right, while still depicting them in a style all his own. that shiele died at the age of 28, three months after his pregnant wife--as well as the many huge photographs of him prominently displayed--only adds to the mystique.

again, dglass and i wished there had been more paintings (there were maybe five or six total), but many of the drawings were colored, and most were totally captivating. egon's people are restless and sexual and alive. it's hard not to stare.

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Thursday, January 5

sweet riot

bo and co turned me on to sweet riot chocolate-covered cacao nibs last week, before new year's eve when we were hunting for that cheese board thingy in soho. they had sampled them at the chocolate show in the fall, and then spotted them at--of all places--the moma store, on spring street.

now, apparently cacao nibs are extremely rare, and extremely precious: we're talking $7 for a one-ounce tin that's about as big as a bic lighter (the old-school kind)... we're talking like 15¢ a nib!

but because it was the holiday season and all, and because i'm such a kind and generous dad, and (mostly) because i'm a total sucker for well-packaged, interesting new food products -- especially well-packaged, interesting new dessert food products -- we splurged and bought a tin of "flavor 65", which is the middle-intensity flavor of the dark chocolate.

and man are these things good. crunchy. bitter. chocolately. cacao-y. hoplessly addictive.

now i see that sweet riot is now getting written up everywhere, so you're sure to run into these at your local gourmet food store, or your local museum-affiliated design-y products store.

but thanks boco, for hooking me up early.

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Wednesday, January 4

imix 1.4

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

stars: your ex-lover is dead
the frames: happy
young jeezy: soul survivor
saint etienne: kiss and make up*
david gray: sail away
joy division: love will tear us apart
sufjan stevens: chicago
madonna: jump
beck: girl
weezer: perfect situation
broken social scene: almost crimes
cat power: the greatest
nelly: grillz
pinback: fortress
clap you hands say yeah: in this home on ice
deerhoof: twin killers
guided by voices: the best of jill hives**
postal service: natural anthem
the strokes: ize of the world
rogue wave: publish my love

* by the way? an excellent makeout tune.
** coincidentally i was in tower records tonight and i happened to be in the "g's" and i was reminded again that these guys have put out just an INSANE amount of records! their "best of" cd has 32 tracks! they also happened to put on one of the all-time great free shows, on pier 45 (is that it? the one off of 14th street?) two summers ago. frontman robert pollard got ridiculously drunk (as is his wont) and it was a beautiful night and they played forever to singing-along, totally culty fans.


Monday, January 2

ps1 and the palace at 4 a.m.: "amazing!"

even though it's pretty fast and easy (the 7 or the e train gets you a block away) scoboco's only made the trip to ps1 in queens on "warm up" summer saturdays, when we can combine our art-viewing with some thumping bass, serious snacking, and hipster people-watching.

but we made the journey to the borough today because jon kessler's huge, site-specific, kinetic-sculpture installation "the palace at 4 a.m." is only around until february 6. and it was SO worth the trip! all three of us just walked around smiling and impressed and entertained and... i don't know... "moved," maybe? co kept saying "it's amazing..." and that about sums it up.

basically, kessler has taken over most of the third floor with maybe 100 surveillance cameras and their corresponding monitors. the cameras are all aimed at something... usually something in motion, or something that alternates with other objects or images, or the camera is in motion, or you become part of the image, or "live" shots are embedded into photographs, or any number of other clever, creative, interesting things.

kessler's message is obviously something about the media and spying and the portrayal of war (especially the war in iraq), and politics, and women, and advertising, and consumerism. but i'll leave that to smarter people to figure out. what i do know is that i'm so glad we didn't miss it.

oh and we enjoyed several other things there, too, at ps1. like "the painted world" exhibit, and the reindeer on fire in the musuem's front entrance, and this incredible cityscape by someone vanderbeek, constructed entirely out of the sunday new york times.

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Sunday, January 1


scoboco was in times square new year's eve!

well... not really. more like new year's eve-noon... whatever the heck that means.

anyway, yes, on saturday we hiked down to the deuce to the see the 12:05 show of narnia. none of us had ever read the book, had no idea what to expect, nor, really were we particularly excited about seeing this particular movie. it was more like: we totally feel like going to the movies, and this is the only thing around. and what a pleasant surprise it was.

bo and co really liked it a lot: suspenseful, interesting plot, liked the characters, liked the talking animals, laughed out loud, grabbed onto me when things got tense, etc. they did notice--and didn't like--one of the movie's main flaws: that lucy (the littlest) is really the strongest and bravest, but peter (the eldest... and wimpiest) gets to be the leader and hero, apparantly only because he's a boy.

i thought it was ok: the kids kind of lame and annoying, the hell-creatures cool, the fighting too bloodless, tilda swinton awesome. actually my main complaint was that the theater was freezing, and a good chunk of the action takes place in the snow... in fact, when the kids fell into the icy water, i had to put on my coat i felt so cold.

and as for our new year's eve.... let's just say it involved plenty of paolitos (dglass discovered that puff and pao sells them in bulk, frozen, so it couldn't be easier to serve up trays of truly crowd-pleasing hors d'oeuvres), a tower of treats, 12 grapes eaten in the 12 seconds before midnight, and kisses all around!