Friday, September 26, 2008

Treasure Hunt: Your Favorite Restaurant

I have a lot of jobs. One is to tell my roommates when the cable bill is due. My dentist says another one is to floss. In the office I have to pitch ideas about tech, style and perishable gifts, or write copy about Hawaii, or jiggle the coffee machine to get it working, or fashion a meal out of skim milk and errant M&Ms.

Oh right, and I have listsicle jobs too, like writing up places for other places, and other such vagueries.

Also, I review restaurants, about one a week. And I need ideas, people! Now most of the traditionally *best* restaurants have already been reviewed or have people far more adept than I already assigned to them, but I'm not talking about those. Who cares about what's so trendy, so over the top, so anything? I want to know what's good.

What you dream about as your last meal.

Your favorite haunt, hangout, place to get a snack or pizza or burger or even a nice meal that you've loved forever or maybe just discovered recently?

East Village and LES outposts always welcome (as they are walking distance from my apartment), but moreover, if you have lived in NY , visited the boroughs or just remember something great that you ate here (anywhere here!) and can tell me where, please let me know! If the magazine that shall not be named hasn't covered it, or their review of it is outdated, I'll suggest it to my editor.

And if you're not in NY, I want to know where you're eating anyway! What's the greatest stuff around you? If a friend was visiting your city, where would you tell them to go?

Have a great weekend, and cook up some ideas for me, won't you?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jib and Jibber Jabber

Sometimes my life can feel like a movie--an absurdist indie flick, a bombastic drama, the last, crawling hour of Solaris. Last week it was all fish-in-the-city moments that don't usually belong to me. Climaxing with a night of blonde girls and distinguishing patrons, a boating captain in white shoes, crudites and bottles upon bottles.

First a private book party at Cipriani Downtown (Upstairs) where one of my friends, mentors and perennial girl-crushes flitted around in Chloe, champagne-soaked conversing to the crowd gathered to welcome her new novel home. She was the lone jewel in that first writing class, she's told me not to sell myself short and to keep reaching for that brass ring and is testament to taking ones own advice to the fullest: and here's the shameless plug to check her out.

And then, after meeting some wonderful people whose numbers were not exchanged because I am terrible at planning, I had to leave the party early, her goodie bag in my hot little hand, to meet again with a different, albeit no less shimmering blonde, who has read half my book and--gasp--likes it and has told me that when I am ready, so is she, to introduce me to a few of her favorite agents and invite them to take a look as well. She chartered a boat to sail along the West side shores, as white and red was poured and the whispered jokes turned into yells, the cityscape white lights in black puddles, the passengers all holding each other close and laughing too loudly, the captain inviting us all to the fantastic yacht in the middle of the river where "Julian" promises an unforgettable time past midnight and me bowing out, all jib and jibber jabbered out.

I had to go home and finally sleep, because there had been so much consecutive newness already and so much to think about. The stunning sushi at the newly-opened Blue Ribbon uptown, the ride home on that Japanese motorcycle, the sharing of manuscripts. The sharing of playlists. The fall-planning and next summer's Thai dreams await.

The sky gone gray and that cold honing in, it was the brightest flash of the end of summer. And the film reel has since flipped, I have a cough and a pile of work on my cluttered desk, office workers around me grumble, and sure it's Monday and we have no time and we have no more long days to warm us, but I've got my unexpected memories and the hopes to create a whole lot more to watch in the upcoming months...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Shortlist

I've got to clean out my "bookmark" folder, the one that sits atop my browser with all the sites that I go to and check when I should be writing a masterpiece. I have to think it was easier to be a genius and an influencer in the 1800s when there were little internet distractions and more incidents of scabies to keep down the population of other writers.


This is what I've got on repeat in my browser, because I don't link to things on the side of my blog. If you have some great suggestions, please leave them here!

For discussion, trends and general theory, I'm of the mind that there are so many blogs and so little time. Because I am a dork with no musical talent but too many ipods, I like this one for hip hop culture discussion-y stuff because it's got a really charismatic host who talks about theory and 'kids today' and generally does a great and interesting job. Also it is Sasha Frere-Jones sanctioned, and I am a big nerd for the so-called Best Music Critic in New York. I mean, I just really want to be as well-versed in this stuff someday...

For general and new indie-type stuff, straight up reviews and recs or listings, I think I like the Deerhunter blog (soon to be replaced by the No Age blog for cute band-watching where you can hear the next big thing from the last big thing's mouth?) and adore Music for Robots. Of course the usual fare of Brooklyn Vegan, Pitchfork and the rest are always good for me too, but unless I have something specific I'm looking for, I try not to troll them too much. It gets overwhelming and I'll read about a show that happened three years ago and bemoan that I didn't see it. And that's for losers. And you know. I'm a winner. Damnit! A WINNER! (said while looking into the mirror holding a glass of scotch that I then smash, spider-webbing the entire thing really artfully).

I think it doesn't get better than Yatzer, and this is the blog that Kanye West's blog is always ripping off. So I say, go to the source.

Colette hands down has been my favorite for almost two years now. A year ago I bought a really cool pair of Nikes at the Paris store that were high-tops and bright blue and had a peacock design on them and then two months later they were in New York magazine. So I felt cool. And then when I saw what the price was in New York, I felt way stupider.

Also, Refinery29 does a nice job, with lots of updates and stuff all about New York. Hey, this is what being a girl means. We look at clothes the way boys look at boobs.

I've been cheating for over a year by posting stuff by these guys when I want to get a blog post out but don't want to write, because I just can't get enough of them. I think their earlier stuff was way better, but what are you gonna do. Now they are pretty popular and have gotten kind of over the top. Scroll down to New Web Design for the recent best, or search for my personal favorites like Lunch Meeting, Sunglasses and "Canada".

Any episode of this is pretty much guaranteed to make me laugh until I have tears in my eyes. Oh the Michael Cera one is pretty darn good.

Photography and Other Art
I'm way late to the party but Tim Barber of Tiny Vices Tiny Vices is my latest art-crush. Though honestly the site is pretty hard to navigate if you are looking at it for the first time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Best Photography Ever Seen By The Art World

At brunch yesterday, my friend shared with me the following pictures of her sister-in-law, who is a really talented and innovative photographer but who has been forced into a mall portrait job because of a school situation at the moment. These are the pictures she takes in between screaming little kids.

They are amazing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Me, My Fatal Flaw

My best friend and I are full of revelations, she says to me our good qualities all come with a bad side, she said she put me as the person who inspires her most when pressed and it was good that she said so over the phone, because my mouth hung open and I didn’t want to get bleary-eyed in front of her, and then she told me more.

She said she never knew anyone in the world who was a both a dreamer and a doer until me, that we’ll have a conversation so outlandish that it will of course just be for fun, and then all of a sudden I’ve emailed the publisher of a magazine I want to write for, solicited an agent, had that difficult conversation, bought a plane ticket to Thailand or learned how to paint with oils. She says it astounds her sometimes, inspires her always. But the downside to this, and the downside to me cuts deeply.

Her anecdote was this. She said when we were at the zoo in Argentina last April, that even though we were exhausted and not feeling well and did not have the time, I insisted we keep walking, even did it without her, leaving her at the side of the path, because there was an exhibit of cheetahs that I had seen many times elsewhere in the world, but never in this place, and I had to see it here, in Argentina. Even if the cheetahs were sleeping, out of sight, even if it was too crowded. Even if the exhibit itself was closed. She said I made sense to her then.

Because she finally understood, she said, that I could never, would never, leave a stone unturned. I could never be in and out with the greatest hits, the top ten lists, the recommendation without the exhaustive research and the hours and hours of brain power, thinking, ruminating, running hard until there was no more light and no more breath in my lungs. She said my fatal flaw is that I have no fear but one: that I am deep down quite afraid that I will not have squeezed out every last ounce in my life upon my death, that I will not experience everything that I dream to hold and this is what may paralyze me if I ever slow down long enough to let it creep up. This is what keeps me successful at some things, intriguing to people, infuriating and bouncing off the walls to others, and keeps me from sleeping because I will not miss a minute of my life.

My fatal flaw is essentially who I am and what makes my brain and my soul shaped as they are. My fatal flaw is my unrelenting fire, the knots in my neck, the list scrawled on my hand, the worn out soles of my flapping Converse and my empty stomach and my red eyes and my ideas that could fly off the pages if I stare at them long enough.

My fatal flaw is me. I don’t regret it yet. And I never want to.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Belle Laide

He showed up ostensibly to just say hi, in the middle of the evening, the lamp dim, the air full blast cold, our feet bare and barely clean.

He came to check in, up and down, and though I’ve been tired and on my own sort of weak-hearted bender, really I’d like to think it might have been to see if I still looked the same, had the same lilt, smelled like flowers, felt soft to the touch and still had a bony back, whatever it is that boys think of girls that they lose. And I had that new mix, all that old French rap, and clean sheets and he had cloudy sky slits for eyes and I missed him even as he was there, a whisper ghost with longish hair, longer than it should have been in a week’s time and the same familiar shirt, and I feel perennially as though I will wade through water instead of air forever if I have to, because I don’t know what I want but I do, I don’t know how to help those who also don’t know, and it struck me that there are so many people out there to love, so many people who are right in some ways and completely wrong in others and it never stops any of us from fusing with them anyway.

And it was one of those rushes that keeps pushing, to a thumping soundtrack and to a barely babbling conversation, brain and brook, we had these needs, and only if we had screwed up more, for real, could we be mad, could we take it all away. Tough enough as it is, and it’s all our own undoing. We knew it. We did it anyway. We anticipated the end as soon as we heard the starting shot and just leapt. Shit. It was stupid. It was ugly. As belle laide as Marc Jacobs aims.

Because you can’t start over when you never really began. You can’t heal when the wound was imparted by your own thoughtless hand. We wanted to conduct. We wanted to gesticulate and scream, talk nonsense, skip over cars, laugh too loud. We did that. We did it too much and to little end. Let’s play, we thought. But playing isn’t real. In context yes, but in the rest of this mess, play is escape, and there is no escape from New York.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Quote of the Day

Deputy Editor: Listen to this band, and tell me what you think. There are no right or wrong answers.

(Shuffling of keys and iPod earbuds)

Me: Huh. I think I need to listen to them more to really get it, but I like the second track better.


Me: I feel like I'm watching the The Dark Crystal for the first time.


Me: This is like the soundtrack to all those 80s cartoons where ponies lived on barren moons or something.

Deputy Editor: You just got hired to write the piece if you want it. Seriously.

I. Love. This. Magazine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Motherf*cking Fashion Week

So there's that restaurant assigned incredibly late that's due tomorrow, my bankcard's been lost and I'm living off of credit, the jagged yet nebulous state with an offending friend, that soft and safe relationship to get over, waiting on a final no from a job answer that's months in the making so that I can finally say yes to the other opportunity that wants to pay me money (but then I'll be locked in), too much partying, too much sleep, not enough food, not enough gym, and above all, not trying to jump from one comfort to another, just to be comforted.

And on top of that it's m-f*cking Fashion Week and I just got my assignment schedule.

Right now, I miss Guatemala...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's That Time Again

Fall, all faded pictures and new beginnings, makeups and breakups, chills, stacks of papers, sweater weather and a feeling of anticipation. Something is inherently sad about becoming new. Something is inherently cliche about being sad.

Inevitable as it is.

Only red and orange leaves, falling over in a pumpkin patch and jugs of cider can help me now...

The mood waxes and wanes more than a lunar cycle, I've got these concert tickets in hand, I've got a lightness now on my shoulders but the heart's a little heavier and I wonder, even if it was fun, fantastic, are experiences just wastes of time when they don't particularly pan out, a few months have gone by and you haven't really changed, you loved, you didn't lose, you just were.

And you still are you.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New York is a Playground

Where else can you stay up until 7 in the morning on a Sunday? Walk through Brooklyn and see jaunty, quintessential fashion plates who truly believe what they are wearing is street-appropriate and--surprising of all--new? Order delivery of drugs and Thai food twenty four hours a day? Date someone 20 years your senior or junior and not have anyone bat an eye? Have a party celebrating an "idea" for a gallery that has not even truly been conceptualized yet?

I stayed up way too late last night and this post is barely formed, but something, it's something enough to start. It's Disney-esque around here. It's Never-Never Land, and we don't exactly have any adults telling us we've got to grow up. And then someone says we're the adults, we're supposed to be telling each other or at least ourselves on this very fact, but that someone is a little voice in our head which we are able to quash with another cocktail and glittering party, and all of a sudden you wake up and you're 25, 35, and you don't understand what anyone around you is saying because they're speaking in pwning and apparently there are bands that are hugely popular wearing shirts of times you actually remember the first time they were in style and you shake your head and go, this is the fountain of youth in many respects. But to what end?

New York is the fountain of youth. We can bathe in it, drink it (and I bet it tastes like chocolate milk, right?) and splash each other with it, as another summer comes to pass, and the grind is what it is, and those bar, flesh, name-dropping distractions from the grind turn into the bigger grind itself, I wonder, why do we want to stay young and in a playground? I am too big for the monkey bars, I can fly by them way faster than the other kids, but that's because I'm not a kid, not like that any more. Of course it's easy for me, it's not challenging, and therefore it's boring. I don't want to wait for the other kids to figure out that you have to pump and swing to get across. You can tell them all that you have to offer, but they have to fall off and tear their skinny jeans and their palms to understand it for themselves first.

I remember because my older friends tried to tell me. But no, I knew it all, I was the smartest person in the world, I was deep, man, and I could handle it. Right. Only after a few scars did I really get it.

I want a roller coaster where you have to be "this tall" to ride, "this age" to ride.

That's what I want, not Disneyland, I want Universal Studios, please.