August 11, 2010

1LOVE: Brooklyn

Not sure why there’s so much Williamsburg because he lives in Fort Greene…

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April 20, 2010

Lunch: Meat Hooked Edition

I’m becoming one of them.


Monday’s lunch: Ridgewood garlic sausage (from Choice Greene) with caramelized shallots and garlic and sautéed kale rabe over tri-color orzo (a variation on a theme). The sweet/salty sausage + shallots played nicely with the slightly-overblanched-yet-still-delicious rabe (the stalks are pretty similar to the broccoli relative, while the leaves are more kale-esque), but I was disappointed in the pasta—it could’ve used more butter and maybe a bit of kick from a wacky spice such as cumin or even just some cayenne pepper. In any case, the dish would probably have been perfect with a liberal topping of shaved romano.


As per the title of the post, I finally managed to make it up to Williamsburg’s newest one-stop foodie outpost the Meat Hook last week, where my friend Lila happens to be produce manager. She hooked me up with said kale rabe, pea shoots and a mesclun mix from Lancaster, PA, while ‘rockstar butcherTom Mylan himself provided a nice chunk of fresh [pork] belly.


I consumed it in taco form, since I finally got my hands on a tortilla press (also from the Meat Hook… why don’t I just marry it, I know). Fucking delicious.


Bonus video:

via Pulp

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April 18, 2010

Yr City's a Sucker


Last week, the NYC media was abuzz about New York Magazine‘s recent report on our great city’s most livable neighborhoods, a “quantitative index of the 50 most satisfying places to live,” complete with an interactive neighborhood ranking feature. Statistician Nate Silver of  weighted and rated each neighborhood against a dozen criteria, from practical concerns like affordability, transit and schools to a full range of cultural factors (Silver explains in more detail on his own blog).

via Very Small Array

Semi-relevant humorous graphic via Very Small Array

Park Slope takes first, followed by the Lower East Side and (surprise?) Sunnyside, Queens. My own ‘hood, Fort Greene, is 18th, representing a purportedly objective improvement over my previous home in Williamsburg (20th), though adjacent neighborhoods such as Prospect Heights and Greenpoint (which apparently did not lose points for prevalent vinyl siding) place ninth and fifth, respectively. The fact that half of the top ten is within the two miles east of my current home is an obvious testament to the city’s density—a 30-minute walk (or 5-minute bike ride) in any direction takes me across up to five distinct neighborhoods—while the disparity in ranking suggests that even adjacent blocks may be worlds apart.


Conversely, I find that ethnographic data is perhaps more telling than the pseudo-scientific approach. While it’s hard to draw grand conclusions from a 5,000-person poll (conducted in conjunction with Silver’s number-crunching), I tend to think that these pithy gems constitute a more accurate snapshot of present-day New York than the algorithmic approach. (There are too many fun facts to list here; I recommend viewing it for yourself.)

In any case, the content and information design is well-executed, though I wish gave the option to view full articles as a single page (and, similarly, view all of the comments at once as well). Technical issues aside, I’m impressed with the depth and breadth of the content: as a conscientious urbanite, I am fascinated by both the social and cultural dynamics of city life and the concept of conurbation.

Lots of words with no images: Read the rest of this entry »

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April 7, 2010





















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March 2, 2010

Hasidic Holiday

This Young Hasid demonstrates a finer command of irony than most neck-tattooed hipster. Plenty more at Vice.

Plenty more at Vice.

This past Sunday was Purim, a Jewish holiday that includes costumes. If you’ve spent any amount of time in northwest Brooklyn, you’ve probably encountered pockets of Hasidic Jews, predominantly in the area between the Williamsburg Bridge and Flushing Ave (where the above photo was most certainly snapped).

It’s hard to deny the stark contrast between the deeply conservative culture of Hasidic Judaism and the flippant liberalism of the Hipster Nation, yet both subcultures, at their core, are characterized by a strong sense of exclusivity and ideology.

I’ll stop short of an intrinsically misguided attempt at insight into the sociological significance of gentrification, religion and cultural identity; honestly, I just thought that it was a funny picture, especially for those of you who have been fortunate enough to have visited the mean streets of South Williamsburg. The Young Hasid apparently has a finer command of irony than many a neck-tattooed twenty-something bartender.


Picture from a Purim ad, via Hipsters and Hassids

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February 27, 2010

Still vs Moving

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February 3, 2010

Fuck the G Train

MTA Service Changes Poster - Fuck the G Train

Ok so that's laying it on a little thick, but I was pretty pissed.

Before we start, I should mention that I love New York for its extensive, 24-hour subway system (among other reasons). It certainly has its ups and downs, but the fact that you can go just about anywhere in four out of five boroughs (let’s face it, Staten Island shouldn’t count anyway) is really quite amazing.

cue extemporaneous rant

That said, Fuck the G Train.

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January 15, 2010


This detailed account of my Thursday is intended as a window into the life of someone who is currently “between jobs” (i.e. jobless—which is why I have all the time in the world to spend on my blog).

It’s pretty stupid and boring.

Honestly though, I don’t really know why I’m doing this—especially without photos, which might somehow justify the tedious and grossly underdeveloped prose. (It reads like something I would’ve written for a 9th-grade English class.) The closest approximation of a rationalization I can come up with is that I’d like to have some really terrible, shameful writing on the record to spite the rest of the content on my blog.

It’s also littered with hip NYC namedroppings and a cast of ancillary characters who barely qualify as devices. There is no symbolism or allegorical value to speak of. I’ve done my best to minimize foreshadowing… but that’s asking a lot and I’m not that good of a writer.

At best, it’s an exercise, an uncharacteristically intimate portrait of contemporary bohemia, largely unembellished albeit esoteric to the point of being skewed. At worst, it may be remembered as the first symptom of an otherwise untold descent into madness.

We’ll see how long it says online before I decide to delete it. (I’m tracking stats now so I’ll know exactly how many people clickthrough and read it.)

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January 8, 2010

Tomokazu Matsuyama

I’ve been following Tomokazu Matsuyama for almost a year now, ever since he was featured on the cover of Antenna magazine (PDF) in anticipation of a solo show at Joshua Liner Gallery last March. He’s back on the radar for a group show at the same gallery (opening this Saturday), as well as an upcoming solo show at San Francisco’s Frey Norris Gallery in February.

Matsuyama fuses an overtly traditional Japanese style with a contemporary graffiti- and comic-inspired aesthetic, featuring highly stylized figures rendered as flattened forms filled with seemingly arbitrary patterns. He has appropriated the color field to constitute pseudo-woodcut figures (or perhaps vice versa) in a supersaturated patchwork, recklessly cutting and pasting fauvist and abstract expressionist tropes into interlocking shapes. The result is visually stunning with obvious reference points while remaining accessible, if not altogether pop—his arsenal of patterns includes ben-day dots, stripes (à la Stella and jungle cats alike), and plaid, not to mention organic splatters—which belies the autobiographical subtext of confusion over cultural identity and the sense of displacement.

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