Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009


TRAVOLTA?! WILLIAMS?! TOGETHER? What a dream come true. These two hirsute behemoths colliding on celluloid will be unlike anything we've seen outside of Bear porn. But why did they get that little otter Seth Green to fill out the third role when they know that it should have been me? Look how well I fit into this poster:

Uncanny, isn't it? Our movie would be amazing: it could be about how Robin, after ODing on freebase, enlists the help of the Scientologists to save his life with their famous rehab program which has kept Travolta alive for many years despite the fact that he eats nothing but deep-fried heroin. They agree under the condition that Robin will star, alongside Travolta and an animatronic Renee Zelwegger in a series of films based on popular blogs, with all the proceeds going to the Church of Scientology. I am brought in as a technical consultant, but sparks fly on set as these twin titans of film comedy vie for my friendship and loyalty. This leads to an escalating prank war between Williams and Travolta, culminating in a disastrous ill-fated prank that shorts out the Zelwegger-bot and blinds Patton Oswalt. After this, the heads of the studio put the film on hiatus and send us all on a trust-building road trip into Southern California, where we all learn valuable life lessons working alongside Mexican migrant workers on a grapefruit farm. Pixar could CGI little faces onto the grapefruits!
Someone greenlight this shit!

Lilly Thai

My search for authentic Thai in Williamsburg took me down to Lilly Thai on Grand St. for a solo lunch. I had an inkling that I had found my place when, after the first course's authentically trashy iceburg salad with anemic tomatoes and thick peanut sauce, they brought out a slightly spicy, not gloopy, complex-tasting pad thai with a nest of carved vegetables on top. Yes, the shrimps were a bit dubious, but that didn't really bother me.

My suspicion that this place was the real deal was further bolstered by the caddy of lovely, colorful homemade condiments that came out when I asked for chili sauce. But this suspicion was not fully realized until I heard the Scorpions in full-on balladry mode on the house stereo- "Still Loving You" followed by "Always Somewhere"... thats when I truly felt like I was back in Thailand.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Liquid Breakfast

Lee and Tessa both had novel breakfast beverage recipes to offer the other morning: Lee was making espresso in a stovetop espresso pot and foaming milk like this: heat it in a pot on the stove, gently so it doesn't burn. Add maple syrup and scrape in fresh vanilla. Once it's hot enough, put it into a french press and agitate it with the press until foams up. Add that to a half cup of espresso. The foam on these was so thick it looked like meringue.
Tessa was serving what apparantly is a pretty common drank in Europe: Looza Banana nectar with San Pelligrino. I had never heard of bottled banana juice, and the idea of mixing it with bubbly water sounded kind of wrong, but on ice and especially mixed with some more of that real South Indian vanilla scraped into it, it turned out to have an appealing creamy/bubbly interplay, like a banana flavored egg cream.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saigon Bahn Mi

It seems like NYC's latest ethnic food craze is for Bahn Mi, the cheap Vietnamese baguette sandwich. Five years ago everyone seemed excited about Pho when it comes to Vietnamese or they had just discovered Ethiopian food or something. Once these sandwiches were only for Vietnamese immigrants and punks with no money who knew a spot in Chinatown. Now Bahn Mi places are popping up all over (there are two new ones on St. Marks alone) and I'm sure prices for them are going up and quality is falling off.
Chris' boy Eddy took us to what I'm sure is one of the best, most authentic places in the city, surprisingly close to the epicenter of the Broadway fashion and retail maelstrom in which he works. Saigon Bahn Mi had the air of a seasoned local legend that had not lost it's magic. Aside from the sandwhiches they offered a deli case full of intriguing take-out items and snacks that must look like home to a Vietnamese immigrant.
We went for the #1 classic Bahn Mi with grilled, five-spice scented sweet pork, thick slices of bologna-like Vietnamese mystery meat, picked vegetables, fresh cilantro and slices of cucumber and (optional) raw chili peppers. At 4 something they were not as cheap as the skimpy, virtually free versions we used to get in Chinatown Philly, but they were beefy and still well priced considering the inflation in the surrounding neighborhood.

The baguette was fresh and crusty, the vegetables redolent of fish sauce and oily rock sugar, the pork was caramelized and moist, the raw chili stung when you bit into one. A perfect sandwhich.

Can't Tell Me Nuthin

I made up E-holiday greeting cards early this year:
upload pictures

Keep it Goin Louder

Another Eric Wareheim video for Major Lazer- At this point I'm really not sure if he's helping or hurting their brand with this kind of madness:

I'd say this previous treatment was a bit more respectful to the vocalists:

Anyway in both Nina Sky is hella cute, and also why does Switch not show his pale boozy face in either?

BTW, If you're interested in this track, this might be the one:
Major Lazer feat. Ricky Blaze & Nina Sky - Keep It Goin' Louder (So Shifty 1961 Ska Remix) by So Shifty

Summer Flashback part 1.

Am I tripping or was I recently at a beach party with a whole fish wrapped in bacon?

And Liam may have been slinging sous-vide pork-skin sliders with butternut squash puree, heirloom tomatoes, some kind of crumbly white cheese and homemade buns.

And if I'm not mistaken I then DJed reggae and dancehall for like 8 hours for a bunch of Jamaicans while I was close to blacked out, screaming stuff like "'Vado AGAIN! The Gully God is in the building!" and "Kartel de Teacher! GAZA represent!" all off of two Iphones and a battery-power subwoofer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nha Toi

Chris and I went to this little Vietnamese place, Nha Toi , which translates to "My House", and this proved to be a very appropriate name. It was basically like being in the living room of the chef/owner, a young Vietnamese-American guy, who was playing chess at the table next to us, only jumping up to help in the kitchen when he noticed that one of our meals was taking 20 minutes longer to come out than the other one.

Meanwhile they were projecting a movie over our heads and the owner's mom was standing behind us, totally absorbed in the movie and screaming at the screen. It was something suspenseful about a wrongly accused man being sent to the gas chamber, and as the poison traveled down the I.V., closer and closer to the man's innocent veins, the lady was shouting "No! No! Save Him! Why Can't They DO Something?!" as if she were watching a real execution on a close circuit monitor.

I would guess that she often reacts to movies like that from the way the owner, who was now in the kitchen, called out wearily "Mom, please! Not tonight. People are trying to eat!" It was a little more awkward intimacy than I usually like with my noodles, but the food was fresh and tasty.

The fried spring roll were just as they should be: like plump little skinless loose sausages of pork and shrimp wrapped in homemade skins, fried black in some places and served with crisp lettuce to wrap them in and funky, pungent and sweet nuoc nam dipping sauce. The Pork Pho was not spectacular, though, I would have liked some more aromatics and richness to the broth. Maybe I should have gone with a traditional beef pho. Chris got a vegetarian pho which he declared "fresh tasting" despite being slightly "salty"- which is like a 7.5 for him.

Biproducts of the Bad

Simone Siegel's prints and artstuff. Lovely business.

Can't afford to <3

This stencil hits too close to home.

Young Coconut

One of the upscale "bodegas" on Bedford below where I'm living is run by South Indians who offer healthy foods, vegan fake meats, and best of all, cold young coconut that they will crack open with a machete for you and insert a straw for sippin'. 3 dollars is certainly the most I've ever paid for a coconut, but its well worth it to be able to carry it upstairs and chill on the fire escape with one of the world's greatest beverages.

3AM Doner Kebab

File this under: poor life choices. I went to the new Doner Kebab place on Bedford on my way home at 3AM. I wanted to try it after reading a good review in the Villiage Voice, and also Doner is one of the best drunk foods ever, that is why it is ubiquitous in late-night party towns like Berlin and Barcelona.

The review I had read said to go with the chicken kebab, as the doner itself was frighteningly close to lamb spam. But, they also offered a mixed kebab, and when given the option to get more than one thing "mixed", I am powerless to resist.

Alarm bells should have rung when the owner said "You should see the meat on Wednesday when it arrives, it's like 150 pounds! Right now we are down to the last bits." As I was pondering the implications in that statement, I failed to notice that the Kebab master was forgoing the chicken entirely and loading my sandwich up with grey meat product.

I didn't notice this until I brought the thing home, and at that point there was nothing to do but wolf it down. The spam comparison was valid, but my real problem was that the doner meat was so laden with slightly rancid grease that it tasted to me like catfish. The bread and toppings were all decent, and I'm sure if I go back for a chicken kebab I'll be much happier, but eating this sandwich "haunted" me all the next day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Golden Curry w/ Che-Wei

Japanese curry is not a food I've really been aware of, but my friend Che-Wei helped me out with that recently.
I had seen these Japanese curry boxes next to the Pocky before but I didn't know they were good for anything but having really hot embossed gold letters. Che-Wei's involved eggplant and tofu, was mild and wholesome tasting.
BTW, the hometowns represented at this curry summit were Monterrey, Montreal, Taipei/Tokyo, and Truro.

A Love Letter for You.

It looks like ESPO has used West Philly as the forum for an elaborate marriage proposal or something. These murals are heartwarming. They were all made along the Market-Frankfort line so I like to imagine that his dream jawn must have grown up with him in Overbrook and now rides the train every day to some corporate Center city job, on which she will see these:

A Love Letter For You

Urban Outfitters or Diesel would be paying him a fortune for devoting this kind of time and effort into guerrilla marketing and typeface styling for them, but instead he's getting payed by the city of Philadelphia to spread <3.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Please Be Advised

This was up at the Laundromat near my house:

What do you think has caused this profusion of Thongs and G-strings? Has there been an influx of Strippers and Russian girls?

This sign also makes me think: Job Opportunity! I should hang my own sign underneath it: "Are You Need of a G-String Folda?"

Pesto Omelettes w/ Micheal

Michael Stuetz has been a great help in my move to New York- not just giving me work renovating the basement of his house in Williamsburg, but providing plenty of cold beer and cooking awesome meals like this breakfast: Pesto omelets with sauteed spinach served with Onion toast. Also pictured: Melinda's hot sauce, which was decently spicy and so chunky you could barely get it out the bottle, and an awesome throwback cap that Michael won at bingo!Michael had been expounding on his hatred of omelets filled with raw vegetables and took this opportunity to demonstrate: "You gotta cook the shit first!" Note the breakfast beer.

Thai Cafe, Greenpoint

My quest for authentic Thai near my house took me this time to the creatively named Thai Cafe in Greenpoint.

I had Tom Yung Goong, which was mostly raw white button mushrooms. This tactic is not entirely inauthentic, cheap places in Thailand sometimes do the same.

I was happy to see that they offered that most Thai of lunches, perhaps my favorite meal in the world when done right: Som Tam with Chicken and sticky rice. This meal is best enjoyed on the street in Bangkok, bought from two seperate vendors who each have mastered their respective crafts of hacking up green papaya and frying or barbequeing chicken. Here at Thai Cafe the Chicken was served baked with a lime-spice coating which made the plate more like a homestyle American meal. It's interesting how a small twist like that, and a bit of loss-in-translation on the Papaya salad can bring this meal very close to the Southern plate it would most resemble: Chicken with Cole Slaw and a starchy side. Not exactly what I had come for, but I was not mad at it.

Rivers and Tides

Yesterday it was rainy and all about this movie about the land artist Andy Goldsworthy- Rivers and Tides: Working with Time

It made me think about how at their purest form, art and spirituality can be the same exact thing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New mix- Feels So Good to be Back

So Good to be Back Nov 09 by White Animal

New Mix recorded live.
I'm on my UK shit here- I made like I was auditioning for a opening slot at a dodgy club below a chip shop run by Afghanis.

Beyonce- Sweet Dreams (2-step edit)
Kesha- Tic Toc (Untold Dub)
Florence and the Machine- Raise it Up (Switch Remix)
R Kelly- Number One (So Shifty UK Funky remix)
Jack Penate- Today's Tonight (TLBG remix)
Kid Sister- Right Hand Hi (Kingdom Remix)
DJ POLstyle- Fearless Vampire Killers (DJ Donna Summer Remix)
Little Boots- Earthquake (Club Remix)
B.E.P.- Meet me Halfway (Richard Vission remix)
David Guetta feat. Akon- Sexy Bitch
MIke Posner- Cooler than Me (Gigamesh remix)
Micheal Jackson- You are not Alone/Bag Raiders- Shooting Stars (Viking and CJ Milli blend)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Apple Store

The new Apple store on the upper West Side is a glass envelope that looks like this:

I'm seeing some blatant religious iconography here. Have they outed themselves as a new religion yet, or are they letting temples like this do the talking? Mainly I think its just that glowing apple in the sky, it reminds me of the glowing Grail in the sky in Monty Python and the..., which is pretty secular for a religious touchstone, but highly appropriate for Apple: they provide metaphysical awe for nerds.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Animal Blanco- Back by Popular Demand

Is there anything more hood than Cam'ron, looking blazed and rapping inchoherently in a Popeyes while eating Chicken and talking about how many chicks he pulls?

Clipse feat. Cam'ron- Back by Popular Demand

Anna Maria Pizza

The Pizza place directly downstairs from my current, tenuous location on Bedford ave is RIDICULOUS! Anna Maria Pizzeria is fundamentally sound traditional NY Pizza made by Mexicans who have no qualms about straying from tradition. Thus, while you can get a great basic cheese or Margarita slice, I'm always distracted by one of the 20 other slice pies that they have going at and given time, things like lasagna pizza, chicken caesar salad pizza, spicy Mexican jumpoffs with avocado, roasted eggplant and sausage, etc. And these slices, which are about 3.50$, are enormous and piled high with fresh, high-quality ingredients. I am no expert on New York pizza, but so far this place is my hands-down favorite. The pizza is so good that despite the fact that the bar across the street, The Charleston, gives away free pizza when you order a beer, I would still cross the street and pay for pizza from Anna Maria's.

Plus, the gueyes behind the counter are wicked funny, they get endless amusement from fucking with all the drunk hipsters that come in. One guy, every time some elfin hipster waif girl will order one enormous slice will say "You want THREE of those?!", while the other guy will confound stoned people by asking "You want that for here or to stay?".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Greenpoint Red Borscht

I've been walking up to Greenpoint a lot. I like to see all the middle-aged Polish hardmen walking around with a thousand-yard stare like they have had to do unspeakable things to get this far and will not think twice about crushing your larynx with one of their labor-ready paws if they see you even think about looking at the apple-bottom part of the stretch jeans that the twenty year old Polish jawn they are with is poured into.

It's kind of like something out of this video (NSFW):

Greenpoint is also good for cheap Polish food. This was probably the cheapest meal I've had in New York: a lunch of Red Borcht, to go, eaten on the street, totally satisfying: One dollar and Seventy-five cents American.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chai Home Kitchen

All these cute, trendy Thai cafes in Williamsburg are a lot like the trendy, cute cafes in Bangkok or Chiang Mai: nice decor and hit-and-miss food.
Chai Home Kitchen looks nice, the Thai girls up front were cute and super-nice, and the lunch special certainly was cheap, but not certainly special.
They were using Chinese rice- not Jasmine, which is the first sign that a Thai place is cutting corners, and the Spicy Basil Chicken had far too much slimy overcooked green onion.
Definitely cheap enough to not regret too much. I might even try again for a noodle dish sometime, but overall wasn't too impressed: