Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Return of New York circa 1979?

I was taking the Long Island Railroad the other day, and just as I was about to pull into the Jamaica station I saw the train car above!!! I got really excited because I have only ever seen an entire train car graffitied over in 70s and 80s movies of New York or in that book which came out a couple years ago.
I always thought that all of these new cars were "graffiti proof".
I also love the tag "Warship".
Maybe the economic downturn will bring about less funding for the MTA (wait that's already happened) and the city in general (that's happened too) and then the first thing they'll cut are the cleaning crews and then we'll have the delight of seeing these giant pieces all over again.
And then maybe there will be a crime spree and that'll scare off all of the freaking pansy ass frat boys and their falling-down-drunk bimbo girlfriends who don't belong in New York Fucking City.
Let me dream for a minute.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Turkey Burgers from Mar-a-Lago

Last summer I was at home watching tv, when I happened upon Oprah's summer favorite things. I don't really watch Oprah but the favorite things episodes are always pretty funny because the studio audience gets really crazy. Well, on that episode she had various portable fans and pareos and whatever, but the one thing that stuck out was the turkey burgers that she is obsessed with that she ate at Donald Trump's private club at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. In case you don't know, Mar-a-Lago is the Marjorie Merrieweather Post estate that Donald Trump has more recently turned into a fancy country club. Anyway, Oprah had Donald and his club's head chef on her show so he could make the burgers on the show. When O took a bite of that burger, her eyes were rolling up into her head and she was going to that special place that she (and others of us) goes to when she has achieved gastronomical nirvana. Well, I figured, "Bitch has eaten some burgers in her life, so this one must really be good."
Fast forward a year, we're going out to our share in Cherry Grove and it's our turn to cook and I remembered the Mar-a-Lago turkey burgers. Get the recipe here. They're a little labor intensive (as far as burgers go) and they have a few very specific ingredients (which I modified due to what I could find i.e. I didn't use Major Grey's Chutney I used Geeta's) but the result is truly out of this world! All of my friends were experiencing a similar eyes rolling into the head kind of reaction. We served the burgers with sliced avocado, bacon, mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and more chutney. No cheese needed. I believe 5 of us had second burgers.
I've been asked to make them again next weekend, and this time to make a double batch. Nuff said?

Friday, June 26, 2009


He really meant so much to so many people for such a long time.
I remember when my sister was two my parents bought her the Thriller album and I just remember her hugging it and hugging it (the album) because she loved MJ so much. He was one of the last living true pop (in every sense of the word) global sensations.

This following clip is from the "Bad" tour (1987-88), which is the only time I saw him live and it's one of my favorite songs, "Heartbreak Hotel" which was part of the Jacksons reunion Victory.

The sheer talent:

The outfit! How cute was he? But now I'm really making myself sad.

And for those that think that MJ didn't do anything in the last 15 years, here's a fantastic song from 1995, with a video that got banned on MTV I believe. God bless French TV.

This Woman

I was leaving work today and this woman was standing outside of the building handing out Mike Bloomberg for mayor flyers.

She seemed to be of some Eastern European descent (I could tell by her accent when she handed me the flyer and said "Take one please for Mike Bloomberg." I asked her if I could take her picture, "Oh yes, thank you!" After I took my two shots she came up close to me and said, "Maybe you can change the mouth?" as she was pointing at her lips. I was confused and asked her what she meant and she said, "You know, like re-touch."

Um... Why would I ever re-touch this gorgeousness? She's kind of my hero.
I've always said that when I reach a certain age I am going to just wear WHATEVER I WANT all the time. What I mean is, at a certain point in your thirties and forties you kind of have to tone it down a bit because you're no longer a child. However once you reach kooky senior citizendom then you can wear chaps with a mohair sweater and it's fine because you're an old person.

But I digress...

Just please take a full look at her outfit: a red and blue lamé robe held together by a bedazzled 8th Street belt (is that a G buckle for 8th Street Gucci?), red plastic squared off aviators, a black flapper style headband with a black feather side pouf...and yes she's got on a sort of Broadway dance shoe (the kind Juliet Prouse wore in the later years. Cyd Charisse etc.) and a pair of flannel (? it was 86 degrees today, and humid!!) palazzo pants underneath? BUT, of course, the most important thing is her choker. Zoom in on that shit. IT'S A REAL APPLE. With a round of fishing wire keeping it around her neck? Stellar.

I wish my girl here (I'm going to call her Klara) was running for mayor. I need more of her in New York. She is hott.

I want to find her again. I didn't ask her name.

Here's my second shot:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Every once in a while I go through the notepad on my Blackberry and find names of bands or albums that I heard and notated at some point. A couple of months ago I found the word Ssion. When I googled the word, I found it was a band from Kansas City and I went on to listen to what has become one of my favorite albums in a long time: Fool's Gold (it's available on iTunes which is the only way I buy music). I know...it came out over a year ago. But it's new to me and is my current summer anthem album. It's so gay. I love it.
I hear they're really good in concert, and they're touring with Fischerspooner this summer.
Anyway, needless to say, I'm obsessed. So if you don't know them, have a look-see/listen.

My friend David (no, not that David) turned me on to their videos which are equally amazing.

Here's one of my favorite songs which is the last song on the album Fool's Gold (how often do you get to the last song on an album and LOVE it as much as the rest of the album? Not that often). It's called Heaven:

Also check out their cover of Nightclubbing:

And, of course, Street Jizz, please listen to the words! Hilarious!

I'm dying to see them. I can't figure out if they're coming to New York again soon. If anyone knows, tell me.

Iris Strubegger

I first remember noticing Iris when she opened the Spring/Summer 2008 Dries Van Noten show. That was almost two years ago now. But this year she got her hair cut.
I know, a million people have written about her. There's even an article about her and her new haircut in the new American Vogue. So I'm totally late to jump on the Iris bandwagon but I've been thinking more about what I like about women's fashion lately and I've been trying to find a model for a shoot I'm about to do for a really cool Spanish magazine and I decided that the perfect model for that shoot was Iris. I guess I was living in la-la land that her agency would let her do a shoot for an indie Spanish magazine. She's already done the cover of March French Vogue and is in the Fall/Winter Givenchy campaign, both shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and now the entire main collections story in July American Vogue shot by David Sims, with just Karlie Kloss and her in it. (Sidenote: I think American Vogue is looking pretty great lately, am I crazy?)

I really want to get her in a shoot of my own soon. That certain Bowie-esque androgyny with a touch of Weimar-era beauty channeled through the 80s. Unbelievable. I don't know what else to say except that she may be my favorite model since Linda Evangelista.

Here are some more images of her.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hot Doug's

Today was my last day in Chicago and on my way to the airport, with my mom and my yiayia (that's grandma in greek), we made a stop at Hot Doug's for the second time since I had come to town on Wednesday. Let me rewind.
On Wednesday I came to Chicago for my sister's engagement party and on the way from the airport my sister asked me if I wanted to go anywhere. I said that I was hungry and to make a long story short she ended up suggesting that we go to this place called Hot Doug's,the current king of all things sausage in Chicago. Quite a title in a city so obsessed with "encased meats".

We got there and at 3pm on Wednesday there was a line out the door and around the corner. We waited for 30 or 40 minutes in total. Inside you get the menu on the wall. You can pick from 11 different kinds of regular dogs (Chicago-style hot dog, fire dog, andouille, italian sausage, polish sausage, bratwurst, chicken sausage, veggie dog, thuringer sausage, corn dog, and veggie corn dog). Those regular dogs you can get (and should get) with everything which means mustard, relish, grilled onion, chopped tomato, dill pickle and celery salt on poppy seed bun made in heaven. And then there's a list of about 12 special dogs. Everything from a spinach and feta loukaniko (greek sausage) with skordalia on it, to a garlic lovers pork and garlic sausage, and a cherry pork sausage, the aformentioned foie gras dog, etc, etc. They all have funny names too.
Oh, and they have hand cut fries which on Fridays and Saturdays they fry in rendered duck fat.

On my first visit on Wednesday my sister and I ordered:
A Keira Knightley which is a Red Hot with everything, a regular dog with everything, and a Van Johnson which was a fennel and Jack Daniels pork sausage with piquillo pepper mustard and cubed spicy nettle cheese on top. Also we got a large order of cheese fries with the cheese on the side.

Holy shit. It was fucking amazing.

So I knew that I would have to bring David when he came to Chicago Saturday morning, since sausage and rendered duck fat are two of his favorite things. When we got there on Saturday from the airport the line was estimated at 2 hours long and unfortunately we couldn't wait since we had errands to run before my sister's party. So I vowed to come back before I left on Monday.

This morning, leaving about two and a half hours till my plane was leaving, we go to Hot Doug's and the line was around the block again but we decided to sweat it out. 50 totally worthwhile minutes later we ordered:
Doug's BLT dog which is a bacon sausage (BACON SAUSAGE!!!!!) with avocado mayonnaise, shredded iceberg and quartered cherry tomatoes. I DIED.
The Keira Knightley again with everything.
My mom got the Pete Shelley which is a veggie dog, with everything. And we got my yiayia the Elvis Presley which is a Polish Sausage, with everything. And a large fry.

When my mom had her first bite of my BLT dog she said, "That's the best thing I've ever eaten." She is the president of E.A. (Exaggerators Anonymous) but she has a point. That dog was epic.

I'm going to stop writing about Hot Doug's now. I would be obese if I lived in Chicago because I would eat at Hot Doug's everyday. It makes me think too much of This is Why You're Fat. I NEED TO GO JOGGING TOMORROW!

You should most definitely go to Hot Doug's if and when you're in Chicago. You'll be obsessed too.

Here are some shots of the inside. Check out the quote on the wall!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cool New Architecture in Chicago

Like I mentioned, I've been in Chicago this weekend for my sister's engagement party and as a bonus I got to see some amazing new architectural gems: The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago designed by Renzo Piano and the Burnham Pavillions designed by Ben van Berkel of UN Studio and Zaha Hadid.

The Burnham Pavillions
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Burnham master plan for Chicago and as a way of celebrating the event, major international architects Hadid and Van Berkel were asked to design temporary pavilions (similar in spirit to London's yearly Serpentine Gallery pavilions). The photo above is a picture of Ben Van Berkel's pavilion. It has these great undulating forms which blend from roof into walls into floor. In fact it resembles Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House but twisted and pulled like a piece of taffy. The holes in the roof offer surprising views of bits of the Chicago skyline and the delight on kids and adults faces as they slip and slide down it's undulating parabolas is pretty exciting.

I am disappointed however that the Zaha Hadid pavilion is not finished. Apparently it is because of the insane rain that has been hitting the city. I mean, to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Zaha's work (especially after the big toilet seat that was the Chanel pavilion) but I still would have liked to have seen it completed. Above are images of what the frame looks like now, unfinished, and a rendering of what it's supposed to look like finished.

The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago
Renzo Piano has become most famous for his museum work: the Pompidou in Paris, the Menil collection in Houston, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the High Museum extension in Atlanta, and the proposed downtown Whitney Museum in New York. Also a couple years ago his new New York Times building became the joy and bane of my working life, as I have a desk there for my job at the Times (joy because we have a great cafeteria and have natural sunlight and I no longer work in a windowless closet, bane because there are a lot of details that drive me crazy i.e. bright marigold yellow walls and light wood floors that get really dirty). However his new giant extension to the Art Institute of Chicago trumps all his previous projects that I have seen (at least in person). I think this building is truly elegant. With its filtered light and delicate columns that support a louvered roof the extension has more than doubled (I think) the space of the museum and has really put the Art Institute among the leading art museums in the country if not the world. I really like it. I could go on and on about the art (because they really have fantastic collection of post 1900 work and a totally respectable architecture and design collection) but you can also read Nicolai Ouroussoff's glowing review in the Times here. And here are some more of my photos.

I say, if you have a chance, get to Chicago and check it all out. And while you're there you can eat some hot dogs from tomorrow's post...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pimm's Cups

I first tried a Pimm's cup when I went to Wimbledon ten years ago by myself, bought a grounds ticket and got totally sloppy on a hill watching a jumbotron of a Centre Court match between Patrick Rafter and someone else (for you tennis geeks out there he lost to Sampras that year, I think Sampras was beating everyone at the time but Patrick Rafter was cute). And last year in Fire Island (and multiple times this year) my friend Vicky reintroduced me to the joys of Pimms. For those of you not aware, Pimms has two varieties that are generally available: No. 1 which is Gin based and No. 2 (?) which is vodka based. Well, No. 1 is the one that is mostly available in the U.S. I don't tend to like Gin (5 martinis, 19 years old, 2 hours, Fez, vomit) but this doesn't taste anything like it.
So I'm in Chicago and my mom is making desserts for my sister's engagement party tomorrow and I thought what better way to liven up the day than get some Pimm's and make some cups. My mom was skeptical. Then I sliced some cucumbers, some lemons, some mint threw them in a tall glass with some ice, poured a what looked like 2 shots in the glass and added some Fresca to it (I know it's supposed to be sprite or ginger ale but I didn't have any, I forgot). About half way through the first glass my mom turned to me and said "Um, this is delicious! I think I have a little buzz already. I want another one." The photo above is the end of both of our second pints. Obsessed. Thanks Vicky and Wimbledon!

For always and forever

Those of you that really know me, know that I have gone through some long periods of being totally obsessed with Days of Our Lives. Today I'm sitting at my mom's house in Chicago and since it has been a torrential, biblical downpour all day I turned on the tv to see how my favorite inhabitants of Salem are doing. It seems I haven't missed a day, although there have been some actors replaced and fired (no more Deidre Hall!) but essentially everything has stayed the same. The Dimeras are still out to get the Bradys, Hope Brady still looks like Skeletor and Jennifer Aniston's father is still a scheming rich Greek. Today is the wake of Sami's daughter Grace. The daughter she kept secret from her ex-lover/nemesis EJ Dimera who fathered the child. And, of course, as consistent as the characters are the four types of sets that they have on the show: the Brady family pub, the church (for weddings and wakes), the houses, and the hospital. Today all are being utilized except for the pub (all the Bradys are at the wake so the pub is closed I guess). So, for old time's sake, let's all raise a glass (while casting a sideways stink eye to your enemy of the day) to Days of Our Lives.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Haagen Dazs Five Ice Cream

So it hasn't really gotten warm yet (at least not in the northeast and midwest) but, for me, the first sign of summer is my almost daily craving for ice cream. For years I've been a buying all of those chunky flavors with the silly names, but a few weeks ago my colleague Alix turned me on to this new introduction from Haagen Dazs called Five. It's called five because all of the flavors literally have five ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, eggs and whatever the flavor is. The seven different flavors are vanilla bean, milk chocolate, ginger, mint, passion fruit, coffee and brown sugar. So, to be clear, the fifth ingredient in all of these flavors is the flavor itself (i.e. vanilla). There's no guar gum, there's no carageenan, there's no high fructose corn syrup, no maltodextrin, no preservatives, just the things you would put in ice cream if you had the time to make it yourself. Sidenote: I am a little disturbed with myself for knowing, off the top of my head, all of the weird ingredients in normal ice cream...but nevermind. So far I've tasted the vanilla, chocolate, ginger, coffee and brown sugar (Hey! I've been jogging! Shut it!). And I have to say that I like the vanilla and the chocolate the best. In fact the chocolate brings me back to what I remember ice cream tasting like when I was a kid. Who needs the chocolate covered, caramel filled, peanut butter flavored pretzels floating in malted brazil nut ice cream with a fudge brownie ripple when you can have the flavor of childhood?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Supporting Cast of Star Trek

Ok, I know, Star Trek's been out for over a month. But, to be honest, my love of science fiction only comes out with a few friends and really mostly when I'm on my own in a movie theater. Today I had the afternoon to myself and, before I went to get my haircut, instead of going back to Brooklyn, I went to see Star Trek at a 12:30pm screening at the Regal Union Square Cinemas. Now, I have to tell you, I saw all of the original William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy Star Trek movies and none of the others, so I was pretty excited. Plus everyone has been drooling over the leads Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto and it's directed by J.J. Abrams of Lost (yes I watch Lost). So I thought, "Fun action/science fiction movie, and a couple of hot guys equals pleasant afternoon." What I was not expecting is that I would be so into the supporting guys (and one girl). Let's go through them one by one:

1. John Cho - Probably the hottest Asian man on film ever. Period. As Sulu he has this really amazing sword fighting scene (with Chris Pine aka Captain Kirk) where he is also the first non-ninja, non-martial-arts Asian movie star ever. Hott. With two ts.

2. Karl Urban - My friend Kerry has been in love with the Kiwi Karl since his role as Eomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (did I mention that at the time those films came out I was living in London and came back to New York so that I could be here for the opening night performances? Nerd? Me?). I wasn't feeling his swarthiness in those films (I was way more into little Elijah) but now with the clean cut look he's sporting as Dr. McCoy, I say A+!

3. Anton Yelchin - First time seeing this little Russian newbie/twink (apparently he's also in the mega-flop Terminator Salvation), but I'm hoping this isn't the last. So cute and feisty as Chekhov! And the intense accent doesn't hurt. More Anton Пожалуйста.

And for those of you who like the ladies:

4. Zoë Saldana - I've loved her in so many movies I don't know where to begin. Oh, maybe I do: Center Stage. Love.

So, needless to say, I'm looking forward to a sequel.

Old Man Shoes

A bunch of friends and I are renting a house in Cherry Grove on Fire Island this summer. It is super chic in a way that only a shabby beach shack decorated by an old drag queen can be. White formica parsons table, faux white mantle, white upright piano, closet full of boas. Amongst the gems, I found of pair of shoes that I fell in love with and I started thinking about how much I love old man shoes. These particular ones are a really great mixture of styles. Shaped like an athletic slip-on, almost like a van but made out of a cottony (but surely synthetic) mesh upper, and a raffia-like faux-espadrille lower. These are really meant for wearing with a pair of Sansabelt shorts, a tucked in polo shirt and some flip-up sunglasses.

Inside we discover the terry cloth insole and the label, gold on black, Lites. I wish that the old queen who lived in my house wore my size in shoes because I would be wearing them around the city now. Obsessed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yellow Porsches

I know. Yellow is technically the classic Lamborghini color and Porsches are meant to be red or black, but I saw an early 90s yellow 911 convertible on 25th street yesterday and fell in love. I know it's impractical, not a hybrid, but it's not like I'm going to buy one. I just realized that the Twilight books feature a yellow Porsche in them. Hmmm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Little Boots!

My friend Anthony introduced me to British pop sensation Little Boots (aka Victoria Hesketh) last week and since then my obsession has started. Perhaps it's because I have a problem with Lady Gaga. Perhaps it's because I always liked an underdog (though I'm not sure I should call her an underdog considering she has collabos on her debut album with Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco, and PHIL OAKEY of HUMAN LEAGUE, hello). Or perhaps I just love a gay friendly dance track diva that makes me want to take my theoretical muscle-T off and spin it over my head while simultaneously freaking out on the dance floor. I think that's it.

Here's my favorite, right now: Remedy.

Get into it.

And another: Earthquake.

And then check out this video of Little Boots covering Hot Chip (in her home studio) on her Tenori-On. Cute!

Hello and welcome to my first post.

I've been meaning to start a blog for a while about the things I love or am obsessed with. I become obsessed quite regularly so, stay tuned.