Posts Tagged 'art'

Made in Canada

Someday, I hope to have a home (that I actually own, though right now it seems more likely that I’ll win the lottery — especially sad, given that I don’t even play the lottery) that is filled only with things made by my friends or by me. This weekend, on his trip down from Montreal, David made good on his end of our barter and put me a little closer to that goal. I have about five months to get him outfitted for next winter, since I couldn’t seem to get my knit on this past one.

But back to my pasta bowls: Beauties, aren’t they?

And best of all, because David knows me and knows food and knows how I like to roll, he cleverly placed a little divot at the bottom of each bowl to catch some extra sauce.

hodgepodge of goodness

I’ve recently had a flurry of food-related activities that I wanted to share with you all—a slice of the LA good life, if you will. In celebration of Kate’s birthday, Kristin and Debbie (of Evil Wives Productions) threw her a German-themed party, aka Katefest. Which included: four different kinds of tasty sausage including some spectacular weisswurst; red cabbage that transcended the category vegetable; imported sauerkraut; candied bacon (!); a Mar Vista caucus to determine whether Debbie’s German chocolate cake or Kristin’s Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was better; and rousing beer stein-holding competitions to see which graduate students could withstand the pain to achieve eternal fame and glory (i failed ignominiously). Good times, good people. I’m considering asking the Evil Wives for a North Korean party of my own.

Other good times with good people: my first trip to Din Tai Fung where I discovered that the soup dumplings I’ve had before were supersized; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s community weekend opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum where we felt like we were at Ikea (sorry Renzo) but were again moved by Richard Serra’s Band; and the return of porkday, this time featuring a tourtière wherein ground pork, beef, onions, various spices, and some leftover portobellos were browned, shoved into a pie-crust with some creative porcine venting, then shoved into an oven, and then shoved into our greedy mouths. Plans for a Melton Mowbray pork pie showdown are in the works.

p.s. Trader Joes has had a plethora of awesome packaged fruit, including freeze-dried mangosteen!

Another reason why I love New York

These guys were parked outside of Steven’s building a couple of weeks ago:

They explained about the garlic truck art installation (is it an installation if it’s mobile?) and gave me some garlic. I think this might be the farm the older dude runs, but I can’t be sure — the website’s a bit inscrutable.

Current obsessions, Canadian edition

I spent the weekend submerged in, surrounded and inundated by inspiration. I don’t know if it’s the independent-minded spirit of that big nation to the north or a certain DIY aesthetic, but this stuff is amazing:

Haida art. Check this, this, and this out. First saw it in Vancouver a few weeks ago and then again this weekend, and the images have been floating in my head ever since.
– Slightly related to the previous: Emily Carr.
Worn journal.
preloved. Specifically, my newly acquired fashioned-old-sweaters preloved fall wardrobe.
– the new Manu Chao album (which isn’t really Canadian in any sense, except that I heard a sick track off it blasting from the speakers of a record shop while I was walking down Mont Royal in Montreal this afternoon.)
Première Moisson, quite possibly the best bakery chain ever.

But more on Canadian gustatory delights tomorrow.

CSA share, week 3

This is for anyone who’s ever said to me, “I have no idea what’s in season when.” This is the best way to find out:

From left: napa cabbage, garlic scapes (foreground), mizuna, broccoli rabe, sugar snap peas (my favorite spring vegetable right now — and only because shelling peas are starting to get starchy), head lettuce.

[The new banner image, by the way, was hastily and half-assedly photoshopped from the hard-ground print I made last week at my printmaking class here, and you can see why I’m totally in love with this medium if you check out what I made today.]

City of angels (and bocce and beaches and burgers)

Spent last weekend in Los Angeles and messed around with the new camera. Four days in photos:

Venice beach.

The Getty.

Christmas pudding (always better aged and doused with custard).

In the UCLA sculpture garden.

At In-n-Out Burger: the double double animal style. With chocolate shake (not pictured, but happily eaten).

And at home:

Pasta with onions, kale, pecans, raisins and feta.

More on flickr.

Pimps of death

I went to the Glitter and Doom exhibit at the Met this morning (urged, as I was, by my drawing teacher, who said that I, specifically, would like this very much (and I did)). Beyond some really wonderful paintings and drawings by the likes of Max Beckmann and the hilarious Otto Dix (who would have been a pretty cool guy to hang out with, one gets the feeling), we noticed that some of these artists came up with great names for their works which would fit quite nicely as band or album names. The title of this post, for example — wouldn’t it be an excellent name for a twee Scottish indie pop band? The best, however, was “I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being the Master” (an album title, obviously), courtesy of the diabolical genius George Grosz.

fashion as art

in a move that can quite fairly be described as “selling out”, the MFA is presenting a fashion exhibit through march 18th featuring pieces from the paris collections of 10 top designers from 2006. andy and i went to see it this past weekend, and overall i found it to be a bit disappointing. in theory i have nothing against fashion as art, but my main complaint was a matter of expectation: the pieces just weren’t anywhere near as daring as many that i’ve seen. i appreciated the clean, cool beauty of a lot of the works, such as viktor & rolf’s and lagerfeld’s collections, but i’m much more interested in more modern takes, such as hussein chalayan’s work which included chair armrests on shoulders, or even galliano’s playful collection inspired by, among other things, the french revolution. all in all it makes for a pleasant afternoon, although don’t expect anything earth-shattering. here’s a link to the mfa’s page on the exhibit and the nytimes article (not review) about it.

one other quickie: momofuku ando, the man who the world is forever indebted to for having invented ramen, died recently. the nytimes ran an oddly touching piece on him.

Gettin’ my art on in Berlin

The local paper published an ever-so-timely article on the museum scene in Germany’s capital. I was there this past weekend and while I didn’t make a point of going to the Bode, I did discover two very, very cool institutions that have made it onto my list of favorite museums of all time.

7. Jüdisches Museum – Berlin
8. Hamburger Bahnhof

It’s remarkable how much museums have changed in my (albeit short) lifetime. Or maybe just in the past decade. I guess if you want to see the old-school methodology for exhibit and information display, you might go to the Egyptian Museum in Turin. But the Jüdisches Museum ranks right up there with the Terrorháza (admittedly also in theme) in terms of innovative exhibits. The latter is probably more tactile or interactive, but the former gives you all kinds of personal narrative to make the exhibit (“Home and Exile: Jewish Emigration from Germany since 1933”) really hit home. I also like that they inundate you with so much information, so much evidence of the difficulties, the nightmares and tragedies that these emigrants had to deal with that you emerge from the museum feeling you’ve had the shit kicked out of you. That’s what museums should do to you.

The Hamburger Bahnhof is similar in the visceral sense, but I more marvelled at the physical space and use of this former train station. The Hamburger is one of many modern art museums in Berlin (I also went to the Neue Nationalgalerie, which, while designed by architecture demi-god Mies van der Rohe, has a very institutional (read: gym-like) feel. I’m not into the short screen-wall things they’ve hung stuff on on the main floor. Modern art needs telescoping, swooping spaces. Or at least that’s what I’ve been cultivated to think anyway. Short walls = short shrift.) They have some really great installations there right now. Definitely a must-see.

This is the Altes Museum, which I didn’t actually step inside, but I like what they had to say out front.

Anyway, what I ate in Berlin:

Most of my time was spent in the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, which are very, very cool neighborhoods. Mitte/parts of the PB are sort of like the Lower East Side/East Village/Williamsburg. In fact, much of Berlin reminded me of Williamsburg. I’ll even go so far as to claim that Berlin IS the Williamsburg of Europe. Other parts of PB are almost like the Upper East Side or St.-Germain-des-Prés.

Just up the street from where I was staying is the famed W Imbiss that was mentioned recently in the NYT piece on Berlin street food. I don’t know if Gordon W was actually ever there the two times I ate there, but there were definitely plenty of ex-pats hanging around both behind and in front of the counter. I had

the avocado-chipotle naan pizza. With sprouts and arugula, as you can see. Naan is excellent at this place. Berlin is like NYC in terms of food — you’re not necessarily going to find anything spectacular that’s ‘local’ per se, other than bratwurst and currywurst, but there are many places that specialize in that sort of neo-continental student fare of, like, carbohydrate + spreadable item (+ cheese when appropriate; + greens when you’re in an area riddled with hipsters or yuppies). Basically variations on burritos, pizza, bagels, etc. Even better when it comes with a mango lassi! W’s are excellent.

A few blocks further north, I stumbled upon one of those little boutique/coffeeshops that’s so hot these days. Misses Marbles, this one is called, and they have some delicious kirsch-streusel-torte:

and really nice, really expensive tote bags.

Berlin, you’re A-OK. I’ll be seeing you soon, you can bet on that.

Random notes:
I caught Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” at the Staatsoper, and it has to be one of my favorite operas yet. Clever, funny and just plain fun. I spent half the time trying to tease some kind of meaning out of the German subtitles and understood maybe 5% of the Italian they were singing in, but I still thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I think I’ve commented on this before, but in Europe, operagoers skew on the young side.

A list I made after finally getting from Milan to Berlin:

Metropolitana di Milano S/U-Bahn
Bad/infrequent signage Well-designed signs everywhere, where they ought to be
Dirty Pristine
Ticket machines from 1970s New ticket machines
Inscrutable instructions for ticket purchase Clear instructions in 8 languages
Where are the maps? Maps everywhere
Where’s the train official? Train official very helpful and right where he should be
Where’s the train? Train ETAs electronically updated by the minute

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