June 2006 Archives

« May 2006 | Main | July 2006 »

McDonald's: "an ecumenical refuge for travelers" - "Russ & Johns"

[D]espite its vaunted reputation as a juggernaut of American culture, McDonald's has come to function as an ecumenical refuge for travelers of all stripes. This is not because McDonald's creates an American sense of place and culture, but because it creates a smoothly standardized absence of place and culture -- a neutral environment that allows travelers to take a psychic time-out from the din of their real surroundings. This phenomenon is roundly international: I've witnessed Japanese taking this psychic breather in the McDonald's of Santiago de Chile; Chileans seeking refuge in the McDonald's of Venice; and Italians lolling blissfully in the McDonald's of Tokyo.
. . .
(Interestingly, Marlboros are sold worldwide -- and American cigarette brands are just as unhealthy and aggressively marketed as American fast food -- but for some reason there is not a similar activist reaction. Perhaps this is because there are no Marlboro outlet stores to firebomb -- but I suspect it has more to do with subliminal, adolescent-style favoritism. The Marlboro Man is, after all, a handsome tough-guy, whereas Ronald McDonald is a makeup-and-jumpsuit-wearing dork.)

"Slumming the Golden Arches," by Rolf Potts, Traveling Light, June 5, 2006

Citing a longstanding need to "restore honor and dignity to the American food-service industry," Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced the public debut of their joint business venture Monday, a chain of integrity-themed restaurants which opened in 12 locations nationwide.

The new Russ & John's chain, which the two senators funded privately via small financial donations of no more than $2,000 per investor, was founded on the idea that "today's customers want quality food without all the lies and exaggerations that all too often accompany it," according to McCain.

"McCain, Feingold Co-Sponsor Chain Of Integrity-Themed Eateries," The Onion, June 27, 2006

Posted June 27, 2006 08:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)


Jean-Étienne Liotard - at the Frick

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), Liotard Laughing, c. 1770, oil on canvas
Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), Liotard Laughing, c. 1770, oil on canvas, 84 x 74 (33 1/16 x 29 1/8), Musée d’art et d’histoire, Département des Beaux-Arts
Whatever Liotard was paid for these pictures [of Austrian Empress Maria Theresa's 16 children], it was too little. He poured every ounce of his talent into them. Each seamlessly blends several mediums: black and red chalk, pencil, pastel and watercolor. Details are executed with a watchmaker's precision. To give the figures a naturalistic glow, Liotard colored the reverse side of each thin sheet of paper. Marie-Antoinette is bathed in a rosiness that you sense rather than actually see.

"Jean-Étienne Liotard, the Unrelenting Eye of the Enlightenment," by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, June 23, 2006

To his admirers, Liotard was the “painter of truth.” The artist was unsparing in his depiction of his sitters, including himself, avoiding the flattery and embellishment that characterized the art of his colleagues. He also avoided the painterly touches and visible brushstrokes favored by his contemporaries, railing in his Treatise on the Principles and Rules of Painting, published in 1781, that since one did not see such flourishes in nature, they had no place in art. Although the artist’s scrupulous realism put him at odds with the artistic establishment and did not please all of his sitters, it was the startling veracity of his likenesses that attracted the attention of noble and non-noble elites and secured his international reputation.

"Special Exhibition: Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789): Swiss Master," June 13 through September 17, 2006, at the Frick Collection

The Frick Museum is pay as you wish on Sundays, 11am to 1 pm. A great bargain, go early and enjoy...

The Frick Collection, web site, 1 East 70th Street, 212-288-0700

Posted June 24, 2006 10:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Art , Central Park , Museums , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

This Week in NYC Reviews - June 23, 2006

This Week in Reviews (TWIR)

Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

To see a list of upcoming food events in the NYC area, see "New York City Wine Tasting, Dinners, Food/Drink Events." Also see our roundup of Michelin 1, 2 and 3 star restaurants with links to reviews ...

For DC restaurant reviews, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog, and Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide ....

NYC Restaurant inspection results online

____________________________________

Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

Did we miss your favorite review?

Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing about mom and pop places from NYC bloggers ...

Link to TWIR

If you want to place a TWIR logo with a review that was featured, feel free to link to one of the banners on the TWIR page.

. . . . . . . . .




Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted June 23, 2006 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Connie Chung: Can't. Sing.

Daniel Kurtzman declares "The competition is over. Connie Chung is officially the worst singer in the world."

click here to play video

Ai yi yi ... don't give up the day job ... whoops ...

More

Posted June 22, 2006 08:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Eat at the best restaurants - without a reservation

Jill Conner and Barbara Peters have written a very handy guide to eating at the best restaurants ... without a reservation ... @ the bar: NYC Bar Dining Guide is a pocket guide to 30 of NYC's best restaurants that offer bar dining ... and at many restaurants, the menu is less expensive when eating at the bar ...

@ the bar: NYC Bar Dining Guide is an excellent guide for anyone looking for a great place to enjoy fine dining ... Recommended ... see sample pages at their web site bardiningguide.com

good restaurants for fine dining at the bar include Davidburke & Donatella ... a great bar to dine and enjoy the atmosphere ... (web site), 133 East 61st Street, bewteen Park and Lexington, 212-813-2121 [MenuPages | Openlist | NYT | Gayot | Citysearch]

Also, Circus, a fine Brazilian bistro on 61st Street between Park & Lexington Avenues, especially in the evening ... (previous reviews: A Guy In New York, Forbes (TWIR, September 30, 2005)) ... web site, 132 East 61st Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues, 212-223-2566 [MenuPages | NY Metro | NYT | Citysearch]

Posted June 20, 2006 08:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Book and Web Site Reviews , Restaurants   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Macbeth at Delacorte Theatre - FREE

Macbeth is playing at ... through July 9, 2006 ...

Strongly recommended ... I saw the play last Wednesday and Thursday, even thought they posted a "Sold Out" sign ... there are tickets available at the last minute because of many no-shows ... sitting in the open fresh air in Central Park is so magical ... the blowing wind amongst the trees, the movement of the clouds, the airliners, the stars ...

The Delacorte Theater is located near Turtle Pond, just south of the Great Lawn, in Central Park. The closest Park entrance from the East Side is Fifth Avenue at 79th Street; from the West Side, Central Park West at 81st Street. After entering, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater ...

all shows at 8:30 pm



  • Tuesday, June 20
  • Wednesday, June 21
  • Thursday, June 22
  • Friday, June 23
  • Saturday, June 24
  • Sunday, June 25
  • Tuesday, June 27
  • Wednesday, June 28
  • Thursday, June 29
  • Friday, June 30
  • Saturday, July 1
  • Sunday, July 2
  • Monday, July 3
  • Wednesday, July 5
  • Thursday, July 6
  • Friday, July 7
  • Saturday, July 8
  • Sunday, July 9
  • Pick up your free Shakespeare in the Park tickets on the day of the performance beginning at 1pm at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park (212-539-8750) or from 1 to 3pm at The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street [NYT | Central Park 2000]

    Posted June 19, 2006 08:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Free , Sights & Sounds , The Best , Theatre , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    New Big Wang - New South Wind

    I was in Chinatown on Sunday morning to pay a visit to the dentist for some work -- very affordable from good dentists ... before visiting the dentist, I went to enjoy a bowl of delicious won-ton noodle soup and a plate of shrimps in a rice blanket at the New Big Wang ... I plan to return on Wednesday for lunch with Roger for their advertised plate of 4 soft-shell crabs for $12.50 ... cheaper then buying them fresh at the market ... 1 Elizabeth Street, 212-219-3686

    After the dentist, I went to Chatham to buy $5 worth of dim sum for dinner at home. I walked along East Broadway and saw the Iran-Mexico football game on digital at a TV store ...

    I discovered a brand new restaurant called Ming at East Broadway, packed with customers ... 75 East Broadway, 212-732-8886

    Later I went to my old haunt, the New South Wind, for delicious to-fu stuffed with minced pork and coffee ... this is a very old Chinese immigrant cafe with plenty of inexpensive but delicious food ... not Disneyland ... 21 Division Street, 212-966-4116 [MenuPages | Yelp | Citysearch]

    Posted June 19, 2006 07:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Chinese   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    APPLE store for music

    Friday night I went to the APPLE store on 58th Street and 5th Avenue and did not leave until 2:15 am on Saturday ...they have a live DJ playing and creating contemporary dance music with lots of energy ... the DJ Friday night was Louis Vega ... I sat behind him on a bar stool and watched his fine performance ... the APPLE store plans to host a live DJ show every week, 12 am to 2 am Friday night/Saturday mornings ...

    APPLE store, open 24 hours a day, every day ... 767 Fifth Avenue, 212-336-1440 [Yelp] ... see "Exclusive photos from the Apple Store Fifth Ave," by AppleInsider, May 18, 2006

    Post by Peter

    Posted June 18, 2006 10:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Music , Sights & Sounds , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Saturday catblogging

    Luca wondering ... "How does Loco catch all those dust bunnies?" ...


    Luca wondering why Loco has all the fun

    Life in the City has been good ... but I have the ribbons ... this is our last post ... goodbye ...

    Technorati Tags:

    Posted June 17, 2006 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    This Week in NYC Reviews - June 16, 2006

    This Week in Reviews (TWIR)

    "The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite."
    -- Julia Child


    To see a list of upcoming food events in the NYC area, see "New York City Wine Tasting, Dinners, Food/Drink Events."

    Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

    Also see our roundup of Michelin 1, 2 and 3 star restaurants with links to reviews ...

    For DC restaurant reviews, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog, and Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide ....

    NYC Restaurant inspection results online

    This week's TWIR is late and light due to World Cup interference ... GO Ecuador! GO Mexico! GO Argentina! GO Brazil! GO USA! ...

    ____________________________________

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

    Did we miss your favorite review?

    Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing about mom and pop places from NYC bloggers ...

    Link to TWIR

    If you want to place a TWIR logo with a review that was featured, feel free to link to one of the banners on the TWIR page.

    . . . . . . . . .




    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Posted June 16, 2006 06:47 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    World Cup on TV

    Anyone who knows anything about football in the US doesn't watch the World Cup on ESPN ... we watch Univision in Spanish ... because 1) they don't clutter up the screen as much, 2) they don't cut away from other countries national anthems before the game starts, 3) they are rooting for all the teams but especially the underdogs and those in the western hemisphere (GO Mexico! GO USA! GO Ecuador! GO Costa Rica! GO Brazil! GO Togo! GO Trinidad and Tobago! GO Paraguay! GO Argentina!) , and 4) because they are EXCITED and PASSIONATE about the game...

    Then we watch GOLTV in English for the post-game ... especially like the Irish announcer, he gets so excited ...

    In NYC, tune in to WXTV 41 ... I moved the cable outlet and TV into my office ...

    World Cup: Yahoo | BBC

    Posted June 14, 2006 11:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·     ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Wikipedia - "online collectivism"

    Reading a Wikipedia entry is like reading the bible closely. There are faint traces of the voices of various anonymous authors and editors, though it is impossible to be sure. In my particular case, it appears that the goblins are probably members or descendants of the rather sweet old Mondo 2000 culture linking psychedelic experimentation with computers. They seem to place great importance on relating my ideas to those of the psychedelic luminaries of old (and in ways that I happen to find sloppy and incorrect.) Edits deviating from this set of odd ideas that are important to this one particular small subculture are immediately removed. This makes sense. Who else would volunteer to pay that much attention and do all that work?

    The problem I am concerned with here is not the Wikipedia in itself. It's been criticized quite a lot, especially in the last year, but the Wikipedia is just one experiment that still has room to change and grow. At the very least it's a success at revealing what the online people with the most determination and time on their hands are thinking, and that's actually interesting information.

    No, the problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it's been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it's now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn't make it any less dangerous.

    There was a well-publicized study in Nature last year comparing the accuracy of the Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica. The results were a toss up, while there is a lingering debate about the validity of the study. The items selected for the comparison were just the sort that Wikipedia would do well on: Science topics that the collective at large doesn't care much about. "Kinetic isotope effect" or "Vesalius, Andreas" are examples of topics that make the Britannica hard to maintain, because it takes work to find the right authors to research and review a multitude of diverse topics. But they are perfect for the Wikipedia. There is little controversy around these items, plus the Net provides ready access to a reasonably small number of competent specialist graduate student types possessing the manic motivation of youth.

    "Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism," by Jaron Lanier, Edge, May 30, 2006

    hat tip: ALD

    Posted June 14, 2006 08:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Why is the World Cup better than the Olympics?

    Mick Hartley asks, "Why is the World Cup so much better than its global rival, the Olympics?" and gives 12 reasons .... our favorites ...

    "The Footie," Mick Hartley, June 11, 2006

    Posted June 13, 2006 11:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Unknown Wegee (Arthur Fellig)

    Come visit New York City and see this wonderful exhibition of photographs by Weegee (Arthur Fellig)...

    "Unknown Weegee," June 9 - August 27, 2006, at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, at 43rd Street, 212-857-0000, $ admission fee

    "'Unknown Weegee,' on Photographer Who Made the Night Noir," by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, June 9, 2006

    More

    . . . . . . . . .


    ____________________________________

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

    Posted June 12, 2006 06:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Art , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    28th Annual Free Museum Mile - FREE

    Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 13, 2006, from 5:45 - 9:00 pm - the 28th Annual Museum Mile Festival ... FREE

    all the museums along Fifth Avenue will throw open their doors to the public for free, the Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic, there will be world music every few blocks, crayon drawing for children on the avenue, etc.

    I will head to the Cooper-Hewitt for their show of Hudson River School paintings and the National Academy for the American Art contemporary show.

    Participating Museums along Fifth Avenue

    Post by Peter

    ____________________________________

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

    Posted June 11, 2006 10:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Art , Central Park , Holidays & Festivals , Museums , Museums and Art , The Best , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    World Cup 2006 - schedule and highlights

    Schedule with results and video highlights - Yahoo
    Schedule with highlights and stats - BBC Sport

    Posted June 11, 2006 08:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·     ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Saturday catblogging

    Loco's patience wearing a little thin ... "You told me that water was coming back..."

    Loco's patience wearing a little thin

    Life in the City is good ... even if the human wasn't telling the truth about the water ...

    Technorati Tags:

    Posted June 10, 2006 09:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    This Week in NYC Reviews - June 9, 2006

    This Week in Reviews (TWIR)

    "The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite."
    -- Julia Child

    Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

    Also see our roundup of Michelin 1, 2 and 3 star restaurants with links to reviews ...

    For DC restaurant reviews, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog, and Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide ....

    NYC Restaurant inspection results online

    ____________________________________

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

    Did we miss your favorite review?

    Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing about mom and pop places from NYC bloggers ...

    Link to TWIR

    If you want to place a TWIR logo with a review that was featured, feel free to link to one of the banners on the TWIR page.

    . . . . . . . . .




    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Posted June 9, 2006 09:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Julia Child and Bill Buford

    Heat will be of particular interest to readers concerned with the problem of perverse fetishization, while many others will enjoy for its own sake Buford's well-told account of his midlife apprenticeship to a famous restaurant in New York, the current world capital of extravagant cuisine. What makes his book unusual within its genre, apart from the quality of its prose, is that he takes more pleasure in watching cooks work than in savoring their dishes.
    . . .
    In January 2002, the middle of the journey of his life, Buford, a distinguished magazine editor, abandoned his job and his common sense with such passion as normally afflicts the reproductive appetite of men his age. Quitting The New Yorker, he bound himself as a "kitchen slave," an unpaid trainee, to his idolized friend Mario Batali, a Dionysian chef-proprietor whose appearances as Molto Mario on the Food Network have made him a national celebrity and his restaurant, Babbo, a shrine. But Babbo is more than an obligatory tourist destination with its ovate proprietor on display at the bar, a life-size Humpty Dumpty in orange pigtail, knee-length pantaloons, and kitchen clogs.

    . . .
    Not only did [Julia Child] learn French cooking, she rationalized it, introduced it to the United States, and gave birth to a revolution in American taste which soon spread to all the prosperous parts of the world. Buford will find no better Virgil to lead him through French cooking, as Batali led him through Tuscany, than Julia Child, whose splendid posthumous memoir of her own culinary awakening in France, written in the last years of her long life, has just appeared.

    "Eating Out," by Jason Epstein, The New York Review of Books, June 8, 2006, reviewing "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany," by Bill Buford, and "My Life in France," by Julia Child, with Alex Prud'homme.

    . . . . . . . . .
    Posted June 8, 2006 06:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Book and Web Site Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Tired of eating fancy food?

    then try Monkey Chow ... The Monkey Chow Diaries is a diary by Angry (Canadian) Man

    Imagine going to the grocery store only once every 6 months. Imagine paying less than a dollar per meal. Imagine never washing dishes, chopping vegetables or setting the table ever again. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

    But can a human subsist on a constant diet of pelletized, nutritionally complete food like puppies and monkeys do? For the good of human kind, I'm about to find out. On June 3, 2006, I began my week of eating nothing but monkey chow: "a complete and balanced diet for the nutrition of primates, including the great apes."

    We love this Day 3 entry:

    Monkey-like Attributes: Do monkeys have superhuman olfactory senses? Because I can smell every hamburger barbequed within 5 miles of my house.

    Twenty bucks a day, I believe he's got you beat ... at least on the money factor ... 20 pounds of ZuPreem Primate Dry Diet Animal Food is only $30 .. plus shipping ... should last a few weeks ...

    Posted June 6, 2006 08:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    eggbaconchipsandbeans - specialty English food blog

    eggbaconchipsandbeans is an English blog by Russell Davies that reviews places in England that serve the ebcb ... eggs, bacon, chips and beans ... from his review of "Colindale Cafe, Colindale Road, NW9"

    Those chips are just huge and delicious. And that egg is like a splendid yellow volcano. There's a bean element making a tiny bid for freedom. The bacon is a solid force of conservatism and traditional values.

    "a splendid yellow volcano" ... we love that ...

    Posted June 4, 2006 08:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    Saturday catblogging

    Loco wishing that color looked good on him ... Luca has all the fashion sense ...

    Loco wishing that color looked good on him

    Life in the City is good ... even if Luca is more stylish ...

    Technorati Tags:

    Posted June 3, 2006 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Catblogging   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

    This Week in NYC Reviews - June 2, 2006

    This Week in Reviews (TWIR)

    "The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite."
    -- Julia Child


    Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

    Also see our roundup of Michelin 1, 2 and 3 star restaurants with links to reviews ...

    For DC restaurant reviews, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog, and Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide ....

    NYC Restaurant inspection results online

    ____________________________________

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

    Did we miss your favorite review?

    Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing about mom and pop places from NYC bloggers ...

    Link to TWIR

    If you want to place a TWIR logo with a review that was featured, feel free to link to one of the banners on the TWIR page.

    . . . . . . . . .




    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Posted June 2, 2006 09:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)