Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This classic came up over the weekend with a friend who's never even heard of it, for which there was no plausible explanation. So I thought I'd create a little primer of Harvey Keitel's demons overtaking him on his sordid path to redemption. So many great scenes, subtle emotions. If you get a chance, a rainy day or are drinking alone a lot, this is definitely your movie.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Through a friend's recommendation, I picked up Gabrielle Hamilton's book, Blood, Bones, & Butter. Gabrielle built, owns and runs the East Village restaurant Prune, which with my limited 2 experiences I've found to be pretty damn good.
I'm not going to bullet point the book, but autobiographically it covers her early childhood, the fracturing of her family at that young age, her trials earning her stripes in the kitchen, at the bar, the numerous catering jobs and pushing though college. The relationships, the tenuous marriage to the father of her children, his Italian family and of course, food.
There are good and bad streaks in this book. The writing I found solid gold. She can paint pictures with ease and nails those situations that you can express only to yourself in the shower but couldn't do when the moment calls. Her detailing of food, the firing line frenzy of the kitchen, bucolic Italian countrysides and weathered French faces are memorable and vivid. She's a tough broad. She's a doer. A "Type A" killing machine that has learned, through childhood abandonment, to grab what she wants and hold it down by the neck. It's very admirable and you appreciate and understand how she not won, but built, victories.
On the other hand, because of this, she fails, to introspectively tweak herself as she gets older. It's as if she's always the abandoned teenage girl, damning the naysayers, and doing what she needs to do, which is the necessary fuel sometimes. But as one grows older, they usually learn to meld new found wisdom and perspective with that DIY attitude. The caustic arrows of other writers of the kitchen genre, like Anthony Bourdain, are wrapped in vitriol but the arrow is really still love. No matter who he talks shit about, it's a warm, winking, ball-busting. With Gabrielle, it's all heat. A chip. So as the book progresses you have a hard time staying on her team emotionally. She's lacking the love and warmth. Just mounds of respect. And that's not a bad place to be either.
If you like good writing and food, go for it. You might enjoy it.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Recently researching for a project and ran across the badge for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. I've always been a fan of this mark, as I would see it on stickers, tshirts and vans in the city. The guys humping tool bags and heavy gauge wire from their vans to various buildings around the city. Always loved that fist with the lighting bolts. As if they're reminding us, "We harness that which this city runs on".