Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloweeeeeeeen

Worst Halloween costumes of all time can be found here.

A small sampling below -- Chuck Barris or the Leather guy from the Village People? Tough choice.

I will be at my own version of a scary Halloween tonight by attending a party in honor of Courtney Love (V44 cover girl). EEEK!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

RIP Johnny Apple

My favorite New York Times food writer, R.W. Apple, Jr. passed away a few weeks back, and it is simply a damn shame. His stories combined food and travel in the best fashion, in a way that made you long for the place he was talking about. I carried articles of his with me when I went to Hong Kong and Saigon, simply because reading those stories while on the subway made me dream about the places he described.

Calvin Trillin paid magnificent tribute to him in the The New Yorker as well.

The Rules of Buybacks

I had no idea there were so many rules for getting buybacks in NYC bars. I've become spoiled and used to every third or fourth drink being on the house, so much that I start to get a little huffy when I go to other cities, and I'm still paying full price on my 5th drink. I mean, not that I'd have 5 drinks in one sitting, EVER...

Friends visiting NYC always seem surprised at the regularity of the buyback, but I almost think of it as a godgiven right to deal with the stresses of the city, especially at places where I am/have been a semi-regular. I forget that it's one of those nice unwritten rules of The City you don't become aware of until you live here.

It's simple: you tip a buck or two a drink, smile, be friendly and patient to your bartender, empathize when they have to deal with a jerk customer or when their team is losing, tip at least double on the freebies, and the drinks will start to flow like honey.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mighty Beltran Has Struck Out...

In case you didn't catch it last night, the Mets were knocked out of the post-season by a Cardinals team who almost gave the NL Central division away by dropping something like 9 of their last 12 games. The Mets offense basically stopped producing in the last three games of the NLCS (1 for 8 with runners in scoring position including two chances last night with the based loaded), and a bunch of pieced-together pitchers were carrying the team. If only there hadn't been injurires to Pedro; El Duque; Cliff Floyd; etc etc....you gotta figure the Metsies would be in the Series instead of a team that went 83-78 in the regular season.

Gotta say though: last night's game was truly one for the ages. Heart-wrenching, dramatic, agonizing for both teams. It was just good, honest baseball at its post-season finest. It had it all: The deciding game of the series going into the 9th with the score tied 1-1?? Endy Chavez making a catch for the permanent highlight reels?? A often-mediocre young pitcher (although I've always loved Oliver Perez since I had him on my fantasy team a few years back...nyert!) only giving up 1 run over 6 innings simply BECAUSE it was do or die time?? The eventual game winning two-run homer in the top of the 9th by a light-hitting catcher (as I was once described)? And finally, the Mets best hitter up to bat with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth at their home stadium?

Last night's game had all that and more. A pretty funny perspective via ESPN's site can be found here.

I wish Willie Randolph had put himself in to pinch hit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Eatin' Out - PT

331 Bedford btw S.2nd/S.3rd

Monday night a couple weeks back found me with my own version of Sex and the City (Gina, Kate and Helen) chowing down at PT in Williamsburg.

With the arrival of Will and Gina's new family addition in William Arthur Croxton IV on September 12th (that's him i.e. one of the cutest babies in the history of babydom above in the festive fall photo), Monday has been set up as Gina's night off from mommydom, with the handover of WAC4 to Dad and his crew of Monday Night Football-watching boys and dads.

Actually, "chowing down" is somewhat of a misnomer, since we all left still feeling hungry and like we wanted to fill up on a pizza immediately after dinner. Run by the same folks who own the much beloved D.O.C. (or at least, much beloved by all my wine-swilling, cheese-eating girlfriends), PT is as rustic and cute inside as D.O.C. The menu is rustic Italian (maybe Sardinian like D.O.C.?) and is more fleshed out than their first restaurant, with full-on entrees and appetizers. The wait staff was fun, and the food tasty, but the portions small and the menu fairly limited. For what we were paying, we all should have rolled out of there stuffed. Instead, PT was a purveyor of the "high price/small portion" cuisine that I really hate. It's too bad, because I really wanted to like it.

It's quite typically 'romantico' inside but you'd have to order about 10 dishes to fill up. I'd say it was a good date place, if I dated anyone who could actually afford to spring for dinner. And if I wanted to eat like a horse in front of a date.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reasons to never talk to your crushes

I have to go to Montreal 8 times a year for press checks on 8 issues of 2 different magazines. This means I wait for the sheets of the magazine to come off the press and then adjust the color. i.e. Is the Vuitton ad bright enough? Does it need more magenta or yellow? Is Hedi Slimane's 4c black & white image rich enough?? What is more important when balancing color gains between a Chanel ad and an editorial shot from Mario Testino???

These are the VERY important decisions one must make in the role of Production Director.

I enjoy it, oddly enough, except sometimes for the round-the-clock shifts I work for 2 or 3 days in order to be there for each section of the mag. Since it's pretty much me and a bunch of men in any printing plant, I am forced to entertain myself between naps and movies and meals by deciding who the hottest boy is in any factory. This is a rough life considering I tend to like my gentlemen friends a bit rough around the edges anyway...

There's been one fella up in Boucherville/Montreal who I have gotten along great with. He has a very visible tribal-ish tattoo that runs down one side of his neck and arm. I know, I know -- I, too, am sorry about that early 90s version of the bell-bottom he's sporting, but pickins are pretty slim at these plants. Yet I'm a sucker for tattoos, he's tall enough, I like foreigners, and he's got really, really blue eyes so get offa me.

He speaks perfect English (which is pretty odd for any part of Quebec not right in Montreal), and we've talked more each time I am on press during his shifts. Long story short: we developed an obvious mutual crush on each other, where I find myself putting on a cute outfit and lip gloss to go to the damn press at 5 am, and he blushes furiously about half the time I talk to him. It's been so goofy that the occasional co-workers who come with me have commented on it unprompted.

When last up there, my rental car got a flat one evening and the weather was gorgeous, so I spent about 2 hours sitting outside talking to this guy while waiting for the repair man. While he chain-smoked, we finally, 10 months later, got down and dirty on the personal questioning. What I found out:

1) Has a girfriend of 12 years (much as i figured all along)
2) He's 32, she's 29. i.e. 20 and 17 when they met
3) He has never been to Toronto. (which is 5 hrs away from Montreal, where he has lived his entire life)
4) Wants to travel to Transylvania (WTF?). Uhhh, what? Romania? Are you on Vampirefreaks.com???
5) Has been to the US once, for a week in San Diego. Claimes he wants to move there. Girlfriend "won't let me". Does not know where Ohio is.
6) Has worked at this plant since he was 17.
7) Drives a white truck; is still smokin' hot, funny and really really nice, albiet a little naive for this city girl.

Status: The pretend life I made up my head and thrust upon him was MUCH more interesting. And the crush began to wane rather rapidly...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More Images from Asia

Been meaning to put these up for a while but time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping... Captions are a bitch to format on Blogger so here's the rundown.

First series: Ubiquitous market images, these from a great market in Can Tho, including a tray of frogs trying to jump for their lives so someone doesn't fry them up and eat their little chicken legs, and a lady whose friends dragged me over to photograph her so that she would be totally annoyed by me taking her picture.

Next are a series from the Mekong River Delta boat tour. We've got a typical Vietnamese house along the river shot from the back, a lady doing her laundry as us rich white folk cruise by on a tour that cost more than she makes in a month, and a shot to show the houses on the riverfront with a million TV antennas. No running water in some places in Vietnam, but always a TV. God bless the Western world.

Floating market on the Mekong. Tons of boats are moored in one area and tied together so you can motor up and either climb aboard or get handed over the water what you need. A little hard to see on this shot, but on the vertical bamboo poles, the sellers string up bananas, dragonfruits, longans, clothing, electrical equipment, whatever it is they are selling.

Here we have myself and my 3-day travelling companions, the lovely Mirelle and her husband Stefano of Milan, Italy, in our boat. Mirelle is originally from the Baltimore area, and they were a real blessing to hook up with for this portion of the trip. Plus, a picture of a giant fish we shared at lunch that came from the area.

Lastly, a photo of the hut (and the view from the front of the hut to the ocean) that I hid out for three nights in an attempt to relax and become sane again in. $28 a night at Mai House Resort on Phu Quoc Island including hot water, a ginormous spider in my shower and amazing made-to-order breakfast. Phu Quoc is 2 hours off the southwest coast between Vietnam and Cambodia. Very mellow place, with nothing at all to do. I didn't leave this 100 yard area for the entire time I was here except to walk up the beach when I couldn't stand reading and getting massages from the local Vietnamese ladies anymore. Many beers were quaffed while gazing at the ocean from the porch of the Rainbow Bar with an Australian couple who were travelling with their 2 teenage daughters for 3 months across SE Asia. Phu Quoc is waiting to blow up and be discovered by the tourist masses. There was really no one there, although late August is the off-season....