Day: June 8, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day 1: My Favorite Song, Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight”

So in the spirit of trying to blog more I figured I’d chronicle my Facebook 30 Day Song Challenge here.  I started it today, and day one is your favorite song.  Which, what?!  Who actually has one favorite song.  I have lots of songs that, depending on the day, I’d call awesome, or amazing, or fantastic, but probably not my favorite.  Still, the first song that came into my head was the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” off their album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

I started listening to the Smashing Pumpkins when I was a sophomore in high school, which is right around the time when I began developing my current taste in music.  I listened to a lot of Radiohead, Tori Amos, R.E.M., etc., but when I was riding the bus or doing homework or alone at night in my room with the lights off (yes I did this, yes I thought I was so deep) I listened to the Smashing Pumpkins.

A friend of mine put the appeal of “Tonight, Tonight” very nicely, describing it as grand and sweeping yet also personal and intimate.  I think this describes a lot of classic Smashing Pumpkins, but this is the song to which I always return.  Also, it doesn’t hurt that the musical video is absolutely incredible–Steampunk before Steampunk ever existed, and still a timeless example of music video artistry.  It probably wouldn’t surprise any of you if I told you that the Smashing Pumpkins were a formative part in the development of certain aesthetics I like to costume in from time to time (ie: elegant Goth, Steampunk, black eyeliner, lots of it).  Also, it looks like Lady Gaga took a few tips from this video–“Bad Romance” anybody?  Anyways, enjoy!

State Farmer’s Market and Restaurant

On Sunday my friend Annah and I went to the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh, a year-round market that runs every day, regardless of the season.  Since we are in high summertime there was a lot of fresh produce, and the open-air produce areas were packed.  Annah came away with quite a haul: the last of the in-season strawberries, blueberries, okra, tiny red-skinned potatoes, white peaches, some pattypan squash and a lovely gardenia bush.  I came back with a smaller haul of sugar snap peas, a jar of honey, and a small rosemary plant which is now sitting next to its basil siblings on the back patio.  I know I should be shopping at more farmers markets but the general hubbub and mass of vendors and farmers and choices is extremely overwhelming.  I am glad I went with Annah, as she’s a farmer’s market veteran.  One of my goals is to eat more produce, and local is the way to go (fresher, cheaper, better for the environment etc.) so I guess I should make it my mission to get to more farmer’s markets!

After doing a bit of shopping we went to lunch at the nearby State Farmer’s Market restaurant, which has the atmosphere of an upscale Cracker Barrel.  The menu is primarily Southern soul food so I decided to go ahead and get the fried chicken, which comes with two sides.  Annah got the side sampler platter.  The meals also came with a basket of biscuit and hushpuppies (both very good), because lord knows we didn’t order enough food.

My fried chicken was fantastic: a huge portion, juicy and tasty and crunchy.  I ordered a side of sweet potato casserole (on the sweeter, gloopier end of the spectrum, if you like that sort of thing) and string beans (soggy and pork-water logged).  Annah seemed pleased with her side sampler, which included macaroni salad, fried okra (although she said this wasn’t her favorite), a picked cucumber dish, and a corn and bean dish with which she was very happy.

Both our meals came with dessert: banana pudding, also on the sweeter, gloopier end of the banana pudding spectrum.  Needless to say neither of us finished our meals and we both left the restaurant extremely full.

We spent a bit more time wandering the Farmer’s Market.  There is an indoor, air-conditioned area selling sweets, baked goods, dried goods, meats, dairy, and out of season/out of state produce.  There is also a seafood restaurant that mostly does fried seafood combos.  After a bit more wandering we were quite hot (and sleepy from our enormous meals) so we headed back to the car.

We also took a detour to the Grand Asia Market in Cary, where we looked but didn’t buy.  It wasn’t as big as the new Li Meng’s Global Market in Durham, and I am no judge on Asian markets but I think they’re comparable, although Li Meng’s might have more in the way of standard grocery store fare.  However, Grand Asia Market has DURIAN which is amazing because I haven’t seen it anywhere but on the Travel Channel.  Both markets have a wide variety of fish…but the fish smells a little fishy, so I’m not sure I’d buy it either way.  I mostly love looking at the varieties of produce, and also the prepared food sections up front (whole roasted duck!).  Grand Asia Market had two gentleman behind glass making dumplings and pork buns, all of which looked yummy.  I’m sure you could get a decent lunch in the prepared food sections of either market, but I’m betting Grand Asia Market’s prepared food section is a bit better, just by the look of it.

So that was our very foodie Sunday!