Category: Movies

Meat and Mead

I got in touch with my masculine side today, via film and food.  Evidently if you see a movie before noon it is only six dollars, so today a troop of us, Brad, Santosh, and some of their friends, saw The Hangover around 11:00.  Some of said troop might actually have been hungover for The Hangover, but I was not among them.  Zach Galifiniakis was one of the best things about that movie, he is kind of awesome, a large overgrown baby with a beard and no shame.  I was also fond of the tiger, the song about the tiger, the song in the car about three best friends, a bit about card counting, and sofa pizza.  Oh, and the camera montage that plays alongside the closing credits.  That was awesome.  A fairly funny film, with a few hilarious moments, though I still laughed harder during last year’s Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (now I have the freshest cereal), but not too shabby for six bucks.  Oh, also, anything with Vegas is still fairly awesome, for I love Las Vegas.

So after the movie we left the theater and walked down 2nd avenue where they were having a street fair (because there are always street fairs in New York, everywhere, every weekend) on our way to Madison Square Park for Big Apple BBQ.  Santosh got something to eat at the street fair because he doesn’t eat meat, just fish, and the BBQ only had pig and cow.  I respect his decision but still, meat is delicious.  As we approached Madison Square Park the streets grew thick with people and the air even thicker with the haze and wonderful aroma of barbecue.

Unfortunately it was all downhill from there.  The park was a mad house, it was raining, and there were lines of about an hour and a half for each of the stalls (about fifteen total, scattered from all over the nation).  After about fifteen minutes of wandering we decided that we were civilized human beings and that we would go to a barbecue restaurant and sit and eat like sane people.

We ended up at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ on Lexington.  I actually walked past a location on 2nd in the 80s later this evening, so evidently there is a location up by me.  The restaurant was covered with ACC stuff: posters with mileage distances to all the ACC cities, including Chapel Hill, a Carolina blue Franklin Street sign, and old Southern kitsch.  The website actually states that the restaurant was opened by UNC and Duke alumni, so this makes sense.  It also makes sense of the fact that the BBQ was North Carolina style: the vinegary rub characteristic of the Triangle area.  This, of course, only applied to the pulled pork.  I myself went straight for the beef brisket sandwich, which did not disappoint: very tender, with a smokey, slightly sweet flavor.  The sweet potato fries I got on the side were a little soggy, but the slaw was tasty, if a little too covered in slaw sauce for my liking.  Also, the wings we ordered as an appetizer were awesome, but I really never can complain about buffalo wings.  They’re fantastic.

Tender meat, soggy fries, the mac and cheese my tablemates ordered was better.
Tender meat, soggy fries, the mac and cheese my tablemates ordered was better.
Like being back at Haines Hall.
Like being back at Haines Hall.

We hung around the restaurant for a bit because Brad and co. ordered too much beer (there was a special) and they were determined to conquer the pitcher.  They had no help from me because, despite the best efforts of my friend Nora who obsesses over beer the way some people obsess over wine, I don’t like the taste of beer.  I left before the pitcher was conquered, so I can only hope that the boys were successful in their quest.  I then headed back to my apartment where I attempted to do nothing by taking a nap, then going to get a much-needed pedicure, then getting some Pinkberry and fruit for dinner to account for my large and meat-filled lunch.  BTW, I still prefer Red Mango, but until they open a location on the UES, Pinkberry will have to suffice.

I then walked up about twenty blocks to meet Phil at a party for the BMI Lehman folk hosted by one of the women who had sung on Tuesday.  The party was extremely chill, with lots of food and musical theatre talk and some networking with a woman who is working on an organization called Young Women on the Rize, a Bronx-based organization that gives entrepreneurial and life skills training to women between the ages of 16 and 25.

The party’s hostess, Gaby, is quite good fun and very much into the musical theatre and music scene–she was fantastic at the singing, as I noted in an earlier post, and sang a really hilarious song about men and death.  I also talked some nerd talk with Eric, who wrote the Battlestar Galactica musical, talked about Next to Normal with Phil and a few of his other classmates.  All good people–many of whom I will see tomorrow at Phil’s reading for The Wasp Woman.

Eric, the creator of the Battlestar Galatica musical, and Phil, with a plate of baked ziti.
Eric, the creator of the Battlestar Galatica musical, and Phil, with a plate of baked ziti.
A dramatic moment.
A dramatic moment.
Phil, demonstrating his love for and appreciation of Gaby through strangulation.
Phil, demonstrating his love for and appreciation of Gaby through strangulation.

Tomorrow: more musical theatre BMI stuff via Phil’s reading, and a trip into Brooklyn to see some Sarasota folk.

Fly me to the moon.

Today at work I handled a file pertaining to a drawing done by Richard Serra.  Serra had actually filled out the object questionnaire form as requested by the museum (an artist actually doing this is rarer than you would think).  He wrote on the paper, he signed the paper, and I touched the paper.  Touched the paper that was touched by the man himself, ladies and gentlemen.

After work Theresa and I walked down a few blocks to see the Ernesto Neto installation, titled anthropodino, at the Park Avenue Armory.  The armory is very much an old boys club, and some of the fabulous old wood-panelled rooms with Tiffany glass and wrought iron and wood and tile detailing are in the process of being restored.  The Neto installation, which is in its last weekend so see it fast, is in a large cavernous warehouse looking thing which might have been used for drills or for tennis or for storing cannons I really have no idea.

The installation looks like a giant space creature, settled down on Park Avenue.  The piece was vaguely reminiscent of the giant blob alien from the first Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, which was called Encounter at Farpoint or maybe it was Fairpoint but you can google it if you are really interested and anyhow, there were blobby aliens involved and that is all that matters.  The piece looks like giant pantyhose stretched over giant wooden dinosaur bone pieces–like from those arts and crafts kits that were available at the store, but on a giant scale.  Some of the mesh is colored violet or red or yellow.  This main body is cavernous and full of tunnels and looks very much like a body.  Suspended both within this main form and from the ceiling around it are, for lack of a better description, giant stockings with masses hanging from the bottom.  The masses are actually spices and scents: cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, violet, chamomile.  The entire room is filled with the mixture of these scents, and some of the suspensions take on the color of their spices–particularly those that hold bright yellow and orange curries.  Little “play areas” are located throughout the work, primarily for kids though I don’t think they’d turn adults away.  The place was crawling with children–the installation is extremely fun, sort of like a fun house/play ground but with smells and like, art, and stuff, and I think it is a clever way to introduce young children to art and to enable slightly older children to become interested in art.  Anyhow, enough description, here are a few pictures (the ones on the Armory site are pretty awesome too, check them out):

The installation from the entrance.
The installation from the entrance.
Inside the tunnel.
Inside the tunnel.
The belly of the beast.
The belly of the beast.
Hanging sacks of spice, and many small children.
Hanging sacks of spice, and many small children.
Children in the ball pit.
Children in the ball pit.
Another view of the creature from outer space.
Another view of the creature from outer space.
The heart?
The heart?
Inside the heart: MORE CHILDREN.
Inside the heart: MORE CHILDREN.

Overall very fun, despite or perhaps because of the children.  One of them even mistook Theresa for their mother–I guess he wasn’t paying attention?  There was also an adorable little girl who was wandering outside the “heart” area (all these terms are mine, by the way, don’t consider me an authority) dragging around a portable sack of spice.  Too cute.

Theresa and I left the Armory and parted ways: I, to the gym, Theresa back home.  I gymed, showered, cooked dinner, and then ventured out to the Lincoln Center realm of the city to see a movie with Phil at a nearby theater.  We saw Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, who I think is one of the most underrated actors of our time.  He was really wonderful.  Moon was also quite good, especially if you like trippy science fiction films.  Dad.  It took a fairly common trope of science fiction, the lone man isolated in space, and played with it in a surprising and subtle manner.  There was also a lovely talking computer named Gerty, voiced by Kevin Spacey, who made somehow managed to make emoticons a novelty.  I definitely recommend this film as a psychological curiosity and an example of good sci-fi.

Time for bed.  Getting up early tomorrow to see The Hangover (but not hungover, thank goodness) and then going to Big Apple BBQ at Madison Square Park!  Busy day, as usual.