with the rosdale?

• its interesting how, with a packed train, the standing crowd moves so fluidly with the bumps and turns on the track… there’s definitely a wave-like motion, I mean, it makes sense, but it’s interesting to see it happen still.

• I kinda find it funny that the doorman over at my office recognizes me in the mornings and is talkin’ about some “morning, boss” in a thick, russian accent, hahaha.

Speaking of doormen, once, when I was buying a microwave from a European woman in the Upper West Side (around like 80th, maybe?), there was this awesome elevator attendant that reminded me a lot of Pagoda in The Royal Tenenbaums. He was pretty old, and he would manually open and close the wooden elevator doors in this super old apartment building for all tenants and guests.

• Jeremy (my old housemate from Durham, NC) and Adam (his cousin, a chef from Austin, TX) flew into town last Thursday (Oct 27). Here’s a summary of how the visit went, as they just left a few hours ago:

THURSDAY

ate at an interesting french bistro in midtown

FRIDAY

Lombardi’s Pizza in SoHo / NoLita – allegedly the 1st pizza restaurant

• rice pudding at “Rice to Riches” in SoHo, they only serve rice pudding

• apt rooftop – got some great night shots of the city near times sq.

• some rodeo bar (30th or so) – live southern covers of stuff like Sinatra, met a bunch of people, talked a lot with a grad school student from Sierra Leone, who very well become a politician back over there in a few years.

SATURDAY

• went to Chinatown for dim sum with about 10 friends

• visited the Chelsea Market where Emeril is filmed

• wandered around the meatpacking district

• Greenwich Village dinner: quaint little place, can’t recall the name

• ran into will hall and his wife christina near herald sq.

• drank at the Saint’s Alp Teahouse in st marks

SUNDAY

• Williamsburg: Beacon’s Closet (see day 003)

• Williamsburg: Sea (see day 003)

• witnessed a disturbing drooling, half-naked person on C train into the city

• washington square: great live music – piano + other instruments

• walked near NYU: street fair, Jeremy bought a painting

• ate at Babbo: the nicest restaurant I have set foot in (perhaps because it’s owned by Mario Batali. You might have looked at the menu that was just linked to and thought… “that’s not that much money…”, but keep in mind, at these places you are expected to get an appetizer, a first course, second course, dessert (and of course a bottle of aged wine). Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale were entering to get a table as we were finishing up dinner.

MONDAY

• Happy Halloween.

• Happy birthday to Erica at Macy’s.

zoo in central park

• Went to the Central Park Zoo with Ginny and Nadya – it was a lot bigger and better than I was expecting. They had an aviary, seals, polar bears, penguins, bats, red pandas…

• Also caught some of the “Read in the Park” in Bryant Park – over 150 authors came to read selections from their books, have signing sessions, and hold Q&A discussions. The Polish Parade going through midtown was winding down at the same time the Read was winding down, around 5:30-6ish.

matthew and andrew go to white castle

• The long anticipated sequel to your favorite recent teen movie is now out: Matthew and Andrew go to White Castle! And, it’s true: the burgers are small, it is still normal fast food… and yet, it was still magical somehow. Kind of like London-style – those jokers still speak English, but it’s kinda odd, unlike other fast food places (and maybe the whole castle theming is playing into that), but its as if you just discovered Wendy’s yesterday or something.

• Happy birthday, Tashia! Hold it down in ATL.

hasn’t changed since 1983

• Astoria’s own Noguchi Museum proved to be one of those zen garden places with essentially a bunch of slightly carved rocks (mounted at weird angles) on display. Oh well – I should have figured that the name sounded Japanese.

• Roosevelt Island kinda has weird vibes: this place where you get that feeling that everyone is looking at you, thinking: “what the f*ck is he doing waving a camera around,” and you’re sitting there thinking: “what the f*ck are people doing living on this island that has small grocery stores that haven’t changed since 1983?”

axe about me

• The turnout at the opening for the AIGA: NY 50 Books / 50 Covers seemed pretty large. It was definitely packed in their space, and they ran out of wine fairly quickly. Some interesting Russian children’s books from the 1920s-1940s were included as a side exhibit.

• While heading over to Chat ‘n Chew near Union Square, they were filming a movie on the sidewalk, not allowing people to walk in certain areas. It was the same place that Matt saw Heather Graham a day or two earlier – according to IMDB, she’s in production or post-production with at least two projects…

introduction to the cemetery district

• Price of unleaded, regular gasoline in Queens: $2.99

How much the price of gas affects me: $none

• Ate at a really great authentic Greek place over near the Ditmars Station here in Astoria. Luckily they had some English translations on the menu – its tough to master the Greek alphabet in less than two weeks. Pretty good place – open windows out onto the street. I had Lamb Souvlaki in a pita – and they give you some interesting dessert thing with all meals, it seems – kinda this “spice cake means the consistency of grits” stuff, that is in small triangles, similar in size to baklava.

• There’s this industrial section of Queens down near the border with Brooklyn (where the Queens UPS hub is located, just south of that kinda Indian area), where trucks passing each other honk their horns in odd patterns, kinda like morse code. Kinda weird. [PS: thanks to the SportsEndeavors crew for sending those catalogs!]

indie rock in brooklyn

• Checked out the Brooklyn Responds show down near Prospect Park at a venue called Southpaw in Brooklyn with Laura – good times: some bands that stuck out “Harlem Shakes” (with a track called “Sickos”), and “They Might be Giants.” I didn’t heard “Istanbul” by them, but they did play some other good stuff. The host guy was kinda tearin’ it up between sets with an effects machine – where he’d beatbox into the mic, record it, then have it loop, while he sung/rapped over it, and incorporated other sounds… it was pretty funny stuff as well.

• Food-related comment of the day: I highly recommend “The Original Yonah Schimmel Knishery” over on East Houston (137 E. Houston, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, to be exact). It was recommended to me by a former coworker (thanks, Dennis), and it’s the first authentic Jewish restaurant I’ve been to. I didn’t even know what a knish was, but they are pretty decent (and super cheap). I understand they’ve been serving up kosher food since 1910 or so…

• Keep on keepin’ on.