Monday, March 31, 2008

No one else will give you money for it

Certain phrases stick out for me on lost posters; this was hasn't appeared in that exact phrasing before on the Web, at least according to Google. Spotted on my way to the New Museum a few weeks ago just before a squall of flurries came across lower Manhattan.

Doogie, blogging before it was blogging

Kudos to How I Met Your Mother for the Doogie Howser, M.D., reference at the end of tonight's episode. For years, before this latest show took off and he appeared in Harold and Kumar, Neil Patrick Harris was remembered as the teenage doctor who always wrote a few lines in his newfangled computer journal before the episode ended. It didn't occur to me until now that the whole Barney's Blog thing might've been a Doogie reference from the start.


This Spanish restaurant on Ludlow in the L.E.S. (dwarfed lately by construction that's supposedly going to be a drab-looking dorm for the School of Visual Arts) is one that hides its core well. The part visible from the street is really just an anteroom and bar that opens onto a grate-step staircase that descends into the two dining rooms: one with a moat, the other with a Flamenco dancer on Sunday nights. While the moat was pretty cool, the live music and dancing paired even better with the tapas (aka media raciones) and sizzling rice dishes. As delicious as it was, and it was delicious, I couldn't resist the urge to cast some of the dishes as grownup versions of - in order - fish fingers, mozzarella sticks, meatballs, hash browns and Hamburger Helper. Not that I've ever actually eaten Hamburger Helper. All of which isn't to say that I don't recommend the place and its sangria.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Priceless (Hors de prix)

The latest Audrey Tautou movie to arrive stateside, and probably her best since A Very Long Engagement, Priceless is basically Breakfast at Tiffany's with subtitles, though less sullen, thanks to a healthy dose of French Riviera sunshine. No pathetic looking cats or rainy mean reds - not that those things don't have their time and place. Which isn't to say that this little cinematic fantasy merely flits across the surface or fails to pull you into the characters' hearts. We saw it last night at Union Square and loved it - a great date movie, if you're looking for one. And at $12, it's still cheaper than flying to Nice or shopping at Chanel. (And on top of that, our initial concerns about a loudmouth pair of moviegoers in our row turned out to be premature as they quieted down once the opening credits started to roll. Yea for civility!) Of course, the problem with seeing all that luxury makes you crave a bit of it, so we headed up the street to the W's Underbar. Not a place I'd visit on a regular basis, or really recommend, but it was the closest hotel bar I could think of where we could enjoy some flutes of champagne, as a nightcap that dovetailed with the movie.

Dry hands, warm heart

Can I just say how much I love this new hand dryer? This thing comes the closest I've ever felt to actually drying your hands to the point where you don't have to wipe them on the back of your pants as you walk out of the restroom - and all in a time span that's about half what it takes other dryers to even get close. I have no idea how environmentally friendly it is in terms of energy use, but whenever I see one on offer, I always skip the paper towels. This one was in the Time Warner Center, but I've also seen them in one of the cineplexes on 42nd Street.

Blogshead revisited

The blog might - just might - be making a comeback. The triumphant return of a certain proto-blogger to the form has inspired in me the longing to write during my off-hours again. This whole city, this whole internet, all these actual and potential photos, and no public creative outlet? Too good of an opportunity to pass up. Stay tuned.