Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On New York Part 3

So what about the Art?

Much has been written and said about the Marina Abramoviće exhibit at MOMA. I've blogged about it a couple of times. So, needless to say I was excited to finally take in the exhibit and potentially sit across from Marina. Well, unless I wanted to give away the day, the sitting wasn't going to happen.

Overall, I really thought the exhibit was great. Marina clearly has an incredible history of making art, much of which is still quite shocking, which says a lot over such a long period of time. To see it in the context of its history was also really nice and I think they chose the appropriate pieces to reenact with other artists. The MOMA is a great museum too, with a good atmosphere and a lovely garden to sit in when you're tired of walking around.

The Whitney Biennial was just ok. Some pieces (as to be expected with a biennial) were much better than others, but overall it all seemed a bit lack luster. There was lots of video, which I just didn't have the patience for. I suppose if I would have been willing to take the time to sit and watch and engage and indulge, maybe then I would have understood its impact.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the Perfect Wallet?

I believe a man's wallet says a lot about his character. I've carried a number of different wallets throughout my (wallet carrying) years, but I don't know that I've ever been quite as pleased with one as I am now. For a long time (3 years?) I was carrying this silly little bill flip I bought at TJ Maxx. I think it was even Sean John brand, or something silly. It served its purpose as it was small and simple and helped me limit that which I was carrying, but I always was frustrated by the fact that all of my cards were so heavily damaged. There was not much protecting them so they would inevitably end up damaged and dirty.

After finally having enough of that little bugger, I began the search for the perfect small wallet. I was convinced I wanted another small simple flip, but during my trip to Mexico I began carrying my wallet worthy goods in a small pouch. This has felt both silly and quite wonderful. To have a pouch, seemed more secure and somehow didn't prove to be uncomfortable in my back pocket. So, when traveling to New York I was on the hunt for the perfect wallet. That being said, I had in mind what I really wanted, I just needed to find it.

The Comme des Garcons wallet is something I've enviously eyed for a long time. My only hold up on really purchasing one is that is seemed potentially bulky. Would it be something I actually carried in my back pocket as desired? Well, the answer is yes. I found one at Odin in New York and it is the perfect size quality and weight, with just one appropriate pocket on the interior for whatever minimal cash I may carry around. The cards can be divided by the pocket, but otherwise float freely. I feel much more organized and the zipper keeps me feeling secure that not a piece will fall out. Finally, it feels chic to remove from my pocket. What more could I ask for?

On New York Part 2

The Ace Hotel is a real treat. It'shad a lot of hype and I'm not sure it is all deserved, but for the most part the experience was pretty great. What I will say that I liked the most about it was the fact that it felt as though we were in an apartment. Although I love the hotel experience, it was somehow especially relaxing to come home to a place that you felt like you could live in. Now mind you, it would mean I lived in a studio apartment, but it's New York, so I supposed that would be apropos. It is located at 29th and Broadway, in an area that is full of knockoff shops and few food options, but it is near almost everything. For the most part, we found ourselves walking to many places we went... or at least walking home.

Also, on the first day of the trip we managed to make our way over to The High Line. Chicago? Can you hear me? We can do this! It is a great idea. The gardening was new and different and the walk was easy and enjoyable. There were all sorts of people, young and old, lounging and walking. To be so close to the water was great as well. A free highlight, for me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On New York, Part 1

I'm going to break this into chunks because a proper recap seems terribly daunting at the moment. From the weather, to the food, to the art and the activities, it really was the ideal weekend away. Our hotel was lovely, our time was spent on things that seemed rewarding and our bellies were consistently full.

It's really the best city I've been to. I'm reminded each time I return. Sure, it's totally a pain in the ass, but I guess I feel like that pain is related to the very risk of walking down the street (you may be runover at any moment) but as they say "with great risk, comes great reward."

So, where to start with a proper recap? Well, food of course.

I of course cannot cover each and every bite and meal (although I'm tempted!) so let's note some of the highlights.

First of all, so many restaurants seem all about the return to Americana and things that seem "old." Gone are the days of modern sleek minimalism and here are the rickety wood floors and taxidermy on the walls of poorly lit rooms. I see this a bit in Chicago, but it was nearly everywhere in NYC. This was problematic in the picture taking process, but I was able to sneak a few.


Yum, Yum, Yum. This was certainly one of the tastiest meals in my book. Despite our reservations we had to wait a bit to sit in the back room, which is glass enclosed and gives the impact of sitting outside. But, with a glass of wine in hand the tiny kitchen in plain view the wait was not even remotely a bother. The charm of the restaurant certainly benefited the delicious food. Thanks to my friend Tim for this rec.

Stumptown at the Ace

Lucky for us, each morning we were able to satiate our grandest coffee desires by just walking downstairs and indulging in the Portland standard Stumptown Coffee. As you may or may not know, I'm a bit obsessed with my morning coffee, so this was a real treat. I was also surprised to so thoroughly enjoy my first piece of glazed french toast (pictured above.) Now isn't that a delicious idea?


Scott and I hit up this duly recommended spot for lunch after a hot day of shopping. Tucked down a seemingly secret alley way, this was a charm to sit in and sip my cinnamon lemonade. I had a bit of a mishap with my salad (an uninvited guest was living in it) but I won't go into detail about that because I still left feeling pleased by the experience. (Note the taxidermy!)

Ace Hotel Bar

I'm not going to lie, this glass of whiskey was terribly overpriced, but we were on vacation and when one is on vacation one is often willing to pay a bit more for things like a glass of whiskey. That being said, being able to sit comfortably in the hotel lounge and sip away while interesting people mingled about the atmosphere was enjoyable andworth the extra money. I could see myself stopping in everyone in a while to enjoy a drink.

Pates et Traditions

Sunday, before we returned to our windy city (mostly muggy) we met up with my dear friend Paul who pointed us in the strategic direction of crepes in Brooklyn. These were awesome. The restaurant was kitschy and cute, but the food was outstanding. This was the perfect brunch treat.

Ok! Also of note Momofuku Noodle Bar. At the risk of not enjoying any meal without a camera, I left mine at home for this meal, but wow! We headed this direction at the recommendation of two independent sources. Thanks to each as we enjoyed every noodley bite of this delicious meal. The 45 minute wait was just enough to explore the neighborhood, have a drink and then take our seat to some delicious kimchi.

Fig and Olive was the result of no reservation and a bit too much wandering. At first glance, this place was tool bag central. We even overheard a waiter talking about his deep meditation session after his workout that morning. But, you know what? The food was delish. I had this zucchini carpaccio that I will definitely make at home.

Not bad for four days, eh?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On New York City

I'm headed to New York, ya'll. I can't wait. The forecast is lovely and may is my favorite time of year in the city so, off I go! I'm also leaving my laptop at home, so no blogging for a few days. I'm sure to come home with more than can fit in my bag and some visual documentation.