Thursday, January 31, 2008

adieu, for now

i'm going upstate to andes, new york for the week-end.

so, adieu, for now.

i like this too

god knows (you gotta give to get)




isn't this beautiful...?

"god knows (you gotta give to get)" by lovely, ms. sweden el perro del mar.

what about this one?

via yellow stereo.

i do what i want

listen to xiu xiu's "i do what i want, when i want".

dedicated to andrew "i do what i want" simkiss.


Monday, January 28, 2008

turkish delights

İstanbul, Turkey

As I perused my old photographs this morning, I found this one I took inside the Aya Sofya in İstanbul. We visited the ancient mosque alongside a curious group of uniformed school children. I remember loving this photo when I first got it back.

If I return only to one of the places I visited last year, it would be İstanbul.

one year ago

Český Krumlov

It's strange to think that exactly a year ago from today, I was returning to Prague from a weekend spent in the magnificent town of Český Krumlov.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

spotted on the subway

i spotted this short poem on the subway today, written by vera pavlova and sponsored by poetry in motion:

If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.

wendy bevan


i stumbled upon the above photograph which i like on this blog somehow this morning. it led me to a website full of gorgeous photographs by ms. wendy bevan. her work reminds me of those vintage nude postcards, some of which i collected in paris a few years back and are stuck to my bedroom walls, like the following:



the colors in wendy's images blend into one another like soft watercolors.


these also remind me of edgar degas' numerous paintings of dancers.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

returned to sender

I also really liked the following short essay by Jim Schachter published in this week's NYTimes Magazine, entitled Returned to Sender. You can also read it here.

My father didn’t leave us much, thinking it somehow better that his girlfriend, whom he lived with for a dozen years, come to own our parents’ things. There’s no point relitigating that now, despite my fitful daydreams of smashing each of the china cup-and-saucer sets I’d purchased as Mother’s Day gifts into chalky shards of memory. I agreed with this arrangement when Dad said it was what he wanted, and it wasn’t as if my house needed more clutter, but after he died the stuff meant more to me.

One thing I got was his passport, filled with stamps from Britain, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Austria, one of the Baltic states. My sister (whose frequent e-mail messages since Dad’s death helped take the place of my phone conversations with him) said she would enjoy having it as a keepsake. She and Dad were the travelers in our family. Mom had her fill escaping Nazi Germany, and my best trips are still to come.

So near the end of the year, I mailed a package to my sister, who lives outside Jerusalem, from my New Jersey post office. It contained four bags of organic chocolate chips (she doesn’t eat processed sugar), a book about a zoo in Palestine (she’s a leftist, and I thought she’d appreciate the zookeepers’ gumption) and the passport.

About three weeks later, my wife came home to a message from the American Embassy in Beijing. It was a fairly long message. Nina (the embassy’s second secretary, it turned out) said that a Chinese woman had contacted the embassy to report that she had Stanley Schachter’s passport and wanted to return it to him. Nina somehow tracked me down, in hopes of putting the Chinese woman in direct touch.

These sorts of encounters with strangers no longer take me completely by surprise. A couple of years ago, I Googled my mother. She wasn’t famous, and she died before the Internet was invented, but one entry came up. Long story short, my sister and I ended up talking with two women who went to elementary school with Mom in Berlin. Not long after, I got an e-mail message from a guy in Southern California. He was a crime analyst for the sheriff’s department, and he had something of mine: a copy of “The Hardy Boys’ Detective Handbook” he picked up 30 years ago at a garage sale — I’d written my name in it. He said he’d get it back to me, but he never did; that’s O.K. — he’s the detective.

My father loved hearing me tell these stories. He loved absurdity. Still, what was his passport doing in China? I e-mailed Cindy, the Beijing woman who had been in touch with the embassy, and she quickly responded. “It is so good that you contact me, I am really happy to receive feedback from you,” she wrote. “Maybe last week, I received one package from my friend, but when I opened this box I found it is not the things she sent to me.”

Somehow, I guess, the label came loose from her friend’s package and stuck itself to mine. It remains a mystery exactly where packages mailed within China mix with packages mailed from New Jersey to Israel.

“I found the passport,” Cindy continued, “and I know that must some one urgently need this, so I contact the U.S. embassy, mailed them and hope they can find the gentleman. Now if you are sure this is your fathers, OK, I like to back to you. Originally which places you mailed to? Are you in CHINA? I mean which place I post this passport to? Did I make myself clear?”

Quite clear, despite her broken English: Cindy was going out of her way to get something valuable back to someone halfway around the world, someone unlikely to ever have the occasion to do her a good turn. I replied, explaining my story: father dead, package meant for Israel. I asked her to return it to me and inquired how I could repay her. I told her about the year my sister spent in China, working at a pizza parlor in Kunming and visiting Buddhist shrines. I wrote that my father “loved to travel, though he never got to visit China.”

Cindy’s reply arrived after a few minutes: “It is my pleasure that can help you, for me it is not a big thing, I think most people would do the same thing as me.” She said I could pay her back if I ever got to Beijing. She said she was sorry to hear that my father had died.

“You said he loves travel,” she added. “Maybe this is a journey for him.” I smiled at the mysticism of that.

When I went to my post office to collect the package, the clerk was not so interested in its travels. Next time, she said, I should be sure to write the destination in big letters. Then my next package would be less likely to go astray. I’m not so sure this one did.

in the name of the father

max von sydow photographed by julian schnabel

just read a lovely article penned by lynn hirschberg in the new york times' sunday magazine about actor max von sydow, star of julian schabel's latest film, the diving bell and the butterfly.

film kids

check out this nice film review site from the clever film kids at my alma mater (ha!), nyu's tisch school of the arts. while it ain't perfect ("nobody's perfect"), the site features relevant interviews and some fascinating theoretical pieces by faculty members. be sure to check out the pieces by a fellow named vadim rizov, which prove to be among the best site has to offer.

Friday, January 25, 2008

everything poops

my boyfriend and i were having an argument about which term we like better: poop or dump. i can't stand 'dump'. i much prefer poop. that's why i like this video, 'everything poops'.


the new feist music video. wooooooo pyrotechnics!

your woman

does anyone remember this song?

i remember crowding around the television in my older brother's room alongside my parents circa 1995 or so (when was this released?) and watching this video. my parents were thrilled by it and dancing as they do. i was just confused.

like roman candles

check out john roman's newly redesigned website.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

goddess voice

cat power has the voice of a goddess.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

midnight treat

insomnia cookies, i just got a warm batch delivered to my apartment. they even supply milk if you so desire. ah, the modern life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

jim and tom


the product of a random google search. radical, as andrew would make me say. raaaaadical.

my new obsession


this yogurt is my new obsession. i could eat these all day long.

i tell me love to wreck it all

i love this soulful song, skinny love by bon iver, which you can also listen to here. it was recommended to be by kind friend and photographer john roman. thank you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

baby cub

i could just die looking at this...


i just stopped at the farmer's market on my corner of tompkins square park, which i'm surprised is even open due to today's winter chill, and bought a handful of fingerling potatoes, a big shallot, a half-dozen eggs, and a cup of hot cider. i was thinking to make one of my favorite breakfast recipes, borrowed from los angeles chef neal fraser of grace and b.l.d. i always get these spanish-style scrambled eggs when i'm in l.a.:

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces dry chorizo, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced lomo or serrano ham, cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and thinly sliced crosswise
1 dozen large eggs, beaten lightly
4 ounces Manchego cheese, coarsely shredded (1 cup)
Pinch of smoked paprika

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and slice the potatoes crosswise 3/4 inch thick.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the potato slices and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chorizo and ham and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the ham is crisp, about 2 minutes. Stir in the piquillo peppers and cook for 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and use a rubber spatula to scrape and stir until large, soft curds form, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Manchego and cook, stirring, just until melted, about 30 seconds. Transfer the eggs to a platter, sprinkle with smoked paprika and serve.
(courtesy of food and wine magazine.

If you're trying to do more of a last-minute, sans plans kinda breakfast (which is normally what I end up doing), I substitute the Manchego for shredded Parmesan, since I usually have it around the house, and cut out the ham, and it still makes for a deliciiiiooous meal.

I love how the fingerling potatoes are mixed in with the scramble here.

Speaking of fingerling potatoes, I partook in a lovely dinner party last night, in which fingerling potatoes were completely absent. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn't stock fingerlings (and they also didn't have fresh figs, dates, or mache, but don't get me started.) Anyway, needless to say, we did a lot of substituted. We were making roasted trout and planned on cooking small slices of the potatoes inside the trout, along with some rosemary and lemon. Instead, we had to get yukon golds, which we roasted separately with some sea salt, olive oil, and rosemary. As for the trout, we filled them with olive oil, lemon slices, chopped fennel, and chopped onions, and they came out perfect. Instead of mache, we made an arugula salad topped with fennel, blood oranges, and parmesan cheese, dressed in a lemon-olive oil concoction. Furthermore, we pigged out on devils on horseback (pitted dates stuffed with gorgonzola dolce, wrapped in bacon), sooooo good! We also had a bit of fettucini al limone and an assortment of cheeses. We finished it all off with a delicious warm ginger cake, ooh and there were champagne cocktails with elderflower liqueur. The best part of this meal was that we barely worked from written recipes, instead relying on phoned instructions from a certain someone. Anyway, I don't know why I got into that. Something about fingerling potatoes. Actually, I just wanted to repeat to myself the amazing cooking feat we accomplished last night.

A bientôt.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

baby bulldog

lately, i spend all my computer downtime looking up pictures of baby bulldogs. here are some of my favorite finds:





on cloverfield

the film is too dumb to offend anything except your intelligence... - manohla dargis (ha!!)

read her scathing review in its entirety here.

i saw it last night--it was fun, the way a gimmick-y roller coaster ride at an incredibly cheesy theme park is fun. but that's about it.

this is my favorite point that dargis makes:

For a brief, hopeful moment, I thought the filmmakers might be making a point about how the contemporary compulsion to record the world has dulled us to actual lived experience, including the suffering of others — you know, something about the simulacrum syndrome in the post-Godzilla age at the intersection of the camera eye with the narcissistic “I.” Certainly this straw-grasping seemed the most charitable way to explain characters whose lack of personality (“This is crazy, dude!”) is matched only by their incomprehensible stupidity. Smart as Tater Tots and just as differentiated, Rob and his ragtag crew behave like people who have never watched a monster movie or the genre-savvy “Scream” flicks or even an episode of “Lost” (Hello, Mr. Abrams!), much less experienced the real horrors of Sept. 11.

even better, however, is her closing line. i'll let you find that out for yourself, though.

a hedgehog in the fog

gondry picks (his nose)

listen to michel gondry's adorable accent as he introduces himself from the sundance film festival, where he will be guest-editing the youtube homepage.

Friday, January 18, 2008

ali: fear eats the soul


just finished watching this 1974 fassbinder film, ali: fear eats the soul (angst essen seele auf). it was terrific.

click here to read the beautiful essay by chris fujiwara that accompanies the criterion collection's dvd release of the film.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

washington d.c.


this lovely photograph is from a W magazine shoot done by juergen teller entitled washington d.c.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

pour mon ami

jean-pierre by danny weiss

mister danny weiss redesigned and updated his website. take a gander.

the adventures of mr. pumpernickel

mauve de la lune (1952) by joan miro

my friend seth just sent me a ton of songs by brooklyn-based band savoir adore who are represented by our friends at cantora records. i've seen them play once or twice and they are lovely, not quite like anything else out there right now. the only comparison i can muster up is to broken social scene, one of my favorite bands, and even that is difficult to wrap your head around.

find some of their songs here or on their myspace. also, keep checking in here: the adventures of mr. pumpernickel and the girl with animals in her throat--that's the site for the upcoming short film created by the aforementioned mastermind seth, featuring me (that's right!!), as the girl with the animals in her throat.

fear lulls our minds to sleep


have you seen this film yet?

persepolis was a surprising breath of fresh air at the movies. i went on a whim this past saturday afternoon when i happened to be strolling along 6th avenue, deciding whether to head home or not. i went to the film on the condition that it was playing in the next 20 minutes at the angelika and it was. i thoroughly enjoyed watching the film, especially since i had no preconceived notions regarding what to expect. this was the perfect blend of politics and comedy, set within a traditional bildungsroman story. funny to think that a small, french animation film about the politics of the middle east rings louder and clearer than all those hollywood flops which graced american film screens this past fall (i.e. lions for lambs, in the valley of elah, etc...) also, i'm assuming it just may pick up the academy award for best foreign film.

see it, you will enjoy yourselves.

Monday, January 7, 2008

silent spring


i found this image by lina scheynius over on shane's blog. it's from the series silent spring.

i love it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

newspaper fun

today's sunday edition of the new york times churned out loads of fun reading, featuring a special oscars section with a remarkable amount of worthy articles. one of my favorites was an article on the production designer jack fisk, whose name was on my mind this week as i discussed the similarities between p.t. anderson's there will be blood (more on that later!) and terrence malick's days of heaven (one of my favorites, just released by criterion. fisk was the production designer on both of these films, which share a remarkable scenic landscape and are dominated by symbolic imagery. the article discusses fisk's designing style, comparing it to daniel day-lewis's method style of acting and also discusses his early work in the business, specifically mentioning his relationship with david lynch--my current obsession. read it!

jack fisk's sketch for a house designed for there will be blood

there was also this interesting article on sound design in no country for old men and a nice piece on into the wild, which i forgot about since i saw it so long ago and my memory is clouded with my recent completion of krakauer's into thin air.

there was also a faux oscar prediction (of nominees, not winners) laid out by the times' three film critics: a.o. scott, manohla dargis, and stephen holden. i wasn't too pleased with all of the choices, especially noticing that they were the critic's ideal nominees, not their reality based predictions. i mean, casey affleck's amazing role in the assassination of jesse james, which was one of the most memorable performances i've seen all year, was hardly recognized. nor was my already proclaimed favorite, the diving bell and the butterfly. just to give you a glimpse into the critics' nominee lists, here is what they came up with for the nominees for best picture:

a.o. scott:
sweeney todd: the demon barber of fleet street
4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days
i'm not there
into the wild

manohla dargis
there will be blood
the bourne ultimatum
4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days
i'm not there

stephen holden
there will be blood
the diving bell and the butterfly
starting out in the evening
no country for old men
across the universe

in my world, the best picture nominees would be the following:
there will be blood (the hands down winner)
the diving bell and the butterfly
i'm not there
no country for old men
zodiac or into the wild

check out the rest of their nominees here.

and finally, one last article worth mentioning was the piece on ethan coen's one act plays which begin previews at the atlantic's second stage theater next week (i think). neil pepe, the artistic director of the company, directs, with some of our former teachers are performing in the show.

that's all folks.