Month: August, 2006

Shakespeare and Ssäm

Thursday, August 31st, 2006 | All Things, Arts, Eats

SYB and I had reserved tickets to The Public Theatre Shakespeare Lab‘s performance of The Tempest. Tonight’s staging was the culmination of a 13-week intensive acting program. The first two-thirds of the course is class-based, focusing on elements of Shakespearean performance (e.g., monologues, clown work and stage combat); beginning in the 10th week, the students study and rehearse an entire play to perform before a live audience.

A condensed version, anyway: the entire five act play ran 75 minutes with no intermission. Also, to more equitably distribute the lines, three of the parts were shared by two actors: two Mirandas, two Prosperos and two Ariels. The whole thing worked remarkably well, in no small part due to the enthusiasm of the thespians.


Public Theatre

After the performance, inspired by our recent trip to Momofuku Noodle Bar, we thought we would attempt to check out Chef David Chang’s new venture: Momofuku Ssäm Bar. Chang has described the casual dining restaurant’s signature item as an “Asian burrito,” his interpretation of the ssäm, which SYB explained is the Korean word used to describe any wrapped food item. After the hour-plus wait at the Noodle Bar on Saturday night, and the relentless press coverage leading up to the opening earlier this week, we were prepared for the worst.

So we were pleasantly surprised on Thursday night to find the long, sleekly minimalist counter space full, but not packed. After some slight confusion over how to place our orders (turns out you just march up to the glass and relate your choices to the counter guys — cafeteria style), we stood by to watch our ssäms and steamed buns being prepared. The entire experience has been aptly compared to a slicker Chipotles.

As our flour tortillas were being rolled with Berkshire pork and kimchi, who should step out to observe and offer tips than Food and Wine’s Best New Chef 2006 himself. Just for a moment, though — not long enough for me to snap a photo.

Ssam Bar

The staff, for their part, seemed slightly amused by all my camera wielding; clearly they’re accustomed to diners of my ilk. At one point, the handsome delivery coordinator asked, “And what blog will these photos be on?”

Steamed Buns

There's 1 comment so far


Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 | All Things, Film

Alex returned to my apartment in the late morning to start work on the tub. Reglazing is apparently a rather involved task that entails using powerful chemicals to strip the tub, patching and smoothing the chips, etching the surface with acid, applying a primer and finally spraying on several coats of enamel glaze. The entire process took a few hours, sending clouds of noxious, high-inducing fumes throughout the apartment.

But in the end, I had a shiny, new tub (surface) to show for it, yay! And I’m sure this light-headedness will wear off eventually…

Later in the evening, B stopped by (with a bottle of cachaça — thanks!) and we took the subway downtown to Two Boots Pioneer Pizza for the premiere of Blogumentary — a lightweight documentary about the influence of web logs on media, politics and culture. Yep: it’s a film about bloggers blogging! The theatre was less than half full, despite the promoted appearance of the filmmaker, Chuck Olsen. Perhaps the relevance of blogs has been overhyped — another case of the vocal (or prolific) few generating disproportionate coverage and skewing general perception.

According to a recent article, a staggering 175,000 new blogs are created every day. Hmm… am I really just a cliche?

Two Boots

There's 1 comment so far

Good bye, Pluto. Hello, Kryptonite.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 | All Things, Film, Friends

Back at the apartment, I had a run-in with the super, and as a result, the work I had arranged to have done in the apartment this afternoon got postponed to tomorrow morning. So I guess I won’t be going back to the office until Thursday. Gotta love co-op living.

B, RS and JS were planning a trip into Manhattan, and joining them on their continuing tour of New York seemed vastly preferable to sitting at home sulking over my own thwarted plans. We met at the movie theatre and headed uptown to The American Museum of Natural History. (We were about to to hit the MoMA, until SYB reminded us that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. Good looking out!)

We entered the Rose Center for Earth and Space first, recalling to mind that the last time I set foot inside, a year and a half ago, it was 4:00AM on a pitch black and icy, mid-January morning. SYB, B and I (and a couple hundred other hardy/crazy souls) had made the trek there to witness the live feed of the Huygens spacecraft touching down on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons. When those first black, white and flaming orange grainy images started flitting across the screens before our bleary eyes, it was a sight to behold. The excitement at the Center was palpable, and well worth losing the few hours sleep.

Today, at a far more reasonable hour, we zipped among the fleets of Maclarens through the spiral walkway with the timeline of the universe (Big Bang to present): 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in ten minutes! I always liked the Scales of the Universe upper walkway feature, offering size comparisons ranging from the known universe to subatomic particles by using the 87-foot Hayden Sphere in the center as a reference.

As for the scaled model of the solar system inside: there is no Pluto. Never was, from the time the Center opened in 2000. A display for the model notes that “Beyond the outer planets is the Kuiper Belt of comets, a disk of small, icy worlds including Pluto.” A controversal concept at the time, now widely accepted.

No field trip to the Museum is complete without checking out the dinosaurs:


And while we were there…

Skeleton Skeleton

We were out of there in record time, opting for a leisurely dinner of New York pizzas with the visitors before the IMAX screening of Superman Returns… in 3-D! We were handed giant plastic glasses at the door to don for four film sequences (and the trailers, which were also projected in 3-D.) Actually, though, it was three film sequences and an approximately ten second long clip of the Man of Steel flying around just before the closing credits rolled. Still, pretty cool!

There's 1 comment so far