Day: September 24th, 2006

The Good Life

Sunday, September 24th, 2006 | All Things, Events, Family

Sunday morning at Williams-Sonoma for Pizza 101 technique class. John was back, demonstrating how to make pizzas from scratch at home, with the caveat that home versions would never be identical to commercial versions, due to the same heat intensity being unattainable by standard residential ovens. Using a pizza stone helps, as the stone’s pores absorb exuding moisture from the dough (for ideally crispy crusts) while distributing heat evenly throughout the pie, minimizing hot spots and increasing the efficiency of the oven. As he started a surprisingly simple pizza dough in the food processor (yeast, sugar, warm water plus flour, salt and extra virgin olive oil), John covered some of the storied history of pizza in America, starting with Gennaro Lombardi’s Spring Street grocery store (later: pizzeria), and his defectors/offshoots: Anthony (Totonno) Pero (of Totonno’s in Coney Island), John Sasso (of Greenwich Village’s John’s Pizzeria), Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri (of Patsy’s Pizzeria) and Lancieri’s nephew, Patsy Grimaldi (of Brooklyn’s Grimaldi’s Pizzeria). No word on Ray’s.

John demonstrated a classic Pizza Margherita (invented around 1889 and named for the then visiting Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia) with diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella di bufala and chiffonaded basil leaves — representing the red, white and green of the Italian flag. Fifteen minutes out of the oven, and we still had time to make another pie with hot peppers and pepperoni, the most popular topping in the United States.

W-S John

The Van Alen Institute’s “The Good Life: New Public Spaces For Recreation” exhibit was showing at Hudson River Park’s Pier 40. The Downtown Boathouse location here opened for public kayaking on August 19, 2006.


HRPT Boats

Featured were 70 projects from New York City to London to Rio de Janeiro to Soweto, South Africa — urban projects and existing communal spaces, each selected for its power to redefine public space in the 21st century. Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORK Architecture Company transformed the 4500 square foot raw garage space on the southwest corner of the pier into a large-scale exhibit space broken up into smaller spaces by a winding canvas screen, held in place with sandbags. This exhibition was organized around five themes: The 24-Hour City, The Connected City, The Cultured City, The Fun City and The Healthy City. Each “gallery” was set up with video screens and listening stations, explaining the architects’ vision.

The Good Life” explored both new and currently in development projects on former industrial sites, waterfronts, and reclaimed land, including New York’s Highline and Lincoln Center’s Promenade and West 65th Street Projects.

The Good Life

The Good Life

On Hudson Street, I passed a wall of posters for Lucky Number 6 – which is apparently a perfume being sold at Macy’s:

“Your elegant scent will attract many. For good fortune & happiness, mist on this flower-full blend of harmonious lotus, tiger lily, cashmere woods and jasmine.”

Lucky Number 6

Not sure what to make of the “Shanghai Ladies” aesthetic or the weirdly mystical, fortune cookie-esqe ad copy: “For good fortune & happiness, mist on this flower-full blend” — what the heck?

“Shanghai ladies,” by the way, is not to be confused with “Shanghai women.”

Happy Birthday Dad

Dinner in Long Island with the family. Peking duck and softshell crab — two of my favorites. Afterwards, we shared cake at J & C’s new — and newly renovated — apartment. Happy birthday, Dad! (One day late.)

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