July 2004 Archives

Angelini Osteria

Wow! This was one of my favorite creative Italian dining experiences ever, including our trips to Italy. It was recommended by our friend David F.

We started with a glasses of prosecco, then two appetizers: one of oven roasted polipo (octopus) with roasted cherry tomatoes and arugula, and one of house-cured anchovies with beets and artichokes. For our main course, James had bomboletti all'amatriciana (short rigatoni with tomato, onions, red pepper and guanciale), and I had homemade ravioli stuffed with burrata and heirloom tomatoes with a pesto sauce.

We had a bottle of Feudi di San Gregorio Fiano di Avellino with the meal.

The espresso was perfect too.

P.S. I haven't adjusted the timestamp of our blog posts for the fact that we're on the West Coast. I posted this just after midnight, not at 3 AM.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island is pretty.

One of my best meals ever


clarklewis is at the left end of the building

We had dinner tonight at a pretty new restaurant here in Portland: clarklewis. I would describe it as creative Italian using local ingredients. Our meal:

"Peasant Salad" - chicory, radicchio, and other greens with balsamic vinegar, house-cured pancetta, walnuts, and grated cheese (Pecorino? not sure)

"Arrabiata" - spicy grilled Monterey Bay calamari with arrugula

[above with Prosecco]

Spelt pasta with house-cured anchovies, fennel pollen and fronds, and red pepper - one of the best pastas I have ever had in my life, including in Italy

[Oregon Pinot Bianco (sorry didn't write down maker) and Arneis from Ponzi]

Roasted Squab with plums, plus wax beans with braised tomatoes

[a Chianti Classico, plus a Barbera, then a red from Calabria and one from Bolzano]

Frozen almond torta with a peach semifreddo-like filling, and strawberry moscato granita (two separate desserts)

I was really dazzled by the food. The atmosphere is a little annoying, with very dim lighting and lots of noise. The food made up for it however.


Freeman Dyson @ OSCON


Freeman Dyson, Tim O'Reilly, and George Dyson

I saw Freeman Dyson and his son George, along with Tim O'Reilly as moderator, at this morning's keynote at OSCON. It was wonderful to hear such people talk about technology and the future. Esther (Freeman's daughter) was supposed to attend too, but she was stuck at the airport in Dallas. As Tim O'Reilly put it, she was stuck in Texas, like our whole country at the moment.

Portland, Oregon

On vacation (barely). The conference is a lot of time and mental work. The food here is excellent. Favorite restaurants so far:

Carafe - more elegant setting for Florent-like food. We've eaten lunch there every day so far.

Veritable Quandary - great bar menu, had scallops wrapped in bacon on top of corn (me) and grilled pizza with heirloom tomatoes (James) for dinner the first night. We had great wild salmon there last night for dinner.

Park Kitchen - sort of like Savoy's food. Fresh ingredients, brilliant execution. We had a chilled cucumber and almond soup with bits of house-cured salmon on top. It was one of the best soups I have ever eaten.

The raw ingredients chefs have to work here are excellent: heirloom tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, mushrooms, lamb, etc.

Great wines we've had: Jezebel white (a blend of Pinot Gris and others), Pinot Noir from Argyle, Belles Soeurs and Brick House, late harvest Gewurtztraminer (dessert wine) from Andrew Rich.

Nice homosexuals against the queers

Have you heard? Margaret Cho got kicked out of a gay event (she was supposed to be the headliner) during the Democratic convention in Boston because they were afraid she might offend some Republicans.

It reminds me of a scene in a Madeline Olnek play I mentioned earlier on bloggy.

Watch What We Say

See this post from Joy Garnett on what Schroeder Romero is presenting in honor of the RNC convention. It looks like a great show!

We finally met Joy in person tonight at Foxy Production's opening for the Infinite Fill show. It was a bit crowded and hot to appreciate everything there, but the show looked wonderful. It works as a big black and white installation quite effectively. As James said, like almost everything the very generous Cory Arcangel arranges, it's more about other people than himself.

While we're on the subject of art, don't miss the White Box show of work by Julia Scher that James wrote about last night,

Mark Dixon sketchbook

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Mark Dixon, charcoal drawing

I just added Mark Dixon's sketchbook blog to my list of links.

I like the fact that he puts up images of works, in progress and finished.

3 Chelsea group shows

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We visited three worthy groups shows in Chelsea at their openings last Thursday. Go see them -- not all art is mindless in the summer!

Capsule has a big group show titled And one for Grandma. It was about 100 degrees inside at the opening, but we saw enough to notice several things, including a wall painting by [can't remember, nothing on the site], the photograph on the invitation by Christine Callahan, and some great drawings by Andrew Guenther. I like his work, especially the fact that there is a big variety of work ranging from sculpture to drawings to installations.

Florence Lynch has a show, minimalpop, curated by Petra Bungert of CCNOA (Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art) Brussels. It includes sculpture by John Beech, whom we finally met at the opening. We have one of his rotating paintings.

My favorite work in the show titled The day after I destroyed the women, I wished I had not destroyed them at Oliver Kamm 5BE (curated by Lital Mehr) doesn't photograph well, so I won't put it up. It's The Birds and The Bees by Aaron Wexler. It's an amazing painting-like work created from cut paper mounted on wood. Go by and see it, and ask to see his other works in the back. Other work includes sculpture and installation by Agata Oleksiak (with dancers wearing some at the opening) and paintings by Tom Meacham. Tom is also in the current group show at Nicole Klagsbrun.

Also, don't forget that White Box has a new show (and opening) beginning each Wednesday, 6-8pm, through September 1.


UPDATED: In the comments, Jeffrey Chiedo from Capsule tells me the wall drawing was by Jen Kim.

Times are crazy!

Check out Matt Stoller's brief essay up right now in the right column of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee homepage. It's good.

Yes, you thought I was talking about Saddam Hussein. I'm talking about Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq.

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.


One of the witnesses claimed that before killing the prisoners Dr Allawi had told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents.

Of course, we have to rely on a newspaper in Australia to tell us these things. As John Stewart said on Larry King, the U.S. media and the government are a single organism.

[Via Eschaton and Blogging of the President]

Jackie Gendel

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I mentioned seeing some of her new work at Jessica Murray Projects back in June. The gallery sent me an image of one of the works. It's hard to get a good feel for it from the image, but here goes:


Jackie Gendel
Untitled (Red), 2004
oil and wax on panel
48 x 60

Sex Tourism

Two quotes for your Friday afternoon reading:

Today (I like the bit about the corrupt US-backed regime):

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - President Bush accused Cuba's Fidel Castro on Friday of welcoming sex tourism and contributing to a global problem of human trafficking, as he courted Cuban voters in Florida, a pivotal state in the election.

"The regime of Fidel Castro has turned Cuba into a major destination for sex tourism," Bush said, adding that the Cuban president "welcomes sex tourism" as a source of hard currency for his government.

Addressing a conference on human trafficking, Bush quoted Castro as saying that prostitutes in Havana were the cleanest and best educated in the world.

Bush said that comment was evidence that Havana was encouraging sex tourism. Castro praised Cuban prostitutes for having a college education in a documentary interview by the U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone.

Cuba's government, born of a revolution against a corrupt U.S.-backed dictatorship that allowed Mafia-run gaming and prostitution to thrive in Havana in the 1950's, strongly denies tolerating sex tourism. Police have cracked down on the trade.

November 25, 2003:

HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- Neil Bush, younger brother of President Bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in Asia in a deposition taken in March as part of his divorce from now ex-wife Sharon Bush.


The Bush divorce, completed in April after 23 years of marriage, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

"Mr. Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," Brown said.

"It was very unusual," Bush said.

Want to pick up a great piece of art for $100, while attending a party at one of the coolest Williamsburg galleries? If you can't swing $100, pay $25 for just the party. Food and drink are supplied by Brooklyn Breweries and our favorite Williamsburg Restaurant, Relish.

On Sunday, Champion Fine Art is having a party to help pay for their relocation to Los Angeles. The web site has more details.

Even by the standards of Williamsburg, Champion is one of the least commercial and most artist-driven spaces out there. It's not a permanent gallery, but a two year exhibition series of artist-curated group shows. The twenty exhibitions, titled numerically in descending order, have been in New York so far, and are about to move to Los Angeles. Each is accompanied by a gallery-produced catalog in an edition of one hundred.

I believe the last show will be a "closing party" touching on the various exhibitions of the two year period.

Images of their exhibitions will be up soon. I'm still working on the web site!

They're changing the shows (a combination of a work on the video monitor outside plus something in the window) every week, so go now to see the excellent one up right now, curated by Lawrence Rinder.

The Lutz Bacher piece is Olympiad, a beatifully damaged video of the 1936 Olympics Stadium in Berlin, made famous by another woman filmmaker.

The Tim Hawkinson piece, called Seal, looks like an official seal made from an elephant skin.

Rick Santorum's priorities

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Senator Rick Santorum on the anti-gay marriage amendment:

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance," he said shortly before the vote. "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

As a New Yorker, I'm pretty sure that gay marriage is NOT the biggest danger we face.


[photo courtesy of Jesse Chan-Norris]

J.G. Ballard interview

Via rodcorp, I found this interview with J.G. Ballard in The Guardian. Fascinating stuff, including his interest in the visual arts. An excerpt:

Today's art scene? Very difficult to judge, since celebrity and the media presence of the artists are inextricably linked with their work. The great artists of the past century tended to become famous in the later stages of their careers, whereas today fame is built into the artists' work from the start, as in the cases of Emin and Hirst.

There's a logic today that places a greater value on celebrity the less it is accompanied by actual achievement. I don't think it's possible to touch people's imagination today by aesthetic means. Emin's bed, Hirst's sheep, the Chapmans' defaced Goyas are psychological provocations, mental tests where the aesthetic elements are no more than a framing device.

It's interesting that this should be the case. I assume it is because our environment today, by and large a media landscape, is oversaturated by aestheticising elements (TV ads, packaging, design and presentation, styling and so on) but impoverished and numbed as far as its psychological depth is concerned.

Artists (though sadly not writers) tend to move to where the battle is joined most fiercely. Everything in today's world is stylised and packaged, and Emin and Hirst are trying to say, this is a bed, this is death, this is a body. They are trying to redefine the basic elements of reality, to recapture them from the ad men who have hijacked our world.

I am currently reading Ballard's War Fever, a rather prescient set of short stories published in 1999.

The Spotted Pig

We had lunch with friends at The Spotted Pig yesterday.

The gnudi (like gnocchi but only made of ricotta) with butter and sage: excellent.

The halibut with chunky puree of peas and sauteed escarole: yummy.

The service: HORRIBLE.

If you want to learn more about gnudi, this Rogers and Gray cookbook (they of River Cafe in London fame) has a whole chapter.

3 good group shows in Williamsburg

You only have a week on two of these:

crits's pix at Black & White has great stuff, especially Julian Montague's "The Stray Shopping Cart: An Illustrated System of Identification" and Jon-Paul Villegas's brilliant mix of wall paintings and sculpture. I'll add images if I can get some. Closes 7/19.

"a dot that went for a walk" at Plus Ultra Gallery includes Katinka Ahlbom (who had a striking installation that was part of "Sunrise Sunset" at Smack Mellon), Vanessa Conte, Rosemarie Fiore, and Medrie Macphee. Closes 7/19.

We will have to go back to "Grotto 2" at Jessica Murray Projects, as it was very hot and difficult to absorb the 60+ artists in the show. A few things did manage to stand out, such as Rachel Mason's video "Model Anthem", the White House sculpture of Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua (we bought the "Todo List" work that went along with it), and Diane Meyer's "Redemption: Professional Confessional." Some lucky person at the opening bought a Reed Anderson work based on a page from a 1977 Penthouse at a very reasonable price. Closes 8/1.


Updated: There are some photos here from the Black & White show. I also forgot to mention how much I liked Nick Brown's work in the back patio.

The GOP thinks we should stay inside

Joy Garnett tells us of a GOP memo given to people at Penn South (the big complex a little north of us on Eighth Avenue), telling them to stay inside during the convention, and to carry ID at all times. Lovely.

I hope I didn't embarass myself too badly. We were interviewed for a Studio 360 segment on Eric Doeringer's "Bootleg" project.

In New York, the program will air on 93.9 FM at 10 AM Saturday, July 10 and on 820 AM at 7 PM on Sunday, July 11. You can also listen online to WNYC.

To find broadcast times/stations in other areas, visit this page. The program will also be archived for one week after the broadcast -- after that you have to pay to listen -- here.

Nice way to celebrate the 4th


Apparently it has become illegal to wear an anti-Bush t-shirt in a public place if he is nearby.

Story via Atrios:

"Our immediate task in battle fronts like Iraq and Afghanistan (news - web sites) and elsewhere is to capture or kill the terrorists ... so we do not have to face them here at home," Bush told a cheering crowd outside the West Virginia Capitol. An enthusiastic audience estimated by state capitol police at 6,500 people waving American flags chanted, "Four more years."

Regarding Saddam, the deposed Iraqi president, Bush said: "Because we acted, the dictator, the brutal tyrant, is sitting in a prison cell."

Two Bush opponents, taken out of the crowd in restraints by police, said they were told they couldn't be there because they were wearing shirts that said they opposed the president.

Restraints? They handcuffed them?

If you only read one in-depth article on Baghdad and Iraq, this is the one.

Christian Parenti, who has been covering Iraq for The Nation, gives us The Rough Guide to Baghdad.

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