Friday, June 12, 2009

AWESOME: Average Girl at Hank's Saloon

Saw an incredible show by Average Girl last night at Hank's Saloon. This makes 3 concerts that I've seen since last Friday (sort of a record for someone who goes to maybe 3 concerts a year). We also saw Youssou N'Dour on Friday (great, but too long) and David Byrne on Monday (sounded great, but we were so far away that we couldn't really hear, let alone see, so we left after a few songs).

It's pretty rare that I enjoy a concert, particularly one by a friend-of-a-friend's band, but this was really great, and I'm thrilled that I went. The music was awesome, the venue was cool (and right near Blue Marble!), and the crowd was really unassuming and friendly. There really isn't much more you can ask for.

Definitely check out Average Girl (either online or live) if you get a chance. They put on a fun show and the music is really very good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Loved It: Blue Marble Ice Cream

Kristin, Roger, and I have been fixated on soft serve ice cream for the past few days, but we cannot find it. Not even a Mr. Softee truck. Kristin googled soft serve from her phone last night in Park Slope and found the listing for Blue Marble at 420 Atlantic Ave. We had just heard how good this place was, so we walked over.

To be clear, Blue Marble isn't soft serve. But Kristin and I didn't care (Roger did). We loved it!!!! Some of the flavors they had were: blackberry, ginger, cinnamon, chocolate chip, frozen ronny brook yogurt, mocha chip...and more I forgot. I had thought I had pretty much had all the good ice cream there was to have in the world, but I think Blue Marble surprised me!!!!

At this place, they use all organic and ethical ingredients which includes the dairy and the coffee. It is in Boerum Hill -- a nice walk from the Atlantic Terminal/Fulton St. area on warm evenings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We had a business luncheon at Red Curry yesterday. We all had the lunch special, at a very reasonable $7.95. I had the pad see ew, spring rolls and a Thai iced tea. The pad see ew was fine, but nothing spectacular, and ditto the spring rolls. The iced tea was bright orange and not particularly tasty. From my colleagues, I heard that the fried rice was flavorless (it was also bright pink), the pad thai was extremely sweet, and the curry was flavorless. I don't think I'd go back, and I wouldn't recommend it to you either, unless you were very hungry and happened to be standing in front of 339 Lexington Ave with a craving for a Thai lunch special in your heart.

good for something: cafe miro

Update on Cafe Miro. I would never go there again, but I had to pee really bad while walking up broadway today so I took a chance. Luckily, Cafe Miro is the perfect environment to use the restroom without feeling like you have to buy something. There was not even a line, it was pretty clean, and there was a hook for your stuff, which is more than I can say about Starbucks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

AMATEUR: Perspectives: Women, Art & Islam at MoCADA

I was thrilled to find out that the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (80 Hansen Place) is located right in my neighborhood, and this weekend, I saw the Artist Talk surrounding their latest exhibit, "Perspectives: Women, Art and Islam." The exhibit is open until September 13, and I would encourage you to go and see it, although it felt a bit amateur to me. The show features work by Fariba Alam, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Mahwish Chishty, Safaa Erruas and Nsenga Knight. Some of the work was intriguing and lovely, and the artists were all clearly thoughtful and interesting, but in the end, I felt as though MoCADA had slapped things together a little too quickly, and though of course there were common threads in everything, it was difficult to see the show as cohesive.

I suppose I always find it difficult to strike a balance between identity and art, and so shows that focus entirely on the identity of the artist tend to grate of me a bit, but the talk, and the exhibit, bring up many interesting questions about religion's place in art and art's place in religion. Although I don't think anyone piece focused as much on gender as I would have liked, I can easily consider that a good thing, because there is something problematic to me about saying, "Okay, you're a woman. You're a Muslim. What you create is inherently touched by that and should focus on that." Of course in an exhibit picked particularly for these things, one expects to see it, and so I was glad to see some of the more abstract pieces and how they approached the topic. I do think the museum is doing some important, interesting things, and that this exhibit is worth seeing. I just wonder if there was a more cohesive or thoughtful way to run this show.

If you're interested, tonight there's a lecture and that might be a good excuse to check it out: Dr. Halima Taha, one of the leading authorities on collecting African-American art and an active follower of Islam, will discuss the history of Islam in the United States and misconceptions about the roles of women within the religion. Admission: $5. Free for MoCADA and MfAA members.


We had a mini Oxford reunion on Sunday at ChipShop (383 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope). Our party ordered three vegetarian English breakfasts, bangers and mash, and Welsh rarebit. And, of course, chips.

It was easily as good as any pub food I'd had in England, and the waiter was very friendly. The mash, rarebit and chips were all delicious and well-salted. Prices were reasonable but not cheap, and the atmosphere was okay (lots of fun British things on the wall, but really bad pop music on).

Overall, probably not the best place for brunch in Park Slope, but a good place for a reunion of folks who loved (or hated) England, and a fun place to get some pub grub and English lemonade.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I've been looking forward to having a hamburger at Back Forty (190 Avenue B at 12th Street) for some time now, and I was a bit disappointed.

I try to eat ethically, and so being able to have a hamburger and not feel guilty about factory farming was definitely a huge plus, and I wouldn't feel bad at all about paying $11 (plus $2 for cheese, plus $2 for french fries) for being able to make a political statement with my food. However, it was too salty and there wasn't enough cheese. The fries were incredible, seasoned with rosemary and sea salt, but the burger itself was just okay.

The rest of the food was too expensive for what you got ($18 for roasted vegetables and eggplant puree? Seriously?), but it is nice to know that everything is sustainable, and like I said, the french fries were incredible. Also really good were the pork jowl nuggets, which tasted like delicious fried pig. The beers were pretty good (and their happy hour is half priced at the bar, which is nice), so I think maybe chilling at the bar and having some nuggets and fries is the best plan, rather than a full dinner.