Elton John, T.I., Katy Perry, Ludacris and Carson Daly to Host New Year's on NBC
I’ll stay away, but is there any way to give Luda and Sir Elton their own show, driving across the US in a vintage El Camino? “Luda and the Lord”? Alternatively, it could be a shoot-em-up driving video game, where you have to visit T.I. to get fresh ammo.
I hate to quibble with the mustache of optimism, but the Airport Express wifi didn’t work when I rode the train to Hong Kong in October. So, you know, they aren’t THAT far ahead of us. JFK is still a hole, though.
Or something. I hopped in a cab from Grand Central this evening, none the wiser that I was to experience one of my stranger cab rides. It ranks above the Moroccan with whom I smoked cigarettes on the way back from Brooklyn but below the transsexual hippie clown and the dilettante food critic.
"Oh! Lower East Side—we’re neighbors," said my hack. He had both a Puerto Rican accent and a speech impediment. "I"ve lived there for fifty years. Government housing. It’s the only way I’d be able to do it."
Fair enough. We start talking about the history of the LES and the changes he’s seen, how much he likes living where he lives. (“Everyone’s door is always open!”) And, apparently, he had quite a party last night. “Man, I am so hungover today. We dance, we drink, smoke a little pot. Not in front of the kids, of course.” When he says “pot” it rhymes with boat. Poat.
Then, as he was explaining how there were fewer cabs out today because it was slow, he ran a red light. The lights in front of it had turned green, but this was one was still red. I might not have even noticed, except I saw a Jeep hurtling towards my side of the cab from the street we crossed, braking hard and veering to avoid us. It stopped about a foot away as my cabbie continued driving, completely unaware as to what had happened.
I was so spooked I couldn’t even say anything. I just prayed I’d make it all the way home. In between prayers, we passed the Orpheum on St Marks, and he pointed to the marquee for Stomp. “How do you pronounce that? Tomp?”
At last, we pulled up to my stoop. “Oh, and I have something for you,” he said, as he handed me my change. It was a “International Wildlife” calendar, sponsored by Sonny’s Service Grocery Store on 10th Avenue.
I appreciated the holiday spirit, but I’m pretty sure Hanukkah is a lot safer.
I haven’t been in two years, but I loved breakfast at Canteen the last time I was there. Some of the nation’s best corned beef hash—make sure you sit at the counter. Just don’t bring your uncool niece.
I can’t remember where I read it anymore—I suspect it was Alan Richman, though it might have been Tony Bourdain—but there is an extensive description from one of that cantankerous cadre of a dinner at Union Pacific when Rocco was the head engineer. After Richman/Bourdain was spotted, a punishing tasting menu ensued, one that alternated between fantastic flights of fancy and horrible, horrible flops.
The tale of that meal encapsulates the Rocco conundrum to me. He’s undeniably talented, but his sense of direction is worse than that of a wounded bird at night. Fly away from the lights, Rocco! It’s not that he’s wasting his skills on TV, it’s that he isn’t using his skills on TV. Except, of course, on Top Chef—and it’s no coincidence that’s where he’s the most appealing. I wouldn’t mind even if he replaced Colicchio some day, should the man ever abdicate his Glad family of products dishwasher-safe throne.
“Our institution has partnered with the makers of baba ganoush, as well as tabouleh and fattoush, on a number of projects, and we have a great deal of respect for their excellent work product, including the entire spectrum of Middle Eastern salads and paste-like foods, with the exception of halvah.”—The Atlantic takes no sides in the hummus v baba ganoush debate.
Even when he's prevented from mauling a disturbed man, Knut is still adorable, apparently
A man jumped into the Berlin zoo enclosure of famed polar bear Knut on Monday, but officials were able to keep the animal away from the intruder by distracting him with a leg of beef, police said. The 37-year-old man jumped over a fence into a water-filled ditch at the edge of the bear’s enclosure Monday morning…before being let go, the man told them that he felt lonely and the bear appeared lonely, too.
I made my first visit to the renovated Oak Room last night. They managed to not mess it up, which is the point in a classic New York City space. Drinks, however, are sheer theft: it’s $26 for the cheapest champagne. I’m not counting prosecco because c’mon, you drink champagne when you’re at the Oak Room. Even on a company tab, though, I didn’t spring for it because I didn’t want to encourage them.
The Oak Room remains one of the great people watching spots in New York, as old hotel bars often are (c.f. the New York Palace in Budapest, where I saw a woman with one of the weirdest outfits ever on record, incorporating a peacock-feathered plastic hat, a leopard print top and a denim skirt). I sat next to a couple that would have considered themselves trendy, he in an Ed Hardy style dress shirt with some obnoxious slogan on the back and she in a tight, white keyhole sweater, the better to show off a boob job. He was waiting for her at their table, and when she arrived some 20 minutes later, he launched into some vicious remarks about how she had better get all the shopping out her system and so forth, and then they spent the rest of the night talking to each other while staring at their respective cell phones. It was like a Hot Chicks with Douchebags interpretation of Revolutionary Road. Just as things got really nasty a corn-fed 60-something woman swanned behind them in her black armless sequined evening gown.
Jamie is without question the best “coffee brewer”, whatever the fuck they mean by that, in New York right now. If you can fit, just watch him work for thirty minutes in Abraço. He operates at a different frequency than anyone else I’ve ever met. Who else would open a tiny storefront with a $15,000 espresso maker and no place to sit? Just don’t ask for espresso to go. (“C’mon! It’s tiny. Just have it here”)
Given that, he’s infinitely nicer about it than the staff at Solex. A friend of friend who wasn’t hip to the whole “wine bar” thing ordered a Miller Lite there got a snort from the manager in response. Months later, they added Coors to the menu, so I guess it all comes round in the end.
Visiting Mohegan Sun is very much like being trapped in the Poughkeepsie Galleria for an entire weekend. If you don’t have a crippling gambling addiction when you go in, you will have it by the time you leave, just out of sheer boredom. I love Vegas, but at least the excess is, you know, worth it there.
“Mommy, is Santa real?" my 5-year-old asks pretty much daily. In the way of 5-year-old boys everywhere, he follows that one up with "Mom, if Santa and Judah the Maccabee got in a fight, who would win?”—Slate’s “Jewish Parent’s Guide to Christmas Specials”
If you had suggested to me a few years ago that I’d be more of a GQ fan than an Esquire fan, I would have scoffed. These days… C’mon Esquire, does the “What I’ve Learned” issue have to be the annual celebration of when the magazine forgoes publishing any real content for a month?
Plus, we all know that Tom Chiarella and Tom Junod the same person. I’d rather have triple the Scott Raab than the constant “I walked to the door. It was open. I exhaled. The air coming back into my lungs was cold. It was good”. At least Raab writes about sandwiches and the Cleveland Indians, which is not to be found among GQ’s pages anytime soon.
I digress, but this is a roundabout way of saying that I suspect I won’t even get the chance to bemoan the state of Esquire at the end of 2009. Good luck, fair Esky.
In middle school I was able to discern whether there’d be enough snow for a snow day before the storm even started, based on smell and the heaviness of the air alone. Kinda awesome, but I wish I used my powers to save a busload of children rather than to determine whether I needed to do my homework.
The main difference between tonsilitis and losing one’s voice is that I can still speak, it just hurts like a motherfucker to do so. And when I do talk, it sounds like a cross between Kermit and Sean Penn in I am Sam. Not good at all.
What’s worse is that the lost-voice-rasp is pretty self-explanatory, but the muted bugle sounds I currently make are not. The upshot: people are treating me ike Sean Penn in I am Sam, too. I have all my faculties about me, I swear!
I really should know the answer to this…but…looking for somewhere classy to have a drink around east Midtown tonight. Thinking something sort of old New York…Oak Room at the Plaza type thing. Has to be relatively close to Rock. Center. Ideas?
King Cole Bar? Oak Room is heinously overpriced these days.
I love the Economist’s “World in 2009” issue, no matter how off-base their predictions were last year (and are every year, except when the predict when elections will take place). It’s so soothing! Like a warm bath of wonkiness.