“My goal, then, is to run a sandwich restaurant so exclusive, so shrouded in legend, that even Thomas Keller and Masa Takayama will e-mail Frank Bruni about how they can get in and he can’t. (None of them can get in, but Frank is insecure about his workmanlike prose, and they know this.)”—New Yorker
Category is “Songs That You Can No Longer Hear Without Somehow Imagining Them Playing During The Closing Moments Of An Episode Of The Wonder Years, Whether Or Not They Actually Were Played During The Closing Moments Of An Episode Of The Wonder Years—Because Although You Never Particularly Enjoyed The Wonder Years, You’ve Certainly Seen An A Few Episodes (Or, At Least, Enough Of One Or Two Episodes To Have A Sense Of What Kind Of Music They Would Play During The Closing Moments), You’re Not, Like, The Kind Of Wonder Years Obsessive Who Can Name All The Songs They Played During The Closing Moments—Which You Are Too Lazy To Google For Verification
I’ll go first.
Neil Young’s “Long May You Run”
The Byrds, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” which is so treacly they must have used it.
I’m not the biggest Bill Simmons fan—as a New York sports fan, he’s tough to take sometimes—but if you work in an office with a lot of downtime and/or don’t have enough fiber in your diet, he’s an entertaining and prolific read. In the last year, though, I’ve wondered: what happened to his baseball coverage? It was quite thin for a dude who, you know, wrote a book on the friggin’ Red Sox. Plus, for me, the NBA is about as tedious as a Hills recap.
Turns out, the baseball coverage is on his podcasts, which are surprisingly good—even the ones with Adam Carolla—and a bit more freewheeling than the columns, which I suspect are being toned down by ESPN. Thankfully, the Adam Carolla appearances were balanced out with Klosterman and Seth Myers interviews.
I still can’t read any of the Celtics columns, though.
Walking down Sixth Avenue today, I passed a blind panhandler receiving change from a pair of towheaded girls, about eight and ten years of age. “A human moment,” I thought to myself,” that cuts through that hard shell that locals can develop over time.” After spending the last month in Prague, my hard shell is encased in duck fat at present.
As I passed, I noticed that the girls’ father was photographing this mise-en-scenefor posterity. Was he worried that the wife back home wouldn’t believe him?
I, however, have decided to take a camera phone snap anytime I dole out a tip.
When even Disney’s idea of mass-market nightlife gets gentrified out-of-existence, you have to think that we may have finally hit bottom in the culture wars. Not even the Adventurer’s Club is safe from the shopping masses!
Other concepts being developed include:
A design-your-own T-shirt store from Hanes.
T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, a dinosaur-themed family restaurant.
Come now, you wouldn’t rather go to a dinosaur-themed restaurant than a ratty club? Just as the entrees arrive, Dad is snatched away by the slavering jaws of an animatronic beast? You know the kids would behave after that.
Correction of the Day: “Because of a production error, some copies of Wednesday’s paper contain an outdated crossword puzzle and its solution. If you look here first, proceed with caution. If the answer in the solution to one across also appears in the puzzle above it, you have a paper with the wrong crossword. If the solution to one across matches Tuesday’s puzzle, you’re in the clear, and on your own.”
Well, I’m just glad this didn’t happen on a Saturday. (Since that’s the only day that I really have time to do the crossword puzzle in the paper.)
No matter the publication, no matter how little space I have to say it, I will always take the opportunity to mention that carp tastes like dirt. I did it again today in a guidebook. Writing about carp was my very first clip, so I just feel obligated to spread the word that that this particualr fish tastes foul.
It’s not a complicated thing: they eat dirt; they live in ponds—unless you count Christmas in the Czech Republic, when they get a 48-hour bathtub holiday before their little carp noggins are bashed in—and they’re giant goldfish. I am not a fan.
I like slivovice, though—does that make up for it?
1. All digs at them aside, the Enquirer’s reporters are friggin’ awesome.
2. My mother will have to get used to Joe Biden or Sam Nunn as the VP pick. Old white senatecrats for everyone!
Lawyers who work in magazine publishing—you know, the ones who are hard on the case to stop Us Weekly et al from getting sued—will tell you, in their darker moments, that more of the Enquirer is true than people think.
The following, transcribed from my ‘97-‘98 diary (I believe that would make me 13). I was, I think, more cultured at 13 than I am now. No less snob, perhaps.
My Favorite Things When I Was 13
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Movie: Ever After
Song: You and Me song
Band: Beck (LE: I don’t think Beck qualifies as a band, but ok)
Store: Agnès b
City: Los Angeles
Thing I own: Bed
Actress: Liv Tyler/Drew Barrymore
Book: Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block
Nailpolish Color: Yellow/pink
Thing to do: Listen to music
Piece of jewelry: Heart necklace
TV show: Fashion Emergency Real World
Soundtrack: Romeo and Juliet, Wedding Singer
Group I hate the most: Hanson
Designer: Sonia Rykiel
At 13, it’s all pretty hot and cold. I was not quite as sophisticated a thirteen-year-old. Nope, I’m pretty sure the word is awkard.
Nonetheless: At 22, I was convinced that I was a way more intersting at 17. It’s not true (I hope). You just have less of a sense when you’re younger of how wrong you are about some things. Like Hanson.
“It was a menopausal bachelorette party, and here is my take on bachelorette parties: I think they’re a sad version of ‘dirty fun.’ Women sip too much liquor too quickly from penis straws and bedeck the bride-to-be in a veil pinned with phalluses only to go to, say, a booze cruise or a comedy club. This while the groom in question is, along with his friends, getting blown by strippers.”—
Looks like somebody wants into the EU! Seriously, we just FOUND this war criminal, walking around. What a crazy world we live in, right guys?
Oh, Serbia. On a semi-related note, there’s a section in the new book McMafia talking about the Balkan mob. A Bulgarian higher-up notes, almost as an aside that “Everyone knows the Serbs are the best hit men. If you want someone murdered clean, you call a Serb.”
Europe’s largest low-cost airline said it was cutting services on its busiest, least profitable routes at Stansted and was withdrawing planes from seven airports including Budapest and Valencia for a six-week period between November 4 and December 19. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, denied that the airline had been forced into the cuts by an inability to fill a fleet that is expanding by more than 30 planes a year.
Instead, the outspoken airline boss said high landing fees at Stansted, imposed by “twats” at airport operator BAA, were the main reason for grounding the aircraft, with record oil prices of more than $140 a barrel also playing a part.
“I can only tell you that standard male dress in the Kingdom, the “thobe”, felt surprisingly … liberating. Walking through my hotel lobby, there was a strange relief, a comfort in looking exactly like everybody else. And superb testicular ventilation.”—Tony Bourdain
Watching several people stuff Netflix envelopes into mailboxes today, I wondered: when Netflix goes all online/set-top format, won’t that have a net positive environmental effect? Eliminating the paper, the gas that the mail trucks need and processing facilities must outweigh the increased draw of electricity from servers and the boxes themselves.
In the meantime, start stocking up on those Netflix carbon credits.
Grand Sichuan ran out of string beans last night. Now, I’ve ordered a lot of Chinese food in my day—I went to NYU when it hit the top ten on the Princeton Review stoner school list, after all—but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced shortages in green beanery.
This is how it starts, I bet. First they’ll start fucking with our takeout orders, then they’ll call in the billions of dollars in debt.
There is so much wonderful and good about Choire’s post on Radar about this latest kerfuffle that I am having trouble picking out my favorite part, but I do love his line about how “she thinks some crazy things, like that people can have their talent “stripped” from them (as if this were Dungeons & Dragons).”
Thank God everyone reached equilibrium on this one.
You know, I had a big X-Files phase in sixth grade (OK, seventh and eighth grade too) where there was no government conspiracy I couldn’t cite. And yet, after awhile, I came to the realization that everyone’s too busy looking out for number one to engage in machinations supressing the electric car or covering up the existence of aliens.
Likewise, nothing would make me more entertained than to know Keith Gessen is pulling the levers on something incestuously bloggy. Alas, there’s no one to blame but ourselves. And possibly Noah Baumbach’s films, where coke-sniffing, grammar-debating Brooklynites belong.
How is it that no one, I mean NO ONE is writing about the first season of Evening Shade of DVD? Sure, it was no Murphy Brown—really, it wasn’t even Desgining Women—but they sure are advertising the shit out of it. I can’t say I thought of the show since it went off, but the cast includes Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning, Ossie Davis AND Hal Holbrook. That’s like a Coen Brothers’ movie right there!
“If there’s a flaw in the burger, it’s that after all these years in the business, the Peter Luger kitchen still can’t consistently send it out cooked to order. I also found the meat a touch underseasoned, but my luncheon guest, David Chang, said, “What do you want, a fucking meat loaf with parsley and bread crumbs?”—Alan Richman