Monday, January 26, 2009
Perhaps the strangest experience in New York was our encounter with Daniel Radcliffe's bare bottom (and other unmentionables). I'm a huge supporter of theater, and I get star-struck just about as much as anyone, so the thought of seeing Harry Potter himself in the flesh was, well, a no-brainer. We bought tickets to Equus prior to our trip, knowing full well there was a nude scene. The theatre was small, and we had very good seats in the lower balcony. Besides the nudity, the story itself was bizarre. It involves a troubled teenager who formulates his own religious connections with horses and ends up blinding a barnful of them in a shameful rage. I can't say I've ever seen anything like it. We left speechless and a little creeped out, but Radcliffe did an excellent job, as did his fellow actors. It definitely makes you think when it's all over about the crazy things the mind will come up with. As we were leaving, a man behind us remarked, "I'll never watch Harry Potter the same again."
Friday, January 23, 2009
My best meal in New York City this time around? Easy. Aquavit--a Scandinavian fine dining restaurant in Midtown that we tackled for lunch in order to save some moolah. We opted for the "cafe" part of the restaurant, which was decked in a very Euro-mod style and much cheaper than the "dining room." A $24 two-course lunch seemed kind of over-the-top, but why not? We were in New York City, after all. Ahem. First course was a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup, perhaps the best damn soup made of ghord I'd ever had. Resting on top were four marshmellows that slowly melted and blended into the soup for a sweet-buttery effect. God, it was good. Main course for me was roasted chicken with some kind of mash and crispy green beans. Jen had a very colorful salmon with a Scandinavian fruit medly I can't recall the name of. I enjoyed my meal with a $7 cup of chamomile tea. (I had these images of a man hiking into the Alps to pick fresh chamomile to deliver it to my cup; hence the high price.)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
While in New York City, Jen and I managed to twice escape frigid morning temperatures on Broadway inside a Europa Cafe for egg sandwiches and coffee. I like mine with egg and cheese only on an English muffin. In my mind, there's no better place for an egg sandwich than New York City. I've tried to make my own, but nothing compares to the NYC egg sandwich. Nothing.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Jen and I spent the weekend in glorious New York, and I always feel a shock to the system when I return home after a trip to the city. After days of constant, in-your-face metropolitan action, life in Dallas just seems so simple. In the coming days, I will post a few of our adventures, including how we survived in sub-zero temperatures, Daniel Radcliffe's bottom, and the best egg sandwiches in the universe. But nothing (nothing) tops the talking light bulb ("unlock... the CODE!"). Thanks, Jen, for finding a video of it. I still can't believe modern art sometimes.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I first saw Zooey Deschanel in the movie Almost Famous. She played the music-obsessed older sister. I will never forget her line, "Simon and Garfunkel is poetry!" Perhaps she reminded me of my self a little... but I digress. Zooey has an L.A. pop band (She & Him), and they are absolutely fantastic. I think she has incredible style and a beautiful voice (remember her in Elf when she sang,"Baby It's Cold Outside" in the shower?), and her home is even featured in Domino magazine this month. I think I'm either jealous or slightly obsessed... you decide.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Last night I ventured out into the too-warm-for-December air to dine at Nick Badovinus' new restaurant, Neighborhood Services, where I was to meet my old friends Renee and Jason. At the urging of Renee that we MUST arrive early (because this restaurant is apparently the new IT place), I pulled up to a valet line that wrapped around the curb and onto Lovers Lane at 5:50 p.m. Surely, all this excitement couldn't be over a restaurant, could it? Before 6 o'clock? But what was I thinking? This is Dallas, a place where local chefs are gods and people flock to their latest offerings like pidgeons on stale bread.
Having arrived first, I trotted inside and was greeted by at least 50 eager patrons, most of whom seemed at least 20 years older than me. I pushed my way toward the host stand, where I nervously glanced at a list that covered almost an entire legal pad. "How long is the wait?" I asked timidly. "Well," replied the well-dressed host, "I am about to seat the dining room, and then they have to EAT. Then we can seat you. So... probably an hour." I said "okay" and gave him my name and party number. I found Renee, second to arrive, in the same valet predicament I had just escaped from. "One hour," I mouthed.
Once we were both inside among the throngs, Renee and I planted ourselves two feet from the bar and peered at two women who appeared to be readying themselves to be seated. We were right, and before long, we had shimmied our way into a comfy post at the bar, where I ordered a "Beauty School Dropout"--St. Germain Hanger One mandarin blossom vodka, elderflower syrup, and crushed raspberry rose champagne. A tiny, plastic monkey was hanging from the edge of the martini class. I started to like this place.
Jason arrived, and we were seated sooner than expected. For the next hour and a half, we munched on food that rivals Badovinus' other Dallas restaurants, The Porch and Hibiscus, and marveled at the large number of over-40s that filled the dining room. At one point, we noticed Nick himself, dressed in jeans and a white apron, his blond surfer hair flowing freely, chatting with the four-top sitting next to us. It wasn't until we were getting up to leave that Jason noticed that one of the diners on the four-top was no other than Cowboys great Roger Staubach. I stared at him and his steak for a moment before vacating the place. For the people-watching and cocktails, I highly recommend Neighborhood Services. The concept of the place and the food, of course, are nicely done too. The waitstaff are dressed in ivy league-style sweaters, and the dimly lit atmosphere reminds me of what a bar near Harvard University might look like or Greenwich Village in New York City--it's long and narrow with lots of wood accents. I also love the storefront, which is styled in a very mid-century mod kind of way.
But I must plead with Mr. Badovinus: Please start opening larger restaurants.
Photo by Carter Rose, DMN.