Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Times Likes Tacos Too

Photo from NYCnosh Flickr set

Mark Bittman has a nice piece on
making tacos at home, and it doesn't involve Old El Paso or seasoned ground beef.

He aptly captures what I've been looking for in my recent taco craze: "It’s about the ingredients, as high quality and as fresh as possible."

I think he's a bit too disparaging about the state of east coast tacos, though even among my favorites, there is a huge chasm between the top and middle tiers. My advice for taco hunters, besides just going to the Slope's Tacos Nuevos Mexico or Tehuitzingo in Hell's Kitchen, is that taco quality is an inverse function of decor sophistication, a primary trait being the abundance of green neon lighting. But good tacos exist in New York as surely as the Mexican workforce.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Now That's Lip Smacking

New York magazine just released it's list of 101 Best Cheap Eats. It's a topic I'm particularly fond of. I've gone through many phases over the years (currently bahn mi and tacos) and built up my favorites joints. I used to guide visitors through the city based on what kind of food they craved and cheap eats were the staple. It 's fun to see this list of things to discover and gems still hidden (so I'm not really sweating the snubs).

Noted that I recommend too: Frankies in Carroll Gardens, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack, Schnack in Columbia Heights, Oms/B near the office, and Le Parker Meridien's Burger Joint.

The omissions: Rice in Nolita and Dumbo, Tacos Nuevos Mexico on 5th Avenue Brooklyn, Ba Xuyen in Sunset Park (better Bahn Mi than Saigon Bakery), Flor's Kitchen's arepas in the LES, Ruben's empanadas on Broome Street, Baraket's stuffed grape leaves on Houston, and Golden Krust west indian pockets scattered around the boroughs.

Thus several of my food cravings are outlined: shakes, dogs, tacos, bahn mi, West Indian pockets, grape leaves, arepas, empanadas, and this doesn't even include street vendors. Any one care to grab a bite?

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Tragic Ending to 25 Matches [Update]

In the past month, I saw the better part of an astonishing 25 World Cup games. Like Nick Hornby's admission in Fever Pitch, I spent starling amounts of time as an idiot. And I'm sure I'll do it again.

In the end, I was for France, drawn in by not only the story of their older (as in my age) squad, but by beautiful and tenacious playing by Zizou and Ribery in particular. And so their loss wasn't so crushing as seeing Zidane's thuggish head butt. An unsettling reversal to Italy's early thugghishness against the US. Moreover, the loss was hardly convincing. Though Italy dominated the first half, France dominated the rest, having the best scoring chances and the more beautiful play.

Sport, as much of our lives is unpredicatable and confusing. How can we love players who mar themselves and their sport with brutal violence or distasteful cunning? Poor judgement driven by emotions also struck Rooney, Figo, C.Ronaldo, Frings, Ballack. Is it any consolation that Mazeratti is a known thug? Little. Zidane scripted his mixed legacy of the Best Player of this Cup and the most regrettable exit. Pundits were calling for opera and we were given a grand tragedy.

[Update]- Robert Weintraub offers an interesting perspective in Slate.

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Recent One Liners

Josh, three bites into his first Bahn Mi: Say what you will about colonialism, but this is a darn good sandwich.

Norm (via his Demesne): It used to be that one had to go to the circus and pay money to see a lady with a tattoo. Now I only have to ride my bicycle around Lake Calhoun to see the same thing for free.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Holiday Music

A few weeks ago I was excited about Au Revoir Simone playing two NYC shows (6/29 & 6/30), and ambivalent about We Are Scientists, the headliners... but when the 6/30 show soldout, I leapt at Jean's offer to see the first evening. As much as I love their intimate album, I found Au Revoir Simone to be cold on stage and not much fun at all. But We Are Scientists really blew me away. Their songs were jolty, plucky, full of life. The drummer in particular was a superb contrast to cold rhythms of ARS and the other opener, the tedious Double.

On the Fourth, a team of us went to Battery Park to see Belle & Sebastian. After hours of a frustratingly penned line, we finally got to stake our claim by the sound board. Storms threatened, thankfully cutting short Martha Wainwright's set short. I've now seen her twice, and will only see her as a hurdle to endure before a band I want to see.

B&S had dropped, in particular to the mediocre "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant." Dear Catastrophe Waitress wasn't enough of a rebound, but I was open to their latest, The Life Pursuit, in part due to the unrelated collection of Belle & Sebastian comics Put the Book Back on the Shelf.. Nothing like celebrating independence with a band from the old country.

In the evening Lars & Frauke joined Jason & Mariani, Tam & Lisa and me on my roof to catch the fireworks.

Tommorrow, I'm psyched to round out the Scottish invasion with my new favorite band... Camera Obscura. I'm going to teach Mitchell some tennis strokes in the afternoon.

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