Friday, June 26, 2009

HIGH ON LINE


The new High Line park has been open now for about three weeks, and I walked it on the first afternoon, hoping to avoid crowds. It is, against heavy odds, a piece of public urban space New York can be proud of. While I am sure it is not nearly as interesting and beautiful as it was back when it was abandoned, covered in native wildflowers and weeds, and the neighborhoods it ran through were quiet and desolate (I wish I had the gusto and thought to try to sneak up onto it then!) the new adapted use park is really well done. I can't wait for the second portion, for the plants to really grow in and establish themselves, and the day when each end has an anchor to draw you from one end to the other. The south end will have the Renzo Piano designed Whitney Museum and the north end a large park which will be part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment (which, like other big projects around the city, should be all wrapped up by around 2095).

We as a city are lucky someone had the vision to preserve this piece of the city's history instead of tearing it down so more ticky-tacky condos could be built in it's place. The irony is the ticky-tacky condos (as well as some well designed buildings) that were built near the park are all now much more desirable (indeed, many of them were built because of proximity to the High Line) than they would have been without it. See, developers? Sometimes preservationists aren't just cranky biddies who want to stop progress in it's tracks. Imagine what the area around this nightmare could have been like if the original had been saved...

Here is what the Times thinks of all this
and then there are some who are not fans

Of course, this is New York, and it wouldn't be New York without some (justifiable) anger over the fact that the glitzy park of celebrity sponsorship is getting more attention and care from taxpayers than much larger parks that don't run near Pastis and the Stella McCartney store.

Some more pics:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VENTI DEXTROSE FRAPPACINO


Encouraging, and not a little surprising, news that both Starbucks and Jamba Juice are cutting high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors and (some) preservatives from most of their food and drink items. I always thought it was messed up that Jamba Juice marketed their products as healthy when they are mostly refined sweeteners with a little frozen fruit mixed in.

Julia and I just saw Food, Inc., a documentary produced by Robert Kenner (the father of a good friend, actually) that sort of crystalized into movie form the slow food/ locavore movement popularized by authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma & In Defense of Food) and Eric Schlossser (Fast Food Nation). As with all the books, the movie is a terrifying glimpse into the corporate-industrial food complex. Highly recommend seeing it, especially if you are as un-cool with hamburger meat treated with ammonia as I am.

So, this week, a little victory for health. Uhhh.... thank you Starbucks and Jamba Juice (?)

[Washes mouth out with soap]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

QUICK, SIMPLE BREAKFAST


Deciding to eat healthier is something I have noticed comes with growing older. Back when we were young and beautiful and nothing could stop us, breakfast used to be a hungover stop at our favorite local coffee shop for an iced Americano and then maybe a second stop at another local place that makes one of the most brilliant creations known to Mankind: the doughnut muffin. The coffee at Gimme and the muffin at Second Stop mean it is well worth waiting in two lines, even if you are late for work.

Lately, however, I have decided I need to eat actual food (and lay off the sauce) to have a functional day. The trouble is, while I have time to wait in line for coffee, I cannot justify the time and mess to slow cook scrambled eggs or roast hash browns or whatever. And, if I have to eat yogurt and fruit everyday... well, let's just say my digestive system isn't 18 anymore either.

So I have been trying out different ways to make breakfast for one quickly, get some protein, and also integrate my favorite breakfast food: greens. So far this mix of items (it's not really a recipe) is my favorite.

Hard Boiled Eggs, Arugula Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and Parmesan Toast
(dressing recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

2 eggs, hard boiled
1 bunch of Arugula greens
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon mayonnaise
dash of kosher salt
dash of fresh ground pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 slice while grain bread
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Start the eggs in a small pot of room temperature water on medium-low heat with the lid off as soon as you get up. They will be ready by the time you are, in about 35-40 minutes. Remove eggs from boiling water and place in a bowl of cold water. Peel the shells and let the eggs cool a bit. Rinse the arugula, spin dry and place on plate. Put the bread with grated cheese, ground pepper in the toaster oven for 5 minutes. While it toasts, whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, salt, pepper,and minced garlic (I just discovered super young garlic with the stalks still on at the green market-- it is milder than the older dried sort) together in a bowl. Drizzle over arugula, cuts eggs in half, and place with toast on plate... serve.... to yourself.





Monday, June 22, 2009

A couple weeks ago Chad and I had the pleasure of attending an opening at Lever House for my friend Tara Donovan's newest sculpture.  We have both been long time fans of her work---but seeing it in person is an entirely different experience altogether. Facing the piece head on, it resembles an anatomical illustration or a cross section of bone marrow or tissue.  


Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of Tara's works as a whole,  are their ability to completely transform from location to location.  She spoke about this very same piece being displayed previously in another gallery, against the wall without light shining through.  The lobby of the Lever House however, has floor to ceiling glass windows flooded with light that combined with the passing traffic creates a surprising kaleidoscope effect.

   video

As you can see, a virtuoso cinematographer I am not.  Might have something to do with the reception's free flowing Prosecco.  This guy did a good job though: