grey marble

March 31, 2005

Evening of film

I met up with Eric last night. He had an extra ticket for Kontrol, part of the New Directors New Films series. We had agreed to meet up for dinner, but then editing duties kept him at work. I met him at the Walter Reade.

The film had style to spare, but lacked focus. It wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be; it jumped between action, comedy, drama, and romance, not quite convincingly. It was also one of the loudest films I've seen (the loudest was probably The Perfect Storm, which I saw in fantastic theater in Bangkok).

Afterwards we went back down to SoHo for hamburgers at the Broome Street Bar. It's been around the corner from my house for years but I only went for the first time last year. And then it was just for a beer. I had heard good things about the burgers and nachos. I couldn't try both. I had a burger.

Tonight, Eric's film debuts at NDNF, playing before Zhu Wen's South of the Clouds, set in the Yunnan Province of China. I think part of it was shot at Lugu Hu. I can't wait.
listening to: npr's morning edition on kcrw
recently seen: kontroll
Posted by eugene at

March 30, 2005

An evening with Cherry

Cherry called yesterday to ask if I was attending a taping of the Leonard Lopate show. Eric was going to be on a panel as part of the New Directors New Films series running at the Met. His short documentary on Chinatown's Music Palace was selected. I said I couldn't go. She said he'd be on the radio at seven. She said we should do dinner. She wanted me to take a photo of her to use on her access badge for the Tribeca Film Festival. I invited her over.

At seven, WNYC started playing music. I checked the web and saw that the Lopate show airs at noon. Cherry arrived at seven thirty and I took some pictures. The digital camera I have is awful. I sent them to her anyway. We had dinner at Ivo & Lulu. Sebastian's slowly introducing his summer menu. He's adding a smoked salmon dish. I sampled a new duck special. He said by next week he should have the salmon dish on the menu. He's bringing back the summer squash and something else I can't now remember.

Dinner was delicious. Cherry was pleasantly sated and by the end of dinner was already making plans to return. We walked for a bit and then she took a cab home. I rented a movie. Posted by eugene at

March 29, 2005

Raw milk cheese

Sunday, Guillemette asked if I wanted to join her at Whole Foods. They've opened a new branch in Union Square. Unfortunately, I had just had brunch with Charlotte (visiting from Hong Kong). Later, Guillemette told me she had gone with Catherine. She said she asked about roblechon; she had wanted to surprise me with a little wheel of the cheese. The cheese counter said they didn't carry it. It's illegal in the states. Posted by eugene at

March 28, 2005

Three day weekend

I hadn't fully realized I had a three day weekend until almost Tuesday. The thought of going to London crossed my mind, but it was too late then to book tickets. Friday was grey and I decided to go to the Dia:Beacon. Thinking it was open until six, I got to a slow start. I called to check membership information and learned they closed at four. I never left Manhattan.

I went to ICP to see the Larry Clark exhibition. The show was comprised of photos from his books as well as video installations. His films play in a room off to the side. I was familiar with most of the work. The most surprisinging piece was not by Clark at all. A room on the ground floor exhibited recent acquisitions in portraiture. Hanging high on one wall was a familiar image until I read the caption and looked closer. Instead of Cindy Sherman, the woman in the photo was Asian. And here I've forgotten to write down the information.

Saturday I made it to the Dia. Sitting in the train, looking out over the Hudson River, I thought it might have been nicer to go hiking. I hadn't realized the day would be quite as nice as it turned out. The museum was still worth it. The space is vast, the light amazing. I sat in the Andy Warhol room and wrote in my notebook and read. Later in the afternoon I sat there and fell asleep.

That night I went to the Joyce to see the Steven Petronio company. It was the end of their 20th season and they performed works from throughout their history. At the end, one of the dancers spoke about learning all that choreography and what it meant to be able to dance so many years of the company's works.

Afterwards, waiting for Lillian to call, I watched Million Dollar Baby. I don't understand what the fuss is about. I thought the script lackluster, the directing lackadaisical. Lillian didn't text me until 1.45 in the morning. I was asleep. They went on to karaoke until three.

Sunday I worked. The day was grey again. By the early afternoon I was ready to leave the house. I went to Chinatown for a haircut. I wandered into Kobma and had their special fried instant noodles. I should have spent my $4.50 at Nyonya. But I wanted to try random new things. I called Lillian, but she decided to stay home. I wandered around a few supermarkets looking for dumplings.

At home I realized I hadn't explored an outer borough, Beacon notwithstanding. Next weekend I'm thinking of seeing the Basquiat show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Maybe start the day at Brighton Beach, eating brunch in a Russian diner on the boardwalk. If I can convince myself to get up early enough.
listening to: Tristan Prettyman, Love
links: the joyce
Posted by eugene at

March 25, 2005

Art parties

Last night I met Guillemette at the Guggenheim. She had secured tickets to the Gala Opening for The Eye of the Storm: Works in situ by Daniel Buren, an artist who has created a career of painting stripes of a certain width. The installation was ok; the champagne was decent; the cheese was very good.

Earlier, I had met Hiromi at a diner. We ate waffles. She's trying to decide when to return to Japan. If she doesn't find employment soon, she's decided there's no point in staying in New York. And much as she would like to stay, she misses Japan.

Guillemette and I arrived at the Guggenheim at eight and walked up through the installation. The walls were mostly bare. A mirrored column was built into the space. Catherine later explained its relation to New York (she had attended a press opening in the morning); how walking behind it indicated the scaffolding you see on the streets; how the object itself mirrored the skylight and the skyscrapers. I asked her about the green stripes and she said she didn't know. I had mentioned that they looked like the spine of Wired magazine.

At the cheese table I was introduced to reblochon, a runny cheese (which has it's own website! with cow bell sound effects!). I couldn't stop spreading it on Carr's table water crackers (my favorite crackers). Beside me a man stabbed at a hunk of hard cheese, trying to cut it down the center. He embedded the knife and when trying to extricate it tossed the cheese in the air. He licked his knife and tried again. A man in a suit looked on with horror until the first man said, "Well, you could help me with this." And then he did. Posted by eugene at

March 24, 2005

Joe's Pub

Last night I met Hiromi at Joe's Pub. I have long wanted to go there for a show after Lynda invited me to a cabaret that was less than wholly enchanting, and after missing a series of artists I would have liked to have seen. I had mentioned wanting to see Tina Dico to Hiromi and she asked if she could come. She brought some friends.

The weather was terrible. Ice stung my face as I crossed Lafayette in search of the club. We met ten minutes before the show started and managed to secure a table right by the stage. We ordered a bottle of wine, mussels, and french fries. The opening act was a duo from Portland, Oregon. They sang and played guitars. One person switched to banjo for various songs.

Tina came on after half an hour. She's most noted as being a singer on Zero 7's first album. Her voice was large, easily filling the room. She thanked the crowd and joked about her last time playing solo in New York. She said there were about eight people in the room. She asked if anyone had seen her before. A few people clapped. "Ah, I see a couple of those eight are back," she said. She introduced her band, which she had brought with her from Denmark.

She played tracks from her first album, from her new album which she'd just completed, an tracks from her first six track EP. A man at the table next to me was bootlegging the show on a minidisc, so I imagine you'll be able to find a torrent of it or something sometime. After the show, Hiromi thanked me for mentioning the show to her. She said she really enjoyed it.

Walking back into the freezing rain, we all decided not to continue to brave the weather and all went home. Looking to the weekend, I had hoped to go somewhere, but the weather looks uncooperative. I have Friday off. I'm thinking of going to the Dia:Beacon. Anyone?
listening to: tina dico, far
Posted by eugene at

March 23, 2005

Missed dates and dreams

Mimi called me to ask if I wanted to meet her around nine in Korea Town. She and some friends were planning on watching the Pachyderm parade. Every year, the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus brings their elephants through the Queens Midtown Tunnel to Madison Square Garden at midnight. Every year I plan to go. This year I had to turn her down. I was staying in to recuperate.

While walking home I noticed that Ben and Jerry's free cone day is April 19th. Last year I left for the Middle East on their free cone day. It's amazing to think a year has passed.

Last night I dreamt first that I was in a western and then that I was offered a job to work at the bookstore in Macy's. Of the first dream I only remember a hazy glimpse of the landscape. Of the second, I remember already being an employee of Macy's unloading boxes. When taking something to the post office, I was approached to work in the book department because I looked trustworthy. I was wearing a t-shirt borrowed from one of the other departments and a badge. I got to ride in the employee elevator. Posted by eugene at

March 22, 2005

Sleep is good for the soul

I went to bed last night around 9.30pm. I slept until 8 this morning when my alarm had to wake me up. I've been dreaming a lot recently, seemingly on the same theme, but I can never remember exactly what went on when I wake up.
Posted by eugene at

March 21, 2005

Under the weather

I'm feeling ill. Yesterday, I tried to watch a movie, but fell asleep after 30 minutes. It was eight o'clock. I woke and put on some Thelonious Monk and settled on the couch to read. I fell asleep. I slept fitfully until 11.30 and then decided to go to bed. It was a shallow sleep. This morning I felt achy, but got up and came to work. I have a meeting with my accountant this afternoon and figured that since I had to get up anyway I might as well go to work. Now I'm not so sure. Posted by eugene at

March 20, 2005

Flower power

I told my cousin Rebecca that I was surrounding myself with flowers this weekend. She laughed. She said that was interesting. She said I was quite a character. She said, "Did you really spend your weekend surrounded by flowers?" I said yes. I said check my blog tomorrow.

This morning I cleaned the apartment. I did laundry. It's the first day of Spring. Happy Spring!

Yesterday, David picked onion grass out of the ground and waved it under my nose. Simone pointed out a crocus. The first signs of spring. Today I went to Macy's for the annual flower show, another sign of spring. The Broadway windows placed the Muppets as characters in The Wizard of Oz surrounded by flowers. The ground floor was packed with shoppers and with people admiring the displays. I found the orchids. My favorites were the cactii. A tour was being led through. I heard the guide mention gardens on the 7th and 8th floors. I took the escalator.

I couldn't find them. I took the elevator back down. On the sidewalk I read a sign in a window advertising the return of children's garden on the 7th floor and the Chicken Little garden on the 8th. I took the elevator back up. I wandered around and admired the displays in the center aisle: seahorses, crystal, and greenery. I asked a salesperson about the garden. She said it was just past the crystal, back the way I came.

It was a small circular garden. Chicken Little hung above. The children's garden on the 7th floor was somewhat larger. Peter Rabbit loomed above. Pictures of vegetables placed on stakes marked what was planted in the ground. They were both charming.

I had dinner in Korea Town at the Mandoo Bar. Mimi called. She hadn't received my text message. She said she was meeting Amy. She was hungry. I said I had just ordered. She said she had to eat fast and get back to work.

The food came. The waitress indicated the soy sauce and a small dish in which to place it. I thanked her. Then I ate. Posted by eugene at

Playing with worlds

Last night I went to BAM to see A Play Without Words, a piece that inverts the traditional term "dance theater;" for this was theater danced. I was particularly struck by its triple cast leads, offering multiple interpretations or complete re-interpretations of a each scene. It had the look of a Kylie Minogue video as visualized by Michel Gondry.

I went to the play alone. Throughout, a seat remained empty beside me. Earlier I had gone to the New York Botannical Gardens, up in the Bronx. I called Simone to see if she was interested and she said to give her an hour. She left at 12.30, I left at one. When the 4 train emerged from the earth she called to ask me where I was. I looked at the map and told her the name of the next stop. She said she was on the same train in the second car. I told her I was in the third. I looked up through the doors and saw David walking towards the first car. I told her to tell him to turn around.

At the next station I changed cars. I walked up to David and asked him if the train went to the Gardens and sat down next to him. No one paid much attention.

At the Gardens, Simone was upset about the policy against photography in the main gallery of the orchid show. Not that it deterred anyone. I walked the paths of the observatory with David, who told me about various orchids and told me about the orchid that could be pollinated by only one species of moth in the world. Simone had to point it out.

The flowers were beautiful, the gardens pleasant. We tried to see the rock garden but it was closed. It was closed the last time I visited the gardens.

I walked back to the train; they took the bus. They just missed a train that passed as I was entering the station. We waited. It took some time.

The ride to Brooklyn was uneventful. I read Gilead on the train. I finished the book this morning. It's very well written; the voice is incredibly well-controlled. At BAM I ran into Renée. She was volunteering for the BAM cinemaclub. She asked me what film I was seeing. I told her I was seeing the play. A woman walked up to us and asked us where the play was. I told her the name of the theater; Renée gave her directions. She thanked us and walked back out into the street.

I finished chatting with Renée and then went to a nearby deli for a sandwich. After eating I went early to the theater to wait in the cafe. As I walked past the tables a woman stopped me. She smiled and said, "I found it. Thanks!" Posted by eugene at

March 19, 2005

Dinner and a movie

Last night I met Mimi and Sonia for Born into Brothels. After the film Mimi said she felt like she had paid ten dollars to watch a commercial. She said she half-expected Sally Struthers to appear in a corner of the screen to tell us that for just the cost of a cup of coffee a day you too can save a child. She had a lot of opinions.

She had opinions on the order in which men and women should enter a car; she had opinions on the position of men and women when walking on the sidewalk (man on the outside); she had opinions on who should walk first through a revolving door. But she allowed that in New York the rules were off. She paused. "You do realize I'm making up all this as I go along?" Yes. It's good to have opinions.

The film was beautiful in the way that India is beautiful, and the photographs taken by the filmmaker and some of the children were striking. The film lacked focus, however, as things happened without context, and the children's story arcs became confused. Still, it was enjoyable, and two songs from the film Mohabbatein were featured prominently. I couldn't stop nodding my head.

Afterwards we went to dinner at Typhoon. Mimi tried to find it by sms'ing google, but it didn't work. She said the housewives must be out tonight.
listening to: adrianne, for adeline
Posted by eugene at

Saturday morning seven a.m.

      "Hello, is Kenny there?"
      "I'm sorry?"
      "Is this Kenny?"
      "I'm sorry. You have the wrong number."
      "Oh. Sorry."
Posted by eugene at

March 18, 2005

I dreamed of Arabia

This morning while walking to work a man passed me singing to himself in Arabic. In my mind I heard the click of a loudspeaker just before the call to prayer and imagined myself walking the morning streets of Aleppo. I followed him, two steps behind, to listen to the music until he turned south on Wooster and I was left with the impression of his song in my ear, memories filling my head. Posted by eugene at

March 17, 2005


I've upgraded this blog to MT3.1. Does anyone notice? Posted by eugene at


I think this year on my birthday I am going to treat myself to dinner at Le Bernardin. I've been long wanting to go and I've just read this review. Was it Greta Garbo who used to go to New York restaurants to eat alone? Posted by eugene at

March 16, 2005

Lost my Chinese chops

I couldn't help it. I went back to Chinatown today for lunch. I wanted the curry chicken that I couldn't have last night. It was delicious. On the way back I had hoped to find someone selling hotcakes on the sidewalk. But he wasn't where he was last night. And so I ducked into a bakery. The woman behind the counter insisted on talking to me in English. She seemed not to understand my Chinese. Is it that bad? Posted by eugene at

Dinner reading

Last night Lin was too busy for dinner. She had been in California for the weekend and on Monday she went from the airport straight to work. I called Cherry to see if she was interested but she was rushing to get a FedEx package out. I had a hankering for curry chicken and so walked to Chinatown and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant. The place I wanted to go, just behind the old Music Palace, was closing.

When I returned home, I sank into Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. Nothing much seems to happen but the voice is so compelling and the descriptions so particular that I found myself unable to put it down. If I didn't have to get up this morning I would have been up all night. Posted by eugene at


I spent more money yesterday on dessert than I did on food. It's a combination of gourmet cookies and ice cream and deli sandwiches (light) and Chinatown dinners. Fortunately, I didn't eat all the sweets myself. Some I shared, and some I've left in the freezer for another day. Posted by eugene at

March 14, 2005

Art part two

Yesterday, Sonia O. called to ask me what I was doing. It was noon. I told her I was on my way to PS1. She asked me how close I was. "I'm at home," I said. "But I'm about to put my socks on."

We agreed to meet inside. She said she would be late. By 2.30 I was finished. The museum was mobbed. It was the public opening of Greater New York 2005, a showcase of new work by artists from the area. Media and artists mingled. I sat in the courtyard and waited. Sonia arrived around three. She apologized, saying that her sister had called and then her mother had called again and she had been on the phone. I asked if she wanted to see the museum and she said she didn't mind.

We looked for something to do. I told her I had planned to meet a friend in Flushing later, and she said that was fine. Walking to the subway we passed the Bus Obscura and boarded. Small holes drilled in the darkened windows projected images on the inside. We drove to a small sculpture museum, the world reflected upside down on the windows.

In the sculpture gallery we wandered to the basement. One piece of art invited us to climb through a padded house. Of all the items on display, Sonia said she would buy that one. Returning to the ground floor we saw a woman sitting in the opening of the piece. "You can climb all the way through," we told her. "You can!" she exclaimed, giddy with delight.

We took the 7 to the end of the line. I called Pamela and she said we should meet at Sago. Sonia and I made our way to the tea shop and waited. I had fried chicken.

I hadn't seen Pamela in over a year. We caught up and chatted. She gave me investment advice. I asked about babies; she asked about girlfriends. Neither seem to be in the picture at the moment.

After we finished our tea, she took us to the Flushing Mall. It was much bigger than I had remembered. She said they had expaneded. We walked through a 99 cent store and then made our way to the food court. We ordered dumplings and yo tiau and oyster omlettes and boiled spinach. Pamela brought shaved ice to the table. We ate and talked and then it was time to go. Pamela walked us to the subway. I asked about the Chinatown shuttle bus. She said that it was two dollars from Chinatown, but only a dollar to go.

We bid our adieus and Sonia and I descended to the subway. We rode together for a while and then we transferred to different lines, each tunnelling home. Posted by eugene at

March 13, 2005

Top o' the world, ma!

Mimi returned from the bathroom at Suenos excited. "I don't know how to tell you this," she started. Then she told me she saw the top of her head. She realized she hadn't seen it before. She said the mirrors in the bathroom are arranged so that you can see it. It's funny she never noticed it before.

I went to the cubist inspired bathroom to have a look. Peering at myself from above, I realized how egg shaped my own pate was.
Posted by eugene at

March 12, 2005

Familiar faces, different places

Mimi called me this morning. She asked me what my plans were for the day. I told her I was going to Chelsea to look at some galleries. She asked me if I were hungry. I said I could eat. She had just dropped off a jacket to be tailored on the lower east side and had an hour to kill. We agreed to meet at Cafe La Palette.

The place was packed, but by the time Mimi arrived we had a table. We ate crepes. I ordered jambon et fromage; she had the strawberry Nutella. After lunch we walked back to the lower east side. Just past Broadway we saw a little girl standing by a pool of water. Her mother quickly ushered her along. "We don't want to jump in that puddle. We don't know what it is."

In Nolita we stopped at the designer's showcase. I had mentioned losing my change purse (which I had bought in Thailand). Upon entering the gym I saw one I liked by Yukiko Sato. Mimi recognized the label and said she had one by the same designer. I didn't have enough cash on me and so she bought one for me. I picked one up and Mimi said it was too girly. I ended up with a different one. It's grey courduroy with a purple label. It's called Silver River. The lining is beautiful and I love it!

While crossing Allen I mentioned a Japanese place I had always wanted to try, but is never open when I go. She asked me if it was Homey Japanese Food. She said we should go by to check out the menu. We stopped in front of the restaurant. A girl waved to us from inside. We walked in and I saw Malin, cell phone stuck to her ear. She had just come from yoga. I had run into her last night at the Angelika, where we both had tickets to Gunner Palace. She asked me if I had been following her.

Mimi and I decided to get cupcakes. She recommended Podunk, on 5th Avenue. She knew the woman who ran the place after having waited there an hour for a friend. We ordered cupcakes and asked Elsbeth to recommend a tea. She fixed us a pot of organic coconut. Everything was delicious.

We took the F train to Chelsea. Mimi went home, but told me to call her when I was done with the galleries. I started at Max Protetch, where the walls were covered with Marjetica Potrec's drawings of cities matched with her handwritten commentary. Next, I stopped to watch Sarah Morris' Los Angeles at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery. Shot the week leading up to the Academy Awards, Morris creates a dynamic visual document of the city set to an original score. From there I went to PaceWildenstein for its retrospective of rule-based art, where I refamiliarized myself with the work of Donald Judd, Josef Albers, Sol LeWitt, and their contemporaries. I then backtracked to the newMuseum and their retrospective of East Village artists before calling Mimi.

I stopped by her apartment. She was watching a National Geographic special on babies. Computer-generated fetuses were shown winking at the camera through their amniotic sacs. We flipped channels for a while before she settled upon The Daytrippers, a film starring Liev Schreiber, Parker Posey, and Stanley Tucci. The film was almost over. The characters drove towards the conclusion of the film, stopping their car at 79 Thompson Street. From her apartment in Chelsea I sat and watched a film shot in 1996 and saw my front door. The lead actress stopped in the doorway of the building next door and was buzzed in.

After the film, we were starving and so set out for dinner. Our first two options were full. We walked south to Suenos. On the corner of 18th and 8th we ran into Li-Ting. She introduced us to Dylan and led us to the restaurant before bidding us good night.

In the restaurant, Mimi expressed surprise at the coincidences of the day. That in the few minutes of TV that I had watched this week I saw my apartment building filtered through the lens of an indie filmmaker. I said I was surprised I had run into people I know. I told her that I often feel I don't know that many people. She brought up the two today. I said those are the only people I know. Posted by eugene at

March 10, 2005

Bountiful harvest

I had lunch with Alan and Melanie yesterday. We ate at Spring Street Natural. I ordered the tempeh burger, Alan the taco salad. Melanie ordered the portobello burger, then changed her order to the salmon salad. The waitress said the salmon was served cold, and Melanie said she knew. Then she changed her mind and decided to order the portobello burger.

When our food arrived, the server put the salmon salad in front of Melanie. We were talking and didn't notice. She started eating and realized it wasn't what she ordered. "It's too late now," said Alan. "You've already started eating it." She shrugged and said it was fine.

Minutes later, a waiter brought a portobello burger. Melanie said she already had her food and apologized that she might have confused the waitress by changing her order. Alan told the waiter to put it on the table. Melanie said she didn't want it. Alan said he was starving. I said they'd probably throw it away anyway. She asked the waiter; he nodded noncommittally. He set the plate down. And so I ended up eating a burger and too many french fries. Posted by eugene at

March 9, 2005

Late for work

This morning I woke up at 11. I was late for work. It was pitch black out. My computer sat on the counter; the screen was missing. My grandmother sat at the kitchen table. Then the alarm went off.
listening to: nico, chelsea girl
Posted by eugene at

March 8, 2005

Exercise. Or not.

Last night I started swimming again. I took it slow; I swam for only about 10-15 minutes. I'll build up over the next week or so. Unfortunately, later that evening I discovered Mint Chocolate Cookie Ben'n' Jerry's. The carton says light; it's now how I felt after eating it. And no, I didn't eat the entire pint, though it was tempting.

This afternoon while emailing Rachel I realized my new job is even closer to my house than my old job. I should walk the six flights up to the office every day to make up for it. Posted by eugene at

March 7, 2005

Dim sum Sunday

Yesterday morning Cher called. It sounded like she had just got up. She had. She's been working on promos for the new AZN channel. Eric's been directing. She called to see if I wanted to have breakfast with her. I looked at the pile of laundry next to me and said yes. We decided on dim sum.

We met at Dim Sum Go Go but couldn't get a table, so we went to Golden Unicorn. The lobby was fairly empty, but the restaurant was full. The food was plentiful and fast. Afterwards she asked me if I wanted to stop by the set and say hi to Eric. They were working in a converted fire house. We stopped by Tai Pan to pick up egg tarts and walked over.

I recognized a lot of people from Eric's shoot, and we said hi and caught up in between setting up. Cherry asked if I had broght a camera; now that I was there I could take some pictures! I hung out and started reading Marianne Robinson's Gilead. As they came close to shooting I wandered into the set. They had set up an Asian cafe in the studio. It looked great. The promos were to be shot in HD, and the image looked fantastic on the monitor. I watched the rehersals and took some pictures and then told Cherry I had to go. Laundry still waited for me at home.
listening to: kcrw
Posted by eugene at

March 5, 2005

Culture Vulture

Yesterday, Ben told me about Casey's show at Bitforms. He said he had a piece in it himself. The opening was at six; I had told Lillian I'd meet her at seven for the Eames show at Design within Reach. As I was about to leave work, Ben said I should see Casey's show. I told him I would.

I took the train to 23rd and walked west, towards the river. The temperature seemed to drop with each step west. The gallery was almost by the water. The space was small but brightly lit, and I looked over the pieces, looking for Ben's. I couldn't find it. As I surveyed the people I tried to guess which might be Casey, and then it became apparent. I introduced myself and congratulated him on his show before rushing off. As I was leaving I ran into my neighbor, who remarked upon what a small world it was.

I arrived at Design within Reach just as it opened. Skyy vodka was sponsoring the event and so there were vodka cranberries and vodka grapejuice cocktails in the back. I grabbed a drink and snacked as I walked around the store looking for Lillian. People filtered in. I snagged a copy of Metropolis magazine and found a quiet corner to sit in. I overheard someone say that twelve people from the SoHo Vespa store were to show up.

Lillian soon arrived, Wei in tow. We repaired to the back of the store so they could grab drinks. I had a second as we stood and chatted. The space heated up and soon there was no room to maneouver. Wei brought over another round of drinks and then Lillian said it was time to go.

We walked east and then south. Lil wanted escagots. We settled for Japanese and found ourselves at Yama. We ate and drank tea and then walked east. Passing SoHo billiards, Wei decided he wanted to play pool. I was useless, knocking balls around. One of their friends arrived and they walked further east. I went home.

This morning I noticed that the Paul Taylor Dance Company was holding court at City Center. I had already planned to see the Thomas Demand exhibit at MoMA and decided to get tickets.

The Demand was oddly enchanting, the over-sized photographs as meticulous as his paper reconstructions, allowing one the ability to spot the little imperfections. Walking around the upper galleries, I toured the UBS collection before returning to the first floor to look at the prints and illustrated books.

I was set to meet Lin at five at Pier 54 on 13th street. And so I walked south, stopping by Minamoto Kitchoan for some Japanese sweets and then snacking on mandoo in Koreatown. I arrived half an hour early and ran into Sam, who was waiting in line with Elaine. We caught up as I waited, and then they went inside.

Lin had told me about Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow, a project documenting human interaction with animals in their natural environment (although I'm not sure how often you find cheetahs chilling on sand dunes). The installation is fantastic, housed in a nomadic museum designed by Shigeru Ban made out of shipping containers and paper tubes. The work itself is pretty, though it has the feel of the world music you hear in Starbucks. The prints are gorgeous.

As we walked through the exhibit, Lin asked me what certain animals were. Marmoset, I said. Lynx. Onyx. She wasn't sure about the latter; I wasn't sure about any of them. She asked what was up with my coming up with those animals. As if I had just returned from safari Elephants dominated, and sperm whales. Lin said she likes elephants.

Afterwards, we had Thai food in Chelsea market. And then it was time for me to go to City Center. They were to see The Glass Menagerie.

I had first read of Paul Taylor in high school. I remember a picture in the New York Times, dancers flying out from a point in the center as if they were the fragments of an explosion. He had just premiered Company B. I wondered at what the dance would have looked like. More than ten years later I would find out.

I wasn't as fond of the newer pieces this evening, though they had their moments. The closing piece, however, was Esplanade, which almost makes me cry at the end. As the music comes to its conclusion, the soloist, Lisa Viola turns and walks towards the audience, as if to embrace it. I fell in love with Viola's dancing the first time I saw her. It might have been in this very piece.

After the first round of ovations, the curtain rose and Mr. Taylor walked onstage. The crowd rose to its feet in appreciation. He bowed. The company bowed. He bowed again. The curtain fell and the audience emptied out into the street. Posted by eugene at

March 4, 2005

Elevator etiquette

The elevator at the office has a very responsive "door close" button. As long as a floor is pressed, the "door close" button works immediately. It's amazing. The other day the door kept closing on us as we tried to enter the elevator. I thought the elevator was being over-zealous until I entered and saw a woman in the corner pressing the "door close" button. Repeatedly. In fast succession. Posted by eugene at

A New York night out

Last night I told Patty I had drunk more alcohol than I have in a very long time. She hoped I hadn't done so by myself in a darkened room. I said I couldn't do that; I'd get sick. She said the love of my life would choose to walk into the room at that point, see me covered in vomit, and run. I said I'd probably be wearing plaid.

The evening had started at the SoHo Grand. The company was throwing a party for a client contact who was leaving New York for Ohio. When choosing drinks, one co-worker asked another for recommendations. She said to choose the most expensive drink. I started with a vanilla infused vodka mixed with pineapple. Delicious. I followed that with a tartini: vodka mixed with raspberry puree and cranberry juice. It tasted just this side of a jolly rancher. Heather, who's pregnant, ordered a margarita on behalf of someone; she said it allowed her to live vicariously through them.

At seven I left for Hagi, a sake bar on 49th Street. Hiromi had said to meet at 7.30. The place was small, in the basement of another restaurant. I arrived five minutes late, but ahead of Hiromi. The restaurant was populated solely by Japanese. The waitress asked two men to allow me space at the bar. I waited.

A couple entered the restaurant and after waiting a few minutes I told the bartender that I could relinquish my seat if she wanted. She said no, she didn't want to work so hard. The place had been packed since early in the evening and she wanted a rest. She offered me tea and I continued to wait as she washed glasses.

Hiromi arrived past eight. She's been averaging 45 minutes late each time we meet, but it's ok. I've had books to read. She apologized and then ordered for the both of us: grilled fish, smelt, shrimp cooked just so in a tomato cream sauce, dumplings, edamame. She ordered a yogurt shoku mixed drink for herself and an oolong tea shoku drink for me. I was surprised how light it was.

By the end of dinner I had lost my buzz. Before dessert she said we should have one more drink. She ordered plum wine and soda. I said I'd stick to the tea and shoku. When my drink arrived, it came in a different glass and I could taste the alcohol. I looked askance at Hiromi and asked what she had ordered for me before; apparently I had been served straight iced tea. And I had been surprised at how much I could imbibe. Posted by eugene at

Imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

I noticed that I've been getting a lot of hits from Hungary as of late on Carte Blanche Pedicure, my photoblog. Imagine my surprise when I checked out the referring site and found this. The design credit is a tad bit disingeneous . . .
listening to: G-Unit, Beg for Mercy
Posted by eugene at

March 3, 2005

Diet and exercise

The elevator at the office (for those not in the know, I'm at Frog as a contractor for the next few months) was stuck on the second floor this morning. I pressed the button, waited; pressed the button, waited. The indicator light remained on 2. The door to the stairs was ajar and so I walked through it and climbed the six flights. Between this and living on a fifth floor walk-up, maybe I can justify the brownie I just ate from my new favorite sandwich place, the deeee-lish Crosby Connection. Posted by eugene at

Chocolate chip, the flavor of choice.

Yesterday, Baskin Robbins was giving out free ice cream courtesy of Yahoo. It was Yahoo's 10th birthday. With printed coupon in hand I walked down to Chambers street to partake. It seemed that the majority of people brandishing printouts were Asian. I asked Susan what she thought it meant. "It means we're cheap!" she joked and told me she had chocolate chip ice cream.

When I told Sophia I had gone to Baskin Robbins she asked me what flavor I got. I told her I got chocolate chip. She said that was the only good flavor there. She said it was a pretty good chocolate chip. She's tried many.

This morning while talked to Hiromi she asked me how the ice cream was. I said it was so-so. She said she likes their chocolate mint chip. And then she told me she likes lychee martinis. I wonder what I'll be drinking tonight. Posted by eugene at

March 2, 2005

Fat for thought

Last night, after watching Nobody Knows, I wanted ramen. At Kim's, I picked through the plastic bowls and packages. Looking at the nutritional information, I noticed that a serving supplied 50% of one's recommended daily allowance of sodium. I decided to skip the ramen. Searching through the rest of the deli I saw Ben and Jerry's Body and Soul Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. The package advertised it as having 25% less fat, sugar, and calories. It still contains something like 28% of one's recommended daily allowance of saturated fats. I went home empty-handed and ate a snack of non-fat yogurt and low fat granola.
listening to: Daddy G, DJ Kicks
Posted by eugene at

see'n'skip: Nobody Knows

Nobody Knows. Kore-Eda Hirokazu, 2004. 141min.
There's more than a passing reference to Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata, 1988) in Kore-Eda's new film. About a mother who abandons her four children for a happier life, the film is notably absent of adult figures. Even the mother is childish in her desire for happiness at the expense of her responsibilities. Those responsibilities fall on the shoulders of her eldest son, Akira. At first, he proves capable of keeping the family together, but as money runs out and his twelve year old need for friends his own age become more prominent, the household slowly falls apart. Adults offer tacit help as they slowly learn about the situation, allowing them to stay in their apartment and offering them handouts, but refrain from direct intervention. The children seem to exist outside of society, or maybe Kore-Eda is commenting on the society in which they live. The film, though fiction, is based on an actual event. However, even after the inevitable tragedies that befall them, their lives continue, and Akira continues to shoulder the burden of his family because he has to even as we watch their lives waste away.
official site: Nobody Knows
listening to: doves, some cities
Posted by eugene at


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