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Archive for September, 2007

Bevans!

I’m probably the wrong person to be promoting shoes (I have two pair – flip flops and smelly boots), but I’ve checked out Bevans Shoes, and they’re pretty bad ass. She hand paints them all and they’re on sale for $90 – 150.

Bevan is a young New Yorker with talent (shoe painting) and passion (mostly towards the painting of shoes). I’ve had the opportunity to meet this shoe painter, and after she awkwardly painted my flip flops, we had a lovely conversation. So check out her page and if you like the painted shoes, support her!

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Feast of Love: I strangely like Greg Kinnear. I don’t understand why. There really is no specific quality that I can pinpoint. I guess I like him in the same way that people like vanilla ice cream. Or Bill Pullman. In any case, he stars in this new romantic comedy alongside Morgan Freeman, Radha Mitchell and Selma Blair. The movie looks a lot like Kinnear: bland but likeable. This is playing at the Angelika.

Bill Pullman
I get very little respect.

The Kingdom: A group of American government agents are sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate a murder. I at first thought this was going to be a political thriller, but now it appears to be a straight-up action movie. Lots of stuff explodes. Jamie Foxx yells. Jennifer Garner cries. Jason Bateman says something funny. This is playing at the Pavilion, Cobble Hill Cinemas and the United Artists on Court Street.

The Game Plan: In the tradition of such great films as Kindergarten Cop, The Pacifier and Mr. Nanny comes this new comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I don’t know who the genius that came up with the “muscular dude + cute kids = movie magic!” formula is, but we have him to thank for this. The Rock plays a quarterback who is surprised to discover that he has a kid. He has to put his life of partying, bachelorhood and illegal dog fighting aside in exchange for childish shenanigans. I like The Rock. In a time when most action movies cast actors that would be eligible for senior citizen discounts if they chose to see their own films, I think The Rock is a candidate for the new generation of action stars. He’s made some interesting choices, one of which is the new Richard Kelly movie Southland Tales (try to make sense of the trailer, I dare you). So Rock (can I call you Rock?), if you’re reading this, and clearly you are, stop starring in crap like The Game Plan. This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

Lust, Caution: Is it me, or has Ang Lee gotten a whole lot sexier? First he made controversy with Brokeback Mountain and now this. Lust, Caution has earned itself an NC-17 rating. Ang, you’re making me blush. The film takes place in 1942 Shanghai. The Japanese have invaded and are occupying the Chinese city. This is getting a lot of mixed reviews thus far, but I think it will undoubtedly be an interesting film. We saw Into the Wild at the Sunshine tonight, and there was a premiere for Lust, Caution. So I think it’s playing at the Landmark Sunshine.

Trade: You’ve written letters. You’ve harassed Hollywood producers and studios. Finally, your prayers have been answered. Yes, that’s right, it’s the Kevin Kline movie about sex trafficking that we’ve all been dying to see. It’s playing at the Angelika.

The Darjeeling Limited: This is my pick of the week. But I’m still a little trepidatious. While I love Wes Anderson and all the wonderfully quirky films he’s made, I’m getting a little tired of the whole “estranged family reuniting on a strange journey” story. All the same, this looks like it will be an entertaining trip in familiar territory. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star as the three brothers who travel through India together. This opens on Saturday and is playing at the Regal at Union Square and the AMC Loews at Lincoln Square.

Darjeeling Limited

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Review: Superfine

When I first got to Superfine (126 Front St. in DUMBO), the friends I was meeting weren’t there yet. Peeking through the glass doors I saw a place that looked like how Cosi’s original designers probably wished for it to look – exposed brick, sprawling couches, multi-leveled seating, interesting hanging lamps, attractive well-dressed clientele. Since there were no mini-smores ovens to make me feel at home, I opted to wait across the street in the bookstore.

When my friends got there, we got a table right near the swank orange-felted pool table, overlooking the swank sunken bar.

Wordlessly, a waitress came over and propped up a big menu board next to our table. On the recommendation of one of my dining-mates, I got the pork chops with carmelized onion mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini. My friends got spaghettini, pizza, and pizza, respectively. Prices were in the 12-18 range for most entrees and sizable appetizers.

When it came time to order drinks, I wasn’t super impressed. The only mildly interesting beer selections they had (unless you are especially into Bass, Harp, Guiness, Yuengling, etc.) were Circus Boy and Coney Island Lager. The Lager was good and cold and crisp, though, and no offense to anyone, but more delicious than Brooklyn Lager. This seems like the kind of place that might have a good mixed drink specialty, but after a hard day of blogging I wanted a brewskie and didn’t ask… but if you find out about one, let me know!

Anyway, though I was enjoying my lovely company, the food took forever to come. And it wasn’t until we were sitting there for like 40 minutes that someone was like, can we get some bread? Because apparently they give that stuff complimentarily. To be fair, we had an off-duty waitress sitting with us so maybe our server was confused about what was and wasn’t going to happen at our table… but the bread was crusty and tasted like it was from a good bakery, and the greenish olive oil that accompanied it was ripely excellent.

So, into my second beer the dinner arrives. I like pork chops, and whenever I go to al di la I never get them, even though my boyfriend does and they taste like heaven and I always want them. So I thought I’d preempt that issue by getting them here.

The first bite was that little medallion just inside the curve of the bone (sorry if I’m making any veggies out there nauseous, but precision is important!) and it was tender and delicious. The rest of the chop was, unfortunately, a bit tougher. The outside was grilled and charred nicely, but the pressure I had to exert on the serrated knife they’d given me meant that the meat was way too tough, the knife too dull, or both. The mashed potatoes tasted good. But not spectacular. The onions had gotten held up somewhere along their way to carmelized, and were lending a respectable initial flavor, but unfortunately not the full sweet, nutty goodness I knew they could offer. The zucchini was pretty good, as it is a delicious vegetable, though the heat could have been higher to increase the char-to-firmzucchiniflesh-factor.

I know that on the whole this sounds negative, but it was a very pleasant night with a great atmosphere and people raving about their dishes… since it’s that sickly change-of-season time I didn’t try anything else, but word of mouth has it that the pizzas and burgers are excellent. This is a good place to relax the evening away – the staff never rushed us and were generous on the drinks.

I’d give it another go, because a nighttime walk through DUMBO’s cobblestone streets, overlooking the water, can be a great dessert to even a less-than-stellar meal.

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Brooklyn Skeptic loves nothing more than the prospect of young people becoming involved in the electoral process. The 2004 election featured the highest amount of youth participation in over four decades. In my opinion, the best way to keep that trend going is by frequent, active engagement with the candidates. People under 30 should know as much about Dennis Kucinich or Mitt Romney as they know about iPods and the sociological implications of Jessica Simpson’s hair extensions.

Here are two things you can do today:

→ Talk to John Edwards on MySpace!

Go to www.myspace.com/election2008 and chat live with John Edwards at noon. Apparently, you get the opportunity to ask questions and respond to his responses in real time…which reminds me a lot of an electronic Gong Show.

→ See Barack Obama speak in Washington Square Park!

It’s free. It’s soul-warming. It’s at 5:00 PM.

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me: oh, one of my suggestions, in case i forget it before the meeting, is to just tag all of our posts paris hilton and see if it helps

recklesley: i think that’s cheating

me: whatEVER

the system is corrupt

recklesley: it’s ok

we need to be a pillar of ethics

me: arrgh

recklesley: what’s wrong?

me: ethics!

recklesley: haha

i feel the same way

me: no one else has them, why should we??

recklesley: because we’re better

me: but everyone else has self-satisfaction and righteousness too, i think it’s totally passe to think that you have to be morally upstanding to be morally righteous

recklesley: haha

that’s a good point

 

Paris Hilton – Not Cheating

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Last night over dinner I got introduced to the “i heart brooklyn girls at coney island” calendar. This shit is hot. A swimsuit calendar of queer femme girls, each month is a different lady shot on locay at Coney looking fucking fabulous and dressed by a local designer. Each month tells us which neighborhood she’s from, too, so we can keep our judgings and assumptions accurate and on track (Miss July is sooo Park Slope)(actually, I just found out from i heart brooklyn girls that the nabe designates where the designer, not the artist, is located. sorry miss july!).

10% of their sales of the 2008 calendars will go to Coney Island USA, the heroes that bring us the Coney Island Museum, the Mermaid Parade, and the Circus Sideshow & Sideshow School.

$15 is a bargain for the amount of solid ogling and queerhipster cred that you will get out of this calendar. I’m gonna put it up at my office and then call people homophobes if they tell me to take it down. Zing! Order it now.

maine_cover.jpg

the hotness.

 

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I watched an amazing show last week. An amazing show called “Gossip Girl.” And just so you know, I could not be more serious. It’s my new fave teen dram. This show is pretty much the best thing to sprout from the CW, ever. And I’ve seen a few episodes of the revived-from-the-dead 10th season of “7th Heaven” on this network, so you know there’s some stiff competition going on there in terms of quality television.

“Gossip Girl” is basically “The OC” meets “Bev 9” meets “Mean Girls” meets the Upper East Side of Manhattan (need I say more?). But since I’m sure most of you crazies chose to ignore this new tv series, I’ll review for you the highlights of the pilot.

The New Class.

The pilot starts off with the return of Serena van der Woodsen (lead character and former Queen Bee), who for the past year was away at boarding school in CT. And while this may not seem like a big deal, it is. As Serena abruptly left without telling anyone, not even her best friend Blair (who is clearly the Gretchen of this version of The Plastics). Though, it’s evident Blair is both insecure and annoying, not to mention a brunette, so I probably wouldn’t have told her I was leaving either, especially if I had just slept with her boyfriend. Oh, snap. That’s right. Serena got drunk and slept with her best friend’s boyfriend. Total ho move. But, that does explain why Serena had to leave NY in such haste. This incident is also an indication of Serena’s alcoholism, which is a foreshadow to all the fantastic events to come later in the season. (I can’t wait.)

Moving along, we also within the first 5 minutes of the premiere meet the Humphrey clan. The Humphreys are unpretentious Upper East Siders. They are, for those of us tuning in, a breath of fresh air. They are the Walshes and the Cohens of the series. The Brad and Angelinas. The rich humanitarians. We need them to keep sane. In the Humphrey family are Dan, Jenny, and Rufus. I love these guys. Dan considers himself a nobody amongst the elite prep school crowd. He is in love with Serena but has only spoken to her once in his life. And although Dan is clearly the best looking character on the show (in my opinion) and has a hip sense of style, he is ignored by everyone at school. But maybe that’s because he is a sensitive chap who drops everything to go help his 15-year old sister, Jenny, pick out an outfit for the annual *Kiss on the Lips event. What a good brother. And last but not least is Rufus Humphrey, a has-been musician whose free-spirited wife just left him. He is both Dan and Jenny’s father.

Soon after we meet Serena, Blair, and the Humphreys, we find out more about the rest of the series’ characters: both Serena and Blair’s mothers have hearts of stone, Serena’s little brother tried to commit suicide even though he’s only like, 13 years old, Blair’s boyfriend is definitely the biggest tool on the program, and finally we come into contact with the comic relief of the show — bona fide asshole/molester Chuck Bass. This guy is ridiculous…and hilarious. Not on purpose, obviously. One can’t really put into words the type of character Chuck is, but hopefully you can grasp some sort of inkling as to what he’s like from this photo:

 

Do you love it?

It’s great. He’s great. Anyway, during the premiere, Blair discovers why Serena skipped town (she slept with Blair’s boyfriend, in case you already forgot) and subsequently Blair dumps them both, only she forgives Nate the next day, but not Serena. (Girl hate.) Then a little later on, Serena (surprisingly) goes on a date with Dan, and while on their date Dan gets an urgent text from Jenny asking for his help, so Dan goes to save Jenny and finds Chuck trying to rape her at the Kiss on the Lips bash. Dan punches Chuck, Chuck says “big mistake,” then Dan, Serena, and Jenny all leave in a cab together. A perfect ending to a perfect pilot.

If you enjoy “The OC” or “90210” or things that are good in general, I’d say watch “Gossip Girl.” Especially because I might be reviewing it on an occasional basis. Also, the show is narrated through the words of THE “Gossip Girl” who knows all and tells all….through her blog. But no one knows who she is. And who doesn’t love that? It’s like if Lisa Turtle had access to the internet, and didn’t have a face. And lastly, rich teens in Manhattan…is there anything better? I didn’t think so.

So do yourselves a favor and watch “Gossip Girl” tonight. It airs, as I’ve already mentioned, on the CW network at 9pm.

End Note: It should probably be addressed that Blake Lively plays the lead as Serena. Blake Lively who is the younger sister of Robin Lively. Robin Lively who played Louise in “Teen Witch.” I’m just saying.

The Best.

*The Kiss on the Lips party is the social event of the year. It marks the beginning of the school year, and only those who receive a hand crafted calligraph-ied invitation are allowed to attend.

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Edit: The Humphreys do not actually live on the Upper East Side, but reside in Brooklyn.

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