Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan’

Summer continues with another huge blockbuster. Luckily, we’re in New York, so we’ve got plenty of options.

Angels & Demons: Ron Howard confuses me. He used to make great shitty movies, like Backdraft and Willow. Then he made shitty “good” movies like A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man. He also narrated and produced what is possibly the greatest television show in history. And now he’s spending his time adapting the most read (and criticized) novels in history. I have not read either novel, nor did I see The Da Vinci Code, so I’m probably not the best authority on this. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining, but judging by the reviews that are coming in, you might want to see Star Trek again instead. It’s playing at the Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street and Cobble Hill Cinemas (so is Star Trek, mind you).

The Brothers Bloom: The guy who made Brick is now switching from gumshoe detective stories to good old fashion crime capers. Although the movie itself looks a little too silly and quirky for its own good (the trailer makes it seem like Wes Anderson directing Ocean’s 11), I’m sure it’s still worth checking out. Brick was one of my favorite movies of whatever year it came out and has found its way into my personal DVD collection. Whether or not this ends up being a half as good, I think director Rian Johnson still has a great career ahead of him. It’s playing at the Angelika. Of course.

Big Man Japan: This is my pick of the week. A man can grow up to several stories high, and thus decides to defend his native Japan from weird monsters. The special effects look corny but hilarious, in a Stephen Chow kind of way. This looks like a lot of fun. Check out the trailer. It’s playing at Cinema Village.

Management: This movie looks painfully stupid. Steve Zahn falls in love with Jennifer Aniston (as people do) and then…becomes her stalker? Because that’s quirky and charming? I think that’s pretty much the plot. Woody Harrelson, who is always good at playing a tool, looks like he might be the saving grace of the film. It’s playing at BAM, weirdly enough.

Daytime Drinking: Apparently in some parts of Korea there are rules about drinking. For example, you can’t turn down a first drink. Also, you always have to accept a drink from an elder. Daytime Drinking is about a depressed man who wanders into one of these areas and has a perpetual hangover. No showtimes are available yet.

Tonight at the Landmark Sunshine you can see a midnight screening of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Also, the IFC Center in the west village is screening Full Metal Jacket at midnight.

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One Sunday matinée of Milk-n-Honey + One Monday night Foundry Theatre Free-Range Thanksgiving = Whoa! Amazing!

Sunday was the final day in the inaugural run of Milk-n-Honey, a multimedia theater piece put on by LightBox at 3-Legged Dog Theater. After interviews with eaters, chefs, pickers, doctors, food scientists, dumpster divers, farmers, and more, they came up with a series of short vignettes following a collection of stories about how food affects all these people.

Two supermarket clerks crushing on each other figure out if going on dumpster diving, urban foraging dates are romantic or gross. After regaining his taste buds from a jellyfish sting, a flavor scientist searches for the elusive flavor of light. A Mexican man takes a new job in America as a picker, trying to make the money to send back to his family while coming to terms with what it means to be living in the United States illegally. A sugar fiend gets diagnosed with diabetes, and tries to learn to navigate the supermarket without going into diabetic shock.

These stories were told in a dynamic, mobile set – supermarket shelves on wheels were whirled around to create evocative spaces. A camera mounted to a supermarket cart added a degree of meta-awareness to a scene unfolding directly in front of you.

An after show cafe featured homemade brownies by the Lower East Side Girls Club and a presentation from NYU students in an Oxfam Chapter about the Farm Bill.

After being an audience-member at Milk-n-Honey, I was thrust into the spotlight at The Foundry Theatre’s fully participatory Free-Range Thanksgiving.

Ten playwrights had been commissioned to write short plays for the event, and each of them, paired with a director, were charged with turning a dinner table of strangers into the stars of the premiere of their new work.

Each table was named for one of the plays, and sitting at “And Only Now Is It As Clear As It Has Ever Been,” I was not sure what was coming for me from award-winning playwright Carl Hancock Rux. What I was sure of was that I should take advantage of the copious amounts of free NYS wine that were provided, and get a little smashed. That was the whole idea of the event! Get everyone smashed and acting. A high school drama geek’s wildest fantasy.

When combined with a surprising and seasonal menu prepared by Chef Eric Hunter with food from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm and Roxbury Farm, and an audience made up of writers, actors, directors, and food activists, it was an exciting and totally original night.

I learned that I like Lily Flower, a pickled-tasted bundle of petals added to the salad varietals and doused with grapefruit-lemon thyme vinaigrette. To describe the savory back-of-tongue feelings from the miso-marinated local greens I drew back on the Milk-n-Honey flavor scientists’ explanation of the way our tongues and noses decipher tastes and memories. The dessert, homemade gingerbread with poached apple-rosemary sauce, was as delicious as it sounded, and possibly even more so at ten minutes to midnight and some number of bottles of wine in, as it was served.

So, congratulations to LightBox and The Foundry Theatre! These were fantastic and innovative events, and completely proactive at involving people from many and varied experiences with food, eating, living, and performing.

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Oh man, last night was dudely. My hand hurts from high-fiving. My stomach hurts from attempting to digest chili, wings and beer. But most of all, my heart hurts from watching a hundred or so Bengals fans witness a tragic loss to the New England Patriots.

To explain. I don’t know anything about football. If I were a character in Varsity Blues, I would be James Van Der Beek sitting on the bench reading Kurt Vonnegut instead of the playbook. And then instead of being put in to replace the injured quarterback, I would continue reading Kurt Vonnegut and tell Jon Voight he’s a jerk. Last night however, I was invited to meet my roommates at Phebe’s Tavern & Grill on Bowery and 4th Street. This is a Cincinnati Bengals bar, and my roommate had a Bengals sweatshirt and plenty of enthusiasm to spare. The bar was separated into two rooms. In the front room, there is the main bar, as well as nice tables set up for dinner. The backroom has a smaller bar, with tons of tables set up for drinking and general merriment. We sat in the back room.

Apparently the famous dish at Bengals games is the Skyline Chili. This dish consists of spaghetti with a cheese and runny meat chili sauce on top of it. This deceptively simple dish was quite delicious, and we all joined the clean plate club within minutes of getting served. After a few more beers, the game started. I tried my best to relate to my surroundings by saying things like “The New England Patriots aren’t patriotic, they hate freedom!” and “Has anyone seen the movie Little Giants? It’s awesome!” The Patriots then scored a field goal, and the smiles around the room vanished momentarily. Luckily the waitress was efficient and the beers came at a steady pace. The pain was numbed.

Next we got wings. My roommate ChezJJP knows my aversion to spicy things, and ordered the wings at a medium spiciness. They were hot. Again, the waitress continued to supply drinks at a wonderful pace, which put the fire out in my mouth. The Patriots scored again, followed by the Bengals. It was then that I got to hear a song from everyone. I can’t recreate it here, but I can say that it was a beautiful and melodic aria sung by a collection of drunk people banging on tables. After this, the night got a little hazy. We left shortly before the game ended, but considering the 34-13 loss, we didn’t miss much. It should be said that it was a genuinely easy going and friendly crowd who never let the loss get to them too much.

Speaking as someone who most would say is more likely to attend a Bangles concert than a Bengals game, I had a pretty good time. So basically, if you aren’t really a sports fan, but are looking for a place to watch a sporting event, drink cheap beer and eat deliciously unhealthy meals with friends, Phebe’s is a pretty decent place. Obviously, if you’re a Bengals fan, this is a pretty good place too. You can say whatever you want about football, as long as you say it loud and follow it up with a high five. Isn’t that what being dudely is all about?

Phebe’s Tavern & Grill
359 Bowery at 4th Street
New York, NY

Who Dey?

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