Popped into Joe’s Shanghai with a couple pals last night for soup dumplings. Dining there was a casual decision, but damn if the taste isn’t sticking with me. They were so good I want to go back there for lunch today.
Soup dumplings are made by forming a small ball of ground pork and crab. This is immersed in broth which is then gelatinized to a solid state. Wrap it tightly in a delicate dumpling wrapper and steam it back to a liquid. So ingenious and so tasty.
When they arrive at the table you pluck one out of the basket and (here’s the hard part) wait for it to cool a little. Spoon some hot pepper oil on top and pop the whole affair in your mouth. When you bite into it you get a burst of heat, starch, crab, pork and fragrant soup all at once. It’s just too good. Want more.
Better or worse than the Ghetto Bus tour?
I’m in if they provide pizza bagels and fu size snickers
Whatever they are charging, I can whip up ten times the tour for half the price and a few glasses of whiskey.
Damn your feet are swollen. Forget going to Arthur Avenue tomorrow, I can skip the butcher. We’ll just grill up those fat sausage cankles this weekend. — Me, the world’s most supportive husband
Yes, you are right. It is an absolutely absurd amount of money for a blender. But it has a motor strong enough to power a go kart, and laser cut blades. Once we decided we were going to make homemade food for Baby H nothing less would do.
The final sketch on SNL this week was Fred Armisen’s goodbye to the show, playing a song as his Ian Rubbish character. He originated the character earlier as a slightly funny but largely self-indulgent singer in the “History of Punk Rock” sketch. It was mildly amusing at best the first time; seeing him reprise it made me want to puke. What an egotistical jackass the guy is.
Even worse, he dragged out underground music luminaries like Steve Jones, Kim Gordon and J. Mascis to join in stroking him off onstage. How embarrassing for them. Bringing them out was his way of name dropping taken to the extreme. The sketch wasn’t funny and the song wasn’t particularly good. J. Mascis did contribute a nice solo but everyone else was just strumming as Armisen stood in front of them basking in the attention. And having Kim Gordon do no more than shake a tambourine? Just pathetic.
This whole shitshow was exactly the opposite of what punk means. The tone deaf nature of it’s failure is pointed out even more by the excellent, truly original and dangerous performance delivered by Kanye earlier in the show. Stop gazing at your navel long enough to watch some real talent push the boundaries, Fred. Good riddance. You were never that funny and have a limited range. I’m sure your fellow cast members are ecstatic that your ego is leaving the show, you self-absorbed piece of shit.
So THIS is the ad I get when I search for instructions on how to assemble a kids portable crib?
Just received an email from a guy named Henry. My initial reaction was that I don’t know anyone named Henry. Who the fuck is Henry? So I read it and quickly remembered who Henry is. He works for the PR firm that represents several mobbed up scrap yards on Long Island. Henry is the point man that several discreet phone calls steered me to.
A few jobs ago I had reached out to a dozen scrap yards to scout them as possible filming locations. Eleven immediately invited me in, but the big conglomerate that had consolidated several local small yards was suspiciously slow to grant access. I dropped their name in conversation with some of the smaller companies and got the quick brush-off but noted the shade that was thrown my way when I dropped the name. Being the inquisitive type I did some research and quickly learned that they were the front company that organized crime had set up to tax the rest of the industry.
Henry had put me through the paces and thoroughly checked me out. In time he discovered that we had mutual acquaintances who would vouch for me, and he reached out to let me know that I was “okay”. Of course, by the time he verified my credentials I had long ago scouted a non-mobbed up location that worked for the filmmakers and I was a few jobs removed from the initial request.
Yet several things about the experience tickled me. Like the fact that the mob is about as efficient as government bureaucracy. These humps took forever to check me out. Also, the fact that I can be vetted and approved in those circles. I like knowing people. The thought that this is the way I make a living, and I can be a filmmaker yet still be so immersed in the real world. The whole thing can be a lot of fun some days.
If I win Powerball, I’m hiring LCD Soundsystem to play “Daft Punk is Playing At My House.” And I’ll also hire Daft Punk to play at my house.
If I win powerball I’ll devote my time and money to vanquishing my enemies. I have a list.
Wife: Oh God, I’m so uncomfortable
Me: What is it baby, what can I do? Does your tummy hurt? You want something to eat? Something to drink? You want a back rub? A foot massage? Are you having braxton-hix? Let me get you a glass of water. Or a smoothie. You want a hot water bottle or an ice pack? Please tell me babydoll, what can I do to make you comfortable right now?
Wife: If you really want to make me happy you’ll shut the fuck up.
Typically, yes, Bravo’s crew will almost exclusively be brought in aside from a few P.A. jobs. Feature films bring in a substantial outside crew as well, but only after doing their best to hire locally. Further, TV series and feature films are significant enough enterprises that they become training grounds for local crew members. The industry’s success in the area has created an increasingly deep local crew base, and trust me they are well-paying jobs.
Oh yeah, Top Chef is mostly non-union.
Fuck Bravo and Fuck Andy Cohen -
I had previously heard that Top Chef would be filming in New Orleans. What a great, and overdue idea that is. My enthusiasm for the coming season was dampened slightly by the discovery that they were going there largely on the basis of a $200,000 payout from the BP funded Deepwater Horizon recovery fund. While they are within their rights to do so it felt a bit unseemly to me.
The arguments for or against this are nuanced. The purpose of the fund is indeed to promote tourism in Louisiana, and the food scene is a large part of what draws visitors to New Orleans. Cohen’s decision (and make no mistake, it was his decision, directly) falls within the letter of the law but jusssst a bit outside the spirit of it. The exposure will certainly be helpful to the area, there is no denying that. However Bravo is there for the profit and nothing else. Any discomfort caused by the concept could have been mitigated by a bit of charity on their part.
When called out on this by @Bourdain, Cohen went on the attack, attempting to characterize the show “Treme’s” use of the film tax incentive as being the same thing. Well it is not. Not by a long shot. Treme, and many other productions, have taken advantage of tax credits set up by the state to attract movie and tv production. This state-funded incentive has been massively successful. It has created thousands of jobs in a non-polluting industry that simultaneously promotes the region. It is an economic multiplier.
Compare your average feature film to the Top Chef Production. The film will employ a couple hundred people for three to six months and spend between 10-15 million dollars directly. Add in the taxes paid and the secondary expenditures by the cast and crew spending their wages locally and it is a clear net gain for the region. Carpetbagger Cohen and his production, on the other hand, hire a crew of about two dozen and crank out a season in three weeks. It is a clear net loss to the region financially.
Further, the Producers of Treme worked vigorously with local charities during their production of the show. All in they raised half a million dollars for good causes. So fuck you, Cohen. Fuck you for taking advantage and fuck you for your smarmy, dishonest response. I see you riding your bike around downtown Manhattan pretty frequently. The next time you blow a red light and pedal in front of my car (you’ve done it twice now) I just might not see your preening ass in time to hit the brakes. Maybe you aren’t the only one with a large blind spot. Asshole.
I love him too much
Wife: What do we have to eat?
Me: I can make you pork chops, poached or roasted chicken breasts, chicken fingers, roast beef, ham, broccoli, fanook, green beans, peas, corn, baked zucchini, ravioli, manicotti or tortellini if you want stuffed pasta, linguine, farfalle, angel hair or penne with either marinara, putanesca, wine and lemon or butter and cheese sauce. Mac and cheese, rice pilaf, some of that awful instant stuffing you like, we have pasta salad with fresh tomatoes and mozz, fresh mozz, mozzarella sticks. Cheddar, American, Swiss or goat cheeses. I can make you a grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich or peanut butter crackers. We have hard pretzels, soft pretzels, potato chips, tortilla chips and salsa. I can make you a hamburger or a hot dog, a bowl of cereal, pancakes or waffles.
Wife: So we have nothing I want to eat.