Thursday, August 30

This is not my beautiful tamale

You gotta love the Red Hook ball fields, where a home-grown Latin food feast has quietly thrived for the last 30 years at the site of some city-owned soccer fields. For the last few years the scene has gone mainstream, with food bloggers, the New York Times and now David Byrne (proud owner of the pupusas and huaraches at right) singing the praises of the delicious and cheap food.

Now The Man, in the form of the Parks and Health Departments, is threatening to shut everything down. What can you do? Well, you could visit the Save Soccer Tacos website and register your support. But I would especially recommend checking out the scene yourself this weekend, because all permits may be revoked post-Labor Day. For a bit of pre-reading, visit the exemplary Porkchop Express blog and check out "Everything you always wanted to know about Red Hook, but were afraid to ask."

On my plate this weekend: goat tacos, sandle-sized huaraches, grilled corn with cheese, and lots and lots of aguas frescas and other tasty beverages. Mmmmmm....horchata.

And if the Ball Fields go away? Calvin Trillin floated a tantilizing suggestion in this week's New Yorker (criminally not available online) at the conclusion an article about the street vendors in Singapore, who in the interest of hygiene and modernity have been housed in food courts that put their pitiful American counterparts to shame.

Trillin proposes creating an all-star New Yorker food vendor paradise, filled with the very best New Yorker street food, including the famous Jackson Heights Arepa Lady, a few banh mi vendors, the Washington Square dosa guy and of course, the culinary All Stars of the Red Hook Ball Fields.

UPDATE -- Kelly, Daniela and I went to the Ball Fields on Sunday and boy was it tasty!

Our tally:
1 grilled corn with lime, cheese and chili
3 aguas frescas -- lime, watermelon and cantelope
1 shrimp ceviche
2 cheese and bean pupusas
1 cabrito taco (that's goat, btw)

It wasn't me -- I didn't do it

I never could see the resemblence myself, but enough people have remarked over the years that I "look like Joey," aka the critically acclaimed thespian Matt LeBlanc, that it's probably not a coincidence.

Sure, I'm flattered when tourists in Times Square ask me to sign autographs ($10 per item, and of course I can make it out to your grandson). And I always get a laugh when I saw "How *you* doin?" in my best Tribbiani manner.

But I'm not him. So for all you process servers out there, trying to hand a subpoena to my main man Matt TheWhite as he faces a $1 million lawsuit from his former business manager, keep outta my face.

Saturday, August 25

Has Anyone Told Natalie?

Any band that calls itself Natalie Portman's Shaved Head is already ahead of the game, but their song 'Sophisticated Sideways Ponytail' is pretty hot all by itself -- even if the band was called, say, Kokfarm.


Thursday, August 23

I want to party with YOU, man!

Actor Bill Murray was stopped by police in Stockholm when they found him cruising down the road in a golf cart, Swedish police said yesterday.

They don't know where he got the golf cart. He's Bill Murray, dude! He probably carries a collapsible one in his suitcase.

Other Bill Murray treats:

Bill Murray versus the Wu-Tang: "You're Bill Murray, Bill Murray."

The riveting and very nearly unbelievable tale of Bill Murray at Elvis' funeral

Monday, August 13

Welcome back, Mary-Louise

Everyone's favorite MILF, Mary-Louise Parker, and her legendary badonka-donk will be burning up my Tivo tonight with the return of Weeds, possibly the best TV show ever about a suburban widow who is forced -- forced, I tell you! -- to slang sticky icky medicinal herbals to keep her family in Range Rovers and private schools.

I have hearted MLP way back from the days of 'Fried Green Tomatoes,' 'West Wing' and 'Angels in America.' But as New York magazine notes this week in an interview, it was Billy Crudup's shameless dumping of a 7-months-preggers Mary-Louise (for the more and more obviously untalented Claire Danes) that set up the "optimistic dénouement" phase of her personal biography and possibly saved her from a B-List career, albeit one with a cult following.

What's in store for Weeds this season? Crazy Christians (Matthew Modine and Mary-Kate Olsen -- yes, that Olsen) and divorce attorneys (Carrie Fisher), but alas only a reported cameo by the awesomely crazy Zooey Deschanel, last seen kidnapping youngest son Shane Botwin for a wild and possibly kinky cross-country road trip.

At least one reviewer thinks that Nancy Botwin, MLP's character, has "ridden far enough on her pale skin and doe-eyed helplessness, and frankly, the "Oh, no, what do I do?" routine is getting tired." I'll take all the pale skin and doe-eyed helplessness I can get, but I can't disagree with this:

"It's time for Nancy to show a little less ba-donk-a-donk and a little more cojones."

Now playing: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers - Dat Dere (Rain)

Hasta la Vista, you evil bastard*

*At least until Fred Thompson hires him, or Jeb Bush runs in 2012

Thursday, August 9

Minesweeper: The Movie

Up Next: Sudoku Squad 7

"So one day I'm finishing up this real big, veiny, triumphant bastard..."

I'm looking forward to the Judd Apatow / Seth Rogen / Michael Cera joint 'Superbad' as much as any film this year. Check out the clip below to see why.

Wednesday, August 8

Into each life some rain must fall

Some days more than others.

Kelly woke up at 5 this morning in the middle of a huge thunderstorm and watched an inch of water flood into our basement. I woke up at 6 and found her downstairs. I asked her what she was doing.

"I'm stranded in the flood, watching General Hospital!"

The NY subways are totally effed up. It's starting to look like a good day to work from the home office.


The epicenter of delicious Latin food that is the Red Hook Ball Fields is in danger of being closed down -- again -- by those fat cats at City Hall. Screw you, fat cats!

An airline passenger hides a monkey in his ponytail, is discovered, chaos ensues. Sometimes this blog just writes itself.

Tuesday, August 7

Pencil Brain Hurt Me

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 59-year-old German woman has had most of a pencil removed from inside her head after suffering nearly her whole life with the headaches and nosebleeds it caused, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

Margret Wegner fell over carrying the pencil in her hand when she was four.

"The pencil went right through my skin -- and disappeared into my head," Wegner told the newspaper.

Remind you of anyone?

"Mr Simpson, removing the crayon could increase your brain power ... or kill you."

"Increase my killing power? LET'S DO IT!"

Which reminds me of another Simpsons episode, when Bart's April Fool's Day prank puts Homer in a coma.

Homer is released and joins his family in the hospital lobby. "This calls for a celebration. We’re all going to Hawaii! ... April Fool’s!"

But the family tell him that it’s mid-May; he was in a coma for seven weeks. After a pause, they all burst out laughing. Marge adds, "You lost five percent of your brain!"

Homer: "Me lose brain? Uh-oh!" More laughter. Homer asks, "Why I

Thursday, August 2

Let's have a little more of the Conchords

Why is Sellotape (Scotch Tape for you crazy Americans) like love?

The answer may surprise you

Wednesday, August 1

Barbecue Tease

Imagine a man.

A cubicle dweller in the lunchtime Sahara that is midtown Manhattan. He has to battle half a million slack-jawed yokel tourists everytime he ventures amid the Hard Rock Cafes and super-sized Chili's in search of something half-way edible.

But one day it all changes.

Right outside his front door, he spies the Daisy May BBQ cart, promising Carolina pulled-pork, Kansas City ribs and Texas beef brisket. His spirits soar. His salivary glands fire. Maybe, just maybe, there is a glimmer of hope in this godforsaken hellhole of a universe.

Except....the cart's a fake. It's only there for a movie - perhaps worst of all, an Adam Sandler/Mariah Carey joint.

(UPDATE: Gothamist reports that the movie is being made by Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel and it "follows the exploits of a Mossad agent who fakes his death so he can anonymously move to New York and become a hair stylist." That actually sounds pretty funny.)

Midtown Lunch, my daily culinary bible, has the story:
The angry and disappointed emails have already started pouring in:

"Dude I was really bummed and pissed actually when I [realized the] Daisy May’s BBQ cart at the Seagrams Building on Park+52nd… was just for the filming of the Adam Sandler movie, and you could not actually get any ‘cue. Grrr." –Jason

According to IMDB ”You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” is rumored to star Mariah Carey. All will be forgiven if we see her crazy ass eating at a Midtown street cart.
Back to our solitary office dweller, who sheds a quiet, solitary tear. "Fuck this bullshit," he thinks. "I'm going to Sbarro's."

Summer Doldrums

I know that my absence over these last few weeks has caused an outcry in the blogosphere that has shaken the Interwebs to its very core. Yeah, well, sorry about that but when cotton is high and the fish are jumping, my blogging schedule tends to sloooooow waaaaaaay dooooooown.

Do you remember life before mobile phones? Yeah, me either.

But I had a little taste of the life less cellular during a blissful few days on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

At first, I was angry at T-Mobile for preventing me from communicating with the outside world. Then, as I relaxed into a quiet routine of sun, sand, and liver toxification, I realized something: Those call-dropping, no-cell-tower-building douchebags did me a favor.

Above: "Serenity now! No, wait, not now -- Now."

Sugar Mandela and one of her Dew Drops shoot the 'Splish Splash' video