Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Prickly

desert beauty and mild winter weather are no match for the comforts of home.. This lone, limbless vertical succulent lives in Lookout Mountain Preserve in North Phoenix, the circumference of which I hiked on Monday with my nephew Dan & his girlfriend Katie...

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Homeward Bound

It's been a nice visit with my family in Arizona, but I'm headed home today and I'll be happy to feel the comforts of home, and the arms of my man... Speaking of JP, I love when he invites me to the semester-end open house of the School of Visual Arts MFA program, which he coordinates for a living... Here's some bright art highlights...



And here's JP!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Shadow and The Flame

In August, JP & I visited the world's second largest synagogue, the Nagy Zsinagoga in Budapest (the largest in New York's Central Synagogue). Jews, once 10% of Hungary's population, are now a tiny but close-knit community, keepers the flame of their faith and heritage.


Yes, that's JP
in the green shirt...
DSC01276 DSC01292

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Nerd-tronica Nation!

Happy New Year to One and All!

From Big Bang Theory to Wall St. research, this is the Age of The Nerd!

My holiday musical offering is a nerdy, goofy, witty take on 'Laptronica' - literally, 'laptop electronica' or music you can make in the privacy of your own home... It's Max Tundra, the stage name of UK singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben Jacobs.

Our Song of the Week is his deliciously dopey 'Will Get Fooled Again,' a rhyming fiesta of on-line dating.. I hope it brings a smile to your holiday faces. Enjoy this entertaining, kinetic, and cinematic, black-and-white video...

The album's second best song is 'Which Song?' - here's our Max, lapping it live at Carling Academy in Burlingham, UK not Vermont...

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Scale Advantages

An Everglades moment, almost four years ago. I was visiting David, when he lived in Miami, five (six?) addresses ago..

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stencil Of Fear

This Budapest's Terror Museum, which chronicles innumerable horrors from Hungary's Nazi and Communist years, which we didn't see last summer. Four days just wasn't enough time to see everything of interest in that fabled, millenial capital.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

The Yule Tide Is High...

..but I'm holding on... Happy Holidays to one and all - hope you are having a restful and fun break in the company of loved ones... I'm in Arizona spending the holidays with my family. It's wonderful to see them all....

...but I am missing my sweetheart...

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Of Many Colors

Hey all. Christmas eve finds me South by Southwest, in Arizona with my family... It's very sunny here in the desert. San Francisco is not as sun-drenched, to say the least, but they often paint their homes in sunny colors.

This almost reminds me of the Palermo neighborhood in Buenos Aires, or perhaps La Boca, birthplace of the tango...

It harkens back to my 60s childhood somehow...

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Tavola Non S'Invecchia

That's an (optimistic) Italian proverb about how renewing and joyful it is to dine among friends - literally, 'you don't get old at the table..'
our visit 10 days back to friends Andrew and Michelle and the two resident terrific kids was a treat all around... To celebrate, Andrew made us some savory, well-spiced black bean soup with sausage....

I've never met a (cheese-less) salad that I didn't like...

Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble...
The soup looked much better in our bowls... Part of the trick of fine soup-making is skimming the fat off the top... One scoop of peppermint chip ice cream would have fit comfortably in my diet. So.... of course, I had four scoops... :-)

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Comfort In The Cold

Scenes from winter's debut... Pets now
carry appropriate warning labels... : -)

doorpeople double as salt spreaders...

This Channukah menorah
would have gone better with our holiday tree...

At left, our holiday tree... At right, purple baubles give a potted tree some holiday cheer...

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Scenes from a Sub-Blizzard..

It wasn't that bad, but we did have to bundle up and wear boots...
Mobility was challenging...

Some staircases became purely decorative..

Looking out at the snow drifts from our snug brunch table at East of Eighth..

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Drink Up

After 25 months and 118 Songs of the Week, I finally repeat an artist, indeed, my favorite artist of 2008, the collegiate worldbeat wonder known as Vampire Weekend.

The song itself, ‘Horchata,’ is a seasonal song for people who hate seasonal songs.

It begins referencing foreign refreshments, the Spanish almond milkshake known as ‘horchata’ (pictured below) and the orange soda a la italiana called ‘aranciata..’

It proceeds to touch on seasonal discomforts – ‘December’s too cold to handle,’ looking ‘psychotic in a balaklava..’ but, ultimately, it sweeps you up in its wordless holiday chorale and makes you – just momentarily – feel the prettiness and wintry calm that come with the ides of December…

And with that, warm holiday wishes to one and all. Have some really good moments and find the good heart that beats strong, even amid the chaos, calories, and commercialism… I leave Wednesday for a week with my family in Arizona, but postings will continue throughout the holiday season and the closing days of this decade.


Come sing along with VW.... I was set to see them in concert Jan 18 but it looks like I'll be away on a business trip, in Brazil.... I guess I can't complain too much....

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Sunday, December 20, 2009


More to come..


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Happy Birthday, Bart!

Happy Happy Birthday, my dear friend Bart! When we met 12 years ago we were both new to Manhattan, and you were on the cusp of your adult life.. Year-in, year-out, you are such a shining gem! Hope your plane made it out to Florida last night!

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You Bet You Ass(ortment)

Be careful with abbreviations! Our friend Andrew teaches a high school art class, and brought this
real-life example of artistic carelessness to school as an object lesson...

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Life, A Man, A Day

Definitely see the intense, achingly beautiful film 'A Single Man,' which sends us to 1962 California in the consciousness of a British college professor grieving his lover and grasping to get through a day when his emotional core has been shattered.
This kaleidoscopic trailer captures the film's mood nicely, though it doesn't begin to show the depth of the acting, script, and direction. See it if you like award-bait movies. Add a star if you like period, another star if you're favorite period is the 50s & early 60s, and yet another star if you're a gay man...

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Friday, December 18, 2009

What Are 570 Months Between Friends?

On Saturday we visited dear friends of JP (and now me), Andrew and Michelle.. They have two awesome kids - JP's two-year-old godson Bruno and his big brother Karl...
Born in 2007, Bruno is 28 months old! Born in 1960, I am 598 months old, and will round out my 600th month this January 30th. Bruno, a total charmer, was born on my parents' anniversary, August 22!

Here's Bruno and the Dad, with personality to spare, live on Saturday, when JP & I had dinner with is folks.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grrr.. A freaking raspberry just exploded on my expensive shirt. Out, out damned spot!

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All The Trimmings

Nobody sets a table or cooks a holiday banquet with as much love and talent as
my dear friend Bart Bland, who, with his husband Ashley, invited me, JP, and 12 other lucky friends to a classic, classy, comfy Christmas dinner of yore...No sooner had I walked in the door, the clove-kissed aroma of mulled wine beckoned to my yearning taste buds..

This table goes on for miles and miles, and made for an ornate yet warm gathering place...

What a feast it was - honeyed ham, salad laden with sweet candied nuts, mashed potatoes, pineapple slices, cranberry sauce, and peas.... For the desert finale, a merengue with whipped cream, raspberries, strawberries, and turkish delight!!

and here, in a classic video,
Bart puts the finishing touches on a sumptuous ham.... with a blow torch!

I want to move here! Who can resist a gingerbread house (can I get a sub-prime mortgage to go with my super-prime frosting?), store-bought, required assembly, and the builders say it looks twice as good as it tastes (which means it's still scrumptuous?)

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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Glop Named!

IMG_0544Christi wrote in and named that (delicious) glop I posted yesterday.. It's "soy protein and cashew spinach roll with jade mushrooms..," she believes, remembering the cashew and spinach, and that the entrée was quite delicious..

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A Singular Experience

How I love film awards season! Last night I saw the superb 'A Single Man,' Colin Firth's tour de force performance as a 50-ish college professor reeling from the death of his partner, in late 1962..

It's a compelling, poetic, emotional bullseye. I'll have a full review sometime this week, there's a lot to say.

Off the top, I'll add that seeing the loss, pain, wistfulness, confusion, and hormones of a gay man made the experience of watching quite immediate, being so used to unconsciously 'transposing' straight sexuality on screen into my equivalent experience. I hope Firth gets a well-deserved Oscar - his competition appears to be Jeff Bridges - you can follow this horse race on Clayton Davis' wonderful Awards Circuit site.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Name That Glop!

I can name that glop in four bites! One week earlier, we dined with Christi at Gobo - A Feast for The Five Senses... I had sizzling soy cutlet platter with black pepper sauce...

JP went with the soy protein braised in sweet and sour sauce...
JP notes that term 'braised' was used loosely here, and would describe the technique more accurately as 'glopped on...' He notes that 'despite the glopping, it was very tasty... We're still trying to identify Christi's choice, below right... We hope to get back to you shortly on this....

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Monday, December 14, 2009

The Santa Crawl...

On our way to Penn Station Saturday, on foot, we were surprised to see roving bands of inebriated individuals in Santa suits...

Late for a New Jersey train, I restrained my camera hand before images such as a Santa with a mohawk, Santa keeling over with a plastic cup full of beer, female Santas mooning passing cars....

The next day, up at Bart & Ashley's Xmas dinner in Bronxville, I learned the dealio, so to speak. It's an annual, organized Santa Pub Crawl, click and gawk at your leisure. Ashley in fact was among the Santa-clad throngs, as they executed a daytime pub-crawl from Park Slope to Penn Plaza..

Maybe next year I can tag along with Ash and capture the proceedings in glorious digitalia...

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