Posts tagged NYC
Posts tagged NYC
My weekend was beyond parody. Saturday, Slim and I had bagels and lox and Barney Greengrass. We walked around the reservoir and then on a whim went to the Natural History Museum, where I showed him all my childhood favorites, like the duckbill doll in the Hall of Asian Peoples, the giant clam, and the film in the Gold and Gemstones Hall. When we got home, there was obviously nothing for it but to order in Chinese and watch Manhattan.
Sunday? Shoah with Dan. Obviously.
When I was two and a half, my father took me to see Mary Martin’s Peter Pan at the Museum of Television and Radio in midtown. About an hour in, as Hook and his men were engaging in their tenth Tarantella or whatever, I famously turned to my dad and said, firmly, “Too much pirates!” This early bit of film criticism has passed into family lore, but more to the point is a very useful shorthand for an over larding of any element in a movie.
I had a definite “too much pirates” moment during Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary about a master Tokyo sushi chef whose obsessive dedication to quality and perfection is increasingly rare in the modern world. I mean, we could only hear so many times about the master’s perfectionist tendencies, or watch so many loving slow-mo shots of glistening pieces of sashimi being assembled.
But in the end, the experience of the film was both deeply moving and deeply sobering. It’s a melancholy meditation not just on a changing world, but on the nature of fame and fatherhood, and it’s all refreshingly understated. It is hard not to watch something like this and feel the lack of rigor in our own lives, not to mention romanticize it and envy it. After all, how many of us will ever feel the absolute satisfaction the apprentice does when, after more than 250 batches of egg sushi that have been deemed sub-par, he’s finally give n the nod of approval?
(On a much more prosaic level, it’s also hard to find sushi that measures up after watching it — even if, like us, you go somewhere good!)
I love New York City like a blood relation, but similarly, sometimes you need a little space. Friday evening, Slim and I boarded a bus for the East End. We have our routines: baked clams at the old-school Italian restaurant when we arrive; cinnamon donuts the next morning; walks and visits to the library and the Ladies Village Improvement Society thrift shop. Yesterday I rode my bike to Iacono’s for a chicken, which we had for dinner. (We also got sort of sucked into Game of Thrones, on demand, even though I kept getting mortified and having to bury my face in a throw pillow, which hasn’t happened since The Tudors.) Refreshed and revivified, we’ll take the train back, get in a few hours’ reading, and be home in time for 60 Minutes and scrambled eggs.
This makes me absurdly happy. If you ever want anything stamped, this is where you go: it’s a small shop in a big building in the Financial District, two lovely guys do the work on an ancient machine, it’s absurdly fast, and at $20, a bargain too. (I know it’s sort of goofy, but I love my alarming initials and like that it’ll do double duty if I’m ever a kidnapping victim and need to signal to a passerby.)