Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Week’s Worth of Musings

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I think I’ve left this blog pretty vacant recently, but honestly with a lot of travel and random projects going on to the left and right, I can’t seem to get it right in terms of putting the appropriate standards of pointless drivel that I am used to producing.  So it is becoming a weekly, I hope. 
Food:
  • I go to Yankee Lobster down Seaport in Boston for fried clams when I don’t want to make the 40 minute drives North or South of the city for decent big belly clams.  (the only place in the city with no drop-off in quality) One of the most fascinating details about driving down Seaport is to see the development of big flashy restaurants that vie for the business of convention, hotel and show-goers in this rapidly developed area.  Yes, there are many not-so-subtle metaphors in there for your reflection on self awareness, direction,  corporatism  and (some may even think) Buddhism.   
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  • I saw black and white zebra pattern high back lounge chairs at The Hawthorne in Boston on Friday night when I went to try out the recently touted cocktail menu there.  It is a remarkable improvement over the douche-y ultra lounge that used to exist there.  I would never have believed that a zebra (albeit more muted in tone and natural color) would work in a room, ever – but, it did.  The color swatch contained muted stone (lavender hue) walls, dark wood and dark matte frames/accents with heavy muted silver around.  If you want to extract some metaphors for this one too, feel free.
  • I am a traditional tea drinker that only stays within the confines of the 4 base teas that all others are made: oolong, red (aka black), green and herbal.  And, to be more specific, I prefer oolong and I prefer Iron Goddess (aka Tikuanyin) above all else.  The quality of tea is probably more abused in this planet than coffee.  I’d estimate 95% of tea that people drink is likely on the 10% quality scale.  Try good tea, it’s worth it.  If you want to try good tea with a meal, don’t be afraid to ask for it.  South Seas in San Francisco allows for the selection of high grade teas with your dim sum – not by place of choice, but that option is relatively special outside of Asia. 
  • Diet Coke might screw your metabolism up – especially when you are in a diet.  It won’t make you necessarily gain weight (other than water weight), but it will definitely slow the pace of your weight loss.  I learned this when I isolated the 1 anomaly I had on the scale Thursday nights when I traveled.  It was always the free diet coke on the plane – the only day of the week I had one. 
  • The chandelier at Tatte in Cambridge MA is a simple, elegant, cheap and wonderfully orchestrated chaotic masterpiece.  See here: http://pinterest.com/pin/204210164325225555/.  While having refrained from the gorgeous 12 item miscellaneous French pastry box that I picked out and bought for my kid cousins, uncle and aunt – I can tell you that there was absolutely nothing left in it after 5 minutes.  Not. one. crumb.
  • My parents: almond croissant lovers and connoisseurs. 
  • My mom’s eyes light up when people discuss the idea of ordering clam chowder.
  • Dwelltime in Cambridge, MA (owned by Barismo owner Jaime and wife) has the most beautiful and comfortable coffee bar (no booze) I’ve ever seen (think Absinthe’s bar) – oh, and it helps that Barismo coffee is probably second to none.
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Food Life
  • My friend Gabriel Mitchell, (pictured above at Dwelltime) a good friend and culinary kindred spirit, now lives in Boston and is studying a good deal of food research, influence, history, theory, and methodology.  To be honest, I read and research and study on my own accord – mainly on a similar subject matter, but I never thought I’d be interested in going back to college for that type of structured learning process until he noted some of the subject matter.  It kind of woke me up the possibility – but, no, I am done with colleges.
  • If there is a fellowship or a research program associated with the El Bulli Foundation dedicated solely to the study, progression, discussion and innovation of food/cuisine, I’d like to sincerely announce my candidacy/application for 2014.   
  • It only took me 3 years to see that the idea of food and cuisine without the borders of a restaurant is vast and its permutations are infinite – its understanding and attention however, are disappointingly finite.
  • When the question of “Is food art?” is asked and debated over and over by Herve This and Pierre Gagnaire in the book, Cooking: The Quintessential Art, I often focused in on trying to justify along with them about the answer to the question posed.  I have come to this understanding and conclusion.  Whether you choose to answer that question, “Yes” or “No” with fervor and justifications attached, you are always going to be right.  It is a question that obviously possesses no real answer to a answerless question – the only truth that comes out is whether you choose to be someone who possesses the ability to see things in a certain dimension, where you believe that there are cosmic/artistic/spiritual significance attached to food, or you are someone who simply chooses to ignore the idea.           
  • Another discussion worthy of a broad, college class study would be the role of food in influencing war and war strategy throughout the history of man.  That’d be an awesome class.
  • The “in” book right now is Sun Tzu’s The Art of War apparently.  I had a long discussion with an acquaintance the other day after Monday Night Football (of all things) over the validity of the author and its many debated commentary perspectives.  Having acknowledged the thorough importance of said book in the annals of history, I asked him this: “is that book a great book because of its content or because its content is vague and general enough for interpretation by every successful person that wants to tout his interpretation of its effects on his success?”
  • I can successfully apply the Art of War in a kitchen – and by that, I mean that I can take a sous chef’s head off if the staff laughs at me and doesn’t heed my every order.  Just kidding… maybe.
  • Another fun book that is free on my iPhone app store is the Kama Sutra.  Now that shit is not vague.  It’s pretty softcore and unsexy by these days standards.  Having read through most of it, based on what it is telling me – I basically should not have relations with any of the girls I have had relations with in my life.  Yup, it is certainly not sensitive to modern racial and class discrimination.  There is also an entire section where they list and justify all the scenarios where you could questionably slum it with “public women”. 
  • I had a great conversation on a plane – something rare.  That person was reading the Alchemist – a favorite of mine.  I’d go out on a limb and say that if you love the Alchemist, we’d probably be compatible for good conversation.
  • I’m not sure how to properly say this without offending the sensibilities of the entire Northern California population, but I think it needs to be noted:  Not being straight with somebody is just another form of lying.   Which by transitive property, makes you a liar.  I know, it sounds bad, but fortunately the truth doesn’t hurt as bad as you think.
  • Dux, brand shiny and ton of fun new stuff, coming sooner than you think in the next month or two… working hard.