Jump to content


Member Since 16 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:06 PM

Topics I've Started

Gray Kunz

06 March 2020 - 02:43 PM

Just breaking.

The Louvre, Leonardo et al.

24 February 2020 - 02:26 PM

One of the reasons (if not the reason) we chose to go to Paris for our anniversary and various birthday celebrations this year was to see the Louvre's staging of this major international Leonardo da Vinci show, on the 500th anniversary of his death.


On May 2, 1519, the great Italian Renaissance genius died at the Château du Clos Lucé. This is why the Louvre holds almost a third of his corpus of paintings: those he brought to France were purchased by François I and entered the royal collections, which probably already included The Virgin of the Rocks and La Belle Ferronnière, acquired by Louis XII. This outstanding set of paintings, which formed the beginning of the Louvre’s collections, was supplemented by twenty-two of the artist’s remarkable drawings.


The fifth centenary of the Italian master’s death is therefore a unique opportunity for the Louvre to bring as many as possible of the fourteen to seventeen paintings now attributed to Leonardo, according to specialists, to join the five large paintings in the Paris museum. The exhibition will include a large selection of drawings and a small but significant group of paintings and sculptures that will provide some tangible context.



Evidently it was quite difficult to wrest some of the non-Louvre owned da Vinci works that were displayed, as the WaPo reported:


(You want to mount a Leonardo exhibition? Knock yourself out. Understand first, though, that you’ll have to beg to borrow works from a Saudi despot, the Queen of England, Bill Gates, and the U.S. and Russian governments; defeat a bunch of Italian nationalists in court; and placate a gang of Leonardo experts as vicious and territorial as stoats.)



It was intense. Obviously crowded (remember Michelangelo at The Met?), but I had scored early entrance tickets, so at least there weren't a million people already inside.  And using techniques honed over years, I was able to get up close and personal with whatever works I wanted to (well, except her, you know the one upstairs). One cannot be moved after seeing a show like this.


The only other stuff we went to see were some Spanish and Italian paintings. You know, that guy Goya, who was pretty out there. Not only philosophically, but at the end of like a mile long hallway in the Louvre, sit the Goyas.  Here, his Still Life of Sheep's Ribs and Head - The Butcher's Counter:




These were also pretty great...one for each season, painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, in the mid-1500s.


Here are 2 of the 4 seasons, Summer and Spring:






Not a bad way to spend half a day (any longer, and it's Stendahl Syndrome).

Ivan Kral

04 February 2020 - 02:24 PM

At 71.  Quite an accomplished songwriter, in addition to all his other talents.


Co-wrote two or three (at least) of Patti Smith's greatest songs, and played bass for that group, as well as others


(She'll outlive them all).



Saying Goodbye to the Last Decade - How/What/Why/Where We Ate

20 December 2019 - 05:58 PM

What was good? What sucked? What broke ground? Where did you just have to go and have a meal?


What will influence restaurants from here on out?


Do we care?


Wells does, and did, in a somewhat interesting way.


In his (perhaps penultimate of the decade) piece, 8 Ways Restaurants Have Changed in the Past Decade, he implores others to answer the question. 


Recently, I asked Twitter to help make sense of the American restaurant scene, 2010 to 2019. 

Pete Wells   @pete_wells

OK all my Zeitgeist-surfing food media friends: What the hell WAS the past decade in restaurants all about? Sum it up so I don't have to write a 2000 word essay about it.

He got plenty of answers, and threw in his own thoughts as well. On the often loathed by myself and others small plates, for instance:


At restaurants like Estela and Wildair in New York and hundreds of others across the country, the new paradigm meant that it could be hard to tell whether you were in a wine bar, a tapas bar, some other kind of bar or even that antiquated institution known as the restaurant.

A multiplicity of plates eliminated “entree fatigue,” the condition of growing bored after just a few bites of a massive pork chop; suddenly, you never had to move past the appetizers. Small plates were supposed to encourage sharing, too, although some kitchens seemed to forget that as they carefully arranged three anchovies on a dish that was going to be enjoyed by four people. 

Yet somehow, as this fashion became mainstream almost everywhere, servers still felt they needed to waitsplain the concept.




Nos. 7 & 8 are good too: "7. The future looked grim.  8. And yet, everybody agreed that there are good restaurants almost everywhere."


And now I'll go one further and also ask what changed about the way you cook and eat at home? 


Some people began cooking more, some less. Some went keto, some went vegan. You know, that sort of thing. 


Me - I started using a steam-injected countertop oven for the first time in my life, and it has changed how I cook at home.  Sous vide, though these day I use it less and less. More beans; thanks, Rancho Gordo.  Stopped trying to bake breads at home (exceptions would be focaccia and pizza). Bread baking is a pain in the ass, and there's really good bread available to buy, so really, why bother? Started drinking wine more than cocktails. Tried Fresh Direct - once, and while it may certainly come in handy down the road, not my cup of tea. Have never used a delivery app (Grub Hub, et al.).


Any takers?

Bob Kinkead

17 December 2019 - 12:07 AM

Fuckity fuck.


At 67.


He was a good one, and his restaurants were definitely pioneering to the DC food scene.