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2.5.11 Weekend Update

A very quick post to urge you to treat yourself to a viewing of the grossly underrated 2008 movie, The Love Guru, starring the incomparable Mike Meyers as "the second best guru" (after Deepak, of course). I have watched this at least 6 times now and never fail to laugh at Meyers' hilarious Peter-Sellers-worthy performance: his accent, the gleam in his eye, the sheer delight he takes in his performance, the fabulous musical numbers, not to mention all the infantile scatalogical jokes. And Ben Kingsley as the cross-eyed Guru Tugginmapudha is absolutely priceless.
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12.8.10 Sex and the Sh*tty 2

Occasionally—not very often—I go off on a crazy tangent. This is one of those times. Searching for a little mindless entertainment to keep me company as I wrapped countless presents, I decided to download "Sex & the City 2." Some girly fun, I said to myself, thinking back wistfully to a time when Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were actually a fresh concept. A time before Magnolia Bakery had lines like Studio 54, before SATC tours of the West Village. Friends, do NOT subject yourselves to this movie. It made "Showgirls" seem like a European art film. G told me some people had complained about its depiction of Arab men. WHAT ABOUT ITS DEPICTION OF AMERICAN WOMEN?! There was scarcely a time in the entire movie that I was not either cringing in embarrassment or gagging in dismay. From the second Liza Minelli appeared in thigh-high boots, an abbreviated tunic and a kabuki mask to cover Beyonce's "Put A Ring On It" during the opening gay wedding scene, it was one crypt-keeper moment after another. No amount of Botox, Pilates, makeup or lighting can disguise the fact that these women are trying WAY TOO HARD to be "young." Whatever the f*ck that means. Hey, I'm all for fantasy, etc. This was just painful. SJP looks like a sinewy drag queen half the time, and a homeless lady playing dress-up the rest. (See the ridiculous ball gown and t-shirt ensemble she chose to wear to the souk, above.) Samantha's menopausal moanings and desperate sexual lungings—not to mention her god-awful getups and over-oiled flesh in virtually every scene—are cruel jokes only the snarky gay writers could love. No wonder it's been hard to lure her back for the sequels. They must be paying these "girls" wads of cash. Soon they can just segue into a remake of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"
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photo by george billard (taken with his iphone)

1.19.10 Mo' Momofuku

You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl…especially when she’s stuffing it back in with both hands! No better place than Momofuku Ssam Bar to remember what it’s like to eat somebody else’s cooking. We chowed down on David-Chang-deliciousness and it was yet another flawless dining experience, from cocktails to cookies. You know all about the place already, right? So I don't have to tell you that you'll eat hunched over at the bar on a hard stool, gazing at strange '70s art featuring John McEnroe and rocking out to loud music. It's all part of a funky, stripped-down dining experience that really wakes up your senses. So glad they’ve now got a full bar and mixed drinks on their extensive alcohol menu. I've written before about the truly wonderful “Penicillin;” even posted the recipe for you here. Smoky Scotch + ginger syrup + lemon juice = divinity. It outshined the Wild-Turkey-based “Gold Rush” I had last night, if you ask me. Here’s what we ate:
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photo by george billard

1.8.10 Hotel Living

Still at the Ace Hotel in New York City. Bastion of all things vintage-fabulous, steampunk and industrial chic. I like the use of typography throughout the hotel. I brought my camera but forgot the cable to download images to my computer. (Duh. I swear I will get the hang of this soon.) So instead I am posting this picture of me taken two years ago, at a truly fabulous hotel outside Udaipur, called Devi Garh. It's an ancient Indian palace and one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. (More on that soon, when I post about the incredible Kashmiri curry I ate there and now know how to make.) I suppose it's a sad fact of colonialism, but the Indians really know what good service is. Here at the Ace, not so much. Our do-not-disturb sign—a magnet that says "Not Now" and can be stuck to the metal door—somehow vanished during the night. The room service burgers delivered from The Breslin's kitchen (beef not lamb): Eh. The thrice-cooked fries, however, were divine. And I give them credit for sending up little jars of ketchup, dijon mustard and mayonnaise. And for the crisp lacinato kale and radicchio mixed into their green salad. For dessert? The homemade ice cream on offer was vanilla only, and no chocolate sauce available, so we passed. An in-room viewing of The September Issue wrapped up the evening, and we were really quite happy. Grace Coddington, with her witchy mane of flaming red frizz (gorgeous) versus the bizarrely stiff and bug-like Anna Wintour—no contest, really. Given her upbringing, and the real-world accomplishments of her talented siblings, Anna, poor dear, is clearly burdened with the shame of working in fashion. It's too bad, because when you see the magic that Grace creates, the sheer transporting fantasy of a beautiful girl in an other-worldly dress, you see that fashion's escapism is not without merit.
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