Currently pushing: Celtics “We Are Young and Smart” T-shirt. There’s a lot of stuff I want to recommend but since tonight is the start of the NBA season, there’s no way I can’t highlight the future of the Boston Celtics: first round picks Marcus Smart and James Young. Sure, that may signal that Rajon Rondo is on his way out (please no, please no), and while I was stunned on draft day about the pickup of another point guard, I’ve come around to the idea that Smart’s defense and competitive spirit is exactly what Boston needs. Oh and yes, you can bet I drafted Smart in my fantasy league. While it may be another losing season ahead for the Celts, I’m excited for the new blood to jumpstart the rebuilding. Here's Smart and Young, wearing Smart and Young.
Friday, before the wedding, I cruised up to The Whitney to take in the Jeff Koons exhibit. Basically I needed to go to hate-see it. I have strong anti feelings towards Koons work, but since it’s best to take something in before you totally reject it, I went. Verdict? Just like the Slate Cultural Gabfest said, I was impressed by the workmanship, if not necessarily Koons' vision. Some of the pieces, mostly made of aluminum, looked so much like other materials that it was almost impossible not to sneak a touch. I walked right by the inflatable Incredible Hulk organ before doubling back and realizing it was not plastic. My favorite piece of his ended up being this nude woman in a tub with the top half of her head chopped off. In person, the effect was jarring, and I couldn’t stop the mental disconnect and looking for the missing half. Overall, I was more excited about the Edward Hopper stuff tucked away upstairs. There weren’t many actual Hopper paintings but it was still a nice surprise.
The one thing I had to do in New York was watch Kenneth Lonergan’s play, This Is Our Youth. It stars Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Tavi Gevinson. Cera may bring in the crowds but I was there to see Tavi. She was quietly brilliant in Enough Said last year and I thought she was just as great in her Broadway debut. There was a lot of young Michelle Williams in her performance, but without all the annoying Williams-ness. The Cort Theatre is small enough that almost any seat has a nice view, so go to the cheap seats and watch this thing. And then maybe queue up Lonergan’s You Can Count On Me, which back in 2000 vaulted Laura Linney high up on my "actors/actresses to must-see" list.
- These Kids Today
- Desperate Fledglings, Flung From the Nest
- Urban Blight: The world of Kenneth Lonergan
- Grantland, "This Is Their Youth"
- Tavi Gevinson Style Evolution: From Rookie To This Is Our Youth
I also got the chance to swing by my friend's about-to-open restaurant in Williamsburg. Wait, actually, it's open now. Pam and Jose used to do a pop-up in the same space, but now they've completely remodeled and it's called Semilla (Spanish for "seed"). The food is vegetable forward and as you can see from this link, absolutely stunning. I was going to miss their opening but wanted to see how much the space had transformed, since they'd been working on it for months. Needless to say, the makeover was amazing, and the tiled bathroom has a fun window that lets you peer out into the kitchen.
After my quick visit, I got on a trusty Citibike for one last ride, across the bridge to the Lower East Side, to meet Pam's identical twin -- and equally obsessed food person. She had just returned from a long bike ride and was parked at El Rey Coffee, ordering everything on and off menu, saying hello to friends and strangers alike. For a few hours, it was New York summer again.
The rest of the weekend was filled with some dancing, some puking (not by me), some singing, friend-family dinners, plenty of hanging out, and late night hotel lobby time. It stirred a bit of revival in my heart for New York after my quick exit in July. Still, I couldn't stay since Taiwan Part 2 beckoned and I had a fifteen hour flight to catch. Bye U.S., I'll be back!
- Semilla website | @semilla | #wandrlstng
- First Look at Semilla, Williamsburg's Newest Chef’s Counter
- "Veggie-Forward” Williamsburg Pop-Up Chez José Is Reborn As Brick-and-Mortar Semilla
- Pig Roast Sundays Return to the Crown Victoria in Williamsburg for Second Season (2013)
- Chez Jose's Jose Ramirez-Ruiz and Pam Yung On "Guerilla Cooking" and New York's Food Scene (2012)