February 17, 2009


what's the point of having a blog if you don't use it to pass along links like this?

February 15, 2009

Scenes from a kitchen

Step 1. One time we decided to cook something that called for sauteed mushrooms. I took them out of the fridge and wiped them off with a paper towel while she peeled some garlic on the coffee table. She looked up as I started slicing.

"Uh, did you wash those?"

"Nah," I replied. "I was reading where you're not supposed to wash mushrooms before you cook them. They act like sponges and soak up the water, so when you cook them they end up steaming instead of sauteing and you lose most of the flavor. You're supposed to brush them off instead."

"Umm, well, mushrooms are dirty. You definitely need to wash them off first."

"Yeah, I was skeptical too. But you can look it up. The heat from the stove will kill any germs."

She walked into my tiny kitchen and looked at the cutting board. "You at least need to rinse them."

"We can rinse them if you want, but then we'd have to wait for them to dry." I looked at her and smiled. "I promise it's okay if we don't wash them."

"I don't fucking care, David. I don't care what you read." She swept the mushrooms into a colander and dropped it in the sink. "We're not making dinner without washing the mushrooms."

Step 2. Another time I asked her to hand me the salt. Instead of my usual box of coarse kosher Morton's, she passed me a small plastic container. The lid said 'SEA SALT' in her unmistakable handwriting.

"What?" I teased. "My salt isn't good enough for you?"

"Um, no. I had this at the old apartment. I didn't feel like packing it when I moved, so I thought I'd leave it with you. Jesus."

Step 3. A few weeks later we made a salad while we waited on our pizza. She told me to peel a cucumber while she chopped tomatoes.

Right as I was finishing up, she let out a sigh. "Oh Dave. You didn't need to peel the whole thing. We don't need that much."

I laid the cucumber naked on the counter.

"You know what's funny? I thought about only peeling half of it. But then I realized there was an equal chance I'd be wrong about that too. So I figured, you know, fuck it. I'll just do the whole thing."

Step 4. Combine mushrooms, cucumber and salt in a small apartment. Add bitterroot.

Serves two people right.

February 8, 2009

it's two things

I went for a walk in the East Village last night around 2:00am. It's always fun to walk sober around a neighborhood full of dive bars that late on a Saturday. Hordes of drunken dudes in jeans and black shoes, hysterical women in patent heels screaming into cell phones, couples hovering on the corner waving frantically for a cab, shivering: they make for some pretty great people watching. A visibly drunk driver careened through an intersection, blasting his horn the entire way. A Latina in a red dress crawled along the ground, searching for something tiny, while a cop aimed his flashlight at the sidewalk and chatted with her boyfriend.

Last night reminded me of a walk I took a couple of years ago, soon after I moved to New York. I wrote this email to a friend on January 6, 2007:

It was 72 degrees in New York City this afternoon. I woke up late, watched Tech upset Duke, then went for a walk, south, towards Tompkins Square Park.

The park has two enclosed areas called dog runs, where dogs can shoot the breeze without wearing a leash. One is for big dogs, over 30 pounds, and the other is for little ones. In the little run, I watched one dog fuck another dog while one of the owners took pictures on his camera phone. The photographer was wearing shorts.

As I meandered through the park, the wind shifted and I smelled a pine tree 20 feet away. Two twentysomething girls walked by and one of them said "what I'd like to do is stick it up his little punk rock butt."

I went over to Avenue C, aka Avenida Loisaida, and continued south, warm. As I crossed 5th street, two boys, probably 10 years old, overtook me. As they passed, one of them said "he's a asshole."

"Yeah," the other agreed. "A real ASS hole."

Down in the Lower East Side, I ate a bagel and read your text message. Moments later I heard two kids yelling from their 4th story window at a third kid down on the street. They were trying to convince him to go down some stairs into a bodega's underground storage room. In the alley across the street, an ancient woman carefully hung laundry over the railing of her wrought iron balcony.

So I went home, made some penne a la vodka, and watched football all night on my 99 foot TV.