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Tweaked

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  1. Champions League If Liverpool loses away to an in form FC Salzburg. And Napoli wins at home v. lowly Racing Genk...Liverpool crashes out of the CL on GD. 12:55pm ET today. Well, so much for that upset.
  2. Bradley Hartford International Airport (BDL) If you have time to kill at BDL, I recommend the Black Bear Saloon. After the security checkpoint it's immediately to the left. Excellent beer list of approximately 20 beers on tap, most of them local to the Northeast. The grilled cheese and fries off the kids menu works well for a smaller sized lunch/snack. Plenty of seating.
  3. Art Basel Miami is the playground for the richest contemporary art collectors in the world. $120k is like happy hour prices for them, 2 for 1 jello shots. And they will buy pretty much anything.
  4. Overall a good show at the Barnes Foundation. 30 Americans is being held in a separate gallery space from the main Barnes Collection, so it was a much shorter line to get in (on a Friday afternoon they were quoting a wait time of 60-90 minutes to see the main collection). We pretty much walked straight into the 30 Americans gallery. Some of the artists were familiar to me, including Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Mickalene Thomas, and Glenn Ligon. I was pleased to be introduced to the art of Wangechi Mutu.
  5. I'm putting Green Eggs Cafe up as a cautionary review - unless you want to eat dishes that will feed you for days and will look good on Instagram. Instagram accounts that use a lot of #yum #delish #tasty #nomnom hashtags...you know the type. Plus the Center City Green Eggs Cafe is conveniently located near a bunch of tourist hotels and will probably come up on Google/Yelp searches for breakfast locations. The food certainly wasn't bad, and if you go, I would suggest the more ridiculous sounding the dish, the better it is. The signature dish is the Red Velvet Pancakes. Just be prepared for a platter of food bigger than your head. Cash only.
  6. Philly seems to have a good breakfast/brunch/lunch only scene. Cafes that are open daily in the morning to mid-afternoon. Something DC doesn't really do well. Ants Pants Cafe (2212 South Street location) is a casual store front style cafe, with a small window counter, open kitchen in front, and two small dining rooms in back. The cafe is inspired by similar type joints in Sydney Australia, where one of the owners lived and worked. The menu offers various takes on toasts, omelettes, Philly-style rolls, and scrambles as well as a selection of pancakes, French toast and sandwiches. The Thanksgiving inspired breakfast special was stuffing hash with chorizo. A bowl of sliced chorizo, cubed stuffing bread and sweet potatoes hashed up with onions and topped with friend eggs. It was pretty much elevated stoner, hangover food. I highly recommend. The spinach, goat cheese, and caramelized onion omelette was also very tasty. If it wasn't so cold out, I would have ordered one of their milkshakes, which looked excellent. If you are hungry, hanging out along South Street, in either the Graduate Hospital or Society Hill neighborhoods, Ants Pants is a good option. Cash only.
  7. We stopped in for a day after Thanksgiving dinner at V Street. Vegan. Vegetables. Nothing too heavy please. V Street is pretty much on the same level as their sister DC restaurant, Fancy Radish, in terms of vibe. Sort of a boisterous casual setting, although V Street is in a townhouse. With four people, we were able to order pretty much the whole menu. Charred Berbere Broccoli - Still crispy, I'd say even under cooked, florets of broccoli with a red lentil hummus and chermoula. For a dish advertised with berbere, there wasn't any heat. This dish was fine but not great. Cauliflower "65" - Crispy fried nuggets of cauliflower served with a not particularly raita-y tasting raita. The cauliflower was excellent, just needed a better sauce. Peruvian Potatoes - This was a plate of long potato wedges dressed with aji amarillo, cilantro, dried olives, and peanuts. One of the better dishes, this was like solid comfort food. Langos - Hungarian potato bread, sauerkraut, remoulade, crispy shiitake. This dish pretty much hit every note and the potato bread was delightful light and fluffy. Probably the best dish of the night. Trumpet Mushroom Shwarma - Having recently been to the Komi pop-up Happy Gyro, I'd say V Street's take on veg/vegan Greek didn't really stand up. KFT Tacos - Two medium sized tacos stuffed with Korean fried tempeh, radish kimchee, and Spicy special sauce. This dish was pretty inspired. I would order again. Piri Piri Grilled Tofu - A lovely piece of grilled, high quality tofu. I don't remember the accompaniments much, but apparently they were lentil ful, grilled tomatoes, cumin and cabbage salad. Singapore Noodles - This dish was pretty much a disaster. If you had blindly asked me what style of noodle, I never would have guessed Singapore. It was basically a bowl of oily noodles that had some heat from the thinly sliced shishito peppers. The ingredient list includes red curry, maybe they forgot that part. Kind of a clanger note to end the meal. Having been to Fancy Radish once and now V Street, I would say the cooking and plating at V Street is cleaner. Maybe Fancy Radish is too far from the Mothership. I think with both restaurants, when they are trying to replicate a dish they are not always successful (see Noodles, Singapore). However, when using a region/country for inspiration they are perhaps more successful. It was a nice meal, but not a great meal. Maybe Vedge is better?
  8. We stopped in the Dizengoff Rittenhouse Square location on Sansom Street to get some hummus to go before heading back to DC. The hummus and small container of beet salad traveled well, the pita did ok. With holiday traffic is was a 4 hour drive. The Sansom street location is fairly small, not much more than a store front with maybe 20 seats. I would imagine it can get crowded, loud, and chaotic fast. We ordered at the small counter and they gave us a number stand and then deliver the food. We waited about 10 minutes for our order to be made and packaged to go. The hummus was lush and rich. They had 4 options for toppings and we went with the pepper and walnut, which was basically muhammara. I'd rank the hummus at Dizengoff above Little Sesame, although I'd give the nod to LS for toppings. The shakshuka looked really good. Next time!
  9. We walked past Saturday night while running errands and they were maybe 1/4 full at 6:30 pm and we remarked, busy night for Spices. The ginger salad still rocks.
  10. My theory is: Since the DC area doesn't really have a longstanding BBQ culture/history, no real defining style, the BBQ joints are trying to do too much. Fat Pete's is definitely guilty of this. Their menu includes NC chopped pork, St. Louis style ribs, brisket, burnt ends, in addition to the turkey, chicken, pork belly, and tofu. Their sauces include Alabama White, NC Vinegar, Texas Mop, Memphis Sweet, South Carolina Mustard. It takes years to master one of those styles and their menu is all over the place. And if you can't do one style, no way are you going to be able to pull off the rest. Just my two burnt ends.
  11. Some tasty new dishes on the menu at 2 Amy's last night: Pig tongue salad, excellent (photo below) Saffron poached cod head terrine, exceptional. Also, 2 Amy's may make the world's best potato chips.
  12. Quilts made via The Migrant Quilt Project will be available for viewing at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop during business hours Monday - Saturday and at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation Sundays 8am - 1pm. "The Migrant Quilt Project is a grassroots, collaborative effort of artists, quiltmakers, and activists to express compassion for migrants from Mexico and Central America who died in the Southern Arizona deserts on their way to create better lives for themselves and their families. Materials used in the quilts were collected at migrant layup sites used for rest and shelter on established trails in the Sonoran Desert. Between 2004 and 2005, a record number of 282 migrants perished in the Tucson Sector, the border region between New Mexico and Yuma. The increase in deaths moved Jody Ipsen to take action to alleviate the tragic loss of life. As she hiked remote migrant trails with fellow humanitarians, they collected clothing, cans and water bottles left behind by migrants. Initially, they recycled some items and threw away the dirty clothes until Jody realized that the textile-based discards could be used to make quilts to communicate the reality of migrants’ deaths. She reached out to quiltmakers and artists to create quilts from the blue jeans, bandanas, work shirts and embroidered cloths she gathered in the desert. Quilts would represent deaths from each year since 2000 when the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office began documenting the names of deceased migrants. Each Migrant Quilt lists the deaths for a specific federal fiscal year, coinciding with the U.S. government’s record-keeping. The name of each individual who died that year is inscribed on the quilt, with the word “unknown” or “desconocido” used to designate an unidentified person’s remains. Quiltmakers are free to design their quilts however they desire. The Migrant Quilt Project shares the quilts at exhibits and immigration conferences and on its Facebook page. The Migrant Quilts carry the stories of those who died so that viewers of the quilts may understand the real, personal, and fatal results of inhumane policies, including NAFTA, CAFTA, Operation Gatekeeper, Safeguard, and Hold the Line. While immigration into the United States from its southern neighbors has slowed in recent years, the deaths continue to occur as migrants are forced to cross the border into more remote and dangerous areas. We hope that viewing the Migrant Quilts will inspire you to consider the conditions under which our fellow human beings take the ultimate risk to find more secure lives for themselves and their families and that you will be inspired to support humane changes in border policies."
  13. The Hirshhorn continues its excellent run of exhibits utilizing the perimeters of their gallery spaces. Pat Steir: Color Wheel "The Hirshhorn will host the largest painting installation to date by the acclaimed abstract painter Pat Steir. The exhibition is an expansive new suite of paintings by the artist, spanning the entire perimeter of the Museum’s second-floor inner-circle galleries, extending nearly four hundred linear feet. These immersive works will transform the Museum into a vibrant spectrum of color. The thirty large-scale paintings, when presented together as a group, will create an immense color wheel that shifts hues with each painting, with the pours on each canvas often appearing in the complementary hue of the monochrome background. Over the past four decades, Steir has produced a commanding body of abstract paintings that draw on the artist’s distinctive method of combining meticulous brushwork with multiple layers of drips and pours, simultaneously carefully calibrated and apparently random. Drawing on motifs from Chinese ink painting and gestural abstraction, Steir’s paintings are formed by brushing and pouring multiple layers of paint, allowing gravity to guide the cascading forms. Her signature technique echoes the metaphysical ideas of harmony with nature expressed in Zen Buddhist and Daoist thought, even as it redefines the conventional flat picture plane to sculpt deep, transcendent space. At the Hirshhorn, this commission will activate the entire gallery as visitors walk around the space, exploring the wheel’s spectrums. Moreover, Steir’s paintings will create a dialogue with the Gordon Bunshaft-designed outdoor fountain and seasonal changes visible through the Museum’s windows. Curated by Evelyn C. Hankins, Senior Curator."
  14. I've been hearing good things about the NGA's pastel show. Due to the fragile nature of pastels, these works are rarely on view. The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art "Known for its brilliant colors and its delicate, velvety texture, pastel is one of the most versatile and beautiful materials in the history of art. Artists have found innumerable ways to use it, from glowing portraits in the eighteenth century to the shimmering landscapes of the impressionists, to the abstract compositions of the twentieth century. Fabricated from a paste of pigment, white opaque filler, and binder, shaped into sticks and dried, pastel is an almost endlessly adaptable medium: it can be used wet or dry, by drawing directly with the intact stick, or by grinding it to a powder and applying it with a brush. Featuring 64 exquisite examples drawn entirely from the permanent collection, The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art traces the history of pastel from the Renaissance to the 21st century and examines the many techniques that artists have developed to work with this colorful medium. Included are drawings by eighteenth-century virtuosos such as Rosalba Carriera and Jean-Étienne Liotard; innovative works by Edgar Degas, James McNeill Whistler, and others whose experiments and technical skills revived interest in the medium in the nineteenth century; and rare examples by artists who only took up pastels on occasion, among them Henri Matisse and Roy Lichtenstein. Because pastel is such a fragile medium, these works have seldom, if ever, been exhibited. The Touch of Color will be on view at the National Gallery of Art from September 29, 2019, through January 26, 2020."
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