Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Skinny - 6/7/6 (The Day After)

1999, The Millennium, 01/02/03 04:05:06, and now 6/6/06. Numerogical harbingers, dates marked on our collective subconscious calendars with a big red circle wherein death was certainly imminent but the only thing to come out of it was the price-gouging of of batteries and holy water.
I don't know about you but I took extra care yesterday stepping delicately over cracks in the sidewalk, observing all posted speed limits and even once stopping to hold the door open for some nice man even though he was wearing a Dave Matthews t-shirt and had a ponytail ... Punk'd material if ever I have seen it. Yay for us, we made it through the End of the World once more without so much as a Walgreens hold-up.
To celebrate living another day, my close relative and I hopped in the car and went to Tampa (tempting fate after yesterday, I know) to catch the
Keith Haring: Art & Commerce, A Tribute to the Pop Shop exhibit at the Tampa Museum of Art.

I have loved Keith Haring ever since I was 8 and saw a TV special about this "subway artist" who was arrested for screwing up a lot of the subway walls (later I found out that he was "tagging" and that the places he was creating his art were advertisement spaces blacked out with paper because the companies that had them had defaulted on the rent). Only when I was in College and writing my Senior thesis in Art Theory class did I understand how profound an effect Keith Haring had on the art world...and on me, only to learn about him and know him after he was gone. :( <---- sad face.
Mother F***!!! Scary!!!! Not even remotely pretty is the Tampa Museum of Art. The moment I walked from street level up the stairs to behold this picturesque view, I was frozen in fear. It took me a few minutes of self-coaching and persistence of vision to move towards this structure. This my friends are what dreams about survival amongst zombies are made of. Christ wagons!!!
One of the original Pop Shop posters. The Pop Shop was an shop in SoHo established by Keith Haring to sell inexpensive pieces of his art. Well, maybe not all his art was inexpensive but stuff inside the Pop Shop was. There were things like buttons, magnets, patches, posters and t-shirts. Many of Keith Haring's contemporaries at the time resented the whole "selling out" and mass production value of his work but pop art itself is made for a consumerist Nation my friends and Keith was all about breaking down barriers. Many of today's D.I.Y. artists owe their livelihood to Keith Haring for making it "okay" to sell out. I'm looking at you Kevin Federline.
Reminiscent of the Pop Shop, the walls of the exhibit are covered floor to ceiling in the bold, heiroglyphic-like line art that is characteristic of all Keith Haring's work. Neat video of Keith playing in the background. Also in the far background, some of the original Pop Shop items. It's as if you stumbled in off the street in 1986, except that you stink of Tampa.
What's great about Keith Haring's work is that it is raw and primitive until you study it up close and see how genius and perfectly thought out it is. Usually done in tools that are easily accessable on the street such as marker, acrylic and ink, Haring finds canvas in natural and industrial origins such as paper, concrete...or the side of a building. As much a student of Andy Warhol's Pop Art school, comfortable with canvas in an art gallery as well as popular in the social stratosphere, he also found solace among the Outsider Artists who were breaking ground at the time, hanging out in clubs and dance halls, living out of the subways.
Imagine yourself in a Keith Haring painting! Totally ghetto but I couldn't help it, I was so excited to see Keith's work up close. The security guard also couldn't help but remind me that photography is not allowed in the special exhibitions, but he couldn't ruin a perfectly awe-inspiring visit to one of my favorite artists of all time.

Anderson Cooper Celebrity Playlist on iTunes

He's smooth, gray haired and has a hit show on Prime Time. Actually, that could be one of two people but I've written just about enough of the "other" one so I thought I would give a notable mention to the man with the jeans in his genes. Mrs. Vanderbilt's good boy, Anderson Cooper.
Everywhere you look nowadays you seem to notice Anderson Coooper. In all honestly, with eyes like that, he seems to notice you first. Magazines, commercial interstitials...Home Shopping Network...he's everywhere! Arguably one of the most sincere, unbiased, hard working and good looking news trollops out there, Mr. Cooper certainly has gained a little status over the past year or so. But it takes more than journalistic integrity to impress me.
I want to know what makes him tick. If we were stuck inside Peter Pan's Flight for hours dangling above a miniatuized London (silly yes...but provocative), what would we find that we had in common? Boxer or briefs? Ha! I find it hard to believe that we would both simultaneously champion "neither." Coke or Pepsi? Please, the answer is sweet tea! But if it came to music, it's nice to know that we would both be humming similar tunes.

A very eclectic mix of music ranging from the obscure (Seu Jorge's "Tive Razao") to the obvious (R.E.M's "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"). Surprisingly peppered with some great artists that I didn't expect to see. Check it out: (+/-) "You've Just Got It All", Elliott Smith "Speed Trials", New Order "Crystal", Blur "Coffee & TV" and Pavement "Summer Babe" just to name a few.


The Skinny: What's Hot!
Joan's Broccoli Madness

I want to explain to you how obsessed I get when it comes to something that I like. I am almost fascistical in my allegiance to a brand of product or way of preparing a food item or, I don't know, shopping at a place that carries a certain item.

I can't tell you then how much I love Joan's Broccoli Madness at Sweet Tomatoes. I know...SWEET TOMATOES! I actually can't wait to fucking eat at a restaurant whose entire existence is centered around salad. SAAAALAAAD!!! And to say that I have to say this...I am a carnivore 100% through and through. At one point in college my dad had to set me down and explain what never touching a can of spinach does to a person, he said I would get beriberi. But dammit, meat is just soooo good. I wish I was all cool and could have hung with the vegetarian kids but if there was an initiation, I would have flunked. I am doing better now and the thought of dining on roughage doesn't send me racing towards the Charmin as much anymore thanks in part to Sweet Tomatoes and Joan's Broccoli Madness.

Why would I eat something with such a panic-inducing name? Wasn't Mad Cow Disease enough to rock us primitives in the carni camp? I agree that the first time I laid eyes on the little green plaque that heralded Joan's funky salad, I was a bit apprehensive but given that I had already gone halfway down the salad aisle (it's all salad) and hadn't seen a piece of meat yet (meat is as common at Sweet Tomatoes as a virgin in 11th grade), I figured that this was the last stop before salad dressings. Composed of (!!!!) broccoli, raisins, cashews and the creamiest mystery dressing this side of a locker room at the "Y", Joan's Broccoli Madness drove me back for a second, third and even fourth helping (I clearly didn't learn the first two times I suppose). Ever since then, it has been a struggle to catch JBM as they rotate out some of the specialty dishes to capture more repeat business. Trust me, the replacements only left me sad and picking sesame seeds out of my teeth. Until today that is. As if a sign from above from Joan herself, I stumbled upon the Sweet Tomatoes in Tampa and lo and behold there was Joan's Broccoli Madness. The lady in front of me loaded up, I loaded up and the lady in back of me, who also bypassed all the cattle chow, loaded up, prompting a very nervous-looking high schooler to rush back for the already chilled back-up pan. Upon looking at the website for Sweet Tomatoes when I got home tonight, I noticed that the store closest to me has Joan's Broccoli Madness listed on their menu with a neat little sign next to it that says "SERVED DAILY."
Sigh.... :) <-------- happy face.

Make your own!
Sweet Tomatoe's Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad

6 to 8 servings
1 bunch uncooked broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Mix the broccoli, bacon, cashews, raisins and onions in a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth.
About 10 minutes before serving, toss the salad with the dressing to allow flavors to meld. Serve on chilled salad dishes.

No comments: