Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Photos from E Village Food Tour

The account info is user: theUE pswd: foodie1


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Urbane Adventures - East Village (The UE's BDay Celebration)

Friends, Fans and Foodophiles,

It is true, I have grown another year older. In light of my newfound maturity, I will be foregoing the typical club party in deference to something more in line with my tastes...

Life in the Food Lane presents the next installment of its beloved Urbane Adventure series that will tour some of my favorite eats in what is quickly becoming my favorite neighborhood in the city - the East Village.

Please join me in celebrating my 26th birthday! Since this food tour will be taking the place of my birthday party, apertifs (read: booze) will be provided. All you need is $20 cash and an appetite!

Date: Saturday, Sept 26th
Meet: In front of Starbucks on St Marks & Lafayette (6 train to Astor Place / R&W to 8th Street NYU)
Time: 12 - until
Cost: $20 cash on arrival
Contact: 404-964-7667

See you then!

The UE

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Subway Series - Fusion

Once upon a time I ended up in a Cuban Italian restaurant for mojitos and pasta cubano (ground pork meatballs on spaghetti tossed with marinara, pickles and a touch of sweet cabbage). Strange as it may sound, this was not the first time I have visited a mixed race restaurant. Fusion has become increasingly popular over the years, starting with proximate pan-asian foods, and expanding to combinations never before conceived. Before we knew it, the French were in bed with the Japanese making Steak au poivre with Kobe beef, Indian curry was seducing its way into Dominican tamales and the Texans were corralling chipotles to scintillate their brisket (thank you NAFTA). This got me wondering - could fusion be the answer to the world’s cultural problems?

Having an affinity for multiple worlds is one thing, but being of them is a completely different experience. Is culture learned or a birthright? Can you truly call someplace home if you have no tangible ties to it other than current location or the short visit last year? Can someone truly understand another's culture just because they were raised by people of said culture? Such abstract questions arguably define the appeal and character of a fusion restaurant.

Some will argue that specializing in one cuisine will offer you stability, solidarity and a well defined community. You know which people are your mates, and you have clear lines along which to draw the borders. Though I don't totally disagree with this perspective, I personally believe having a foot in multiple worlds solves more problems than it causes. While you don't have clear definitions and rules to easily and systematically define what something should be, the confusion and identify crisis such a lack of framework can cause inspires exploration and assimilation of more information from the different cultural offerings of the world. In seeking the identity of a dish that has no rules, one must search for the meaning and context which appeals to their individual spirit amongst the innumerable available. Sometimes, seeing how people of another world live can better your understanding of your own culture. It can also help deepen your appreciation for the beauty of other cultures in the world and inspire you to make their strengths a part of your own. I find the opposing view somewhat banal, for if you already have a recipe and know what the end product is going to be, there is no need to seek out an answer or deeper meaning. But when you don't know, the journey to the end product can be one of the most fulfilling aspect of the dish.

Kibito might just have been on to something...

- The UE

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Subway Series - I Am Pei

Food is an art form just like anything else. In the most obvious sense, it can be creatively and enticingly presented, using colors and textures to emulate visions of daily life and abstract thought. However, in its most primal sense, food is art of the body. It is experienced, absorbed, and used to fuel our daily life. So too does the great artist have an uncanny ability to experience something - a place, a time, a love affair - absorb it and use it as the fuel to create something exquisite and memorable.

I often find myself contemplating what drives the people who become the Van Gogh’s and I.M. Pei’s of the world. I imagine what goes on in their heads, and even go as far as to envy those people who are so visibly capable of taking experience and translating it into some tangible form to which an audience can immediately respond. To me, a day in their head must be like seeing music and hearing colors.

I sense the key lies in their ability to communicate something to me without the use of words. Take a painting – mere strokes of paint over a surface, but potentially moving to tears. A symphony can create joy as much as the rich baritone can inspire seductions.

The same should be said of food. A chef travels the world and draws from the sights, the flavors, the experience of the locals. Every time I shop for groceries, I get swept away into the memories of where I have been and who I have met. Every ingredient holds its own special place in my life, taking me from the humid streets of Houston to the arid valleys of LA. I hear and see a whirlwind of life and times spinning before my eyes but out of plain sight, and each time I prepare a meal I use some of myself for seasoning. Perhaps I am closer to Van Gogh than I thought...

- The UE

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