Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
Given that gas prices are surprisingly low at the moment, there were many predictions this week that there'd be a surge of travel headaches this Memorial Day Weekend. With that in mind, I wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend if you're traveling on the road. Be nice to each other. As for me, I plan on settling back with a little light summer reading, notably Joe Bonomo's new book for the 33 1/3 series devoted to AC/DC's infernal classic, Highway to Hell. Throw the goats.
While many might suggest that culinary tough guy Anthony Bourdain has lapsed into a sort of self-parody in recent years, I must confess to still having loads of time for his particular brand of self-mythologizing, smart-mouthed shtick. Having spent a few summers as a lowly dishwasher in the bustling kitchen of a busy Hampton eatery in my teens, I immediately warmed to Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" back in the day and have ardently followed his literary, culinary and televised antics ever since. I've read his follow-up books (including his cook book – the Tartiflette is the bomb), watched his shows on the Travel Channel, cheered him on during his cameos on "Top Chef," dined like a fanboy at Les Halles and even accosted him once on the street in Soho (he was polite, but wary). While most so-called "celebrity chefs" seem to wear out their welcome in the time it takes a quart of heavy cream to go sour, I think Bourdain has handily retained his appeal. He's smart, funny, engaging and cool.
So imagine my disappointment, then, upon hearing that he's a big fan of Daniel Boulud's DBGB. Let me rewind a little. Being somewhat of a cliché, I was aghast and incredulous upon hearing back in 2007 that the celebrated French restauranteur planned to open a high-end, fine dining establishment on the Bowery, a few steps to the south of the then-recently-disemboweled CBGB. It's not that I necessarily have anything against French cuisine, but Boulud revealed that he planned to call the place DBGB. I bristled at the smarmy, disrespectful appropriation (as if the arrival of John Varvatos' fatuous shop at 315 wasn't bad enough). I later went on to vent at Times food critic Sam Sifton's frothy piece about the place in 2009. People told me to relax, let it go, get over myself and stop living in the past, but speaking as someone who continues to firmly hold onto myriad preoccupations from my youth, that just wasn't on the menu (pardon the pun). I shook my fist and swore I'd never eat at DBGB. I believe my actual statement was that I'd "sooner eat out of a toilet bowl" than ever darken its door. Given the restaurant's pricey fare, that's not a difficult vow to keep.
Many scowling punk fans agree with me of course. Given Anthony Bourdain's oft-cited affection for late 70's punk rock and specifically of CBGB (witness this lovingly written piece in a 2007 issue of SPIN), I'd surely have imagined that he'd scoff at Boulud's venture. Not so. Witness this recent clip of Bourdain interviewing the French chef and practically fawning over him. He even exclaims that he loves DBGB! GAH!WTF?
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. At the end of the day, Bourdain is first and foremost a chef, and his admiration and appreciation of the culinary arts probably dwarf his affinity for punk. Or maybe, unlike me, he's just been able to get over it and move on.
Just a quick note to pass on that my former colleague & dear friend, the deeply weird Howard Forbes has uploaded a "small, functioning" gallery of artwork to his website. Howard's images run the gamut (or should that be run the gauntlet?) between the amusing, the beautiful, the bizarre and the frankly disquieting, but they're assuredly never dull. If you consider yourself an art aficionado and you're curiosity's piqued by any of the above adjectives, why not click on over to check it out. Tell'em I sent'cha.