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October 24, 2012

Lima: The Tasting Menu at Astrid y Gaston

Since we're going back to South America, I've decided to go back to some of the stories I forgot to tell about last year's trip.

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Last year, as soon as we decided to spend time in Lima while in Peru, I began hearing about all the food options. And at the center of any food conversation about Lima is Gaston Acuria. The defining chef of Peru, Acuria's flagship restaurant is Astrid y Gaston, which happened to be just a couple blocks from the apartment in Miraflores where we stayed.

On our first night in town, we showed up at their door and managed to get dinner at the bar, where we ordered the tasting menu. A few hours and twelve courses later, we
Finished one of the best meals I've had... Pretty much ever. I won't claim to remember exactly what every course was 7 months later, but you can see a good deal of it after the jump.

Continue reading "Lima: The Tasting Menu at Astrid y Gaston" »

October 17, 2012

Heading South

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This may seem like deja vu, but a month from now, Tammi and I are going back to South America. This trip, like our trip last year, starts in Peru, then takes us to Argentina.

We start in Lima, continue to Argentinian wine country in Mendoza, then finish with a week in Buenos Aires. It may seem like a bit of a rerun, but last year was so great that waiting another five years for a return visit seemed foolish.

I'm in ful on obsessive mode planning and researching places to visit, eat and drink, so stay tuned for links and reminiscing from last year's trip.

October 10, 2012

OHNY: Walking The High Line, Section 3

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It's Open House New York time in NYC again. You may remember my trip last year to the old TWA Terminal at JFK. I mostly shot that with film for my analog series.

This year, Tammi got us on the OHNY list for a walk through the undeveloped section of The High Line. The area from 30th to 34th Street wraps around the Hudson Yards, which will also be developed in the next few years.

See more photos after the jump and the whole set on flickr.

Continue reading "OHNY: Walking The High Line, Section 3" »

October 3, 2012

Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012

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Labor Day and the Equinox may ring in Fall for most, but summer doesn't end for me until Atlantic Antic. I've gushed about the mile-long street festival before. I've been going since I was a kid and it always seems like the entirety of Brooklyn is out based both on the crowds and the numer of friends and acquaintances we end up running into along the way.

I take my camera with me every year, but this time I chose to focus on the people who were out and about on Sunday. See the faces of Brooklyn's biggest street fair after the jump.

Continue reading "Faces of Atlantic Antic 2012" »

July 25, 2012

Montreal: Plateau Mont Royal

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I've been a fan of Montreal since my first trip there a decade ago. That time, I made the mistake of going in November - which is really winter there. I got there just in time for a two day snowstorm that left a couple feet of accumulation on the ground. Lesson learned, I made a point of going earlier in the year on subsequent trips, but I never made it there during the summer.

Going in June this time, I got the brand new experience of being immersed in crowds of Montrealers walking through the street festivals and block parties that make up for all the forced indoor time from November to April.

Continue reading "Montreal: Plateau Mont Royal" »

July 11, 2012

Montreal: Birthday Dinner at Joe Beef

Yes.

The culinary highpoint in a trip full of amazing food has to be the dinner Tammi and I had on my birthday at Joe Beef. A month after our trip to Montreal, I'm still drooling over the extreme and delicious meal we had there.

Rather than attempt to narrate the meal, I'm just going to give a visual recap of the spectacle after the jump. Enjoy!

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June 20, 2012

Food/Work: Edible Brooklyn Feature

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As part of my Food/Work project, I found myself exploring the halls of a couple commercial kitchens around Brooklyn. This month, many of the photos from these excursions have made it into a feature in the pages of Edible Brooklyn.

The article, written by Amy Cortese, discusses how the rise of small batch, artisanal foods has created a new niche market for the specialized cooking space required to produce all those cupcakes, cookies, granola and saltwater taffy.

After the jump, check out some photos from the kitchens at Hana Pastries in Sunset Park.

Continue reading "Food/Work: Edible Brooklyn Feature" »

June 13, 2012

O Canada: A Birthday Trip to Montreal

In #montreal, this is a firehouse. #canadagram

To celebrate my 35th Birthday, Tammi and I just spent a long weekend in Montreal. I've been a longtime fan of the city, but Tammi had never been. We spent five days partaking in all sorts of deliciousness. Much of this has already been documented via Twitter and Instagram, but rest assured there's more to come.

You can see my set of phone photos on my Montreal by Phone Flickr set. Stay tuned.

May 21, 2012

The Narrative Process - My Tech Munch Presentation

Last Friday, I took part in a panel for the TechMunch Conference, a food blogger gathering, to discuss the narrative process. In it, Tricia Okin led a discussion with me, Liza de Guia of Food. Curated. And Kasey Hickey of Evernote Food about how each of us comes to the stories we publish.

Time limitations (and nerves) prevented me from hitting all my points, so I thought I'd post my whole planned talk here, after the jump.

Continue reading "The Narrative Process - My Tech Munch Presentation" »

May 16, 2012

Queens: A Roosevelt Avenue Street Food Tour

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I don't get out to Queens much. In fact, besides going to the airports, I mostly like to avoid the borough as a whole. That said, I've been hearing great things about the great food there for years. Last year, the lore took me out to M Wells - twice. Last weekend, it took me to Roosevelt Avenue, where I grazed my way down thirty blocks with my fellow Midtown Lunch contributors, Donny (of Eat To Blog) and Siobhan (of Blondie & Brownie).

The trip wasn't entirely for leisure, though. Siobhan and her blogging partner Alex are writing a street food cookbook and Donny and I will be providing some of the photography. So, you know, it's research. Leading us through this unfamiliar territory was Jeff Orlick, aka JeffreyTastes, who runs regular tours of the area.

I hope to write a few posts about some of the specific places we visited, but who knows when I'll have time for that, so let's start with the highlights - after the jump.

Continue reading "Queens: A Roosevelt Avenue Street Food Tour" »

May 9, 2012

Self-Promotion: My NoMad Photos in Travel + Leisure

Finally got the new Travel + Leisure - featuring photos by yours truly.

In my years as Flatiron Lunch correspondent for Midtown Lunch, I spent a lot of time in the area that's now being called NoMad. While covering the area, it grew from being a dead zone to being one of the more interesting areas to eat these days. Travel + Leisure magazine agrees - this month's Food Issue includes a piece highlighting a number of the places to eat in the neighborhood and two of my photos are used to illustrate them.

See which ones after the jump.


Continue reading "Self-Promotion: My NoMad Photos in Travel + Leisure" »

May 2, 2012

Your First Look at The Bar at Peaches

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Last night, Bed-Stuy got its newest bar. The folks at Peaches have renovated the space where Bread-Stuy used to be and turned it into a bar for folks in the neighborhood to hang out, chat and enjoy each other's company. It's a much needed addition to the neighborhood and I'm looking forward to spending long evenings bending elbows at the bar or holed up in a window seat on a summer's day.

Before they opened, owners Craig & Ben let me in to get a first look at the place. They're also our first confirmed stop on the next Bed-Stuy Crawl, which will tour Lewis Avenue on Saturday, June 2nd.

See more photos of the space after the jump...

Continue reading "Your First Look at The Bar at Peaches" »

April 25, 2012

Mexico-Bound

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Next week, Tammi and I are heading to Tulum, Mexico for the wedding of some good friends of ours. I'm not one to get excited about spending time in beach towns, but I had a great eating experience in Mexico City years ago and I've been hearing people talk about Tulum for a little while now. Of course, I don't have much in the way of specifics about where to go or what to eat while there, so let me know if you have any tips!

April 17, 2012

Bed-Stuy Crawl, Round 2 Recap

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Last weekend's Bed-Stuy Crawl was an amazing success. Alisha, Nicole and I led a crowd of nearly 50 people to sip and snack at three spots in the Franklin/Bedford corner of the neighborhood. I told you all about the plan last week, so check out how it all went with photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Crawl, Round 2 Recap" »

April 16, 2012

Lima: Public Displays

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In the park up above the Lima waterfront, this statue stands as a monument to the Peruvian proclivity for showing affection. Any doubts about how accurate this was was erased by a walk through the park. It was impossible not to pass at least one pair of entangled teens sucking face for all to see.

April 13, 2012

Lima: Dancing in Kennedy Park

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Lima's Kennedy Park is a five minute walk from our apartment in Miraflores and chock full of activity from markets and events and locals just enjoying the space. Every time we walked through the park there was some sort of performance or dance party happening there.

Get a look after the jump.

Continue reading "Lima: Dancing in Kennedy Park" »

April 12, 2012

Lima: Perpetual Cloud Cover

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Having spent our first week or so in Peru up in the mountains, it was easy to forget that it was winter time down there. During the day, the sun shone and temperatures got to the 60s. When we landed in Lima, closer to sea level, we encountered an entirely new weather pattern. It wasn't the cold, snowy winter we (usually) know at home, but there was a chill in the air and we didn't see the sun at all over the four or five days we were there. At all.

We read that it's like that for most of the year, but it's remarkable being right on the coast of the Pacific with a huge cliffside park across from the beach going for miles and miles and not seeing the sun once. I can't imagine how gorgeous it must be on a sunny summer day.

April 11, 2012

This weekend, Bed-Stuy Crawl returns!

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This Saturday, April 14th, Nicole Taylor, Alisha Miranda and I will be hosting our second installment of our Bed-Stuy Crawl series.

Having lived in Bed-Stuy since I was a kid, I have to say there hasn't been a more exciting time to live in the neighborhood. As recently as five years ago, the idea of being able to spend a Saturday evening out with friends without leaving the bounds of Bed-Stuy was pretty unlikely. Your options were to hang out at an old man bar or to spend the whole time at one of a handful of scattered restaurants around the area. That's all changed. And it's pretty great.

If you missed the first Bed-Stuy Crawl back in February, here's your chance to make it up to yourself. Last time, led a group of 40 from Fulton Grand on the Clinton Hill border to Breucklen Cellars, Vodou Lounge and finally Black Swan. It was an amazing time and we're doing it all over again this weekend. Check out the plan for this weekend's festivities after the jump.

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April 9, 2012

Peru: Incan Constellations

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One interesting thing I picked up from our visit to Qorikancha was that unlike the European astrology, which traces the stars to find deities, the Incan constellations find patterns in the darkness around the stars.

This representation of Incan Astrology was painted by Miguel Araoz Cartagena, a local artist in Cuzco. To read more about the constellations, read this.

April 6, 2012

Cuzco: Eating Cuy at Victor Victoria

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It's a fine line between being an open-minded eater and being the idiot who'll eat anything on a dare. I try to be adventurous enough that I don't miss a good meal due but not so much that I'm just eating something because it's there. In Peru, cuy was the elephant in the room. Guinea pig is a local delicacy that I admit had me both curious and a little grossed out. Really though, when was I going to have the opportunity to try it again.

In Aguas Calientes, I almost had cuy confit at The Tree House But they didn't have any on hand. I didn't go hunting for cuy after that, but I mentioned that I wanted to try it to Arturo, a friend of a friend, who leads food tours in Lima (more on that later). He recommended Victor Victoria, a small restaurant that's small, divey and off the beaten path.

We got totally lost the first time we tried to go there, but managed to track it down the next night. Joined by fellow anglophones from Brooklyn and the UK that we met at an Aussie bar down the road, we dove in together and had a pretty good meal.

Continue reading "Cuzco: Eating Cuy at Victor Victoria" »

April 5, 2012

Cuzco: Craft Museum

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Peru is known for it's textiles and weaves and materials, so it's no surprise that we ended up at the craft museum in Cuzco. While Tammi shopped for "gifts" (ahem), I headed to the back of the shop to see weaving being done by hand. Take a look after the jump.

Continue reading "Cuzco: Craft Museum" »

April 4, 2012

Cuzco: Qorikancha

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In what was probably the last historic site I laid eyes on over my month long trip to South America, Tammi and I visited Qorikancha, the site of a former Inca temple, which was inevitably looted by the Spaniards and turned into a church. This isn't much a sightseeing blog, so I'll let you read the Wikipedia entry for details and stick with the visuals after the jump.

Continue reading "Cuzco: Qorikancha" »

April 3, 2012

Cuzco: Chicharron Row

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Our trip to Peru wasn't all eating and hiking - Tammi and I did some sightseeing while we were in Cuzco, too. It just so happens that as we walked to the remains of an ancient inca temple, Qorikancha, we ended up walking down a strip of chicharrones joints. Go figure.

Baskets of freshly fried pork bits were on display in front of each of these places. How could we resist? Culture could wait. Get a look after the jump.

Continue reading "Cuzco: Chicharron Row" »

April 2, 2012

Self-Promotion: How To Knead, Top and Toss it

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The How to... series presented by Edible Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Brewery has returned this year and I've been out shooting it. Back in February, "How to Slice it" brought meat mavens together to learn the best way to make sausage, truss a roast and debone a chicken. More recently, the theme was pizza and it packed the house. Check out a couple highlights after the jump and see a slideshow and details on the speakers on the Edible Brooklyn recap.

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April 1, 2012

Self-Promotion: Ten Bells Photo on Travel + Leisure Site

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Last month, Travel + Leisure used one this photo from LES Wine Bar, Ten Bells in their slideshow of America's Best Wine Bars. I was really excited to work with T+L and hope to get a chance to work with them again in the future.

March 29, 2012

Food/Work: In The Kitchen at Giano

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Earlier this month, I was hired by ScoutMob to photograph at East Village Italian restaurant, Giano for their new Hand-Picked series.

I shot as Chef Matteo prepared a few dishes from cooking to plating to the final dish in order to show what customers can expect from their hand-picked experience. Given the time I spent in the kitchen, it's no surprise that many of the outtakes from the shoot seemed appropriate for the Food/Work series.

Get a look into the kitchen at Giano after the jump.

Continue reading "Food/Work: In The Kitchen at Giano" »

March 20, 2012

Self-Promotion: The BrunchCritic Tour

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Last month, Andrea of BrunchCritic hired me to shoot some places for her site. I spent the afternoon bouncing around half a dozen New York neighborhoods shooting some pretty cool looking brunch spots.

The adventure started with The Cupping Room in SoHo, above. After the jump, see where else I ended up - and check out brunchcritic.com for reviews and a spiffy brunch search tool.

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March 14, 2012

Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet

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A couple weeks ago, David Siegel, who I met while he worked at Peaches and later photographed as he made cookies for Fats and Flour, told me about a site called Kitchensurfing. The site plans to be a gathering point for chefs to share resources and compare notes. Earlier this month, they hosted an event which invited chefs and photographers to connect. Each chef brought a dish or two and the photographers styled, arranged and shot the food.

Of course, as much as I enjoy shooting food, it was the spectacle of all the people interacting with the food and each other that caught my eye. The result is more Food/Work than food porn. Get a look at what I saw after the jump.

Continue reading "Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet" »

February 17, 2012

Analog Returns: Terminal 5

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Last week, I was chatting with a friend and he referred to a time when I "used to shoot film." It took me aback for a moment. My analog experiments have slowed down considerably, but, I never really thought of myself as not shooting film anymore. In fact, the five rolls of film in my coat pocket for the last couple months will testify that I at least shoot film occasionally.

What I haven't been doing is posting any of those film photos. So, here goes. This week, I've started posting again on my analog tumblr. I'm starting with some photos from an Open House New York tour I took last year of the old TWA Terminal Five at JFK.

Enjoy!

February 1, 2012

An evening with the Robicelli's

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Last night, I helped Brian of Eat This NY film his upcoming Valentine's Day webisode. You may remember when I filmed his Halloween episode last year. This time around, the stars of the show were Matt & Allison of Robicelli's who give Brian advice on love.

Check back on Eat This NY for the full video to go up next week. In the meantime, check out Matt's new tattoo, which was a part of the Ink Master series on Spike TV. See if up close after the jump.

Continue reading "An evening with the Robicelli's" »

January 31, 2012

Self-Promotion: In The New York Times

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This is hardly news to anyone who follows me on Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest, but I'm still excited two weeks later.

The above photo is my first to be published in The New York Times. It's of black truffle soup dumplings at Red Farm and, just in time for Chinese New Year, it got a fair amount of attention, getting reposted on Zagat and Gothamist.

It's a great milestone and helped me push through as I did five more shoots the following week. Onward.

January 23, 2012

New York Tech Meetup's SOPA Protest

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Unless you were stuck in a cave, you almost certainly heard about the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills and last Wednesday's day of protest all over the internet that it resulted in. If somehow you missed what the whole bill was about, see The Oatmeal's hilarious SOPA explanation. While websites all over the world were blacking out their pages in a new form of activism, the folks at New York Tech Meetup decided to take an old school approach and led a rally in front of the office building of New York's two Senators.

As with last year's Meetup with Mayor Bloomberg, NYTM brought me in to document the event. See some of the photos after the jump.

Continue reading "New York Tech Meetup's SOPA Protest" »

January 2, 2012

Introducing Food/Work


Food/Work - Images by clay williams

Happy New Year, folks. 2011 was packed with experiences and opportunities that I hope to build on for years to come. To begin, I'm launching a new photo project that I'm very excited about, called Food/Work.

Expanding on the Butchery project of the last few years and the kitchen shoots I've done in the last several months, Food/Work explores the real effort that gets food on our tables. Following the examples of Michael Harlan Turkell's Back of House series and my friend Donny's Foodaisance project, I want to call attention to the work that goes into cooking, preparing, cutting, cultivating and even killing the food that so many of us enjoy and obsess over.

Although the project will not be limited to Brooklyn, starting Wednesday, I'll be posting some photos on Nona Brooklyn every other week. The first post went up last month with photos of Emily Cavalier cooking dishes for November's Midnight Brunch supper club.

So, stay tuned. The slideshow above is just a preview of what's to come.

November 30, 2011

Cuzco: The open kitchen at Cicciolina

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While the eating options were a bit limited in Aguas Calientes, Cuzco was an entirely different story. One night, while looking for a place to grab a drink, we stumbled upon Cicciolina, an Italian place hidden in a courtyard of shops a block or two away from the main square.

We may have come for a drink, but as soon as I saw that our spot at the bar was directly in front of the open kitchen, it was pretty clear that we'd be spending hours there. See cooks, prep, pasta making and cocktail shaking after the jump.

Continue reading "Cuzco: The open kitchen at Cicciolina" »

November 18, 2011

Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!

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Over the summer, I had the pleasure of photographing Something I Ate, an art and food event hosted by On Plate Still Hungry and Skimkim Foods. The dishes served included multilayered savory push pops, a set of brass knuckles made from watermelon and hanging hor d'oeuvres that were torched before serving. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to shooting the latest in the series tonight. Check out the Skimkim blog for more details on tonight's event and check out some of the photos from the summer party after the jump.

Something I Ate, November 18, 7-10pm. Acme Studios, 63 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: Something I Ate - Tonight!" »

November 16, 2011

Self-Promotion: An Edible Events recap

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I've kept busy since returning from South America in part by running around photographing events. Among the events that I've been shooting like Midnight Brunch, New York Tech Meetup and the Fleisher's Opening, I've also been brought on a number of times to shoot events for Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.

Check out some of the highlights after the jump.

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: An Edible Events recap" »

November 9, 2011

Self-Promotion: ScoutMob and the New York City Marathon

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When I started talking to the fine folks at Scout Mob about being a local scout for them, I think we all assumed that I'd be pitching stories about food. I certainly didn't expect it to be about a sporting event. Then I remembered the annual tradition Tammi and I have had for eight years now and it just sort of made sense.

Check out Today's Culture Hunter and see my photos from the 2011 New York City Marathon and a bit on how it turned into the ritual it has for us.

November 2, 2011

A walk through the cemetery. Recalling Recoleta for Halloween.

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Yes, Halloween is over and everyone's looking to either Thanksgiving or just going straight to Christmas, I've decided to linger a bit and look back. Two months ago, I was wandering the aisles of Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires enjoying a tranquility that is almost unheard of in my life or my city. The days and weeks and months since I've returned have been anything but calm - its been great and I hope to take some time to write about it - but it certainly hasn't been tranquil.

As the spiral into the holidays approaches, this week seemed like a good time to appreciate a moment of stillness. I'll be posting photos from Recoleta today on Twitter and for the rest of the week on Analog UltraClay.

Enjoy.

October 31, 2011

Finding Halloween candy with Eat This NY

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Brian Hoffman, a fellow contributor to Midtown Lunch, hosts regular videos on his site, Eat This NY. The other day, I joined him to film his Halloween video, which profiled artisanal candy shop, Papabubble. It was my first time seriously shooting video and thus quite a learning experience. We also got to geek out watching them create some of the unique handmade candy right on site.

As I'm incapable of watching people work with food without photographing them, of course I took a few stills along the way. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Finding Halloween candy with Eat This NY" »

October 26, 2011

Butchery: Fleisher's Brooklyn is open for business

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Fleisher's, the butchering mecca that inspired so much of the whole animal cooking that we've seen in the last few years has come to Brooklyn. The new shop is located in Park Slope on 5th Avenue off Sackett. I've been a big fan of theirs since I photographed their Pig to Pork event last year.

The grand opening of the new shop was last week and co-owner Jessica Applestone asked me to photograph the big day. Borough President and Brooklyn cheerleader Marty Markowitz was on hand to celebrate the big day.

October 21, 2011

My take on The Chew

The audience at The Chew.

If you pay attention to food television, you've probably already heard about The Chew, the new ABC Daytime show that ostensibly covers 'all angles of food.' Last month, through the kindness of Nichelle of Cupcakes Take The Cake, I scored a ticket to one of the first tapings of the show.

You can read my reaction to the show on at guest post I did on Mouth of the Border.

October 19, 2011

Self-Promotion: Photographing Mayor Bloomberg at NYTM

Mayor Bloomberg at New York Tech Meetup

Last week, I got called on to photograph the October edition of New York Tech Meetup, a monthly event wherein tech startups present their projects and ideas to other tech types, entrepreneurs and potential investors. Wearing my geek hat for a moment, it was an event that I'd been hoping to check out one of these days regardless, so I was really excited when my friend Jessica Lawrence, who works for NYTM asked if I'd be available to shoot it. Things got even more interesting when I heard that their special guest this month was going to be the mayor.

See the full set of photos from the event including more of the Mayor and all the presenters at ClayWilliamsPhoto.com.

October 7, 2011

Self-Promotion: Shooting Dan Kluger at Bon Appetit's Feast or Fashion

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It's been a busy month since I got back from South America. In addition to shooting Midnight Brunch, I shot The Vendys for Midtown Lunch and the Feast or Fashion dinner for Bon Appetit.

The event, hosted at the TriBeCa home of fashion designer Lela Rose, was catered by Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen. Unlike so many of the other events I've photographed lately, almost all of my shooting this time had me in the kitchen following Chef Kluger and his team.

I've posted an extended gallery from the event on claywilliamsphoto.com.

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

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I don't know where to begin and I have no idea where I would end in thanking Steve Jobs. For everything I know about computers. For a dozen year career in technology. For Tammi, who I met at a Macworld Keynote.

More than most, I can't begin to imagine where my life would be without the contributions Steve Jobs made to the world.

Thanks Steve.

September 22, 2011

Peru: The Tree House

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As I mentioned yesterday, the town of Machu Picchu, formerly known as Aguas Calientes, is pretty much a tourist town. That includes the food. Pizza and Mexican and Chinese all stand next to restaurants selling the same ten Peruvian dishes, no one offering anything quite good.

There were a couple exceptions that we enjoyed and a month later, the one that sticks with me is The Tree House. Check out the space and the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Peru: The Tree House" »

Analog Machu Picchu

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I've finally made my way through my film photos of Peru and have started posting them on my analog tumblr site. I'm starting with the photos from Machu Picchu and working my way through the rest of the trip. I'll be posting a few every day, so check back regularly.

September 21, 2011

Self-Promotion: Midnight Brunch II

Photo Recap: Midnight Brunch Edition Two with Google Places

After a month in South America, I got back to New York a couple weeks ago and have been keeping busy, that includes shooting Midnight Brunch last weekend. The event, hosted by Emily Cavalier of Mouth of the Border and sponsored by Google NYC, was the second in a series for the ethnically inspired supper club.

Thirty winners of a contest on Google Places were invited to an undisclosed location in the Lower East Side- the apartment-like space above Casa Mezcal on Orchard Street. The gathering was full of familiar faces, which made the whole thing a lot more fun. Folks I've met in my photo adventures and twittering over the last year or so were there along with plenty of interesting new people. It was a great time. For more details on the evening, including a full menu, see Emily's recap.


Now that I've returned, expect more Peru posts in the next few days...

September 20, 2011

Peru: Aguas Calientes a.k.a. Machu Picchu town

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The closest town to Machu Picchu was historically called Aguas Calientes, but apparently has recently taken on the name of of its main attraction to avoid confusion.

It reminded me a lot of a smaller Siem Reap: full of travelers and an entrenched tourist economy that offers a little too much of a variety, little of it particularly great. Still, it was interesting to explore. See a bit more about it after the jump.


Continue reading "Peru: Aguas Calientes a.k.a. Machu Picchu town" »

September 7, 2011

Peru: Climbing Machu Picchu

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Well, ok, we didn't actually climb Machu Picchu. Not technically. For various logistical reasons that Tammi explains in great detail, we didn't manage to get the appropriate ticket to climb the actual mountain called Machu Picchu. This, it turns out was not a big deal. In fact, given the week of aches and pains I had after the hiking we did do, I'm not sure I'd have managed the mountain.

Since I'm so behind in my posts (and photo editing), I'll minimize the commentary and make with the photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Peru: Climbing Machu Picchu" »

September 1, 2011

Peru: Altitude Adjustment

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I was warned before heading to Peru that the altitude in Cuzco and to a slightly lesser extent the Machu Picchu area would take its toll on us. Having been gradually acclimatized to the 8,000 foot elevation of Aspen over the years, I was a little skeptical that it would be much worse than a minor headache and a nosebleed or two.

It turns out that 11,000+ feet is a whole different experience.

Continue reading "Peru: Altitude Adjustment" »

August 23, 2011

Self-Promotion: David Kinch cooking demo on BonAppetit.com

David Kinch in the Bon Appetit test kitchen

Among all the work I did back in May, I got to do some work for Bon Appetit magazine, doing a little photographing for their website. The work included a photo shoot of Michelin-starred chef David Kinch demonstrating how to make the savory beignets he serves at his restaurant Manresa, in California.

It was a great shoot and I was very excited to see them published last week. See the slideshow here.

August 13, 2011

Heather Williams, Historian, Aunt

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This is my aunt, Heather Williams, she's an Associate Professor in History at UNC Chapel Hill. The week before I took off for my big trip to South America, I took a shorter trip to meet her in Philadelphia for a day of photographing her and her cover art for her upcoming book.

Her book, about the black family and separation due to slavery has recently become even more relevant than it ought to be. She's worse at self-promotion than I am, so you won't hear her talking about it much outside of a classroom or a conference, but keep your eye out for it next year.

In the meantime, you can find her first book, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom on Amazon.

August 12, 2011

Self-Promotion: My SLR Food Photography Guide on Foodspotting

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I'm using my transit time to finally catch up on various posts and self-promotion that I have been too tied up to keep up to date on the blog. First up is this guide I put together last month for Foodspotting.

It's all about SLR food photography and offers a number of tips and tricks for capturing interesting images of food in restaurants.

The guide is an overview, but I do plan to follow it up here with a few more in-depth posts. First up, will be about white balance - it's one of those things that seems to throw everyone off. If you've got any particular photography questions you'd like me to cover, let me know in the comments or write me on twitter @ultraclay.

August 10, 2011

Early Lunch at M Wells

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Last week, in my post-corporate afterglow, I took the opportunity to return to M Wells, the site of my amazing birthday dinner. I'd heard great things about the brunch menu and had to see what it was all about. The timing turned out to be perfect as, just the day before, the eccentric Long Island City diner announced that it would be closing up shop due to a rent hike.

I met up with my friend Emily, one of the many awesome people I met at the Foodspotting events this spring. She has also recently left the land of the day job and is pursuing her own projects.

We didn't gorge ourselves the way that Eric and I did back in June, but we ate pretty well. See the courses after the jump.

Continue reading "Early Lunch at M Wells" »

Lima: Late Night at the Airport

The 1am crowd at Lima's airport. #travel #airports #Lima

Our flight arrived in Lima just before midnight local time. We weren't the only ones. Hundreds of people, coming and going, were swarming around the airport when we got here. Even now, four hours later, as we wait for our next flight to take us on to Cuzco, there are many, many people wandering its halls. The stores all seem to be open and we're sitting in a Starbucks, with other exhausted travelers.

I have no idea why, but judging by all the staffers walking about bright-eyed, it seems like this is a normal thing. I have no insight. I'm wiped out and writing this more to stay awake than to inform.

August 1, 2011

Nom Wah Parlor with Chinatown Chowdown

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Last week, Tammi and I took to Chinatown's historic dim sum parlor, Nom Wah, to help celebrate the release of Chinatown Chowdown. As I mentioned before, the app is a savior for folks like me that have a hard time figuring out which of the hundreds of restaurants, carts and eateries in the neighborhood to try. I plan to spend some quality time exploring the options and thus far have it to thank for a few good meals.

Follow the jump for photos from the festivities.

Continue reading "Nom Wah Parlor with Chinatown Chowdown" »

July 27, 2011

Dekalb Market Open for Business

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Last weekend saw the launch of Dekalb Market, a new open air marketplace on the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. I had planned on writing an elaborate post about it, but it seems that's not going to happen soon, so I'll have to settle for a quick series of photos with a bit of commentary after the jump...

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July 22, 2011

This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout

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If you weren't sure from the heatwave, it's summertime and thus barbecue season. My friends from rare form (the folks who bring it with the annual Donuts Are Forever party) have a monthly party in the backyard at Fresthetics, a clothing store in Williamsburg. After missing out on them for one reason or another last summer, I was sure to make the first of the season last month.

Tomorrow, they're doing it all over again, this time with guest DJs from Los Angeles and San Francisco and Filipino snacks from Mahalo Foods.

Check out more photos from June's party after the jump.

Makossa, Saturday July 23rd, 4-10pm.
552 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Continue reading "This Weekend: Makossa Brooklyn Cookout" »

July 20, 2011

Bed-Stuy: Do or Dine brings an adventurous menu to the hood

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Even though they've only been open for a month or so, I feel late to the game with Do or Dine. The internets have been abuzz with talk of all the crazy and interesting food they're churning out for weeks. And that was all before some goofy vegans gave them the best PR gift you could ask for by starting a petition against the foie gras doughnuts they serve.

The restaurant, which is really more like a clubhouse, describes itself as an 'American Izakaya,' only because everyone's tired of the word 'gastropub.' Really though, that's what it is, an awesome gastropub where they cook whatever they feel like trying. I don't care what you call it, it's good and I plan to return soon. After the jump, check out the meal and a very cool surprise at the end.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Do or Dine brings an adventurous menu to the hood" »

July 14, 2011

Bars: The Way Station, Prospect Heights' Doctor Who-themed bar

A Doctor Who themed bar in Prospect Heights. It's #geektastic #Brooklyn #bars

This spring, Tammi and I fell down the rabbit hole that is Doctor Who. We spent about a month consuming episode after episode of five seasons of the British Sci-fi series and have been coming back for more ever since. So, when a friend mentioned that there was a bar in Prospect Heights with a Doctor Who theme, we showed up at their doorstep within days.

It's called the Way Station and as you see here, they've got a Tardis, the big blue box at the center of the series, in the middle of the bar. It serves as the restroom - and yes, it is bigger on the inside.

I randomly posted this on my digital Tumblr a week ago and was subsequently hit with a barrage of 'where is it?!' messages and reblogs. I answered there, but since there is clearly a following, I figured I'd post it here as well.

The Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

July 13, 2011

Kitchens: The Chef's Counter at La Lunetta

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After the Bastille Day fun on Sunday, Tammi and I had dinner at Lunetta, the wonderful Italian restaurant that happens to sit on the site of our first date, those many years ago. By chance, we managed to get a seat at the Chef's counter in the back. Whether it's at the counter at Osteria in Philly or at Cal Pep in Barcelona or I'm just watching demos at The Astor Center, I love seeing - and photographing professionals working in a kitchen. I've been doing more of it lately for some projects I don't think I can talk about just yet, but I take every opportunity to shoot in kitchens and this was no different. Check out the photos, including a rather dramatic flare-up and some delicious food after the jump.

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July 12, 2011

The Storming of Smith Street

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Every year, in honor of Bastille day, Smith Street brasserie, Bar Tabac leads the charge for Brooklyn's francophiles by taking over a couple blocks of the strip and dedicating it to the very French pastimes of drinking outdoors and playing petanque. I've been meaning to go for years and finally, Tammi and I checked it out. See photos from the day after the jump...

Continue reading "The Storming of Smith Street" »

July 8, 2011

Chinatown: Hua Ji's Pork Chop

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My first excursion into Chinatown with the Chinatown Chowdown app took me to a scaffolded building at the end of Allen Street. I walked past a crowd of people sitting on the sidewalk waiting for one of those cheap fare buses and knew that I'd never have thought to stop here without a proper guide.

Continue reading "Chinatown: Hua Ji's Pork Chop" »

July 7, 2011

Philly: Frankford Hall Opens in Fishtown

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For Memorial Day Weekend, Tammi and I took a trip down to Philadelphia. High on my agenda for the weekend was to check out the new beergarden in Fishtown, called Frankford Hall. Check it out after the jump...

Continue reading "Philly: Frankford Hall Opens in Fishtown" »

July 6, 2011

Chowing Down in Chinatown

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I've mentioned before that Chinatown always presents something of a challenge to me. It's chock full of interesting food, but much of it is hidden among mediocrity, esoteric signs and thousands of people knocking into each other.

Still, sometimes i manage come across a yummy surprise like Malaysian jerky shops or egg tarts like i had in Hong Kong that make me want to keep going back to look for more.

Recently, a friend gave me the key to finding the hidden goodies to be found in the neighborhood. Craig Nelson, a friend and fellow food fan developed an app called Chinatown Chowdown, which works as a guide to the area's best food.

It's got listings and reviews and photos as well as a map that'll tell you what's closest to you and how much a cab would cost to get there.

Over the next couple weeks, i plan to try to make it do a little exploring with the app as my guide. I'll be reporting in once a week or so with my finds.

June 29, 2011

Birthday Dinner at M Wells

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The day after my birthday, Eric managed to get me to go to Queens for dinner at M Wells. If you haven't heard about it, well, good, maybe I'll be able to get another meal there before they entirely blow up. That's unlikely, as Sam Sifton already raved about it months ago. I'm weeks late with this post and, honestly, I don't have time to do this meal justice with words. See photos and a quick rundown of our incredible meal after the jump.

Continue reading "Birthday Dinner at M Wells" »

June 8, 2011

The Highline, Section Two opens

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When I got the news yesterday that the second section of The Highline was open, I pretty much darted from my desk. Clearly, an extra long lunch was in order.

The design is more of the same brilliance that makes the southern part such a wonderful place to visit and has some added features including a lawn, a bleacher like seating area, and, below the north end, a food truck fueled snack bar - with beer. So, yeh, it's pretty great.

Get a first look at the space after the jump.

Continue reading "The Highline, Section Two opens" »

June 6, 2011

The Month of May - A Recap

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Whew, what a month! In my long trek toward full-time professional photography, May covered a lot of ground. Forgive the radio silence on the blog, but over the last several weeks, I've photographed events for Esquire, EdibleBrooklyn and a new site called RevJam, I also shot a couple parties and shows for Examiner, took portrait and service photos at Cornerstone Baptist Church for their upcoming website revamp and met more than a few awesome people at events sponsored by Foodspotting. On top of that, I managed to get in a couple shoots for a client that I'm not quite ready to announce yet. In short, things are coming along.

With just a couple days until my birthday, I look at all that has kept me busy over the last month and hope to press even harder in the upcoming year. There is huge opportunity ahead and I plan to make the most out of it. For everyone who's been following along, thanks so much for your support. Stay tuned.

May 26, 2011

Instagram and other Digital Dalliances

#subway #musician at Canal Street Station

This week, through the grace of my lovely wife, I've upgraded my phone from a marginally functional iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4. So far, the best part of having it is that i can finally use the camera again. My previous phone ran so slowly that the camera was more or less useless.

The return to cameraphone photography has introduced me to the wonders of instagram. Many of the photographer friends I respect have been on it for ages, but i wasn't able to play along.

If you follow my twitter feed at all, you'll know that this has changed. In the day or so since i started playing with the app, I've posted dozens of pics. I've been using it so much that it seems like a good way to use my other Tumblr page. Now called Digital Dalliances, it'll mostly focus on the random photos I take with the phone along with some other digital images I find interesting at any given minute.

This may include some of the themes that have been such a hit on Analog UltraClay, like the food series and the current Black and White Bars set. Stay tuned!

May 23, 2011

A first look at Smorgasburg

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While the entire world was making rapture jokes, the food obsessed among us were making what could have been our last eating pilgrimage to the Williamsburg waterfront. If you haven't heard about it, the folks behind the Brooklyn Flea have expanded their food offerings into a new weekly event focused entirely on food called Smorgasburg.

Over the years, the Flea has become a destination as much for its food options than any of the actual market items, so it's no surprise to see a spin off like this. I know I was excited about it.See what was on hand after the jump.

Continue reading "A first look at Smorgasburg" »

May 10, 2011

Analog: Expired Plenachrome

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Last month, with the return of the outdoor Brooklyn Flea, I checked in at Dan's Parent's House, the booth where I picked up the roll of 50+ year old Royal-X Pan film last year. Dan doesn't trade much in film, but had a few old rolls for sale, so I snapped them up.

The photos posted above and after the jump are from a 120mm roll of Plenachrome, made by a company called Ansco. The other day, Tammi and I rode down to Red Hook to enjoy the spring weather and I figured it was as good a time as any to give this old film a try.

Continue reading "Analog: Expired Plenachrome" »

May 9, 2011

Malaysian Jerky in Chinatown

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Reminiscing about last year's trip to Hong Kong inspired me to take a trip to Chinatown the other day. Wandering the area, I tried some egg tarts (more on that later), ogled markets, dodged knock off bag sellers and discovered this shop. They had me at 'jerky!'

Continue reading "Malaysian Jerky in Chinatown" »

May 4, 2011

Analog: Black & White Bars

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In all my analog experiments, I don't often shoot black & white. I just love color too much to act like it isn't there. Yet, occasionally, I come across results like this shot I took at Hanson Dry in Clinton Hill and a couple others (after the jump).

Continue reading "Analog: Black & White Bars" »

May 2, 2011

Hong Kong: Loon Kee Seafood Restaurant

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At the head of Hong Kong's Gage street, right across the street from Lan Fong Yuen tea house, Loon Kee draws passersby in with a visual siren's song of roasted meats hanging in the window.

Behind them, men stand in the window chopping and prepping meat for customers. Their hands, shiny from the greasy skins of pork and duck and chickens, just looking at them work, going in was an inevitability, not an option.


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April 30, 2011

Analog Food Photography

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A couple weeks ago, when I posted about my lunch at Boqueria, I started thinking about analog food photography. I don't often shoot food with film for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the difficult lighting in most restaurants means that I usually need to extended iso and nearly unlimited shots that digital provides. Being able to take 50 photos in a minute or two is often essential in food photography because usually someone is waiting to eat the subject.

Beyond that, digital is sharper, more crisp in a way that many film aficionados aren't so into, but that we tend to desire in images of food. The textures and grain that you get on film are more complex and a bit less sexy that digital - but are really interesting in their own way. I only shoot food with film from time to time, but have gotten some interesting results.

This week on Analog UltraClay, I've decided to explore the topic a bit by spending the next week or so posting an Analog Food series.

April 29, 2011

Hong Kong: Thai Hut

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On a particularly debaucherous evening out in Hong Kong, our host took us out to Wan Chai to give us a peek at the seedier side of town. Its probably pretty telling that above all the working girls and over the top everything, we saw there, the thing that I really remember is Thai Hut.

Continue reading "Hong Kong: Thai Hut" »

April 28, 2011

Hong Kong: Tsui Wah

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In our first week in Hong Kong, we passed by branches of the Tsui Wah chain more than a few times without realizing that it was another of the cha chaan tang tea houses, like Lon Fong Yuen (basically diners), that we'd read about. Thankfully, we discovered it in time to stop in a couple times before we headed home.

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April 27, 2011

Hong Kong: The Peak

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Hong Kong is beautiful. I fell for it the moment I looked out the window of the Midlevel apartment we stayed in. The view of the world below, the harbor and Kowloon off in the distance made me want to find explore it as much as I could. That view probably also ruined me for The Peak.

Continue reading "Hong Kong: The Peak" »

Hong Kong: Cha Chaan Tang at Lon Fong Yuen

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Among the notes I got from friends and friends of friends ahead of our trip to Hong Kong, I read a couple references to cha chaan tang tea houses as a particular institution in local culture. Despite what I read about it being the home of low budget comfort food, it never occurred to me that it would basically be a diner.

One in particular, Lon Fong Yuen, was highly recommended and conveniently turned out to be right at the beginning of Gage Street, the strip of markets that I obsessively returned to, ogling the Butcher shops and the people who worked there.

Continue reading "Hong Kong: Cha Chaan Tang at Lon Fong Yuen" »

April 26, 2011

Analog Spring

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It's that time of year. Spring in New York brings us all out into the streets. We're so happy for a day or two of decent weather that we're out and about as much as possible. Never mind that half the days are chilly and rainy, we're still making plans to go out to the Brooklyn Flea or Habana Outpost or wherever else.

This week on Analog UltraClay, I'm posting spring photos from around town including new Analog Flea photos and a series on Washington Square Park, one of my favorite places to spend time since I was a kid.

April 21, 2011

Quick Bite: Bar Mut in Barcelona

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After we left La Sagrada Familia on our last day in Barcelona, Tammi and I went to Bar Mut, in L'Eixample for some wine and a few snacks. We were there in that late afternoon dead period that confounded us just about everyday, but thankfully, they were open through the siesta and we spent a couple hours snacking and drinking wine there. See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Quick Bite: Bar Mut in Barcelona" »

April 20, 2011

Barcelona: La Cerveteca

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If there's anything I really find myself missing when traveling abroad, it's the availability of good beer. In Barcelona, we imbibed in wonderful cavas and red wines, but when it came to beer, nearly the selection everywhere boiled down to international mass-market dreck and a few, slightly better imports like San Miguel, the Filipino beer I discovered in Hong Kong. If ever there's an American beer, it's the worst of the big brands that made it all the way across the Atlantic.

So, it caught my attention when we passed Le Cerveteca. It looks more like a shop than a bar and in the window, there were signs up with the logo for the Victory Brewing Co., a Pennsylvania-based brewery known for it's quality, hop-laden beers.

Continue reading "Barcelona: La Cerveteca" »

April 19, 2011

Analog Subways

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After a bit of a hiatus, I've started posts up on Analog UltraClay again. This week's theme is the subway, featuring film photos from New York's transit system.

Just going through the photos to select which I want to post got me thinking of other stations and compositions I want to try. I picked up a couple rolls of faster film than my go-to Ektar last week, so expect a sequel, possibly as soon as next month. Enjoy!

April 18, 2011

Scenes from Barcelona: Kiosko Universal

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Heading to Barcelona, I was obsessed with the Boqueria marketplace. I wanted to photograph it and sample all the different foods there, gorging myself on slice after slice of jamon and who knows what else. Once we got there, though, I ended up mostly window shopping, ogling the wares and wondering how one cooks a cockscomb.

On the one 'morning' we did eat there (and by morning, I mean afternoon), we went to Kiosko Universal.

Continue reading "Scenes from Barcelona: Kiosko Universal" »

April 12, 2011

Quick Bite: Porchetta Platter

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A while back, I got a Blackboard Eats coupon for Porchetta in the East Village. I've gone on about my obsession with the Italian roast pork dish in the past. It's delicious. Usually, I get the sandwich, but with the discount, I figured I'd splurge a bit.

This is the Porchetta Platter with beans and cooking greens. And, I got a side of potatoes & burnt ends. Of course, it ended up being more food than I could eat - I took the potatoes home and broiled them up with dinner that night.

March 31, 2011

Bed-Stuy Tour: Dough

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After catching doughnut fever in Chelsea last month, I found myself particularly intrigued when I got word about Dough, a new doughnut shop in Bed-Stuy on the corner of Franklin and Lafayette. Tammi and I peeked in after leaving Bedford Hill last weekend, but sadly found ourselves too stuffed from breakfast to partake. I did take some photos, including a few of some freshly glazed doughnuts going out. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Tour: Dough" »

March 30, 2011

Bed-Stuy Tour: Bedford Hill

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I've been hearing about Bedford Hill since it opened last year, but hadn't made it out until Tammi and I took our Bed-Stuy tour last weekend. It's on Franklin Avenue, on the same block as Sweet Revenge (where we ended the day about 12 hours later) and just blocks away from the border with Clinton Hill.

The initial shock of being the only black folks in the room in the heart of what used to be seriously "'hood" Bed-Stuy faded relatively quickly. The politics of the "Pratt Area" and the wave of gentrification are an nearly a force of nature in New York and I'm not about to blame a place like Bedford Hill for serving the new residents in the area.

If anything, my only complaint about Bedford Hill is how tight the space is. I'm a big guy and walking in in the middle of a rush, I was bumped and jostled every which way, even after I found a seat.

Still, once we had our food and the crowd died down, it was extraordinarily pleasant and my initial urge to flee relaxed. See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy Tour: Bedford Hill" »

March 29, 2011

Brooklyn: The Bed-Stuy Tour Part One

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The weather may not quite feel like spring, but despite the cold, the longer days are inspiring me to get outside and do some exploring. Tammi's been taking some classes at the YMCA on Bedford Ave and it's given us an excuse to spend some time wandering that end of Bed-Stuy a bit more.

That's meant brunches at Peaches HotHouse and Black Swan, but also the discovery of a few new places that have been popping up on the radar of late. Last weekend, Tammi and I spent our Saturday over in the corner of the neighborhood that borders Clinton Hill and Williamsburg that's become known as the "Pratt Area" or even, irritatingly "West Bed."

We stopped in some cafes and bars and generally wandered about, meeting up with friends and seeing what's new and noteworthy. See the beginning of our tour after the jump.

Continue reading "Brooklyn: The Bed-Stuy Tour Part One" »

Recently on Examiner: Pharoahe Monch at SOBs

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I've decided that it's about time for me to get back out and shooting for Examiner.com again. Thursday night, I shot Pharoahe Monch perform at the release party for his new album, WAR. One of my earliest shoots for Examiner was a show of his celebrating the 10th anniversary of his first solo at Sputnik. I'm thinking of it as sort of a new beginning.

Examiner doesn't pay particularly well, but the practice of shooting events regularly is really useful. It's been a couple of months since shooting a show and I was surprised at how many little mistakes I made in my preparation that I had down when I was shooting regularly. None of it was insurmountable, but it was all stuff I should have known better. It was a good reminder of why the best thing you can do in photography is to just keep shooting.

March 28, 2011

Barcelona: History All Around

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Directly across from our hotel in Barcelona stood this plaque honoring Salvador Segui. He was an anarchist and part of the republic that was overthrown by Franco in the Spanish civil war.

I don't know enough about the war to be able to regale you with facts about it, but suffice it to say that it was significant and fascinates me for its context in history. Seeing reminders of those events around us while we traveled reminds me of the other fascinating

March 23, 2011

Aspen: The food of BB's Kitchen

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The interesting part of my annual sojourns to Aspen has been tracking down the new restaurants and bars that pop up over the years. This year, I discovered BB's Kitchen, which had only been open for a couple weeks when I got there.

I had a few great meals there and just missed the opportunity to photograph their meat operation for my butchery project. I spoke to the chef, Mark Buley about the restaurant and their plans to bring whole animal cooking to Aspen. If I'd written this post two months ago, I'd probably have a lot more details, but it's all faded a bit, so I'll let the food talk for itself after the jump.

Continue reading "Aspen: The food of BB's Kitchen" »

March 20, 2011

Brooklyn: Hanson Dry opens in Clinton Hill

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Before I can begin to enjoy Hanson Dry, I have to forgive it first. The new bar on Fulton Street in Clinton Hill occupies the formerly blocked up storefront that hosted one of my favorite graffiti pieces in Brooklyn. The silver ESPO work with the Stevie Wonder quote, "Did you know that true love asks for nothing" was a landmark for me for ages. Months ago, it disappeared behind wooden construction boards. When it was all over, windows had returned and a new bar, Hanson Dry was open for business.

I'd love to trash it for being gentrifying nonsense with annoying clientele, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Last week, Tammi and I went and stuck around several rounds longer than intended listening to the bartender's iPod selections and relaxing. The music could have been titled 'the best of Clay's college years' and led to my assertion that 1996 was the best year for hip-hop and R&B potentially in the entire decade.

The strip of Fulton between Vanderbuilt and Franklin has been on the verge for some time. With Bar Olivino, Hot Bird around the corner and new bars like Hanson Dry popping up, this might be the moment.

March 19, 2011

Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market

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As usual, I took some time while we were in Barcelona to pick up a couple bottles of wine to take home. After reading about the selection available there, we sought out Vila Viniteca in the warrens of El Born, a neighborhood we ended up wandering around quite a bit. When we got there we discovered that it was much more than a wine shop.

Turns out there are three or four different storefronts, this one, above with stacks and stacks of wine, another for private events a third that we didn't get a good look at and a food market that captured my attention for a full half hour. Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market" »

March 16, 2011

Barcelona: Cal Pep

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Tapas bar, Cal Pep has been on Barcelona's must visit lists for so long that I almost skipped it just because it's so over-exposed. Except that it was clearly on the list for a reason. I wasn't going to skip it just to be contrary.

The crowded line of people waiting for one of the prized seats at the counter Was enough to scare us off one night, but after our lovely lunch at Quimet i Quimet, I was very excited to keep trying the more amazing options in town.

The line, it turned out, wasn't so big a deal. We walked in to find half a dozen people ahead of us and we were seating within 15 minutes. We passed the time with some house wine and watching the show behind the counter as the chef chatted with customers and the staff presented new dishes to each party.

When we sat down, we were asked what sort of foods we liked and whether we had any particular restrictions. It seems the standard serving style is what the Japanese call omakase - chef's choice. You're in their hands and they bring up whatever is fresh and fits your preference. We went with it and enjoyed course after course - plus one addition we couldn't skip. See the blow by blow after the jump.

Continue reading "Barcelona: Cal Pep" »

March 15, 2011

Barcelona: Agua Con Gas

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I took a liking to sparkling water back on our honeymoon in Paris. There, as in Barcelona, every meal begins with an offer of water with or without 'gas.' Tammi prefers her water flat, but I found that I really enjoyed the sharp bubbles and, in the case of the Vichy Catalan water that I had nearly everywhere, a slightly salty flavor.

March 14, 2011

Recently on Midtown Lunch: Doughnuts and Barbecue

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What you see here is a jelly doughnut from the new Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. After years of being told how good this place was, I finally had to give it a try. The result is that I'm hooked. The yeast doughnuts in particular are enough to make you want to go protest the local dunkin for lying to us all these years about what a doughnut really is.

While in the Chelsea area, I also took some time to celebrate the moderating weather with Barbecue at RUB and a survey of the Flatiron area food trucks, in hopes of encouraging some outdoor eating.

March 10, 2011

Cambodian Cuisine Returns - in a truck

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Longtime Brooklynites, may remember the Cambodian Cuisine restaurant that stood prominently in the middle of pre-gentrified Fort Greene. It's giant sign stood out and, well before pho and banh mi became common parlance in the food world, it was one of the only Southeast Asian places outside of the city's three Chinatowns.

It's long since closed and the location has been the home of Smoke Joint, the barbecue-centered sibling of Peaches and Peaches Hothouse.

I had only ever been to Cambodian Cuisine a few times and only really remembered it as a landmark of a lost time. Regardless, I have wondered, from time to time, what ever became of them. Last week, I found out when I stumbled upon their newly launched food truck, Cambodian Cuisine Torsu across from Washington Square Park in The Village.

Continue reading "Cambodian Cuisine Returns - in a truck" »

March 8, 2011

Quick Bite: Mardi Gras Muffaletta at Rye House

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I've mostly outgrown the drunken bacchanalia of events like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day, but I did manage to find my own way to celebrate this afternoon. I met up with a friend for lunch at Rye House and discovered the addition of a special sandwich on the menu for Fat Tuesday: their own take on a muffaletta.

The true New Orleans version of the classic Italian sandwich is usually so big that one couldn't hope to eat an entire one in one sitting and expect to do anything more than nap for the rest of the day. Thankfully, this was a bit scaled back to a more reasonable size.

March 7, 2011

Fatty Johnson - gone, but not forgotten

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This weekend, Tammi and I finally got a chance to check out Fatty Johnson, the pop-up restaurant in the space where Cabrito used to be at 50 Carmine Street in The Village. This was cutting it down to the wire, as they finished up service there yesterday. The meal was great and made me wish I'd headed there earlier so I could have tried more of the food.

Check out what we had after the jump.

Continue reading "Fatty Johnson - gone, but not forgotten" »

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

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Much like our time at home, when traveling, we often mean to explore cultural attractions and sites, but usually end up spending more time exploring the local food and drink. I'll walk for hours through neighborhoods tracking down hidden culinary delights, but the museum down the block from the hotel often gets missed. Sad, but true.

So, when we found ourselves with just a day left in Barcelona and we hadn't been to La Sagrada Familia, I considered skipping it. But just briefly. I took my sister to see it 8 years ago and before that had seen it on my high school Spanish trip back in '94. It is quite literally a wonder and not to be missed.

As a site that's been under construction for a century, it's been different every visit. Where I remember the various piles of marble and concrete stacked from my last visit, there is now a huge open hall, a pulpit, statues and gorgeous stained glass windows lighting much of the space.

If I was surprised, Tammi was blown away. The size and scope of the entire building, the beauty and the detail brought her to tears. Neither of us is religious, but walking through the place is a humbling experience.

This week on Tumbr, I'll be posting photos from the La Sagrada Familia, inside and out.

March 4, 2011

Barcelona: Quimet i Quimet

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When I put out the bat signal requesting recommendations for where to eat and drink in Barcelona, no less than four friends insisted that we try Quimet i Quimet. The small wine shop in the Parallel district is famous for its tight quarters and it's wonderful selection of tapas.

The talk of its small space certainly made me hesitate. I'm not partial to being bumped and jostled at every turn, but given the word of some of my most respected food geeks, I had to go. We went for a late lunch and actually found plenty of room.

We weren't super hungry, so didn't get that much - although I could certainly have kept gorging myself just because it was all so good. Check out the courses after the jump.


Continue reading "Barcelona: Quimet i Quimet" »

Barcelona Observations: Broken Benches

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Walking around Barcelona, I noticed that instead of benches in public spaces, there were sets of three chairs bolted down slightly askew and spread out. I suppose it stops anyone from trying to sleep or spread out over them.

March 3, 2011

Barcelona: Gracia

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We spent most of our time in Barcelona in the tourist centered Rambla/Barri Gotic area with regular excursions to the vaguely less overrun El Born area. There is much to do there and it wouldn't have been a loss if we had spent the entire time wandering the corners and alleys of this area, but I wanted to see a bit more. A friend who had lived in Barcelona told me to check out the Gracia neighborhood. It's a neighborhood more for locals than visitors with quite a few bars, shops and restaurants and a vibe that is less about selling stuff to tourists than offering a cool environment where people actually live.

Continue reading "Barcelona: Gracia" »

March 1, 2011

Barcelona: Cafe Viena

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It's been several years since Mark Bittman wrote that the best sandwich he'd ever had was from a cafe in Barcelona, but it's been in the back of my head ever since. Now that we were there, it was high up on my shortlist of things to try while we were there.

The inauspicious Cafe Viena doesn't stand out from the various shops and cafes along La Rambla, but it's so worth the visit.

Continue reading "Barcelona: Cafe Viena" »

Barcelona: Sant Jaume Sunday Danceparty

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We got to Barcelona on a Sunday morning. While we waited for our room to be available we wandered the Gothic District looking around and seeing what's what. Somehow, we missed the dancers of San Jaume until later in the evening as we were searching for the Picasso museum.

I'm glad we did. It turns out that the plaza hosts a weekly musical performance, along with some sort of traditional circle dance by some of the older Spaniards. It was a fun little glimpse beyond the busking and nonsense of the Rambla.

February 28, 2011

Barcelona Observations: Spanish Time

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Since we were only in Barcelona for four days, we didn't try to acclimate to the time zone too much. Except the first morning, when I woke up early and took this and a few other sunrise photos from the roof of our hotel, we rarely got out before 1pm.

Most often, we'd start the day with lunch in the early afternoon, then tapas around 6-7pm, then dinner around 10 or 11pm. Occasionally, the night was finished with a late night doner kebab from one of the Turkish spots in El Raval near the hotel.

Our only real issue with the local schedule was the siesta period from 2 or 3pm to 5pm - invariably the exact times when we were hunting down a shop. We also had some difficulty finding open restaurants and bars Sunday night - the hazard of visiting a catholic nation.

We usually managed to get back to those places, but sometimes it took a few attempts.

Barcelona Graffiti

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My last trip to Barcelona was back in 2002. I was already taking a lot of photos, but not nearly as seriously as I have been in recent years. Using a borrowed point & shoot, I shot scenery and my sister, who I was traveling with and, for the first time, lots of graffiti.

The street art scene was starting to pick up here in New York, but it wasn't until I saw all the interesting pieces up in Barcelona that I started to really consider photographing it.

This week on my non-analog Tumblr blog, I'll be posting my pics of the local artwork I came across.Enjoy!

February 24, 2011

...And back again

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Tammi and I got back from Barcelona this afternoon. It was a great trip and I've got loads to write about. I hope to spend the next day or two catching up on my posts about this trip, San Francisco, Aspen and Hong Kong.

February 19, 2011

Hong Kong: Darlie

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With all the flights between Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and The Philippines, we ended up needing to replace toiletries during an overnight stopover. Tammi found a Darlie toothbrush, the descendant of the Darkie brand and just had to get it. I had never heard the story before, but she had. Apparently, back in the day, this brand had a top hat sporting Al Jolson-style logo, seen here. After the obvious uproar, they changed it to Darlie and adjusted the logo, although apparently in Chinese, the name of the brand is still "Black Person."

February 18, 2011

SF: Stopover

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On my way back home from Aspen, I ended up with an unscheduled 18 hour layover in San Francisco. I'm happy with any time I get to spend in the Bay Area, so it was welcome. Most especially since between the snow storm I had just come from and the ice storm that had covered pretty much the rest of the country had left California blissfully alone.

I credit those few hours in SF for planting the seed in my head that I absolutely needed to get the hell out of dodge and that convinced me to go for tomorrow's trip to Barcelona. I'm so sick of being cold. Four days in the 60's without the spectre of another cold snap and any moment will be like heaven.

In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner

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Monday night, Tammi and I skipped the amateur night crowds of Valentine's Day and had a nice meal at home together. I took a page from Amanda Hesser's recent New York Times Magazine piece on the standing rib roast and decided I wanted to try it at home. the final product came out wonderfully, but that was after having to make some last minute changes.

See more about how it went after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner" »

February 16, 2011

Barcelona-Bound

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Apologies for the lack of content lately. I have much to catch up on, but first a bit of news: I found a last minute fare deal from New York to Barcelona and Tammi and I are taking it. This weekend, we're off to spend 4 days on the Mediterranean.

I plan to spend a good deal of that time photographing and eating and hopefully practicing my Spanish. When I get back in a week, I hope to have many stories to tell.
Stay tuned...

February 11, 2011

Recently on Examiner: Jazz & Donuts

Gregory Porter celebrates Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocalist

It's been a minute since I've posted anything on Examiner. There were many technical difficulties on the site that were making it less and less worth my time. Still, I don't want to let it fade away, so I recently got out to shoot a couple events.

Earlier this week, I shot a show by Gregory Porter at East Village club, Drom. Gregory and I know each other from the neighborhood and his brother Lloyd, the owner of Bread Stuy let us know about it. Gregory was nominated for the Best Jazz Vocalist Grammy and wanted to celebrate with a performance for friends and neighbors.

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Jazz & Donuts" »

Analog: 1600 Speed

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When I was in Hong Kong, I picked up a roll of ISO 1600 film in the hopes of using it for some interesting shots at night at Angkor Wat. That never happened, but when I got home, I found a dark and snowy city perfect for high speed film.

The results are interesting. Being able to shoot on a gloomy, overcast day without opening the aperture all the way or having to slow the shutter down too far. Check out Analog UltraClay for more ISO 1600 shots from this roll and some others from a while back.

January 31, 2011

Aspen: Homeward...hopefully

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After nearly a week without snow, the skies over Aspen have opened up and let loose. It's not unspeakable, but along with the eastward storms in the Midwest, there are probably going to be a couple obstacles between here and home. Here's hoping it all works out.

January 29, 2011

Comments

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The other day I discovered half a dozen comments stuck in my spam filter from the last several months. I have no idea why they didn't go through, but I've tweaked the settings so it shouldn't happen again. Apologies to those whose comments went ignored.

January 22, 2011

Analog: Party Polaroids at Brooklyn Bowl

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Yesterday afternoon, I got a last minute request to shoot Roots DJ Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's 40th Birthday party at Brooklyn Bowl. Even now, I'm desperately trying to play it cool as though this is the sort of thing that happens to me all the time, but I admit that I was pretty ecstatic at the opportunity. As a long time fan of The Roots in general, Questlove in particular and Brooklyn Bowl as a venue, I have to say the whole experience was gratifying.

Photographically, the most interesting part of the night was that the request specified that they wanted Polaroids (or at least "Polaroids," most instant film cameras are Fujis). I used a Fuji Instax 270,I believe. It was the 'wide' version, which shoots the traditional size prints as opposed to the more common 'mini' models that print narrow, business card-sized photos.

I've never played with Polaroids in the past and, though generally understanding the appeal of instant analog prints, always worried that it would just lead to obsession and a million individual prints would accumulate, unscanned because I hate scanning and thus not particularly useful in the digital world. All of that is pretty accurate and I'm resisting the urge to blow my payment for the gig on one of these cameras for myself and a ton of film.

Shooting with it was interesting. The learning curve was fairly shallow, it is made to be very simple to use after all. My biggest problem is that the film packs only hold 10 exposures at a time. Shooting an event and having to stop every 10 shots can be cumbersome. The other issue is that the prints take longer to 'develop' that I ever expected. It takes nearly 5 minutes for an image to completely materialize. That can be a lot of time to lose the spontaneity of a moment. Even so, the photos I saw - I turned in the whole batch at the end of the night - were inspiring. I might have to risk obsession and add another toy to my collection one of these days.

January 20, 2011

Hong Kong: Brew Dog Punk IPA

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After drinking all that yellow, fizzy beer all over Asia, I was craving something with hops. Every beer you find out there, be it local or import, is light, sweet and after a while, cloying. San Miguel was my favorite of the bunch in Hong Kong and The Philippines, but really, it was all mostly the same.

So, I was very happy to find Brew Dog at a pub in the expat nightlife area, Lan Kwai Fong. The ad, posted on every table spun its marketing campaign as being 'punk,' different, possibly 'too good for you.' The idea would be more clever if the folks that make Arrogant Bastard hadn't been doing it for something like 10 years, but I certainly didn't care. It had hops and was unapologetic about it and for that I appreciated it.

I had the blue label, which provided the over the top hoppy experience that was all the range in beer in the US five years ago. As happy as I was to have it, I could only enjoy a round or two at a time. By then though, my palate was more than happy to return to the lighter local brews.

Weddings: Julia & Toby

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Tammi and I have Julia and Toby to thank for inspiring our trip to Asia last year. We had been racking our brains trying to figure out where we wanted to go for our annual trip until we got the invitation to their wedding in The Philippines. It served as the perfect excuse to go further than we might otherwise have.

The ceremony was a full mass at Sacred Heart Parish Church in Cebu City after which we all headed back to the Shangri La Mactan for the cocktail party and reception. See more photos from the wedding after the jump. The whole set is posted at claywilliamsphoto.com

Continue reading "Weddings: Julia & Toby" »

Aspen-Bound for the Last Time

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This weekend, I head to Aspen for the final time in the service of my current company. There's plenty more to report about why, but for now, let's stick with the usual trip preparations. Tammi's joining me for a couple days to assist me in set up (having a geek wife has its benefits) and to allegedly take on some of the local activities that I've thus far avoided every year going out there.

My list of restaurants I want to visit for my last time around is long. Ajax Tavern, Ellina, or maybe Brexi

January 18, 2011

In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style

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Back in those far-flung days or warmth and happiness that I like to call 'summertime,' I came across Sam Sifton's 'The Cheat' column featuring Fatty Cue's delicious rib recipe. Given how much I enjoyed the meals I've had there, I was very excited about trying it out. But then I never managed to get out and do much barbecuing last summer and my window passed. Now it's ridiculously cold and I can't even get my back door open through all the snow.

Instead, I improvised my own take on the recipe using lamb ribs and letting my slow cooker do most of the work. The result doesn't have any of the smokiness that insinuates itself into every tender scrap of meat at the restaurant, but it's something I can make now without having to wait for the thaw. Check out the step by step after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style" »

Vietnamese Coffee

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One of the delicacies I read about before heading to Vietnam was the local style of coffee brewing. It's sweet and milky and usually served on ice. I don't really drink coffee, but I do like to at least experience distinctive foods and drinks of a place, so I tried it a few times.

Most often we got it served already 'brewed,' but when we went to Pho 24, we received this brewing contraption that filtered the coffee out at the table into a cup with condensed milk.


Continue reading "Vietnamese Coffee" »

January 16, 2011

Food Finds: Top Shelf

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Grand Street, Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

January 12, 2011

Vietnam: Pho 24

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When planning to go to Vietnam, I had two major foods I wanted to eat as much of as possible: pho and banh mi sandwiches. Our trip to Cambodia didn't leave us as much time to explore as I'd hoped, so my pho exploration was limited to a couple visits to Pho 24, one of the local pho chains around Saigon.

I'm sure there are a million varieties of pho to be had around Vietnam, much of which may be better than what I had here, but I can say honestly that this was the best I've ever had.

Continue reading "Vietnam: Pho 24" »

January 11, 2011

Cambodia: Half-Marathon Through Angkor Wat

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Coincidentally, the day we ended up visiting Angkor Wat the same day as the Angkor Wat Half Marathon. We arrived as the race was wrapping up, but we got to see the familiar sight of the finishers stretching and walking off the long run.

January 10, 2011

Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Destination

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Like the rest of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat was filled with tourists and those seeking the tourists' dollars. Wherever we went we were nudged and jostled by tour groups and picture-takers. I counted German, French, Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Japanese groups over the course of the day.

Continue reading "Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Destination" »

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

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Ten years ago, before I caught the travel bug, before I'd ever booked a flight on my own or gone further than New England unaccompanied, I worked in an office in Times Square. In the entryway to my department was a large print of a photo from Angkor Wat. I passed it several times a day and wondered where the hell Cambodia was and honestly never really thought I'd be there in person. A decade later, here I was in Siem Reap walking through the ruins and seeing the real thing up close. Without intending to, I'd accomplished a travel goal.


Continue reading "Cambodia: Angkor Wat" »

January 7, 2011

Cambodia: Street Sandwiches in Siem Reap

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Most of the eating we did while in Cambodia was in the sit down joints up and down 'pub street,' the main tourist drag in Siem Reap. I didn't get a lot of opportunity to explore the street carts offerings the way I did in Saigon. There was the lady selling those yummy sausages and someone else who I got some barbecue chicken wing nubs from, but I didn't see nearly as many sandwich carts as I did in Vietnam.

After visiting Num Pang here in New York, I was curious to see how different the local sandwiches stood apart. I only saw one cart around where we were selling them, so of course, I tried it. Twice.

Continue reading "Cambodia: Street Sandwiches in Siem Reap" »

January 6, 2011

Cambodia: Travel by Tuk Tuk

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The primary mode of transport around Siem Reap was tuk tuk, a motorcycle-driven rickshaw that was much sturdier that I'd expected and cost a buck or two to get us pretty much anywhere. We even ended up taking one to the airport.

Cambodia: Barbecue on Pub Street

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In a town as full of tourists as Siem Reap, Tammi and I indulged in some of the typically touristy spectacle-seeking activities like the fish pedicure and eating some odd meats at a barbecue joint that clearly catered to the sensational eating crowd.

While I eat my fair share of foods that might gross some people out, I seldom engage in the bizarre foods contests that becomes more about eating weird stuff rather than food that actually tastes good. This time we figured 'what the hell?' Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "Cambodia: Barbecue on Pub Street" »

Cambodia: Fish Pedicure

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Based on what we saw, the entire economy of Siem Reap is based on tourist traffic and dollars. Besides the kids hitting everyone up selling books and postcards, everyone around us called our attention to massages, restaurants, tuk-tuks and ... fish pedicures.

Giant tanks sat all around town full of small fish that suck the dead skin off of your feet. Tammi tried it for about 10 seconds before freaking out. I stuck my hand in and have to say it is a rather strange sensation.

January 5, 2011

Cambodia: Kid Hawkers

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Throughout Siem Reap, pretty much wherever we went, kids of all ages approached us to sell us something - anything. Persistent as they were ubiquitous, the tourist economy of this area was most obvious watching them follow and harass visitors with offers of guide books, postcards, bottled water and god knows what else.

My instincts as a New Yorker stopped me from even considering making a purchase from them. This apparent heartlessness was validated after seeing one lady swarmed upon after buying postcards from one child. Seemingly a dozen of them flew over demanding that she buy something from them too. No thanks.

Interestingly, the one exception for all hawking was within the bounds of the temples of Angkor Wat. Outside, they badgered and encircled potential customers, trying everything from striking up conversations to offering compliments - I was even told by one that I look like Obama. Yet, as soon as you walked in the ruins, it all stopped. Some of the kids were inside, but they sat and rested or napped.

I won't read any reverence or respect into this and just assume it's just not tolerated there. Regardless, it provided a much appreciated break for all of us.

January 4, 2011

Cambodia: Shellfish Street Cart

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I saw a few carts like this while walking around town in Siem Reap, but I didn't partake. They were selling what looked like tiny clams tossed in spices and hot pepper flakes. Get a closer look after the jump.

Continue reading "Cambodia: Shellfish Street Cart" »

January 3, 2011

Cambodia: Car Logos

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I have no idea why, but many of the cars around town in Cambodia had the automakers' logos on the side.

Cambodia: Street Cart Sausages in Siem Reap

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Compared to Vietnam, the street food in Siem Reap, Cambodia was pretty sparse. I did manage to find some carts selling skewers of chicken wing ends and even a cart with a variation on the banh mi sandwiches I love so much (more on that to come). The best of the cart food I found was from a lady selling these sweet, salty sausages.

Continue reading "Cambodia: Street Cart Sausages in Siem Reap" »

Cambodia: A Weekend in Siem Reap

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Though I could have spent weeks exploring the street food and sidewalk culture of Saigon, after a week of the hustle of urban life in Hong Kong and Vietnam,Tammi was ready for a break. We booked a weekend trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see a quieter side of Southeast Asia and to explore the temple ruins of Angkor Wat.

Two days isn't a ton of time to see a lot, but we managed to get a trip to the ruins and some R&R in town while we were there. More to come.

December 31, 2010

Learning about fish at Eataly's Pesce

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As I've said in years past, I don't really do resolutions as such, but on my list of things to learn more about for the last couple of years has been cooking and eating fish. Yeah, yeah, health blah blah blah. It's good for me, but it's also a whole area of food that up until now I've been woefully unfamiliar about.

So, the week before Christmas, Tammi and I took a break from shopping and stopped in at Eataly for lunch at Pesce, the seafood restaurant by Esca chef, Dave Pasternack. Check out the courses after the jump...


Continue reading "Learning about fish at Eataly's Pesce" »

Vietnam: Tricia and Verona

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When I told friends that we were going to Vietnam, more than a few of them suggested that I look into getting a suit there. In Hoi An in particular, but throughout the country, it seems, there are many accomplished tailor shops that can put together bespoke clothing within a day or two.

I don't get dressed up very often, but having just lost a suit due to a tear while shooting a wedding, I found myself in the market. So, our first destination in Saigon was to Tricia & Verona

Continue reading "Vietnam: Tricia and Verona" »

December 30, 2010

Vietnam: The Cu Chi Tunnels

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As an American traveling to Vietnam, the elephant in the room is clear. We sort of had a war here. And we sort of lost. And we've sort of been arguing about it ever since.

When Tammi told my father in law about out trip, he was baffled. "You're going to 'Nam?" he asked. He's just young enough to have missed the draft, so the idea of spending a couple days visiting scenic Saigon probably didn't make any damn sense to him. I expect that my little godson, only a few months old will go somewhere like Afghanistan or Iraq in decades to come and that I'll be equally perplexed.

To see more about the local perspective of the war, we went to the Cu chi tunnels. A network of what amount to crawl spaces spread miles around the town of cu chi and as far as Saigon. Built to fend off the French, the US went and built a base right on top of it, having no idea that the enemy was literally under their noses.

Continue reading "Vietnam: The Cu Chi Tunnels" »

Vietnam: Barbecue Beef at 3T Quan Nuong

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We found 3T Quan Nuong while rummaging through our guidebook for restaurants near the Dong Khoi area where we spent most of our time in Saigon. It doesn't take a lot to sell me on barbecue of any kind, but cook at your table barbecue in a roof garden pretty much demanded my attention. How could we go anywhere else? See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Vietnam: Barbecue Beef at 3T Quan Nuong" »

Vietnam: Sidewalk Culture

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I risk losing any credibility I might have by gushing over and over about how 'fascinated' I am by one aspect or another of Vietnamese culture, but I can't help it. The scooters zipping around Saigon clearly got my attention. And how could I not be obsessed with the myriad banh mi carts serving up any number of variations of pork on pork deliciousness?

Similarly, how could I not be fascinated by the sidewalk culture we saw there. Day and night, people sat out on little plastic stools talking, eating and generally gathering with their communities.


Continue reading "Vietnam: Sidewalk Culture" »

December 29, 2010

Vietnam: Scooter Cabs

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When getting around Saigon, Tammi and I didn't really think much of hopping a cab to get around. Considering a ride rarely cost more than a dollar (except when the driver is ripping you off - which happened coming from the airport).

For locals though, the cheapest and easiest way to get around is to hop on the back of someone's scooter. Guys like this hung out on nearly every corner waiting for a 'fare' to come by looking for a ride.

Vietnam: Com Tam Moc

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Having spent most of my eating time in Saigon obsessing over banh mi sandwiches, I didn't really get a chance to explore too many of the other culinary stylings of Vietnam. But on our first morning, we grabbed breakfast/lunch at Com Tam Moc, down the block from our hotel. Cơm tấm apparently refers to the leftover fragments of rice grains which are sorted out and sold cheaper.

Continue reading "Vietnam: Com Tam Moc" »

In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home

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The star of my Christmas haul this year has to be the meat grinder Tammi bought for me. After I read about the Alfa MC5 on Michael Ruhlman's holiday gift guide, it immediately made it to the top of my wishlist.

Once I opened it up, my first task was clear: grinding up some fatback to render lard. See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home" »

December 28, 2010

Vietnam: Hotel Bars

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At the end of our first day in Saigon, Tammi and I decided to get a little western hospitality at the roof bar at the Sheraton Saigon. The view was gorgeous and the wine list wasn't bad. What we didn't really realize until we got the check was that the prices were also quite western. The typically high hotel mark up is dramatically higher here compared to the wine bar across the street we discovered later, which stocked plenty of good wine for as low as $5-8 a glass.

Whoops.

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December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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Having spent most of the holiday season in Asia, it hasn't felt a lot like Christmas to me this year. While folks have been going to holiday parties and catching up with friends, I've mostly been catching up on my Midtown Lunch beats, scrambling to stop in at some of my favorite places before they close up for good and hunting down Vietnamese Sandwiches like the ones I had from the banh mi carts Saigon.

But here we are, with a day left until Christmas. I've got family in town that Tammi and I are hosting with some seasonal touristy sightseeing and then I'll be cooking dinner tomorrow night. With all that in mind, I'll take my leave for the weekend and come back next week with some more observations, food and stories from Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and The Philippines.

In the meantime, please enjoy your holidays with good food and good company.

December 23, 2010

Vietnam: Crossing The Street

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Before going to Vietnam, a friend who'd been there had one piece of advice about crossing the street through the swarm of scooters: Don't hesitate, don't run, don't panic.

Just as the scooters manage to (seemingly safely) zip this way and that without and sort of rules or order, they can ride around you as long as it's clear where you're going and how fast you're going. Adjust your pace as necessary, but don't break out into sprint unless you want to get run over.

Vietnam: Bier Garden

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Bier Garden ended up being our central spot while we were in Saigon. After a week or so of pretty much exclusively drinking those sweet, fizzy Asian beers like Tsingtao, Tiger and San Miguel, the option of having an international selection available was really appealing to me.

The more 'exotic' selections available mostly came from Western Europe from Belgian and German wheats along with English and Irish ales. They also had Cooper's, an Aussie beer I've been fond of for some time. Yet, interestingly, I found little relief in these western brews. Despite differences in styles and country of origin, I soon came to find that nearly all of the beers available had similar tasting points. All were lighter in body and sweeter in flavor without much in the way oh hops or sharpness to balance the experience.

The crowd, clearly, was made up entirely of tourists enjoying a pint or three of their home town brew. Sadly there was no such nostalgia for me. Remarkably there weren't any American beers available that I recall.

December 22, 2010

Vietnam: Controlled Chaos

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As I've said, the scooters of Vietnam really fascinated me. Traffic rules are out the window and everyone just gets in where they fit.

Vietnam: Colonial Decay

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Walking around Saigon, it was interesting to see all the old deco-era buildings that have fallen into disuse and decay. The scenes around town were so vibrant and active, yet many of these old buildings looked as if they hadn't been touched in decades.

Continue reading "Vietnam: Colonial Decay" »

December 21, 2010

Lunch: How does Paris Sandwich stand up to the Banh Mi in Saigon?

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After writing up my Five Tips for Eating Banh Mi in Saigon, I found myself craving another Vietnamese sandwich. On my last trip down to Chinatown, when I went to Banh Mi Saigon, I noticed Paris Sandwich across the street and added it to my mental to-do list, so this time I decided to give it a try...


Continue reading "Lunch: How does Paris Sandwich stand up to the Banh Mi in Saigon?" »

Vietnam: Scooter Helmets

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While we were in Vietnam, Tammi coveted these helmets, fashioned after baseball caps. She'd hoped to buy one but couldn't find one while we were there.

December 20, 2010

Five Tips for Eating Banh Mi in Saigon

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Going to Vietnam, I was excited more than anything else for the street food. I mean, obviously. After all, I even made a lunch expedition to Chinatown ahead of the trip just to pre-game it at Banh Mi Saigon.

So, while in Ho Chi Minh City - which everyone we spoke to continues to call Saigon - I made a point of seeking out as many of these sandwiches as I could find. In the process, I came up with a few tips for the hungry traveler seeking out this particular deliciousness while in Vietnam.


Continue reading "Five Tips for Eating Banh Mi in Saigon" »

Vietnam: Scooter Madness


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My first view of the streets of Saigon were dark, blurry and in constant motion. I'd heard that nearly everyone in Vietnam gets around on scooters and motorcycles, but I didn't really 'get' it until we were surrounded by them.

Apparently, government taxes and restrictions make buying a car prohibitively expensive, so pretty much everyone gets around on two wheels.

I have to say, it fascinated me. As much disdain as I may have for cars, I don't think I could ride around the way they do out there. It definitely captured my attention though, I couldn't stop taking pictures of them. See more after the jump.

Continue reading "Vietnam: Scooter Madness" »

December 19, 2010

Hong Kong: No Dog Fouling

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Mid-Levels, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong: Smog

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On our first morning in Hong Kong, I looked out at the gorgeous view from our friend's apartment and peered through the haze across the harbor to Kowloon.

It reminded me of San Francisco and the fog that comes in in the morning off the bay. It seemed pretty cool until our host mentioned that it was actually smog coming off of the mainland. Apparently this time of year is the worst. Above is the view of the Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry terminal on the water. It reminds me of how clean the air is in New York, even if we can't always tell it on the ground.

December 18, 2010

Hong Kong: Just Married

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Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 2010.

Hong Kong: Spanish Hourly Hotel

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Apparently when it's not inundated with shoppers, Kowloon's Mong Kok area hosts any entirely different marketplace after hours. It wasn't the first time in Hong Kong we saw some blatant signs of prostitution, but I have to wonder what makes this place 'Spanish."

December 17, 2010

Airport Security: Toner Cartridges

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It's easy to criticize, I know it is. Easier than securing a nation, certainly. That said, it seems ridiculous the piecemeal rules that get put into effect indefinitely after a threat is discovered. I just feel like there should be a smarter way.

Hong Kong: Egg Tarts at Tai Cheong Bakery

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On my list of recommendations for places I should not miss in Hong Kong, a friend added the egg tarts at Tai Cheong Bakery. I didn't know much about it, but it sounded like a nice snack, so we went for it. When we finally found it, the line out the door and the newspaper clips posted of the former British governor scarfing down the famous tarts confirmed that we were in the right place.

The bakery appears to sell other items, but it seemed like the egg tarts were the main attraction. Right in front of the counter a warming tray keeps them hot and ready for each new customer. Take a look after the jump.

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The Stoned Crow Closing its Doors

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Sorry to interrupt the long string of Asia travel posts, but I just heard this and want to spread the word.

I've got bad news for longtime barflies and burger lovers: Greenwich Village bar, The Stoned Crow is closing at the end of the year. If you know the bar, you're already making plans to head over there now. If you don't, here's why you need to go.

For years, The Stoned Crow has been slinging one of the best burgers in town with little of the hype that has made nearly every other good burger in town an ordeal to get a hold of.

In part, the place stayed under the radar by sitting on a quiet block, away from the hustle and hassle of nearby Bleeker and MacDougal Streets. In fact, you've most likely passed it by on the way to Washington Square Park, neighboring Blue Hill or even the Radio Shack on the corner.

Go inside and you'll be rewarded with a laid-back atmosphere, a beer selection that includes some craft beers but doesn't obsess over it and a pretty amazing burger.

Continue reading "The Stoned Crow Closing its Doors" »

Christmas in Hong Kong

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The timing of our annual trip means that every year we end up seeing the Christmas season kick off in some place far from home. From the unfamiliar displays in Paris to the cognitive dissonance of sun and palm trees in Hawaii, it's always interesting to see how different cultures handle the holidays.

In Hong Kong, that's entails playing Christmas music in every subway station and shopping area as well as putting up these huge decorations in Kowloon near Victoria Harbour.


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December 16, 2010

Hong Kong Food Finds: Cream Flavoured Collon

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Found in a Hong Kong supermarket. I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can say that will make this more ridiculous.

Hong Kong: Amazing Ramen at Butao King

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When planning the Hong Kong portion of our trip around Asia, I expected to partake in all sorts of Chinese food from Cantonese to Szechuan and all sorts of foods I'd never heard of. What I didn't plan on was spending two hours in line to go to a Japanese ramen shop, but that's what happened. The night we arrived, I picked up a copy of the local Time Out to see what food and events were below the radar of the guide books. The review for Butao King, a tiny ramen shop in Central was so amazing that there was no question we had to try it.

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Hong Kong: HSBC Protest

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Protest at HSBC office building, Central Hong Kong.

December 15, 2010

Hong Kong: 7-Eleven

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When we had our little TV Dinner adventure on our first night in Hong Kong, the idea of 7-Eleven there was secondary to the urgent need for something to eat.

7-Eleven has always been something of a mystery to me. There are a few in New York now, but growing up in the land of bodegas, it was a fairly foreign brand. It existed in the suburbs and on television - comedians joked about it and I didn't really get it. So, it was pretty funny to find this brand of Americana on nearly every block in Central and the Mid-Levels.

Hong Kong: Bamboo Scaffolding

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I'm all for using sustainable materials as a way of cutting down on waste, pollution and all that. It's a noble effort and we all ought to be involved. That said, I have to admit to being totally freaked out by the use of bamboo for scaffolding just about everywhere in Hong Kong.

Continue reading "Hong Kong: Bamboo Scaffolding" »

Hong Kong: Rush Hour

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Rush hour at the Admiralty MTR Station, Hong Kong.

December 14, 2010

Hong Kong: The Mid-Levels Escalators

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This is one of the Mid-Levels Escalators. It is remarkably useful for getting from sea level in Central to up in the hills where we are staying. It is remarkably less useful after midnight when it shuts down.

At the end of our first day in Hong Kong, we hung out in SoHo and drank wine and took advantage of the fact that our bodies thought it was the middle of the day. When the bars closed at 2am, we discovered that we had a long climb ahead of us.

This was all days before we found out that the cab ride up the hill only costs US $3. Even so, drunkenly hiking up the side of a mountain making our way home after a day of exploring was a fun experience - just not one I plan to do again soon.

Hong Kong: The Mong Kok Market

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A couple days after we landed in Hong Kong, Tammi and I went on an expedition for a yarn shop. We made our way up to the northern part of Kowloon to an area called Mong Kok. This turns out to be the big shopping neighborhood - not the fancy shopping of Central, with the Louis Vuitton and such, but the real Herald Square/Fulton Street-type of shopping. We made the mistake of going on a Saturday afternoon, which lead to an hour of fighting a tide of humanity searching for a particular address, hidden behind rows of street stalls.

Not recommended. On the plus side, there was some great looking food around that I'd have loved to have tried, but never got the chance to.

December 13, 2010

Hong Kong: Brat

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Among all the western foods available in SoHo, Brat stuck out most of all to me. An American-style sausage shop, done up like it could be in Brooklyn or Downtown Manhattan - in fact there's a place called Brats in Chelsea.

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I stopped in once and was tempted to eat there. I was put off by the lady who worked there who insisted that I could only take photos if it was for personal use. I don't know the restaurant politics in Hong Kong, but I didn't really feel like going somewhere where I'd be hassled about taking food photos.

Still, given the American junk I ate on my last day of the trip, I should definitely gone here instead.

Analog: Airport Security

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Tammi and I landed back home in New York yesterday from Hong Kong. I've got plenty to post about and hope to get them flowing out of there next week or two.

Over the last couple weeks, we've been on 10 flights through six countries and dealt with countless different stages of airport security. Ever since I started shooting film, one of the biggest potential hassles has been dealing with airport security.

X Rays can severely damage the emulsion on film in a way that can totally screw your images. Now, the first thing any screener will say is that it'll only affect film that's faster than ISO 800 or even 1600. What none of them understands is that slower film isn't invulnerable to X Rays, it's just that it takes more passes to do the same damage because it's less sensitive.

I've read that it takes five passes to damage 100 speed film the way one pass damages a faster roll. Given that we've passed through maybe a dozen security checkpoints on this trip, the hazard is still there.

In one of the few compliments I've ever really considered about the TSA, I will say that they invariably will do a proper manual swab of my film without giving me a hard time.

Less so in Japan, above, where the security guy at Narita insisted on opening up and visually inspecting each of my 20+ rolls. In the end, it's better than the Cambodian guard who insisted that I put my one roll of 1600 speed film in the x-ray because the sign said it was 'film-safe.' I haven't shot it yet, so we'll have to see how it comes out when I get home.

December 10, 2010

Hong Kong: Bubies

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In Central Hong Kong, there is a bra shop called Bubies (pronounced boobies). If that weren't awesome enough, the display in the window lists names for many of the 'models' of bra. These names include Chocolate Glory, Tempura, Pepper Steak and Gelato.

So. Wonderful.

Hong Kong: No Napkins

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One odd thing we found nearly everywhere we went in Hong Kong and to an extent in Vietnam and Cambodia: Napkins are few and far between. Except for the most Westernized restaurants, no one provides napkins with your meal. Even here at Yung Kee, a well known and popular Chinese place in Central, when we asked for a napkin, they brought us a box of kleenex-style tissues.

At other places, I noticed that people walked around with packs of tissues and used those. It made for interesting improvisation after long messy meals to have to figure out how to clean my hands without making a mess of my clothes.

December 9, 2010

Hong Kong: San Miguel Beer

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Asia doesn't really have much in the way of great beer. Pretty much all of it is light, yellow and fizzy. It's a bit sweet and most often indistinguishable from one another. You may eventually notice differences between Tsingtao and Asahi and Sapporo, but mostly they're very similar. Given that, San Miguel, a Filipino beer became my beer of choice. Again, it's not significantly better, but you take what you can get.

December 8, 2010

Hong Kong: Guts on a Stick

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I was really excited about the street food when coming out to Asia and I've eaten quite a bit of it, particularly in Vietnam - more to come on that. But I couldn't quite bring myself to try these intestines at a market in Kowloon while we were in Hong Kong. They looked interesting and even Tammi thought about it until asking what it was. The lady gestured to her gut and it was immediately clear.

We'll be back in Hong Kong a couple more times before heading home, so maybe I'll muster up the -ahem- intestinal fortitude to give it a go.

Hong Kong: CraftSteak?

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Walking through one of the restaurant strips in the SoHo area of Central Hong Kong, Tammi and I came across CraftSteak. I hadn't known of Colicchio and co having another branch of the now closed restaurant, so I looked closer.

According to the card, the CraftSteak Hong Kong as a whole family of familiarly named restaurants including Blue Smoke, BLT Burger, and Olive among others. I'm presuming these are all licensees and not some crazy joint venture that somehow flew under the radar.

December 7, 2010

Hong Kong Food Finds: Curry Beef Brisket & Tendon with Rice

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We landed in Hong Kong just before midnight. There wasn't much exploring to be done by the time we got to the apartment and our friend whose house we were staying in was out of town, so couldn't direct us anywhere. But we were both ravenous. We made our way to the nearby 7 Eleven in the hopes of anything to eat.

That's when I an across this particularly interesting Food Find: Maxim's Beef Brisket & Tendon with curry and rice. Adventures in TV Dinner after the jump.

Continue reading "Hong Kong Food Finds: Curry Beef Brisket & Tendon with Rice" »

December 5, 2010

Hong Kong: Brunch Club

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Apparently brunch is a thing in Hong Kong too.

December 3, 2010

And on to the next one

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It's 5am and Tammi and I are getting ready for a flight to Cambodia for the weekend. Vietnam has been quick, but fascinating. We'll have another evening here before we head back to Hong Kong and then The Philippines, so I hope to get a chance to gorge myself further on pho and street banh mi.

I can't promise updates for another couple days, so follow me on Twitter for more up to the minute posts (12 hours ahead).

December 2, 2010

Hong Kong: McDonald's Red Bean Pie

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While in Hong Kong, we made an emergency bathroom run to a McDonald's in Kowloon. I tend to avoid such Americanisms even at home, but really try to avoid them when I'm out of the country. That said, I'm very intrigued by this Red Bean Pie dessert they sell there. The fried pie shell reminds me of the old school apple pies of my youth and I'm curious how it all works with red beans.

We'll be back in Hong Kong twice more before we head home, so maybe I'll give in and try it out.

Hong Kong: Do Not Misuse

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SoHo, Central, Hong Kong.

Saw this on the side of an ambulance the other day. I don't know how bad a problem false alarms are in Hong Kong, but I love the use of these cute little characters to bring home the point.

December 1, 2010

Hong Kong: Jackie Chan Approved!

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"Effectively Reduces Hair Fall" - Hong Kong Supermarket, Mid-Levels.

November 30, 2010

Philly: Tapas Dinner at Bar Ferdinand

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The night before the marathon last weekend in Philadelphia, Tammi and I spent the evening hanging out in Northern Liberties. We had some drinks at Swift Half and Standard Tap and had a dinner of tapas at Bar Ferdinand.

Check out the course by course after the jump.

Continue reading "Philly: Tapas Dinner at Bar Ferdinand" »

Greetings from Hong Kong!

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After five days in Hong Kong, we head to Vietnam today (tomorrow?) - Wednesday. It's been a great time so far and there's tons to post about, starting with this, the view from our friend Bobby's apartment, where we've been staying.

There's so much more to see and do here and I'm happy that we're going to be back a couple more times before heading home. For now, check my tweets and Flickr for semi-regular updates.

November 29, 2010

Philly: DiNic's Again

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After the marathon last weekend in Philly, there was only one thing that my friend Guy needed to make the hurting stop: A roast pork sandwich from DiNic's. Get a look at the deliciousness after the jump.

Continue reading "Philly: DiNic's Again" »

November 28, 2010

JFK: Croque Madame Opens

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Hanging out at the airport waiting for a flight isn't something people typically look forward to, but when I read that Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde was going to be a part of a new collection of restaurants and bars in JFK's Terminal 2, I immediately suggested that we get a jump on all that Thanksgiving traffic as we headed to Hong Kong.

It didn't hurt that it is located directly across from that bastion of high end mediocrity, Bonfire, my longtime nemesis in Delta Terminal eats.

Despite all the threats of passenger protests over TSA security measures, we more or less zipped through leaving a couple hours to spare before our flight. All the more time to explore the menu and have what turned out to be the first adventure of our trip. Sparks literally flew. Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "JFK: Croque Madame Opens" »

November 24, 2010

And We're Off! Asia-bound

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Today's the day. Tammi and I are off to the airport for our flight to Hong Kong. Even though I'll be away for the next two weeks, I've still got a bunch of posts that I've been working on that should be going up here from Philly, Montreal and cooking at home. There are also some posts queued up on Midtown Lunch and on Analog UltraClay, so stay tuned!

November 23, 2010

Philly: Marathon Recap

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As I mentioned, Tammi and I spent the weekend down in Philly to cheer on my friend Guy as e ran his first marathon. Any weekend in Philadelphia is an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, so expect a few posts about that over the next couple days.

In the meantime, see the photos from the race after the jump.

Continue reading "Philly: Marathon Recap" »

November 22, 2010

Analog Montreal: Schwartz's Smoked Meat

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If there was any one food I absolutely had to eat in Montreal, it was the smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's. Viande fumee was a revelation for me on my last trip there and Schwartz's topped the list.

Here in Brooklyn, we've got Mile End's excellent version, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to go to the source.

So, on our last day in town, when my friends were brunching at the hotel and heading to the airport, I ditched everyone and made my way to St. Laurent to experience it again.

Continue reading "Analog Montreal: Schwartz's Smoked Meat" »

Self-Promotion: I'm profiled in today's NY Post @Work

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If you look on page 38 of today's New York Post, you'll find me looking back at you. I was profiled as part of their @work column in a piece about workers around town who have 'unusual' lunch habits, mine being seeking out new foods and restaurants for Midtown Lunch. Sadly, my photo didn't make the web edition. I'll try to scan it in some time today and post it.

I have to say, it was interesting being on the other side of a photoshoot. Lorenzo the photographer and I wandered back and forth through Koreatown looking for proper backdrops.


Update: See the scan of the printed version after the jump!

Continue reading "Self-Promotion: I'm profiled in today's NY Post @Work" »

November 20, 2010

Philly: It's Marathon Time Again

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We're back in Philly this weekend to cheer on my friend Guy in his first marathon. Up early and screaming my lungs out is for tomorrow. Tonight, it's catching up with my sister and trying out some new bars and restaurants in the city of brotherly love. Cheers.

November 19, 2010

Lunch: Banh Mi Saigon

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Even though I still have five days left before our trip to Asia starts, my mind has been 8,000 miles away for days. It's pretty much all I can think about.

Yesterday, my mental wandering took me on a trip far out of my usual bounds down to Chinatown to get a Vietnamese sandwich from Banh Mi Saigon, one of the old favorites in the banh mi craze. I'd never been there, but happened upon it a few nights ago and decided I had to return. Having rated first place in the Midtown Lunch Banh mi-palooza in the spring was definitely a good enough reference for me. Read on for the porky goodness.

Continue reading "Lunch: Banh Mi Saigon" »

November 18, 2010

Analog: Long Expired Kodak Royal-X Pan

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In all my analog experimenting, I've only played with expired film once or twice. The only notable results I found were with a roll I shot in Hawai'i that I posted about last year.

Last weekend at "Dan's Parent's House" at the Brooklyn Flea, I came across this single roll of 120mm Royal-X Pan film. The box was still sealed and the stamp on the side said 'develop before December 1959.'

The vendor, Dan told me he had no idea if it was any good, so gave it to me for $3.

Check out the results after the jump.

Continue reading "Analog: Long Expired Kodak Royal-X Pan " »

Montreal: Mount Royal

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A month before wandering through the woods in North Carolina with my aunt, I was hiking up the trails of Mount Royal in Montreal. The park, designed by the man who designed Central Park reminds me of our big parks stacked on top of each other. Being built on a mountain literally adds another dimension to exploring the park. I walked down memory lane and got lost in the trees and the hills.

I don't do nature and scenery often, so take it all in after the jump.

Continue reading "Montreal: Mount Royal" »

November 17, 2010

Montreal: Brunch at L'Express

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When I asked around about places to go with my group of friends in Montreal, Zach from Midtown Lunch emailed me right away to direct me to his findings that he posted on Serious Eats a while back.

Only being there for a weekend, I didn't get to check out a whole lot of it, but we did hit L'Express, on St. Denis in the French district for brunch our first morning there.

Continue reading "Montreal: Brunch at L'Express" »

Montreal!

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Hey, remember that time I went to Montreal? Right, the time I didn't blog about...

Yeh, I'm catching up. Really.

My friends and I were up there for Seagram's bachelor party a month before his wedding to Kelly in Daytona Beach. The weekend was quick, but a great time and I managed to get away from the group here and there to wander and explore.

I'll be posting about it for the next couple days here and I'll be posting film photos from the trip on Analog UltraClay. Stay tuned.

November 16, 2010

Lunch at The John Dory Oyster Bar

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Today I strayed from my path of finding Midtown Lunch priced dishes in order to partake in some deliciousness from under the sea at the new John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel.

The meal was a splurge to be sure, but was absolutely worth it. In the name of posting this now rather than waiting to make time to bloviate about each course, I'm going to post the courses after the jump with some brief notes. Enjoy!

Continue reading "Lunch at The John Dory Oyster Bar" »

Daytona Beach: Oceanwalk

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The Daytona Beach Oceanwalk was right behind our hotel. It's where everyone watched the Wings and Waves Air Show from. It looked like a low budget Coney Island, there were bars and an arcade and a few rides that looked like they'd seen better days.

This week in New York we're hearing about the classic old dives of Coney getting shuttered in favor of mall-ified entertainment that's not unique nor local nor interesting. In honor of the old places that are still around, I'm posting a few photos from the Oceanwalk on Analog UltraClay over the next day or so.
Enjoy.

November 15, 2010

In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili

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If you follow my Twitter feed, you've already heard a bit about this. Last weekend, I decided to take my cooking urges to new, improvised places. I was struck with the idea of making lamb chili with very little idea of how it would come out, but thinking that lamby flavors would make for a great meal in this chilly weather.

See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili" »

November 12, 2010

The Best Camera

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I was bored on a recent commute and rediscovered the Best Camera app by Chase Jarvis. Based on his book "The Best Camera is The One That's With You," the app is a collection of filters and effects for your cameraphone pics.

After the jump check out some of the results of a train ride worth of playing with recent photos from the air show in Daytona Beach, wandering about town and (at the bottom) a couple potentially NSFW pics from the Arms Drawn party a few weeks back

Continue reading "The Best Camera" »

November 11, 2010

Daytona Beach: Wings & Waves 2 - The Audience

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When we headed down to Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding, I didn't think I'd need a crazy strong telephoto zoom lens with me. It hadn't occurred to me that there might be an air show and with it the opportunity to photograph airplanes large and small booming by overhead and I might want to get a close up of them.

I'm happy with many of the photos that I got of the show, but knowing that I was never going to get particularly close up images without doing some major cropping, I changed my focus from the aircraft to the audience. I decided to do a little street photography by trying to capture the mood and the moments on the ground while the planes were flying up above us.

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Today's post highlights the audience, see more after the jump.

Continue reading "Daytona Beach: Wings & Waves 2 - The Audience" »

Photography: The Red Carpet

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Last night I covered my first red carpet event at the opening of the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council's film festival. Indian and Indian-American actors, filmmakers and celebrities came through, posed for us and moved on to do video interviews and onto the event.

Like every shoot, I walked away with a better understanding of what's needed to be a photographer. See my takeaway and a few more shots from my first try as a 'paparazzi' after the jump.

Continue reading "Photography: The Red Carpet" »

November 10, 2010

Analog: Shooting with the Kiev 88

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In my exploration in shooting analog, medium format has fascinated me. That's most likely because it's sort of arcane and the frames are big and square. Unfortunately, I've had a pretty unfortunate track record shooting 120mm film - thus far at least. That's finally starting to change thanks to the the Kiev 88.

Read more about the Kiev after the jump and see photos I've taken with it on Analog UltraClay all week.

Continue reading "Analog: Shooting with the Kiev 88" »

Daytona Beach: Three

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Kelly & Seagram's wedding last month was in Daytona Beach, Florida, famous for a car race that some of us only know from a Ghostface Killah song. The rehearsal dinner, the night we got there was at the Daytona 500 Experience, up above the track. Standing above the entryway is a statue of Number 3 himself, Dale Earnhardt, seen here. When I saw it the night we arrived, I thought it would be the most unusual thing I was going to see all weekend. Then I found out about the airshow.

November 9, 2010

Food Finds: Mama Sita's Tocino Mix

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While hunting through the markets of Chapel Hill for Chinese rice wine, my aunt took me to an Asian market that had moved into a room in a local Chinese restaurant after being kicked out of its old location by the landlord in another familiar real estate situation.

The friendly owner must have offered me half the items in the store after finding the shaoxing wine for me, but it was my aunt who showed me this packet of Mama Sita's tocino marinade.

My knowledge of Filipino foods are limited to an adobo recipe I've been cooking for years and a breakfast I had at a hole in the wall this summer in San Francisco.

With the Asia trip coming up, I'm pretty curious to try out some semblance of Filipino food ahead of time, so I hope to try this out sooner rather than later.

Daytona Beach: Wings and Waves Air Show

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More surreal than dinner at a NASCAR track was the air show that took place right behind our hotel the weekend we were in Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding.

I had never been to such a thing before, so I had no idea what to expect. The sound of the F-16's afterburner overhead nearly killed me. I don't think I had ever heard anything so loud in my life.

Continue reading "Daytona Beach: Wings and Waves Air Show" »

November 8, 2010

Moe's Closing?

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Word on the internets is that Fort Greene's neighborhood bar, Moe's may be closing due to an astronomical rent increase. A lot of things can happen between now and February, so I'm not giving up hope just yet.

NY Marathon 2010

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Yesterday was a great day for a marathon. The weather was chilly, but with the sun out, it was gorgeous. Tammi even came out after being inspired watching it on TV. We watched and cheered from our usual perch in Fort Greene.

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As always the race brings out a great crowd with music and fun. Check out more photos from the race after the jump.

Continue reading "NY Marathon 2010" »

November 7, 2010

Analog: Gowanus

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Continuing with the Street Photography theme on Analog UltraClay, the last couple of days has been all about Gowanus. Around the end of the summer, I found myself in the border areas of the Gowanus on the subway, on foot and on the bike quite a bit. I took the opportunity to explore a bit.

Check it out.

November 6, 2010

NC: Fatback by the pound

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Probably the most bizarre moment of my recent trip to North Carolina was when we drove up to this pick-up truck, I got out, reached in the back and took something like 15-20 pounds of fresh pork fatback. True story.

So, here's the thing, while you might be able Liver Mush at the supermarkets in Chapel Hill, you can't find pork belly anywhere. I even hit the farmers market looking for it, but was told that that there's no demand, so they just use it all for bacon. (I think this all very odd in the land of biscuits, barbecue and Paula Deen)

Last time I was in Chapel Hill, I benefited from the different demands by finding a farmer who gave me 7lbs of fatback for $3. This time, I ran into him again and he had more he wanted to get rid of.

Continue reading "NC: Fatback by the pound" »

November 5, 2010

Bed-Stuy: Therapy Wine Bar seeking full liquor license

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According to Citizen Who, Therapy Wine Bar just got community board approval for a full liquor license. That's pretty big news in my part of Bed-Stuy, an area where the only real bar for maybe half a mile is Casablanca Lounge, the old man bar down the block from me.

Open for over a year now, I was pretty excited when I first heard about Therapy opening on Lewis Avenue. Tammi and I have been there a few times and I've gone in by myself for a glass of wine and to get a little work done.

See a bit more of what's inside after the jump.

Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Therapy Wine Bar seeking full liquor license" »

NC: Breakfast at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

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I'm not usually a breakfast eater, but while I was in Chapel Hill, my aunt told me how much her students love it when she brings in biscuits from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. I was curious. After a bit of Googling, I found a post about it on Serious Eats and I was ready to go right away.

After it was all done, my only regret was not going every day I was there. Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "NC: Breakfast at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen" »

November 4, 2010

Photography: For Love of Money? Can't I have both?

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As challenging as the technical aspects of photography can be, the business side is the part I hear most people have the most difficulty with. I totally understand that. Putting a price tag on something you enjoy doing is hard enough, but how do you make a living when everyone wants you to do it for free?

Recently, I've been approached by no less than a half dozen people, friends, strangers, organizations asking for copies of my photos to use on websites, newspapers, and books with no offer of compensation other than being credited for the use of the photograph. Given that credit seems to be the legal minimum anyone can offer, I'll stick with the analogy I've heard before of it being like offering an athlete the chance to play on a major league team strictly for the honor of getting a jersey with his name on it.

If you've spent any time contemplating the viability of life as a photographer, you have almost certainly heard the above lead into a diatribe about why amateurs are ruining the field, why photographers should always be paid for any work done and how working 'for credit' is a violent act against the entirety of the photographic community.

I've got nothing nearly so dramatic or black and white. In fact, more than using this post to state an opinion, I'd really like to hear from people in and around the field about how they feel.

Continue reading "Photography: For Love of Money? Can't I have both?" »

It's Cooking Weather

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With apologies to Ruhlman for blatantly ripping off his old logo, I was inspired to take this photo as I've been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately. The cooling weather has my nesting instincts. As I've been in the house more working on portfolios and plotting my entry into the photography business, I've also been cooking more. There's been braising, roasting, making stocks and I even made my first risotto. (Lesson learned, cook hotter, stir more, but definitely use the cheese rind stock again.)

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When in North Carolina last month, I cooked for a dozen or so people, the biggest audience I've had maybe all year. The big challenge was that I had to feed vegetarians and people with gluten allergies, hence the veggie stock prep above. It was a ton of fun and has only encouraged me to want to cook more. Hopefully one day I'm figure out how to cook and shoot at the same time and I could then actually blog about that from time to time. Here's hoping.

November 1, 2010

Arms Drawn Recap

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Last week Wednesday night at Madame X, the Arms Drawn party went off without a hitch. A great crowd came out to support and enjoy the art and have fun. Mademoiselle Lena, above came in and posed for artists and audience alike in the drink & draw. In the end, the party-goers voted decisively for the team of photographers to win the prize of the evening. See the whole set of photos from the show, including some that may be NSFW.

The show will be up at Madame X for for another week, so stop through and check out my work there. And of course, my Seasonal Brooklyn show is still up at Peaches in Bed-Stuy. See all the pieces in the show at claywilliamsphoto.com.

Madame X, 94 W. Houston Street, Greenwich Village, NYC.

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

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I'm not one to dress up for Halloween, but as a photographer, I've certainly enjoyed watching everyone else do their thing. In fact, I had big plans to run around this weekend shooting all the costumes and parties and drunken festivities. Yet, Friday night, I was at the office and last night we spent the evening at home watching movies and drinking wine.

Tonight, I do hope to make it out to the Halloween parade in the village and maybe to a couple parties as well as catching my awesome godchild Asher dressed up as a giraffe.

These days I'm trying to balance my hustle with thinking ahead and putting in groundwork. There's no use going out every night shooting if I'm not taking the time to get the business side of things right.

I spent the last couple days going to the Photo Plus Expo looking through printing houses and equipment suppliers and many, many wedding-related vendors that I hope to offer to clients in the next year.

Analog: Street Photography

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One of the interesting side effects of shooting film has been a return to some of the subjects I used to shoot a lot more of when I was just playing around rather than shooting for assignments or blog posts.

I've been especially into returning to street photography in the last few months. Candid street shots can capture so much in a moment.

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After spending the last week posting nature photos from North Carolina on Analog UltraClay, I'm switching my focus to more urban environs.

If you're on Tumblr, I'd love to hear feedback on my work in comments or faves.

October 27, 2010

Quick Bite: Lasagna at Four Eleven West

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Dinner my last night in North Carolina was this lasagna at the bar at Four Eleven West on West Franklin. The pasta was a little too thick and doughy for my taste, but the bolognese sauce was magnificent.


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October 26, 2010

NC: No Escape from Condo-mania

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I guess I wasn't terribly surprised to find the familiar figure of a shiny new condo development in college town North Carolina, but I was a little disappointed.

Hearing stories of landlords and developers gentrifying an area in order to attract the more lucrative middle class market is commonplace here in New York, but the idea of it happening around Chapel Hill was a little jarring. I just hope that my own little college town doesn't have such issues.

October 23, 2010

NC: Nature Walks

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My visit here to North Carolina isn't all wandering suburban supermarkets and finding oddities like Liver Mush.

We've also been going out on daily walks through one of the local woodland trails. Once again, I decided to try my hand at a little nature photography. Last year I tried the same thing, but I was using Tammi's point and shoot due to an equipment failure with my 30D.

You can see more of the photos from out in the woods on Analog UltraClay.

October 22, 2010

Food Finds: Liver Mush


Food Finds: Liver Mush, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm in North Carolina this weekend visiting my aunt. In the past, I've pined for the wide open aisles and the extensive selections of the suburban supermarket, but here's one thing I'm not particularly jealous of: Liver Mush.

I suppose it's aptly named,but I feel like they probably could have worked a little harder on the branding...

Bed-Stuy: Liquid Oz Opens

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After much anticipation, Liquid Oz, the cafe and wine bar from the guys who run Oz Home and Hardware opened up last weekend. Tammi and I are particularly excited since it's literally around the corner from our place. Tammi claims she may never make coffee at home again.

Get a closer look at the place after the jump.


Continue reading "Bed-Stuy: Liquid Oz Opens" »

October 20, 2010

Self Promotion: Arms Drawn at Madame X

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Well, there certainly a lot happening on the self-promotion front lately. In addition to my big show at Peaches, Seasonal Brooklyn, I also have three photos up at Madame X as a part of Arms Drawn.

The show is split between photographers and illustrators in a sort of competition. A week from today, the night of Wednesday, October 27th, we'll be throwing a party at Madame X and inviting all to join in on the fun. There will be a raffle and we'll ask everyone to vote for their favorite 'team.' A model will be there posing for illustrators and anyone else to join in on the fun.

For more information, check out the event page on Facebook.

Madame X, 94 W. Houston Street, Greenwich Village, NYC.

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part III - The Dances

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Finishing up with the wedding posts for Kelly and Seagram today. They threw such a great party that I wanted to set aside a post just for all the dancing that went on. The reception went on into the night, getting extended an extra hour because everyone was having such a good time.

See the 'specialty dances' to the conga line (seriously) after the jump.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part III - The Dances" »

October 19, 2010

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part II

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After Kelly and Seagram's ceremony, we all went to the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club for the reception.

Despite some unfortunate circumstances, they threw a great party and everyone really enjoyed it. I know I was very happy to be a part of it.


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After the jump see more reception photos from the cake cutting to the speeches and prayer.

Come back tomorrow, when I'll wrap up with some old fashioned party pics from the dance floor.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram Part II" »

October 18, 2010

Weddings: Kelly & Seagram

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Last weekend, Tammi and I flew down to Daytona Beach for Kelly & Seagram's wedding. You may recognize him as the best man at Kim and Chris' wedding last winter. Seagram has been a close friend since we were freshmen in college together 15 years ago and it's really satisfying to see him and Kelly so happy together. She's a great person and they make a wonderful couple.

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See more photos in and around the ceremony after the jump. Check back tomorrow for photos from the reception.

Continue reading "Weddings: Kelly & Seagram" »

October 16, 2010

Analog Flea: Kat Flower

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Ever since Kat Flower started selling at the Brooklyn Flea, I've made a point of stopping by, shooting some of the gorgeous flowers and asking Kathleen, the owner to put together something nice for me to take home to Tammi. I've never been a flower person, but I love the interesting shapes and colors of the selection here.

See more of my favorites under Analog Flea on my film photo blog, Analog UltraClay.

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October 15, 2010

Self-Promotion: Seasonal Brooklyn

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So, one of the various things that's been keeping me busy and not blogging is that I've been working on a new show. I'm happy to announce that Seasonal Brooklyn is now up at Peaches here in Bed-Stuy.

The work on display is all Brooklyn, mostly within a couple blocks of the restaurant and highlights the area through the seasons. Over the course of next week, I'll be posting the film photos from the show on Analog UltraClay along with a few others that didn't make it up.

The prints this time around are much bigger than at the Habana Outpost show and I'm loving how they look. If you are in the neighborhood this weekend, stop in at Peaches, grab a snack and take a look.

All photos are for sale. Contact me directly at photog at ultraclay dotcom or via my portfolio site.

October 8, 2010

The Queen of Williamsburg

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Last year, I was walking down Bedford Ave in Williamsburg playing with a rented lens when I heard from behind me, "You wanna take my picture?"

I was a little surprised, but I turned around and took a couple photos of her. I'm glad she called out to me, she's got so much personality in her appearance. I don't do a lot of portraits - at least not when the subject knows I'm shooting, so I'm happy that this shot came out as well as it did.

Recently, I found out that this lady's name is Leonora Russo and she's quite the celebrity in the neighborhood. In the last month or so, she's been profiled in both The L Magazine and Time Out New York. It turns out there's even a movie about her called The Queen of Williamsburg.

In an area that's so notorious for pushing out the natives, it's awesome that someone like her not just holds out there, but seems to thrive on the new population.

October 7, 2010

Morini Preview Dinner

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Last night, I took Eric out for his birthday. He managed to get us hooked up with reservations for Morini, the Osteria by Chef Michael White in Nolita. We had an amazing meal of antipasti, pastas and porchetta - not to mention a tasty dessert wine.

Check out the visual tasting tour of the meal after the jump.

Continue reading "Morini Preview Dinner" »

October 6, 2010

Self-Promotion: Analog UltraClay

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With all the analog photos I've been working on lately, I've found myself in the situation of either cramming way more images into a blog post than really fits or holding back a ton of images that I'm really proud of. I phased out the POTD on the blog a couple years ago because I felt that solo photos tended to distract from the other content on the site.

So, now I'm launching a Tumblr site called, imaginatively enough "Analog UltraClay" to regularly post my film photography. My plan is to use the new blog to integrate with the subjects I've been covering here in a way that takes advantage of both platforms.

In particular, I'm hoping that using Tumblr will facilitate more discussion and feedback about the images, while I'll be writing about photography more in depth here, discussing technology, techniques and my observations and projects. If you're on Tumblr, I'd love it if you followed the new blog and let me know what you think of it.

As the photo indicates, it's all still 'Under Construction,' so feel free to let me know what you think I should do with it.


October 5, 2010

Weddings: Lais & Abe

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As I prepare for another friend's wedding this weekend, I realize I never posted about the Wedding of Lais & Abe's wedding in August.

It was particularly special to me for a couple reasons, fret and foremost because the two of them met at a party Tammi and I threw a couple years ago. What better way to bring people together than over a roasted pig carcass? Tammi and I got a shout out in the program, which was pretty excellent.

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Another reason I was particularly excited about their wedding was the location. I went to school across from the Brooklyn Historical Society for nearly a decade and had never once step foot in that gorgeous old building.

The light there was dim, but I think I pulled off some good shots. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Weddings: Lais & Abe" »

October 4, 2010

Carnivora by Jason Covert

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Life has been quite busy lately, hence the lack of regular posts. I'm working on a couple other things that may make it a little sporadic for a while longer, more on that later.

Among the things keeping me busy was the opening of Carnivora, a mixed media show by artist and friend Jason Covert. The show, a reflection of gods, nature and humanity goes on through Thursday, October 8th at the new gallery +ART (540 W 28th St). The closing party is Thursday night, October 7th.

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When Jason, seen here with his muse and girlfriend, Nicole, hired me to photograph the opening events I was very excited. To be hired to shoot by another photographer is pretty much the highest compliment I can get at this stage in my career. These days so many people want you to shoot for free, it was wonderful to have someone who knows the field and understands the value of the service to say that they appreciate my work and are willing to pay me for it.

That is all also to say that I am indeed available for hire to shoot events and openings. See more photos of the gallery, the work and the events after the jump.

Continue reading "Carnivora by Jason Covert" »

September 29, 2010

Analog Flea: Red Windows

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 23, 2010

Food Finds: Admiration Mayonnaise

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Curry Cart, Midtown, NYC. 2010.

September 21, 2010

More Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II

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The taxi ride home from a late night at the office or on the town often inspires me to take out the camera and try to capture some of the world whizzing by me. This fails more often than it succeeds, but with the 5D Mark II, my odds have definitely been better. Here are a couple more. See the first set here.

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September 20, 2010

Analog Flea: Owls

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 16, 2010

Montreal-bound

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Tomorrow, I'm heading out to Montreal for the weekend for a friend's bachelor party. Expect posts on smoked meat, poutine and awesome beer when I get back.

It's been seven years since I've been, but I've been dying to go back every since. I don't expect a weekend - especially one with a dozen other guys to coordinate with - will give me the time to see, eat and drink all I want to, but I plan to pack as much in as I can.

September 14, 2010

Analog Flea: Chess Pieces

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 13, 2010

Self-Promotion: Lonely Planet NYC

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I'm very excited to announce that the photo above from Harefield Road in Williamsburg was used in the new edition of the New York City Guide from Lonely Planet.

This will go up on my bookshelf alongside Everyman's Joyce, Off The Chain, New York: A Photographic Album, Untitled: Street Art in the Counter Culture, and last year's Queens International 4.

Onward.

September 10, 2010

Analog Flea: Flags

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Quick Bite: Sausage at The Vanderbuilt

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It's been a little while since I posted any food porn, so here's a quick bite of a couple sausages we had at Prospect Heights' The Vanderbuilt. Above is smokey kielbasa with chickpeas, below, merguez, served on a bed of couscous. Delicious.

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The Vanderbuilt, 570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn. 718.623.0570

September 9, 2010

Greg Stamper Sings

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Last month, my friend Greg Stamper gathered friend and family to the release party for his new album, "One with You." Greg is a talented singer, which is something I had no idea about when we worked together as computer techs years ago.

As I pursue my own passions beyond the office life that I've lived for the last decade, it's completely inspiring to see Greg doing his thing.

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Analog Flea: Keys

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 8, 2010

The Brooklyn Flea brings back memories

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I'm behind the times in wholeheartedly embracing the Brooklyn Flea. I've been a fan since its inception, but somehow never quite made it over there very often. Lately though, I've found myself there weekly and loving the experience for all the new and old sensations they evoke.

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First, the history. Back before the development boom put giant condos on every block, the strip of 6th Avenue between 23rd Street and, say, 30th Street was home to what seemed like a dozen parking lots that all turned into big open air markets on the weekends. Vendors hawked old comic books, toys, antiques, camera, radio and electronic equipment and all sorts of other hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

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Second, there's all the food. The food vendors of the flea have banded together and besides being a destination on the weekends at the two Flea locations, they also sold food at Central Park Summerstage shows all summer. More on that to come.

I was going to try to do one post about the Flea and I realized that I couldn't really do it. Since I've been shooting analog on the weekends, I have accrued quite a few photos of the Flea on film. Over the next month or so, I'll post Analog Flea pics every couple days as part of my Ektar 300 series. some will include commentary, so will speak for themselves.

Stay tuned.

Looking To The East

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Pretty much as soon as we got back from Hawai'i last year, Tammi and I were already thinking about where we would go for our annual trip this fall. We had been all over the place, but hadn't really centered on anything specific until we were invited to a wedding in The Philippines two weeks after Thanksgiving.

After a good deal of budget consideration and some awesome finagling with frequent flyer miles, we managed to get everything arranged. We will be spending a week each in Hong Kong and Vietnam this fall, plus a couple days in The Philippines for the wedding.

Right now we are in the information gathering part of planning, so if you've been to the area and have recommendations, please chime in.

In the meantime, I expect to do as much research on Cantonese, Vietnamese and Filipino food in New York as I can. More to come.

September 7, 2010

Self-Promotion: Butchery in AM New York

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Butchery Alert: This morning AM New York, one of the local free dailies bought one of my photos from this spring's From Pig to Pork event at Fleisher's. The story is a travel feature on trips to "sharpen your chef skills."

Thanks to Jessica Applestone for putting me in touch with the piece's writer, Kristen Brown.

You can download the pdf of the issue or just grab a copy this morning if you're in town.

September 6, 2010

Eataly: The Staff

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The big story of the moment in the food world is the opening of Eataly, Mario Batali's transplanting of an Italian mega-market to New York. The gigantic space has restaurants, a bakery, a book store and a wine shop interspersed with market spaces selling meat, charcuterie & cheeses, gelato, produce and various other groceries.

The size and spectacle of the place alone is enough to work the eaterati into a lather. I know I was excited. So, Tuesday night, I joined the hordes and scoped out the lunch-worthy options for Midtown Lunch.

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The whole wide internet seems to be reporting on this place right now, so I'll dispense with that except to say that the food is great, the place is huge and it can be more than a little confusing to get around - especially when it's jammed with hundreds of other pushy foodies who absolutely need to be there right away.

That said, I thought I'd dedicate this Labor Day post to the remarkably attentive and friendly staff. More photos of these folks at work, including a spot check in the pizza kitchen from Molto Mario himself after the jump.

Continue reading "Eataly: The Staff" »

September 1, 2010

Gone Fishin'

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Actually, I haven't gone anywhere, I've just been tied up with a few things, so I'm calling it a hiatus.

I'll be back post-Labor Day with some news about upcoming trips, more analog antics and a bit of self-promotion here and there.

For the curious, I did not win the DKNY contest last week, which was a real downer, but I appreciate all the support from my friends and fans. On to the next one...

August 24, 2010

Self-Promotion: Subway Dreamer

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This photo, one of my analog pics from the winter on the platform at Union Square, has made it as a finalist for DKNY's New York photo contest. The prize is a shiny new camera that I would very much like to have.

So, if you are on facebook, which you probably are, please please please vote for me and post it to your profile.

Thanks!

August 23, 2010

Quick Bite: Dim Sum at Jing Fong

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Some photos from Dim Sum in Chinatown the other day.

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Continue reading "Quick Bite: Dim Sum at Jing Fong" »

August 18, 2010

Freedom, First and Foremost

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When I started this blog, I made a conscious effort to avoid spending too much time on politics. Anyone who's heard me rant about the state of the world, the country or the city knows that I have ... strong opinions

More than 3 years later, I'm surprised at how much restraint I've managed. Don't worry, I don't plan to start including my partisan invective in my food, photos and travel posts.

That said, my friend Yelena has no such compunctions against loudly proclaiming her opinions on all sorts of topics and I often (if not always) agree with her. Today in particular, which is the point of this post.

This morning she revealed the one value that she holds fundamentally above all else: The First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Read the post for her particularly awesome take on the subject of our most innate of freedoms. For my part, I'll let the words stand on their own.

August 17, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Saraghina

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I've been excited about Saraghina since their opening a year ago. Yet, for some reason, I haven't managed to post about it despite thoroughly enjoying many a meal there. I seem to have a block on it.

Today, I'm hoping to circumvent that block by just posting some visuals as part of my Analog and Bed-Stuy projects. Really though, the place photographs amazingly well. It's an eclectic space decorated with strange and interesting signs and objects on the walls and dangling from the ceilings.

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The food is also quite nice to look at, if you can spare the moment to shoot before tearing into it. See some of the food and more of the space after the jump. Most of these were taken with Ektar film, except for the final, which was shot months ago with Fuji Velvia.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy: Saraghina" »

August 13, 2010

Weddings: Betty & Tom

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Since falling down the rabbit hole of being a semi-professional photographer, I've held wedding photography as a goal to aspire to. Over the last year as my work has improved and I have gotten much more practice covering events, so now all I need is to build a portfolio. Thankfully, my friends have, seemingly, all decided to get hitched. Earlier this year, I photographed Chris and Kim's Wedding in Nassau and we've got two, perhaps three more before the end of the year. I ought to have have plenty of material to build a portfolio with before too long.

These are photos from Betty and Tom's wedding last weekend in New Jersey. It was a wonderful time, we caught up with friends we hadn't seen in ages and enjoyed a great Chinese banquet. I've never seen Betty so happy and I hope I was able to capture even a fraction of that in my photos.

See a sampling after the jump.

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Continue reading "Weddings: Betty & Tom" »

August 11, 2010

Quick Bite: Hot House Fried Chicken

Nashville-style fried chicken at Peaches Hothouse in Bed-Stuy

Dinner the other night at Peaches Hothouse over in our old section of Bed-Stuy.

The chicken is still magnificent, with a kick that left me sweating. On the side was bacon cream corn, which helped cool me down a little.

While we were there, the Cooking Channel was there filming for one of their shows. Given that (evil) Cablevision doesn't carry the Cooking Channel, I expect no one in the neighborhood will see it.

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One note about the chicken. Those spices are killer and will get on your hands. Be sure to wash them before changing contacts or touching any sensitive bits. I'll just leave it at that.

Quick Bite: Bar Bambino

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Before heading out of San Francisco in June, my colleagues and I grabbed lunch at Bar Bambino in The Mission. Here are a few analog shots from the meal.

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Continue reading "Quick Bite: Bar Bambino" »

August 10, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Brooklynite Gallery

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Eurotrash opening party, Brooklynite Gallery, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. June 2010.

These are a few analog scenes from the June opening at Brooklynite Gallery. The gallery has been open for a couple years now and has not, as many initially feared, transformed the neighborhood into Williamsburg.

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Owners Rae and Hope McGrath, who live in Bed-Stuy, keep the neighborhood involved in their shows and parties. Nearly every event features musical performances out on Malcolm X Boulevard, drawing the attention of neighbors and passersby. The parties also often bring some legends in Hip-hop to DJ, which I certainly appreciate.

I've seen Prince Paul, Hank Shocklee and most recently DJ Rehka, whose Basement Bhangra party SOBs had forever been on my New York 'to-do' list. At the gallery they took it a step further and had a group of traditional dancers - along with local kids dancing to the mix of hip-hop, reggae and Bhangra rhythms.

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I also appreciate the fact that it's close to home - being a block away means that even when I'm exhausted, it's no trouble to go out to check out the show and shoot the party.

The next show, opening on September 4th features artists Eelus and C215, an amazing stencil artist that I've been a big fan of for years.

Brooklynite Gallery, 334 Malcolm X Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11233. 347.405.5976

August 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Shows Shows Shows

Nneka at Highline Ballroom

The last few weeks have involved a lot of burning the candle at both ends, shooting late night shows and getting up bright and early to get to the office. Sooner or later I'm going to crash, but for now, enjoy the photos.

Monday night, I was in the meatpacking district shooting Afro-German singer, Nneka and Sierra Leone rap group Bajah + Dry Eye Crew, who I saw on one of my earliest shoots last year.

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The next day, I was at Brooklyn Bowl covering the monthly Talib Kweli and Friends show. Despite a late start that had some in ill spirits and me wondering how I was going to wake up in the morning, the show was worth the wait. Having grown up with 90's Hip-hop, I was blown away by the guests he brought through that night. The whole Boot Camp Click was on stage rocking Who Got The Props, Bucktown and more. Mister Man, of the much slept-on Bush Babees came through performing his verse from Fortified Live with Kweli. I definitely want to go next month just to see who else he'll manage to bring out.

After the jump, MJ Impersonators, elaborately fake rockstars, mermaids playing with fire and more.

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Shows Shows Shows" »

August 7, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy: Flora

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Forgive me if I end up sounding like a shill for Kodak, but with 300 rolls of Ektar to go through, it's pretty much the only film I expect to shoot with for some time.

That said, the fine grain of Ektar is particularly good for plants. If brings out the tones and character of leaves and flowers that are just not as interesting (to me) taken digitally.

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Here and after the jump are some of the flora and still life photos I've been taking around Bed-Stuy of late. Still life isn't my strong suit, but I like what i came up with here.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy: Flora" »

August 6, 2010

Pig Roast at The Breslin

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When I last mentioned The Breslin, I wasn't so pleased. The scene of 'sophisticated' frat-boys doesn't do anything for me and the fact that the 'gatekeepers' types stand between me and really magnificent food only made me that much more resentful.

I hadn't been there since my early visits, though I'm regularly tempted. That is until I got the note that The Tower of Justice was gathering friends there for a pig roast as a part of his Bachelor Party weekend of gluttony. The TOJ has guided me, again and again through some of the best food on the west coast, so he is definitely one for picking the right meals and this one was spot on.

Snooty host station and a douchey clientele can only keep me from so much deliciousness before I breakdown and eat some pig. After the jump, see how the pig above turn into this:

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Also, check out the brain shot (last one if you'd prefer to skip). It was the first brain I've ever tasted. It was interesting in texture, sort of pasty. The rest of the meal was amazing - as would be expected. The shoulder offered the juiciest, most succulent portions of meat, but, really, it was all amazing. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to hold up my avoidance of trendy jackasses and pissy hostesses for very long after that meal.

Continue reading "Pig Roast at The Breslin" »

August 5, 2010

Analog: San Francisco

Cable Car

I took the first batch of Ektar winnings out for a spin on my trip to San Francisco in June.

Buddhist Monk

Last week, I finally got it developed. After looking through all of it, I have to say, I'm hooked on analog all over again. Follow the jump for some SF Street Photography.

Continue reading "Analog: San Francisco" »

August 4, 2010

Quick Bite: Fried Chicken at Blue Ribbon Sushi

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Blue Ribbon Sushi, Columbus Circle, NYC. 2010.

August 3, 2010

Quick Bite: Mexican Brunch at Dos Segundos

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On our last trip to Philly, Tammi and I enjoyed our last meal in town at Dos Segundos, a Mexican spot in Northern Liberties. I had the chilaquiles, above, which I discovered in San Francisco a couple years back.

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Tammi had the chimichanga, which is basically a fried burrito and inexplicably, something I've never had myself.

Deliciousness ensued.

August 2, 2010

Analog Bed-Stuy

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As I try to phase analog photography back into my life, I'm hoping to strike a better balance that I did last year. My Ektar 300 windfall is great, but carrying around two, three, four cameras all the time and shooting dozens of film rolls a week isn't feasible or economical.

So, I'm trying to limit my film shooting to leisure time when I'm not planning on shooting anything for Examiner or Midtown Lunch. Lately, that's mostly just been when I've been around the neighborhood in Bed-Stuy.

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It's been interesting looking through the photos I've taken so far. I've lived in Bed-Stuy for almost 25 years and I really don't photograph the area very much. That's unfortunate since there's so much to shoot in the neighborhood. I'm hoping to take the opportunity to appreciate more of the visuals around me by shooting more in the area.

The top was shot with my EOS 1-N, the bottom with my Diana Mini. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post more here and there from around the neighborhood, so will just include one or two, others will have several.

See a couple more after the jump.

Continue reading "Analog Bed-Stuy" »

Quick Bite: Stuffed Squash Blossoms at Rustic Tavern

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Rustic Tavern, Santa Monica, Los Angeles. 2009.

July 31, 2010

Self-Promotion: Promoted!

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Those keeping track of these self-promotion posts will remember that I won an honorary mention for this photo earlier in the spring for this photo from last year's Winter Market.

For my trouble, I received 20 rolls of Kodak Ektar film and the warm, fuzzy feeling of having my work appreciated. It was plenty and I was happy.

Then, I got a note from Kodak saying that one of the winners was disqualified, so I've been promoted to to Third place!

Oh, and how would I like my remaining 280 rolls of film.

Two Hundred and Eighty.

More. Rolls of film.
With 300 rolls to go through, expect more analog photos in your near future.

Update: Follow my progress and exploration going through The Ektar 300...

July 30, 2010

SF: Lark Creek Steak

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While in San Francisco, my colleagues and I had dinner at Lark Creek Steak upstairs at the Westfield Mall, the place with the awesome food court I mentioned last year.

The best part was that we scored seats at the counter, watching all the action in the kitchen. The food was great, but for me, the more entertaining part was watching (and shooting) the staff as they worked.

Check out some of the highlights after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Lark Creek Steak" »

July 29, 2010

Quick Bite: Cabrito's Border Dog

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Last year, I lamented the fact that I chickened out on trying the bacon-wrapped hot dogs in Los Angeles. The other day, I finally got a chance to try a version of it.

Among the tasty happy hour specials at Cabrito are a selection of 'Border Dogs,' that is, bacon-wrapped hot dogs with yummy toppings including the guac and chicharrones you see here.

The special also includes a Dos Equis, which I'd just as soon skipped in favor of one of the better drink options. Really though, it didn't matte what I washed it down with, it was glorious.

July 28, 2010

Quick Bite: No. 7 Tacos

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Pork shoulder tacos at No. 7, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 2010.

July 27, 2010

Quick Bite: Tapenade

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Olive Tapenade, Fraiche, Los Angeles. 2009.

July 26, 2010

Philly: Yarn-Bombing

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So, yeah. This is a thing. Part street art, part guerilla craft campaign, this tree on Rittenhouse Square is one of many knitted cozies around familiar objects I've seen in both Philly and New York. Interestingly, it's probably the only street art that Tammi's spotted and identified before I did.

July 23, 2010

Maialino

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After the success of last week's visual food tour of our meal at Williamsburg's Fatty Cue, I decided to similarly catch up on my meal at Danny Meyer's Maialino. Tammi took me there last month for my birthday and we had a fantastic time.

As with all of Meyer's restaurants, the service was amazing and course after course, the food was delicious.

See the photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Maialino" »

Photo-Geekery: Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II

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One of the spiffy features of the Canon 5D Mark II is that it has can shoot at an astronomically high ISO with much less noise interference in the image than one would expect.

Recently I decided to test it out a little bit and see how effective it can be by doing some night shooting out the window of a taxi on the way home after a late shift at the office.

The photo above is dark and silhouetted, sure, but at 5000 ISO, it's remarkably crisp and noise-less. All of the photos have been tweaked to some degree in Aperture, but none beyond recognition.

After the jump see a couple photos where I pushed the camera up to 25600, the maximum setting.

Continue reading "Photo-Geekery: Night Photography with the Canon 5D Mark II" »

July 21, 2010

The Limelight Resurrected as a Mall

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I was a lame teenager. I didn't go to clubs or do drugs or even drink much. I spent most of my free time hanging out and wandering the city. But I certainly heard stories about Limelight, then a notorious nightclub housed in a former Episcopal church. I wasn't religious back then either, but it always struck me as pretty ballsy.

This spring the space was reopened as a mall, much to the dismay of many a former club kid. It is a bit of a shock, but to hear some people describe it, you'd think it was a desecration of holy ground... Oh wait.

So, with no real ties to its previous incarnation, I stopped in the other day to take a look at the space. See a couple shots of the space after the jump.

Continue reading "The Limelight Resurrected as a Mall" »

July 20, 2010

Quick Drink: Iced Coffee

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I'm not a coffee drinker. Tammi loves an iced coffee. This was a glass she had at Rouge for brunch over our recent trip to Philly.

I've been fascinated by the patterns that milk makes when it's poured into coffee since High School when a coffee-drinking friend pointed it out to me. They're like storm clouds, intense and billowing. The contrast between the brown and the white just exaggerates the effect that much more. This was my first time trying to capture it. It needs work, but I'll definitely keep trying.


SF: Rosamunde's Mission Bar

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Rosamunde Sausage Grill, the closet-sized sausage shack next door to Toronado, the best beer bar in San Francisco, has gone into the bar business.

Get a peek inside after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Rosamunde's Mission Bar" »

July 18, 2010

Quick Bite: Irish Breakfast

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While we were in Philly, Tammi, my sister and I watching Germany trounce Argentina at Tir Na Nog, a gigantic Irish Pub in Center City.

This was breakfast:
Eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, Irish bacon, maple sausages, and black and white Pudding - black pudding being blood sausage, in case you missed the euphemism.

July 16, 2010

SF: Boccalone's Nduja

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While in San Francisco, I always try to swing by Boccalone in the Ferry Building. A couple years back, Chris Cosentino, the offal-loving chef of Incanto, opened up this Italian charcuterie shop selling all sorts of interesting salumi including 'fennel-orange' and this, nduja.

Pronounced, end-oo-ya, this spicy sausage evoked a bit of mystery last year when the NY Times wrote up a piece about it calling it "The Lady Gaga of pork products." So, yeah, that's a little stupid, but I had to taste it anyway.

Take a look under the wraps after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Boccalone's Nduja" »

July 15, 2010

Food Finds: Soothing Teas

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

July 14, 2010

Self-Promotion: Edible Manhattan, The Beer Issue

Tastemaker: Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster for Brooklyn Brewery

It's been a little while since I've tooted my own horn, so here's a new bit of Self-Promotion:

The July/August issue of Edible Manhattan (on stands now!) includes this fine photo of mine in their story on Garrett Oliver and the Brooklyn Brewery. It's actually the lead photo on the web edition of the story.

In case you missed it when I used this photo for POTD some time ago, the subject is Sheila Griffin, a friend who is also a photographer and who I have gone to more than a couple times for advice on the field.

The Edible magazine are always a good for news and insight in the local food world, when I'm out of town, in particular, I've got local Edible pubs to be a good resource. I'm not just saying that because they bought one of my images, but it certainly helps. I hope to work with them again in the future.

Onward and upward!

Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today

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Today, Boerum Hill wine shop, donna da vine expands into the beer and cheese market with a new shop called da vine provisions right next door. Tammi and I have been friends with Alyssa Becker, the owner, from back when she owned donna da vine wine bar across the street.

At the wine shop, Alyssa's focus has always been obscure wines from the pacific northwest that don't often make it to the New York market, so, I'm sure she's already on the case to get us beer from some of the small breweries in the west. Similarly, she's sourcing breads, cheeses and other items from small batch producers all over the place.

The shop did a soft opening over the weekend, but I wasn't able to stop in to check it out. I did get a chance to take a few photos of the space while they were still setting up. Check them out after the jump.
Expect a big opening party tonight with tastings of many of the beers, breads and cheeses.

da vine provisions, 355 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn - 718.643.2250

Continue reading "Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today" »

July 13, 2010

Dinner at Fatty Cue

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Fatty Cue in Williamsburg is the long awaited barbecue branch of Zak Pelaccio's Fatty Crab restaurants. It takes Asian flavors, fish sauce, peanuts, and so on and adds a rich, thick smokiness to just about everything.

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Manning the smoker is Robbie Richter, who launched Texas barbecue joint Hill County in the Flatiron District. Eric, Tammi and I had dinner there recently and feasted on duck, ribs, more ribs. It was an amazing meal that I could probably document a bit more extensively given some time.

Lacking that, I think I'll let the pictures speak for me this time. Check out the luscious, meaty wonderfulness after the jump.

Continue reading "Dinner at Fatty Cue" »

July 12, 2010

Long Weekend in Philly

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Tammi and I spent Independence Day weekend down in Philadelphia. We visited my sister and ate at a couple new places. New posts, coming up.
::c::

July 9, 2010

World Cup Fever

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I've totally gotten caught up in the world cup. This is particularly odd since I haven't followed sports since I was 10 and even more so given that I've spent the last 6 years surrounded by sports enthusiasts with seemingly no effect.

The secret is that what's really excited me about the games has been the window it's provided into so many countries and cultures that I've wanted to visit and experience for so long. It's brought out my wanderlust and I can't stop thinking of all the traveling I'd like to do.

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Last weekend, we went to Philly for the Fourth of July and these two Argentinians beat their drums and sang and chanted for hours. Even after their team lost, they were rooting for the other South American teams to make it.

It's every accent and national anthem and flag waving that makes me imagine sitting in some plaza or beer hall or pub surrounded by supporters.

Clearly, I'm craving a trip out of the country. Somewhere far away where I can eat and drink and enjoy and shoot something different from our everyday world.

We're starting to look at vacation plans for this fall. Italy is high up, but so are A few places in Asia or elsewhere in Europe or South America. We'll just have to see what materializes between now and November.

July 1, 2010

New Amsterdam Market starts a new season

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Sunday morning the New Amsterdam Market started up for the season. Obviously, I'm behind on some posts, so I'll just post photos from the the market. Over the summer, the market will be going on monthly, come September, it'll be weekly through December.

Photos after the jump:

Continue reading "New Amsterdam Market starts a new season " »

June 30, 2010

Butchery: Japanese Premium Beef

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About a year ago, a new Japanese Butcher shop opened up in NoHo. They specialize in Washugyu, Wagyu-hybrid beef that is raised in the Pacific Northwest to be deeply marbled like the beef from Kobe, Japan.

I stopped in once to get a couple photos, but haven't had a chance to get back to take a better look at their goods either photographically or to take home and cook.

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Most of the write ups about the place point out that it looks more like one of the area boutiques than any butcher shop. It's true and that's at least in part due to the fact that most of the meat is cut at their supplier, not on site.

I suppose that makes this shop more of a reseller than an actual butcher shop, and therefore not the same as my other butchery subjects. But, given how interesting and delicious the marbled beef I had in Japan was, I'll let it slide. Meat like that just needs a quick sear and it's ready to eat. If that. When we were in Tokyo I had some thinly sliced beef at a Yakiniku restaurant in Ginza that was so rich and wonderfully marbled, they encouraged us to eat it raw.

I probably wouldn't go that far if I were cooking it at home, but one of those steaks would be marvelous thrown on the grill for just long enough to get a good char.

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June 28, 2010

SF: Incanto

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My first meal in SF was an early birthday dinner at Incanto, Chris Cosentino's Italian offal house in Noe Valley has long been on my wishlist of places to eat, but was never convenient when I was in town. This trip, I made time for it.

The food after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Incanto" »

June 22, 2010

Quick Drink: French 75

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You may have noticed by now that my drinking habits tend toward the beer and wine. I typically steer clear of cocktails, but when my waiter at Incanto recommended Heaven's Dog in San Francisco's SOMA Grand hotel as a great cocktail bar, I wasn't going to walk in and ask for their wine list.

Instead, I asked the bartender to come up with a concoction friendly to someone who liked the bubbles of beer or a sparkling and wasn't so into a strong liquor flavor.

He came up with the French 75, a classic drink he said was mentioned in Casablanca.

The drink mixes cognac, simple syrup and lemon juice in crushed ice, strains it in chilled champagne glass, then gets topped off with champagne. The citrus cut through the liquor flavor, although by the end the pucker was a little intense. Even so, I'd definitely order it again if I walked into a cocktail bar and wanted something refreshing that wasn't going to knock me down.

June 9, 2010

San Francisco by Bartender

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This is probably my 10th or 11th trip to San Francisco in the last eight years. I like it here, I feel like I have a good lay of the land and know a fair number of great places to eat and drink. The only problem is that since I'm almost always here for work geekery, my free time is limited and so I often end up returning to the same old favorite places and neighborhoods and don't get quite so much time to explore.

I usually ask around for recommendations, but this year I've got a theme. asked a few bartender friends for recommendations for both bars and restaurants to visit while in the area.

The list is extensive and if I get to a fraction of these places in the next four days, I'll be lucky. Similarly, if I added links and whatnot to every place listed, this post would never go up. Google's your friend folks, sorry.

After the jump, the bartenders and their recs. As a bonus, I also got a list of recommendations from the waiter at Incanto, where I had dinner Sunday night (more on that to come).

Continue reading "San Francisco by Bartender" »

June 8, 2010

Another Year Gone

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The last year has been intense. I turned 32 in the middle of my big push to really dedicate myself to pursuing photography seriously. A year later, I've worked my ass off, gone out shooting when I'd much prefer to be at home in bed with Tammi and spent a huge amount of money on classes, equipment, film and lab fees.

It's been a busy year, but one of the most fulfilling I've had to date. My efforts have yielded a column on Examiner, a regular blogging gig for Midtown Lunch, photos in three different books and magazines, I placed in a contest - I was even on TV! And finally, a photo show all of my own. My new camera, that I've been ogling for a year, is a part of the harvest, largely paid for with blogging and photography funds.

Now it's time to go further, to push harder to make things happen on purpose instead of by happy accident. This is where it becomes for real. It's the hard part: pitching, cold calling, making contacts all the while continuing what I've been doing. It wont be easy, but given the success this last year has brought - with the incredible support from my friends and family, especially Tammi, I know that the work will pay off. It'll happen so long as I keep pushing forward.

So, with that thought I mark 33 years under my belt and welcome the next.

Cheers.

June 7, 2010

Babbo Birthday Dinner

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I took Tammi out to Babbo for her birthday a couple weeks ago. It was
her first time there and my first time in years. It's a pain to get a
reservation and we had dinner at 5:30pm, but the meal was amazing and
the service friendly.

It just happened to be the day I received my Canon 5D Mk II, so of
course I had to see how it did with the food porn.

After the jump, grilled octopus, soft shell crab, grilled beef tongue
and more.

Continue reading "Babbo Birthday Dinner" »

June 6, 2010

Take the Train to the Plane

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Well, I'm taking a cab, but I loved those old commercials when I was a kid.

After this wonderfully full and celebratory week, I didn't think I could top it in New York, so I'm off to San Francisco to celebrate some more.

Actually, I'm going for a conference and will be surrounded by geekdom all day, but a trip to SF is always a good excuse to catch up with friends, photograph, explore and eat great food.

Stay tuned for updates from out west.

June 4, 2010

On Examiner: Summer Concert Season Begins

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With City Seen up, I've finally got some time and attention to get shooting for my nightlife column on Examiner.

And just in time for summer concert season to begun. The same day I put up the show, I headed out to Red Hook Park to catch Jay Electronica open up The Summerstage series.

The summer looks like it will be a good one for shows. Big Daddy Kane is playing at Von King (Marcy) Park in Bed-Stuy, Antibalas, the band behind Fela! is playing as part of the River to River festival and all sorts of acts will be in Williamsburg as part of the Northside Festival.

I'm hoping to get out to as many as I can over the course of the summer to put my new camera through its paces. I also want to take another crack at shooting street musicians in the parks around the city.

June 3, 2010

City Seen: Now on display

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It's been a busy, busy couple of weeks and it's just keeps coming. Last night, several dozen of my friends came out to celebrate the opening of City Seen at Habana Outpost and my impending birthday. With momentum like this, I don't know how 33 couldn't be my best year yet.

Thanks to all the family and friends who came out and special thanks to Jon Oliver, who provided some chill beats for us to enjoy. Most of all, I owe more than I can begin to describe to my wonderful wife, Tammi for helping me through the entire process. There's no way the show could have come off as well as it did without her eye for precision.

The photos will be up through June 14th, if you've enjoyed all the photos on this blog and my other sites through the years, please come out and take a look. If you can't make it out, all the photos in the show are online and available for purchase at Clay Williams Photo, my photo site. All purchases are printed new by Adorama, where I got the prints done for the show.

May 29, 2010

¿De que esta hablando Willis?

De que estas hablando Willis?
San Telmo, Buenos Aires. 2006.

RIP Gary Coleman.

May 28, 2010

Bed-Stuy: Boardwalk Empire

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Another example of Bed-Stuy 'coming up' in the world is that we're getting things like film production in the neighborhood. Over the last couple months, HBO has been filming an upcoming show called Boardwalk Empire. It's set in Atlantic City in the 20's, I believe, but they took advantage of the gorgeous old houses in this area.

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Mostly they've been filming out of a shuttered old folks home on the corner of Stuyvesant and Decatur. The building is old and beautiful, I've always wondered what it looks like inside. Not, I guess I'll see it on TV one day.


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Walking past the film crews, extras and props has certainly been interesting. Some days there's fake snow piled up, others there's a row of antique cars. It's been fun, to me.

Not so much for the car owners that have had another wrinkle in their alternate side parking dance with dozens of trucks and vans taking up spots up and down the blocks. Being a non-driver, that's no big deal to me.

May 25, 2010

Self-Promotion: ClayWilliamsPhoto.com

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One of the many photo-related tasks that has been keeping me too busy to post here has been updating my photography portfolio site, Clay Williams Photo.

It has been in the works for over a year now, but in anticipation of my upcoming show, I've finally gone all in on it. The site, hosted by Photoshelter, displays my primary portfolio along with several galleries highlighting my photos by themes. There's Music and Nightlife, Restaurants, Butchery, of course, and also Travel and Street Photography.

I'm still doing a lot of work on it, but please check it out. I'm look for as much feed back as I can get.

The next week will be a bit hectic, but I hope to get a post or two out through it all.

May 18, 2010

Self Promotion: City Seen at Habana Outpost

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I'm very excited to announce that Habana Outpost has invited me to put up a show of my photography next month. It will run for the first half of June, with photos up on Tuesday, June 1st through Monday, June, 14th.

The show, which I'm calling "City Seen" will center on my street photography, with some photos that should be familiar to those who have followed the blog for a while including a couple of my all-time favorites.

For updates and further details, rsvp to the City Seen event page on Facebook.

May 16, 2010

Pig to Pork: Hair Removal

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As part of my butchery project, I attended "From Pig to Pork" hosted by Fleisher's. There we witnessed the transition from animal to meat and the prep that takes it from the farm to our table. I'll be posting with observations about experience both at the farm and in the shop. Just a heads up, some of the photos are pretty graphic. The point here is to appreciate the value of the process through potentially challenging images, not to gross anyone out, so feel free to skip this post if it's not your thing.

So, the first thing to know is that all pigs are not pink and hairless like what you've seen on TV. Heritage breeds in particular often have hair, which makes sense since the idea is that they haven't been cross-bred for convenience. The pig slaughtered at the event had red, spotted hair.

One of the reasons we've come to expect pale, pink hairless pigs is because the factory farms have engineered breeds to reduce the effort needed to process their animals. They're inbred and have to live in clean rooms because of how susceptible they are to disease, but once they're dead they don't need a haircut.

That's not to belittle the effort that goes into the process. It's not so pretty. More on that after the jump.

Continue reading "Pig to Pork: Hair Removal" »

May 11, 2010

Bed-Stuy's Blowin' up

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I moved to Bed-Stuy in 1986. Over the nearly 25 years since then, my relationship with the neighborhood has had its ups and downs. As a kid commuting to Brookln Heights every day, It bugged me that we didn't have bookstore and ice cream shops like on Montague Street. When I was a teenager, I was deeply embarrassed when hosting a visiting exchange student to have to walk him through a bloody crime scene on his first morning with us.

After college, my perspective changed, I still wished for amenities found elsewhere in New York, but I certainly appreciated living in Brownstone and paying the same price as friends in Fort Greene for twice the space - with a backyard, no less. Bars, restaurants, ice cream shops were all things I'd have to commute for, but the alternative was gentrification.

That subject, especially in Brooklyn can lead to some heated debates. While I'm certainly enjoying many of the perks gentrification provides in other neighborhoods, i understand that it can also leave an area unrecognizable and worse, unaffordable. That said, everything changes over time and there's no predicting how things will go.

New places are popping up all over the neighborhood and a few concerns aside, I'm very much enjoying it. There are restaurants, a book store, a wine bar and an art gallery. There are places for community to come together besides churches and places to imbibe besides the street corner. I'm pretty excited about it, truth be told.

This is all my wordy way of introducing a series I'll be doing over the next couple weeks highlighting places, new and old around Bed-Stuy that I haven't given a lot of attention to on the blog.

May 10, 2010

Butchery: The Offal Cook

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This is Chichi aka The Offal Cook. She blogs for herself and Serious Eats about cooking with all those wonderful bits of animals that get tossed aside and forgotten.

Much like I've taken my meat and photography interests to this butchery project, Chichi has followed her lifelong fascination with off-cuts to a similar end.

She has been writing a series called The Butcher's Cuts about traveling up to Kingston to learn about butchering at Fleisher's.

Given the similarities in our projects, It's really awesome to see where she's gone with it. Her posts have chronicled the lessons she's learned from her time butchering. She's also managed to come away with some awesome recipes for working with these cuts. I was especially excites to see what she did with a pig's head, resulting in both a terrine of head cheese and a batch of ramen stock. And because some things still shock me a little, I was fascinated with her account of (and recipe for) cooking scrambled brains.

If my posts on meat and butchery have been at all interesting, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Chichi's column. Enjoy!


May 9, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party

A new Hot Bird rises from the ashes

If there was much of a theme at all in my last couple weeks of posts it was Brooklyn Bars. Besides the regular Brokelyn 25 series that I've gotten moving again, I've also posted about a few new choice spots to imbibe that have opened up recently. Above is Hot Bird, which I lucked into on its second night open. I basically got the first shots of the space and thus ended up on Brownstoner and Eater. The place looks pretty amazing, so I expect to spend quite a bit of time there this summer.

See what else I've been posting about after the jump...

Continue reading "Recently on Examiner: Drinking in Brooklyn and the Freedom Party" »

Pig to Pork: Pork Blood

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As part of my butchery project, I attended "From Pig to Pork" hosted by Fleisher's. There we witnessed the transition from animal to meat and the prep that takes it from the farm to our table. I'll be posting with observations about experience both at the farm and in the shop. Just a heads up, some of the photos are pretty graphic. The point here is to appreciate the value of the process through potentially challenging images, not to gross anyone out, so feel free to skip this post if it's not your thing.

After an animal is killed, its blood must be drained out quickly so it doesn't clot and get in the way of the meat. Pork blood is often used for making blood sausage, so it doesn't just get thrown away.

The roughly two quarts of blood that came out of the pig slaughtered for the pig to pork class at Fleisher's was drained into this bowl. They stirred it constantly with sea salt in order to keep it from coagulating.

Regardless of your taste for such things, one must recognize how efficient it is to utilize as much of the animal as possible.

May 7, 2010

Recently on Midtown Lunch: Flatiron Excursions

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It's been a while since I've plugged my posts on Midtown Lunch. That's in part because I've been spending a lot of time eating and writing for it instead. There have been plenty of posts, from Taco Trucks to restaurant openings and even some tasty, if overpriced meatballs. But the big news for me is that I've now taken over the weekly Flatiron Lunch column every Friday.

Working on the southern edge of Midtown means that I've got as many options out of bounds as I do within Midtown proper. I've posted before about wanting to go out and explore my food options further afield and this has become a great excuse to do so.

See some of what I've been checking out after the jump.

Continue reading "Recently on Midtown Lunch: Flatiron Excursions" »

May 6, 2010

From Pig to Pork: The Slaughter

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As part of my butchery project, I attended "From Pig to Pork" hosted by Fleisher's. There we witnessed the transition from animal to meat and the prep that takes it from the farm to our table. I'll be posting with observations about experience both at the farm and in the shop. Just a heads up, some of the photos are pretty graphic. The point here is to appreciate the value of the process through potentially challenging images, not to gross anyone out, so feel free to skip this post if it's not your thing.


I've been putting off posting about the actual slaughter part of From Pig to Pork for a little while now. Not because it was life-changing or traumatic or anything. It was actually quite fast. Hans, a retired Master Butcher from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) walked into the small horse trailer that the pig had spent the night and shot it.

We didn't see the pig before that. Most likely for both our benefit and the pig's, Hans left the door to the pig's compartment closed when killing it. He was concerned about people freaking out about the whole thing and decided to deal with that part of it behind closed door.

Similarly, I'll leave the details of the deed for after the jump.

Continue reading "From Pig to Pork: The Slaughter" »

May 4, 2010

Butchery: Pure Ground Awesome!

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Sadly, I didn't end up buying this when I was at Fleisher's for the Pig to Pork trip, but a burger made of ground beef with ground bacon mixed in is something I have to try. Seriously.

May 3, 2010

Butchery: From Pig to Pork

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Last weekend's trip to Fleisher's in Kingston, NY was instigated by an event they were having called "From Pig to Pork." The premise of the class being to take 'civilians' a step beyond the butchering classes. We went out to a farm in Stone Ridge, about half an hour away from the shop to see the actual slaughter of a pig and the subsequent prep work that is done before it's sent to a butcher.

In other hands, a grisly scene like this could be tastelessly sensationalized, but led off with an introduction by Jessica Applestone, Fleisher's owner and wife of "Moo-ru" Josh Applestone, the event was soberly presented. The point of the exercise is to further bring home the point that our food comes from animals not boxes, they were alive and were killed to feed us. Given that, it's imperative to utilize as much of them as we can, not pick out a few choice lean cuts and let the rest rot.

I've got more than a few observations and photos that I'll be posting over the next couple weeks under the header: From Pig to Pork. The photos may be a bit macabre here and there, but I'll do my best to keep those after the jump, so as to avoid freaking anyone out.

In the meantime, if you'd like to see the photos from without all my insightful commentary, they are posted in a set on Flickr.

Peaches Hothouse

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I finally made it back to Peaches Hothouse after my First Look last month. Tammi and I met up there after work the other day and decided to see how the restaurant is coming along and finally find out what this Nashville-style fried chicken is all about.

The dining area is smaller and thus a bit more tight than Peaches or Smoke Joint. In my conversations with owner, Craig Samuels, that seems to be more of the point of Hothouse, a small southern bistro with a varying menu of interesting foods.

The space, a work in progress during the soft opening, seems to have gotten many of the finishing touches taken care of.

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Sadly, one of the touches that hasn't been completed is the liquor license. Despite the tantalizing bar, the SLA still hasn't come through with the goods, so it's byob for the moment.

In our regular visits to Peaches, I've talked to Craig a lot about the business, the industry and the neighborhood. He's told me a bit about what's going on in the kitchen, it all sounds pretty interesting. They've got a smoker in there and are starting to work on their own sausages and doing prep for the other restaurants. I'm hoping to get a chance to go in and photograph them at some point.

In the meantime, he gave us a few samples of the menu while we waited for the chicken to come out. See the food after the jump.

Continue reading "Peaches Hothouse" »

April 28, 2010

Butchery: A Weekend at Fleisher's

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The weekend up in Kingston was intense and very gratifying. It took me further into this butchery project than I've been so far and I have more than a few observations and photos I want to post... but not this moment. Expect more photos and posts in the next week.

In the meantime, photos from my first day in the shop are in a set on Flickr.

April 23, 2010

Butchery Weekend: Going to the source

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After much scheduling difficulties, I'm finally taking the trip up to Fleisher's in Kingston, NY this weekend. Sunday, they are hosting a full day butchery class that I'm going to photograph. The event will go from slaughter to sausage and everything in between.

It should be an interesting experience and will give me whole lot more material to shoot.

April 21, 2010

Food Finds: Roland Snails

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

Recently on Examiner: Snoop Dogg and Brooklyn Bowl Love

Snoop Dogg performing at Brooklyn Bowl

Yes, that is Snoop Dogg. Yes, he's wearing a Yankees jersey. And yes, I I got to shoot him performing at Brooklyn Bowl Monday night.

Yes. Snoop Dogg performed at Brooklyn Bowl. And I was there to shoot it. Crazy.

It was a pretty fantastic show, he performed old and new songs, going through all the classics along with some of his newer hits.

It was surreal standing in Brooklyn and hearing the voice of the west doing Hypnotize in tribute to BIG. More surreal was the fact that he was playing a space like Brooklyn Bowl instead of the Garden. The concert space fits 600 people, which can be huge or intimate depending on the show. The venue has become one of my favorites to cover, not just because of the amazing acts they book, but also the food and a choice beer selection. Without turning into a shill for the place, let me just say that I'd be coming here regularly even if I wasn't shooting for Examiner.

I Love Vinyl Party at Brooklyn Bowl

I've been there a lot lately, covering I Love Vinyl's first Brooklyn party and the night before I shot the Air Guitar Regional Championships, which was a whole lot of ridiculous.

Air Guitar World Championships at Brooklyn Bowl

Like I said, ridiculous.

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I didn't spend all my venue love on Brooklyn Bowl. I did find myself at The Bell House a few times this month. Last week, I went to a blogger meet up hosted by Brooklyn Based, FIPS and Brokelyn. That was a lot of fun just for finally being able to put faces to names.

Good Spirits at The Bell House

A week earlier, I was also at Bell House grazing through the snacks and cocktails on hand at Good Spirits, Edible Brooklyn's tribute to food and booze in the better borough. The spicy red sangritas that this lady was pouring as chasers was probably my favorite drinks of the night, which probably goes to show that liquor is wasted on me.

That's all just a bit of what I've been posting about this month. Habana Outpost reopened for the season and I'm starting up the Brokelyn 25 bar survey again this week after a bit of a hiatus. So, stay tuned.

Quick Bite: Cabrito

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I imagine many people might not have much of an appetite after watching a pair of goats being butchered, but after my Cabrito shoot, I very much craved some of their tacos. Luckily, the shoot didn't end up taking very long, so there was time for me to sit down and have a few.

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I had a chorizo, up top, a lengua, above, and a pork belly, below. Sadly the cabrito is only sold as a larger dish, so not so much a lunch dish. It was all delicious, regardless, but a return visit for some of that goat is definitely in the cards.

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April 20, 2010

Self-Promotion: Honorable Mention in Kodak Ektar Contest

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Back in December, while I was still in full-tilt analog shooting, I submitted the above photo of cranberries at the New Amsterdam Wintermarket to a contest on Flickr for images shot with Kodak's low-grain Ektar film.

Recently, I was notified that I made the honorable mention list! For placing, I get my photo posted on the big Kodak screen in Times Square and 20 more rolls of Ektar film.

The film is wonderfully smooth and I enjoy using it when lighting situations allow. It'll be great to get it for the summer time, when I hope to be spending more time outside shooting.

The official news release hasn't gone out yet, but it was announced to the contest's group on Flickr.

When I started posting all this Self-Promotion jazz a couple weeks ago, I hadn't actually expected it to become a weekly thing. Here's hoping it keeps coming!

April 16, 2010

Gratuitous Bacon Shot

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April 14, 2010

Miami: Señora Martinez

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After the cruise, Tammi and I had several hours to kill in Miami. It's not so much a walking town, so we found ourselves hanging out nowhere in particular until lunchtime when we were one of the first ones in the door at Señora Martinez in the Design District.

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The tapas-ish menu had a lunch time pre-fixe which greatly accommodated both our desire for little snacks, like the pan con tomate, above and for a more substantial main, like my perfectly done burger, below. There was also the roasted red peppers and the bacon-wrapped bleu cheese stuffed dates, after the jump.

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The lunch deal was quite a bargain, but, in the end, it was our bar bill that did us in. With so much time to kill and only airport time ahead, there was little else to do but to spend the afternoon imbibing in the libations on hand.

Miami's not so much my sort of town, but if I were to find myself back there, Sra. Martinez would certainly at the top of my list of places to eat.


Continue reading "Miami: Señora Martinez" »

April 12, 2010

Self-Promotion: Everyman's Joyce

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More belated self-promotion:
About a month ago, I received my copy of Everyman's Joyce in the mail. One of my photos was included in the book. I'm starting to accumulate a nice little library of my published works.

April 9, 2010

Vancouver: Granville Island Market

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I've been waiting so long to put together a post on Vancouver's Granville Island Market, that I'm just about out of anything to say about it besides that it was a lovely time wandering through it.

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We took one of those tiny boats there and walked around and ogled the food, particularly the meat, on display.

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April 8, 2010

Food Finds: Bird's Custard

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Foodtown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2010.

Quick Bite: Baoguette

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The beautiful weather this week has drawn me further afield for lunch than I would usually travel. I suddenly found myself craving some deep sun and delicious ground pork.

That led me on a trip to Baoguette. I've lunched at the Lexington branch before, but this time I made it all the way down to the East Village and sat at the eat-in Baoguette Cafe.

It doesn't get much better than sitting in the sun watching St. Mark's Place go by. It was a hard trip back up to Midtown.

April 7, 2010

Cooking: Easter Bunny

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This weekend, I took my own twisted turn at Easter dinner. Heathen that I am, I wouldn't have known when Easter even was if not for the Lenten lunch I had a couple weeks ago.

A recent article in The Times about rabbit as an upcoming food trend inspired me to finally seek out a rabbit to play with in the kitchen.

I've only cooked rabbit once, years ago, on a trip to Paris with Tammi. I found a whole rabbit shrink-wrapped in a market near our apartment in the Marais. I've wanted to do it again ever since, but prices and availability make rabbit more difficult to cook often.

I'm fond of rabbit, but the price point isn't really a good one for experimentation. This D'artagnan rabbit, purchased at The Meat Hook, cost about $30 at $10 a pound. Not cheap for something about the size of a chicken.

Follow the jump for the before pic and a blow by blow on how I cooked it.

Continue reading "Cooking: Easter Bunny" »

Seattle: Dahlia Lounge

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This was a magnificent piece of braised pork topped with a poached egg and a dollop of sweet and spicy Asian hot sauce. It was one of the many great small courses I had in Seattle at Dahlia Lounge (after a brief starter at Lola).

Again, I don't remember so much of the particulars, so I'll leave the pictures to speak for themselves.

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April 6, 2010

Graffiti: Specter's Portraits

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It's been a while since I've been able to go out shooting graffiti, but I was happy to come across this Specter piece off Classon near Lafayette. His work is among the pieces up in Make It Fit at Brooklynite Gallery.

There's a similar mixed media piece up in the gallery that has startled a few passersby late at night in the neighborhood. The show is up through next week.

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Self-Promotion: Off The Chain

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Excuse the delayed bit of self-promotion: Last year, this photo from Winter X Games was used in the book Off The Chain. The book is a history of snowboarding written by Ross Rebagliati, the first Olympic gold medalist in the sport.

April 5, 2010

Bar Sputnik Closed Down

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I was disappointed this weekend to find Sputnik, on the Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill border shuttered with an 'out of business' sign on the door.

After years of wanting to go, I only ended up there twice. Last fall, I was there two weeks in a row, shooting Pharoahe Monch and Brand Nubian for some of my first Examiner columns. With Evil D on the turntables and legends literally inches away, it was Hip-hop at its finest.

I wasn't anywhere near a regular, but I'm sad to see it go.

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Cruising: Vegas at Sea

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The decor of the ship was straight out of Las Vegas, shiny and gilded. Amazingly gaudy.

Given that, it made sense that there was actually a casino in the middle of it all. We didn't go in for more than a minute or two.


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April 4, 2010

Cruising: Mongolian Barbecue

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Cruises are famous for having loads and loads of food. Besides the main dinner with its awkward times and assigned seating, there are buffets and carving stations and it's all you can eat nearly around the clock.

Now, an abundance of food does not mean all the food is good. By and large the selections tend to be more like a college cafeteria, but there are a few gems mixed in.

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My favorite was the Mongolian Barbecue Station. It's basically a stir fry station with udon noodles. Simple and tasty, Tammi and I jumped to get it before the inevitable line formed.

The guys working the woks were amused by my photographing them.

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April 2, 2010

Seattle: The Alibi Room

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On my first day in Seattle, I came across the Alibi Room, just downstairs from Pike Market and across the path from the Gum Wall. Despite being in the heart of one of the biggest tourist attractions in town, the bar was subdued, comfortable and pleasant.

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The beer selection was mostly local, as would be expected in this part of the world. I sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender, who turned out to be one of the owners. He told me a bit of the history of the place. It had been owned by some actors, including Tom Skerritt for a time before he and his partners bought it.

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They sell small pizzas there, and after smelling it for a couple rounds, I couldn't resist ordering one. I presumed that they were typical bar-sized pizza that make a good fit for one. Instead I got this giant, which I couldn't finish even though I hadn't eaten since landing in town several hours earlier.

Alibi Room. 85 Pike St at Post Alley # 410, Seattle. 206.623.3180

April 1, 2010

Lunch: Single Serve Korean Barbecue at Don's Bogam

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Korean Barbecue is awesome: the big plate piled with meats, the sizzling grill and the smell of all of it cooking in front of you and a group of friends sharing it all. The whole experience is fun and filling and leisurely time-consuming.

The only problem is that it's not so conducive to the lunch schedule and doesn't really scale down for one person so well. Or it didn't, until I found Don's Bogam a couple weeks ago. It sits in relative obscurity a block away from the main Koreatown strip. I happened upon it one day during lunch and decided to give it a try. What drew me in were the lunch specials, which at $12.95 may be outside the Midtown Lunch price range, but still makes for a great bargain for barbecue.

Food and pics after the jump...

Continue reading "Lunch: Single Serve Korean Barbecue at Don's Bogam" »

March 31, 2010

Weddings: Chris & Kim in Nassau

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It was Chris and Kim's wedding that Tammi and I were heading to during the snowstorm last month. Chris and I have known each other for just about 15 years. It was a pleasure to see him so happy that day.

Due to some technical difficulties, I was shooting all film, which limited me somewhat, but I think left an interesting, vintage look.

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The ceremony was at a local resort in Nassau at the end of a long pier. The scene was gorgeous. I hope my photos managed to capture even a fraction of that.

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More photos after the jump...

Continue reading "Weddings: Chris & Kim in Nassau" »

March 30, 2010

Self-Promotion: NYU SCPS Show

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Last fall, I took at class at NYU on Night Photography. Last week, I was invited by the school to show some of my work as a part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS).

This weekend, as part of the Literary and Visual Arts Festival, my photos will be on display along with visual art pieces from many other current and former students at the Silver Center at NYU.

I'm honored to have my work shown here and look forward to seeing it.

Butchery: More Dickson's Farmstand

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I've been showing my butchery work in a class I'm taking at ICP and got a bunch of feedback. Taking the feedback I've gotten from my classmates into account, I went back for another shoot at Dickson's Farmstand.

Mostly, I photographed the inside of the walk-in meat locker, where I could play with the flash without blinding anyone wielding a knife.

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While in there, I got a chance to get a closer look at their new addition, whole, young goats. They hung up in the back, looking a little creepy, but also delicious. Seeing them split up, I'm reminded of the large standing grills we saw in Argentina. Slow grilled like than and served with some chimichurri, I'm sure would be fantastic.

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It wasn't all just meat porn, though. I spent a few minutes taking some photos of Jake Dickson, the shop's owner and Adam, while he worked on a beef forequarter. Gotta love the action shots.

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March 28, 2010

Recently on Examiner: Jam Bands, Food Fests and Hip-Hop

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Woo! It's been a busy week. I've jumped back into the Examiner gig with both feet. Last Sunday night, after Cochon 555, I headed to Brooklyn to shoot The Disco Biscuits play Brooklyn Bowl. The night before, I covered the opening for Make It Fit at Brooklynite Gallery and the next night, I was at Choice Eats for Midtown Lunch. In one of my better attempts at synergy (without recycling, thank you), I managed to squeeze a Food Fest post together about Cochon 555 and Choice Eats, as well.

K-OS at Le Poisson Rouge

Besides all that, my Examiner column over the last couple weeks had recaps of a K-OS show in The Village, the third anniversary Mixer at Cakeshop and recommended Mé Bar for outdoor drinks on a Friday night when the weather was nice.

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This weekend, I've taken some much needed downtime at home with Tammi, but as the weather warms up, the activities in the city tend to multiply, so I expect to stay busy.

Recently on Midtown Lunch: Lines and Lent

Village Voice Choice Eats 2010

This week, I covered Monday's Village Voice Choice Eats, a food festival featuring over 60 restaurants. The good news is that there was plenty of good food and even though I had to stand in a line for an hour, which is totally something I don't do, I managed to stuff myself quite well before the crowd became so ridiculous that I had to bail.

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The Friday before that, I got a chance to meet up with my ML colleagues for a Lenten Lunch of all the seafood dishes under $10 at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. That was pretty fantastic, even for a heathen like me who has no idea when Easter is and tends not to eat a lot of fish. Brownie, of Blondie and Brownie posted a recap of the meal the other day.

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I'm so going back up to GCT for one of those Po Boys. Like, this week. The Rock Shrimp sandwich, above, was pretty fantastic too. I'd love to get a cup of the shrimp and eat them like popcorn. It was great to meet and trade notes with B&B, Jason of Me So Hungry, Amy of Amy Blogs Chow and Jenn.

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Most of my Midtown Lunch coverage this month has been stalking Kyochon, the new Korean Fried Chicken joint that opened, closed briefly to bad reviews and opened up again. That's all still in progress, so I'll have to get back to you on that in a week or so.

March 27, 2010

Cruising: Big Ass Boats

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So, yeah. These ships are big. Sorry, these posts can't all be deep pearls of wisdom.

March 25, 2010

Food Finds: Pork & Ham Loaf

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

March 23, 2010

Butchery: Ryan Farr at Cochon 555

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Friday night I got an email from FoodBuzz telling me that I'd won a pair of tickets to Cochon 555, two days away. I was elated. At the event, chefs from some of the best restaurants in town had their way with five 125 pound pigs and handed out the results to attendees.

Yet, I only ate a couple small plates. Why? Because I'm a meat nerd and butchery awaited. Instead of grazing all evening, I spent a couple hours in the corner watching Ryan Farr, San Francisco's butcher king take apart a whole pig of his own.

Farr went muscle by muscle to show us cuts and techniques that I can't wait to try at home.

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He frenched a loin rack like one would a lamb roast. I think I'd have to see that several more times to even contemplate doing something like that.

Ryan Farr at Cochon 555 NYC

Really though, the coolest part was what Farr did with the head. He deboned it, removing the skull, then he stuffed the face with shoulder meat. After that, he sewed it all up with butchers' twine and a needle. See the slideshow after the jump for a blow by blow.

Ryan Farr at Cochon 555 NYC

I think I've found my next butchering challenge. Seriously, I've been all about cheeks and such for ages, it's time to graduate up to a whole head.

Talking to Farr about the classes he teaches back in San Francisco, I found out that unlike the classes here in New York, his classes are completely hands-on.

Before the session, I introduced myself and told him about my Butchery project. He was into the idea and told me I'd be welcome to come in to photograph a class the next time I'm in San Francisco. I'm hoping to be there over the summer at some point, so keep your fingers crossed.

Ryan Farr at Cochon 555 NYC

Continue reading "Butchery: Ryan Farr at Cochon 555" »

March 22, 2010

Food and Fashion meet for a laugh at The Astor Center (NSFW)

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I'm still catching up on the various shoots and events I've been juggling over the last month, so apologies for the delay. Just before our delay-laden trip last month, I shot a Gastronomica-sponsored Food and Fashion event at The Astor Center. The event began the Umami Art Festival and included a performance art piece called Robert Kushner and Friends Eat their Clothes. The distinctly odd show was brief and featured a fashion show made up of men and women (barely) dressed in foodstuff. Think an eggplant codpiece, a nori skirt and asparagus headwear.

I didn't end up posting it on my Nightlife column as I didn't want to test the posting guidelines, but if you'd like to see half naked artists dressed in vegetables and such, follow the jump and check out the extended Food Fashion set on Flickr.

Continue reading "Food and Fashion meet for a laugh at The Astor Center (NSFW)" »

The Spoils of Gentrification: Beer!

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The upside to demographic change in Brooklyn? Better beer.