My Little Street Robot

Well, he isn’t mine, but I’d like to think he is…he says hello every morning as I run past him into my office, and goodbye every night as I wait to cross Madison Avenue.  While in general I find destruction of private property (are NYC streets considered private?) disappointing and grotesque, there is some street art I can get behind.  I’m not sure where the line is drawn in my mind other than, I know it when I see it.  Banksy is a favorite of mine. Check out his mock-umentary film called Exit Through the Gift Shop – we saw it at the Sunshine Theater and it was great – gave a good history of street art, had some surprisingly funny moments, and was overall entertaining.  I also love the view of all the graffiti on the rooftops of the buildings in Chinatown that you can see coming over the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn into the city. How did these people get up there? Anyway, I really enjoy it.  And I really like my little street robot.


Book Club

As mentioned in my post about Wine Night I am also an active member in a book club with a few friends.  I love this group as well because it combines friends, books, movies, and another excuse to try out recipes.  This has grown organically as well.  We started out as three friends that all love to read (I personally average about a book a week thanks to my 2+ hours spent on the subway getting to and from work every day) and we were always taking suggestions from one another anyway.

We decided to get together every 6 – 8 weeks depending on our schedules, and the original plan was to pick 2 – 3 books, one of which had a movie.  When we got together we would watch the movie, discuss what we liked and disliked about the books, questions we might’ve had while reading, and if we are feeling particularly academic we might look up study questions on the internet. After a meeting or two, we decided it would that if there was ever a food theme or cultural theme, we would each make some sort of dish to compliment the book.  This served two purposes: having delicious food at our meetings, and trying new recipes that might have been outside of our comfort zone.  For example – after reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, someone was actually able to find a chocolate pie recipe from the author online (If you’ve read the book (great by the way!) you would understand the significance of chocolate pie). Another great pairing was making irish soda bread (yes – I have made soda bread from scratch!) and reading and watching Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.  Yet another was crab cakes and hush puppies after reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, and again, we were lucky enough to find Pat Conroy’s recipe for the crab cakes. You see where I’m going with this….

This past weekend we met to discuss The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, and White Oleander by Janet Finch.  There were no major food themes so we made some classic autumn dishes such as pumpkin soup and apple crumble. I made what I’m calling “ghetto mulled cider” per a recipe from my mother (she’s not ghetto, the recipe is!!) and it was pretty damn good.  All in all, a successful meeting!

If you are interested in reading book reviews by one of our members, check ’em out here:  Jen does a great job of giving the gist of the book and a bit of her own opinion, without giving anything away.  Her reviews include everything we’ve read from Book Club as well as her own “side reads”.