Döner Bistro — Lunch on 20 July 2016

The döner kebab, which was brought to Germany by Turkish immigrants in the 1950s and 60s, has become the most popular fast food in country.  One of the most memorable highlights of my trip to Berlin last fall was a visit to Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, the little street kiosk that has a fanatical international following, and a waiting line that usually exceeds two hours on weekend nights.  I went in the off hours on a weekday afternoon, so it only took me about half an hour to get to the head of the line.

It was so worth the wait!

I knew there was a restaurant in DC that specialized in the Turkish-German version of döner, but I somehow never got around to trying it until today, which is my loss.

When you enter Döner Bistro’s Adams Morgan location, it’s like walking into a döner shop in Berlin.   It’s feels authentically German-Turkish.

At Döner Bistro, my döner came with the traditional Turkish spiced meat—in this case, chicken from the rotisserie–served on the restaurant’s ’s specialty flatbread with lettuce, sweet and sour coleslaw, a tomato-cucumber mix, and onions, all topped with tzatziki, a garlic-yoghurt-cucumber sauce.

It was big and messy.  You don’t eat döner with a knife and fork.  It’s not finger food, though, it’s more full-hands-on food, and it drips.  I probably went through a dozen paper napkins during lunch, but that was part of the fun.

The sandwich was too massive to finish, so I had half of it wrapped to go, and it was so good that I also ordered a second one to take home for tomorrow.

Anarchy Nudity in the UK

Possibly v mildly NSFW.

The city of Kingston upon Hull, usually just called “Hull,” has been selected as the 2017 UK City of Culture.  Also in 2017, Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery will be hosting The Turner Prize, the (for now) United Kingdom’s most publicised art award.  The annual award is presented to a British visual artist under 50, and, although its sponsors would not agree, The Turner Prize’s fame derives from the fact that many of its nominees and winners are ridiculous, deranged, or both.

Some examples, from WiKipedia’s v funny history of the Turner Award:

“2001  —  Jacqueline Crofton threw eggs in protest at winner Martin Creed’s entry….winner Martin Creed’s installation Work No. 227: the lights going on and off consisting of an empty room whose lighting periodically came on and went off.

“2003  —  Jake and Dinos Chapman caused press attention for a sculpture, Death, that appeared to be two cheap plastic blow-up sex dolls with a dildo.

“2005  — A great deal was made in the press about the winning entry by Simon Starling, which was a shed that he had converted into a boat, sailed down the River Rhine and turned back into a shed again.

“2007  —  The winner of the £25,000 Prize was Mark Wallinger.  His display at the Turner Prize show was Sleeper, a film of him dressed in a bear costume wandering around an empty museum….”

You get the picture.

Anyhow, to mark the city’s celebration next year as the UK City of Culture, the above mentioned Ferens Art Gallery commissioned American photographer Spencer Tunick, whose medium is creating installations using dozens, hundreds, and occasionally thousands of nude people, and taking pictures of them en masse.

There is absolutely nothing erotic about his installations.  They have a sort of innocence, despite the transgressive public nakedness.  All the participants are volunteers.  For the Hull installation, the 3,200 people involved came from 20 countries.  One of the Hull participants, 80-year-old Stephane Janssen from the USA, has posed 20 previous times, his first being at the age of 64.

Hull is a port city, and Tunick’s installation was called “Sea of Hull.”

“Wearing nothing but four shades of blue body paint in celebration of the city’s rich maritime heritage and connections, people braved the weather to pose nude for a series of site specific installations stages across some of Hull’s best-known historic locations:  from the former Queens Dock, now a city centre park, to the architecturally spectacular Guildhall and the award-winning Scale Lane swing bridge over the River Hull.”
—from the Hull City Council web site

The event took place on Saturday, 7 July.  Here’s what it looked like, according to pictures found on the Net:

Somewhere, Tobias Fünke who is both a Never-Nude and hopes to join the Blue Man Group, is terribly confused right now.

Adieu to The Little Fountain

Little Fountain

After 23 years, The Little Fountain Cafe, in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC, closed last weekend.  Despite the restaurant’s name, and its signature Provençal tablecloths (under white linens), the menu at the Little Fountain wasn’t especially French, but the atmosphere certainly was.  It frequently headed DC’s “Best Place for a First Date” lists.

Patrick and Kim owned both the restaurant and Angles, the neighborhood bar upstairs, which attracted a clientele heavy with journalists and foreign service types.

Patrick cooked and Kim handled front of the house.  With Patrick’s grey ponytail and Kim’s flowing skirts, they came off as Old Hippies, in the best possible sense.  It’s not surprising that they travelled extensively through the Middle East, and plan a post-Little Fountain trip through Southeast Asia.  In addition to being a chef, Patrick is also a photographer.

This was one of my regular go-tos, especially on Sunday evenings.  The menu changed infrequently, but the food was always good—sometimes very good—and the casual atmosphere was relaxing.  I stopped in for a final meal last week, to say goodbye.

I’ve never posted any pictures of meals at the Little Fountain, because it was dinner-only and dimly lit, and I’d never use a flash in a restaurant.  But those Miniature Crab Cakes with crawfish sauce and the Peach Raspberry Crisp with vanilla ice cream will live on in my memory.

Exposed! A Chilling, Terrifying Secret about the Family of One of the Candidates in the Race for the White House!

I generally avoid politics in this blog, for a whole bunch of reasons, but this is too important to ignore.

The following, un-Photoshopped image was taken directly from Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence’s Twitter feed.  You can verify it by going there yourself.

Pence got a lot of mockery for choosing Chili’s, out of all the restaurants in New York, but I myself find that rather endearing.  What everyone seems to have missed is absolutely terrifying.

Mike Pence’s daughter casts no reflection in the mirror.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

The Space Between Us — First Trailer

If Netflix’s Stranger Things doesn’t sate your hunger for neo-Spielberg, have a look at the trailer for The Space Between Us.  The movie was originally scheduled to be released this month, then was postponed until August, and has now been rescheduled to 21 December 2016 in the US. Makes sense, really—it should play well with the Christmas family audience.

If the trailer is any indication, Gary Oldman sure yells a lot in this movie.

The real Spielberg project I’m looking forward to is his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011
’80s pop-culture trivia obsessed dystopian science fiction novel, Ready Player One, but production began just last month, and it won’t be released until 2018.  Tye Sheridan, who at 19 has already built quite an impressive résumé, is playing Parzival.

[“Ernest Cline’s 2011 ’80s pop-culture trivia obsessed dystopian science fiction novel.”  Got enough modifiers in that phrase?  You could always add a page count and the author’s nationality.  —Ed.]

OK, it’s time for Netflix.

Stranger Things on Netflix

All eight episodes of Stranger Things, Netflix’s homage to 80s supernatural-lite films, go online today.  And who better than Winona Ryder, the indie crowd’s ultimate movie dream girl in the 80s, to star in a movie set in that decade?  Bonus:  Matthew Modine, although he was in no way the indie crowd’s ultimate movie dream boy in the 80s, shows up as a bad guy government agent.

It’s obviously impossible to watch the trailer without being reminded of E.T. and Goonies, but Stranger Things is considerably darker.

The early reviews have been excellent.  I know how I’ll be spending part of my weekend!