“David Bowie is” Coming to the US!

This makes me very, very happy.

“David Bowie is”, an exhibition that originated at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013, will be installed at the Brooklyn Museum next year. It will be the last stop on a long journey.

After the original blockbuster show at the V&A, “David Bowie is” went on tour, visiting 10 cities on five continents. Along the way, it became the most popular exhibition in the museum’s 165-year history, attracting 1.8 million attendees so far.

I saw it in Toronto, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on the first stop of the tour. You can read my rapturous reaction here, along with a description of some of the items on display. A quick summary: It was one of the most brilliantly staged and mounted museum exhibitions I’ve ever seen.

Here’s perhaps the highest compliment I can give to “David Bowie is”: It’s worthy of Bowie himself.

“David Bowie is” will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum from 2 March 2018 through 15 July 2018.


2017 Cookery Project — Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

I’m still feeling a little guilty about the collapse of my plan to make September a month dedicated to French Bistro Cooking. And here it is October.

Oh, well…better late, and all that.

Today’s lunch was Coquilles Saint-Jacques. I got the recipe from The Bistro Cookbook, which, mysteriously, seems to have no author. It was published by a company in Bath, UK, which makes me think that Jane Austen must have had something to do with it, but that’s just speculation.

Despite its murky origins, the photography in the book is first-rate, and the recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. For the Coquilles Saint-Jacques, I browned minced garlic and breadcrumbs in butter, then kept them warm in the oven. The scallops got two minutes on each side at medium-high heat, which some would say was slightly over-cooking them, but they were big sea scallops.

Served with parsley and sliced lemons. Pretty good!

This is sort of a cheat, because I’d never post a low-rated dish unless it went spectacularly, memorably wrong. The boldface entry is my evaluation of the current dish.

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.

Lady Bird — First Trailer

Lady Bird, the writing and directorial début of Greta Gerwig, looks like great fun.

Saoirse Ronan, late of Brooklyn, plays “Lady Bird,” a character based on Gerwig’s own younger persona. Laurie Metcalf, coming off a Tony Award Best Actress win for A Doll’s House, Part 2. reportedly steals the show as her mother.

Supporting are Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, who’s certainly having A Year.

The film is scheduled for a 10 November 2017 release.


2017 Cookery Project — Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

I’d planned to dedicate September to working on Mastering the Art of French (Bistro) Cooking.

That didn’t happen.

I’ve spent very little time in the kitchen this month, preferring to loll around watching Nordic Noir television shows and old episodes of The IT Crowd all day. What time I’ve spent on food preparation has been indiscriminate and unfocused. One of the few memorable new dishes I made this month is the Shrimp Fra Diavolo pictured above.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo is an Italian-American dish, like spaghetti and meatballs. It originated in the United States, but a list of the ingredients–olive oil red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano, white wine, San Marzano tomatoes, basil–certainly reads like what you’d find by opening Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and picking a recipe at random.

For the pasta, I used Ronzoni Supergreens, an “enriched pasta with 5 green vegetables,” which I chose entirely because of its green colour. That combination of red sauce and green pasta would make for a nice seasonal side dish, if it were December (which it isn’t) and if I made a big deal of Christmas (which I don’t).

The next day, I added more crushed tomatoes, water, and a little white wine to the leftovers, and wound up with a first-rate soup.

I’ve decided to start rating these experiments on a five-star scale, The boldface entry is my evaluation of the current dish.

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.

Cute Video of the Day, 28 September 2017 — Lèse-Majesté Edition

Everybody’s Favourite Royal can’t even watch the Invictus Games without some pesky commoner trying to steal his stuff.

Prince Harry handles the matter with his usual grace and charm.

“Cute Video of the Day” is an occasional feature on this blog. It includes an alarming number of videos that show children falling down.

Annihilation — First Teaser

And the Trailer of the Day Award goes to…this teaser for Annihilation, an adaptation of the first book of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.

A biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor walk into a bar strange, isolated area known as Area X, where the laws of nature and of man seem not to apply. Eleven earlier exploration parties have entered Area X, but most the members of those teams ended up dead or deranged.

Much weirdness ensues.

The adaptation was written and directed by Alex Garland, writer and director of the excellent Ex Machina. Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny make up the exploratory team.

Stong cast, talented writer/director, interesting source material. This could be next year’s The Arrival.

We have another long wait for this one. It won’t be released until 23 February 2018.

CNN’s Fantastic Images from Michelin Three Star Restaurants

Too pretty to eat!

CNN’s Travel section has posted a must-see gallery of breath-taking, mouth-watering images from some of Michelin’s Three Star Restaurants.

Included are pictures of works of art like the tomato confit with lobster salad and bonito from Eleven Madison Park, in New York (above) and the Sound of the Sea plate from The Fat Duck, in Bray, UK (below).

Time to start saving up for some high-end adventures, I think. I’ll start by cutting back on the avocado toast….