Monday, April 28, 2014

Save the Date

Are you going to Hester Street Fair,
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme?
I am going to have a booth at the Hester Street Fair on Saturday, June 7. The Hester Street Fair is famous in New York City for being the hip locale for foods, indy jewelry, vintage clothing and sundry fun things sold by (mostly) young entrepreneurs. 

And -- the Hester Street Fair is literally right in my backyard. My co-op, Seward Park, had a small parcel of land at the end of Hester Street, where it meets Essex Street. For years it lay fallow, until an enterprising young Seward Park resident had a light bulb moment, and decided to use the pocket park for a fair.

It's been in existence for several years now, and it's really fun to walk through on a Saturday or Sunday from April to October.
Hester Street runs from Essex to Centre Street.
It was a center of Jewish life, but now runs into Chinatown
as it moves west.
 A big part of the fair is food. There are many
vendors selling delicious food, much of
it ethnically oriented.
 Rosette is a new restaurant on East Broadway.
My friend, Carol, raved about their Kale Lettuce cups.
Don't these baked goods look yummy?
One must carefully navigate the minefield of 
calorie-laden goodies.

The fair was crowded this past weekend.
Picnic tables are set up for enjoying the curly fries.
 Sign by someone who speaks English as a second language,
or who does not know how to spell.
 Tee shirts that double as a chalkboard.

 Cute dogs like the Fair too.
Exotic oils and candles. Love her
Ralph Lauren blazer.
Note the basketball players in
Seward Park behind her.
 A bright, young designer.
 Love the eccentric spellling of "Pyknic."
 A flower vendor called "Pastoral."
 I adored this arrangement, and the
container too.

Audrey of Pastoral.

A hand-painted mannequin.
Vintage is big at Hester Street.

This young lady brought a vintage trailer
to the Fair as her shop.
La Poubelle Vintage means
the garbage vintage.
Delicious ices and ice cream sandwiches.
There are mats on the lawn for
impromptu picnics.
Leaving the Fair, I will show you
 a little of Hester Street beyond....
 My favorite dumpling place.
 Brown Cafe, now closed.
For a Lower East Side nano second it
was central casting for 20 somethings.
 An old-fashioned candy store.
 Barzinho --
A tiny Brazillian cafe.

 The owner, Leo, came out to talk to me.
He was so charming.
 Believe it or not, this is a combination
drugstore and coffee bar.
Old-school Lower East Side.
 Our local Hester Street school.
 Trendy shopping.
 Trendy garbage.
 A 112-year-old Roumanian synagogue.
Thomas Nozkowski, the painter, lived here
from 1967 to recently.
 A vestige of the old Lower East Side.
 A pretty child on Hester Street.

 Back in my apartment, my bouquet from Audrey
of Pastoral.

I am reading "Updike" by Adam Begley.
It is sooo fascinating. What a genius Updike was.
Mr. Begley brilliantly integrates Updike's life
and writing in such an illuminating way.

So, my friends, please save the date,
Saturday, June 7, to join me at
 the Hester Street Fair 
from 11 am to 6 pm.
I will be selling hats and beads.

À Bientôt!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Say Cheese

The Art of Food
Mike Geno paints cheese -- among other foods -- which he finds attractive and appetizing. Last week we met with Mike, who studied with Richard at Tyler School of Art, at the James Beard Foundation in New York's Greenwich Village. Mike had an exhibition of paintings at the JBF House called Chef Plates: The Philadelphia Collection.
A portrait of James Beard at the JBF House.
James Beard was a cookbook author, teacher
and champion of American cuisine.

When we lived in Philly from 1966 to 1985, dining options were scarce. There was South Philly for pizza, and we loved Snockey's, an old-time seafood house where the cook make the best lobster salad on the planet. And of course, there was the Reading Terminal Market, where we shopped for produce, meats, seafood and Amish products. A trip to the Reading Terminal was never complete without a stop for Bassett's ice cream.

Nowadays, Philly is a foodie town. Mike had the idea to honor Philadelphia chefs by painting their signature dishes, which dovetailed perfectly with an opportunity to exhibit at the JBF House.

Artist Mike Geno and Richard in the Greenhouse Gallery
at the JBF House. The chefs were preparing a dinner for
that evening, when the Greenhouse Gallery would turn into
an elegant reception area.
Three of the Chef Plate paintings by Mike Geno.
On the right is "Bloody Beet Steak," a signature dish by
Josh Lawler at The Farm & Fisherman. Josh is buying
the painting for his new house.
 "Scallops & Black Pudding," a dish by Rob Marzinsky of
Fitler Dining Room.
Mike started painting food in graduate school beginning with meat and continuing to cheese. He had a big break when the New York Times took notice of his cheese paintings in a 2012 article, "Like Mona Lisa, but on a cracker." That article generated 300 emails, and dozens of important connections in the cheese world. Mike is now in the enviable position of being able to sell his work online.
 Chefs came to Mike's studio, 
and prepared and plated their dishes.
Mike worked from life to make the paintings.
Sometimes he even got to eat the food.
Above: "Eggplant Braciole" by
Rich Landau of Vedge.
 "Little Neck Clams," a dish by
Daniela D'Ambrosio & Todd Braley of 
The Pickled Heron.
Mike captures the essence of each dish with a sure, energetic brushstroke. He does one painting a day. He is also teaching painting at Tyler School of Art and continues to educate his students in the ways of color, as Richard did when he taught a color class there.
 "Duck Breast with Glazed Endive,"
by Michael Santoro of The Mildred.
"Wasabi Lobster Roll" by
Chef Zama of Zama
A view of Mike's show in the Greenhouse Gallery.
 The upstairs dining room at the JBF.
JBF provides a space for visiting chefs to prepare
multi-course dinners for guests.
 A sous-chef prepares raspberries for the
evening's dessert.
 Two visiting chefs in the kitchen.
 An illustration on the kitchen wall.
Goodness, gracious, what the heck is this?
Any guesses out there?
 Another sous-chef prepares the greens.
It was a wonderful day to catch up
with Mike, hear about his success and share
stories of  Tyler.

Although it's before lunch, and I am so hungry while 
looking at this luscious food that I could eat a horse!

You can see more of Mike's work here.

A bit of nostalgia.
RC at the Reading Terminal Market
sometime in the long-ago.

À Bientôt!