nick howard, blue hill, DC
saw nick howard at joe's pub this week. i love that space. it's no village vanguard as far as the history that drips from every inch but it's cozy and intimate and that's about the best you can ask for in a concert these days. i remember having seen michael buble in an audience of 40. and gavin degraw with about 10 people hanging around the red lion. of course, when you see these guys, they're in small venues because nobody knows them from adam. sigh. valerie's boyfriend was playing with nick and it's always fun to be a bit of a fangirl for him and the guys he plays with are always quite lovely and this was no exception. he was jason mraz-ish and we agreed he was "dreamy" and his fiancee was cute as a button. he was opening for rachel platten who i wanted to like but just couldn't. her songs were catchy and she has a great voice but her person is just such a turnoff. she looks like mandy moore, sounds like ingrid michaelson but then she's so faux sweet. fake fake fake. and then at one point she gave the whole crowd an backhanded compliment which went something like, "everybody always hates new york and new york crowds, they say they're too loud and don't listen, but, you guys, it's just not true!" um, well, thanks?
really really loving band of horses's new album. not so sure about MIAs.
the sommelier at esca poured me a glass of white which he described as "crunchy" which isn't exactly the best word to hear when describing wine but it fit. green apple in a glass. i've thought about it several times since in this oppressive heat. he's been sending kind of hilarious punny text messages as of late which is the kind of thing i used to scoff at but now they make me chuckle. i'm getting soft in my old age.
we're set for my birthday brunch. i'm taking 25 of my nearest and dearest out to blue hill at stone barns for a big brunch and a tour of the farm. i'm so excited i could pee my pants. though august will be tons of tomato and corn which is fine for me but i'm more of a peas and ramps kind of girl. why couldn't i have a june birthday? next year i'll go in honor of my brother on june 1st. speaking of brother, he's getting my old iphone so he's pretty happy with me right now. it's like the old days when i used to buy him and his friends alcohol.
just when i spent the weekend with some D.C.ers and listened to them talk about the food there (which, i mean, it'll never ever be new york but they seemed happy enough), i get an e-mail from a friend in DC. "dude, you gotta come down here. a billion jobs for lawyers with the feds right now! they've loosened all sorts of restrictions, it's cake, get your ass over here!" sounds great. would love to get on that confusing payscale thing with all the numbers that i just don't understand (at salaries that aren't really half bad) but...god...i'd cry every day from the broken heart i'd have leaving this damn city. i'd read cindy adams and instead of thinking she's crazy i'd MISS being in the same city as her. i'd probably have seizures thinking of missing the next great danny meyer opening. i'd glance longingly at my new yorker magazines thinking, "oh, you. you and i used to come from the same smart witty place." i'd have to give up all dreams of marrying either robinson cano or ben mcgrath because the chances of them falling in love with me in a bar become THAT much more impossible. and FORGET the sartorialist!
i was out with joyce and we saw leslie jordan's one man show (which i'd highly recommend, it's just closed in new york but moves to maybe london next). afterwards i mentioned the watermelon ice at joe allen and begged her to stop in with me for some. it comes with kind of dry coffeecakeish shortbread cookies which i never eat but just having the dish in front of me brings back such visceral memories. the very first time i came to new york was in high school. our drama teacher brought us and hooked us up with tickets to every hard to get show and we'd see a matinee and evening show for several straight days and then get back on the plane. we'd live, eat, and drink theatre and it was glorious, a trip we'd saved up all year for. the first night there, we'd just come from titanic and were all at a huge back table at joe allen when half the cast of the show walked in. our jaws dropped to the table. to us, those were the real celebrities. (not to brag, but we also saw the original broadway cast of rent, HOLLA!) and at that dinner, i finished off my meal with a watermelon ice. the sweetest way to end the sweetest of days. and a decade later they're STILL serving that for dessert. i sit at the bar and order just that and feel 16 and bright-eyed all over again.
in new york, concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do...speaking of, the food editor at esquire told me to pitch him like mad. fingers crossed that i can get stuff to stick.