Saturday, January 29, 2011

"revelation": at the beer, bourbon, and bbq festival...

"three city girls...lots of food"

i don't want imply that it's taken for granted, but a nose-to-tail, apple-in-mouth roasted pig-- lechon-- is not uncommon to filipinos. kid's first birthday, family reunion, wedding, summer picnic...basically, if you're celebrating something big, you're doin' it with a pig.

i myself am not a huge fan. they say the flavor is in the fat and the skin--and i don't like the flavor or texture of either. i like the white meat, but only with a generous amount of the sauce that traditionally accompanies it, a sauce made of liver and garlic and vinegar. maybe it doesn't sound tasty--liver-- but that sauce redeems even the most overdone meat. and actually my favorite rendition of lechon is when all the meat and skin and bits that have been hacked apart with a giant, scary cleaver are stewed in that's called paksiw na lechon. served over a bed of white rice--it's leftovers, but it feels even more indulgent and delicious, in my opinion, than when it's freshly served.

so being at the beer bourbon and bbq fest was familiar territory, from a culinary standpoint. but it didn't mean it wasn't revelatory.

for example, the term "pulled pork" to me means meat roasted to such a tenderness that it's easily pulled apart with your fork. the gruesome and glorious sight of burly men, heavy duty gloves to their elbows, hunched over and reaching into a glistening, red, split pig and scooping a handful of thready pork onto your plate never struck my imagination. pulled pork, now i get it.

but what was true for me about the lechon i've grown accustomed to, was true for most of the meat i tasted last night-- a generous sauce, whether it's a runny, hot, vinegary variety, or a thicker, sweeter kind, with a strong smoky chipotle note, is compulsory.

there was one very exceptional surprise: hill country bbq. they roast the pork in the pig. i had to think about that for a second, but what a good trick. double the flavor, double the tender fun. we had almost skipped the hill country table, thinking oh, we could get it anytime here in new york, but it was our favorite bbq of festival.

to think, we almost took that for granted...

jerk! (from black sauce kitchen)

little red pig bbq
my dinner selection, from little red pig bbq (north carolina pulled pork, brunswick stew, and slaw)

best of the fest: hill country, texas-style, bbq via midtown west, nyc...

tickle tickle
pork, chicken and campfire beans with burnt ends

photos © anita aguilar

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

snow day: before it turned to rain, and then...THUNDERSNOW

(i'm staying inside for the thundersnow.)

from my "beat": park ave and union square
oh look. we're plowing everything now, even the plazas on park ave.
(though these john deere's were probably privately hired...)



jan 24, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011


a fire was called in from 125 park avenue (at 42nd street) at around 5:27 pm this evening.

how did it start? according to news reports, someone tossed a cigarette, which fell through the sidewalk grate, and began smoldering in a transformer box below street level.

this was the scene, an hour later.

firefighters had this under control by 7pm. no injuries reported...

pershing square exterior (facing park ave)

and with the sun out...

it's this many degrees:

stay inside, people. stay inside.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


happy saturday morning...

time to make the coffee (while i watch this one again).

jan 22, 2010. rafa in rod laver arena. photo: ben solomon/tennis australia via

jan 22, 2010. tomic in rod laver arena. photo: ben solomon/tennis australia via
nadal def tomic 6-2, 7-5, 6-3...jan 22, mark baker/ap via

Thursday, January 20, 2011

inspiration: kertész "on reading"

on view now through february 13, 2011 at the carnegie museum of art in pittsburgh is a collection of 100 photographs by andré kertész (a photographer less well-known than, but highly esteemed by, the likes of henri cartier-bresson, robert capa, and brassaï) devoted to the pleasure of reading.

hungarian born kertész was the son of a bookseller, with a deep interest in poetry --he was drawn to these public, yet intimate moments throughout his career.

as so many drift (surge?) toward e-readers, it could well be that these snapshots take on even greater appeal. they celebrate the romance, not just of reading, but of the books and newspapers themselves.

hope you like them.

greenwich village, new york (woman on rooftop reading), may 30, 1962.
andré kertész, american, b. austria-hungary, 1894-1985.
gelatin silver print © courtesy estate of andré kertész/higher pictures 2007
carnival, paris (woman reading behind stage), 1926.
andré kertész, american, b. austria-hungary, 1894-1985.
gelatin silver print © courtesy estate of andré kertész/higher pictures 2007
new york (boy eating ice cream on a pile of newspapers), october 12, 1944.
andré kertész, american, b. austria-hungary, 1894-1985;
gelatin silver print © courtesy estate of andré kertész/higher pictures 2007


more on the exhibit here
if you can't make it there this winter, you can buy the book...