Care to take our current-affairs comprehension quiz? First, read this item from The New York Times:
Stephanie Johnson, 46, who lives in TriBeCa and runs a cosmetics-case and travel-accessories line, wanted her daughter to adopt a more refined and global palate, whether it’s a gluten-free kale salad or falafel made from organic chickpeas.
As working parents, she and her husband, Dan Yashiv, 42, a music producer, do not have time to prepare such fare. And their nanny, from Wisconsin, does not always know the difference between quinoa and couscous.
So they called marc&mark, a new nanny-consulting service, to teach their daughter’s nanny a thing or two. “We want to give Erela the advantage of having a palate diversified enough to enjoy all of the delicious food from around the world,” Ms. Johnson said. ...
In today’s foodie culture, in which some fifth graders would rather feast on hand-delivered lunches of locally procured salmon over turkey on rye, the company is playing to moneyed, obsessive parents striving to tutor their children’s palate much the way they would their math skills. ...
The service, which costs $2,500, begins with a consultation, during which parents describe their child’s eating habits and areas for improvement. ...
Below, the quiz:
And that suspicion proved correct. As I write, the post has 62 comments and more than 1,200 Facebook likes since going live 24 hours ago.
I have to confess that like many other readers, I was compelled to count the number of "hipster"s in Kim Severson's Times story. (The answer: six.) And while I agree the story might have leaned too heavily on the term, I think it's a perfectly valid (and in this case accurate) word for a certain phenomenon the writer is trying to describe.
Furthermore, a certain co-worker of mine shared two salient observations. First, if you get outraged by the use of the word "hipster," you more than likely are a hipster. Second (and this is really just an extrapolation of No. 1), using said term in a forum hipsters are likely to read is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
That same co-worker, by the way, offered the best definition of "hipster" I've yet heard:
A hipster is someone who dresses like you, talks like you, and likes the same music you like, but isn't as cool as you are.
Maybe something about, oh, I don't know, the fact that this city is really just a big bunch of nerds — music-nerds, food-nerds, word-nerds, ag-nerds, booze-nerds, Jesus-nerds. It might be my view from inside, but I'd say this town isn't really a hipster magnet so much as it is Nerd Central. Take anyone of these so-called hipsters and drop them into a small town, and I bet you would hear the entire population of Podunk, USA scream like Ogre in the locker room. I can guarantee that all the “hipsters” Times reporter Kim Severson saw walking about were the least cool kids in their hometown. And I feel confident in saying that because I know a great deal of them.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to see all of the establishments mentioned get some shine on the national circuit, but it seems like there's a better way to describe the city than “hipster hipster hipster.” Is it some sort of coded language to tell the outside world, “Don't worry, it's safe; you won't be eaten by moonshine-and-meth-crazed hillbillies”? I mean, we're a city like any other — people ride bicycles, get tattoos and eat food. Maybe it's been so long since I left the city limits that this has changed in the rest of the country, but I'm pretty sure it's typical of urban living in the 21st century. That there is a strong community of people who like to make things and other people that enjoy the things they make shouldn't be a surprise. Is civic pride and community support in such short supply in modern America, that we're notable just for having it?
And what's up with asking the self-proclaimed squares about Jack White?
“He’s kind of a god around here,” Mr. Scott said. “Where he goes, the hipsters follow.”
That's some bullshit.
It’s no secret that it is a Christian business, as anyone who has tried to bang down the doors on a Sunday will admit. I don’t have an issue with supporting Christian businesses, especially ones that donate to lots of charities and scholarships. But I do have an issue with the widely reported impact of Chick-fil-A's charitable foundation, WinShape, which has provided long-time support for pray-the-gay-away programs like Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in addition to the $1.1 million to similarly minded organizations. See more info here.
Chick-fil-A has fought to maintain that they "have no agenda against anyone." But I can't help but feel that programs such as Focus on the Family, which oppose gay marriage, are against anyone who supports gay marriage, whether they're gay or straight. Check out their list of recommended reading on the subject of homosexuality, if you are interested in learning more about what's wrong with gay people and how to fix them.
And yet, as much as I personally take issue with these organizations and Chick-fil-A’s stance — as well as the extended drive I have to take to the 'burbs just to get my hands on it — I still cannot stay away from that damn chicken! Amirite?
In a challenge to second-wave feminists who urged women to get out of the kitchen, Flammang suggests that by denigrating “foodwork”—everything involved in putting meals on the family table—we have unthinkingly wrecked one of the nurseries of democracy: the family meal. It is at “the temporary democracy of the table” that children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civility—sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending—and it is these habits that are lost when we eat alone and on the run.
Umm, OK? I mean, yes, we get it. When women went to work, there was stuff at home they stopped doing. The cult of domesticity was no longer. So shit didn't get done, and, shocker, men didn't exactly rush in and start vacuuming their balls off either. (See the results of this up-to-the-second study, in which women still do most of the housework and childrearing in households, even where both partners work equally.) Or, as Anna Clark puts it in her critique of Pollan's take on Flammang's book:
My take, as a feminist and local foodie? Blaming feminism for luring women out of the kitchen, stealing the ritual of the family meal, and thereby diminishing "one of the nurseries of democracy" is both simplistic and ridiculous. It's true that shared meals are powerful spaces for building relationships and "the habits of civility." But if we're going to talk about who's to blame for our current culture of processed food, why not blame untold generations of men for not getting into the kitchen, especially given Pollan's characterization of the family meal as having a meaningful role in cultivating democracy? If it's so important, why is their absence excusable?It's excusable because men are too busy doing something else: Ruling at cooking professionally.
Now if they were talking to chefs about cooking with weed rather than just on weed, that would be something. You just know Anthony Bourdain can make a mean pot brownie, and frankly I could use some recipes. And as for that term of yours, New York Times, that "haute stoner cuisine" — are you high? That is possibly the dumbest shit I've heard since, I dunno, the last time I got stoned with somebody else. I can only assume the interviews went something like this.
Now, dear reader, sensitive though the topic is, I'd like to know your favorite post-Mary Jane munchie. I'm partial to pouring barbecue sauce on everything, but I draw the line at putting whipped cream on Hot Pockets. That is a noxious combination.
This picture is a photo of a McDonald's Happy Meal taken on the day of its purchase. A writer at blog BabyBites -- a site about transforming picky eaters -- decided to see if the rumor she'd heard that a Happy Meal will last for years was actually true.
So she bought a Happy Meal on March 3, 2009, stuck it on her desk at work, and waited. A whole year. Guess what happened?
Man, fast food chains are really scraping the bottom of the grease fryer to find a loyal audience these days. Remember how Hardee's sold us turds wrapped in roast beef and dipped in saltwater all by tossing a few faux French maids in our faces (ahem: none of my male co-workers seemed to mind one bit)? But not before they equated cinnamon dough balls with their own balls--so literal! Of course, what a wry wit must have led to Carl's Jr. wanting us to think handjob alongside milkshake--which last I checked, was only the, duh!, second reason I like a milkshake, the first being a straight-up facial. And, of course, what woman doesn't have tender memories of the hot beef injection BK served up with a creamy load of mayo? Consider this meat lover sizzled!
So, let's recap: Based on my informal poll, fast food chains aren't interested in catering to anyone who isn't white, male, stupid and now... racist. Clip above.
Remember former Scene staffer Lee Stabert? Fearless foodie? Music journo? Philly loyalist? Yalie? Obama campaigner? She was out like trout from Nashville shores back in May, and she's since kept up with her food obsessions on her underemployment blog which is, in fact, a food blog.
Recent visits find Stabert is spending an enviable month in Paris, where she's confirming her love for all things croissant, fromage and cafe in delightful prose. The above shot comes courtesy of breakfast in the Le Marais district. Not only does this shot provide a triple threat of awesome for its combination of travel, French things and breakfast, it's also nearly identical to the perfect breakfast I discovered in Los Angeles at the French bistro Le Pain--except, for me, it was a wild mushroom omelette with arugula and baguette. Psst, Marché: Please adjust your omelette du jour to include the crucial baguette, and Stabert: Please allow me to continue living vicariously through your trip.
I've only seen one of those cake competition shows--I think it was called Cake-Off or Last Cake Standing or Crazy Cakecapades or something. At first I sneered at a couple of teams of pros battling to create some cake that pleased the man in charge of putting on some pirate convention. It sounded terribly tedious. But 45 minutes later, I was watching with giddy schadenfreude as chocolate fondant peeled tragically off a 4-foot tall concoction, shattering hopes and dreams in the process.
Turns out decorating cakes is no cake walk. And since this article about cakes wrecked beyond recognition ran about two weeks ago in the Times, it's ancient in blogspeak. But that hardly makes it any less amusing to scan images of professionally decorated cakes gone horribly wrong, as one can now do thanks to Cake Wrecks.
There are Hello Kitty cakes that look more like gerbils with glandular problems, fondant ribbons gnarled into hideous nests, and squishy inscriptions that read, "Happy 3th Birthday, Evan." As Ms. Yates, 31, defines it, a Cake Wreck is "any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate -- you name it."
When these folks aren't misspelling your kid's name, they're translating your instructions too literally--for instance, actually putting the words "in small letters" on a cake instructing the word "congratulations" to appear in small letters. So many levels to enjoy, both aesthetic and grammatical. Take a gander, and do please tell us your own cake-decorating foibles, whether experienced personally or professionally.
This place has closed
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