Kara Walker's installation "A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the can fields to the kitchens of the new world on the occasion of the demolition of the Domino sugar refining plant" is as massive as its name. (And the lines to get get in are almost as long.) Whereas the cut-paper silhouettes on which Walker built her reputation are remarkable for their presentation of depravity in the guise of delicacy, A Subtlety is forceful and overwhelming. But that's not to say that it's heavy-handed: the sculpted sugar has a surprising refinement (ahem), and the work is so historically layered, engaging with everything from ancient Egypt to Sidney Mintz, that it rewards numerous interpretations.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A self-proclaimed "LA-inspired grab-and-go taqueria," Otto's Tacos in the East Village is seemingly always crowded, in part because a lot of people grab their tacos and must-order masa fries and stay to eat at one of the few communal tables. The tacos might be tiny, but the flavors are big, especially when it comes to carne asada (pictured) and shrimp. We'll be back, no doubt, and we'll take ours to munch in front of nearby St. Mark's.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Swoon's meditation on Hurricane Sandy, Submerged Motherlands, dominates the Cantor Rotunda at the Brooklyn Museum. A massive fabric and paper tree sits at the center of larger-than-life pastes and sculpted rafts (from her Swimming Cities project), inviting viewers to wander around, over, and under the work, submerging themselves in her vision.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Spring at Smorgasburg held many delights, from chicken vindaloo and channa masala tacos, whose many ingredients created multilayered flavors, from Masala Tacos to a downright delectable merlot compote cheesecake from BiteMe to a chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzel donut as well as a unforgettable root beer donut from Dun-Well Donuts to Brooklyn Piggies' take on pigs in a blanket, featuring chicken and fennel, to an uber-tangy jalapeno, honey, and grapefruit soda from Brooklyn Soda Works to a paltry portion of koliko (yummy yam fries) from Woezo, run by an incredibly eager former Peace Corps volunteer, to a de la vera "artisan sausage" sandwich from Txorizeria, easier to eat than to spell.
Just writing out what we sampled entitles us to another trip, we think, given the calories burned in googling and adding links. The real question is: will we beat last year's record number of visits? Survey says oh yeah.
Monday, June 09, 2014
As summer dawns and we spend more time outside, it's worthwhile to reflect on our relationship with nature, which the exhibition of Walton Ford's watercolors at Paul Kasmin Gallery helps us do. The show, which runs through June 21st, features some of Ford's latest investigations of natural history, with implicit scare quotes around both words. Animals both mythic (Rhyndacus, above, and Fenrir) and real (Susie, the gorilla transported across the Atlantic on the Graf Zeppelin) dominate the vibrant canvases, their imagined musings scrawled across the margins, humans significant only in their absurdity.