satiate.

Weekend WordBowl/Reprise

The high holidays are upon us, encouraging all manner of indulgences. And over-indulgences. Thus today’s word: SATIATE

Do you want to play WordBowl? Click HERE.

Our WordBowl Word of the Day comes from the twisted brain behind Henry’s Games — storytelling? satire? legend? — all I can confirm is (1) the word came from a UK e.mail address and (2) the author purports to be male. Though this may be a matter for debate as well.

satiate

Earliest food memory: gorging on pineapple, sticky sweet juice slicking down chin, mouth raw, the first conscious twining of pleasure and pain.

My mother, worrying I might hurt myself, attempting to lure my attention with promises of Cocoa Puffs. I was not dissuaded. If one bite proved scrumptious, surely gobbling the whole pineapple — a gift from my father, souvenir from his team’s annual exhibition game in Hawaii — would provide exponential happiness.

ELIZA'S STORY (who knew bourbon could be so refreshing?)

ELIZA’S STORY (a deceptively demure cocktail)

I munched, Mumu-clad — my mother had made us matching Mumus, a riot of red and white florals, the year she jetted off for the Luau Game, too — my own celebration of culinary and sartorial extravagance, those partners in crime.

At almost four years of age, I had not yet learned the law of diminishing returns, the irrefutable scientific facts: sugar-on-sugar becomes less sweet, salt-on-salt less satisfying. Of the tastes, only bitter becomes increasingly, more intensely of itself. Bitterer.

My father retired from baseball, we moved through familial lands in Texas, Louisiana, settled in Mississippi. Food, tightly regulated in our 1970s household — recession, sprawling family, father still hewing to preparatory extreme eating and exercise regimes as though his civilian professional performance depended upon it, mother wrestling her five-pregnancies-and-counting weight gain via the fashionable fasting plan du jour — there was no such thing as snacking between meals, desserts regulated to weekends, although my siblings and I snatched surreptitious chocolates from our mother’s hidden stash, all the more delicious for being forbidden fruit.

THIRSTY RABBIT craft cocktail at Grange

THIRSTY RABBIT craft cocktail at Grange

Our brown-bagged lunches featured Oscar Meyer Variety Pack deli meats, “Red Delicious” apples rarely either. Dinners, a parade of broiled chicken/buttered rice/frozen vegetable permutations or variations of noodles with canned sauces, this less sophisticated era, we ate noodles, we did not yet know from pasta. We did not dine in restaurants, McDonald’s a rare splurge, sign of an unexpected financial windfall, or a brother’s Little League triumph.

My siblings and I dreamed of the packaged food in our friends’ homes, envied their unrestricted access. My burgeoning babysitting business — leveraging my oldest child caretaking skills into actual cash — built upon my fascination with other people’s pantries. Covetous of what I had not experienced, craving tastes of my imagining.

The taste of summer: Thai Cold Brew Coffee

The taste of summer: Thai Cold Brew Coffee

As I verged on adolescence, my parents hit a rough patch, arguments burst from behind their bedroom door, tempers flaring dramatic throughout our home too modest to house hiding places, a spectacular one-upmanship of slammed cabinets, tossed tennis racquets, my mother grabbing car keys and me, gunning the Plymouth all the way to Pizza Hut for multiple trips to the sneeze-guarded salad bar and an array of Personal Pan Pizzas, furious munching before barreling to the Mall, plowing past the seasonal displays towards the clearance racks — even at her most enraged, my mother mindful of her role as keeper of the family finances, her calculator of a brain tick-tick-ticking discount percentages and layaway plans —sorting through those sad stragglers available at greater-than-fifty-percent discount, haughty tossing of the too-big oh-my-goodness-this-just-swallows-me attempting to rationalize the too-small as perfect-j-just-as-soon-as-I-lose-five-pounds. Pizza and salad topping torpor settling in, ambling over to the shoe section — score! — fit not an issue, as our feet remained the same size no matter how much we stuffed ourselves.

Full, but far from satisfied.

 

 Inspired, I set about satiating myself uptown-style at the farm-to-table The Grange Bar and Eatery (hamilton heights, harlem) where I sampled craft cocktails and admired the extensive list of local microbrews while scribbling the first draft of this story. Trundling back downtown, I hand-edited with a Thai Cold Brew Coffee at the light-drenched Greenwich Village outpost of Stumptown Coffee Roasters (greenwich village, manhattan).

Do you have a word for WordBowl? Click HERE.

Do you have a suggestion? Feel free to comment below. I look forward to your input!

satiate.

Do you want to play WordBowl? Click HERE.

Our WordBowl Word of the Day comes from the twisted brain behind Henry’s Games — storytelling? satire? legend? — all I can confirm is (1) the word came from a UK e.mail address and (2) the author purports to be male. Though this may be a matter for debate as well.

satiate

Earliest food memory: gorging on pineapple, sticky sweet juice slicking down chin, mouth raw, the first conscious twining of pleasure and pain.

My mother, worrying I might hurt myself, attempting to lure my attention with promises of Cocoa Puffs. I was not dissuaded. If one bite proved scrumptious, surely gobbling the whole pineapple — a gift from my father, souvenir from his team’s annual exhibition game in Hawaii — would provide exponential happiness.

ELIZA'S STORY (who knew bourbon could be so refreshing?)

ELIZA’S STORY (a deceptively demure cocktail)

I munched, Mumu-clad — my mother had made us matching Mumus, a riot of red and white florals, the year she jetted off for the Luau Game, too — my own celebration of culinary and sartorial extravagance, those partners in crime.

At almost four years of age, I had not yet learned the law of diminishing returns, the irrefutable scientific facts: sugar-on-sugar becomes less sweet, salt-on-salt less satisfying. Of the tastes, only bitter becomes increasingly, more intensely of itself. Bitterer.

My father retired from baseball, we moved through familial lands in Texas, Louisiana, settled in Mississippi. Food, tightly regulated in our 1970s household — recession, sprawling family, father still hewing to preparatory extreme eating and exercise regimes as though his civilian professional performance depended upon it, mother wrestling her five-pregnancies-and-counting weight gain via the fashionable fasting plan du jour — there was no such thing as snacking between meals, desserts regulated to weekends, although my siblings and I snatched surreptitious chocolates from our mother’s hidden stash, all the more delicious for being forbidden fruit.

THIRSTY RABBIT craft cocktail at Grange

THIRSTY RABBIT craft cocktail at Grange

Our brown-bagged lunches featured Oscar Meyer Variety Pack deli meats, “Red Delicious” apples rarely either. Dinners, a parade of broiled chicken/buttered rice/frozen vegetable permutations or variations of noodles with canned sauces, this less sophisticated era, we ate noodles, we did not yet know from pasta. We did not dine in restaurants, McDonald’s a rare splurge, sign of an unexpected financial windfall, or a brother’s Little League triumph.

My siblings and I dreamed of the packaged food in our friends’ homes, envied their unrestricted access. My burgeoning babysitting business — leveraging my oldest child caretaking skills into actual cash — built upon my fascination with other people’s pantries. Covetous of what I had not experienced, craving tastes of my imagining.

The taste of summer: Thai Cold Brew Coffee

The taste of summer: Thai Cold Brew Coffee

As I verged on adolescence, my parents hit a rough patch, arguments burst from behind their bedroom door, tempers flaring dramatic throughout our home too modest to house hiding places, a spectacular one-upmanship of slammed cabinets, tossed tennis racquets, my mother grabbing car keys and me, gunning the Plymouth all the way to Pizza Hut for multiple trips to the sneeze-guarded salad bar and an array of Personal Pan Pizzas, furious munching before barreling to the Mall, plowing past the seasonal displays towards the clearance racks — even at her most enraged, my mother mindful of her role as keeper of the family finances, her calculator of a brain tick-tick-ticking discount percentages and layaway plans —sorting through those sad stragglers available at greater-than-fifty-percent discount, haughty tossing of the too-big oh-my-goodness-this-just-swallows-me attempting to rationalize the too-small as perfect-j-just-as-soon-as-I-lose-five-pounds. Pizza and salad topping torpor settling in, ambling over to the shoe section — score! — fit not an issue, as our feet remained the same size no matter how much we stuffed ourselves.

Full, but far from satisfied.

 

 Inspired, I set about satiating myself uptown-style at the farm-to-table The Grange Bar and Eatery (hamilton heights, harlem) where I sampled craft cocktails and admired the extensive list of local microbrews while scribbling the first draft of this story. Trundling back downtown, I hand-edited with a Thai Cold Brew Coffee at the light-drenched Greenwich Village outpost of Stumptown Coffee Roasters (greenwich village, manhattan).

Do you have a word for WordBowl? Click HERE.

Do you have a suggestion? Feel free to comment below. I look forward to your input!

thunderstruck.

We spent a few painful years on the Art Hates Us tour, the Saucy-A and I, consoling ourselves after each crushing disappointment with butter-glistened lobsters and French 75s, or steak tartare and a sinister Bordeaux. At least Food loved us. Beverages, too.

It began, as such things do, with a Grand Plan: Saucy-A pausing in NYC en route to join her fiancée’s family vacation in Italy, a 48-hour Manhattan blitz — pilgrimage to Century 21, champers lunch with the girls, wedding dress window shopping — culminating with the Matthew Barney “Cremaster Cycle” exhibition occupying the whole of the Guggenheim. The timing could not have been better, as the exhibition was in its waning days, the initial throngs thinned.

The first 30 hours clicked by like clockwork: meals, shopping, friends. We debated transportation options in the Thursday morning drizzle, opted for a taxi — ladies of leisure and means, we convinced ourselves if not our bank accounts — arrived at a Guggenheim absent a line snaking out the door. Glory Be! The Universe Smiles!

The museum doors refused to open. Had we inadvertently arrived on one of the newer civic holidays freelancers like us had a tendency to overlook? The Saucy-A’s eyes as damp as our wilting clothes, she pointed a shaky finger towards a discreet sign “Closed Thursdays”.

Saucy-A purchased the commemorative coffee-table tome — the museum gift shop open and ready to sell — wisecracked over a snack of marrow bones and Chianti how hauling it around the Italian countryside would be her penance for failing to confirm the Guggenhiem’s hours.

It would be years before a Sex in the City plot pivoted on an almost identical Guggenheim/Carrie scenario, yet as the (transplanted) New Yorker of us I vowed a make up if not a make good. Thus a few weeks later I picked up a far more Italian fluent Saucy-A, shuttling her to Vermont for a family visit before returning to her West Coast home. The Art Plan Part Deux: a side trip to Dia:Beacon, home of massive site-specific art installations, including seminal sculptures by Richard Serra, he who featured so prominently in Barney’s “Cremaster Cycle”.

We set off early, ahead of the Manhattan summer Friday exodus, commending ourselves for so handily besting Mapquest’s estimated drive time. We sailed up to the gates in a spray of gravel.

Dia: Beacon is shuttered on Fridays in the summer. And on unspecified occasional Saturdays.

Flashforward a couple of years, Saucy-A and I on separate Paris trips — she, romantic weekend with husband; me, business — found the Picasso Museum behind scaffolding, closed for renovation.

Determined to break the curse — we had a long history of coast-to-coast exhibition indulgences — we made a return trip to Dia: Beacon (operating days and hours checked, triple-checked), although we were forced to scrap plans to dine at the Culinary Institute of America (closed, summer break).

Dia: Beacon, a modest modernist entrance, portal into a vast, beguiling world for us Alices to adventure through. Size-stammered, we approached one of the towering Sera oxidized walls, followed the curve inward, inward, the path between two concave walls narrowing as we spiraled ever more densely, delighted laughs dissolving into nervous titters, our breath shallowed, our nerves tightened, sounds of others in the adjacent sculptures echoed — or did this have a sound installation accompaniment? — our gasping exclamations melded into a single intelligible sound with specific translation: ImightNeedtoGetOuttaHere, discomfort and adventurousness battling in our chests. We cleaved to a tight turn, burst into a spherical clearing, gazed upward.

We deploy words in everyday conversation — awesome, amazing, fantastic, FUCK — diluting impact through repetition. “Love” went long ago, “Oh my God” morphed into OMG by texting teens and became an adult punchline, emoticons begat Emoji, attempting to convey meaning via a medium of emotionless DNA, bits and bytes and binary code.

We killed Latin, gave birth to temporary taxonomies, fugacious languages as fungible as technology.

No wonder descriptions of Art —the arts — is a bewildering read, hieroglyphics interpreted by practitioners, critics, academics. How does one address the Divine having heard “darling, that dress is divine” in multiple media and personal contexts? We twist and turn and torture words, contort sentences into unnatural phrasings in an attempt to illuminate a deep emotion, a revelatory spark, a moment of transcendence.

The Saucy-A and I stood inside the cylinder of soaring steel, we stood in panting silence, we stood humbled, inspired, together transformed.

We had no need for fancy food, afterwards. We were brimming, satiated beyond sense. Art Full.

“thunderstruck” courtesy of @margagogo who blogs about margaritas (and life) at margagogo.com

Entwine’s Spicy Margarita – don’t be fooled by the mild-mannered appearance

This post was handwritten while sipping a thematic Spicy Margarita at Entwine west village, nyc 

notebookphoto

Caffeinated inspiration from Roasting Plant west village, nyc 

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