Friday, July 31, 2009

Spiceman Goes to the Farmer's Market

Tom the Spiceman at 1410 Fitzhugh has been selling some of the most unusual and delicious forms of produce for a while now. My favourite being sea beans. He is now creating his own famers' market called FM 1410. Below is a listing of some of the things he is offering.

We have Local-Organic:
San Marzano Tomatoes from Ennis, Tx @ $3.50#
Local-Certified Organic from Tioga, TX:
Heritage Vine Ripe Tomatoes retail @ $3.50#, wholesale @ $2.50#
Porter Tomatoes @ $3# a large, pink cherry tomato that's packed with flavor

Cherry Tomatoes and Saladettes @ $3#

Yukon Gold new potatoes retail @ $3# wholesale @ $1.50
Gypsy Peppers @ $4# these are beautiful and sweet grilled or pan seared
Texas Super Sweet Onions retail @ $2#, wholesale 25# bag @ $28 (These are the Onions served at Clarks Outpost BBQ)
Ratatouille Veggies/Eggplant, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash retail @ $3#, Wholesale @ $2.45#
Green Bell Peppers retail @ $3.50#, wholsale @ $2.75#

From Jeff "Dr. Pepper" Carter in Celina, TX.:
15 or more varieties of Global Warming Peppers (we call'em) which have more to do with the fact that they come from all over the world than the effect itself...Kosovo, Spain, Japan, Hungary,Brazil, Italy and on n' on...@ $16#

Spiceman's usual suspects:

Seabeans retail @ $1.00 oz/Wholesale @ $12#
Ramp Bulbs retail @ $1 oz/wholsale @ $13#
Maitake/Hen O' Woods Mushrooms retail @ $20# wholesale @ $12#
Baby Shiitake retail @ $10# wholesale @ $8#

Zucchini Blossoms soon to bloom in the FM 1410 garden

Louisiana Creole Tomatoes SOLD OUT

On the Spiceman's racks at the FM;

Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer (yes, my sister) a most classy and colorful book in substance and story

Texas EV Olive Oil 12 oz. btl. retail @ $17 is an excellent finishing oil and spicy like...hmmmm ... j' ne se qua

Cambodian Kampot peppercorns, Sea Salt and Date Palm Sugar cubes which are fine tasting condiments...

Fennel Pollen, Dill Pollen, Wild Sumac berries, Porcini Powder and Perique Tobacco for culinary infusions

Spiceman's "Best of the Dallas Farmer's Mkt" picks:
Texas Figs from Mexia retail @ $4 PT Wholesale @ $40/12 PT flat

Yellow Pear Tomatoes retail @ $3/PT wholesale @ $32 flat (12 PT)

Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes retail @ $4.50# wholesale 10# @ $32

Fresh Shelled Peas (mostly Purple Hull....some Speckled Butter and Pinto Beans limited) @ $5.50#

Israeli Melons retail @ $3 each (short season and selling fast)

Go and check it out! Your next dinner party will be a smashing success!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boise Bohemia and The Josh Ritter Concert

I went to Boise, Idaho for my birthday, a surprise trip from my boyfriend. When I told people where I was going I got what I call the Pace Picante Sauce reaction (New York City!?! Boise, Idaho!?!). But there was a method to Chad's madness. A singer/songwriter named Josh Ritter, a favourite of ours, was playing a two night show at the Egyptian Theatre on my birthday.

So, we fly in and as we approach the city, it's nothing but desert wasteland. But, as soon as you're in the city itself, you're surrounded by trees! In fact, the airport boasts a banner that states Boise is indeed the city of trees. We stayed in this very retro hotel called The Modern. It's an old 1950's drive up motel that has been remodeled beautifully. They served croissants every morning that I still dream about. There were surprises every corner I turned in Boise. People with tattoos and piercings everywhere- I don't picture Idaho people being all sewn up. The sidewalks were lined with lavender plants. They have an extensive hike and bike trail that follows the Boise River. And speaking of the river, we floated it on our second day there. But, it's a float where
you have to pay attention, couple of small rapids that could capsize your kayak. All the restaurants we ate at were part of a widespread eat local movement. A couple of places even listed all their purveyors on the back of their menus and had composts in their basements. The Italian place we dined at for my birthday meal served pastas that were made on site that day. The wine list was very nice at a very reasonable price point as well; always a plus in my book. And everyone's mode of transportation? Bicycles. It's a small enough town that it's very easy and pleasant to get around on a bike. The weather is mild year round, hardly any snow in the winter, but skiing is a mere 20 minutes away. It was a bit warm our last day there, but upon arrival to Boise, it was 76 degrees! Coming from Texas where it was 104 at 10am, that's downright freezing! Just on the other side of the desert hills, is a huge national forest. All in all, a great town! Several residents compared their fair city to an aspiring Austin. Which is cool with me.

The Egyptian Theatre was built in 1927, around the same time as the discovery and exhuming of King Tut's tomb. So, the entire theatre is like being in a pharaoh's tomb, except there's a stage and seats. Originally, a cinema theatre, it has hosted all three Bourne movie premieres.
Josh Ritter was playing there the night of my birthday with his full band. The second night would be him on acoustic guitar backed by a string quartet from the Boise Symphony Orchestra. He comes out on stage dressed in all black- Johnny Cash style. He can barely contain
himself, jumping up and down on stage and
repeatedly saying, "This is so cool!" He is so excited to be back in his home state. Ritter and his band are constantly on tour, mainly up north and in the UK. The Irish love him. He rarely makes it below the Mason-Dixon Line, and NEVER to Texas (hence our trek up north). Josh plays all of his classics and shares some new songs as well. He brings a girl named Dawn Landes on stage to sing. We all suspect this is his new wife, but Josh neither confirms nor denies. As he sang a couple of songs sans guitar, unsure of what to do with his hands, he picks at his fingernails and plays with the hem of his jacket. This makes him more human less performer to me. His bassist is quite the character himself. Sporting a handlebar mustache, he twists it into shape each time before playing. At the end of the second night's performance, the bassist does a solo piece for one of the encore songs. And it was hilarious! The subject of the song? You guessed it, his mustache. I wish I would have recorded it.

The opening acts both nights were spot on as well. Blind Pilot, an acoustic band not unlike Death Cab for Cutie- maybe a little less electronic- played the first night. With an accordion and a xylophone as part of the band, you might expect the sound to be a bit cacophonous, but they incorporated the instruments beautifully. I liked the music so much I bought their album, which has yet to disappoint. The morning after the show, we spotted the band at our hotel. They grabbed breakfast and then waited outside their dirty, old conversion van to continue on their tour. I would hate to travel the country in such cramped quarters. I guess I did my good deed of the day by supporting them instead of pirating the music. The second show's opening act was a woman named Tift Merritt. She was so genuinely nice and very personable on stage, despite her apparent nervousness. Her voice ethereal, her sound bluesy. A good pairing with the string quartet performance that followed. Both nights were filled with absolutely impressive music. My kind of birthday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seattle Schmap

Happy News! A photo that I posted on Flickr has been selected to be included in the the 8th Edition of Schmap Seattle! There are Schmaps of many cities, which are downloadable and free. You can even access them from your iPhone or iPod Touch- a great feature if you're on the road. They include photos from fellow travelers as part of the map. I posted our pictures from our trip to Seattle & Vancouver to share with friends and family, who knew one of the few pictures I personally took would be selected!

Here in Dallas we have a few of Jonathan Borofsky's Hammering Men. There is also one in front of the Seattle Art Museum, or SAM, so I took a picture to show the folks back home. Follow this link to see my shot on the Schmap. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!

But more importantly, it's my birthday! According to the birthday calculator I am:

As of 7/14/2009 6:49:03 AM EDT
You are 26 years old.
You are 318 months old.
You are 1,383 weeks old.
You are 9,678 days old.
You are 232,278 hours old.
You are 13,936,729 minutes old.
You are 836,203,743 seconds old.

Today is also the anniversary of the storming of the bastille in Paris in 1789. To celebrate, Parisians have a huge parade on Champ Elysees and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower at night. To learn more about the holiday click here. Thanks to my parents, I was born on such a fabulous date! On my 21st birthday my best friend and I went to Paris to celebrate. Above is a photo of us after the parade.

Vivre La France! Joyeux anniversaire a moi!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Broadband Creativity

There is so much creativity on the internet these days. I am introduced to new sites that are abounding with great music, visual arts, photography, ideas, and everything in between. My mom just sent me these two sites which I think are absolutely great.

The Uniform Project- One outfit, 365 days. This girl, like me, grew up wearing uniforms to school. They were always itchy, never fit right, and certainly didn't express your personal style. She is taking an all new approach to the uniform as an experiment in sustainable wear. Everyday it's the same dress, but with different fantastic accessories to give it some flare. I only wish I was that inventive during my school days. And she's raising money for schools in India to provide uniforms and other supplies to the schools in the slums. Fashion at work for a great cause!

Open Sound New Orleans- This site is all about music, conversation, ambient noise. You can navigate through the city listening to all of her sounds. Great for exploring NOLA at another level, especially when it's too hot to go visit right now anyway!

Black Cab Sessions- Of course, I shared this one with y'all a while back. But, I thought I would remind you of the great music that is being exhibited there. I have discovered quite a few new artists on their site, and I love the cheeky bios they give about the artist/band and how the BCS crew was able to wrangle them into the back of a cab.

silent G imagery- I may be a bit biased on this one, as this is my mother and step-dad's site, but there is some great art to be seen at their address. Forever being updated, you can check out their pieces from various cities, animalia, and never lacking in bird pictures. Be sure to stop by!

DailyLit- This site has been around for a while, but I think it's ingenious! Ever wanted to read one of the classics, but just don't have the time to invest in it? Well, the clever folks at DailyLit came up with the idea to email you one chapter of the book of your choice each day. You knock out the book a little at a time, all from the comfort of your computer. Best part is, it's free! I read Alice in Wonderland each morning at work, before I started on actual tasks. A great way to start your morning off and get your mind up and running. Also a good way to find out about new authors.

Does anyone know of other creative websites, obviously these are only five out of many. Please share with the class!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Take the High Line

(image via DO)

While living in Manhattan, I used to frequent the Museum of Modern Art, more specifically, the architecture floor. One particular exhibit was the model for a revamping of an old elevated rail line into a park. It always interested me, but from what I could tell, no real progress was being made on it in 2005. Well, after years of advocacy, it's actually open! And apparently it's a big deal- the New York Times, NPR, and Design Observer all did pieces about its opening.

The abandoned rail line, out of use since 1980, was scheduled for demolition, but saved by two citizens Joshua David and Robert Hammond. They teamed up with Mayor Bloomberg to advocate for a renovation of the line into a park. Only the first portion is currently open, running up to W. 20th St. The second portion, extending up to 30th, will be open in Fall 2010. The third section is not yet approved. Containing over 100 different wild flower seeds, the plantings were inspired by the overgrown greenery on the railroad. The train trestle park was designed by the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro. A vast departure from the sprawling Central Park, the High Line is very narrow and flanked by city buildings. But the beauty of the park is that it's not trying to be another Central Park, something it's not.

Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg was among one of the big benefactors to the project, along with several other wealthy New York City residents. The organization Friends of the High Line helped raise $44 million for the project. The success of the park has brought to light several other projects for the neighborhood, including a new satellite building of the Whitney designed by the fabulous architect Renzo Piano.

Very inspiring to see this park come to fruition. Reminds us that average citizens can bring about change to our communities.