For the first time ever, there were two New York City basketball squads facing off. It was the battle of the boroughs. Old Manhattan versus upstart Brooklyn. Always the little brother out in Jersey, the Nets got a shiny new big house in Brooklyn now. Hova was happy with the results. After a smokin hot start, the Knickerbockers have crashed to the pavement, losing 3 outta 4. For now, little brother 1, big brother 0. Let the rivalry begin.
Listening Pile: Jay-Z – Run This Town
For obvious reasons. Hopefully Beyonce doesn’t get mad at me for bringing up that Rihana girl again. And how crazy is it, this video has 66M youtube views. Wow!
Made my way over to the Growler Station in the West Village a couple times now. It strikes me as a little odd that you can’t actually drink beer in the place unless it’s a brewery or tasting event. You are expected to fill those growlers of yours based on descriptions(which they actually do quite well, with lots of big screens and an upcoming ipad app w/ recommendations and sortable by style). You can fill your 64 or 32 ounce growlers, or pick up one of their Beasts, a 32-ounce recyclable soda bottle, with one of 20+ craft brew options. They told me the beast has all air pulled out and can stay fresh in your fridge for up to 3 months. I was skeptical, but heard from a couple friends they tried it a week later it tasted ok.
The selection was impressive, a lot of local stuff, as well as regional American and International craft beers. Bottles were a little more limited, but with a name like Growler Station, you’d come to expect them pushing the stuff on draft a bit more. There was also a fridge with some artisanal cheese, I believe I even saw some recommendations for pairings. I was a little surprised to see the prices. I don’t think I saw any 64 oz growler fill for less than $11.99 and some going for as much as $49.99. I’ve always had a problem with paying a lot for a growler, because in my opinion is just doesn’t stay fresh and true to the brewers intention. Either way, if you’re gonna get it, drink it fast. That stuff doesn’t keep well once oxygen hits it. The place had a lot of good stuff on tap and from what I’ve read, this is the first of a chain hitting other US markets.
Angelhair of Harlem
On Sunday evening, I made my way up to Harlem to try out Jin Ramen. Conveniently right off the 125th St 1 train stop, it’s a quick trip to the neighborhood. The last few years, I’ve been big on Ramen, eating at a various places across the city. I have a local place near my apartment, Naruto Ramen, that I consider my go to, but I always like to venture out to try something new. I came across this review from J.Kenji Lopez-Alt on Serious Eats and he always is on the money.
They greeted me as I walked in the door and sat me down right at the bar, where I had a front row view to the kitchen. The staff was super friendly and talked me through everything I ordered. Started off with the Nankotsu Kara Age, which is fried chicken cartilage. It was delicious, having almost a calamari type consistency to it. I then had the Shio Ramen, a combo chicken/pork broth. It was good, a little lighter than I usually get. The handmade noodles were thin, but well-cooked and seasoned, as was the pork. The egg, which is one of my favorite parts, was perfectly cooked after being soaked in soy sauce overnight.
Overall, a great new spot that I will visit again. Very friendly staff, they greet everyone as they walk in and out, which is always nice to see. The menu will continue to expand and feature more items, including gyoza, which is a personal fave. Not much in terms of beer, but they had a couple different selections of sake, plum wine and Sapporo. If you’re in the hood, check it out. Definitely worthy of a visit.
I am checking out my first game at the renovated Garden tonight. This is first time in close to 20 years, since the Finals run of Ewing, Starks and Oak, there’s this much excitement in the Garden. I love it as a Knicks fan. I’m not sure people see this for the real story that it is. We’ve already seen one over-zealous editor at ESPN get fired for a bonehead headline. And there was the hilarious, but completely boorish sketch on SNL last weekend. As this wonderful article on Salon.com points out. The kid transcends race. I think the real story here is that of an underdog, a kid that was never given a shot, surfing on his brother’s couch, almost getting cut by his third team this year, then stepping up out of nowhere and doing the great things he did.
I think more people that don’t know a thing about basketball, can relate to this and aspire to do the same thing some day. It’s a story about perseverance in a time when this country needs it. If Jeremy Lin can do what he’s doing, why can’t anyone chase after their dreams in life. It’s a sentiment that truly does transcend race, basketball and sports. It’s a attribute of his life that touched us all. So, I say good for him. Hopefully Coach D’Antoni can figure out how to make this team put it all together and give the Bulls, Heat and Celtics a run for their money in the playoffs this year. Knicks fans could use it. Talk about some tortured fans.
Listening Pile: Memoryhouse – The Kids Were Wrong
Memoryhouse formed some five years ago in Southern Ontario, Canada as a sort of art/music collaboration. Their new album is named after the effect when you zoom and pan out of still images to give them a sense of movement. I think that’s awesome. The song above rocks a bit more than the rest of the album, a dreamy, hazy lo-fi indie-pop album. The one thing about this album I really like are all the tiny little flourishes that ad a wonderful nuance to the songs.
A Joy Ride
Great read about the convergence two things near and dear to me. Advertising, which is what I do and craft beer, which I love. News comes out about New Belgium’s upcoming ad campaign centered around their staple beer(and a personal favorite), Fat Tire. In the double page ad, as it’s open wide, brewer Peter Boukaert claims he’s, ‘always hated Fat Tire. It’s the hardest beer for us to make,’ while opposite co-founder Kim Jordan says she’s ‘always loved Fat Tire.’ Once folded over, a Fat Tire bottle with the signature bike on the label appears. They will roll out the Mad Magazine style ad in a bunch of publications including Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Dwell and Wired. There’s also a digital ad that will pop up online and on Wired’s ipad version. Now if we could just get New Belgium’s beers distributed in NYC.
Great article in the Times on how the Knicks recent blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony puts additional pressure on the superstar to do what no other native New Yorker, aside from Bernard King has ever really done. Electrify the crowd and win a title in the Garden. Personally, I feel like it’s a great deal for the Knicks. It makes them relevant again. It gives them two bona fide superstars maybe for the first time ever. It makes them contenders. Yes, maybe not this year, but certainly in the future as they acquire other star players(and role players) to give Anthony and Amare Stoudamire a championship supporting cast. I like they players they gave up for Anthony, but think they can put together a better team in the future.
Interesting article about how some government grants and industrial business zoning helped the expansion of the Brooklyn Brewery. It’s pretty amazing that they’ve been able to expand the way they have. All their new equipment should help them to increase its brewing capacity tenfold, moving its annual production to more than $50 million and creating new jobs in the area. Kudos to the Brooklyn Brewery and their continued success. This other article points out how there’s been some backlash against the brewery in recent years, with bars in the Williamsburg area not even carrying the beer anymore and going with other local breweries. Times have changed, as has the way you can find good beer in a lot more places now, just means there’s going to be more variety and more option. Hopefully the expansion means Brooklyn Brewery gets down to making more of their reserve and limited run beers, which are almost always stellar.
Telekinesis – Car Crash
Great new record from Michael Learner, aka Telekinesis. His previous record, 2009’s selt titled debut, was one of my favorite of the year. The singer songwriter wrote most of it last winter in Berlin and he plays all the instruments. Along with producer, Chris Walla who recorded the whole thing old-school via analog, made a fantastic sophomore album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines. Really love the song above and the record is just full of jangly, sugary indie pop songs.