Saturday, September 26, 2009

le cool in the Guardian - again

they love us...

Le Cool is a series of city guides that started life in 2003 as a weekly email magazine in Barcelona, offering a calendar to the city's cultural life for the week ahead. Now they serve eight cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Moscow – with the impeccable taste suggested by the title. The weekly email for London, for example, offers an alert for events coming up the following week, covering gigs, exhibitions, pop-up shops, films, parties, events, sports, bars and, er, pub quizzes. The London guide is edited by Mat Osman, former bassist of Britpop band Suede, who says: "It's for people who love the city. People who love scooter shops that turn into coffee shops, and flats with aeroplane wings through them, and manga libraries, and doll's house furniture shops, and bubble-and-squeak stalls, and hairdressers-cum-art galleries-cum-nightclubs, and rollergirls, and so on and so on . . ."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"You're a good kid"

Checked out The Hurt Locker last night as the impromptu answer to a planless Monday night. I was really impressed, though not sure it warranted the five stars that the Times gave it.

Set in modern-day Baghdad, the film follows a crew of American Army EODs as they traipse around the perilous metropolis taking down bombs hidden in debris, cars and even dead bodies.

Multiple cameras were used in hopes of capturing a certain realism while shooting in Jordan. With cinematography by Barry Ackroyd (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) and a pack of Iraqi refugees and feline amputees as extras, it did feel like you were in the midst of wartime Iraq (not that I know what that’s like).

Not-so-familiar actors Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty put on excellent performances portraying the range of egos, emotions and madness prevalent among soldiers in a modern war. Unfortunately director, Kathryn Bigelow, couldn’t let go the Point Break-style American cringe moments, which I think brought the entire piece down a level. Still very much worth a peek.

Fried rice balls and salty pig meat

Last week I visited Terence Conran's Blueprint Cafe with my mom. The view would have been beautiful, had it not been pouring rain and dark as the eatery sits atop the Design Museum in SE1 with windows overlooking the Thames. The chef, Jeremy Lee has been up in this spot for 15 years and changes the menu with each sitting. Pretty impressive. But I’m not a fan of the‘modern British cuisine’ epidemic currently plaguing London. Modern British cuisine seems to mean, traditional bland recipes cooked with local and organic products.

Don’t get me wrong, they had some nice things on this menu. We definitely enjoyed the suppli, which were amazing little fried risotto cakes stuffed with cheese and a watercress and spinach soup. I ordered salt pork for the main, which was interesting - coupled with tiny parsnips it wasn't as fatty as one might expect. Our evening concluded with a highly indulgent almond cake (recommended), vanilla cheesecake (no) and some posh c-nut demanding that the staff make her taxi appear NOW. Ew. I would recommend checking it during the day for lunch after a wander through the galleries.