April 17, 2013

More photos from the Duck Tape store, surely the most exciting shopping event in Midtown since JCPenney’s opened in 2009 (read the NYT’s excitingly bitchy review about that).

Sure, this is just a pop up store (it closes down on the 28th) and everything is overpriced. But I’ll be able to tell my grandkids, after the Great E-Depression of 2025 has decimated the entire concept of brick-and-mortar shopping, how we used to have stores just for duck tape, and I won’t even be lying.


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Filed under: NYC Manhattan awesome duck tape 
December 11, 2012
The Dirt Candy Cookbook is a collaboration between Dirt Candy’s chef-owner Amanda Cohen, Brooklyn artist Ryan Dunlavey, and Cohen’s husband, journalist Grady Hendrix.



I admit I wouldn’t have bought the Dirt Candy Cookbook if it weren’t a graphic novel. I don’t normally buy cookbooks and especially wouldn’t buy a vegetarian cookbook. Because I’m so used to having meat in all of my meals, I’ve never even gone to Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen’s tiny East Village vegetable restaurant, because every time I walk past I realize it’s only a block away from bacon-wrapped chili hot dogs at Crif Dogs.

Despite all these things I have against it, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is the best cookbook I’ve ever read.

Of course, that might not mean anything since I almost never read cookbooks. But in terms of pure value, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is an automatic easy Christmas gift: $20 for an illustrated 224-page creative work, signed by Cohen, and with free shipping. I challenge you to find any boutique brand in New York that offers such a generous deal.

During dinner, I stopped in Dirt Candy just to buy a couple books for gifts and the restaurant’s 18-seats were already filled. But Cohen was nice enough to take the time to come out and sign both books. In one of them, she wrote “Vegetables are your friends!”, which is just the kind of cutesy, lovey-dovey message you’d expect from someone who doesn’t chop up cows for a living.

But Cohen’s philosophy on vegetables is not at all wimpy. I’d even call it militant, except “militant vegetarian” brings to mind someone who blows up farms to save the animals. On the contrary, in her cookbook, Cohen makes no moral stance about meat-eating. Her aggressive opinion is this: Why eat meat when you can eat much better-tasting vegetables?

Cohen believes vegetables can compete with meat if they’re treated with the same kind of fatty decadence. She claims to have had an epiphany when Julia Childs visited her in a dream one night: “You have to use more salt. More butter. More fat. More spice. More vinegar. More wine. More sugar. More flavor. More! MORE! MORE!”

(In other words, if Mayor Bloomberg were to start targeting vegetarian restaurants as part of his health crusade, Cohen’s Dirt Candy would be the first to be shut down.)



Here’s a sample of her Cohen’s repertoire: Kimchi Doughnuts, Grilled Cheese Croutons (“superior to regular croutons in every way”), Maple Asparagus Paella, Celery Pesto, Smoked Maple Butternut Squash (which Cohen claims is the best vegetarian bacon substitute), Pear and Beet Leather, Portobello Mousse, and Broccoli Ice Cream.

(Cohen competed on Iron Chef in a broccoli cookoff. Cohen says she knew things would be bad when one of the judges remarked how she liked her broccoli “nude”; Dirt Candy “doesn’t do nude,” Cohen later blogged, “if she wants “nude” vegetables I suggest she go to a strip club.”)

I can’t vouch for any of Cohen’s recipes since I haven’t eaten or tried them. I do like her philosophy of breaking down her complex dishes into modular recipes, which can be cooked separately or left out as your skill and time permits. It’s an approach to cooking that seems non-traditional but appeals to non-traditional cookbook readers like me.

There’s actually a lot about the Dirt Candy cookbook that makes it great for me but maybe not so great for regular cookbook readers. For example, in true graphic novel form, there are no color photographs of what the food should actually look like, which is a huge departure from modern cookbooks (and virtually every food-related blog). On the other hand, the illustrations by Brooklyn cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey pack a lot of educational value. I’m sort of a geek for creative teaching methods, and so I love how the Dirt Candy cookbook goes beyond the traditional ingredient listing and paragraph-form narrative with the use of pullout quotes and diagrams to catch the eye as you browse the page.



Another reason Dirt Candy may not be a good cookbook: large sections of it are not cookbook at all, but are devoted to a surprisingly personal memoir of how Cohen struggled to open and keep Dirt Candy running, even as it’s become a star darling today. She goes into detail about her fights with contractors ($400,000 just to open the restaurant), the actual cost of a salad’s ingredients ($2.10), the injuries she’s sustained (“scar from spilling one gallon of boiling soup down pants”), and even her occasional doubts about whether all the stress is worth it (“Maybe we need our delusions. Maybe they’re what gets us through the tough times.”)

These biographical sections have no informational value in terms of food recipes. But they end up being just as compelling as the food. The novelty of the cookbook-as-graphic-novel is reason enough to check out Cohen’s cookbook. But it turns out to be the right kind of gimmick for Cohen’s ideas and philosophy, the way that a entree’s visual preparation enhances its actual substance and flavor.



If you want to sample more of Cohen’s perspective before buying her book, check out her blog. It’s not just a well-written restauranteur blog, it’s a well-written blog, period, perhaps one of the most consistently maintained restauranteur blogs that isn’t filled with smarmy self-promotional writing. Instead of just patting herself on the back for a recent rave review in the New York Times, Cohen remarks how unsettling it is that the reviewer managed to sneak into her tiny restaurant – at least three times – without her noticing.

And this is how she handled her first mainstream review:


  We just got our first mainstream print review in the New Yorker’s “Tables for Two” section in the front of the magazine. My husband got written up in the New Yorker a few years ago in which they wrote, “Grady Hendrix…doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would enjoy watching a man bite through his arm while masturbating inside a burlap sack, but he is.” After having my husband called out as a demented pervert (which he is, but still…) in the New Yorker I knew the stakes were high and I prepared myself accordingly, instantly purging Dirt Candy of all burlap sacks and banning my employees from any masturbating – either inside a sack or otherwise – while on the premises.


On that note, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is one of the most genius things I’ve read all year, a visually-creative work that makes both a convincing case for vegetables (plus butter plus deep fryers plus whipped cream) and for trying to live the dream (or delusion) in New York.

Note: Apparently the cookbook is sold out on Cohen’s online shop. Amazon has a few copies (probably unsigned) and there’s an ebook version.

If you’re in the NYC area, I noticed that the MoMA Design Store (at least the one in SoHo) had a few copies. You could probably buy one and walk over to Dirt Candy to get it signed by Cohen…I don’t think she’ll cut you just for interrupting the dinner hour.

Edit: Cohen announced she will be at the Union Square Greenmarket signing copies of her book (Dec. 15)…probably the last chance to get the book signed before the holidays.

The Dirt Candy Cookbook is a collaboration between Dirt Candy’s chef-owner Amanda Cohen, Brooklyn artist Ryan Dunlavey, and Cohen’s husband, journalist Grady Hendrix.

I admit I wouldn’t have bought the Dirt Candy Cookbook if it weren’t a graphic novel. I don’t normally buy cookbooks and especially wouldn’t buy a vegetarian cookbook. Because I’m so used to having meat in all of my meals, I’ve never even gone to Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen’s tiny East Village vegetable restaurant, because every time I walk past I realize it’s only a block away from bacon-wrapped chili hot dogs at Crif Dogs.

Despite all these things I have against it, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is the best cookbook I’ve ever read.

Of course, that might not mean anything since I almost never read cookbooks. But in terms of pure value, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is an automatic easy Christmas gift: $20 for an illustrated 224-page creative work, signed by Cohen, and with free shipping. I challenge you to find any boutique brand in New York that offers such a generous deal.

During dinner, I stopped in Dirt Candy just to buy a couple books for gifts and the restaurant’s 18-seats were already filled. But Cohen was nice enough to take the time to come out and sign both books. In one of them, she wrote “Vegetables are your friends!”, which is just the kind of cutesy, lovey-dovey message you’d expect from someone who doesn’t chop up cows for a living.

But Cohen’s philosophy on vegetables is not at all wimpy. I’d even call it militant, except “militant vegetarian” brings to mind someone who blows up farms to save the animals. On the contrary, in her cookbook, Cohen makes no moral stance about meat-eating. Her aggressive opinion is this: Why eat meat when you can eat much better-tasting vegetables?

Cohen believes vegetables can compete with meat if they’re treated with the same kind of fatty decadence. She claims to have had an epiphany when Julia Childs visited her in a dream one night: “You have to use more salt. More butter. More fat. More spice. More vinegar. More wine. More sugar. More flavor. More! MORE! MORE!”

(In other words, if Mayor Bloomberg were to start targeting vegetarian restaurants as part of his health crusade, Cohen’s Dirt Candy would be the first to be shut down.)

Here’s a sample of her Cohen’s repertoire: Kimchi Doughnuts, Grilled Cheese Croutons (“superior to regular croutons in every way”), Maple Asparagus Paella, Celery Pesto, Smoked Maple Butternut Squash (which Cohen claims is the best vegetarian bacon substitute), Pear and Beet Leather, Portobello Mousse, and Broccoli Ice Cream.

(Cohen competed on Iron Chef in a broccoli cookoff. Cohen says she knew things would be bad when one of the judges remarked how she liked her broccoli “nude”; Dirt Candy “doesn’t do nude,” Cohen later blogged, “if she wants “nude” vegetables I suggest she go to a strip club.”)

I can’t vouch for any of Cohen’s recipes since I haven’t eaten or tried them. I do like her philosophy of breaking down her complex dishes into modular recipes, which can be cooked separately or left out as your skill and time permits. It’s an approach to cooking that seems non-traditional but appeals to non-traditional cookbook readers like me.

There’s actually a lot about the Dirt Candy cookbook that makes it great for me but maybe not so great for regular cookbook readers. For example, in true graphic novel form, there are no color photographs of what the food should actually look like, which is a huge departure from modern cookbooks (and virtually every food-related blog). On the other hand, the illustrations by Brooklyn cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey pack a lot of educational value. I’m sort of a geek for creative teaching methods, and so I love how the Dirt Candy cookbook goes beyond the traditional ingredient listing and paragraph-form narrative with the use of pullout quotes and diagrams to catch the eye as you browse the page.

Another reason Dirt Candy may not be a good cookbook: large sections of it are not cookbook at all, but are devoted to a surprisingly personal memoir of how Cohen struggled to open and keep Dirt Candy running, even as it’s become a star darling today. She goes into detail about her fights with contractors ($400,000 just to open the restaurant), the actual cost of a salad’s ingredients ($2.10), the injuries she’s sustained (“scar from spilling one gallon of boiling soup down pants”), and even her occasional doubts about whether all the stress is worth it (“Maybe we need our delusions. Maybe they’re what gets us through the tough times.”)

These biographical sections have no informational value in terms of food recipes. But they end up being just as compelling as the food. The novelty of the cookbook-as-graphic-novel is reason enough to check out Cohen’s cookbook. But it turns out to be the right kind of gimmick for Cohen’s ideas and philosophy, the way that a entree’s visual preparation enhances its actual substance and flavor.

If you want to sample more of Cohen’s perspective before buying her book, check out her blog. It’s not just a well-written restauranteur blog, it’s a well-written blog, period, perhaps one of the most consistently maintained restauranteur blogs that isn’t filled with smarmy self-promotional writing. Instead of just patting herself on the back for a recent rave review in the New York Times, Cohen remarks how unsettling it is that the reviewer managed to sneak into her tiny restaurant – at least three times – without her noticing.

And this is how she handled her first mainstream review:

We just got our first mainstream print review in the New Yorker’s “Tables for Two” section in the front of the magazine. My husband got written up in the New Yorker a few years ago in which they wrote, “Grady Hendrix…doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would enjoy watching a man bite through his arm while masturbating inside a burlap sack, but he is.” After having my husband called out as a demented pervert (which he is, but still…) in the New Yorker I knew the stakes were high and I prepared myself accordingly, instantly purging Dirt Candy of all burlap sacks and banning my employees from any masturbating – either inside a sack or otherwise – while on the premises.

On that note, the Dirt Candy Cookbook is one of the most genius things I’ve read all year, a visually-creative work that makes both a convincing case for vegetables (plus butter plus deep fryers plus whipped cream) and for trying to live the dream (or delusion) in New York.

Note: Apparently the cookbook is sold out on Cohen’s online shop. Amazon has a few copies (probably unsigned) and there’s an ebook version.

If you’re in the NYC area, I noticed that the MoMA Design Store (at least the one in SoHo) had a few copies. You could probably buy one and walk over to Dirt Candy to get it signed by Cohen…I don’t think she’ll cut you just for interrupting the dinner hour.

Edit: Cohen announced she will be at the Union Square Greenmarket signing copies of her book (Dec. 15)…probably the last chance to get the book signed before the holidays.

(Source: Flickr / zokuga)

8:10am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yZ7m4lF
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September 25, 2012
My new second favorite crazy-combo store in New York: Ame Ame in the East Village, which specializes in foreign candies and quality rain gear. The word ame apparently means ‘candy’ and ‘rain’ in Japanese.
I liked this statement from the store’s owner, Teresa Soroka, to the The Local East Village blog:

“I want to put an end to those disposable, cheap, ugly black umbrellas,” said owner Teresa Soroka, 30, who opened the store on Nov. 16. “They’re bad for the environment, and in a fashionable city they’re a disgrace.”

The candy selection is pretty impressive and contains a bunch of things I’d never seen before. Ame Ame also has umbrellas more compact than I’ve ever seen, though it’s hard to beat the MoMA umbrella in awesomeness.
(my favorite combo store in NYC is, of course, Banh Mi Saigon: which offers the best Vietnamese sandwiches and a selection of jewelry while you wait)

My new second favorite crazy-combo store in New York: Ame Ame in the East Village, which specializes in foreign candies and quality rain gear. The word ame apparently means ‘candy’ and ‘rain’ in Japanese.

I liked this statement from the store’s owner, Teresa Soroka, to the The Local East Village blog:

“I want to put an end to those disposable, cheap, ugly black umbrellas,” said owner Teresa Soroka, 30, who opened the store on Nov. 16. “They’re bad for the environment, and in a fashionable city they’re a disgrace.”

The candy selection is pretty impressive and contains a bunch of things I’d never seen before. Ame Ame also has umbrellas more compact than I’ve ever seen, though it’s hard to beat the MoMA umbrella in awesomeness.

(my favorite combo store in NYC is, of course, Banh Mi Saigon: which offers the best Vietnamese sandwiches and a selection of jewelry while you wait)

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August 29, 2012
Today a friend from California visited me. It was her first time in NYC and she brought a stack of rolling luggage because she was just passing on her way to Berlin. The biggest surprise to her, she said, was how nice everyone was. At pretty much every subway stop, strangers opened the emergency exits for her and offered to help carry her luggage up and down the stairs.
The legendary cold rudeness of New Yorkers makes for amusing stories and experiences but is ultimately rare in reality. That’s what I first thought of when I read this story of how Gary Gaddist, a Manhattan garbage man, combed through literal tons of garbage to find a missing wedding ring. Photo by Craig Warga for the New York Daily News.

Today a friend from California visited me. It was her first time in NYC and she brought a stack of rolling luggage because she was just passing on her way to Berlin. The biggest surprise to her, she said, was how nice everyone was. At pretty much every subway stop, strangers opened the emergency exits for her and offered to help carry her luggage up and down the stairs.

The legendary cold rudeness of New Yorkers makes for amusing stories and experiences but is ultimately rare in reality. That’s what I first thought of when I read this story of how Gary Gaddist, a Manhattan garbage man, combed through literal tons of garbage to find a missing wedding ring. Photo by Craig Warga for the New York Daily News.

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August 3, 2012
PSA: Tomorrow is the first of three Summer Streets days in Manhattan. From the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd street, Park Avenue and Lafayette Street is closed to automobiles, making them a giant roadway for runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers. This is perhaps my favorite public event in NYC. If you’re not into exercising, there’s plenty of other activities and free food to partake in. Here’s a bunch of photos I took last year.

PSA: Tomorrow is the first of three Summer Streets days in Manhattan. From the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd street, Park Avenue and Lafayette Street is closed to automobiles, making them a giant roadway for runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers. This is perhaps my favorite public event in NYC. If you’re not into exercising, there’s plenty of other activities and free food to partake in. Here’s a bunch of photos I took last year.

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May 11, 2012
Photo from when Louis was in Brooklyn last year…the best show I’ve ever been lucky enough to get tickets to.
Just got a mass-email from Louis CK (aimed at people who purchased his wildly successful $5 Beacon Theater show), announcing two more comedy show recording for the low, DRM-free price of $5. 
The email, as expected, is hilarious:
———-
Hello there. I am Louis C.K. for now. You are a person who opted into my email list, when you bought my Live at the Beacon standup special. As I promised, I have left you alone for a long time. Well, those days are over. I am writing now to let you know that I am offering some more stuff on my site, which you are more than welcome to buy. What does “More than welcome” mean? Well, it means you can totally buy this stuff. Like, totally. 

Okay so there are two new products. They are both audio comedy specials. One is called…
Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie Hall

This is about an hour long and it’s a recording of a live standup show that I did at Carnegie Hall in November of 2010 as part of a national tour I was on entitled “WORD” I’ve had a lot of requests from people to release that show as a speical or as a CD. I hadn’t done so because a lot of the material that I did on the WORD tour, was in the second season of my show “LOUIE” on FX. But I decided since it’s never been released as an entire show, and some of the material was not on my show, I’m releasing this now. I’m giving you this long and boring explaination because, as most of you know, I release about an hour or more of new standup material every year and folks can count on seeing a new show every year. This is old material, so I don’t want to be a dick and pretend it isn’t. 

Anyway, Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie hall is available for the same 5 dollars as everything will be on louisck.com. It is the same deal as before that you get 4 downloads and the file is drm free. YOu can burn it onto a CD, play it on your ipod, whatever you want. The special is broken up into separate tracks because I think that’s more fun for a comedy album, but they are all just one thing you buy all at one time. 

The second new thing is even older, actually. It’s an audio release of “Shameless”, my very first hour long standup special that I did for HBO. It was never released as an audio CD, so I asked HBO to let me offer it on this site and they agreed. They also agreed to let me offer it, the same as the rest, DRM free, for 5 dollars. Obviously I’ll be sharing the Shameless money with HBO but I think it’s pretty cool that they’re letting this be out there unprotected like this. Shameless is also 5 dollars, drm free, and you can download it a bunch of times for the price. 

Lastly, I’m offering Live at the Beacon Theater as an audio version, for those many of you who have asked for it. This is just exactly an audio version of the video special. Those of you who have already bought Live at the Beacon theater already own this. If you just return to the site louisck.com with your password, it is now live and available for you to download at no extra cost. Those of you who now buy LIve at the beacon theater for 5 dollars, will also have the audio version availbable to you. It’s simply been added to the video downloads and streams you already were getting. 

Later, I am going to make a version of Live at the Beacon theater, that is a separate audio special, which will be much longer. That will cost money. Because I’m an asshole. But that’s later.

Also later, actually soon, I’ll be putting my first feature film “Tomorrow Night’ up for sale on the site. And also other things. Soon. For now. Please feel free to click on the button below, to purchase some of the new stuff, using Paypal or Amazon payments, we now accept both. Or go to louisck.com and peruse the new items. I think we have some samples there that you can check out. 

You may have noticed that Louis CK LIve at the beacon theater is airing on the FX network. FX agreed to air it 10 times over the next few months. The version on FX is only 42 minutes long and we had to take out the fucks. The reason I chose to air the special on FX is that FX is my people. They gave me my show LOUIE (season 3 premieres on June 28th at 10:30pm) and they have never aired a standup special. So I thought it would be cool to let them air it and bring more people to the site who want to get the complete unexpurgated version. Also FX doesn’t make me cut things for content. Just the big words (fuck, etc) 

Okay. that was exhausting. Sorry. I didn’t even ask you how you are. How are you? Oh yea? Oh good. That’s great. What? Oh man. That’s tough. I’m sorry… Oh well that sounds like you handled it well, though. So. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know that’s… yeah. Well… Just remember, time will go by and that’ll just be on the list of shit that happened to you. You’ll be okay. Yeah. Huh?… Oh. Really? HE DID? Oh my GOD! hahaha!! That’s CRAZY! No. no. I won’t tell him you told me. Of course not. Alright well… uhuh? Oh wow. yeah. Alright well.. I really gotta go. Thanks for listening. I’m glad you’re basically okay. Stay in touch. 

your friend,

Louis C.K.
——
The shows are available at his site, louisck.com. If you missed the email he sent out after his huge success with independently releasing his Beacon Theater show, here it is.

Photo from when Louis was in Brooklyn last year…the best show I’ve ever been lucky enough to get tickets to.

Just got a mass-email from Louis CK (aimed at people who purchased his wildly successful $5 Beacon Theater show), announcing two more comedy show recording for the low, DRM-free price of $5. 

The email, as expected, is hilarious:

———-

Hello there. I am Louis C.K. for now. You are a person who opted into my email list, when you bought my Live at the Beacon standup special. As I promised, I have left you alone for a long time. Well, those days are over. I am writing now to let you know that I am offering some more stuff on my site, which you are more than welcome to buy. What does “More than welcome” mean? Well, it means you can totally buy this stuff. Like, totally. 

Okay so there are two new products. They are both audio comedy specials. One is called…

Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie Hall

This is about an hour long and it’s a recording of a live standup show that I did at Carnegie Hall in November of 2010 as part of a national tour I was on entitled “WORD” I’ve had a lot of requests from people to release that show as a speical or as a CD. I hadn’t done so because a lot of the material that I did on the WORD tour, was in the second season of my show “LOUIE” on FX. But I decided since it’s never been released as an entire show, and some of the material was not on my show, I’m releasing this now. I’m giving you this long and boring explaination because, as most of you know, I release about an hour or more of new standup material every year and folks can count on seeing a new show every year. This is old material, so I don’t want to be a dick and pretend it isn’t. 

Anyway, Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie hall is available for the same 5 dollars as everything will be on louisck.com. It is the same deal as before that you get 4 downloads and the file is drm free. YOu can burn it onto a CD, play it on your ipod, whatever you want. The special is broken up into separate tracks because I think that’s more fun for a comedy album, but they are all just one thing you buy all at one time. 

The second new thing is even older, actually. It’s an audio release of “Shameless”, my very first hour long standup special that I did for HBO. It was never released as an audio CD, so I asked HBO to let me offer it on this site and they agreed. They also agreed to let me offer it, the same as the rest, DRM free, for 5 dollars. Obviously I’ll be sharing the Shameless money with HBO but I think it’s pretty cool that they’re letting this be out there unprotected like this. Shameless is also 5 dollars, drm free, and you can download it a bunch of times for the price. 

Lastly, I’m offering Live at the Beacon Theater as an audio version, for those many of you who have asked for it. This is just exactly an audio version of the video special. Those of you who have already bought Live at the Beacon theater already own this. If you just return to the site louisck.com with your password, it is now live and available for you to download at no extra cost. Those of you who now buy LIve at the beacon theater for 5 dollars, will also have the audio version availbable to you. It’s simply been added to the video downloads and streams you already were getting. 

Later, I am going to make a version of Live at the Beacon theater, that is a separate audio special, which will be much longer. That will cost money. Because I’m an asshole. But that’s later.

Also later, actually soon, I’ll be putting my first feature film “Tomorrow Night’ up for sale on the site. And also other things. Soon. For now. Please feel free to click on the button below, to purchase some of the new stuff, using Paypal or Amazon payments, we now accept both. Or go to louisck.com and peruse the new items. I think we have some samples there that you can check out. 

You may have noticed that Louis CK LIve at the beacon theater is airing on the FX network. FX agreed to air it 10 times over the next few months. The version on FX is only 42 minutes long and we had to take out the fucks. The reason I chose to air the special on FX is that FX is my people. They gave me my show LOUIE (season 3 premieres on June 28th at 10:30pm) and they have never aired a standup special. So I thought it would be cool to let them air it and bring more people to the site who want to get the complete unexpurgated version. Also FX doesn’t make me cut things for content. Just the big words (fuck, etc) 

Okay. that was exhausting. Sorry. I didn’t even ask you how you are. How are you? Oh yea? Oh good. That’s great. What? Oh man. That’s tough. I’m sorry… Oh well that sounds like you handled it well, though. So. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know that’s… yeah. Well… Just remember, time will go by and that’ll just be on the list of shit that happened to you. You’ll be okay. Yeah. Huh?… Oh. Really? HE DID? Oh my GOD! hahaha!! That’s CRAZY! No. no. I won’t tell him you told me. Of course not. Alright well… uhuh? Oh wow. yeah. Alright well.. I really gotta go. Thanks for listening. I’m glad you’re basically okay. Stay in touch. 

your friend,

Louis C.K.

——

The shows are available at his site, louisck.com. If you missed the email he sent out after his huge success with independently releasing his Beacon Theater show, here it is.

10:07pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yLJYrY8
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Filed under: louis ck funny awesome comedy 
May 10, 2012
"

[Kurt Vonnegut] often said he had to be a writer because he wasn’t good at anything else.

He was not good at being an employee.

Back in the mid-1950s, he was employed by Sports Illustrated, briefly. He reported to work, was asked to write a short piece on a racehorse that had jumped over a fence and tried to run away.

Kurt stared at the blank piece of paper all morning and then typed, “The horse jumped over the fucking fence,” and walked out, self-employed again.

"

— Excerpt: Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut; Introduction by Mark Vonnegut. h/t reddit/wikipedia

12:06pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yLDzM4C
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March 31, 2012
Not only did Google give their overhead map an 8-bit rendition, they applied a surprisingly cool 8-bit-color filter to their Street View map. Here’s the Empire State Building as seen from ground level by Mario and Luigi (and Mega Man) and Kid Icarus.

Not only did Google give their overhead map an 8-bit rendition, they applied a surprisingly cool 8-bit-color filter to their Street View map. Here’s the Empire State Building as seen from ground level by Mario and Luigi (and Mega Man) and Kid Icarus.

7:35pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yItDA91
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Filed under: NYC Google awesome 8-bit 
February 27, 2012
The City Museum in St. Louis is the first attraction I’ve been to that makes NYC feel dull.
It’s an art installation housed inside and outside a former shoe factory. The best way to describe is if MoMA and Williamsburg had a love child in an post-apocalytpic industrial city where all the lawyers have been killed off.
This is how the Wall Street Journal describes it:

The City Museum, housed in 10-story brick building, shows none of the restraint or quiet typical of museums…It recycles St. Louis’ industrial past into such attractions as slides made from assembly-line rollers. Just about everything can be touched or climbed, including dozens of Mr. Cassilly’s sculptures, among them a walk-through whale on the first floor.
Despite the whiff of danger, or perhaps because of it, the City Museum is one of St. Louis’s most popular attractions. Its 700,000 annual attendance is roughly twice the population of St. Louis and dwarfs the turnout at refined destinations such as the St. Louis Art Museum.

Here’s what it looks like from the outside; yes that is a school bus hanging off of the roof and you can apparently go inside it (though it was closed for the winter):

Here are the crystalline caverns near the actual entrance of the building:

Here’s the coat-check ($1)

Your standard hipster cave art display:

Navigating the museum is like a Choose Your Own Adventure: You can take the boring walkway or crawl through the many Slinky-tunnels that snake throughout the building.

Don’t wear heels or your best leggings to the Museum:

Here’s an overhead view of some statues of the local wildlife:

What’s behind this door? A ten-story slide? Don’t mind if I do!

Here’s what the slide looks like from near the bottom. At the Bowery New Museum, everyone made a big deal when an artist installed a puny 3-story slide, even though you had to wait 2 hours to get on it. Getting to the top of the City Museum’s 10-story-slide (no elevators or escalators) weeds out the weak so there was no line. Plus, it’s ten F*CKING STORIES.

Even though there are clearly places during the journey to the slide that someone could easily topple off and die, the City Museum has several bars that serve alcohol (including PBR, of course):

For you Modern Art lovers:

Williamsburg, eat your heart out:

So this is already a pretty cool place, especially for a $12 entrance fee. But we haven’t even been outside yet. Hope you aren’t afraid of heights/claustrophobic:

We’ll be making our way up to that plane there:

Slinky tunnel time!

It’s better not to think whether or not these tunnels have been load-tested to prevent a group of heavy people bringing down the entire installation:

My friend wouldn’t follow me up here so I took a picture of this random guy:
 
The fastest way to get down is, of course, by slide:

Wheeeeeee!!!!

The evening concluded with some time in the ball pit, beaning teenagers and living out my past dodgeball glory days. Where else in America can you pummel strangers in the face without someone pulling out a knife/gun? A teenage boy even found a cell phone under all the balls and tried to find the owner.

Honestly, the best place in America. My friend described it as a “playground for adults,” but there were plenty of children running around. And though you’d think they’d be really bratty (there was no way for adults to really supervise them), it’s amazing how polite everyone of all ages was – and they serve alcohol there! Even more amazing:, I did not smell a single whiff of marijuana, even though you’d assume that’d be a popular choice of drug there (that, or LSD).
Too bad nothing like this could ever exist in a lawsuit-happy place like NYC. But if you’re ever near St. Louis, the City Museum is itself worth the drive/flight.
Read the entertaining story from the WSJ: this place is so hardcore that it’s possible to sneak into one of the exhibit areas and lose two fingers.

The City Museum in St. Louis is the first attraction I’ve been to that makes NYC feel dull.

It’s an art installation housed inside and outside a former shoe factory. The best way to describe is if MoMA and Williamsburg had a love child in an post-apocalytpic industrial city where all the lawyers have been killed off.

This is how the Wall Street Journal describes it:

The City Museum, housed in 10-story brick building, shows none of the restraint or quiet typical of museums…It recycles St. Louis’ industrial past into such attractions as slides made from assembly-line rollers. Just about everything can be touched or climbed, including dozens of Mr. Cassilly’s sculptures, among them a walk-through whale on the first floor.

Despite the whiff of danger, or perhaps because of it, the City Museum is one of St. Louis’s most popular attractions. Its 700,000 annual attendance is roughly twice the population of St. Louis and dwarfs the turnout at refined destinations such as the St. Louis Art Museum.

Here’s what it looks like from the outside; yes that is a school bus hanging off of the roof and you can apparently go inside it (though it was closed for the winter):

City Museum in St. Louis

Here are the crystalline caverns near the actual entrance of the building:

City Museum in St. Louis

Here’s the coat-check ($1)

City Museum in St. Louis

Your standard hipster cave art display:

City Museum in St. Louis

Navigating the museum is like a Choose Your Own Adventure: You can take the boring walkway or crawl through the many Slinky-tunnels that snake throughout the building.

City Museum in St. Louis

Don’t wear heels or your best leggings to the Museum:

City Museum in St. Louis

Here’s an overhead view of some statues of the local wildlife:

City Museum in St. Louis

What’s behind this door? A ten-story slide? Don’t mind if I do!

Heading up to the 10-story slide, City Museum in St. Louis

Here’s what the slide looks like from near the bottom. At the Bowery New Museum, everyone made a big deal when an artist installed a puny 3-story slide, even though you had to wait 2 hours to get on it. Getting to the top of the City Museum’s 10-story-slide (no elevators or escalators) weeds out the weak so there was no line. Plus, it’s ten F*CKING STORIES.

City Museum in St. Louis

Even though there are clearly places during the journey to the slide that someone could easily topple off and die, the City Museum has several bars that serve alcohol (including PBR, of course):

City Museum in St. Louis

For you Modern Art lovers:

World's Largest Underwear, St. Louis Modern Art Exhibit

Williamsburg, eat your heart out:

Seen at St. Louis City Museum

So this is already a pretty cool place, especially for a $12 entrance fee. But we haven’t even been outside yet. Hope you aren’t afraid of heights/claustrophobic:

City Museum in St. Louis

We’ll be making our way up to that plane there:

City Museum in St. Louis

Slinky tunnel time!

City Museum in St. Louis

It’s better not to think whether or not these tunnels have been load-tested to prevent a group of heavy people bringing down the entire installation:

City Museum in St. Louis

My friend wouldn’t follow me up here so I took a picture of this random guy:

City Museum in St. Louis City Museum in St. Louis

The fastest way to get down is, of course, by slide:

City Museum in St. Louis

Wheeeeeee!!!!

City Museum in St. Louis

The evening concluded with some time in the ball pit, beaning teenagers and living out my past dodgeball glory days. Where else in America can you pummel strangers in the face without someone pulling out a knife/gun? A teenage boy even found a cell phone under all the balls and tried to find the owner.

City Museum in St. Louis

Honestly, the best place in America. My friend described it as a “playground for adults,” but there were plenty of children running around. And though you’d think they’d be really bratty (there was no way for adults to really supervise them), it’s amazing how polite everyone of all ages was – and they serve alcohol there! Even more amazing:, I did not smell a single whiff of marijuana, even though you’d assume that’d be a popular choice of drug there (that, or LSD).

Too bad nothing like this could ever exist in a lawsuit-happy place like NYC. But if you’re ever near St. Louis, the City Museum is itself worth the drive/flight.

Read the entertaining story from the WSJ: this place is so hardcore that it’s possible to sneak into one of the exhibit areas and lose two fingers.

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February 1, 2012

Musicians Gypsy Joe Trane (@gypsyjoetrane) playing the theme to Super Mario Brothers while traveling uptown on the R. I can’t believe that no one else was as amused as I was.

This was one of the most entertaining rides I’ve had on the R. I like subway performers and these guys had the best approach I’ve seen: just stand and jam for many stops. I don’t know if they made more or less money than those who do a quick set before hopping into another car, but I gave them a few bucks for the great accompaniment. 

Thanks to Kotaku for reblogging this and giving these musicians some well-deserved (virtual) applause.

(Source: youtube.com)

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December 11, 2011
"All of us have been screwed by a cab. But all of us have been saved by one too." - from @reddit user Uncoolio, who describes how ”a cab driver who barely spoke english tracked me down, in the basement of a bar in queens, to return my wife’s lost iphone. There’s a reason we tip these guys” (r/nyc)

"All of us have been screwed by a cab. But all of us have been saved by one too." - from @reddit user Uncoolio, who describes how ”a cab driver who barely spoke english tracked me down, in the basement of a bar in queens, to return my wife’s lost iphone. There’s a reason we tip these guys” (r/nyc)

(Source: Flickr / zokuga)

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Filed under: NYC taxis cabs awesome nice New York transit 
December 9, 2011
Ice skating under the Standard Hotel/High Line Park: $12 + $3 rental fee for all you can skate until midnight, only two little kids there. Plus hot cocoa with marshmallows, whipped cream, and hard liquor. This was definitely one of my favorite holiday nights ever in NYC

Ice skating under the Standard Hotel/High Line Park: $12 + $3 rental fee for all you can skate until midnight, only two little kids there. Plus hot cocoa with marshmallows, whipped cream, and hard liquor. This was definitely one of my favorite holiday nights ever in NYC

8:58am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yD0X6Gs
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November 6, 2011
Paul Newman.
I watched “The Hustler” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” this past weekend. The latter movie I saw in high school and I remember how watered down it was from the original play. Tennessee Williams disowned the movie adaptation. I didn’t know that Newman, who was already taking a risk playing a character who is a closeted homosexual in the original play, had also expressed disapproval. Also, he served in the war and became a race car driver late in his 40s, even winning national championships. And his homemade food brand donated its $300 million in profits to charity. I liked him enough for “Cool Hand Luke” and the Newman-O’s mint oreos.
I ended up buying his book describing the origins of “Newman’s Own” for the fun of it. I blogged about some of the interesting anecdotes in which Newman, even as a famous actor, had to rough it like every startup does.
Here’s a couple of funny bits from his book, “Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good”:
His passion for salad-dressing:

Over the years, even in four-star restaurants, PL had been rejecting the house dressings and concocting his own….On one occasion, when the restaurant mistakenly served the salad with its own dressing, Paul took the salad to the men’s room, washed off the dressing, dried it with paper towels, and, after returning to the table, anointed it with his own, which he concocted with ingredients brought to him from the kitchen

And one of his first entrepreneurial businesses, when he was a poor college student:


When Paul was in college, he had demonstrated a knack for getting a business invention to fly. He was attending Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, when, to augment his dwindling GI Bill funds, he went into the laundry business. The school’s laundry company used to visit the dorms, going from room to room to pick up individual laundry; then Paul made a deal with the company for a much lower rate to pick up the laundry at one site in the town.
Paul rented an abandoned storefront in a partially developed part of Gambier…and advertised in the school paper that his laundry service would serve free beer to any customer bringing in his laundry. Figuring the cost of a keg of beer, plus rent and the laundry’s charges, against what he charged for the laundry, Paul was able to turn a profit of $80 a week, which by today’s conversion amounts to about $500.
Paul finally sold the business in his senior year to a friend of his, but as luck would have it, a month or so later one of the customers who had overimbibed the free beer put on a boxing glove, staggered out into the street, and started to masturbate a horse that was tied up there. The authorities shut down the business, busting the whole shop

Class act all the way through. Also, random fact: Newman first lived in Staten Island when moving to NYC.
BAM is screening a series of Newman’s work this month and next, including “The Hustler”

Paul Newman.

I watched “The Hustler” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” this past weekend. The latter movie I saw in high school and I remember how watered down it was from the original play. Tennessee Williams disowned the movie adaptation. I didn’t know that Newman, who was already taking a risk playing a character who is a closeted homosexual in the original play, had also expressed disapproval. Also, he served in the war and became a race car driver late in his 40s, even winning national championships. And his homemade food brand donated its $300 million in profits to charity. I liked him enough for “Cool Hand Luke” and the Newman-O’s mint oreos.

I ended up buying his book describing the origins of “Newman’s Own” for the fun of it. I blogged about some of the interesting anecdotes in which Newman, even as a famous actor, had to rough it like every startup does.

Here’s a couple of funny bits from his book, “Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good”:

His passion for salad-dressing:

Over the years, even in four-star restaurants, PL had been rejecting the house dressings and concocting his own….On one occasion, when the restaurant mistakenly served the salad with its own dressing, Paul took the salad to the men’s room, washed off the dressing, dried it with paper towels, and, after returning to the table, anointed it with his own, which he concocted with ingredients brought to him from the kitchen


And one of his first entrepreneurial businesses, when he was a poor college student:

When Paul was in college, he had demonstrated a knack for getting a business invention to fly. He was attending Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, when, to augment his dwindling GI Bill funds, he went into the laundry business. The school’s laundry company used to visit the dorms, going from room to room to pick up individual laundry; then Paul made a deal with the company for a much lower rate to pick up the laundry at one site in the town.

Paul rented an abandoned storefront in a partially developed part of Gambier…and advertised in the school paper that his laundry service would serve free beer to any customer bringing in his laundry. Figuring the cost of a keg of beer, plus rent and the laundry’s charges, against what he charged for the laundry, Paul was able to turn a profit of $80 a week, which by today’s conversion amounts to about $500.

Paul finally sold the business in his senior year to a friend of his, but as luck would have it, a month or so later one of the customers who had overimbibed the free beer put on a boxing glove, staggered out into the street, and started to masturbate a horse that was tied up there. The authorities shut down the business, busting the whole shop

Class act all the way through. Also, random fact: Newman first lived in Staten Island when moving to NYC.

BAM is screening a series of Newman’s work this month and next, including “The Hustler”

7:03pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZNFL8yBbkxeA
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October 1, 2011

Louis C.K. at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn

For those of you who couldn’t get the $10 tickets for Louis’s show because they sold out in about 1 minute on Friday, don’t feel too bad because Louis wasn’t all that great. He even brought a notepad because he wanted to try random jokes on us before using them in a real show. So you didn’t miss much.

Just kidding. Test material or not, it was the funniest show I’ve ever seen. Especially for $10. Louis also agreed to do a third show, at 11 PM (Bell House announced it at 4PM that day), to help meet the demand. A gentleman and a comic.

(Source: Flickr / zokuga)


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September 21, 2011
A cat on a leash in Central Park on Flickr.

A cat on a leash in Central Park on Flickr.

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