Friday, April 25, 2008

(Not so) Breaking News.

I have a job. I will be helping Jerry Traunfeld open Poppy. After 5 years of bussing it out across the lake I am rather elated to be able to walk from my front door to my workplace in, what? 5-7 minutes max at a leisurely stroll. What decadence.

In other news, Harry and I just got back from a mini trip to the Pais Vasco/Pays Basque.

We went to Bilbao and San Sebasti√°n. The Guggenheim was pretty amazing. In the ground floor gallery, which is giant, there are 7 or 8 Richard Serra sculptures similar to 'Wake' at the Olympic Sculpture Garden in Seattle. Many of them are these spiral forms that you can walk into. The oxidized walls completely tower over you and as you walk around and around getting closer to the center the walls alternate from leaning out to sloping in. Solemn, claustrophobic and joyful. You find yourself leaning as you walk, like in a fun house. I felt immense pleasure from the whole experience. I was giggling like a little kid. There was a certain feeling of accomplishment and peaceful elation when one arrived at the center of each sculpture. Great, great work.

I also have a new favorite restaurant. As in all time favorite in the universe. Harry and I had made plans to eat at the Guggenheim restaurant. I read they were serving some amazing food. Indeed they were. I was absolutely floored. Our first course of white aspargus came with a broth that was so intensely floral, with notes of bitter herbs and citrus. It was sort of like perfume, but very palatable and pleasurable. Alongside, they served the peel fried as a tempura, which appealed to my sensibilites of serving the whole beast. It was so simple and so effing good, a complete surprise that they had packed so much flavor in such a seemingly spare dish.

Every other dish was likewise stunning, apart from a pasta that we sent back twice for being undercooked (something I have never done, was semi-mortified by, but got over) though it was marvelously sauced. Everything was so delightful that midway through the meal I looked at Harry and said that we had to make reservations for lunch the next day immediately, something I haven't done since the first time that we went to Lumiere, back when I was just a wee thing. Also, Richard Serra (yes, he of the awesome metal sculptures) was dining with the director of the museum right next to us, which was pretty heart-fluttery:

Let's see, pintxos were total fun also. Just grabbing what looked good at the time, or ordering things that sounded tast-ay.

Bilbao seems to really shut down early (after 11 everyone disappears and the metal shutters start to roll down over the entrances to bars and restaurants) which is very odd coming from Andalucía where often people don't even sit down for dinner until 11pm. The second night in Bilbao we ended up in a little pintxo bar that as it turned out was a clandestine homo-bar. They started playing some rocking 80s Spanish New Wave and cute boys were getting touchy feely. We asked the bartenders for a good place for a nightcap once we sensed that they were about to close. At first they looked somewhat evasive. Then the bartender asked what kind of music we liked. I said 'everything' at the same time that Harry pointed up at the speaker and said 'this.' Then he added, maybe something 'ambientoso' which means with (homo-) ambiance. Then she totally transformed and was all smiley. She took us out to the street and gave us directions to this fun little dyke bar called 'La Marina' filled with ladies and their puppies. It was a riot, they played mass ABBA and also a little La Lupe. During that hour and a half I nearly believed in intelligent design.

What else? We saw a bullfight here in Granada. More on that later. Probably.

Also, this appeared to me on a concrete bench at the Guggenheim. It will soon be on a blazer:

1 comment:

kitchenmage said...

So what's the state of Poppy, anyway? I was looking for a fresh reference today (and a link for a post) and this is the most recent thing on the web about it. I'm going through serious Traunfeld withdrawal and have special occasions coming up.