Thursday, December 10, 2009

Liz Hickok's Holiday Open Studio

If you've ever seen Vertigo...

...then you would see how Liz Hickok's Mission Delores would fit in just nicely. Hitch and Saul Bass would heartily approve. Hey, Liz is having a show and she says-

Hello Friends,

I'd like to invite you to my Holiday Open Studio event happening in San Francisco this Sunday, Dec 13th. It would be great if you could come by to see my two new Mission District (in Jell-O) photos, as well as some work from my recent residency at MASS MoCA.

In addition to drinks, tasty snacks, and music, I will also have a brand new Jell-O sculpture in progress. Come get a sneak preview. Please feel free to invite friends, family, and colleagues.

If you won’t be in the area, you might be interested in one of my current or upcoming exhibitions happening across the country. I’ve included the information below, and on my website. Or email me for more information.

Holiday Open Studio:
Sunday December 13th, from 2 to 7pm1890 Bryant St. Studio #211 (at Mariposa St.)San Francisco, CA 94110

Current Show:
I am in a group show called You Art What You Eat at MASS MoCA, an amazing museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. It will be open through the Spring. I also had a week-long residency there this past October, working with second graders. I’ll be posting the photos from their projects in the next week or so.

Three upcoming shows:

-There's No Place Like Here, Tower Gallery at SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY, January 27–February 26, 2010 (Opening reception: January 26)

-Off the Map, Kirkland Art Center, Kirkland, WA, February 2010 (Opening reception: February 11)

-Discoveries of the Meeting Place, FotoFest, Houston, TX, March 2010

Best wishes and happy holidays!

Liz Hickok

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top Chef, WTF?

So let's see, her chevre mousse with honey mushrooms, braised radishes, and basil was just a little to salty for the gals. Tom and Michael Chiarello weren't complaining during the serving.

Besides, she didn't serve a pregnant woman an undercooked egg (uh, Mike Voltaggio) and she had duckiness going for her.

She has duckiness.

Forget them, Jen, you're my Top Chef.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Uh, would you drink that?

Would you drink an ale named "Pliny The Elder?"

Sure, maybe, I don't know. I do have some reservations with the brew I saw sitting next to it...

...I mean, "Blind Pig?" It is probably a tasty ale, but I can't help but think of people getting blind off of bathtub gin during Prohibition.

Enough of that, here is Weird Al with "The Beer Song."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How neglected is this blog?

How neglected is this blog? It is definitely the red-headed stepchild of my bunch.

As I have said before, I have a bunch of Las Vegas pics that I still have to upload to this blog, and I probably won't get to them until Christmas break. Speaking of Christmas, all traveling monies will be diverted to the Xmas fund this year, so I don't forsee another travel post until 2010.

What does that leave? Well, look at the photo below...

...I am stoked over the new Sherlock Holmes film...or at least the I am jazzed about the trailer. I hope that Guy Ritchie is back to making quality films and Robert Downey Jr. has been outstanding in most of his movies, lately. Yet, I can't help questioning this particular tie-in.

I mean, when I think of the Great Detective, I think about his deerstalker cap, the pipe, his brilliant skills of observation and ratiocination.

Yet, somehow taquitos never seem to enter the picture when it comes to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite character. I don't know, maybe it's me and I do need "to get a clue."

And hey, here is another advantage to living in San Francisco...we have bacon potato chips.

No, not bacon and potato chips, bacon potato chips. Potato chips with bacon in them. Sweet!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Vegas Vacation Part III

So Downtown Las Vegas used to be the place before The Strip was created and it has been a stepchild ever since The Strip hit its stride. I guess around '95 or so the powers that be decided that Downtown needed a makeover and a face lift. So they created the Fremont Street Experience by enclosing Fremont St. with a roof that doubled as a giant video screen.

Speaking of "experiences," this band did Jimi Hendrix covers in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. While the guitarist sounded more like a Hendrix-disciple in terms of style, ala Ray Vaughn or Trower, the band was tight and did Hendrix proud.

The Teen still isn't technically a teen, because he couldn't handle the music's volume. I loved the band, though besides the volume, we couldn't stay and watch because we were there to eat. Downtown is cheaper than The Strip overall, in terms of pricing.

Dude, Tony Roma's time! Not the greatest, but it is still a good solid chain food that you know won't let you down. Be forewarned though, the restaurants in this casino share their bathrooms! Now mind you, we were seated quickly, but I timed my bladder out for the bathroom to be nearer than it was and it was a real adventure trying to cut back through the crowd to get to the restroom.

Here is the Cowboy that you have seen in "Crime Story," "Honey, I Blew Up The Baby," Miller Genuine Draft ads, and so many others.

I have literally dozens more pics, but I keep putting off uploading them. When I get around to my next series of vacation pics, you will see a mall that is unlike any other...think Francis Ford Coppola's take on Casablanca. The city, not the film.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Seafood and seals at Half Moon Bay

So The Missus wanted out of the house and out of town, what could I do? I thought let's go down the coast, but not too far. I Googled restaurants in Half Moon Bay and I picked the Princeton Seafood Company.

It was a quick drive once we got past 19th Avenue traffic and one right lane bandit determined that we should all enter the freeway at 40 mph.

When got to Half Moon Bay, what did we see?

A boat beached in the harbor.

Here's a little closer look at it. I don't know why they haven't removed it yet. Maybe the whole operation would probably be too expensive.

Here's another picture of the harbor. I don't know what's up with that warped picture effect, I guess my smart phone moves in mysterious ways, Bono.

This was just outside the Princeton Seafood Company on such a beautiful evening. Not too cold, which is rare for Half Moon Bay and there was no wind, which was even more rare. They serve good food, not great, but not as bad as some other restaurants that like to take advantage of people who show up for a beautiful view.

This sign says, "Dear Parents, All unattended children will be given a double espresso and a free puppy. The Management."

Is this from the prow of the "S.S. Milkmaid?" This cleavage looks bigger in the pic than it actually is, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any eating done. They make a really big crab Louie salad, Elaine Benes.

This fella is just outside the restaurant.

It was still warm when we got outside. The pelicans were getting the last of their fishing in as we walked down the pier. It was too dark to get a good shot of the lighthouse and the break, so I'll have to do that another time.
This boat didn't have a roof and these two guys were working on it.

Whatever he was sawing or sanding provided a nice fireworks-like show. The sparks drew the attention of a pod of seals. Once they correctly surmised that there wasn't any food to be had, they caroused around under the pier. Half Moon Bay is a much nicer alternative to a staycation, when the weather permits.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Vegas Vacation Part II

Well, it's good thing that there are so many things to do and see in Vegas, because walking will do you a bit of good after the buffets. I went in a fairly decent in-shape middle aged man and came out looking five and half months pregnant.

Avast, ye blog readers, heave to! A lot has changed in the fifteen years since The Missus and meself set foot in Vegas. The last time we were here, fifty mile an hour winds prevented the pirate show from going on at Treasure Island...

...needless to say, this isn't your parent's pirate show. Gone are the days where they had sword fights, muskets and one ship rammed into the other. Or at least that was the way the old show was described to me. I realize that everything has to change to attract a new audience, though the show I had described was not the show that my thirteen year-old saw.

The wind cries...who? The statue (is that what it's called? on the prow of The Siren's ship should be your first clue that once again, this is not your parent's pirate show.

This is your other clue that the show has changed. The major casinos had custom chopper with a theme to it. This one is for the "Sirens of Treasure Island," which is what the new show is called.

None of the custom choppers are street-legal. If you rode on one, at the first pothole or speed bump, the drive chain would rips the seat of your pants off...along with your seat and maybe your spine.

Sorry, my cell phone camera doesn't have zoom and this is the one time I wish it had a telephoto lens. Yet I guess their "siren song" can't be too effective, if they need those costumes. I didn't bother taking a picture of the pirates, though you could have had a good laugh at the one that was done up like parrot. Everyone lip-syncs their routine, which is understandable because you don't want to mike people with water and explosions involved. What I really, really could have done without was the dancing pirates.

So much for the "S.S. Dancing Pirate." The Sirens song that they used to sink it, was a combination "Don't Pay The Ferryman" and "The Immigrant Song." It not only sunk the pirate ship, it sunk my stomach too with its mediocrity.

Don't get me wrong, the women were pretty. I just prefer my pron...hardcore and with no dancing in it. I'm not a fan of soft-core reviews, though I understand they are Nevada's bread and butter. Yet I am not a fan of mixed genres and this was as mixed-up as tourist ralphing up his buffet after three too many drinks.

Either run a competent soft-core review or have a real action show, but don't make us stand around for thirty minutes, for a bad Britney Spears' video.

The rear view of the Sirens' ship and, uh, a pearl in a scallop shell?

This shot was from a pedestrian bridge, though you can't tell. The traffic around the strip was horrid.

This part of a monster mall that they have there, is it called "Fashion Island?" Hell if I can remember, I just like this pancake umbrella dome. Ah, the pic says "Fashion Show," let's go with that.

Looking out from The Pancake Umbrella Dome.

The vid screens there.

The next post will feature Downtown and "The Fremont Street Experience."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Vegas Vacation Part I

And so it begins, "they're going to Lost Wages, Lost Wages." We flew Virgin America to Las Vegas and to borrow the slogan of a defunct airline, it's "the only way to fly!"

How do you guarantee a smooth flight?

With Le Tourment Vert, my first foray with absinthe. Even though I've seen "Bram Stoker's Dracula" at least three times, I forgot to add sugar to this stuff (you're supposed to filter it through a sugar cube and no, not Bjork. An actual sugar cube).

Still, the resulting buzz was outstanding and I recommend you try this when you fly, as it will make all but the worst turbulence a wonderful experience. You might need it, as the ride into Vegas can get bumpy. It wasn't the worst for me, yet a couple of people looked a little pale.

I had some unintentional fun when I remarked to The Missus "throw this away, Grumpy Bunny," just as the flight attendant walked by. Not that I call The Missus that odd term of endearment at all, I just said that to get a rise out of her, and I wound up getting rise out of the stewardess instead.

The outside of the Luxor hasn't changed at all and unfortunately, the interior has changed for the worse in one aspect; gone is the underground canal and barge, which was the basically the reason we came there in the first place.

Mind you, The Luxor is still's just that the canal made it better. I believe that when they opened The Venetian, that Vegas decided there was room for only one canal.

Do you remember cars in front of Ellis Island, because I sure don't.

A roller coaster winds all the way around the grounds of New York, New York. The Sahara has one that goes around the property too.

No, this picture is slightly different from the one two pictures above it.

Here is the bridge to New York, New York. The two advantages of the casino over the real version is the cleanliness versus the real thing, and cars/taxis can't run you over. Over course, it doesn't have the soul of the city, the affordable restaurants, the diversity of the various cuisines, and you can't go to dinner with Becky at the casino.

No Francis Albert, this lady blows on her own dice.

Above is the casino's version of Times Square.

This version of Greenwich Village is anywhere from one-third to one-half scale.

The door behind the table should give you an idea of the scale of this section. If you stood up, the door is about six feet tall, tops. The Missus said it best when she called the whole thing "ersatz" and that's what it is, it is just a version of the real thing that is alluring enough to draw you in. No more, no less, and it is devoid of the character and soul of the actual thing.

Have you ever seen the Greenwich Village this clean? This sterile?

As hard as you try, you will never be able to take a picture in any lighted area of Las Vegas without someone stepping into the shot, even at 4 AM.

Da Brooklyn Bridge.

This statue and the namesake of The Diabla Cantina, seems to be Coop-inspired.

The Cantina had Steely Dan going and the Monte Carlo Casino that the Cantina is adjacent to, was playing noxious disposable pop. When you walk between the two, it feels as if your brain is on fire.

A side entrance to the Monte Carlo Casino and this angle of the statue on the left seems more saucy than it is.

Don't you love Paris in the springtime? Well Jacques, this is Paris Casino in August and it's hot as b--ls, so, I'd imagine not!

Note the mini-Arc De Triomphe on the right.