Thursday, March 26, 2009

News from Our friends: Joanne Mattera 's group show Geometric II

I know and apologize about all these late announcements about our friends. Joanne Mattera is currently in a group show at Gallery OneTwentyEight, titled Geometric II.

I am a great admirer of hers and her work. You should also read her blog. Since she is in New York I will have the pleasure of seeing her exhibition in person. I recommend that everyone who can, take the same opportunity.

News of Our friends: Where Do You Live? -- Soledad Salamé

I know that this is late but if you are in Baltimore you should not miss
the current exhibition by our friend Soledad Salamé at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

She is a very good friend and artist from Chile who I have known most of my life, and she is one of the first artist in my circle who dealt with issues concerning the environment. If you like experimental and critical work about our surroundings then I recommend you go see the show.

Following is the press release.

Exhibition title : Where Do You Live?

March 26 - May 10, 2009 The Reverse Ark: In the Wake

Baltimore-based artist Soledad Salamé is known for
evocative works that reflect her passion for the earth's
natural resources. In her paintings, prints, photographs
and large-scale installations, Salamé channels the energy
and beauty of water, plant, and animal life to create images
that speak of global forces on both a micro and macro

Salamé's newest work, Where Do You Live? is a dramatic
16-foot-long map of the Maryland coastline. Created using
a composite of images from Google Earth Salamé's map is
layered with elements of her extensive research on the
population, pollution, and water levels along the nearly
4,000 miles of Maryland's coast.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Metropolitan Museum of Art,1000 5th ave at 82nd streetBonnard: late interiors. Through April 19

You've got to love Bonnard! How can anyone not love Bonnard? Well Picasso didn't, but that's just something else to love about Bonnard. They both grew out of the same modernist roots, but while Picasso was creating his own style that so many subsequent artists embraced Bonnard branched out in a totally different direction that even Picasso couldn't appreciate. He was, and to some extent still is one of the most misunderstood artist of the modern era. He's considered by most to be the last of the bourgeois lyricists, and it is easy to initially see his paintings as playful decorative exercises, even "piddling" ones as Picasso said. But, if you keep looking you see how spatially conflicting and structurally complicated his images are. Complicated but never detailed, and slow but never labored. He also liberated color from subject matter in a way so radical that he has to be seen as one of the early modernists that prefigured abstraction.

One of the ways that he separated form from subject matter is that he almost never painted from life. Instead he worked from small spontaneous pencil sketches that had very little detail. Some look almost like Cy Twombly doodles. These gave him very little information to work from, thus forcing the painting to take on a life of its own. Bonnard sketched religiously, and kept a daybook with him at all times making visual notes of the things he saw. Most of those things are pretty mundane, but you'd never know from the drawings. There are a series of these day books in the exhibition that are absolute jewels.

The show focuses on his late interiors, but there are a lot of still lifes to be seen. I suppose a still life technically is an interior unless it's set up outdoors, but...whatever. Anyway, I think it's interesting because these are the same galleries that held the Morandi show a few months ago. I couldn't help but think how different Bonnard's still lives are from Morandi's in terms of pallet, composition, and general paint handling. In some ways though they're strangely similar in their intimacy, and the way they ask the viewer to slow down and navigate through the groupings of commonplace objects.

It is, however the larger more complex interiors that are the most effective and powerful. The way he combines and renders complicated objects and spaces, and transforms them into rich strokes of paint, bringing them back up to the surfaces of these larger canvases is endlessly fascinating.  A still life on a table will be set next to a figure, next to a door leading to another room. Then there will be a window leading out to a terrace, which will in turn lead to a landscape. It's like he wanted to fit as many things into the painting as he possibly could for the sheer joy of painting them, and seeing how they play off one another. I noticed something about Bonnard a few years ago. The scale of his subject matter doesn't usually grow when he paints larger paintings. He just paints more things, like he's opening the lens of a camera to include more. So, it's not the scale but the structural complexity of the image that grows with the size of the painting.

One of the last paintings in the show is "Interior Dining Room" which was finished soon before the artists death. Bonnard never had any trepidation about using color combinations that were challenging to aesthetic convention, sometimes even garish or ugly. This late work is particularly ambitious in that sense. It's a near riot of color, more so than almost anything of his I've seen. That, combined with the severe distortion of the figures and objects in the painting show that the artist never grew complacent in his old age. This is a great show of an amazing painter. Anyway, that's what I think.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kippenberger on Kippenberger -- We Have the Essay!

An Essay on Martin Kippenberger by his sister,

Susanne Kippenberger

Heimweh Highway
Vom Einfachsten nach Hause.

'Every artist is a human being.'

He was still a child when he got a house of his own, a wooden hut, hidden away in our garden and named after him: Martinsklause. His very first house. It was to be his only house.

Why he got it? Perhaps, because he was special. The only boy in amongst four girls, squeezed in between the 'big ones' and the 'little ones'. Sometimes he was put in with one lot, sometimes with the others, but didn't really belong anywhere. A boy, who wasn't a proper boy, a clown, who often wept and who preferred painting to playing with cars. 'Martin unser Künstler' [Martin our Artist] was written in big letters on the kitchen wall.

He rarely made use of Martinsklause. What could he do with a lonely hut in a wood? He never was a hermit. He longed to be with people.

The house in Essen that we grew up in was always full of people – and full of art. He was still a child the first time he left it. Sickly, not good at school, a difficult child (today's teachers would have called him hyperactive), so my parents sent him away. First to a family friend, a women who illustrated picture books and lived in the Bavarian Forest, when he was just nine. After that, to boarding school, first in the Black Forest, then in Altenkirchen. That was how his life's odyssey began. As a teenager he came back to Essen. Later he went to Otterndorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Florence Stuttgart, St. Georgen, Cologne, Paris, Los Angeles, Madrid, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Vienna, Seville, Burgenland (Austria), Greece, Cologne again . . . St. Georgen. . . Burgenland. And every time with the intention to settle in that place. 'I never managed it, but the will is still there, as it ever was', as he remarked in an interview in 1993.

And then – he arrived. In 1996 he married the photographer Elfie Semotan, with whom he also worked. She was older than him and the mother to two sons. He felt at home with her in her house in Burgenland; for him it was a place where he could be at peace, where he could work and even be alone.

At that time, he did have a house after all – a house devoted to art. The museum on Syros, of which he was the self-styled Director, is of course an absurd skeleton of a house, a concrete ruin, with no walls, no windows, no doors. He had wanted to build a tower here, near his friends Michel and Catherina Würthle, a tower for painting in and for sleeping. Now that he was with Elfie the tower was to become a proper house. The architect's plans were drawn up, but there was no time left for the construction work. A year after the wedding he was dead.

Heimweh Highway 90: That's what he called one of his catalogues, with a cover picture showing himself, as a boy, crushed into a photo booth with our father. This Heimweh – homesickness – with Martin went hand in hand with its opposite, Fernweh; longing for a home yet at the same time running away from the very idea in order to be free of all obligations, duties and constraints; a desire to find a resting place that was at odds with the uninhibited curiosity with which he threw himself at anything new; torn between having to be alone, in order to paint, and not being able to be alone; the dilemma of being recognised for what he had done yet not wanting to become public property. This was the ground bass of his life and his art, a lifelong struggle: Vom Einfachsten nach Hause was the subtitle of the catalogue Kippenberger! Abschied vom Jugendbonus! which he gave himself for thirtieth birthday.

Bitte nicht nach Hause schicken (translation missing) is the title of one of his most penetrating self-portraits. It shows him with the gaze of a refugee child that has lost its home and is begging to be taken in, a child that can never go back. Another painting, where he is seen from behind, in his underpants, going somewhere or other, bears the words 'Nicht zu Hause schlafen müssen' [Not to have to sleep at home].

'It was a form of escape', says Wiltrud Roser, the picture-book illustrator to whom he had been sent as a nine-year-old – and whom he couldn't wait to go and see. Now, this minute, or not at all. A few weeks later he returned home with the same impatient relish. Perhaps his whole life was a form of escape, but not from problems, if anything from stasis and boredom – it was always an escape to, never from. Being sent home would mean going backwards. But he wanted to make progress, to achieve something.

'To understand Kippenberger, you have to understand him as an artist who always chooses off-kilter, strange perspectives', writes Jutta Koether in her foreword to Heimweh Highway 90; 'an artist who stays in one place, lives out his vision of that place, for a limited time, before he's off again'. Only rarely, unwillingly and in some embarrassment did he ever return to a place once he had left it behind him, to Cologne, for instance, or St. Georgen. Input-Output was his own title for a series in which he drew, on hotel invoices, all the ground plans of all the homes he had lived in, going right back to his childhood. 'Son, all you do is move from one place to the next!' our mother wrote to him when he was studying art in Hamburg in the mid-1970s and kept moving from one shared flat to the next. 'If a person is to find their own field', he wrote back, 'they have to collect all sorts of life experiences. Every flat – every person that I've shared with – is a stage on that journey. If you can see that there is no room for manoeuvre, that there is no longer any chance of developing further, you just have to move out. A change is a new beginning, every time.' And, as he assured her, ultimately he did want to develop: 'It's not just a financial investment.' No input, no output.

'Happily married, two children': in the interview with Jutta Koether this is his horrifying vision of cosy domesticity, the end to one's existence as a creative artist. He was the kind who was forever exceeding limits: the limits of embarrassment and good taste, the limits normally associated with particular media and styles. And he was duly punished for that, even calling a series of sculptures Martin, into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself. But a fixed abode would have been a prison to him.

There are no simple equations to apply to Martin Kippenberger, not even in terms of his biography: life=art. People can understand his art without knowing him or his life, and it's important to avoid simplistically assuming that his art is a reflection of his life. The idea that the biographical stations of his life can be reconstructed from his drawings, for instance, is sadly misguided: Martin never slept in all the hotels whose writing paper he used for drawing on.

The connection between his life and work is more complex than that – and interesting for that very reason. Art was not a reflection of his life – it was his life. 'Wer sich dem Abgrund stellt, muss sich nicht wundern, wenn er fliegen kann' [People who face the abyss shouldn't be surprised if they can fly]
is written on one of his paintings; it shows a house on wheels, a rubbish bin as someone's home. That's how he worked, and how he lived – always on the move, always skirting along the edge of the abyss, in a mobile home, of sorts. As artists go, he was a travelling salesman, he once said. A travelling salesman is constantly travelling around, knocking on strange doors, asking to be let in; someone in the business of persuasion, selling his wares – or not – and moving on again. An exhausting life, a lonely trade – a 'one man business', as he himself once described art. As an artist he was a solo entertainer, a rep and a dep, suffering in the name of art for others, like Fred the Frog whom he nailed to the cross. And he was also Spiderman, spinning his ubiquitous webs and forming families. Long before he got to know Kafka's Amerika and the Theatre of Oklahoma he had his own travelling circus – a more or less steady circle of friends who travelled around the world with him, going to exhibition openings, spending days and nights with him in bars. People, not places, were his home.

Exciting – that's how his life of artistic excess looked from a distance to his fans. He himself found it 'desperately tiring' . . . 'a life constantly on the move, with no private life whatsoever'. And as he once said, he couldn't be cutting an ear off every day. But there were a lot of days when he did just that, leading a wild life, racing along at top speed – and always looking out for places to have a break by the wayside. Staying for a few days or weeks with friends and acquaintances, where he felt accepted and taken care of. Where he didn't have to keep up some act, where he could afford to let weaknesses show, and could hold his peace. 'Happily married, two children': when he needed to refuel he was only too glad to stay with people in steady relationships, a family, a home, never mind if it was all a bit petit-bourgeois.

Evan as a student in Hamburg he used to go once a week to see his friends Ina Barfuß and Thomas Wachweger – a long-standing couple – for a meal of cabbage roulades. He liked it when people cooked for him, because he liked being mothered. Best of all he liked children's food, simple things, like black pudding – comfort food that reminded him of his own childhood home: pasta bake and spaghetti bolognaise, the only things our mother did well, were the mainstays of his diet, reliable constants in a restless existence. And food for art. As it says on a screen print of a sieve: 'Nicht wegwerfen, kann man noch für Nudelauflauf verwenden' [Don't throw it away, it'll do for pasta bake].

Often, instead of looking for an apartment of his own, Martin would move in with other people, into a readymade nest, where he could lay his eggs undisturbed, but which he could leave again whenever he liked. 'Housemate', as he described himself on a poster – or 'squatter', as the Grässlin's granddaughter once complained. For he would make every house his own, hanging pictures up, taking others down, always wanting to take charge, giving his occupation as 'Boss' on another poster. And it was just the same with towns and cities, leaving his mark on the places he went to, taking possession of them, shaping them, influencing them – 'the Kippenbergerisation of the world' as it was known. Every relocation was also a test: How much could a place take? Could he weave a web of connections there, could he find people who wanted the same things as him – 'something better'? How much could he take himself? Art was supposed to hurt. Life hurt, too.

So he was always on the move (although he never did have a driving license), but never went on holiday. 'Martin was always on duty', says Gisela Capitain. Wahrheit ist Arbeit – Truth is Work – another of his catalogues. When he went to Brazil, he didn't lie around on the beach, he later turned everything into art that he had seen there, that he had experienced and photographed. And again he exceeded the usual limits, breaking through the pain barrier. 'I can always tell, now we're getting to the stupid minutes, now the fun will stop. You have to get through that too. That's when you have to have spent three months in Brazil!' he tells Jutta Koether in an interview. 'Not just tick off two weeks and then say afterwards, I'd had the girl from Ipanema and her sister, too, and then it all became a bit too much of an effort, so I left again and . . . talk about "poor people" – "I've seen poor people!" That's all? That can't be all! You have to have real staying power! To experience the way that the greatest of pleasure and delights can flip into the opposite, and then to stay there!!'

He often lived in hotels for days, weeks, months on end, sometimes paying for his accommodation with pieces of art, as he did at the Chelsea in Cologne, as he often exchanged art for food and drink. 'Kippi can't even butter a piece of bread', Rudolf Augstein was once heard to say. But that was only half the truth. It was also easier to have someone else butter your bread, make your bed, clean the bath; then all you had to worry about was women and art. And it's nice when someone else butters your bread and puts a piece of sausage on it: that feeling of being looked after.

Große Wohnung, nie Zuhause is the telling title of one of the pictures that makes up the trilogy Berlin bei Nacht: not at home in the living room – out in the streets life is in full swing. And even when he did for once have a large apartment of his own, as he did in Cologne, at Friesenplatz, or in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen, most of the time he was out and about. Bars, cafés, restaurants – even a bookshop – these were his living room, his office, his studio, his museum, his dining room, his salon. He didn't want to be at home on his own; bars provided him with a stage where he could make an appearance, and he could always be certain of meeting friends there. There was no distinction between his public and his private life, between life and art. 'I very clearly just sort of generally exist as a living vehicle.' And his art always involved contact with other people. The periods spent with his friend and fellow-artist Albert Oehlen, in Spain, in Austria, were amongst the happiest and most productive days of his life.

And he had a talent for being-at-home-anywhere. He would arrive somewhere – and he'd be fully there, instantly and as though it were the most natural thing in the world. He could work anywhere and in strange places he was never a stranger for long; he would already have identified his local and pub landlords and their families would take him in like a lost son. And he turned what he saw and experienced in bars into art. His home port was the Paris Bar in Berlin, owned by his friend Michel Würthle; a home, where his word mattered and which he had designed himself. On two separate occasions, a long time apart, he hung the pictures in the Paris Bar. A home for art: as was also Kippenberger's Büro, located on one floor of a factory in Berlin, where he lived in the late 1970s with Gisela Capitain and organised exhibitions and concerts. He put on his first Happening in the garden of our childhood, with live music and 150 guests.

Any form of routine was abhorrent to him; every exhibition project involved trying out something new. But he needed rituals, like drunkards need lamp posts – to hold on to. At twelve noon, 'on the absolute dot', the midday meal had to be on Mother Grässlin's table. In the afternoon he would have his nap, that was sacrosanct. At Christmas time he celebrated Christmas, with members of his own family or with elective relatives like the Grässlins in the Black Forest. And he would insist on the traditions we had known as children: turkey on Christmas Eve, a big fir tree, presents. . . He would even go to church. In fact he never left the Church. If there really was a Heaven, he wanted to get there, too. Not find himself standing outside a locked door when it came to it.

It wasn't the strange and unfamiliar, it was being alone that he was afraid of. He just couldn't stand it, someone always had to keep him company. And having a family meant you weren't alone. 'One Family – One Line' was his chosen inscription for our father's headstone, which he designed together with Hubert Kiecol. A few months after our father's death, in 1989, Martin's daughter was born, whom he named after our mother: Augusta Eleonore Helena. 'I wanted life to go on.' He had what he had been longing for, a family of his own. But he couldn't live the family life. So he moved on again.

He was an addict. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, to love, cigarettes and recognition. And the German süchtig (addicted) could hardly be closer to sehnsüchtig (filled with longing). He was both. And both come from suchen, 'to search', as he himself pointed out in his interview with Jutta Koether. 'Sucht', he declared, 'simply means searching'. Seek and ye shall find. 'I'm rejecting everything and searching for something decent.'

'Dieser Mann sucht eine Frau' [This man is looking for a wife] was the legend on a visiting-card-sized sticker with a photograph of Kippenberger and his address, which he put about all over Berlin in the 1970s. It was more than just a good joke. Many people underestimated this, didn't realize that there was always something deeply serious behind the irony. He was looking for a wife and a home, and in the end he found them. Perhaps he sensed that he was running out of time for looking. That now was the time for finding. For arriving. During the last year of his life, he was working on his last major piece, the Medusa series. Elfie photographed him in the poses that any victim of a shipwreck would adopt. He then painted himself in these attitudes. Poses between life and death, between despair and the hope of rescue. Of reaching dry land.

It wasn't enough for him to just live with Elfie, he wanted to marry her, he had to marry her, straight away. He was a romantic, a film-goer, a big fan of Hollywood. He wanted a Happy End.

The Happy End of Kafka's Amerika was his own chosen name for his masterpiece. He never actually finished the novel, he was too impatient for reading; he got someone else to tell him the story. He must have felt an affinity with Kafka's Karl: a boy whose parents sent him away from home, all alone to a strange place. A child of 16 who got the maid-servant pregnant and who never finished school. A humorous, optimistic boy, who believed in people, in their good side, and who – in the very first paragraph – discovers freedom, in the shape of the Statue of Liberty. And who soon realises how exhausting freedom is. Kafka's novel is also about going away, moving around, starting out anew tine after time – and ultimately it's also about arriving. About being allowed in. 'Everyone is welcome!' is the cry at the Theatre of Oklahoma, 'If you want to be an artist, join our company!' Again and again Karl reads this sentence: Everyone is welcome. So, he's welcome, too. Even if he is a little disappointed that he doesn't get the position he wants – he continually reminds himself that 'it was not so much a matter of the kind of work as of establishing oneself permanently somewhere'. And considering all those who had come to this theatre, Karl is all the more moved by 'how well they had been received and cared for'.

In his foreword to the book, Gespräche mit Martin Kippenberger, which accompanied the Kafka installation and with which he proposed to apply for a post interviewing job-applicants, he notes that in this work by Franz Kafka there is a prospect of a happy end. And at some point in his own book, he turns to Jutta Koether with the words, 'So let's get down to higher things now. Higher things will be very crucial. What we understand by love and affection and security. Is the collective term warmth?'

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th ave at 82nd Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the collection of Jean Bonna. through April 26

The Bonna collection is a pretty impressive one, and one that covers 400 years of drawing from the late Renaissance to the post impressionists. While it's called "Raphael to Renoir" it actually starts before the former and ends after the later. It also contains only one work from Raphael, and one from Renoir. Maybe the curator had a bias for alliteration. I don't know. It could just as easily be called "Nature and Religion in Drawing" because the subject matter is almost always one or the other, or both. Frequently it's one in the service or the other. It covers pretty much all facets of drawing during the period, from tight detailed studies to loose nearly abstract exercises.

The show is broken into three rooms. The first covers the late Renaissance where you'll see some prominent names like Del Sarto, Carracci, Raphael (of course), and a wonderfully elegant pen and ink drawing by Parmigianino. There is a lot of light handed virtuoso handling of the medium in this room, whether it's chalk, ink, or in a few cases watercolor . Most of this work was meant as studies for paintings, but several were created as independent artworks.

The second room moves to France and the Netherlands in the late 16th century to cover the more secular Baroque era. This starts with a couple of Claude Lorrain ink landscapes that are pure effortless poetry. That light graceful character fills the room, but is only equaled by the chalk drawings of Watteau, Boucher, and Greuze. I was also very conscious of the influence of the Commedia Dell' Art on the artists of the time. Not just on the French artists mentioned, but in a drawing by a 70 year old Tiepolo. Who was, coincidentally the only Italian in the room. At least I think it was a coincidence.

The last room covers the late 18th and 19th century, or late neo-classicism through post impressionism. If you're wondering how something can be both late and neo, just trust me. Almost all of the artists in this section are French, and apart from a few delicate drawings by Ingres, the handling of the materials gets more expressive, painterly and physical. There are a few furiously rendered ballet dancers by Degas, and a wonderfully spontaneous Cezanne watercolor that looks like it could have been drawn by the rain.

Friday, March 13, 2009

News of our friends

Welcome to my very first weekly column where I share news of our friends. I will try to keep up on what I can. Please send me an email and let know what is happening in your life. I am sure we all would like to know.

Joanne Mattera, who really made me as well as Matt think about the power of the blog has curated a show at Platform Project Space. I really enjoyed that show and recommend that everyone go see it. I also recommend reading her blog. She is a fantastic writer, and a great artist who has a lot of insight to share on the art market in NY as well art in general. So check out the show if you can or at least her blog.

I also recommend that everyone see the "Martin Kippenberger: TheProblem Perspective" retrospective at the MoMA . His family stayed with us and shared a lot of insight into his life. He was great artist who had a lot to share but if you are not careful you may miss the point. Hopefully soon, we will have permission to post the wonderful essay that his sister Sussane wrote on his art and life. There is a very good review of the show by Holland Cotter of the New York Times. I know that the Kippenberger's had a lot to say about it.


I am looking forward to seeing Berendra Pani exhibition at RL Fine Arts. The Exhibition is from March 19 to April 26. The reception is March 19th from 6:30 to 8:30pm. This should be a very interesting show. As everyone who knows the house knows we have a very strong affinity with Indian culture. Check out the press release and read about the Gotipua dance. I will get back to everyone on the show.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My favorite ramen/Eat these noodles! - Tami's Words to Eat by

My friend, Tami Wasserman wrote this for for me. She is my main source on dinning and food in NY. If like Japanese like soup and noodles, then please read this. You can't go wrong. And if you have any suggestions then please let us know. Thanks! -- Rafael

It's hard not to notice that New York is currently in a serious ramen renaissance. It seems like there's a new place opening every day. If you consider yourself a serious "noodie" (or connoisseur of noodles), as I do then read on. I have made it my personal mission to try every reputable noodle joint in town in order to give the scoop, or more accurately, the slurp. There's a spate of traditional Japanese ramen-yas that are worth visiting, and possibly even waiting in line for. I would include on this list: Ramen Setagaya (141 1st Avenue between 8th-9th St), which is a chain from Japan and has only a few items on the menu to choose from. I recommend the Shio Ramen (ramen in the house special broth with grilled pork slices) or Cha Shyu Men (same thing, extra pork). This is a small place with only counters and stools, so it's no place for a leisurely meal – just slurp it down with a beer and go. Also worth trying is Ippudo (65 4th Avenue between 9th-10th St). This is a more upscale ramen-ya, also direct from Japan, and their menu is a little more diverse. Try the noodle salad with grapefruit dressing, saikyo style pork (Berkshire pork grilled in miso sauce) or the chicken karage (Japanese fried chicken). There's also a selection of interesting ramens, which feature different broths and different amounts of pork. My favorites are the Akamaru ramen, and the Shoyu Ramen, both laden with pork (sorry vegetarians). For a change of pace I like the Tsuke Men, which is cold ramen noodles served separately from the broth and fixings. You dip the noodles into the broth one mouthful at a time, which allows you to savor the contrast of the cold chewy noodles and the steaming salty pork broth. For more traditional Japanese ramen head toRai-Rai Ken (214 East 10th between 1st and 2nd Ave) which is a teeny tiny sliver of a ramen-ya with just a counter that seats about 8 people. Here you will find only the 3 most common types of ramen – Shio, Shoyu and Miso – all are cheap and delicious.- For a more catholic menu tryMenkui-tei (65 Cooper Square, between 7th St-St Marks) which features a more robust variety of soups including Spicy Miso Ramen (actually not very spicy but very tasty), Tan tan Men (Soy Sauce Flavored Noodle Soup Topped w/ Spicy Ground Pork – actually spicy) and Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Noodle w/ Soy Sauce & Vinegar Sauce). The gyoza (pork dumplings) are a must, but there's also a hugemenu of little dishes to choose from. Try the Daikon salad, Mabo Tofu (Sautéed Spicy Ground Pork & Tofu) or the Onigiri (rice balls made with different ingredients). I hope your next bowl of ramen will be good to the last slurp!

The Armory show - David Saltz video

For our artist friends. I thought that this might be of interest. A video by Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine's resident art critic. It is entertaining and well worth the watch if your are interested on how the art market doing. Thanks to the C-Monster blog for bringing this to my attention. C-Monster a blog that I am beginning to follow. Check it out.