Sleepless in Seattle

I only got maybe 5 hours sleep in the last 2 nights and got up at 4 this morning, took the Supershuttle ($20) out to the Newark airport and am now about a half hour from landing in Seattle. Writing this to kill some time.

   I ate at two well-kmown NYC restaurants, David Chang’s Momofuku, and the Legend Bar and Restaurant (spicy Szechwan) on 7th, both with great food. I also discovered The Piccolo Cafe, around the corner from my hotel, with excellent latte and a tasty organic egg omelet with thinly sliced ham, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes for $10. Three mornings I got a latte and really good almond croissant at Culture on West 38th; good wi-fi connect. I’m partial to Vietnamese food and always eat at least once at the Saigon Kitchen on McDougall. Also, Cafe Reggio on Mcdougall is still the same richly tapestried bohemian/European coffee house it was 50 years ago.
And one of my favorite restaurants anywhere is Caracas, serving Venezuelan food (incl arepas) and killer rum drinks (they list 40 types of rum on the menu), on Grand Ave. in Williamsburg.

   A number of skateboarders fly down the streets of Manhattan, most of them pumping vigorously and most of them with no safety equipment. A few girls amongst all the boys. Gutty, they skate in the middle of the street, pretty spectacular. Three black guys got on the subway train and walked through the car singing rhythm and blues doo-wop harmony. Nice. There is such good music in the streets and the subway stations.

   I came to the book convention with only 3-4 scheduled appointments, but let serendipity take its course and the first day I ended up in meetings (or productive standing-around discussions) with about 15 people. I got a bunch of great ideas to act upon once i’m back. I really like book people. Book lovers, all of us.

   Saw a new Taaschen book at the convention, Genesis by Sebastian Salgado, a photographer; I’m going to get it. It’s just out, black and white photos of various tribes. From Taaschen’s website: “GENESIS, the result of an epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society – the land and life of a still pristine planet.” I don’t buy many big books these days, but this is an exception. About $70. Plus there’s a spectacular huge (18 by 27″)’ 2-volume edition for $9,000. Taaschen has always been an innovative publisher.

6 Responses to Sleepless in Seattle

  1. Mike Litchfield says:

    Mike Litchfield emailed this to me because he couldn't get it to post in the "comments:"

    Sublime post, Lloyd. We share the NYC streets and your delights. I know Sabastion Salgado's work well. A pal from my ad-man days once spent a month with him in Africa doing a shoot for a charity; said it was a transforming experience. The man is an earthy saint. Some years ago the NY Times featured a vast spread of photos Salagado had taken to document occupations that will soon become extinct–such as gold-mining by hand in inaccessible jungles. In one tableau shot across a vast open mine, there were visible perhaps 100,000 miners and porters scaling rickety, vine-lashed ladders–so dwarfed by the pit that the workers looked like grains of rice. Fortunately, the Times included a suite of close-ups in which the miners were so exhausted and slicked with sweat and mud that they looked made out of earth. The compositions looked like Old Master paintings and I think the analogy is apt: Salgado will be recognized as an artist of the calibre of a Rembrandt 500 years from now. Anyhow, thanks for the post. Love you, man.  You put it all out there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why is it so important to mention the skin color of the musicians?

    Avid reader of your books, tiny house dweller.

  3. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Because in the 60+ years I've been listening to this type music, 100% of the musicians have been black.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Will you now mention the skin color of everyone you introduce on your blog? For example, a white cob house builder?

  5. Lloyd Kahn says:

    No, because skin color doesn't have anything to do with building, but it does (often) mean something in music. If I describe too-wop singers and add that they are black, it indicates to lovers of this musical genre a tradition and quality that only comes from black singers. I discovered this kind of singing when I was 18, so it's been 60 years now. Just the way it is.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not how I see it, but thanks for your explanation.

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