Thursday, June 26, 2008

the maestro

keith rowe, issue project room, NYC, 2007 (photo by yuko zama)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

playing for history

tomorrow's French Open men's final is more than just another Grand Slam final, it's a rare showdown between two peerlessness alltimers. here's what's at stake:

for Roger Federer, a win would probably make him the consensus best player of all time, definitively vaulting him over Pete Sampras, who never managed to win at Roland Garros. Rod Laver is still in the discussion, but finally breaking through here against Nadal (who's beaten him here three years running) would be huge on Federer's lifetime resume.

for Rafael Nadal, a win would be a huge step towards becoming the best clay court player ever, and winning his fourth straight would put him decidedly closer to Björn Borg (six titles, four straight), who not so coincidentally was courtside today in Paris for the first time since he retired. Nadal has never lost a five set clay court match in his entire career, and has never even been pushed to five sets here.

all three previous matches here have been 4 set wins for Nadal, and if anything, the gap seems to have widened this year based on their play thus far. Federer's got another chance, though, now we'll see what he can do with it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

the gelato of the gods

while I believe that NYC has been the best food city in the world for quite some time (in terms of both range and quality, at least since I've started paying attention in the last 15-20 years), there were some gaping holes for a while. cafes with topnotch espresso, fantastic barbecue, and worldclass gelato were three of these, but in recent times, all have been filled quite impressively. we drink most of our espresso/coffee at home, but Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea (among others) takes their espresso making extremely seriously and it shows. BBQ places have been opening fast and furious over the last few years, our current fave is Hill Country (also in Chelsea), yum.

which brings us to gelato. the best gelato I've ever had (until about an hour ago) was in Rome, a highly touted place I forget the name of. the best options in NYC for the last few years have been Otto and Il Laboratorio Del Gelato (on Orchard St.), both of which are quite good but not life-altering. well, last year, an Italian store, GROM, opened on the Upper West Side. I walked by a couple of times but their high prices and my not being quite in the mood for gelato kept me from pulling the trigger.

but this afternoon, I walked by their new second store on Bleecker St. and decided to make the plunge. I went with something basic as a test, the "extra-noir chocolate". this is oddly listed as a gelato but described as a sorbet on their site, but either way, it was just remarkable, to the point where I don't want to eat anything else, I just want to remember how good it was. it's pricy ($4.75 for a small cup), but man, is it worth it. GO THERE NOW! you'll thank me later.