Category: Culture

Food: What you should be eating right now…

This happens every year: At some point in my travels to find the country’s Best New Restaurants, my anxiety about not being able to find enough to fill my list segues seamlessly into worse anxiety that I won’t be able to include everything worthy—the way the bitter cold of winter often leaps seamlessly into the inferno of summer without any break for spring at all. (I may have had an un-anxious moment in Indianapolis this year, but I can’t be sure.) When that switch happens, I self-soothe by reminding myself that I will also have this list to compile: my yearly cheat.

It is not always the case, but I would have happily had any of the restaurants listed below on my main list of Best New Restaurants. In some ways, this is the more visceral recommendation. Math is not my strong suit, but I’d calculate that if I visited 111 new restaurants during this year’s search, that translates to tasting 500 million dishes, give or take. For a dish to stand out through all of those crowding my mind by the end—to actually bubble up and make me hungry when I’ve been 100 percent sure I’ll never be hungry again—it has to be pretty special. All of these are.

Spicy Cod Roe Spaghetti, Davelle, N.Y.C.: On a quiet afternoon on the Lower East Side, there may be no other café in the world I’d rather be in—or bowl of noodles I’d rather have before me: briny, umami-filled, and perfect.
Friday Fish Fry, Mint Mark, Madison, WI: You’re in Wisconsin. What would you rather eat than a classic basket of perfectly fried bluegill? Almost everything else on the menu, it turns out, washed down with a Wisconsin-style brandy old-fashioned on draft.

Ballet May Be Beautiful, But It’s Still a Sport By Sarah Spellings

The majority of us might not know a Développé from an Assemblé, but we all know two things about ballet: One, it’s difficult. And two, it’s beautiful. The ballerina’s challenge is to hide how hard she’s working, which is why behind-the-scenes ballet stories are always so appealing — it’s satisfying to see the athleticism inherent to the art.

Olivia Bee’s photos, below, are a new addition to the genre. The photographer spent nine days photographing the dancers at American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Her shots include rehearsals for the ballet Jane Eyre and a performance of Harlequinade on the opening night of the company’s spring season.

To prepare for her plunge into the depths of elite ballet, Bee took some “beginner beginner beginner ballet classes” — her first since she was 5 years old. “The classes I took helped me get more in the dancers’ heads and be more predictive of movements.” In her photos, you can feel the whoosh of the pirouettes and the barely there tapping sound of a dozen dancers landing after a jump.

But Bee’s favorite subject is the way dancers of all levels relate to each other. She said it reminded her of what she had seen while photographing a ranch crew: “I think with any lifestyle that’s that intensive, people become family. You have to lift each other up and support each other.”

There’s a shift when the photographs move beyond the practice studios and go on stage. Suddenly, the edges go blurry. The ballerinas feel less like dancers or athletes, and more like figures in a dream sequence. “In my work I like to explore dreamscapes based in reality and human emotion,” Bee explained. “Ballet sweeps you away — I hoped to convey this in the images.” The impressionistic quality is heightened by the colorful, exaggerated costumes used in Harlequinade. The Degas comparisons are unavoidable, but this is like a Degas that’s only accessible in a dream.

Is bar culture changing in the Bay Area?

It’s a tale as old as 2019. On a Friday night, your friends invite you to the trendy new bar in your neighborhood. It has high, exposed ceilings, mid-century modern furniture, potted snake plants, and minimalist wooden surfaces. Oh, and cocktails are $15.

You were looking forward to a night of catching up with your pals, but you can’t hear a single word they say in the packed bar. You shout over the cacophony until a throbbing ache emerges in the space between your ears, then order too many craft cocktails to dull the pain.

“The growing trend in bars and restaurants just being really loud is something a lot of people can relate to,” said Daniel Gahr.

Gahr and Shirin Raza, who are married, own Bar Shiru, a hi-fi vinyl listening bar in Uptown Oakland.

“If you look at the aesthetics of where we are currently in architecture and interior design, it’s a lot of hard surfaces, glass and materials that don’t necessarily make for the best acoustic environments,” Gahr continued.

The couple opened Bar Shiru in February this year as an antidote to the bad acoustics in restaurants that are rampant in coastal cities nowadays. On a trip to Tokyo in 2015, they were enthralled by the city’s popular jazz listening bars. Gahr and Raza were inspired to bring the concept back home — but as more of a loose interpretation, rather than a faithful recreation.

“We didn’t want to bring that exact thing here because the U.S. audience and American bar culture is quite different from what it is in Japan,” explained Gahr. “We were really intent on building something that was to our vision and for the Oakland community.”

In Tokyo, hi-fi vinyl bar owners are known to be strict at times, even shushing customers for chatting. Bar Shiru, conversely, encourages a social atmosphere while still offering a fully analog, high-quality sound system.

It even still looks like your quintessential trendy bar of the moment: high ceilings, concrete, Eames-style chairs, wooden tables, and a lot more square footage than you would typically find in a Japanese listening bar.

To keep it from getting too loud, Gahr and Raza discourage large groups and maintain a strict capacity. When I stopped by on a busy Friday night, walk-ins were designated to an open seating area at the front of the bar, while those with reservations were seated at small wooden tables in front of a floor-to-ceiling collection of vinyl and huge speakers.

“We wanted this to be a place that balances intentional listening and the ability to hear the music really well, but also at a volume that allows for conversation as opposed to yelling,” said Gahr.

In the clamor of a busy weekend evening, some of the bar’s music focus was lost. As one might expect, people get chatty — and loud — when packed together in a bar setting, no matter the original intent of the space. The volume never got overpowering, though — it was just a little hard to make out what record was playing over the hubbub.

However, on a second visit on a quiet Sunday evening, the Bar Shiru the owners had envisioned came into clearer view. Old friends caught up over beers, occasionally bobbing their heads to the Pat Martino record playing. When the bartender changed records, everyone had to sit with the staticky silence for a moment — a refreshing moment of mindfulness in the often overstimulating bar environment.

Bar Shiru isn’t the only bar in the Bay Area to start paying more attention to its acoustics. North Light, a cafe, bar, bookstore, and record shop all in one, opened in Oakland’s Temescal district earlier this year.

“If we’re on a commute or at home, we really care about what we’re hearing,” said Dan Stone, who co-owns the North Oakland spot with concert promoter Lee Smith. “We care about it then, so why wouldn’t we want that with the places we patronize and spend our time?”

North Light plays tunes via turntable, paying careful attention to which records are being played at which times of day.

“We play music without English language lyrics during the day, such as mariachi, flamenco, and jazz.
“Then it converts to a bar vibe around 5,” explained Stone. This allows artists, writers, and musicians to use the cafe as a peaceful home office during the day before the energy picks up at night — no headphones to drown out distracting top 40 radio required.

The Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (May 2019)

Last Updated: May 2, 2019

When it comes to streaming TV and films, Netflix has got you covered. In May 2019, lots of exciting new movies and TV shows are coming to the streaming platform, across a variety of genres. Whether you’re into romantic comediesdocumentaries, crime thrillers, prestige dramas, or horror movies, there’s something for everyone. And speaking of documentaries, Beyoncé’s Homecoming is officially available to stream, so you can relive the magic of Beychella, and then relive it again with her live concert album of the Coachella performance. We stan a generous queen!

Recent blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War and the Oscar-nominated Black Panther and Coco, are also available. Barry Jenkins’ stunning 2017 Best Picture winner, Moonlight, his adaptation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unproduced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” is also coming to Netflix, along with some lighter comedy fare, including Zombieland and Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. So what are you waiting for? Here are the best movies on Netflix right now.

Director: Lee Chang-dong
Starring: Ah-in Yoo, Jong-seo Jun, Steven Yeun

One of the most acclaimed non-English movies of last year, Burning is the latest film from acclaimed South Korean director Lee Chang-dong. Based on the short story “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami, Burning follows Jong-su (Ah-in Yoo), as he watches former neighbor Hae-mi’s (Jong-seo Jun) cat while she goes on a trip. When Hae-mi returns, she introduces Jong-su to Ben (Steven Yeun), a man she met while abroad. While the plot may seem simple, Burning has a mysterious and tense atmosphere as we learn more about the mysterious Ben, played wonderfully by former Walking Dead star Yeun. At two and a half hours, Burning is a slow burn (no pun intended) that will keep you hypnotized from beginning to end with its elusive stories and well drawn characters. Despite wide critical acclaim, Burning was not nominated for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award, but became the first Korean film in history to make the nine-film shortlist for nomination.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

Actress Sasha Lane has steadily made a name for herself with eye-catching roles in indies such as The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Hearts Beat Loud, but her career started when director Andrea Arnold discovered her and cast her in the lead role of American Honey. Lane plays Star, a young woman who runs away from home to join a traveling sales crew that sells magazine subscriptions door to door across the Midwest. She soon gets sucked into their lifestyle when she becomes close to crew member Jake (Shia LaBeouf). Arnold is known for her realistic depictions of young women, and she’s in top form here, creating an unconventional coming of age drama around Star. Lane is remarkable in the lead role, and her performance is made all the more astonishing when considering that it’s her first performance. All of that, combined with a perfect soundtrack (Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ “We Found Love” is put to perfect use), makes American Honey a coming of age road movie classic.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Andre Holland, Melvin Gregg, Zazie Beetz

One of Netflix’s latest originals is also one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of 2019 so far. Based on the real-life 2011 NBA lockout, High Flying Bird follows sports agent Ray Burke (Andre Holland) as he advises his rookie client (Melvin Gregg) on a controversial business opportunity that might just end the lockout and change the game forever. Logan Lucky director Steven Soderbergh is known for his flawless directing and uncanny ability to capture institutions, and High Flying Bird is further proof of this, boasting stunning iPhone-exclusive cinematography and sketching an efficient portrait of the (slightly fictionalized) NBA. Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s script crackles as well, featuring scenes filled with wall-to-wall fast-paced dialogue. McCraney and Soderbergh manage to make High Flying Bird so much more than just a typical sports drama: it’s also a deep look into the racism ingrained in the NBA and how one can be an activist within the institution itself. High Flying Bird is an intelligent and riveting watch.

READ MORE: https://www.complex.com/pop-culture/best-movies-on-netflix/high-flying-bird

Moe Greens Is S.F.’s Most Deluxe New Dispensary

Its smoking lounge cements San Francisco’s place as America’s leading recreational-cannabis destination.

There are more legal cannabis smoking lounges in San Francisco than in the rest of the U.S. combined. We now have nine such lounges at dispensaries citywide, whereas Denver just licensed only its second, Oakland has one, and the rest of America does not have any.

Hell, a single block in SoMa has as many marijuana lounges as the entire country outside San Francisco does. The corner of Ninth and Mission streets is home to smoking lounges at the Vapor Room, SPARC, and ReLeaf.

Some of these lounges consist solely of patio furniture thrown in a corner, while others are elaborate, baroque parlors with chandeliers, flocked velvet wallpaper, and widescreen TVs. The newest cannabis smoking lounge is the city’s most opulent yet, the luxe lounge of the just-opened Market Street dispensary Moe Greens.

“It’s Lounge 2.0,” Moe Greens founder and CEO Nate Haas tells SF Evergreen. “We wanted Moe Greens to be a throwback to the San Francisco our grandparents and great-grandparents lived in, the San Francisco where you’d get dressed up on a Saturday night and go to a place like Joe’s or Alfred’s Steakhouse for a drink.”

Despite the Las Vegas-inspired logo, the name “Moe Greens” is not a reference to the casino mogul from The Godfather.

“One day, I was holding some cannabis and my partner, who sometimes calls me Moe, said, ‘That’s a lot of green, Moe,’ ” Haas remembers. “That was the light bulb moment. Now we provide ‘mo green at Moe Greens.’ ”

It has by far the largest legal consumption lounge in the city, with separate, dedicated rooms for vaping, smoking, and dabbing. Its swanky aesthetic is similar to that of the Barbary Coast dispensary, which is run by the same management team.

“Lounges are very important for us,” Haas says. “When recreational cannabis passed, it increased competition. Building lounges that are unique, and that embody the San Francisco we and our families grew up in helps to differentiate our dispensary from all others.”

Shockingly affordable prices also differentiate Moe Greens from the pack. House grams are available for just $8, a price not seen in the city in years.

Smoking lounges might look like they’re only for big spenders, but they’re not. The steampunk-inspired lounge at Urban Pharm, one of the few that allow vaping and smoking indoors, sells individual dabs for as low as $5 — and Dollar Dabs for just a buck during Friday happy hour.

Whether a lounge allows you to just vape, or to dab, or to smoke raw flower is up to the dispensary itself. Most only allow vaping, but provide Volcano vaporizers and clear plastic huff bags free of charge. Others provide loaner bongs and dab rigs, but none of them allow alcohol or tobacco. 

The license to smoke pot legally indoors is not granted by the San Francisco Office of Cannabis, which generally handles marijuana permit approvals. The license to smoke — technically, a “Cannabis Consumption Permit” — is actually awarded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH).

Yep, the Department of Health gives permission to smoke weed.

“The health department has taken a harm reduction approach to cannabis consumption,” DPH spokesperson Veronica Vien tells SF Evergreen. “Rules and regulations allow consumption to occur, but limit youth exposure and underage access,” and “mitigate overexposure to indoor smoke through enhanced engineering controls.”

The department’s cannabis consumption laws describe these engineering controls as “a ventilation system capable of removing all detectable odors, smoke, and byproducts of combustion.”

Lounge owners say these ventilation requirements are actually among the easier regulations to comply with.

“These hurdles are minimal for existing dispensaries,” according to SPARC CEO and chairman Erich Pearson. “The process with DPH has been smooth.”

SPARC’s lounge is one of those Volcano vape-only facilities, but customers are allowed to light up and smoke flower on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning at 4:20 p.m.

Right around the block from SPARC, the Vapor Room has the most noticeable pot smoking lounge in town. That’s because it’s right smack dab in their giant front window, for every passerby to see.

“Our lounge is integrated into our retail experience and is prominently displayed by our front window,” says Vapor Room owner Martin Olive. “We believe this helps remove the unnecessary stigma of feeling like one ought to hide their cannabis use in dark corners.”

Most San Francisco cannabis lounges are concentrated on a four-block strip in SoMa. But two of them are outliers — literally.

Way out in the Richmond and deep in the Mission, the Harvest dispensaries provide conference room-style lounges with giant TVs. Both act as co-working spaces, cannabis farmers markets and event venues, or host infuse dinner meetups like Dim Sum and Dabs or Fried Chicken and Dabs.

“Our lounges provide a cannabis-friendly workplace, a utopian gathering place, a remarkable educational facility or the most beautiful space to consume,” says Harvest guest services manager Tom Powers.

Sure, it’s all fun and dabs at these stylish and hip cannabis lounges that cater to convention-hoppers and the new SoMa tech set. But for many San Franciscans, the lounges really do provide a crucial public resource.

“Elderly, disabled, and ill folks can and do experience isolation from medicating with cannabis alone in their homes,” the Vapor Room’s Olive points out. “Everyone else may be forced to use cannabis in parks, on the street, or in their car when medicating, all of which can expose them to unnecessary and illegal risks.”

SPARC’s Pearson adds, “The lounges are critical for the many medical cannabis patients that live in government-subsidized housing that does not allow cannabis consumption.”

San Francisco will not remain home to the nation’s largest number of cannabis lounges for much longer. West Hollywood just awarded 16 consumption lounge permits for onsite smoking or edibles. These permits are contingent on the businesses getting fully licensed, but WeHo is well-positioned to surpass our cannabis lounge count. 

Las Vegas will be getting them soon too, possibly this year. But San Francisco’s lounges served as the basis for Las Vegas’ framework. Expect other cities to continue following our lead as legal cannabis spreads across the U.S.

Our cannabis lounges really are a wonderful airport bar-type social space where you find yourself mingling with tourists, veterans, SSI recipients, or CEOs. And San Francisco has set the trailblazing standard that dispensaries across the world will look to when they want to fire up.

Moe Greens, 1276 Market St., 415-762-4255 or moegreens.com

 

Legalizing Marijuana, With a Focus on Social Justice, Unites 2020 Democrats

People in Colorado still remember John Hickenlooper’s crack after the state legalized marijuana, a move he opposed: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

But Mr. Hickenlooper, the governor at the time of the 2012 initiative allowing recreational use of cannabis, eventually changed his mind. He acknowledged that fears of increased use by children did not materialize, and he boasted of the tax revenues for social programs that regulated sales delivered.

Entering the Democratic presidential race this month, Mr. Hickenlooper joined a field already jammed with pro-legalization candidates, a reflection of swiftly changing public opinion since Colorado became one of the first of 10 states with legal recreational marijuana.

The issue today is a pillar of progressive politics, but not because of graying hippies who like their Rocky Mountain High. Rather, for many Democrats, legalization has become a litmus test for candidates’ commitment to equal treatment for all races in policing and criminal justice as well as fighting economic inequality.

A Democrat who is not on board with legalization or addressing it in terms of repairing harms brought by prohibition for decades is going to have a tough time convincing any voter they’re serious about racial justice,” said Vincent M. Southerland, executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at New York University Law School.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey last month introduced the pointedly named Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove the drug from the federal list of controlled substances and expunge past convictions. Supporters note that African-Americans are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, even though rates of use are similar.

“It’s not enough to legalize marijuana at the federal level — we should also help those who have suffered due to its prohibition,” Mr. Booker said in a tweet.

Other 2020 candidates in the Senate quickly signed on as sponsors, including Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/17/us/politics/marijuana-legalize-democrats.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

HOW TO LOOK GREAT IN THE GYM, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE A MEDIOCRE ATHLETE

Gyms don’t exactly lend themselves to chic dress codes. Mirrors, sweat and suspect protein shakes are a fairly potent cocktail in the first place – add in subpar active wear and you’d be forgiven for never stepping foot in one again.

Be that as it may, those guns aren’t going to sculpt themselves. Recognising that the gym is a necessary evil, we’ll delve into the best way to wear gym gear so that you stay fresh even if you’re feeling anything but.

The most basic of gym kits, everything you need for sweating it out rotates around the standard singlet and shorts. But with such a surplus of options, it can be a little daunting knowing where to start. For me, it’s all about finding a style that fits well. And remember, regardless of what size your pecs are, no one wants to see them spilling out of a stringlet.

When it comes to finding a top that’s appropriate and chic, look at the likes of Lululemon and Under Armour for interesting colours and weaves. A personal favourite is grey blues – they’re forgiving on sweat patches and are easy to pair with dark shorts.

Speaking of shorts, this is one of those times where less is more. And when I say less, I’m referring to less of your upper thighs. No one wants to see more than they bargained for when you’re doing a deadlift, so look at mid length options that have a boy leg liner built in.

It’s a truly brave chap that dons a pair of compression tights sans cover up. However, for those that are a little more, ahem, demure, there is a way they can be worn that won’t cause offence to the rest of the weights room. Cue the classic jogging short. These fellas are a great way to feel all the freedom of tights without some of the unfortunate side effects.

When it comes to styling, build off a base of black 2XUcompression tights, jogging shorts and a lightweight singlet. Make sure you choose slim fits that are in keeping with the streamlined nature of the look and prioritise dark block colours like black and navy. Pictured above are good points of reference.

It’s a truly brave chap that dons a pair of compression tights sans cover up. However, for those that are a little more, ahem, demure, there is a way they can be worn that won’t cause offence to the rest of the weights room. Cue the classic jogging short. These fellas are a great way to feel all the freedom of tights without some of the unfortunate side effects.

When it comes to styling, build off a base of black 2XUcompression tights, jogging shorts and a lightweight singlet. Make sure you choose slim fits that are in keeping with the streamlined nature of the look and prioritise dark block colours like black and navy. Pictured above are good points of reference.

Runners can make or break your gym ensemble – choose a pair of chunky dad runners and you risk throwing off the equilibrium of your outfit; choose something with not enough support and you risk spraining an ankle. It’s a tricky trade off.

Given that the bulk of gym activity doesn’t require long distance running (at least, it shouldn’t) most cross training sneakers from the likes of Adidas and Nike should fit the bill. Look for versatile colours like black and grey that can be paired with most of your kits to optimise wears.

On the flipside, if you’re a little more flamboyantly persuaded, the sneaker is a great way to show some flare. Whether it be a pair of monogrammed kicks or a splash of colour and print – Epic Reacts with hot pink detailing, I’m looking at you – sneakers are a great way to put a spring in your step, both literally and style wise.

Sports socks have come a hell of a long way in the past few years. Whereas once, the chunky white tube sock was the ultimate sporty statement, recent style dictates a move to more streamlined, thinner equivalents.

When you’re shopping around, there are two versions worth considering. One is the standard ankle sock which will ideally sit below the top of your sneaker. These are great if you fancy getting your pegs out as they elongate your leg. Alternatively, the likes of Nike make a strong case for statement compression socks. Our preference are black socks as their less likely to show dirt.

READ MORE: https://www.dmarge.com/2019/02/what-to-wear-in-gym.html