Greek the Salad

Authenticity is a con.

New York City, August 3, 2015

weather review sky 080315★★ The heat was slow in starting. A street-sweeping truck tossed aside a dry leaf as it pulled out and around a gleaming BMW 635i coupe displaying a Waterfront Commission Police Department placard on the dash and an NYPD parking ticket on the windshield. The sidewalk twinkled on the sunward part of the commute. None of the morning’s mildness was to be found in the subway, where the countdown sign’s promise of a two-minute wait had to be weighed against the present train with people’s shoulders bulging out the doors. Down on 18th Street, there was still a cooling breeze. The plastic sheeting on the office window was loose around the edges, permitting an outthrust arm to escape the air conditioning. Outside the artificial envelope of climate control, the heat had begun spearing down. White people were flushing red under tan, like fast food baking too long under heat lamps. The three-year-old quit his scooter at the very beginning of the long uphill from West End to Amsterdam. Half an hour later, for the trip to the museum to fetch his brother, a taxi didn’t even seem like an indulgence given the threat of weary short legs. Now and then, and more frequently as the day declined, a cloud or clouds cut off the worst of it. Much later—how much?—the depths of the night were broken by lightning and thunder, by rain if not hail clattering on the building, and by the three-year-old, arms full of blanket and stuffed animal, demanding refuge from the storm.

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An Interview With Vine's Best Teen

trilltarahIt’s been a tumultuous year for One Direction, the British band that’s been inspiring fainting spells, fan videos, and unchecked worship since they were formed in the primordial fires of TV’s The X Factor. In March, after years of releasing perfect pop hits as a quintet, actual human vessel of divine perfection Zayn Malik decided to leave the band. This was bad.

On July 29th, after months of laying low with his maybe-friend maybe-producer Naughty Boy, Zayn announced on Twitter that he’d signed a solo deal with RCA, and crowed about how excited he was to start making “#realmusic.” Two days later, post-Zayn One Direction released their latest single, “Drag Me Down.” A sample lyric: “ All my life you stood by me when no one else was ever behind me / All these lights that can’t blind me /With your love, nobody can drag me down.”

As it turns out, Vine is the perfect platform for One Direction devotees. I’ve found clips of the band fist pumping wildly to crazily remixed horns, snatches of Harry on Jimmy Kimmel spliced with scenes from 50 Shades of Grey, and of course, rampant speculation in the comment section about which members of 1D are secretly in love with one another. For fans of such a popular corner of pop culture, Vine acts as a salad spinner for millions of slices of content. Honestly, given the evidence, Larry Stylinson seems really plausible.

I’m very blessed to have been able to speak to 1D patron saint trill tarah, who also happens to be Vine’s funniest teen, over the phone last weekend.

What does One Direction mean to you personally? Why do you like them so much, in so many words?

Well, I started liking them my freshman year [of high school], and I was in a really bad place. I was not really in the popular group, and I didn’t feel like I belonged in the group of friends that I had. I had this other group of friends that I wasn’t really close with yet who were obsessed with One Direction, and they really got me into it. They became my best friends. Andrea was in that group, and she’s my best friend.

There is nothing so stupid that it isn’t actually, on reflection, even stupider than initially suspected. This is true, of course, of life, but boy is it ever true of the Internet.#

Greek the Salad

4068191986_c7e7122723_bThe Caesar is the most popular; the Cobb has its devotees; and I’m sure somebody must love a Waldorf, but the Greek is my favorite in the pantheon of classic American salads. Crunchy raw vegetables, theoretically juicy tomatoes, raw onion, dried oregano, and the salty/sour punch of feta cheese, olives, and maybe capers or pickled peppers—it’s a powerful, flavor-forward salad that’s hard to mess up.

Like many other classic American dishes (ground beef tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, General Tso’s chicken), the Greek salad is a domestic creation with a vague reference to some other country. It is common to find excoriations of the American Greek salad that claim that a dish called horiatiki (pronunciation is close to whore-YA-tee-kee) is the truly authentic Greek salad, the one Greeks love, the reason that any real, authentic, Greek person from Greece and not America would look at an American Greek salad and think, “Pah! This is not authentic!” (Horiatiki is a salad of roughly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and sometimes sweet green pepper, with feta cheese, olive oil, olives, and oregano. It has no lettuce.) Ahhhh, authenticity.

Bob Moses, "Too Much Is Never Enough"


I know nothing about the act—I assume Bob Moses is a band rather than a person, but maybe I spend too much time around people who try to impress you by claiming they’ve read The Power Broker—so I cannot say whether this track is representative of their aesthetic. What I can say is that I like it. Hopefully you will too. Enjoy.

Remember bodegas and laundromats? Not if you live in Manhattan you don’t. #

Are Young People Walking Blood Banks?


Your day has passed. All days have passed. The end is on its way and all that’s left for you now is panic and ruin and dust. But sure, get yourself some young person blood if you think it’ll help. You might as well run out the clock with some energy.

New York City, August 2, 2015

weather review sky 080215★★★★ Sun gleamed on the paintjobs of a helicopter, a red car, a stubby airplane, another helicopter. A sunbather lay out on the roof of the new tower, which had acquired shrubs in planter boxes. The light was sharp and the heat with it was even sharper. Outside the Museum of Natural History, in the narrow dappled shade of some oaks, a stone bench baked unwary sitters with it stored-up heat. The shade in the Park was more substantial and effective. By a shaded outcropping of schist, mica glittered in the stone and the dust around it. The three-year-old attacked the rock face from above and below. Ants swarmed the wrappings of the cookies. The bridle path was strewn with fallen Cornelian cherries. A red-tailed hawk sat not very far above. A monarch butterfly fed on a patch of milkweeds, purple ones and red-budded ones opening into brilliant yell0w-orange. A short walk on the streets was much worse than the hours in the Park had been.