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Spring 2009

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Chef Odette Fada Refuses to Eat Anyone Else's Pasta

When she’s not commanding the kitchen of the venerable San Domenico, as she has done for over a decade, Odette Fada rummages for cheese, sausage, and foie gras in her fridge; goes for late-night dinners at Balthazar and Blue Ribbon; or stops in at her friends’ restaurants to enjoy off-the-menu items. Will you ever catch the Parmigiano Reggiano obsessive ordering pasta at one of these places? Probably not: “The only person here who can cook pasta,” she says, “is me!” We asked her what culinary pleasures she experienced this week.

The Proenza Schouler Boys Like Creative Bums, Hate Sports

Name: Lazaro Hernandez Age: 28 Job: Designer Neighborhood: Chelsea Name: Jack McCollough Age: 28 Job: Designer Neighborhood: West Village Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? L: My dog Jojo. J: Woody Allen. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? L: Nothing beats my mother’s cooking when she’s in New York visiting. Nothing like a home-cooked meal. Now, if only I knew how to cook! J: Per Se.

Phillip Lim Likes to Get in Hedi Slimane's Pants

Name: Phillip Lim
Age: 33
Job: Fashion designer
Neighborhood: Live in Chelsea; work in the garment district. Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? The late Nan Kempner. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Ooh, by far it’s the crispy garlic red snapper at the restaurant NAM (in Tribeca). In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? “Propose Solutions…”

Model Jessica Stam Prefers Psychos and Mac 'n' Cheese

Name: Jessica Stam
Job: Model
Age: 20
Neighborhood: East Village Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Patrick Bateman from the book American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. "Don't just look at her ass, EAT IT." What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Macaroni and cheese with truffles. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? I make clothes look good.

Peter Som Spends Too Much on His Sheets

Name: Peter Som
Age: 36
Job: Clothing designer
Neighborhood: West Village Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Laura Mars. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Eleven Madison Park always does the trick. But lately I always find myself eating the fried artichokes followed by the polpettine alla siciliana at Gusto, which is in my neighborhood. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Try really hard to make pretty things.

Model Karolina Kurkova Really Loves Green Juice

Name: Karolina Kurkova
Age: 22
Job: Model
Neighborhood: Tribeca Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? The Statue of Liberty. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Pure Food & Wine’s Raw Tiramisu — it’s the most amazing I’ve ever had. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Create fantasy.

Makeup Artist Pat McGrath Is Voting for Oprah

Name: Pat McGrath
Age: 37
Job: Editorial and fashion makeup artist; creative design director for P&G Beauty, which includes Covergirl, Max Factor, and SK-II
Neighborhood: West Village Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Quentin Crisp. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? All the food at Extra Virgin on Little West 4th. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Put makeup on, take makeup off, design makeup.

Narciso Rodriguez Can't Sleep Without Jon Stewart

Name: Narciso Rodriguez
Age: 45
Job: Designer
Neighborhood: Gramercy Park–East Village Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Jerry Seinfeld. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? A Cuban sandwich at Sucelt on 14th Street. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? E-mail/phone/fitting/sketching/draping/meeting

Model Gemma Ward Leaps Around and Gets Naked

Name: Gemma Ward
Age: 19
Job: Model-actress
Neighborhood: East Village, but on the move … Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Bob Dylan. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? I have had my fair share of four-hour lunches at La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel, but it's a great hang and the margherita pizza is fantastic. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Drink coffee and read the paper while getting hair, makeup, and nails done, get undressed, get dressed, pose, leap, laugh, get undressed, eat lunch, touch-ups, get dressed, get undressed, get dressed. etc. etc. etc.

Behnaz Sarafpour Medicates in the Tub

Name: Behnaz Sarafpour Age: 36 Job: Fashion designer Neighborhood: West Village Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Holly Golightly. What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in New York? A lobster roll at Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Attempt to problem-solve!

You Won't Catch El Faro's Miguel Hernandez Smelling Like Garlic After Work

Miguel Hernandez has been a fixture at El Faro since before he could legally drink (his uncle Jose was a bartender there for twenty years, and Hernandez would visit regularly from his native Spain). Five years ago, when he finally moved to New York, Hernandez took a job as a server. Now he splits his time between working the floor and serving margaritas and sangrias from behind his uncle’s old bar. He’s studying for a career in hospitality management; we thought we’d ask him what it’s like working in one of the city's most timeless (and fragrant) restaurants before he graduates.

A Restaurant Week Guide to the Forgotten and Underappreciated

The Restaurant Week participants we’re about to endorse aren’t obscure, strictly speaking. You just wouldn’t find their names in the same sentence as the word “buzz” – not, at least, since the Clinton years. But they’re all more than worth the $24.07 you’ll pay for lunch ($35 for dinner) starting on Monday, and you might even beat the crowds.

America the Burgerful

By a happy coincidence, two videos, both demonstrating the breadth of the human experience as encompassed by the mighty but still humble hamburger, have just turned up on the Web. In one, artist David Greg Harth stands in front of a Greenwich Village McDonald’s offering to buy random pedestrians a free meal. Banal performance “happening,” in which a trustafarian art student spends his grant money? Maybe. But a mere eleven minutes in, angry cops, sicced on the hapless Harth by the corporate behemoth he so obliquely critiques, rush the video to its disturbing but somehow inevitable dénouement. Meanwhile, Serious Eats is showing a clip from George Motz’s Hamburger America documentary, featuring a kindly old soul in Meers, Oklahoma, who lovingly raises heritage Texas longhorn cattle only to slaughter and then serve the beasts in his roadside restaurant. One video’s a portrait of a gentle man tending to a disappearing culture; the other, a gritty look at corporate culture’s hard, paradoxical realities. And yet neither would not have been possible without that patty-shaped embodiment of American culture. Another reason to love your hamburgers, America. Free Burger! [Neatorama] Hamburger America: The Meers Store [Serious Eats]

Boulud Versus Giant Rat; New York Versus Los Angeles

In praise of the braise: a long feature about the art of slow immersive cooking, pegged on Daniel Boulud's and Claudia Roden’s new books. [NYS] More on Boulud's ongoing conflict with the Restaurant Opportunities Center and their giant inflatable rat. [NYT] Related: We've been on this story for a while; this was Daniel Under Attack! (Again). A tale of two cities: Leuzzi compares N.Y. and L.A. The latter is more casual, less cohesive, and doesn't give a damn about French restaurants. [NYS] The big restaurant in Lincoln Center to be reborn as Patina, sister to the big restaurant in LA; owners of Divine Bar open Funky Diner on the UES, Bret Thorn reports. [NYS] Asian chefs love black chicken but have to admit “it's a scary-looking creature.” Also: Four markets where you can buy the things, including a scary one in the Bronx. [NYT] The gourmet burger business comes to Brooklyn in the form of Brooklyn Burger Bar (already in soft opening) and 67 Burger in Fort Greene. Also: Barça 18 gets its brief Times epitaph. [NYT] Restaurant Week: Big-name places where you won’t be able to get a table. And good places where you might get a table. [NYP] Profile of a smoked-fish factory in Greenpoint. [NYDN]

Museum Movies, Home Technologies, Musical Tributes

Sleepwalkers premiere. MoMA, 11 W. 53rd St., nr. Sixth Ave., 5 p.m. Director Doug Aitken will be there to see his short films projected on the side of the museum. Bjork, David Byrne, and Laurie Anderson will be among those commiserating about sore necks at the 7 p.m. cocktail reception.

Now, New York Rappers Beef Via Photoshop

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It's a bit off topic for us, but the ongoing beef between New York rappers Tru-Life and Dipset seems worth mentioning. This weekend, in retaliation for the cover of Tru Life's latest mix tape (above left), which depicts Dipset's Jim Jones wearing Borat's overly revealing yellow bikini, Dipset affiliates hacked Tru-Life's MySpace page and put up photos of Tru Life in the bikini (above right). And with that, ladies and gentleman, we have reached the obvious end point of the evolution of rap beef; Jim Jones, who once threatened to slap the kufi off Nas's head, is resorting to Photoshop geekery. At least no one's getting shot. —Amos Barshad Tru Life & J-Love — Tru York Mixtape Cover [Nahright.com] Capo Strikes Back, Hacks Tru Life'd MySpace [Nahright.com]

Finally, a Restaurant Guide That Makes It Okay to Look Like a Tourist

You may remember that not so long ago our friend the Gobbler presented his case against the Michelin guide. Among his objections: “Lofty opinions are fine, but what New Yorkers really want in a restaurant guide is facility and ease of use. In other words, they want the goddamn address and phone number right now.” Ken Shepps knows the feeling. His new green guidebook not only includes the goddamn address and phone number but also comes in the form of an accordion-style map. One side shows the island from Battery Park to 121st Street, plotted with subway stops and 117 numbered squares. Each number corresponds to a restaurant listing in one of eight fold-out panels. (No. 51 on the map, for instance, goes with Balthazar, a “superlative brasserie and next door patisserie.”) On the other side, there are mini-maps with neighborhood descriptions and specialty stores, like Lady M Cake Boutique on the Upper East Side and Sullivan St. Bakery in Soho. Is this the perfect portable NYC restaurant guide? Well, you’ll definitely look like tourist if you consult it in public, and we’ve got our own opinions on where to eat. But this is definitely a step in the right direction. — Lori Fradkin Mappetite [Official site]

When No Views Are No Problem Near Columbus Circle

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Say you want three bedrooms and three baths on the Upper West Side. And say you'll pay $1,000 per square foot but not much more. Seem impossible? Not entirely. At 10 West End Avenue, the Sunshine Group is offering 7H and 7J — a total of 1,974 square feet — for just over $2 million. That's a deal in a new 33-story building, with occupancy scheduled for this spring, where average active prices run $1,146 a foot. "It's a very easy combination and a functional layout," says sales director Loretta Bradbury. And it includes unlimited dips into the building's pool, gym, and Children's Museum of Manhattan–designed playroom. But you'll need to spend lots of time in the common space or outdoors (gasp!) to enjoy the surroundings. You get no terraces on the seventh floor, and your windows offer, um, "city views." On one side you face the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. And across West End Avenue, you're looking at a vacant lot that won't stay vacant. Bradbury won't comment on when a new building will cast its shadow. But, hey, you might be able to afford boarding school by then. —Alec Appelbaum

More U.S. Women Are Single Than Married: Discuss

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A record-setting 51 percent of U.S. women are now living without a spouse, according to a report in today's Times — up from 35 percent in 1950. How do New York women feel about that spike? We asked them in front of that temple of matrimony, the Kleinfeld bridal megashop in Chelsea. —Tim Murphy

Lindsay Lohan, Dumbstruck

The big news today in the city's big businesses. FASHION • Lindsay Lohan’s Miu Miu ads keep coming — now she’s a vibrant, dumbstruck dolly. [Fashionologie] • There’s a bimbo logjam at the top of Mr. Blackwell’s annual worst-dressed list. [Downtown Darling] • A Paris court dismissed Karl Lagerfeld’s claim against journalist Alicia Drake. He sued her for invasion of privacy — but really, people say, because she called him middle class. [WWD]