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Posts from the ‘Washington DC’ Category

Catching Up in May

I collect links and articles for my monthly catching up posts every day so it’s not until I sit down to go through them all that a theme emerges.  The New York Times City Room covered the struggles of two neighborhood restaurants.  Due in part to the efforts of community leaders and a last minute fundraiser, Coqui Mexicano was able to temporarily stave off eviction from their South Bronx location but Manhattanville’s La Floridita, one of the last Cuban restaurants left in the area, was forced to close for repairs and faces an uncertain future.  The Village Voice interview with Fernando Ruiz of the Tortilleria Nixtamal, which is doing well, was about mistakes, misconceptions, and underappreciated ingredients — a more interesting read but still.  Even news that Rick Bayless would be preparing the state dinner President Felipe Calderón of Mexico stirred up some controversy both before and after.   On a brighter note, Carolina González wrote for the Daily News about the prominence of women chefs and restaurateurs like Zarela Martínez and Sue Torres in high-end Mexican cuisine.  I thought May would farmer’s markets and spring blossoms but there were some shadows too.

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Fiesta Latina

I watched the coverage of last week’s Fiesta Latina celebrated at the White House with sincere but vague interest.  Though I was happy that it went well and proud as always for the recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, multi-cultural events at the White House have become frequent enough that you don’t expect any real surprises.  That was before I came across on of my favorite food writer, Maricel Presilla’s account in “Cooking at La Casa Blanca: Behind the Scenes with the Fiesta Latina Guest Chef” in the Miami Herald.com.  Click here for the for complete article.

Something to See

When I wrote about Botero last week, I titled the post Art Break since it wasn’t strictly about food.  Normally, I don’t make too much of a distinction between art and food.  I often catch myself telling people I went to see the Gustav Klimt exhibit at Café Sabarsky.  Really, I went to see the smoked trout crêpes with horseradish crème fraîche at Sabarsky.  The Klimt paintings were upstairs in the Neue Galerie itself.  If I’m going to MoMA, I can’t help thinking of the raspberry & fromage blanc sorbet sundae at Terrace 5, which has the added advantage of overlooking the sculpture garden.  And the Met is always beautiful but less overwhelming, if you can let it all sink in over afternoon tea at the Petrie Court (or a Crumbs cupcake in the the cafeteria, I’m not picky).  That’s why I was so excited when I came across the news in Tasting Table about the special menu Spanish chef José Andrés created for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to coincide with their exhibits, Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life and The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits form Imperial Spain.  Garden Café España will be running until September 17, 2009.  I can’t wait to visit D.C. this summer to eat the exhibit.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Pablo Picasso’s She-Goat (1950) from the MoMA’s Abby Alrich Rockefeller Scupture Garden

Republican Ginger Snaps and Democratic Cupcakes

Like a few million others, I made my pilgrimage to Washington, DC this week to witness firsthand the presidential inauguration.  In the days after the election, a lot of my friends talked of making the trip also, but once the excitement died down, most of them decided to stay home.  Any other year or for any other president, I would have been one of them.  The reason I didn’t is because of a conversation I had with an aunt who was fighting cancer.  A lifelong republican and active McCain supporter, she knew I had volunteered for the campaign and was the first to call and congratulate me when Obama won.  When I confessed that I had planned on attending but now wasn’t sure, she told me I simply HAD to go.  Her HADTO made up my mind.

It took three hours through chaotic DC streets and an endless traffic tunnel to work our way to a spot where we could watch the ceremony on the JumboTrons posted along the Mall.  It was during the next two hours of standing and waiting that the cold worked its way up through my legs and froze every cell in my body.  Luckily, the day before I had visited my great aunt and uncle who live in DC.  He’s a retired professor in his eighties and they’re both diehard conservatives.  Over a gracious lunch, they questioned all of my political beliefs and most of my life choices then gave my sister and me a tin of ginger snaps and sent us on our way.  When the cold set in the next day, I ripped into those ginger snaps like a starved wolverine.  I’d be embarrassed about this, but I did share with my new inauguration friends and it really was so cold. Read more

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