The Time Out New York blog
Your up-to-the-minute guide to New York City events, restaurants, bars, nightlife, ticket alerts, NSFW ephemera and cat photos.
Wed Jul 18
My disdain for oversimplifed and in-your-face slogans is only matched by my burning desire for the "Next Big Thing." I would never, for example, wear anything with the moronic phrase "War Is Not My Word" emblazoned on it—unless Marc Jacobs made it, of course. So I'm ambivalent about accessories queen Anya Hindmarch's new "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" carryall, going on sale at tristate-area Whole Foods today for $15. On the one hand, a reusable bag is a good thing—especially considering Americans tear through 100 billion of the plastic kind each year. On the other hand, I just want to strangle the self-righteous snits who think waving their canvas tote in everyone's face makes up for a lifetime of conspicuous consumerism. Fortunately, the damn things go on sale at 8am, so by the time I get my sorry ass into the city they'll be long sold out. I love it when things take care of themselves. Hindmarch will be on hand at the Whole Foods on Bowery today. For real ways to...
More wine science than you ever wanted to know
Tue Jul 17
If you've been reading along with the Homebrew Project, you know that the wine was an utter disaster. This was personally heartbreaking for me, as I started with excellent, tasty grapes and ruined them strictly by my own inattention. Just because I was neglectful doesn't mean I didn't care. Once I saw my fruit going south, I made every effort to salvage it. I consulted Alan at Karp's Homebrew (an endlessly willing and patient adviser). I consulted a professor. I called a professional winemaker. I did not, ultimately, determine any way to reverse the wine's downward course, but I did learn a lot about winemaking science that you might be interested to read. When I crushed the grapes, I knew they were on the brink of badness. I went online and combed through winemaking articles, trying to find any information on handling or resurrecting grapes that are ... overripe, shall we say. (As I write this, it seems ridiculous to think that decomposition—however mild—could somehow be...
E3 day 1, continued: casual relationships
Mon Jul 16
Electronic Arts The press briefing for the world's largest video game publisher was an odd beast. Rather than assault us with the full might of their many offerings, EA chose a few specific games . If I could suss out any theme from this year's E3, it would be that the proliferation of pick-up-and-play titles signals underscored a commitment to getting people other than hardcore gamers to turn on video-game consoles. Among EA's titles designed to do just that were rhythm/karaoke game Boogie, school sports title EA Playground, virtual quiz show Smarty Pants and Blocks, one of the games being produced in conjunction with Steven Spielberg. Blocks looks deceptively simple. Different types of cubes do different things and one level shown tasked played to collapse an entire structure by manipulating only one block. Alain Tascan, head of the company's Montreal studio did a very funny demo of Boogie, which included a spirited version of "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat...
Ten reasons why beer is better than women (or at least wine)
Fri Jul 13
There are less than two hours to go until I taste my homemade beer and wine. Who else is feeling the excitement? My colleagues have already sent a few half-joking eulogies, anticipating a wine-related calamity. Not since Homer ate the blowfish has there been this much suspense over the health consequences of a culinary event. Reason No. 9: When you spoon it, it doesn't complain that your balls "feel gross." But I am not here to talk about wine. Or to bury it. Today I'm going to complete the tale of the beer-making process. Last we left things, I had brewed it (with instant oatmeal packets for extra flavor) and fermented it with delightfully fizzy yeast. Beer fermentation, my instructions tell me, takes between 36 and 72 hours. Then it must settle for another few days. Notice how blissfully imprecise all these instructions are, just as the brewing instructions were barbarically simple. I would sum those up as follows: Throw stuff in pot; boil. I ended up letting my...
Tastes like chicken
Fri Jul 13
The Homebrew Project is over and I am still alive. I am also, I must admit, powerfully buzzed. Just throwing that out there. The taste test was a fun event (though maybe not for those who hoped to see me keel over from the wine). After transferring my grape concoction from its glass carboy to a plastic bucket, I dredged up a portion of it for consumption. It looked like rainwater that had festered in a ditch of red clay for about two weeks. TONY editor-in-chief Brian Farnham asked questions about the wine's origins, and I gave some type of Mr. Wizard spiel about the oxidation in the wine being analogous to an apple core that's been left out. The audience was less than rapt. I'm pretty sure they only wanted to see if I would vomit. Our used mopping pail ... oh, wait, that's wine. I ended the suspense with a generous quaff of my winelike substance. I believe I described the taste to the crowd as having "notes of cardboard." If I had to compare it to something real, I...