Thursday, January 31, 2008



I visited the Brazilian restaurant,
Porcao, (NY) for lunch. I had an absolutely delicious steak (actually two medium sized steaks on the plate), with a help-yourself, small bowl of cilantro steak sauce, that was excellent, and a perfectly cooked fried banana on the side.

They have a beautiful looking, extensive salad bar.

Unfortunately, I'd had two eggs for breakfast (and two steaks for lunch), so I had to pass up a Brazilian egg-yolk custard for dessert; the chocolate cupcake was good and very pretty, but not quite as special as the rest of the meal.

The restaurant is spacious and elegant. I didn't try it this time, but they feature the "Rodizio," an all-you-can-eat, wide selection of meats brought on skewers from the kitchen and chosen and sliced at your table. Their special drink menu, including my favorite, Caipirinha, was too much for a lunch, but I'm going back for one at dinner, soon.

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Monday, January 28, 2008




Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
'No Country for Old Men' --WINNER

'3:10 to Yuma'
'American Gangster'
'Into the Wild'

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis, 'There Will Be Blood' --WINNER
George Clooney, 'Michael Clayton'
Ryan Gosling, 'Lars and the Real Girl'
Emile Hirsch, 'Into the Wild'
Viggo Mortensen, 'Eastern Promises'

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Julie Christie, 'Away From Her' --WINNER
Cate Blanchett, 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age'
Marion Cotillard, 'La Vie en Rose'
Angelina Jolie, 'A Mighty Heart'
Ellen Page, 'Juno'

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem, 'No Country for Old Men' --WINNER

Casey Affleck, 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'
Hal Holbrook, 'Into the Wild'
Tommy Lee Jones, 'No Country For Old Men'
Tom Wilkinson, 'Michael Clayton'

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Ruby Dee, 'American Gangster' --WINNER

Cate Blanchett, 'I'm Not There'
Catherine Keener, 'Into the Wild'
Amy Ryan, 'Gone Baby Gone'
Tilda Swinton, 'Michael Clayton'

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
'The Bourne Ultimatum' --WINNER

'I Am Legend'
'The Kingdom'
'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini, 'The Sopranos' --WINNER

Michael C. Hall, 'Dexter'
Jon Hamm, 'Mad Men'
Hugh Laurie, 'House'
James Spader, 'Boston Legal'

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Edie Falco, 'The Sopranos' --WINNER

Glenn Close, 'Damages'
Sally Field, 'Brothers & Sisters'
Holly Hunter, 'Saving Grace'
Kyra Sedgwick, 'The Closer'

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin,'30 Rock' --WINNER

Steve Carell, 'The Office'
Ricky Gervais, 'Extras'
Jeremy Piven, 'Entourage'
Tony Shalhoub, 'Monk'

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Tina Fey, '30 Rock' --WINNER

Christina Applegate, 'Samantha Who?'
America Ferrera, 'Ugly Betty'
Mary-Louise Parker, 'Weeds'
Vanessa Williams, 'Ugly Betty'

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
'The Sopranos' --WINNER

'Mad Men'
'Boston Legal'
'The Closer'
'Grey's Anatomy'

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
'The Office' --WINNER

'30 Rock'
'Desperate Housewives'
'Ugly Betty'

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Kline, 'As You Like It' --WINNER

Michael Keaton, 'The Company'
Oliver Platt, 'The Bronx is Burning'
Sam Shepard, 'Ruffian'
John Turturro, 'The Bronx is Burning'

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Queen Latifah, 'Life Support' --WINNER

Ellen Burstyn, 'Mitch Albom's For One More Day'
Debra Messing, 'The Starter Wife'
Anna Paquin, 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'
Gena Rowlands, 'What if God Were the Sun?'
Vanessa Redgrave, 'The Fever'

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
'24' --WINNER

'The Unit'


Saturday, January 05, 2008



2008 is starting off with some very interesting films at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center:

A retrospective about Russian Films has been announced (more about that in another post), plus:

Now – Jan 6 & 11, 18, 19

Jacques Tati, Pascal Magnin & Pierre Coulibeuf; documentaries about dance luminaries Jock Soto, Christopher House & Felia Doubrovska; B-Boys Josh Ayers, Omar Davila & Romeo Navarro; film critic Armond White's tantalizing take on pop video artists.

CITY OF MEN – Preview Screening
Mon Jan 7 @ 7pm

Teenagers Ace (Douglas Silva) and Wallace (Darlan Cunha), both on the verge of their 18th birthdays, find themselves on opposite sides of a gang war in Paulo Morelli’s much anticipated follow-up to Fernando Meirelles’ award-winning “City of God.” The gripping soundtrack and compelling visual style evoke the intensity of growing up in a culture dictated by violence.

Jan 9 – 24, 2008

The 17th annual global survey of innovative and provocative films—most receiving their US or New York premieres—explores the multi-faceted Jewish experience. Opening with Claude Miller’s US premiere of A SECRET starring Mathieu Amalric & Julie Depardieu and the NY premiere of 2 new Israeli films TEHILIM & A HEBREW LESSON.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008



Entertaining Science, the blend of science and entertainment created by Nobel Laureate
Roald Hoffmann, continues at the Cornelia Street Cafe on the first Sunday of each month.

On Sunday Jan 5 at 6:00 PM, this month's show is:

SeaChange:Reversing the Tide, a dramatic lecture devised, written and presented by scientist Roger Payne and his wife, actress Lisa Harrow. SeaChange weaves the knowledge of science and the wisdom of poetry (Shakespeare, Shelley, Robert Frost, Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver and others) into a compelling presentation arguing that the human species is not the overseer of life but an integral part of life’s complex web, and that our survival requires that we attend not just to our own well-being, but also to the well-being of that entire web of life.

The Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street (NYC)

Cover charge & drink minimum.
Reservations usually necessary.
Come early for a good seat.

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There's an interesting article (by Michael Sanders) about Armagnac in this week's NYT Dining Section (Wed, Jan 2, 2008 p F5) .

I discovered Armagnac (pronounced, I think, in American English -- I won't attempt a true French pronounciation -- arm-a-nyak, with a slight accent on either the first or last syllable, according to taste), at the duty-free store in London. I'm not sure which terminal of which airline. But there was an entire row of vintage Armagnacs going back decades. I picked one out at random -- somewhere in the middle of the vintage years. It was fantastic. Like cognac but with a very special distinctive flavor. A year or two later I tried another vintage (older and more expensive, actually). Excellent, but not as special as the first.

Here's the sad part. I don't remember the name of the Armagnac or the vintage years I picked out and tried. The last time I was in a London airport, the vintage Armagnacs were missing, and the only Armagnac available was not as good my first two selections.

So now I'm in a hunt to find my Armagnac again.

Note 1 -- The NYT now does not capitalize "cognac". They used to.

Note 2 -- The NYT writes about Armagnac periodically... Here are some other, older NYT articles on Armagnac:

SPIRITS OF THE TIMES; Armagnac, Cognac's Country Cousin -- February 18, 2004 - By ERIC ASIMOV
In a Glass, A Swashbuckler Called Armagnac -- September 18, 2002 - By R. W. APPLE Jr
FARE OF THE COUNTRY; Armagnac From the South of France -- November 22, 1987 - By FRED FERRETTI

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008



The Graduate Center at CUNY (City University Of New York)
Science & The Arts Program has several interesting events scheduled in Spring 2008. Here are their descriptions:

BrainWave: The Neuroscience of The Groove > Monday, March 24, 6:30 PM
Why do humans love music and dance? A discussion, plus "Quartet for percussion and brain waves," a live performance/experiment with drummers and electroencephalographs.

Bubbles in Beijing: Architecture, Physics, and The Olympics > Tuesday, April 1, 6:30 PM
The Olympic aquatics pavilion in Beijing resembles a box of bubbles. This extraordinary feat of engineering will be discussed by
Denis Weaire, physics professor at Trinity College Dublin, who first observed the efficiency of bubble structures, and a representative from the engineering firm Arup, famous for their design contributions to some of the greatest buildings of our times.

Ferocious Beauty: Dance and Genetics > Monday, April 7, 6:30 PM
Liz Lerman, choreographer, believes in the power of art to enhance civic dialogue. Her new dance/theater piece, Ferocious Beauty: Genomics, investigates the implications of genetic research. Among her collaborators in creating the work was Bonnie Bassler, renowned Princeton University microbiologist, who will join her in a dialogue. The talk will be illustrated with video segments, providing a preview of the dance piece before its first performance in the New York area.

Hollywood Science > Tuesday, April 29, 6:30 PM
Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University and author of the new book Hollywood Science, discusses the portrayal of science in films, from science fiction to scientific biographies and documentaries, and screens some examples.

These events at The CUNY Graduate Center are free, unless noted. Pre-registering holds your seat until 15 minutes before curtain, then seating is first come, first served. Pre-register by phone or email: 212-817-8215 or

Science & the Arts The Graduate Center, CUNY 365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street)

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