1.12.12 | Best of Winter Break

Thoroughly enjoying a much-needed holiday… Here are some of my favorites thus far!

Brooklyn Museum

Visible Storage Study Center at the Brooklyn Museum. Every museum and gallery should have one of these awesome exposed storage spaces!

I really can’t understand how I managed to spend nearly two decades living in the Boston area and studying art without ever having set foot inside the Brooklyn Museum. This museum is massive, elegant, and perfect for monumental artworks such as Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” installation and the highly controversial Hide/Seek exhibition. I spent five days in New York City and Long Island at the beginning of January, and out of all the institutions I visited (including the Guggenheim, Frick Collection, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and various Chelsea galleries), the Brooklyn Museum was by far the most interesting space with the most intelligent exhibitions.


Yonah Schimmel... Killin' it every time. Half-sour pickles, coleslaw, mozzarella jalapeƱo knish.

A trip to New York is basically just an excuse for a pilgrimage to my favorite dinky little Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery on East Houston. Just down the street is Katz’s Deli, which is apparently where this infamous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” was shot. And of course, in the spirit of any true deli, both Yonah Schimmel’s and Katz’s serve half-sour pickles and coleslaw. Delicious.

Katz's Deli: half-sours, pickled tomatoes, chocolate egg cream, and the best sweet noodle kugel I've ever tasted, with raisins, oranges, and apples baked inside... Yum!

Local Eateries

Not far behind New York’s delis (and bakeries! Absolute Bagels and Levain Bakery both on the Upper West Side, and Magnolia Bakery scattered around the city are amazing) is Boston’s very own Zaftigs Delicatessan, located in Coolidge Corner. Their cheese blintzes are little pockets of heaven.

Check out this cream cheese spread at Absolute Bagels, New York.

Cinnamon raisin bagel with so much apple cream cheese.

Other recent vegetarian and vegan-friendly favorites are Veggie Planet and Clover in Harvard Square. Clover is also responsible for those cheap & healthy food trucks you’ve seen stationed around MIT and MassArt.

A friend's delicious birthday dinner at Veggie Planet. Cupcakes from Lyndell's Bakery to follow.

My newest discovery (as of yesterday, lunch!) is Flatbread Company tucked away in Davis Square. Organic ingredients, an entire menu of local brews, and half of the restaurant space serves as a bowling arena… It really doesn’t get any better than this.

Real brick oven at Flatbread Company in Davis Square!

Flatbread's special of the day: vegetarian pizza with beets, summer squash, caramelized onions, kale, rosemary, goat cheese, balsamic dressing. (Sausage on the other half for sharing with a friend...)

And since I haven’t been in the Tufts Somerville/Medford area as much lately and Diesel Cafe is a bit of a trek, I’ve been spending the majority of my cafe time at CafeNation in Brighton and 1369 Coffee House in Central Square.

Collaborative, Creative Projects

The reason why I’ve been making trips out to Central Square recently is that I’ve been learning to use the laser-cutting machines in Danger!Awesome‘s tiny storefront at the corner of Prospect and Mass Ave. Currently, I am helping out a Brooklyn-based artist laser-cut 6,000 or so frames for an animated video to accompany musician Josh Ritter‘s “Love Is Making Its Way Back Home,” to be released in early February.

Small stack of frames for the Josh Ritter music video animation.

Two projects on my radar currently are The Boston Tree Party, a community tree-planting initiative spearheaded by a Tufts/SMFA graduate program alum, and “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” the directorial debut of Angelina Jolie set within the context of the Bosnian War. While I cannot necessarily give a strong statement for “In the Land…” as a film itself– I found it nearly impossible to concentrate on technical aspects of the film, given the tremendous intensity of the subject matter– I do support the project as a whole. Jolie brought together a cast of crew of diverse backgrounds and created an opportunity for important dialogue sparked by the film, using art as a means for communication and social change.


Modest Mouse’s Life Like Weeds. Listening to ‘The Moon and Antarctica” (2000) album nonstop.


I had been meaning to read Rob Walker’s “Buying In” and Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s “Freakonomics” for the longest time, and I finally did it this break! Currently making my way through Lindsay Pollock’s “The Girl with the Gallery” about 20th century American art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert. Other books on my list include Frank Moss’ “The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives” (review here) and “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success…” by Keith Ferrazzi.


Smell like chlorine every day! Keeps me sane.

… And that’s it for now. Just some little snippets of my winter vacation.

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