(Double Happiness) x2 = The Best Weekend in Recent Memory
“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”
Those are some of the ironically memorable words that the great Julian Barnes put into the mouth of the smartest person (and there are a lot of smart people there) in his magnetic “The Sense of an Ending” — the most densely intelligent little novel written last year (it deservedly won the Man Booker prize). I mention this because perhaps by blogging about a riotously fun weekend I just experienced I can in effect extend its life beyond imperfect memory. See, last weekend was the best!
It all started (as do most great weekends), on the Thursday night before, when I found myself (quite uncharacteristically) knocking back $2 “sake bombs” and (much more characteristically) biting into these tiny and juicy Japanese-style kabobs—which are some of the offerings from the wackily named “Section 8 Yakitorium,” the newest Freshstreet/Foodie Cart crew project.
Located in the racily red, kitschily Asian, yet big-city suave Double Happiness bar and music club—where enthrallingly dance-mad “Best of Soul Train” clips routinely play on a flatscreen and John Coltrane, Stereolab and Jesus Lizard hold forth on the terrific, if not quite up-to-date jukebox—Section 8 Yakitorium’s fittingly artful menu is written in charcoal (the tools of S8Y’s trade— they use imported “bincho” oak coals to create their distinctly oak-scented, tapas-sized skewers).
You can nibble on sticks flush with tongue-n-cheek (in beef and/or pork forms) at S8Y or chomp on less “challenging” grilled bits or enjoy non-barbecued items like this comforting, hot cereal-like and konbu brothy winner (Ume Chazuke).
Read more about S8Y in tomorrow’s Alive.
Friday, we went to see the riveting “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”—a fascinating maze of a movie depicting bleak and duplicitous people in the spy game of a bleached-out England (and Europe) of the 70s. I love bleak movies — not so much because they validate some kind of steely-eyed view of humanity — but because they oxymoronically cheer me up (I find flicks like, say, “E.T.” un-watchably depressing and silly).
What also cheers me up is dinner at Alana’s (note: the shadowy light that adds to Alana’s allure unfortunately detracts from the quality of photos snapped of her lusty cuisine).
These wine, butter and garlic (i.e a reliable holy trinity of flavoring agents) sauced scallops rocked my day boat.
Opting for the “What’s Behind Door #3” unspecified special, we asked Kevin to select a good-priced wine that wouldn’t clash with our unknown entree — when this fine and versatile Rosso di Montalcino emerged, I assumed (and had been secretly hoping all along) that we’d be eating red meat.
Our fun little dinnertime guessing game concluded (and believe me, we won!) when this wonderfully unctuous veal shank and fragrant saffron risotto was presented to us. Since it was gently graced with Indian spices (which helped leaven its richness), I called the dish “Osso Buco Goes to Mumbai.” Lovely!
After dinner, we met up with friends and drank (much too much) Champagne (the real stuff) late into the night.
If a guy in a Cardinal’s flowing robes playing with a tattooed man in a dress and a rooster hairdo who’s also wailing and moaning savagely to ferocious and impossibly tight rock-n-roll doesn’t get you revved-up, then we cannot be friends (or at least not close ones). This still picture (courtesy of JD Dallas/rockandrollhighschoolreunion.com) of the otherwise frenetic Econothugs (that name cracks me up to this day) is a glimpse of a magical Saturday night at Ace of Cups. What coulda been a sad retro show of old ’90s bands (most of them packed with pals of mine) was instead a glorious night of fun, weird, often frenzied and consistently engaging music I’ll not soon forget.
Another thing that occurred to me after this exciting show was how so much of today’s music is weak, safe, gimmicky and enervated stuff that rocks out about as much as my grandma—and she’s dead.
Sunday, after attending a killer surprise birthday party (Delamotte and margaritas poured, real chef-made Mexican food consumed), I went to see the Buckeyes (in an electric and as raucous as I’ve ever seen it Schott) exact revenge on an Indiana team whose insistence on zone defense couldn’t cover up their failure to match up with us athletically.
Our nearly-on-the-floor seats (Where’s Waldo?) were also a prime perch for the halftime show: Urban Meyer introducing his new coaching staff (noteworthy: Gene Smith was outright booed and the biggest applause went Luke Fickell).
Sure, my documentation might be inadequate and my memory is certainly imperfect, but last weekend will still go down in history as a great one for me.
My goal for next weekend: a lotta recliner time and lame praise for HDTV.