New York City, baby.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Welcome to the first annual Blubox Awards!

First, a quick look back at how Blubox came to be.

Back in June, wandering the streets of the Lower East Side, Schiller's homemade tarter sauce drooling from his mouth, our good friend projectile-spewed his infected blog blood into our open wound.

The mutation was instant and the city suddenly had a new contaminate on its hands, one they'd never seen before. No ordinary virus, this one spread love through downtown New York, from Allen Street to 5th Avenue.

It's name: Blubox.

The elite blogging community has been on the run ever since. We even here Gawker built a bunker out of clippings from Page Six.

Speaking of zombie rage, reading all the year-end awards in magazines and newspapers with their outflow of delirious praise for chronically fashionable, yet not-amazing things sent our calm blue eyes into fiery beams of red.

We're not going to get caught up in the mania for... well, where was the mania? People liked the Never Ending Story III, aka Lord Of The Rings. But while Saturday Night Fever helped spawn the disco craze, we have yet to see the Hobbit dance sweep the nation.

The hot indie movie this year was definitely Lost In Translation. After seeing it, we wished good pal Sofia had invited us to the cocktail party instead. We know she would have played fantastic music and the non-expressive crowd reflected against the moonlit balcony would have made us feel part of some beautifully defected species of late-twenties children.

As it were, Blubox only worked ourselves into a frenzy twice this year. First, with the premiere of Matrix Revolutions. Second, with the playoff battle between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Someone should have swapped endings.

Those "reasons for serious drinking" aside, there was a dependable supply of good stuff to choose from this year, from albums like My Morning Jacket to bars like Lit (2nd Ave.) to movies like Melvin Goes To Dinner.

Our friends didn't demand that we watch, read or listen to anything this year and that says something. About culture or our friends, were not sure.

We felt the need to leave the place we were much less than ever before. We enjoyed simple pleasures and found them all around.

We complained less and kept our refusal to read A Heartbreaking Work Of Genius up for another year. And we were happy that no one was doing what we wish we had done first.

Watching Rich Girls with my whole family, including my poor dad, signaled the elevation of reality television to where it belongs: essential cultural status.

The best of reality television in 2003: 1. Survivor Pearl Island 2. The Simple Life 3. The Joe Schmo Show.

Negligent casting award goes to Joe Millionaire 2, who picked an all-time dud named David, who ended up falling for a guarded, anesthetic-smiling sweetheart clearly focused on escaping her impovershed life in Estonia.

The downtown begged for us to explore its many charms; it was here the true beauty of 2003 could be found. We found it in a sweet-aroma Yonah Schimmel's (Houston St.) on a quiet Saturday afternoon and bringing the consummate Sunday football meal of Chicken Satay from Rice (Mott St.) over to our friend who has Tevo's place on Rivington Street.

Our categories were chosen by what we felt were essentials to living well in New York City. So here we go:


Paul's Boutique (Rivington St.)

This came down to a classic west side/east side battle.

In the West we have Doma (Perry St.), where we could partake in the cosmopolitan sport of deriding other cosmopolitans, those slightly more cartoonish in their boiled-wool sweaters, reading magazines covering the latest trends in industrial design, tacky enough to bring a laptop to a quaint cafe. When we were there we knew we weren't in Boston. That made us happy.

In the East we have Paul's Boutique, where we've spent more than a few mornings this past year recovering from a hangover by eating their kind craggy granola. One time we had the additional joy of watching two luscious French-Israeli girls enjoying eggs and cigarettes. And yet they couldn't have been smoking because of the ban. And yet this is how we remember it. Hence, the edge to Paul's Boutique.


Kill Bill Volume 1

Seeing Kill Bill in Austin, Texas made us hyperaware how it was one of those made-to-be-seen-in New York movies. You come back out on the street and suddenly there's a sky above you that wasn't there before and you're traveling through the city, a day to go before your flight back. But your first stop: Sounds (St. Marks) to buy the soundtrack.


'inoteca (Rivington St.)

Mermaid Inn (2nd Ave.) was number one in the BCS ranking. Too bad we always go with the AP Poll which voted 'inoteca number one. For those who think we have calculated wrongly, we break it down for you:

Location gets a 10 (name a better one). The Antipasto plates get a 10 (fifteen kinds of heavenly Italian cheeses and you don't have to trek over to decent, but wasteland-centered Otto (5th Ave.). Desserts get a 10 (the gelato cappuccino relaxes the tightest muscles.) Downstairs room gets a 10 (shames Il Bagatto's (2nd St.) subterranean stage with its Tuscan transport to tranquiloville.)

We agree that upstairs is joker heaven, but that's why you don't eat there. Lunch is also for those who wear bells on their shoes. Oh, and order the sparkling red wine to show your pals that you're more shockingly bad-ass than they thought.



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