Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith Director: George Lucas Stars: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson Plot: That cute little snot from Phantom Menace finally grows up into Darth Vader. It's about time, too. Lucas promises this PG-13-rated film is darker and more serious than its predecessors. Star Wars Character This Film Most Resembles: Darth Vader, of course, the biggest, baddest, most unstoppable force in the universe. Like Vader, this film has the potential for great good, or great evil. (20th Century Fox Film)
At this moment, the lawsuit filed against the mayor and Albuquerque City Council by the New Mexico Archeological Council, National Trust for Historic Preservation and a consortium of other environmental and social justice groups over Paseo del Norte is like two sumo wrestlers doing their stretches. It's all preliminary wrangling over matters of state law.
Greg Palast grew up in a Los Angeles house sandwiched between a landfill and power plant. Maybe there was something in the air that made him crazy—in a good way. Maybe it's the kind of upbringing he endured in the "scum end of L.A." that gave him his perspective on the human condition, which has led him to become one America's most fearless and yet little known investigative journalists. Little known in his own country, that is, but popular in Europe, where he reports for England's BBC TV network and the nation's leading newspapers, the Guardian and Observer.
The president of El Salvador, Tony Saca, was in town last week, pumping hard for support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). His audience at a breakfast at the Hispanic Cultural Center was the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, one in a two-week cavalcade of infomercials and pep rallies across the country.
Those stupid yellow ribbons. None of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq benefit when someone slaps a "Support Our Troops" magnet on the back of their car. It's Chinese manufacturers and their stateside retailers that benefit from each sale. The proceeds do not "Support Our Troops."
Dateline: Russia—A Russian astrologer named Marina Bai wants nearly $250 million in damages from NASA for upsetting the balance of the universe. According to Russia's Pravda news site, Bai believes that NASA's Deep Impact space probe, due to smash into the Tempel 1 comet on July 4, is a “terrorist act.” NASA scientists hope the mission will reveal what comets are made of when they observe the probe's impact. In addition to disturbing the movement of cosmic forces, Bai believes that the comet impact is also a personal assault on her grandparents, as the comet heralded the beginning of their relationship. One court has already thrown out the case on the grounds that Russia has no legal jurisdiction over the American space agency. Bai's lawyer has taken the case to a higher court which is debating if NASA is in fact representing Russia through the U.S. embassy in Moscow.
Latino Lecture—As part of the National Hispanic Cultural Center's ongoing Latino/Hispanic Film Conference, this Thursday, May 19, will feature a free film screening followed by a Q&A lecture. The film screening will be of The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood. This showbiz documentary, narrated by actress Wanda De Jesus (The Insider), interviews such notables as Rubén Blades, John Leguizamo, Ricardo Montalban, Rita Moreno, Raquel Welch and Edward James Olmos. It explores the largely untold story of Latinos in the American motion picture industry--from the “Latin lover” stereotype in silent films to the more complex characters explored by today's Latino filmmakers. The film's screenwriter, Susan Racho, will be on hand for the Q&A. Tickets are a mere $6 and can be purchased at the door of the Bank of America Film Theatre (1701 Fourth Street SW). Screening begins at 7 p.m. For more info, log on to www.hccnm.org.
Intimate French flick explores relationships of all types
By Devin D. O'Leary
When American movies explore relationships, they are virtually without exception romantic and revolve around meeting cute, breaking up and getting back together. Fortunately, the Europeans--who have been doing romance so long they've grown bored with it--are happy to pick up our slack and explore adult relationships that involve something other than crashing some large public gathering and proposing to Drew Barrymore. The French-spawned Look at Me is a perfect example. The more of its slim story that unfolds, the more insightful it seems.
Life is full of hard lessons and then, to quote John Maynard Keynes, we're all dead. In between, we spend a lifetime mistaking excitement for happiness, greed for nobility, lying for honesty, stupidity for bad luck, sex for love and, in some cases, retirement accounts for real money. When Enron imploded a few years ago, like a story ripe with all the classic elements of Shakespearean tragedy, it magnified each of these human misperceptions to the darkest extreme.
To my limited understanding, “champloo” is an Asian stir-fry. It's meaning is similar to our word “stew”--basically a mishmash of whatever ingredients are at hand. Now that we've got the metaphor in place, we can get a clearer understanding of just what “Samurai Champloo,” Cartoon Network's newest imported anime series, is all about.
The abundance (and variety) of musical talent that Albuquerque has to offer never ceases to amaze me. When I first moved here from the Philadelphia area, I couldn't believe how many local bands there were. What's more, I couldn't believe how many good local bands there were. Sometimes Albuquerque feels like a mini-Seattle or Little Austin; and it's just a matter of time before our favorite local bands are swept up to some other place for bigger and more profitable things. Don't we miss the days when bands like The Shins, Stoic Frame or Eric McFadden (to name a few) played here every weekend? Sure we do. But let's dry our eyes and look to the future. This Saturday, three of Albuquerque's hottest homegrown talents will take to the Launchpad stage for a night of pure local magic.
Saturday, May 21; Winning Coffee Co. (all-ages): As what has to be the unlikeliest of new rock venues, coffee shop/Sunday morning hangover hangout Winning has stepped up to the plate as an all-ages rock 'n' roll space. This is ever-more important in light of Mayor Marty's latest assault on teen fun. Last weekend, Winning hosted the Dirty Novels. This week, it's a Unit 7 Drain CD release show, supported by the punk rockers that renewed my faith in punk rock, Romeo Goes To Hell, as well as Goodbye Cody and Someday. Start time is slated for the most un-rocklike time of 7 p.m. Unit 7 Drain leaves trails of CDs in their wake the way you or I leave crumpled Frontier breakfast burrito wrappers. Their recordings shine and their live shows are brilliant, so you can't go wrong with either; or, as is the case here, both. The music is updated alternative rock with heart-rending melodies and ache-of-the-soul lyrics that leave you wuth contented melancholy. It ought to be noted that this all-ages show is The Unit's gift to their small-ages fans who couldn't attend last weekend's over-21 CD-release bash. Aww, how sweet..! Anyway, what else can you do that promises to be as much fun and allows you to get home at an early hour? That is, unless you're too amped by the music you just heard to even think of sleep. Or maybe it's just all that java you sucked down during the show.
QOTSA's newest album, Lullabies to Paralyze, necessarily begs comparison to their preceding mainstream darling, Songs for the Deaf. Yet while the subtraction of Grohl, Oliveri, and, for the most part, Lanegan, does account for a shift in the band's sound, this is still the rock of Gibraltar. Passionate, intense and skilled instrumentation, along with Joshua Homme's lush vocals, coupled with guest appearances by Billy Gibbons, Shirley Manson and Brodie Dahl make this album worth its weight in indie-rock gold. This is gorgeous, heavy, diverse and unrelenting rock 'n' roll.
Beyond the fact that they were both famous American artists, Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol don't seem to have all that much in common. O'Keeffe is deeply associated with the crusty, dry, rural Southwest, while Warhol epitomizes the hipster New York City art scene of the '60s. O'Keeffe's work is filled with natural light and natural settings, while Warhol's most famous work focuses on celebrities and household products.
Five years ago, when he received the National Book Award for his lyrical novel Waiting, Ha Jin became the first winner to thank the English language. It is an "embracive and vibrant" tongue, he said in his acceptance speech, and it had provided him "a niche where I can do meaningful work."
For years, one of the most enjoyable and least pretentious arts events in town was Steve White's Yardfest, held yearly in the front yard of White's former Folk Farm on Louisiana just south of Central. A bunch of fantastic artists mixed with a bunch of rockin' live bands along with the infamous Hillbilly Biathalon (seed spitting and pie eating) made for quite an event, let me tell you.
I crave Tom Yum Goong, which is a delicious spicy, tart shrimp soup that's offered at most Thai restaurants. It seems complicated to make and has a lot going on, but it's really quite easy. Here's a quick and tasty version of the soup that uses duck instead of shrimp. When I'm really in a hurry I make the broth from Oriental-flavor Ramen packets (they're not bad in a pinch). I either buy Peking duck already cooked from the Oriental market, or I use frozen confit (duck legs) left over from my twice-yearly cassoulet extravaganzas. You can also use chicken, scallops or shrimp, or just vegetables instead of duck—it's all good.
We are fortunate to have a very nice selection of good quality Thai restaurants to choose from in Albuquerque. For several months, I kept hearing about this new one, so when a friend who lived in Thailand for several years said that Krung Thai was his favorite, I went there. I'm happy to report that now I also have a new favorite Thai restaurant.
The summer months in Albuquerque are quite possibly the most miserable of the year. Yes, it's true that afternoon thunderstorms in July and August deliver a brief respite from the heat, but they never seem to last long enough to provide much relief.
El Malpais national wilderness area offers a fine example of New Mexico's geological brilliance and sometimes forgiving landscape. It's just a 90-minute drive from Albuquerque, and if you do a little research, pack the proper gear and plan the trip with respect for the summer sun's afternoon fury, you can enjoy a great trip and keep it cool at the same time.
When the blazing New Mexico sun is beating down on your shoulders, there's nothing better than diving into a pool of ice cold water and washing your cares away. Several public pools in Albuquerque offer recreational swimming for the kiddies and lap swimming for health-conscious adults. So cover your body with plenty of sunscreen, put on your flip-flops and floaties, and jump on in. The water's fine.
This wilderness area located in the Jemez Mountains might be less than a two-hour drive from Albuquerque, but the distance is measured in more than just miles. Hiking in the Valles Caldera is akin to dreaming in paradise. Imagine standing amidst one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes in the state and realizing this promise: "Don't expect big crowds, a shortage of parking, or a shop full of trinkets. Instead, we offer a chance to get out and really experience a sense of solitude that we hope will leave you refreshed and relaxed." That's from the preserve's website, and judging from the visitation format, the Valles Caldera's unique management structure means what the website says. What's more, the visitation program offers something for practically every outdoor enthusiast imaginable, whether you're into fly fishing, bird watching, photography, landscape painting, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking or elk hunting.
Got an itch to try kayaking, white water rafting, fly fishing or rock climbing but don't have the slightest idea how to get started? Well, your friendly neighborhood Alibi has done a good bit of the work for you. We decided to ask some experts at nearby outdooring stores the best way for novices to get started. Here's what they had to say.
In a state full of jaw-dropping scenic vistas, Wheeler Peak may very well beat out all competitors. Rising to a height of 13,161 feet from the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Taos, New Mexico's highest point is also embedded in one of the most beautiful areas of our achingly beautiful state. Because it scrapes the roof of the world, it's also nice and cool up there. So if you're looking for a way to beat the heat, Wheeler Peak is a prime place to start.
Summer's here, and three Albuquerque watering holes are finally opening
By Christie Chisholm
There's nothing quite as satisfying on a hot summer day as walking, sunscreen in hand, to your local watering hole—be it to take a dip in the Rio Grande, to discover a new fishing spot or simply to wash the heat away in your neighborhood pool.
A crowd at the May 2 Council meeting supported higher minimum wages and cruising, but opposed Bush's Social Security privatization and a four-lane Montaño. Councilor Eric Griego was out of town. And it was Kristmas for Ktech Corporation as Councilor Tina Cummins' bill, authorizing $25 million more in industrial revenue bonds for the corporation, passed unanimously.
A young student told me recently that she had been diagnosed with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer in women. In her case, cancerous cells had already developed, and she had undergone two surgeries to remove this tissue. As she knew HPV is sexually transmitted, I told her not to feel guilty, that it was a virus like any other, and there was nothing wrong with the way she happened to contract it. I told her HPV affects 80 percent of sexually active people at some point in their lives, that it was common and normal. She said she had felt ashamed of having the virus at first, and I wondered whether embarrassment and shame had hindered her quest for health care in any way.
Dateline: China—An elderly man tried to smuggle his pet turtle onto an airplane flight by strapping the animal to his spine and pretending to be a hunchback. According to the New Express newspaper, the man--identified as Wu--was flying home to Chongqing after eight years in Guangzhou. The man knew he wasn't allowed to take live animals on board, but was too attached to his turtle. He managed to get through security, but was stopped by a guard who thought his hump looked suspicious. A quick search uncovered the eight-inch, 11-pound terrapin. Wu eventually changed planes and was allowed to check his pet in as baggage.
Here's a quick and dirty barbecue sauce recipe that just goes to prove necessity really is the mother of invention. During a late summer camping trip on Fire Island National Seashore, I realized we had forgotten a whole cooler of supplies back on the ferry dock on Long Island. Aside from swimming back in the dark choppy ocean, there was no way to get to the mainland until the next day. We needed a sauce for the chicken and ribs we brought along for dinner that night, so we made one with what we had. Here is what we came up with. We called it superior barbecue sauce. It's simple, but tasty.
Chuck wagon classics served in a comfortable setting
By Scott Sharot
This is the kind of old-fashioned breakfast/lunch spot that's disappearing from the scene as quickly as land on the west mesa is being gobbled up by hungry developers. I'm talking about the kind of place where everybody knows your name, or at least calls you “hon'” until they do.
Training for Movies—The Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute Workforce Training Center near I-25 and Alameda will offer a six-hour film industry training workshop in “Production Office Coordination” on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will offer an overview of filmmaking departments and production office organization from pre-production to shooting through wrap up. Cost of the class is $30. For more information or to register, contact Denise Gardner at 224-5200 or Dgardner4@tvi.edu. Registration needs to be at least two days before the start of class, so hop to it if you want to get your foot in the door of New Mexico's burgeoning film industry.
A generation (maybe two) ago, summertime meant one thing: the return of the drive-in theater. Throughout most of the country--owing to climatic conditions--drive-in theaters had to remain closed during the winter months. (Hard to watch a movie when it's snowing on your windshield.) Given that indoor theaters can stay open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it's not too shocking that “hardtops” eventually replaced the old “ozoners.” But there are those who still harbor fond, nostalgic feelings for those old drive-in “passion pits.”
Gory thriller has a good old time killing off its castmembers
By Devin D. O'Leary
When you're sitting in the movie theater throwing Milk Duds down your gullet, it's generally not a good idea to think too hard about what those hardened gobs of sugar are doing to your teeth, your skin, your waistline. Honestly, they're probably not all that good for you. But, as long as you don't linger on the ingredients, they're freakin' delicious. Summer movie season usually asks you to apply the same lack of critical thinking to a host of bombastic Hollywood blockbusters.
To stoner rock fans, Brant Bjork is somewhat of a legend. He has spent the last decade-plus drumming in some of the most notable bands of the So-Cal desert rock movement (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Mondo Generator, Queens of the Stone Age, CH'E, etc.). This time around, Brant won't be behind the drums; he'll be in front of his band, The Bros, strapping on a Fender Strat to lay down a blend of psychadelic, soulful, lowrider funk mixed with hard-rocking riffs. I saw these guys last time around and they totally rocked the house. Their live show is much heavier compared to what they put out on plastic. And what better place to catch these guys with their '70s surfer, laid-back California vibe than the sunset beach backdrop of Burt's Tiki Lounge? Brant Bjork and the Bros are sure to leave no stoner unturned when they take the Tiki stage this Friday the 13th. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17; Sunshine Theater (All Ages): Music lovers pay attention to dynasties. This isn't always a healthy habit (cough, Lisa Marie Presley, cough), but if music children can make credible stuff, fans usually pay attention long enough to figure it out. Arlo Guthrie didn't have to be as good as Woody—who could be?—but when he brought "Alice's Restaurant," he showed fans that their natural curiosity with an icon's offspring can pay off nicely. To speak of musical dynasties without mentioning the Marley Family would be like speaking of acting dynasties without saying "Sheen." Out of Jah knows how many Marley children, seven make music, and not one is resigned to ragamuffin torch bearing. They start young, too. Stephen, one of three Marleys representing the Melody Makers, started performing at 6 years old. Skeptical? Good. This Friday, two Marleys will make their second visit to the Duke City in the space of a year. I'm sure they'll be happy to shatter your doubts. Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, the family's youngest at 26, and Stephen, who made his solo debut last month with "GOT MUSIC?," hit the Journal Pavilion last August with Ziggy, Julian and Ky-Mani. This time it's "Welcome to Jamrock," a tour taking its name from a song of Damian's that is already generating good vibes on dancehall dance floors. Way to go, Jr. If you'd like to catch a fire to push you through the workweek this Tuesday, stop by the Sunshine Theater and have a listen.
Weezer, Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay, Bauhaus and others treat 100,000 visitors to two days of kickin' rock 'n' roll
By Rachel Heisler
There's not much that beats hanging out with friends on a weekend of sunny, 85-degree weather in Southern California, but add two days of music and you've got an unstoppable party. This was the sixth year of the Coachella Art and Music Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio (near Palm Springs), and organizers say that more than 100,000 people passed through the festival gates on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. Tickets for the two days cost more than $150, but it was well worth the cost, as anyone who made it to the festival knows.
For years, Mark Garcia collected random found objects but had no idea why. These things just piled up in his home until, just a few years ago, he decided to manipulate them into a series of shadowboxes.
In a way, abstract expressionism is the perfect vehicle for venting adolescent aggression. Back in its heyday in the '50s, it was a highly masculine, testosterone-poisoned movement fueled by a handful of more or less disturbed visionaries. Jackson Pollack's giant drip paintings convey almost pure turbulent emotion. Many of Willem de Kooning's best-known paintings feel and look openly savage. In other words, abstract expressionism, at its root, is almost a visual equivalent to speed metal.
Mayor Martin Chavez sounds what could be a death knell for all-ages shows in Albuquerque
By Michael Henningsen
"Very simply, what I want to do is eliminate alcohol from all-ages venues."
—Mayor Martin Chavez
"We really haven't had, certainly with the Launchpad, any problems. But I think there's an overall philosophy that's recently been expressed about the mix of kids in a place where alcohol's being served."
Towne Park residents say when it comes to fines, enough is enough
By Christie Chisholm
Did you park a little too close to the curb tonight? Or a little too far away? What? You don't remember? Well, if you live in Towne Park near Eubank and I-40, you better go out and check, or risk getting slapped with a fine. While you're at it, make sure your lawn is properly weeded, because those stragglers might just land you with another penalty. Oh, and when you go back inside, avoid using the garage door—opening that sucker for the wrong reason is another no-no.
A few weeks ago, a seemingly endless series of problems involving the Albuquerque Police Department's Evidence Room threatened to make the Albuquerque mayor's race interesting. Accusations of theft, retribution, incompetence and cover-up made daily headlines, ending only after Gil Gallegos, the APD Police Chief, stepped down from his post.
I missed the ad the first time I skimmed through the Sunday Journal, but a friend at church was so angered by it she urged me to go back home and try to find it. It was buried on an inside page of the travel section, so a lot of other readers might have zipped past it the way I did until I was deliberately searching.
Dateline: India—According to a survey in New Delhi's Economic Times newspaper, only a quarter of condoms made in India are being used for sex. That isn't to say that Indians are not putting them to good use, however. Condoms not used as birth control are being employed to make saris, toys and even bathroom slippers. Sari weavers put the condoms on their thread spools. The lubricant on the prophylactics rubs off on the thread, making it move faster through the sewing machines. India manufactures more than a billion condoms a year, which are supposed to be used for disease prevention and to curb population growth. With many of these condoms being used as bathroom slippers, India remains one of the most populous nations on Earth.
"You can't walk a straight line in crooked shoes," goes the saying. If you compare the ethics of Tom DeLay, Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, to those of our own Mayor Martin Chavez, you can't help wondering whether they patronize the same cross-eyed cobbler.
Screenwriting Scholarships—The nonprofit Santa Fe Film Arts Institute is offering two scholarships to this year's Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe (SCSFe 2005) to deserving New Mexico applicants. To enter yourself, or someone else you feel would benefit, please send a letter with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address (or the info of the person you're submitting for consideration) to The Santa Fe Film Arts Institute, P.O. Box 29762, Santa Fe, N.M., 87592. Please include a paragraph or two explaining why you (or the person you're nominating) deserve(s) one of the scholarships. Any New Mexico resident is eligible for consideration. All entries must be received at SFFAI's offices by 5 p.m., Monday, May 23, 2005. The winners will be notified by Friday, May 27, 2005. For more information on SCSFe 2005, coming June 1 through 5, visit www.scsfe.com.
It seems like it's been a long time coming. Douglas Adams' cult novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first published way back in 1979. Since then, its “cult” has garnered some 20 million members. The story's roots go back even further, having started life as a BBC radio play. While it hardly counts in terms of light years, 2005 is still a fair distance to cover between publication and the (nowadays) inevitable silver screen adaptation.
Man, I sure do love me some samurai films. From widely accepted classics such as Yojimbo and Throne of Blood to the gore-soaked insanity of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, the samurai genre definitely holds a special place in my heart. So when I heard about a little film called The Twilight Samurai winning Best Picture and Best Director at the Japanese Academy Awards, and saw reviews by everyone and their cousin calling it the second coming of classic samurai, I had to see what the big deal was all about for myself. So let me get started by saying this much: The Twilight Samurai is one of the best movies ever made. Ever. Seriously.
May is the last Sweeps month before the networks close down shop for summer. It's the time when all the season finales jostle each other for attention and (of course) ratings. It's also the time when underperforming shows face the final chopping block. Even as the first Sweeps ratings begin to creep in, some fates are already sealed.
Tuesday, May 10; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): The last time these guys were in town, myself and only two or three other brave souls were at the Atomic Cantina to witness the show. As soon as Graves at Sea took the stage, the majority of the Atomic's regulars fled next door to Burt's Tiki Lounge in horror. I was actually at Burt's at the time when I heard the rumble next door. I saw some girls walking in, holding their hands over their ears, bitching about this horrible metal band. So I just had to go over to Atomic and see what all the fuss was about. What I discovered was Graves at Sea, one of the heaviest, evilest, darkest, doom-metal bands I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I went home that night, pissed at myself for not buying a CD, trying to Google something about them with no luck. So I'm glad to hear they'll be back in town, even after such a weak turnout last year. If you are a fan of the heaviest of the heavy, be sure to make it to Burt's Tiki Lounge this Tuesday for a night of rock that is sure to leave your ears ringing the next day. The free show starts at 10 p.m.
Charmed has the ability to transport their audience to a mystical fantasy land. A combination of Loreena McKennitt and Sinead O'Connor, this duo creates the kind of music you might listen to while lighting candles and casting spells. Local musicians Bambi Jackson and Alicia Ultan have earth-moving voices, but fail to unleash all the magic that is locked up inside them. Ah, the things these women could do with their voices if the music were more versatile. Although Beautifully Twisted delivers some lovely songs, the album would be spellbinding if more ingredients were added into the cauldron. The pair will host a CD release party at Relaxations Coffee and Oxygen Bar (11601 Montgomery NE) on Saturday, May 14, 7 to 10 p.m. No cover.
Aeeeiiiaahhhh! I just learned that Bound To Be Read, one of our city's finest independent book stores, will be shutting down operations sometime this summer. Painful. Bernie Weiss, a spokesman for the store, says that the economics of keeping Bound To Be Read afloat were “challenging.” For that reason, the owners have decided to transition out of retail. We're going to miss them.
Hedda Gabler isn't exactly marriage material. She's the kind of woman who's easy to fall in love with as a theatrical character, but if she were a real person, you'd be wise to flee at the first sight of her. She's vindictive. She's moody. She's an obnoxious, aristocratic snob. She spends money like there's no tomorrow. Worst of all, she loves to play with guns.
Set in the all-too-near future, Eric Whitmore's play In the Wind imagines a bleak world in which slavery is the norm and danger lurks everywhere. A family waits in a miserable apartment for the return of their son. While they wait, they plot how they will gain their freedom from mysterious forces. This supernatural thriller has been described as a creepy nail-biter. Spook yourself. Spook your friends. A professional production of the play directed by Summer Olsson opens this weekend at the Tricklock Performance Space. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. The opening night gala on Friday, May 6, at 8 p.m. is $18. Runs through June 5. 254-8393.
Denise Kunz has been making art for almost 40 years. In a new solo exhibit opening this week at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center, she presents a series of vibrantly colorful paintings that capture people in true moments. In particular, in her portraits of flamenco dancers in action she seems to work overtime to avoid idealizing her subjects. The result is exciting, honest work that's never pretty nor easy. Hot Passions and Other Flashes opens Friday, May 6, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Runs through May 28. 242-1983.
From the moment we walked into Pho #1 Cuisine & Grill, we were made to feel very much at home. Our waitress, with genuine warmth and an open, friendly smile, greeted us at the door. We were seated at a large table graced with silk flowers and a Lazy Susan with soupspoons, chopsticks and condiments. Décor is minimal--powder blue walls, brown latticework covered with climbing pathos plants and a few framed pictures. Nothing fancy, but not to worry; it's all about the beef.
I can't think of a more delicious way to eat your greens during the hot summer months than rolling up your own delicious version of goi cuon (Vietnamese summer rolls). Loosely translated, goi cuon means salad roll. It's perfect for summer. This is one dish you can get really creative with. You can use shrimp, pork or tofu and a wide range of greens, sprouts and herbs; it's your call. These babies are not that difficult to master, it just takes some practice. I would advise getting an extra package of the wrappers on your first try. If you want hands-on help, call Talin Market at 268-0206 and sign up for my cooking classes, Asian Favorites (May 10) and Wraps and Rolls (June 2).