A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
Seminars for Screenwriters—Saturday, June 4, marks the launch of the New Mexico Screenwriter's Series. Founders Gene Grant and Marc Calderwood hope to bring monthly seminars and extensive quarterly workshops to New Mexico's growing cabal of would-be screenwriters. How to find an agent, how to negotiate a deal and how to sell a spec script over the Internet are just a few of the topics that will be discussed in the coming months. Grant and Calderwood have recruited an impressive roster of professional film talent to run these regular educational seminars. WGA member Deborah L. Smith will helm the very first monthly program, covering the fundamentals of feature scripting. The seminar is scheduled to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE). Cost for the monthly seminar is a mere $10. Future guests will include noted Los Angeles screenwriting teacher Jim Mercurio and celebrated Chicago screenwriter Dan Decker. For more information, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
Computerized cartoon is an OK pick for kids, but it's no Pixar.
By Devin D. O'Leary
There are moments in DreamWorks' new computer animated cartoon Madagascar that bring up the uncomfortable funk of DreamWorks' failed “adult” TV series Father of the Pride (performing lions, cushy zoos, celebrity voice casting). Fortunately for DreamWorks (and all of us, for that matter), those moments soon fade into the background as the film settles into familiar “kids' movie lined with pop cultural references for the adults” territory.
Icy cool gangster saga shows that Brits can be bad boys too.
By Devin D. O'Leary
As Americans, we love our criminal figures--from Billy the Kid to Bonnie & Clyde to 50 Cent. But we've got nothing on the Brits. The English worship their gangsters with a chic that borders on high fashion. From the gritty gangster films of the '70s (Get Carter, The Long Good Friday) to today's trendy, Tarantino-inspired films of Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch), Brits have made the gun-toting, suit-wearing mobster a national icon, right alongside the London Bobby and the soccer hooligan.
Stick a fork in this couch potato, the 2004-2005 TV season is officially over. Now we can all sit back, relax and absorb plenty of summer reruns and crappy reality show placeholders until the Fall 2005 season arrives sometime in September.
This Friday, June 3, at Trevor Lucero Studio (500 Second Street SW), Jennifer Burkley unveils her "Tylenol Room," an ambitious art installation constructed from more than half a million pills. Trippy! Burkley says the work is a meditation on loss and survival. Check it out at the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 244-0730.
Inspirados at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
By Steven Robert Allen
Questions about the inspiration behind art are as old as art itself. It isn't hard to imagine some furry, thick-browed critic dressed in animal skins standing at the elbow of a cave painter in France 20,000 years ago pestering the artist with stupid questions: Why did you paint a horse there instead of a bird? Why does that bison look like it's staring at me?
The Road Trip Plays: Out/In America is a series of six connected mini-plays by local playwright Lou Clark. This campy comedy follows Drew and her best friend, Bill, on a wild crosscountry adventure during which our heroine questions and finally embraces her sexuality. Directed by Jessica Barkl, The Road Trip Plays runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. through June 26 at the Vortex Theatre. $10 general, $8 students/seniors/everyone on Sundays. Call 247-8600 to reserve tickets.
A group exhibit curated by Nina Dubois opens this Friday, June 3, at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW) with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Fine grub and rocking music from 6 Foot Fender will juice up an evening of excellent art from the likes of Kiki Athanassiadis, Che Chen, Christine Chin, Rick Clarahan, Dierdre Harris, Will Lichty, Danielle Rae Miller, Doug Morris, Tricia O'Keefe, Luke Painter, Matthew Rana, Valerie Roybal, Peter Voshefski, Fritz Welch and Alexa Wheeler. Flat Out Spectacular: Work from the Flat Files runs through June 26. Call 242-7504 for more information.
There isn't a single place on the planet where water isn't important, but here in the desert it's our lifeblood. Wetlands in our region of the country are cauldrons of fertility. In his new book, photographer and naturalist Lucian Niemeyer documents areas as diverse as Mexico's Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Arizona's San Pedro River, Utah's Escalante River, Texas' Big Bend National Park and New Mexico's own Bosque del Apache. In the process, Desert Wetlands celebrates the value and necessity of moisture in our dry-as-dust pocket of the world. Niemeyer will make an appearance on Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at Page One Books (11018 Montgomery NE, 294-2026) to sign and discuss this fascinating book.
"With a little luck in the next three to four months we'll have three motels taken down."
By Tim McGivern
When the Gaslite Motel was open for business in East Downtown, it symbolized the kind of urban decay that makes Albuquerque feel like a town that hates itself. The place was, for decades, a well-known home for the destitute and depraved, a magnet for drug dealing, violent crime and likely spot to see a shoving match between a pimp and a whore in broad daylight.
City employees shine light on waste and incompetence
By Jim Scarantino
Good news, Albuquerque! Municipal employees now have an Internet forum where they tell the public about waste, incompetence, mismanagement and corruption in city government. It's not controlled by Mayor Martin Chavez. It's not something he should really want floating around on the Internet, either. It's written by regular city employees speaking up about what they see happening around them. You can find their website at www.abqgovernmentwaste.com.
If you haven't seen it yet, you really need to watch TheMotorcycle Diaries, the brilliant movie (Spanish with English subtitles) about an eight-month motorcycle trip across South America in 1952 by two youthful Argentinean medical students, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and Alberto Granado.
Dateline: Australia—A group of drug-sniffing police dogs in Victoria will have to be retrained after it was revealed that the animals were drilled using a packet of talcum power. “I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice-smelling noses at the moment,” Victorian Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans told ABC Online. “But they are, in fact, trained in detecting talcum powder, so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine.” An investigation is underway to see how the cocaine sample, used for police sniffer dog training, was substituted with talcum power. The Ethical Standards Division of the Australian Federal Police, who supplied the “cocaine,” is trying to determine if the sample was stolen or if an administrative error resulted in the switch.
A safe ride home is RAD! This past weekend the city debuted its Rapid After Dark (RAD) service, which connects entertainmaint districts along Central from Unser to Wyoming until 3 a.m. The expanded service costs just $1 to ride, and each bus is staffed with a neighborly security guard to keep your drunk ass safe. Assistant to the mayor A.J. Carian says that the city is hoping to promote local artists through "a rotating CD" that will be played on the Rapid After Dark line. If you or your band would like to be included in the project, call 768-3047, or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Colleen Duffy created Devil Doll one late, smoky evening many blue moons ago with the mission of putting sex back into rock and roll. Deciding that the world of music had not heard the truth since Joan Jett and Johnny Cash, and hadn't blushed since Mae West, she grabbed her bass, a microphone and hit "record."
After Jack White made Loretta Lynn hip last year, it would appear that MCA is cashing in. However, this collection of 24 duets is an amazing display of vocal compatibility, though accompanied by more or less mediocre country instrumentation. What really stands out here is a variety of persona adoptions. As Conway professes love, cheats or leaves, Loretta coos, playfully teases or reacts with utter pain. Classic country fans, take note.
What's in a name? When I asked our waitress, “Who or what is Geezamboni?” she told me (tongue firmly planted in cheek), “It's the name of the owner's cousin's wife's dog.” Then she laughed and said she'd been given permission to say whatever she wanted when people asked about the name. But don't let it confuse you. My friends were hesitant about joining me for dinner because they thought the place must be Italian. Italian it is not, original it is.
Gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. It comes from Spain, where there are many variations in the preparation of the dish. There's even a “white” gazpacho made with almonds and white grapes, but I'll stick to the traditional version. This recipe is from a Spanish friend who lives in beautiful Seville, where this delicious chilled soup is thickened with bread. I eat a lot of gazpacho when my own crop of juicy, scrumptious tomatoes starts to ripen. It's important to use high quality tomatoes. The secret of a great gazpacho is making it a day ahead of time so all the flavors have a chance to marry. The soup tastes quite bland when first assembled, but after it rests for a day, you can adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper, mashed canned tomatoes or juice. Serve it icy-cold in chilled bowls and garnish with freshly made croutons. If you'd like to sample this version of the dish, I'll be doing a cooking demo/tasting at Bookworks on Rio Grande, Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m. So come on down and try a sip.
What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?
By James Howard Kunstler
A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above $55 a barrel, which is about $20 a barrel more than a year ago. The next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered significant news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of 10 days. That same day, the stock market shot up more than 100 points because, CNN said, government data showed no signs of inflation. Note to clueless nation: call planet Earth.
At the May 16 meeting, Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill, cosponsored by Councilor Miguel Gómez, calling for purchase of land for the Clinton P. Anderson Open Space passed unanimously. Councilor Eric Griego's bill, authorizing an update of the Barelas Sector Development Plan, also passed unanimously. But audience emotion focused on a proposed boost in the minimum wage.
Dateline: England—A district judge in Telford, Shropshire, recently acquitted Police Constable Mark Milton of speeding and dangerous driving after the officer told the court that he was merely “familiarizing” himself with a new patrol car. Milton, 38, was recorded by his patrol car's video camera going 159 mph on the M54 Hwy. in the early-morning hours of December 5, 2003. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents was shocked that such a speed was not considered dangerous by the court. Kevin Clinton, head of road safety, told the BBC News, “Police are governed by health and safety laws just the same as any other employee. We don't believe 159 mph can ever be justified on public roads.” Nonetheless, District Judge Bruce Morgan sided with the constable, calling him the “crème de la crème” of police drivers. Speaking on the steps of the court, Insp. Keith Howes of the Police Federation said, “PC Milton was driving in accordance with his training, honing his skills while possible and testing the vehicle's capabilities so that if he was required on an urgent call he would be driving safely.”
Silent Score—On May 27 and 28, Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center will present a special event titled “Live Music, Silent Film.” On Friday, Buster Keaton's celebrated comedy Steamboat Bill Jr. will get live, toe-tapping accompaniment from Santa Fe's eclectic octet BING. On Saturday, it's the haunting horror drama The Man Who Laughs. Both screenings/concerts start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8-15 at the Lensic box office (211 West San Francisco) or online at www.tickets.com.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away George Lucas actually made a good movie. It was called Star Wars. Later on, it was called A New Hope, but we're ignoring that for now. He followed it up with one highly regarded sequel (which he did not direct) and a trilogy-ending capper that had its moments, but mostly rehashed the good parts from the previous films. Years later, he returned to the storyline, giving the world a pair of prequels that were alternately juvenile and ungodly complicated. Now, Lucas has decided it's time to put this baby to bed. This summer—as if you didn't know—Lucas is unleashing the final Star Wars film. So excuse me while I cut to the chase: Longstanding fans of Lucas' star-spanning empire can breathe one big, collective sigh of relief. This is the first film to actually compare favorably with Lucas' original vision.
Unusual Korean romance is guilty of breaking and entering
By Devin D. O'Leary
Sometime after the turn of this current century, South Korea very quietly took over as the cutting edge film center of Asia. Whereas Tokyo and Hong Kong were once the cinematic trendsetters, Korea is now the major exporter with a string of inventive, artistic and action-packed worldwide hits. Take Care of My Cat; My Sassy Girl; Volcano High; Musa the Warrior; Oldboy; Chihwaseon: Painted Fire; Taegukgi: Brotherhood of War; 2009: Lost Memories; A Tale of Two Sisters; No Blood No Tears; Sky Blue; Untold Scandal; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring: The list continues to grow.
Last week was TV's infamous “Up Front” week. That is the moment when networks announce their big fall lineups in hopes of attracting lots of shiny new advertisers. So what do we have to look forward to (or not) this fall?
Anyone hoping for an in-depth page-turner of Texas country legend Billy Joe Shaver be warned: you're not going to find it here. Considering the life Shaver has led, the accomplishments he's achieved through raw perseverance, deep-seated faith and good ol' West Texas gumption, Honky Tonk Hero's 191 pages seems a paltry sum. Only 72 of those pages, however, contain any narrative, while the rest are dedicated to reprints of all Shaver's song lyrics.
Waco-born, Corsicana-raised Billy Joe Shaver is the quintessential unsung hero of American music; a sorely overlooked contributor to its formidable canon. Even though artists from Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe to Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers have enjoyed success on the coattails of the songs he began writing some four decades ago, Shaver remains on the periphery. In 1993, his luck began to change with the release of his first solo foray in several years, Tramp On Your Street (Zoo). The release two years later of Unshaven: Shaver Live at Smith's Olde Bar (Zoo) very nearly catapulted him to the forefront of country music, Texas-style. But, arguably, it was the stunning guitar work of his only son Eddy that made the elder Shaver remarkable to the ears of listeners, despite the fact that his gritty songwriting over the past 50 years or so makes him eligible for any Hall of Fame in existence.
Monday, May 30; The Launchpad (21 and older): Combining equal parts French chanson, German electro-pop and good old American trash rock, Stereo Total is the most beguiling musical duo to rocket out of Europe in the last decade. Frontwoman Françoise Cactus bangs away on her drum set, singing everything from Serge Gainsbourg ballads to old school cheese balls like "Push It Real Good" with the brazen enthusiasm (and at times, fragility) of an eight-year old girl. Brezel Güring also does double-duty as a keyboardist and crooner, exhaling German-swathed lyrics as languidly as smoke pulled from a Gaulois cigarette. You might find yourself lighting up, too. Now touring in support of their seventh album, Do the Bambi, the Euro-trash wonder twins are taking American audiences to dizzying new heights of pop mulitilingualism. And, thanks to the support of Downtown's Mecca Records, we'll be one of the lucky ones to hear them live. Oh, how the accents will fly!
Here's a band who loves straight-ahead rock tunes as much as their effects pedals. Spaced out music and melodies float around the standard rock progression to create a pleasant and easily digestable sound. Think Cave-In doing a bunch of Wilco covers. The last track was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle, and it shows Spanish for 100's music translates a lot better live than in the studio. "Metric" is a decent attempt, but they could benefit enormously from a bigger studio budget and a better producer.
I love Suzanne Sbarge's art. Her work is weird but somehow also familiar. I think I've dreamed some of her paintings at one time or another. She's got a new solo exhibit currently showing at Papergami, the Japanese paper store and gallery in Nob Hill located where the old Tulane Street Deli used to be (114 Tulane SE). It will definitely be worth a peek. The show, titled Earth to Honey, runs through June 30. 255-2228.
At the time of Albuquerque's birth in 1706, Spain was one of the most powerful empires on Earth. Its tentacles seemed to stretch around the entire globe, but its greatest influence was felt in the New World.
Finding your way into the Monte Carlo Steak House can be tricky since there is no obvious entrance. The place started out as a package liquor store with a drive-through window and a small bar in the back. The liquor store is still thriving, but the canopy is all that remains of the drive-up liquor window. There are two unmarked doors on the side of the beige building—the southernmost door will get you the entrance of the bar and steakhouse.
During chicken- and steak-grilling season, cold salads can be hot stuff, particularly potato salad. If you're at all like me, you judge potato salad against your own beloved mother's recipe. For many of us, mom's is the only version of potato salad we enjoy. My mom's name was Mary Magdalene, and here's her version of America's favorite summer starch. Use red “new” potatoes since they absorb flavor and retain texture better than Russet. After cooking, dress the potatoes with olive oil, cider vinegar and salt and pepper while they're still warm, and chill (the salad, that is). Be sure not to put the mayonnaise or eggs in until the mixture is cool. Mom used sweet Spanish red onions but you could use Vidalia or scallions. A pinch of sugar is optional, depending on the acidity of the vinegar. The most important points are not to use cheap mayonnaise and to always be very careful serving salads with mayonnaise dressings when you are outdoors. Place the salad bowl in a basin of ice to keep it safe in the heat.
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.