My men’s health care journey began with a heartwarming moment of inappropriate groping. During nursing school, a heavily medicated gentleman reached out from his hospital bed and cupped my butt cheek with his trembling hand, muttering “That’s nice” before passing out. He had no recollection of the event after he woke up and was just as courteous as can be for the remainder of his hospitalization.
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.
Economist says job losses have been hard on the state’s Hispanics
By Patrick Lohmann
In the summer of 2006, New Mexico economist Gerry Bradley and his colleagues were baffled by housing construction data. “Too many houses were being built. We’d never seen anything like it," he says. “It looked like something that wasn’t going to continue.”
Ah, Grandaddy Paseo del Bosque, that 16-mile behemoth that stretches all the way from Alameda in the north to Rio Bravo in the south. The best, most perfectly car-free artery in the entire city. The trail so epic that we're only going to talk about half of it this week.
It's no easy trick to write about the World Cup soccer tournament while it's happening. When you're not watching one of the 64 games, you're busy bantering about missed calls and poor coaching decisions, or you're emotionally spent from two hours of shouting at tiny men bopping a ball around your television screen.
Dateline: Indonesia—A dozen children were killed while taking part in an—obviously unsuccessful—ceremony to dispel bad luck in their remote village of Aceh last month. “There were about 37 kids gathered together on a wire-cable suspension bridge when it collapsed and fell into a river,” district chief Ibnu Hasyim told reporters for Agence France-Presse. The children were taking part in a traditional ritual ceremony to ward off misfortune after a measles outbreak in the area. The adults were throwing live chickens as offerings into the river when the bridge collapsed. Twenty five children were rescued with minor injuries, but 12 others were swept away by the river’s swift current.
The feature documentary The Matter of Everything: A Quantum Dose of Reality is playing this Saturday, July 10, at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe (1050 Old Pecos Trail). The film explores “quantum reality and the interconnectedness of nature from the quantum to the universe.” I’m sure that makes sense to some of you. In any case, the film’s director, Enrico Lappano, will be there to (get this) “accompany the soundtrack live on the cello.” The screening (which begins at 2:30 p.m., by the way) will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers and physicist Scott Menary of CERN-Fermilab (who might be able to make heads or tails out of all this spiritually mathematical talk). To further bend your brain, log on to film’s website.
With everybody in Hollywood—from DreamWorks (Shrek) to Sony (Open Season) to Paramount (Barnyard) to 20th Century Fox (Ice Age) to Warner Bros. (Happy Feet)—trying to catch up with Pixar (Toy Story 3) in the CGI-animated sweepstakes, it barely registers when somebody new steps into the fray. The new player this week: Universal Pictures, whiping out its first CGI toon, Despicable Me.
Yawn. Another reality show on MTV featuring some barely remembered D-list celebrity mugging for cameras, performing patently scripted simulations of real life and trying desperately to make us forget his or her last embarrassing appearance on the pages of TMZ.com? Wake me when they start showing music videos again. ... But wait. There’s something subtly different about MTV’s newest “celebreality” show. Perhaps it’s the lighting. Perhaps it’s the camera technique. Perhaps it’s the fact that the star is a monkey in a helmet.
The celestial twang of The Grave of Nobody’s Darling
By Captain America
Jessica Billey and Bud Melvin must be the most creative couple to hit the local music scene in some time. Hailing from Chicago, each counts more than a half-dozen musical projects between them. There’s the audacious and experimental Lionhead Bunny, in which they play empty whiskey bottles, the mysterious vocaltron (which seems to be of the band’s creation) and 19 effects pedals. In the Blue Rose Ramblers, the pair champions vintage fiddle songs of the sort on which Bob Wills based his Western swing. As part of the massive Cobra//group ensemble, they push the limits of what you or I think of as music. Solo, Melvin pioneered chiptune banjo rustling (reprogramming Game Boy blips and bleeps into five-string music) and Billey has played violin for The Mekons and Smog.
Vertigo Venus is an unapologetic promo machine. Overkill Internet campaigns swathe social networking sites until you feel you’ve been waterboarded into submission. Excessive, yes, but the outcome is massive support from a rabid fan base that loves the band’s punky synthpop goodness.
The fifth annual New Mexico Jazz Festival has a gaggle of big names that will make jazz fans’ ears prick up in expectation—Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jimmy Cobb, Miguel Zenón, Los Pleneros de la 21, Bobby Shew and Doug Lawrence, just to name a few. That short list alone includes two NEA Jazz Masters, two National Heritage Fellows, Grammy winners and nominees, and a MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, among other honorees.
The artist behind this fanciful flyer seems to reference ’70s illustration and a certain children’s show that was filled with an ensemble cast of Muppets and really strange animated shorts. Blocky text contrasts with pale yellow watercolor, and the viewer learns that Gay Beast, XRY, The Gatherers and Discotays will play at Wunderkind (1016 Coal SW) at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, amidst a shower of multicolored circles. See the glam / psychedelic / new wave magic, and possibly a few unnamed acts, for only $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
A Hawk & A Hacksaw is about to embark on a grand tour of Europe, beginning in Austria and making more than a score of stops in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany (see ahawkandahacksaw.blogspot.com to learn more about the band’s travels). But before the noted folk act departs fair Albuquerque, Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes will play an all-ages show at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m. Below, find out what wonderful foreign things show up in Trost and Barnes’ shuffled songs—commented upon collectively.
Here are two really awesome reasons to spend the weekend in Santa Fe. First, the Santa Fe Writers Workshop takes over the College of Santa Fe campus (1600 St. Michael’s Drive) for a few days. The workshop, which costs $490, gives budding writers of the fiction, poetry and nonfiction genres a chance to hone their skills with some of New Mexico’s best. Mark Behr, Michael McGarrity and Bill deBuys are just a few of the big names who want to help you get writing from Thursday, July 8, to Sunday, July 11. Find out how to register at csf.edu/summer_workshops/writers. Once the sessions are over, you can hit up the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the biggest market of its kind anywhere. Vendors from around the world gather at on Museum Hill’s Milner Plaza (on Camino Lejo) to offer up one-of-a-kind artistic wares. If you’re worried someone else will get the really good stuff, there’s an early bird market Saturday, July 10, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. that’ll cost you $50. Otherwise, head up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 10, for only $10 if you buy tickets in advance or $15 for those who wait and get ’em at the door; or Sunday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for only $5. Get tickets at folkartmarket.org.
A cast party for a solo show is basically somebody wearing a little too much eyeliner drinking alone. There’s no one with whom to reminisce about the nice save when one actor forgot his lines or joke about the lead actress’ penchant for hiding props.
Our mission: To embark on an art binge throughout Albuquerque on First Friday with nothing but open minds, a 1997 Honda Civic, a pack of cigarettes and a few bottles of water. We found scenesters, an old friend (Hi, Kenneth!), lots of cheese and some unexpectedly awesome artwork. Minds were blown, wine was drunk, and we returned home exhausted and fulfilled. This is the journey:
The community-based nutrition program started out 38 years ago with daily meals for seniors. But not many people realize that Albuquerque Meals on Wheels isn’t only for seniors. Anyone who needs the services of AMOW can apply to the program. It presently serves clients from 27 to 104 years of age.
While many Asian cuisines create exotic flavors with strange ingredients, Korean food manages unfamiliar experiences from relatively pedestrian parts. Japanese dine on poisonous puffer fish, Mongolians enjoy their horse meat and the Thai are known to love crispy insects—but surprisingly, these weird-sounding morsels can taste pretty normal. The deep-fried grasshoppers I tried on the streets of Bangkok had the flavor and texture of chicharrónes. Cobra tastes like chicken. A plate of stir-fried donkey in central China could have been beef. Korean dishes, meanwhile, can look normal enough on paper, but they take taste buds to interesting new places.
“Yankee Doodle Dandy,” perhaps the sassiest of all classic patriotic American tunes, is thought to have been written in mid-18th-century Europe, possibly during the Seven Years’ War. Though its exact origin is unclear, the song was a British invention and was used to deride American Colonists and their ragtag army. The most recognizable verse (there are nearly 200) is not seen in this sheet music: “Yankee Doodle went to town / Upon a little pony / Stuck a feather in his cap / And called it Macaroni"—nonsense on the surface, this verse is actually a snobby insult to pastoral Colonial fashion (a Macaroni was a traveled, upper-class European who wore extravagant wigs). In the American tradition of taking things that don’t belong to us, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was reclaimed by the disheveled patriots and became a source of Colonial pride. And, as we all know, in the end the garishly dressed Americans defeated the pretentious and dimwitted red coats whose flamboyant uniforms made them easy targets. U.S.A.! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Arm yourself with truth, justice and the American way
By Carolyn Carlson
One warm late May evening, DC and some friends headed Downtown to hit a few bars and celebrate a friend’s college graduation. He never expected to end up in jail, accused of disorderly conduct. DC is not a stereotypical gangster dude who quibbles with cops just for fun. He is a white, college-educated, 26-year-old Republican who considers himself conservative and pro-law and order. He said he was arrested for what amounts to opening a rear passenger car door and questioning a police officer during a lengthy seat belt violation traffic stop.
From National Archives: The following text is a transcription of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the Bill of Rights.
Albuquerque’s Desert Rose Playhouse is jumping on the moviemaking bandwagon and will present The Feed, an evening of film shorts by local and international filmmakers, on Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3. Among the shorts to be screened: the 2010 Sundance Jury Prize winner “Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln” (Starring Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle). The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Admission is $7. Desert Rose Playhouse is located at 6921 Montgomery NE.
Documentary about rebellious art is itself rebellious art
By Devin D. O’Leary
OK, so here’s the setup: There’s this crazy French dude living in Los Angeles by the name of Thierry Guetta. He carries a video camera wherever he goes and is seemingly addicted to documenting everything that happens in his life. While on vacation in France, Guetta hooks up with a distant cousin who happens to be an up-and-coming street artist by the pseudonym of Space Invader. By following Space Invader around, Guetta finds himself on the cusp of a growing art movement. Soon, Guetta’s camera is pointed at the likes of Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Buff Monster, Swoon, Borf and others as they practice their quasi-legal mixture of art and vandalism. Graffiti, stenciling, stickering, postering and guerilla art installation are just some of the hallmarks of this edgy genre, and here they are, laid bare for Guetta’s little digital camera.
Summer isn’t known to be the kindest season to scripted drama. People tend to have better things to do in summer. In winter, they’re a captive audience. But in summer, they’re off having picnics or driving across the country in an RV or watching big summer movies. Undaunted, ABC is trying to compete with basic cable stations, who are now in the business of cranking out new content (largely hour-long dramas) year-round. As a result, ABC is now offering not one but two new scripted series on Sunday nights: the crime dramedy “Scoundrels” and the supernatural soaper “The Gates.”
In 1975 Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case formed the short-lived but influential power pop group The Nerves. Most notably, the band is responsible for the classic track "Hanging on the Telephone," later made famous by Blondie. The group also had a hand in founding the West Coast punk scene—but just as the cultural explosion got its footing in L.A., The Nerves split in 1978. Collins and Case formed The Breakaways, and Lee went solo. Case went on to find success as the frontman for The Plimsouls, but by the mid-’80s that band dissolved and Case returned to his solo roots.
“Listen, Bob, I don’t have time to talk about the memo—I’m up to my flank in plastic army men right now.” A combination of discount wallpaper, highly effective business practices and possibly the artist’s bad acid trip make this an intriguing work of photo montage. More intriguing is the idiosyncratic show it notes—Grand Canyon, Shoulder Voices and The Booty Green—at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Saturday, July 3, beginning at around 10 p.m. The show is free for the 21-and-over crowd. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
General Petraeus swapped for General McChrystal in Afghanistan
By Alex E. Limkin
The names of the countries in which we are fighting no longer matter. This is what happens when war drags on interminably. It becomes enough to refer to the conflicts solely by the passage of time during which the dead and the bereft have multiplied insensibly.
Dateline: Washington—According to a report in the Seattle Times, a Lynnwood man has been charged with insurance fraud after falsely reporting the theft of 212 silk neckties worth an estimated $33,000. So what tipped off investigators? This was the third time 49-year-old Carlton Wopperer has reported the ties being stolen. The case began on Jan. 5, 2009, when Wopperer told the Mill Creek Police Department his vehicle had been broken into. He reported that four plastic containers filled with 212 of his pricey silk neckties had been stolen. According to Wopperer, he was taking the ties to a quilt shop to see about having them sewn into a quilt for display. Following the theft, Wopperer purchased $33,370 worth of replacement ties from Nordstrom, Butch Blum, Barneys New York and Mario’s of Seattle. His insurance company covered the cost. Six months later, Wopperer told the Everett Police Department his vehicle had again been burglarized, this time while he was moving. The 212 replacement ties he’d purchased after the January theft? Gone. The insurance company paid out another $35,000 to restock the closet of their tieless client. Unfortunately, an adjuster with the insurance company checked up on the claim, only to find that most of the replacement ties Wopperer purchased in January had been returned to the stores almost immediately. Wopperer allegedly held onto the receipts and filed the second claim six months later. After the crime was reported to the Insurance Commissioner’s Special Investigation Unit and referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, it was discovered that way back in 2000, Wopperer told the Lynnwood Police department that his collection of—you guessed it—“212 silk ties” had been stolen from his vehicle while parked at a mall. His insurer at the time paid out $16,900. Wopperer is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Snohomish County Superior Court on two counts of insurance fraud. But will he be wearing a tie to court?
For the mathematically uninclined, calculus looks less like math and more like an indecipherable secret language. Instead of explaining anything, it simply adds more mystery and, often, a little bit of fear. Fortunately, math fans and foes can get together under the domed ceiling of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (1801 Mountain NW) to see math in action in a much more meaningful manner. “First Friday Fractals” takes mathematically complex geometric shapes, projects them, zooms in close to show their detail and complexity, and makes math beautiful. Shows are Friday, July 2, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. The cost is $5 for kids 3 to 12, $7 for seniors and $10 for everybody else. Get tickets at nmnaturalhistory.org or at the museum.
The forgotten past is almost always the most interesting
By Patricia Sauthoff
As a history nerd, I've often wondered what exactly it is that draws me to certain people or times. For example, I love me some medieval India, especially the Mughal Empire. Maybe it's some past life thing, who knows? But it came up again for me while wandering around the National Hispanic Cultural Center exhibition New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital, Valuable. I was reminded of this freelance job I had a few years ago in which I wrote short biographies of notable African-Americans, anyone from John James Audubon to Charity Adams Earley, people about whom I knew nearly nothing when I started but who inspired me through their courageous actions.
Google “bistro albuquerque,” and you’ll find more than a dozen restaurants that serve French, Asian, Chinese, Italian and contemporary cuisine. Figuring out what they have in common is a challenge. The word “bistro” has a fuzzy etymology. Some attribute it to the presence of Russian Cossacks in 1815 Paris who used the term bystro (quickly). Some linguists say the word didn’t enter the lexicon until the end of the 18th century. Wikipedia notes that bistros may have evolved when landlords, who offered room and board, expanded their kitchens by setting up sidewalk tables for the public. They served homey food—braised stews, simple meals and a house wine.
The line between Mexican and New Mexican food has always been thin. Perhaps nowhere in Albuquerque is this border more porous than at Rincon del Pollo, on north Fourth Street near Alameda, where few of the menu items can be ordered without answering the New Mexico state question. But the owners, Rifiel and Ana Rivera, call their food Mexican.
An Alibi staffer’s journey through impoverished Peru
By Ilene Style
My first reaction at seeing Villa el Salvador during my volunteer orientation was the same as everyone else's in my program. As we entered the neighborhood for the first time, we all fell silent, our eyes scanning the streets for something, anything, that would make us think, This isn't so bad after all.
Albuquerque once paid Ben Lowney around $60,000 for a public art sculpture near Los Altos Skate Park. But this month, the city told Lowney he’d have to remove the statues he made for free and installed in the median near his home.
Duke City Derby's home teams got their season off to a proper start on Saturday, June 19, holding the first official bouts of the season after last month's scrimmages. In the first bout, the DoomsDames held off the Derby Intelligence Agency (DIA) for a 115 –85 win. Later the Ho-Bots pummeled the brand-new Taos Whiplashes, smacking them around for nearly the entire match on their way to a 195-74 victory.
Councilor Debbie O’Malley read a proclamation for “Pollinator Week” in honor of urban bees at the Monday, June 21 Council meeting. Part-time beekeeper Chantal Foster, along with a handful of other city beekeepers, thanked the Council for declaring the city bee-friendly. Foster reminded everyone how important bees are in our ecosystem because they pollinate our crops, such as fruits, nuts and green chile. The proclamation encourages citywide bee-friendly practices, like avoiding commercial pesticides in home gardens.
Now here's a random one for you. Surf over to easytomiss.org/trail_map and find the Double Eagle Trail. It’s that isolated green stretch on the northwest edge of the map. This trail is hard to find and not conveniently linked to any major bike thoroughfares. But, if you're packing a reasonably sized set of huevos and a soupçon of wherewithal, there's a great ride to be ridden out there. You can approach the trail on westbound Montaño or via my preferred route, northbound Unser. The Unser trail gets pretty awkward near the end, merging with the asphalt of the autobahn and narrowing perilously just as it launches into a punishing uphill slope. You can handle it. Huevos.
Dateline: Germany—In one of the more surreal acts of forgotten-medication-based lunacy, a young Bavarian man is accused of taunting a group of Hells Angels by dropping his pants and throwing a puppy. The unidentified 26-year-old student allegedly drove onto the motorcycle clubhouse grounds in Allershausen, a town just north of Munich, and pulled down his Bermuda shorts, mooning a group of bikers. Witnesses say he followed that act by throwing a puppy at them. The man wrapped up his performance by fleeing the scene, then stopping at a nearby autobahn construction sight to steal a bulldozer, which he attempted to drive to Munich. According to the Munich daily newspaper TZ, the slow pace of the getaway vehicle caused a three-mile traffic jam. After making it less than a mile down the road, the 26-year-old hitched a ride with a truck, which let him off in Eching, not far from Munich. Police lost track of him briefly but finally found him. He told police he had neglected to take his medication for depression. He was checked into a psychiatric clinic for evaluation. Meanwhile, the puppy he chucked at the Hells Angels was taken to an animal shelter in Freising.
No, caffeine junkies, it's not a triple shot of espresso, dumped into a cup of coffee with java whipped cream on top. Or whatever you people drink these days to stay awake. Triple Espresso is a performance by three dudes out only to jolt the funny bone. Or to put it another way, three guys walk into a coffee shop: a musician, a magician and a jack of all trades showman. Have you heard this one? Anyway, to avoid giving away the punch line, let’s just say the hair of the dog is the best medicine, but laughter is pretty good, too. Sold? Get your fix June 24 to July 1, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 5 and 7 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. It costs $28 for adults and $14 for kids. Go to tripleespresso.com for details about the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) performance of the hilarious story of three kindly fellas who get their four-minutes of fame, only to mess the whole thing up. The comedians of Triple Espresso have been working together since 1995 and their show has been seen all over the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Bill Evans returns to New Mexico for On Turning 70!, a performance of modern and tap styles that celebrates Evans’ 70th birthday. Evans is an emeritus professor of dance and former head of the dance department at the University of New Mexico and is a guest artist and undergraduate program director at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He returns to New Mexico, where he taught at UNM for 16 years, with a program of modern dance and ballet.
Frank Cullen, founder of the American Vaudeville Museum and author of Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, is launching a series of classic film screenings at the Guild Cinema starting this weekend. Cullen will be on hand to host the inaugural festival, titled The British Are Coming! This four-day fest features classic films from the Golden Age of Comedy. Four films from England’s legendary Ealing Studios are slated for screening: 1951’s The Man in the White Suit; 1959’s I’m All Right Jack; 1949’s Whiskey Galore; and 1950’s The Happiest Days of Your Life. Admission prices are $7 per film or $10 per double feature. Cullen will be there to introduce each film and lead an audience discussion between double features. Trust me, the man knows his stuff. Future incarnations of this intermittent, yearlong festival will include When Comedy Was King in Hollywood (Sept. 17-22), The British Are Back (December) and Clowns and Idols of the Silent Screen (early 2011). For more info, log on to guildcinema.com or vaudeville.org.
At the tender age of 19, Harmony Korine wrote the controversy-courting screenplay for Larry Clark’s the-kids-are-not-alright opus Kids. He followed that by writing and directing a couple of bizarro, nihilistic dramas (or are they comedies?) about disaffected youth and their demented families (Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy). In 2002, he reunited with Larry Clark for the seedy suburban drama Ken Park (a film so blunt in its depiction of sex, drugs and violence among teens that it’s still not available on DVD in America). In 2007, he directed his slickest, most expensive and most puzzling indie film, Mister Lonely. Now, in 2010, comes Trash Humpers, the 37-year-old Korine’s tribute to ... well, it’s hard to say.
When FOX announced it was bringing “Family Guy” back from cancellation following a hugely successful rerun stint on Cartoon Network, I wasn’t what you’d call super stoked. Personally, I didn’t find “Family Guy” funny the first time around, and I don’t find it funny now. But the decision to revive it made damn good business sense and was an amusing “screw you” to the programming executives who axed the show in the first place.
Wicked-bad live music abounds this week—the gang and I just didn't have the space to cover it all. That, and I didn’t get an interview with Geddy Lee. That's OK, though—what the hell would I have asked him? "Um, soooo, Mr. Lee, are you from Middle Earth?"
Just around the corner from Santa Fe Plaza, El Paseo Bar & Grill is not the most likely place in town to find garage rock. Enter Billy Miles Brooke, a musician whose past credits include glam cover band The Stardust Cowboys, a stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and some fine solo work. A couple of years ago, Brooke partnered with the establishment’s owner, Matt Chavez, to host the sporadic Indie Rocks series showcasing acts that normally wouldn’t make it to El Paseo’s usually sedate stage.
“Rib eye rock on lightly toasted bread” is the meaty metaphor Chris Aguilar once offered an inquirer when describing his band, KillinGracy. Aguilar admits he had no idea what he was talking about at the time but says this style of shooting from the hip sums up the band's songwriting process and sound.
This flyer exhibits a skillful manipulation of positive and negative space and announces the summer tour kickoff for funk/rock/fusion act Lost Lingo. The band plays at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Saturday, June 26, at 9 p.m. The Breaktone and Reviva open the 21-and-over show. Five dollars gets you in. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Kimo is an Albuquerque-based musician who has been “crankin’ out tunes” for nearly two decades. In addition to drawing a number of honors over the years, she was voted the Alibi’s best singer-songwriter in Best of Burque 2010. Right now, Kimo is working on a new album and booking shows with a new band (shhhh—more on that in due time). To tide you over, here are the five random songs that appeared on her shuffled iTunes.
Heights Village shopping center at Montgomery and Juan Tabo is getting an infusion of new energy. Zorba's Fine Greek Dining is in the space adjacent to Il Vicino and only steps away from Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Zorba's opened its doors only days before the newest Sunflower Market held its grand opening on June 1 in the space formerly anchored by Western Warehouse.
You can see the painted palm trees from I-25 and Osuna, where Barry’s Oasis lives up to its name as a reprieve from the blistering concrete just outside the door. Inside, the high-ceilinged dining room is decorated like a beachy patio. There are faux balconies crowded with potted plants. Umbrellas shade tables and hang overhead, diffusing sunshine from skylights set into the seagull-adorned ceiling.