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New York LGBT Center bans author whose book discusses Israel/Palestine

15 Feb

Perhaps they’ll prevent the Hagel nomination as well …

From Gay City News:

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE |
 A leading queer community author was barred from an appearance at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center apparently because the book she was to discuss deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We requested space for me to do a presentation of my new book ‘Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International,’ which has gotten a good review in the Lambda Literary Review,” wrote Sarah Schulman in a February 11 email. “It is amazing to me that after all my work in the community, I could be refused a platform to present a queer book.”

Schulman has published 17 books and is a leading progressive voice in the queer community. She holds the title of distinguished professor in the City University of New York (CUNY) system and has received multiple awards and fellowships.

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A Central Park Sunday (video)

14 May

Cross-posted from lgbtSr.org

Central Park is the real crown jewel of Manhattan, a vast, living, green space where the often-manufactured chaos of the City gets put behind, if only for an afternoon.

Andale! Andale! Three yums for Mexican eatery Sinigual (NYC)

21 Apr

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Now that MadeMark Travel is back up, I’ll be putting all my travel, restaurants, reviews and the like here, with some cross-posting. My restaurant ratings are based on a five-yum system, with one being go to McDonald’s instead, and five being you’re not likely to find anything better in the continental U.S.

So here we go . . . I’m not a big fan of Mexican food. It always seems heavy, and I’ve been heavy enough for some years now. Mexican food to me is comfort food in Spanish, and it’s not usually high on my list. But when my partner Frank told me last night we were going to a Mexican restaurant I was glad to hear it. I was hungry, he tends to pick good restaurants, and he didn’t disappoint this time.

Sinigual is part of a chain, or at least it was. Their website has some sort of legal disclaimer at the bottom explaining that the chain has changed hands. But the drop down for cities only lists New York, so maybe it’s a stand-alone now, I don’t know. But it was very good, very high-medium and a definite addition to your list of places to eat.

Located at 41st Street and 3rd Avenue, the restaurant is large, with a sizable bar in front and expansive seating that extends back to an open kitchen. The staff was superb throughout, friendly and attentive to just the right degree. The guacamole is made table-side, something that seems to be a sort of trademark for the place. The food itself is very good. I can’t say gourmet, and I’m sure there are gourmet Mexican restaurants, especially of the nouveau cuisine variety. Frank and our guest Domenique had fish tacos and I had a combination plate with a chili relleno and a chicken enchilada. That’s the thing about standard Mexican food: you don’t often have the opportunity to list something unusual or describe unique flavors. A chicken enchilada is a chicken enchilada.

I’d say go here for the service, decor and atmosphere. It was apparent a lot of people do, since this large restaurant was full. My only strike with the service was that the food came out very quickly, not always a good thing when you’re having a catch-up dinner with someone you haven’t seen in a year. I’d also be sure to ask the price on specials: the “special” drink was a fruity margarita at $14. I’ve noticed in many other places that wait staff will sometimes push specials they know are pricey. Otherwise this is a keeper, especially as a neighborhood place. Three yums. $$+ (that means we paid $170 with tip for three, not a budget-buster but not cheap, especially with $14 “special” margaritas).

Chinese Mirch on Lexington – four yums

2 Oct

My dear friend Fred’s in town for a week. I hadn’t seen him since he went off to work at a seminary in Pennsylvania. He came into the City last weekend to be vested as a priest in the Russian Orthodox church. We’ve been friends for eight years and share a lot of memories.

We had dinner last night at a new place for us that Frank found. Chinese Mirch on Lexington at Twenty-eighth is a hybrid Chinese-Indian restaurant that I had no real expectations for and was very delightfully surprised. Interesting dishes, from mild to hot. Very attentive service (our waitress stopped by at least a half dozen times to see how we liked the food, if everything was okay). Comfortable two-storey space and inviting décor. And, from the looks of it, pretty much sold out.

We shared appetizers (spring rolls, spicy cauliflower florets (gobi Manchurian on the menu), and Tibetan dumplings), as well as entrees (kung pao chicken, coriander tofu & vegetables, and Manchurian lamb). Every single dish was outstanding, so we’re talking a very solid four yums. I’d go back in a spicy heartbeat.

Sammy’s Noodle Shop Greenwich Village – two and a half yums

24 Sep

I had dinner last night with my friends Gerry and Sean. I hadn’t seen Sean in a dim sum’s age (they’re a couple) and it was nice to see him, even though he’s still in great shape and I’ve become a pear. But I’m working on it! I had steamed vegetables and chicken. I also walked there from my office in Times Square. Thirty-two blocks.

Sammy’s has been around longer than I’ve been in New York, and that’s sixteen years. I’ve eaten there before but not in a couple years. It’s always been popular in the neighborhood, although I’ve been there when it was packed, which it wasn’t last night.

Not much on decor, but more than most Chinese restaurants. I’ve wondered if dull interiors is just a Chinese thing. Sometimes they have aquariums (water is good luck), but nothing in the way of wall hangings or color schemes. At least Sammy’s isn’t a dull green or suspicious yellow.

I had the hot and sour soup – good and spicy. Then the steamed vegetables. Sean had the same dish but done in a wok with sauce. Gerry had sesame chicken with too many sesame seeds in it – and we shared a dim sum appetizer. MadeMarkTravel rating – two and a half yums. Better than takeout, but not the Beijing Hilton. Video here.

Sammy's Noodle Shop Greenwich Village – two and a half yums

24 Sep

I had dinner last night with my friends Gerry and Sean. I hadn’t seen Sean in a dim sum’s age (they’re a couple) and it was nice to see him, even though he’s still in great shape and I’ve become a pear. But I’m working on it! I had steamed vegetables and chicken. I also walked there from my office in Times Square. Thirty-two blocks.

Sammy’s has been around longer than I’ve been in New York, and that’s sixteen years. I’ve eaten there before but not in a couple years. It’s always been popular in the neighborhood, although I’ve been there when it was packed, which it wasn’t last night.

Not much on decor, but more than most Chinese restaurants. I’ve wondered if dull interiors is just a Chinese thing. Sometimes they have aquariums (water is good luck), but nothing in the way of wall hangings or color schemes. At least Sammy’s isn’t a dull green or suspicious yellow.

I had the hot and sour soup – good and spicy. Then the steamed vegetables. Sean had the same dish but done in a wok with sauce. Gerry had sesame chicken with too many sesame seeds in it – and we shared a dim sum appetizer. MadeMarkTravel rating – two and a half yums. Better than takeout, but not the Beijing Hilton. Video here.

Casada at Beatstock 2009 – Evacuate the Dancefloor

17 Aug

Should be a big hit. The audience knew the lyrics already (and we heard it on the radio driving home).

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