NYC Nouvelle Vague Summer’13

Bistros and brasseries reached their height of buzz in the late ’90s/early ’00s (just around the time that Sex and the City made Balthazar in New York a household name). In the years since, such transparently French transplants became somewhat expected, and their cuisine started to seem old hat. Lately, however, we’re seeing a resurgence of interest in French culture—its aesthetics, its foods, and even its lingerie.
frenchNo blog da Carla, cheguei a falar da onda francesa que assolou NY este verão, especialmente downtown,  onde novas brasseries e bistrôs trouxeram de volta os prazeres (simples) da cozinha francesa. Primeiro foi Monmartre, uma brasserie despojada, com jornais do dia, pratos pequenos, médios e grandes, em Chelsea (que precisava muito). Depois veio Calliope no East Village, com seu menu retro, ostras e coelhos e novos players na gastronomia de NY (o casal Eric Korsch e Ginevra Iverson). O Le Philosophe na Bond Street adicionou alguns toques de haute cuisine, com seus patos e lagostas. Mas o melhor acho que foi o novo de Andrew Carmellini, Lafayette, na Lafayette St, com seu menu gigante, com pratos de todas as regiões da França, ingredients de mercado e comida para o dia a dia. Os preços nem se comparam a São Paulo – o prato mais caro provavelmente sai por $35. Vive La France!

the google of recipes

So somebody finally did it! An aggregator-type site that sweeps the web in search of recipes, and all things kitchen. It was created by two Yahoo veterans who searched for a 5MM VC investment to take it off the ground. And they did. In times of social networks and be-friend-me-or not, you can even browse chef’s recipes.

It is very similar of my own idea of aggregating apps. When Apple made all that fuss about having downloaded a gazillion apps, I went, “why?” So in search of someone that told me why did I need an app, and among so many, which ones, I created Apploaded with a group of friends. The phone is an extension of your life today, and it’s called a smartphone not for no reason. so we worked on it for over a year, no pay, long hours, and we did all the homework, including the business plan. I learned all about apps. But the project is a source of frustration now because it never took off. Main partner was a buddhist constantly in retreats, GM a stoner in california, the other partner a clueless academic… oh well. It is currently filed under the shoulda, woulda, coulda….

NY <3 Bikes


Slowly New Yorkers are catching on the very civilized European habit of using a bicycle as their main means of transportation. The city is flat so it helps. Added to the fact that transit is chaos and a (good) taxi is a rare commodity, why not right?  A bicycle can do just wonders, not only as a device for exercising, but also as a safe and fun alternative transportation. The bike lanes are getting new paint and new routes, new parking spaces are being created and the city is embracing the culture. Fashion is tagging along putting out int he market iconic styles, such as folding bikes that come from Korea and China are super-handy and rarely get stolen; or cruisers, that have a super cool retro style and are known for durability. Not to mention Puma’s Urban Mobility line, the Glow Rider (aka Stealth Visibility Bike) is pretty much the coolest city bike ever.

the kids are not alright

Every now and then my doctor in LA shares little pieces of wisdom with her patients. Recently she showed us an article from The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Hunger and Socioeconomic Disparities in Chronic Disease.”  The number of US households whose members are at risk for hunger because of an inability to afford food (food insecurity) has risen. The rate was 32% in 2008 and is higher each year. In 2008, 21% of US households with children were classified as lacking food security. Because of their inability to afford healthy food, the members of these households had to resort to buying the cheapest calorie-dense products, i.e. food with added sugar, fats and sodium. The authors pointed out that $1 can purchase either 1200 calories of cookies or potato chips or 250 calories of carrots. As a result of these more affordable and abundantly advertised products, the parents and, of course, their children risk obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other diet–sensitive chronic diseases. Confronting food insecurity and making healthful food affordable will help prevent an enormous future burden of disease. The number of children and adults who may be destined to develop chronic disease in the US as a result of an inability to afford appropriate nutrition shames all of us!

I don’t like Twitter. What is wrong with me?

I like watching TV. I read books. I buy the newspaper. I eat at home and I cook (AND I live in NYC). I’m on Facebook. I have a Linkedin page. However, sin of all sins, I  dislike twitter, I don’t tweet, and I don’t read any tweet by Demi, or Ashton, or Oprah, or Obama. I’m just not interested in spending hours of my day reading the 140-character babbling from celebrities and average people alike. As a matter of fact my aversion to it borders abhorrence. Is there something wrong with me?

I’m not what one would consider an old-fashioned person, quite the contrary. I’m definitely trying to keep up with the new media, the social graph and the evolution of digital space. I actually can embrace digital modernities quite fast. Life is so much easier now than it was 20 years ago. But this middle-class 30″ seconds of fame (fame?) tweet has not been appealing enough for me to jump on the bandwagon. Who should I blame this on? Nietzsche and the disdain for people?

Maybe it’s my rich imagination, or my snobbish avoidance to follow trends; but I still prefer to be the trend-setter and the most interesting person in the room. Now…really… should I tweet about this?

As I publicly say this, coincidently this woman, Virginia Hefferman, wrote in yesterday’s NYTimes Magazine that Twitter is a trap and “connectivity is poverty”. Ha. Twitter is already old and it really doesn’t matter in the big picture. If my generation wanted to change the world, this one has made it even smaller than what was already small, and instead of chasing utopias and following the dream, it merely narrates the events of the past 5 minutes contemplating its own navel. Hum….not for me.