Friday, January 04, 2008

Personal best: 2007

Inspired, as I noted in the previous post, by Chocolate & Zuccini author Clotilde Desoulier, who made her list personal but also universally applicable.

My coworker Michael has protested that it is "biased." This is true. It's my list.

Here goes:

Best movie (comedy): Knocked Up. I laughed (a lot), I cried, and despite my hypervigilance when it comes to gender representation, I didn't think it was as sexist as Katherine Heigl said it was. Maybe it's because I have seen a full-grown, attractive blonde woman completely lose her shit on a doorman after being turned away from a club.

Best movie (drama): Once. (or is it a musical?)

Best television show (comedy): The Office. Thank god that Jim and Pam are finally together. This alone made my year.

Best television show (drama): LOST. Although this could change if Jack and Kate don't get together.

Best concert (large venue): It's a two way tie between Neil Young and the Arcade Fire. Both played the Orpheum this year. I saw Neil Young with his wife on Dec 3. Growing up with his music on the stereo has influenced my taste more than any other artist. On the other hand, I saw Arcade Fire on May 11 with my brother, who introduced me to the band, and it was a profound experience. I finally "got" the songs on "Neon Bible" after this show. This band works incredibly hard. For proof, listen to the show on Bradley's Almanac here.

Best concert (medium venue): 826 Boston's Revenge of the Bookeaters (which included Of Montreal, Mates of State, and Via Audio) Sept. 26, Berklee Performance Center. My friend Jenna and I were lucky enough to run into all of the band members at Bukowski's following the show. We sat and talked with Kevin Barnes about literacy (he said he hadn't really thought about it much) and Kori Gardner about her 6-months-along pregnancy and the relative merits of Brooklyn vs. Connecticut grocery stores. We even did shots of dessert wine (?) with Davy Rothbart, founder of Found Magazine.

Best concert (small venue): St Vincent, July 18, Middle East Upstairs. I've rhapsodized publicly about St Vincent - see my review here.

Top 5 albums: Feist's "The Reminder", Radiohead's "In Rainbows", Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," St. Vincent's "Marry Me", Via Audio's "Say Something"

Best book: the His Dark Materials series (aka, The Golden Compass books). This series captured my imagination in a way that no book really has since I was an impressionable 12-year-old with a bookcase full of Madeline L'Engle novels. I even cried at the end of The Amber Spyglass. The hype and criticism (put it together and you'll get hypocrisy) surrounding this series is mostly unmerited and inaccurate. It's quite spiritual, very inspiring, incredibly intellectual, and worth reading.

Best new restaurant: Myers + Chang. I'm a big fan of Joanne Chang, who even brought over vegetarian eggrolls personally on my first visit here. I've only rhapsodized semi-publicly on M + C, on Yelp, but that review is here. Really, all you need to know is this: order the edamame salad and the mussels; make sure you say "tofu" in case they think you want "pork"; and if you wait patiently, they will bring you a free dessert.

Best new cocktail: the "Envy" kiwi-based cocktail, from the "Seven Deadly Sins" cocktail menu at new venue/resto Church.

Best ingredient, ever: truffle oil.

Best vehicles for truffle oil: the truffle frites at Kingston Station; the 4-mushroom truffled pizza at Stella.

Best new addition to my kitchen: It's a two-way tie between my food processor and my Crock Pot. (I know, how novel. But dear god, I'm only 22.)

Best new addition to my life: my lab/Rottweiler mix puppy, Eko. (See: LOST)

Biggest surprises:
Radiohead's "In Rainbows" was, actually, very good.
Rocca isn't that good.
Bikram Yoga is not as crazy as I thought.
The upper part of Desolation Canyon in Utah is actually very beautiful.
I don't hate New York City as much as I used to.
I don't hate Broadway plays.
Rouge vif d'Etampes actually means "red warty pumpkin." It sounds so much better in French.


Blogger Marce said...

Ryan, this is Marci (Hartley)- it's so fun to have yet another way to keep in touch! i love your writing style. you truly have a gift!!! hope all is well, my darling.

9:28 PM  

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