leisure 03.26.04


Noshwalks' Bay Ridge Tour
This food-oriented visit to Bay Ridge will include stops at Norwegian, Italian, Moroccan, Greek, Danish, Turkish, Lebanese and French markets and bakeries. Tomorrow, 11am. $18. Check the site for details.

Big Onion's The Gangs of NY Tour
A tour that explores Five Points. Stops at the site of Paradise Square, Murderer's Alley, and places associated with Bill "the Butcher" Poole, William M. Tweed, and the 1857 Police & 1863 Draft Riots. 1pm, tomorrow. $12.

Radical Walking Tours' Non-Jerry-Seinfeld UWS Tour
You'll visit locales related to H. Rap Brown's shootout with the police, Noam Chomsky, Philip Berrigan's arrest by the F.B.I., Fidel Castro, ACT-UP and more. Sunday at 1pm, $10.

Book on Walks In and Around NY
50 Hikes in the Lower Hudson Valley, by Stella J. Green and H. Neil Zimmerman
Big Onion Guide to NYC: 10 Historic Tours by Seth Kamil and Eric Wakin
Radical Walking Tours of NYC by Bruce Kayton
Nosh New York by Myra Alperson

The NY-NJ Trail Conference is an umbrella organization of dozens of hiking clubs. Their website is a helpful resource for anything having to do with walks and hiking.

Walking the Island
We love this chronicle by Rosecrans Baldwin of The Morning News as he walks the entire length of Manhattan.

Virtual Walking Tour
More sedentary types will enjoy NY Songlines, which allows you to take various walks around town, expending no more energy than it takes to scroll your mouse. Not only does the site tell you about current block occupants, it gives lots of interesting historical background, too. Great stuff.

Walking Shoes
Peripatetic travel guide author Rick Steves says that Chacos are the best all-around warm-weather footwear and loves his Eccos (as we do at MUG — love our Eccos, that is).
MUG and Dining Out/Dining In
For a stretch there, we were running corrections on the factual errors in William Grimes' restaurant reviews:

CORRECTION: In his Times review of Dumonet at the Carlyle, William Grimes describes pineau des Charentes (sic) as "the Cognac-based liqueur." No. First of all, it's Pineau with a capital 'P' and more properly cognac with a small 'c'. Second, it is simply not a cognac-based liqueur. It's a fortified wine — in this case, grape juice to which cognac is added (the cognac stops the fermentation process). The alcohol level is between 16-22%, whereas liqueur is between 25%-55% alcohol. And it's drunk as an aperitif. Yo, couldja do sum fac chickin over their?

CORRECTION: Only a couple of corrections for Mr. Grimes' review of 325 Spring Street. Classic albufera sauce does not contain demi-glace sweetened with port. And Comté can not be called "France's great answer to Gruyère" because it is a Gruyère.

CORRECTION: Look, we don't have time for this…we can't keep running corrections for William Grimes. But, hellooo? In today's Diner's Journal about the restaurant Cavo, Mr. Grimes describes keftedes as "the firm, chewy Greek sausage." Keftedes are meatballs.

This thing with Amanda Hesser's review of Spice Market, though, is beginning to trouble us. That weekly review column in the Times is arguably the most important space in the country's food industry. Yes, do some fac chickin and get your meatballs in order. But also: don't other basic rules of journalism apply to it?

When we called Spice Market yesterday and asked about Gray Kunz, we got a chilly and terse: Jean-Georges is the chef/owner, Mr. Kunz is a consultant. Hm. A source tells us that "they are trying to push Kunz out of the restaurant." Possibly true, but still just rumor. Clearly, though, something is going on.

Ms. Hesser, by ignoring Mr. Kunz, (one of the city's top chefs), and whatever his current relationship is with Spice Market, is, in a sense, involving herself with an industry's internal politics. Seems to us we can recall when critics didn't do this, at least not so overtly. Isn't there some kind of imperative to acknowledge, at least, that Mr. Kunz is or was involved in the restaurant? Otherwise, it gives the appearance that Ms. Hesser is taking sides in a dispute. From our standpoint, it just doesn't pass the smell test. And isn't Mr. Kunz's changed status, uh…what do they call it? Oh, right: news?

[Ms. Hesser did not respond to our request for a comment.]

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