Kiki & Lala

Archive for June 2010

As you know, things are busy at Kabbalah Philippines – which is a good thing.

On Monday July 5th, we’re having our first Intro To Kabbalah lecture in almost nine months! And we’re not entirely sure when the next one will be.

The Intro will be given by Sarah Lopez who does the Intro talks at the London Centre now. I’ve heard the lecture many times but what I love about it is that it reminds me of how simple and universal Kabbalah is. And it makes me think, how can anyone NOT want this wisdom in their lives? It works at such a seed, fundamental level! It’s so useful – in every aspect of life!

Praying and pushing for nothing less than a fabulous turnout. It’s gonna be great!

As I was drying myself off after a shower the other day…

Rocio: Nice boobs, Mom!… Getting BIGGER!

(This second post is coming a few months after the first one, but better late than never!)

The time difference between NY and SF made it easy for us to get up early on Saturday, despite our efforts to paint the town red the night before. (Now that we’re older, perhaps I should say that we painted the town a pale shade of pink before passing out.) Fortunately, we were blessed with amazingly sunny and warm weather, unlike the chilly days my family and I dealt with last May. So what does one do on a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco? Head to the Ferry Building, of course!

We hopped on the trolley and took a bumpy ride from Union Square to the northeast end of Market Street. It was about 10:30AM, and the crowds roaming the outdoor stands were still manageable. Our initial plan was to locate some breakfast grub to fill our grumbling tummies, but the breeze carried over a waft of savory deliciousness that could have only come from one thing: pork.

In the minutes that followed, several pieces began falling into place in my mind: (1) a number of SF Chowhound posts mentioned a roaming food truck that served some of the best porchetta on the planet, (2) said food truck could allegedly be found parked in the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market every Saturday, and (3) Twin-ham and I happened to be standing in the middle of the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. On a Saturday.

Like well-trained bloodhounds, Twin-ham and I sniffed our way to the source of those delicious aromas. We found ourselves standing before an awe-inspiring sight: a shiny food truck equipped with at least 15 separate rotisserie rods on each side. Each spinning metal rod held either golden chickens or THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PORK ROASTS I HAD EVER SEEN. And as though this wasn’t sufficient, crispy potatoes lay beneath the roasting meat, happily soaking up all delectable drippings. The company website states that Mr. Odermatt is one of the world’s foremost authorities on rotisserie grilling, and I believe he deserves a Nobel prize for contributions made to the world of pork cookery.

By the time we got in line, there were about eight or ten people waiting for whatever Thomas was selling (roast porchetta, roast chicken, roast spring lamb, and roast pig knuckles), with a shorter ‘express line’ specific to chicken only. (And when I say that line was shorter, I mean no one was waiting in line for the chicken.) All this led us to the conclusion that something else was worth waiting in line for, and that something was the roast pork sandwich. The menu described it as a full slice of roast porchetta, topped with a fresh herb salad, onion marmalade and served on ciabatta bread. We decided to share one sandwich (it was massive!), and settled on a nearby bench to stuff our faces. Following my first bite, my brain nearly exploded. Clearly, I was holding the world’s most perfect sandwich in my hands. The porchetta was moist, savory, and perfectly seasoned, while the bits of crackling were salty/crunchy accents. Following my second bite, I was practically in tears. And following my last–heavenly–bite, I was seriously considering getting back in line to buy another sandwich. (And I also scolded myself for sharing the other half with Twin-ham.) Unfortunately, the line had grown to about 20-25 people, which is a testament to the sheer perfection of RoliRoti’s porchetta.

Twin-ham and I both agreed that the RoliRoti porchetta sandwich was one of the best sandwiches on the planet. The next time you happen to visit San Francisco, make sure a RoliRoti stop is part of your itinerary!

Summertime is all about outdoor activities in this city.  Strolling, biking, running, picnics are the activities of choice for those who have spent many a winter’s night indoors keeping warm from the biting New York cold. For years now the Public Theater has been performing in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater for New Yorkers gratis.  This popular and beloved summer tradition is on most new yorkers’ bucket list…mine included!

Central Park's Great Lawn

Open air Delacorte Theater

As tickets are given away for free you can imagine the number of people that camp out early to fall in line just to score tickets.  Guess what? I was lucky enough to be invited and I didn’t have to line up for hours! Woohoo!

I took a picture of the hundreds of people waiting to enter the theater to give you an idea of how coveted these tickets are.

Every year the Public Theater invites veteran actors to star in their summer production.  Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Denzel Washington, Ed Harris are just some of the stars who graciously donated their time and talent to produce these plays.

Collage containing some of the actors that star in these plays

This summer we have none other than Al Pacino to star in the Merchant of Venice playing Shylock the Jew. How. Cool. Is. That?!

Here is another shot of him that I grabbed from gothamist.com

Rehearsing for his role as Shylock

To my pleasant surprise, the cast consisted of some fairly known yet super talented actors.  Jessie Martin, who played on the original production of Rent as well as starred in Law & Order, is also part of this production playing Gratiano.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays Nerissa to perfection.  She looked so familiar so I decided to google her.  According to IMDB, she’s done several big movies like Spy Game and 28 days.

Max Wright, who is most known playing the father in the 80’s sitcom ALF, also stars in the play as the Prince of Aragon.  His voice sounded so familiar it took me a while to figure out who he was.  Apparently this guy is quite the thespian with numerous Shakespeare plays in his resume!

The Merchant of Venice is the first Shakespeare play I read.  In fact I still have the book I bought in High School complete with margin notes.  So I was pretty excited to revisit this play through Al Pacino’s unbelievable performance.

Shylock the Jew is a reviled character and his persona is written in a way that draws out extreme emotions from you: hatred and sympathy.  Pacino does this with so much precision.  You abhor him yet you feel his pain.  The most moving moment in the play for me was when he was baptized as a Christian against his will.  It was just so painful to watch, seeing a proud proud man humbled in such a humiliating way. Pacino rocks!

I remember enjoying this play as reading material but watching these great actors give life to their characters stirred so much emotion in me (Cancer month, is that you?).  Really, I was speechless.

I wish we were allowed to take pictures because the set design was also pretty awesome.  I found a model of the set in broadwayworld.com.  It’s a clever design making efficient use of these iron semi-circle gates to shift from one scene to another. Hope this gives you an idea.

Watching an outdoor play with amazing actors on a cool summer evening while the sun was setting was just so surreal for me.  It just doesn’t get better than that!  I’m going to try to line up (online) for A Winter’s Tale which is also showing in the park. I hope the gods of chance are on my side this summer.  If not, I’m just thankful I got to see Pacino in the park this year.

This was aired yesterday. Missed the airing so ended up watching it online just this afternoon.

It’s a candid, casual, sincere look at our nation’s leader. All biases aside, I think he puts his critics to shame with his informed answers couched in a disarming folksiness. None of that arrogance that so often accompanies political successes and egos.

I liked that he showed subtle but telling emotions when talking about his dad’s incarceration and assassination. And how he joked about what he would say to his folks if they were still around.

My hope is that he stays this grounded and accessible for his entire term.
Enjoy!

* The video doesn’t seem to want to load. You can click on here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I must admit, coming to this book launch initially felt like a chore.  But there was no excuse for me not to go as I was already in the area and  I told your Little Twin-hubby and another friend who invited that I would go (yes, I my word is as strong as oak).  And so it came to pass that the girl believed to bring bad luck to the basketball team and banned from basketball games ends up in a book launch about basketball.  Correction: Basketball in the Philippines.

And what a pleasant and immensely entertaining surprise this guy turned out to be. As you already know, Rafe Bartholomew went to the Philippines as a Fulbright scholar and spent 3 years in Manila meeting average height men and immersing in a culture so tightly intertwined with basketball.  He served us a generous helping of excerpts from his book, Pacific Rims, which only brought out laughter and more laughter from us, his captivated audience.  Here are some shots I took of him.

Check out the full house.

And the groovy host of the event.  She caught me about to snap a photo of her and immediately struck this pose. Taray!

After the reading and Q&A, he agreed to sign some books.

We got to chat longer than usual when I dropped your Little Twin-hubby’s name. And the animated conversation just revolved around your in-laws.

At the end, I went home with a new book to devour and a short note…

Operations audit at work? Done. Drink with NYU friend? Done.  Pacific Rims book launch? Done!  Today didn’t turn out to be so bad after all.

And that’s exactly what we did.  After work, I rushed down to Irving Place, which is a quaint and surprisingly quiet little street off of Union Square.  They managed to preserve the luster of the brownstones lined up on this street.  Take a look!

I’m obsessed with brownstone stoops.  If there was a worthy reason to lose my battle against nicotine addiction, it would be to smoke on these steps watching people go by.

“And a big yellow taxi took my girl away…”

Here is a building I fancy.

I tried to take a closer look at the intricate facade.

And a pretty street like this would never be complete without its ubiquitous accessory, the fixie.  Work of art!

Standing unassuming on the corner of this lovely street is Mario Batali’s Casa Mono. His version of a spanish taverna.  The food here is amazing, it deserves its own blog post.

As I was just having a few drinks with a friend, we opted to go to the adjacent tapas bar, Bar Jamon.

We feasted on vino tinto from Alicante, jamon serranno and lotsa cheese!  I took some shots from inside.

And after my castillan fill of wine and grub, off I ran to the book launch.


Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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