Month: November 2014

Ai Weiwei—Without a Trace

With Wind The extraordinary @Large Ai Weiwei exhibit is now part of the daily tour to Alcatraz by ferry (Pier 33). Ai Weiwei, 57 years old, whose art raises questions about freedom of expression and human rights, has served several prison sentences in China.  This major installation invites viewer participation. Alcatraz   Several of the prison buildings (now in ruins reminiscent of burnt-out inner city neighborhoods or the aftermath of Hiroshima) exhibit a range of Ai Weiwei’s artwork with the most evocative being “With Wind” and “Trace”. “With Wind” has an enormous dragon kite as its...

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FWD—Fishing with Dynamite

Hamachi I first learned about this restaurant in Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles) in a January 22, 2014 New York Times review. It is amazing that such a tiny restaurant in a beachy little neighborhood received coverage from the premier East Coast cognoscenti. First and foremost, Fishing with Dynamite is a knockout—East Coast meets West Coast for superb service either at the tiny bar (where we loved sitting) or at a table. The place is lively and even the manager chatted with us, offering his views on this new restaurant’s mission and philosophy in a down-to-earth manner. I really expected it to...

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“Olive Kitteridge”—Scenes from a Marriage, or A Bitter Edge

The HBO mini-series based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Olive Kitteridge” delivers big time! With a stellar cast led by the astounding Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, we see the two main characters Olive and Henry vacillate between love and despair, kindness and absence of human connection. Scenes from a marriage with a bitter edge. The main character, Olive Kitteridge, is intentionally the most puzzling and difficult to empathize with. She is more an anti-hero than a protagonist you identify with and hope for. There are glimmers of her compassion as the story winds...

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La Balena—A whale of a meal

For a town like Carmel, it is exciting to find a restaurant that can really rival a good one in San Francisco.  I think La Balena nails it! We started off with Polpo Grigliato (grilled octopus with potatoes, anchovy aioli, lemon and parsley).   I have to confess that I am obsessed with this cephalopod. If octopus is on the menu, I have to try it. This is one of their signature antipasti, theirs is a bit salty but having said that, I would still order it again and let them know to be cautious with the salt. Others obviously like the polpo just the way it is. Then we had the Delicata salad: warm...

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