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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unlucky Creation

No sooner do I rid myself of the "Poo-Nanni Ballerina" than the newest unlucky creation, "Bilgewater Blackhole", shows up.

Only, this time my boss didn't pick it. No. Actually if my boss had picked it, it would've had some life to it. Disturbing life, but life none the less.

A co-worker, one who has famous artist friends and lives with a famous gallery owner, stopped by the SF MOMA rental shop and picked it. When the bossman and I first saw it, we couldn't tell if we were looking at the front or the back.

"Where is it?", I said as we tore off the plastic protective covering. "Is this it?"

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine a large square that begins with a murky green with a bronze sheen at the top and fades, ever so slightly, to a murky brown. On the surface, though hard to make out at first, are slightly raised squiggly circles and spirals that appear randomly, but remind me of stretchmarks. You have to squint to see them.

Because we have no lighting above it, from a distance it just looks like a dark square; one which sucks in all light that travels by it, and perhaps a soul or two.

My boss and I hated it at hello, and my boss let my co-worker know it. So I guess that means I won't be invited to any more gallery openings and I'll be on his shitlist.

And I'll still have to sit next to the Bilgewater Blackhole!


Anyway, at least I had lunch to look forward to.

Yesterday I had lunch at Chung King, which is my regular lunch spot. They do a wicked Beef Chow Fun in Black Bean Sauce, as well as this sliced pork lo mein dish. Almost everything I've had there has been good.

But because it's veggie week, I had the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, which is a Chinese restaurant staple. However, what usually is a Chinese restaurant staple anywhere else, is the fuckin' shit at Chung King.

(Uh, sorry. For the slang-challenged, "shit' in this case means "awesome".)

The eggplant in this dish is big sliced chunks of Japanese eggplant (sorry, don't know the Chinese name) stir-fried for quite a while in a rich brown garlicky sauce and arrives at the table steaming, I mean steaming, hot. But before it gets to your table, you get hot tea and a small bowl of really peppery Hot and Sour soup...on the house!

You know, many Chinese restaurants that "know themselves" and especially ones that cater to the gweilo, charge for tea and soup. Frankly, I find this trend disgusting, mostly because this is not the norm in most Chinese restaurants. But Chung King is one of the few restaurants in Chinatown that not only has delicious food and great service, but also includes the cost of the soup and tea with the meal.

Today I went to Lucky Creation, which despite having a mostly Chinese clientele, knows itself. Perhaps it's all of the reviews plastered all over the walls and front window, some dating back over 10 years.

OK, yeah. It's the only exclusively vegetarian place in Chinatown. Get over it. Where else are the monks suppose to eat?

It was frickin' cold today! So, nothing goes better with the cold than a big, steaming hot plate of noodles! Truly the Chinese comfort food.

If you are by yourself, most likely you will share a table with another person since Lucky Creation happens to be a small place. This notion of sitting at a dinner table across or beside someone you don't know disturbs a lot of Westerners, and this is just plain stupid.

Buddhist altar. Buddhists don't care about sitting next to strangers, either.

Wha? Afraid someone might snatch a shrimp off your plate when you're not looking? Afraid the old guy with the glint in his eye might play footsie? You don't care if you sit next to someone on a bus! So, what the hell's so wrong with sitting next to someone to eat?

Rarely have I regretted sitting at the same table or counter with someone I don't know. In fact, as many times as I've done it, I can only think of once, and that guy was just gross!

After I was seated, I checked out the menu.

Hummm, what to order? It was difficult. So many choices, although what the guy sitting across from me was eating looked good. A big ol' plate of black mushrooms, tofu, noodles, and other veggies. I was tempted to say, "I'll have what he's having", but I read a review somewhere by someone saying the "dynasty noodles" were good, so I chose the "Golden Mushrooms with Asian Dynasty Noodles".

Being a fan of "Dynasty" as a kid, I was prepared for a lot of freshly yanked out blond hair in my noodles, but I didn't find one. I guess Krystle Carrington was on vacation in the South of France again.

I also didn't find "Golden Mushrooms" which I was praying were chanterelles, but ended up being enoki. Still, the noodles had a very subtle, but nice, mushroom flavor. In fact, I felt no need to spoil the dish with soy sauce or hot sauce, and generally if a dish is nice, I won't add anything to it. Why should I have to?

A big plate of hot noodles cost me $5.90, plus $1.00 for tea (hiss). Plus tip, it came to a little over $9.00. That's not the highest you can go for Chinatown, but considering I had a plate of noodles with nothing special, plus a $1.00 pot of tea that likely had been steeped 2 or 3 times before, it's also not the greatest.

While I don't believe this is the best dish at Lucky Creation, I'd definitely consider going back to explore more options like, say, the veggie dim sum treats. I might even try the many fake meat dishes here, but then, I have a somewhat philosophical problem with fake meat.

To be brief, fake meat is nothing but goddamn vegetarian propaganda!

Have you ever walked down the street and had your heart racing at finding a folded ten or twenty-dollar bill laying on the sidewalk, only to pick it up and realize the other half is some lame-ass Christian recruiting propaganda? I hate that shit!

It makes me want to go to the church that handed them out and superglue real ten-dollar bills and quarters to the sidewalk in front of where they enter and exit each Sunday.

To me, "mock duck" and textured vegetable protein is just as bad. Seitan is satanic!

So, I'll stick with real food, thanks.

Gotta go now, since I've got some meat eatin' to do (my first of the day!), and I've gotta get ready to see the second episode of Country Boys on PBS.

Wow! Never in my life have I cringed on my sofa so much as watching this documentary. Partially because I see myself in some of those stupid youthful moments of the guy who wants to rebel, but there's nothing to really to rebel against ("open mind" equals eyebrow or tongue piercing).

And partially because I knew and know others, like Chris, who ended up in prison because they don't know how to function and can't succeed in the world, no matter how hard the try – so they just stop trying.

But I haven't stopped trying!

I've got bad art to rebel against! It gets me up in the mornin'!



Blogger Cali said...

How about snagging a guerilla photo of "Bilgewater Blackhole" so we can cringe in horror with you? I'd love to hate it with you! Bad art is one of my favorite topics.

4:45 AM  

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