P and I saw most of the nominated movies, except Capote and Walk the Line (who won Best Actor/Actress), in the past month on video or in the theater. The Jon Stewart line about how it’s the first time in a long while that the members of the Academy voted for winners was not just ironically true, but actually pointed out the horse-trading going on with the voting. I think that the 5,000 members of the Academy, faced with a group of nominees that all could have legitimately won on their own merits in lesser years, voted in a way that spread the awards across as many films as possible. This is why all of the technical awards went to King Kong, Geisha, and Narnia, all blockbusters, but not critical successes. Good Night and Good Luck got the shortest thrift, but they even managed to get George Clooney a statue by moving him into the Supporting Actor role in Syriana. As for the competition between Crash and Brokeback Mountain, the Academy split the difference, rewarding twice-denied Ang Lee with the director’s award, while giving Best Picture to Crash. I think that they got it just right.
P won second place in the Oscar party contest we were at, winning a DVD of Wallace and Grommitt. Looking forward to seeing that.
Before the Oscar party, P, her sister and I toured Stew Leonard’s
in Yonkers, on the Major Deegan I-87 just south of the New York Thruway tollbooths. Perched on a hillside above a Costco and a Home Depot, this is a farmer’s market on steroids. The meats, produce, and seafood were incredibly fresh and as high quality as you would expect at a Fairway or gourmet market, but with prices that rival the big supermarket chains. The dairy products clenched it – we had a fabulous ice cream cone made from milk from their own cows.
The place uses all of the old-time marketing – Barnum’s one-way only path through all of the products, “saving” money by offering a discount for buying in bulk, mascot cows and Disneyland moving figures. P & I spent about $100, P’s sister spent $200, but of course it was all better because you get a free coffee or ice cream for every $100 spent. But once again, the very high quality means no complaints from us.
The thing that gets me is that I’ve never ever heard of this place, even though it is #58 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work and holds records with the Guinness Book of Records and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. P saw it on the Food Network, and asked her co-workers, who raved about it. P’s sister passed its silos all the time on the way to and from college, and it never occurred to her to actually go there until now. It won’t be the last time.
P organized a birthday party for her sister on Saturday at tried and true Korean eatery Kum Gang San on E 32nd St. It was P’s mom’s first time for Korean food – she was kind of concerned because she can’t handle spicy food as well as she used to, and she is very picky about service at restaurants. However, she took very well to the Korean BBQ concept and enjoyed handling the kal bi and bu gul ke on the grill. She also liked the fact that there were a lot of fruits and veggies available. When she found out that the pan chan appertizers were free, she just went to town and had the servers running ragged – she was even tempted to taste some of the kimchi. It won’t be the last time for this place, either.