London always has great art, old and new, to offer. But contemporary art can be frustrating or exhilarating depending on who’s making it, and more importantly where you see it. The venue becomes increasingly a part of the theatre these days, and immense and impersonal spaces like Gagosian often speak more about the ego and power of the dealer than the art contained therein. I always like to check out Riflemaker in Soho London, since the eccentric space and eclectic art are consistently worth a look either for beauty or provocation or both. This is a gallery to follow, with a finger on the pulse of compelling new art. Tot Taylor and Virginia Damtsa are the directors. Through the end of this month you can see works by the incredible Stuart Pearson Wright, who makes John Currin look lightweight like Fragonard. Francesca Lowe’s huge, incisive canvases will be up September through November, another mesmerizing vision worth a visit.
79 Beak Street, London W1F 9SU, UK
020 7439 0000
I intercepted a rumor about two new ventures by the irrepressible Giuseppe Mascoli. Giuseppe, who created the successful Franco Manca pizza parlors, has plans to open a new restaurant located in a container down in Brixton, serving hamburgers and BBQ. He promises only the finest quality filet mignon, Angus beef, and Kobe mince, and three flavors of sauces inspired by the American West. It will be called Bukowski.
Ironically, I also learned that he plans a new poetry magazine called Spanner, with a focus on anarchist and new deconstructionist verse. Giuseppe likes fireworks, so this ought to be an explosive launch. Stay tuned.
Must say Lisbon is so appealing with its post-colonial grandeur, shabbiness, and joie de vivre. One night last trip I took a long nap and went out at 1030pm down to the neighborhood at the foot of the hill under the castle of St George, in search of Fado. The neighborhood is just below the cathedral, medieval lanes, cobbled streets, echoes of music and drunken tourists staggering out of the early shows. I’d been through all the guidebooks, listed all the clubs, listened to my experts, and I realized that one doesn’t go for the food or the price, and later is better. There’s not such a mob in the restos, and you’re not obliged to buy an extortionate meal at Michelin prices with cafeteria quality dishes. Still it costs minimum 20 Euros, but I struck gold at the second place, Casa de Fado, which a famous mandolinista owns. It has that slightly distressed décor and attitude, and friendly service, which may have been because the crowd had thinned. Heard an excellent woman singer accompanied by 3 musicians, then an excellent male singer. After the crowd thinned, about midnight, we were down to 3 tables, and the singers were singing for each other, their voices warmed up, and only the die hards left sitting around. I ordered a glass of the Riserva (8 Euros and I still feel it today, Gigondas it wasn’t) and 5 shrimps in garlic (18 Euros, what the hell, dipped my bread in the juice, it held off the ill effects of the wine) and paid the 10 Euro cover charge, happily. Then rode a cab back to the hotel down deserted city streets. I like the mild euphoria of these half-drunken returns through exotic cities, rich in ambience, that night a lovely temperature 64F, an almost cinematic quality to the experience.
Rua Rodrigues Sampaio, 17
1150 278 Lisboa
Tel 351 21 315 50 16
As Janelas Verdes
Rua das Janelas Verdes, 47
Tel 351 21 396 81 43
Last year my good friend Luca Magni and his partners set up a dream business called Sailing The Web, a superior concept which assists lovers of the sea to find contentment in a multitude of nautical ways. The Milan-based business can help you locate a charter, sailing school, crew, cruise, find specialized equipment, or sell or buy a yacht. The company’s latest product offering, themed Gourmet Charters, facilitates exclusive culinary pairings in the Mediterranean with luxury yachts, chefs and customized itineraries. Gourmands and oenophiles take note. This highly selective and limited listing delivers private gourmet cruises, for almost any budget, starting from as low as €5000 for 2 persons. A private cruise is the ultimate way to enjoy your travel, and these charters range from plain posh to seriously elegant. Chartering one of Sailing The Web’s Gourmet Cruises vessels means first class vessels; a private chef at your service to combine your tastes with the local gourmet traditions; an ongoing table of flavors of the region; a private guide to the best restaurants and taverns of the Mediterranean; an endless wine list with on-board delivery; a personalized luxury vacation in absolute privacy, in the most beautiful coves and havens of the World. You can request information over the web with the latest listing of vessels and chefs, an exceptionally appetizing dream.
Sailing The Web
Goodness me, I have been blogging a lot about Point2paint, the new iPad app I helped with at Silvergate Software over the past few months. Now it’s on the market and available at a low introductory rate of $1.99 (not kidding and not forever) at the app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/Point2paint/id449945734. We also have a Facebook page up with a small album of drawings, the first rumblings of a new online community. I hope you’ll take a look- people seem to love the product. This week I created five tee shirts using icons from the app, available at my online store: http://www.zazzle.com/gifts?cg=196282191963684823&st=popularity&cn=250283932111514415&ch=diganzi