18 February 2010

Cincinnati vs. New York

I can understand why everyone is upset about A.A. Gill's recent hit piece in Vanity Fair. Few of us Cincinnatians ever get the chance to venture to exotic places like New York in a flying-machine so we naturally assume the rumors of its magnificent museums, buildings, parks, etc. are true. But this is not the case. I know this because I am one of the few Cincinnatians who has been there. Here is my story.

I recently made a trip to New York to personally visit the offices of Vanity Fair magazine. I am taking a class called “How to Get Your Writing Published” and one of the assignments was to visit an actual magazine to see how everything works. My first step was to do some research to find out which magazine would be best. While walking home from my second job at the Creation Museum, I passed a tanning/hairstyling salon and noticed a copy of Vanity Fair on the table. I knew that this was a sign from Jesus and thus my research was complete.

When I arrived in New York, the first thing I realized was that they spell it “Newark.” Yeah, I’m not kidding… those hip and stylish “Newarkers” can’t even spell their own city! As an angry, combative person by nature I was really pissed off about this and I began to hate the city.

Then I went to the publishing offices which were in Times Square. Well, guess what? I drove around all day and couldn’t find it. As far as I can tell, there is no place in Newark called “Times Square.” How do their employees get there? How do they get FedEx deliveries? I have driven a lot around the Midwest and I’m pretty good at finding things but I couldn’t find Times Square in Newark. And the Newarkers were no help, either. They are just as rude as people claim. When I told them I was looking for Times Square they just laughed. The problem was not me, it was them.

And that’s not all; while driving around this supposedly great city, I have so say I was very disappointed. This place is dirtier than my cousin's pig pen before he cleaned it up to impress my sister when they went-a-courtin'. I saw a few big buildings but nothing King Kong would ever bother with. And Godzilla would probably just take a dump on it. As a matter of fact, based on the way it smelled, he probably did. Mostly I saw garbage, abandoned and boarded buildings and scary people. And I’m pretty sure I heard gunshots.

I wouldn't put much stock in A.A. Gill's opinion. He really doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to judging other cities. I know because I’ve been to New York.

10 February 2010

Venice on Vine is Your Metaphorical Cheddar

"Good food for a good cause," that is the motto of Venice on Vine. Like Cincinnati Cooks!, Venice on Vine is an instructional food service operation, a place where people who want to turn their lives around can learn marketable job skills.

It's a cool little place on the corner of 13th and Vine:

nice retro/mod vibe and fresh flowers to boot

I got a Venice pizza years ago when it was in a different location that pretty much nobody knew about. I only found out about it because I met a nun who supervised the operation and she told me about it. I ate the pizza with a friend and we thought the crust was a little weak but we liked the cheese and toppings. I wanted more cheese but I grew up in Pizza Hut's America whereas she recently spent 2 years in Italy and was fine with it.

I was near the current location last week and I stopped in for lunch. I had the steak hoagy with pizza sauce and all the toppings:

They even brushed melted butter on the bun which I have not seen in my other steak hoagy adventures around town. The hoagy was warm and tasty. Next time I might ask for extra cheese and red onion to take it to the WestEnder level. The staff was friendly and provided service with a smile.

Venice is not complicated fru-fru food. They don't have "micro" greens, foams or reductions on triangular plates. They have good food at a good price that hits the spot when that is what you want.

Put it this way: sometimes you want manchego or wensleydale and sometimes you want something less, but not less to the point of brick- or muensterish regret. You want cheddar. Venice on Vine is your metaphorical cheddar.

Venice on Vine on Urbanspoon

01 February 2010

Don't Read this if You're Jenny McCarthy

The British physician who first claimed a link between vaccines and autism has just had his research deemed unethical by the General Medical Council (in addition to being deemed wrong by everyone else). It now has to decide whether to revoke his medical license. From Time.com:

In a ruling on Jan. 28, The General Medical Council, which registers and regulates doctors in the U.K., ruled that [Andrew] Wakefield acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" during his research and with "callous disregard" for the children involved in his study.

It criticized Wakefield for carrying out invasive tests, such as colonoscopies and spinal taps, without due regard for how the children involved might be affected. It also cited Wakefield's method of gathering blood samples — he paid children at his son's birthday party $8 to give blood — and said that Wakefield displayed a "callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer."

The panel also criticized Wakefield for failing to disclose that, while carrying out the research, he was being paid by lawyers acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR jab.

The panel's ruling follows a refutation of Wakefield's research from the scientific community. Ten of 13 authors in the Lancet study have since renounced the study's conclusions. The Lancet has said it should not have published the study in the first place, and various other studies have failed to corroborate Wakefield's hypothesis.

Wakefield is now the Executive Director of the Thoughtful House autism center in Texas, which the Times of London recently claimed receives millions of dollars in donations each year.