Archive for 2010

Top Ten Favorites of 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010

If I made a list of favorite films, then another of my most beloved music tracks of the year, then yet one more of the best dates and most delicious restaurants of 2010, it would be all too long and tedious. I can’t personally read more than one ‘Best Of…’ list at this time of year, too busy planning my New Year’s Eve party schedule and how I’ll get from one place to the other, in my ridiculously high Louboutins. So, here’s to one list, just one, but yet all you’ll ever need to know about 2010.

But I’m never too busy to say Happy New Year everyone and may you be inspired, safe and joyful during 2011!!

THE MODERN HERO OF FILMS LIKE SOMEWHERE, MIRAL AND DHOBI GHAT

There was a time when being a film hero meant hauling guns and snatching damsels in distress from big apes, atop tall buildings (if you were watching Hollywood) or dancing and lip-sinking to Shaan and Sonu, while also stealing the girl away from the unappreciative boyfriend – if Bollywood was more your cup of tea. But these days, there are guys like Tareq in Cairo Time, Johnny Marco in Somewhere and Munna in Dhobi Ghat to change all that. Sensitive, calm, atypically beautiful and silent, these men are redefining the word HERO.

DHOBI GHAT AT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Apart from having become an even bigger fan of Aamir Khan since meeting him in person and getting to know his super-talented wife Kiran Rao, TIFF for me was a special treat. I’d never been to the festival and since it’s second only to Cannes, and a great stop on the circuit for films to garner supporters and awards, I felt the power of the film world players all around me. Sitting at a cafe outside, walking through the media center, standing on the Red Carpet awaiting the stars, it was surreal and beautifully high powered. Down to the police reinforcements that were called in for Robert De Niro’s arrival for Stone. But the real discovery, the wonder of TIFF for me was Rao’s Dhobi Ghat, and its stars, particularly the sensitive and handsome Prateik with whom I share a passion for chocolate mousse cups… Read about the whole experience on the AVS TV blog and watch the film come January 21st, when it opens worldwide.

DOHA TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

If you thought a film festival had to be in France, the US or even Canada to be fashionable, you would be wrong. Doha TFF, as it’s known to insiders, was the best time I ever had viewing films and people watching. Forget NYC, Bombay or LA. Doha during this nearly weeklong festival became a who’s-who of mega stars, from Kevin Spacey to Robert De Niro, from Salma Hayek to Freida Pinto and with every hot world filmmaker in between. It felt incredible to sit next to the director of Captain Abu Raed, a Jordanian film I loved watching last year, while awaiting to meet up with the star of Miral, all the while being served free chocolate mousse and chai on a patio outside in the pleasant afternoon heat. If you ever have a chance to go, 2011 in Doha, Qatar promises to be even more glamorous and chock-full of films than ever. Need more incentive? Read up about it on elan The Mag, and AVS TV’s blog. All by yours truly…

DISCOVERING OUR INNER ROCK STAR WITH ALL SAINTS

Now that the economy ain’t at its best, shops and department stores are reinventing the wheel. Or the clothing industry, rather. If you liked Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin in 2009, then you could probably only afford Forever 21 and H & M this year… But then, midway through the summer the wonder of All Saints opened on Broadway, in Soho, and glamour took a rockstar turn for all NYC chic princesses. Forget the $2,000 Prada bag, or the pricey Louboutins, it’s now the deconstructed leather hobo and suede lace-up booties from this UK brand which have taken over fashion blogs and fashionistas’ must-have lists alike. And don’t even get me started on their amazing clothing. Just as I become tempted to own one of everything, they have their semi-annual sale and I’m “forced” to get a few things for myself, at 50% off. Just try it for yourself. Dark eye makeup, unkempt hair and hangover optional…

FINDING THE TRUE MEANING OF BURNOUT

This is a relatively new find for me, but I like the way this woman thinks. Dr. Joan Borysenko has written a book titled Fried: Why You Burn Out and How To Revive which explains the difference between our so often diagnosed blue moments, when everyone starts uttering the D word. While depression is a continued state of being, treated only with therapy and drugs, burnout is quite simply doing too much of your own thing and getting fed up with it. Its preferred therapy: a nice long vacation. There is so much more info from the good doctor, available in her book. While I’m blessed with the Italian mentality that depression does not exist, I can definitely sell my family on the concept of FRIED and order us all to go to Hawaii for medical reasons!

CUTE GIRLS WHO DON’T ACT CUTE IN MOVIES LIKE BLACK SWAN, MIRAL AND TRUE GRIT

As the great Fran Lebowitz says in Public Speaking, the Martin Scorsese documentary about her – and I paraphrase – “Women want power, men have power. But men won’t easily share it because no one wants others to have what they have.” But on the other side of the spectrum, some amazing men have been making incredible films with strong, strange and at times a bit scary women characters and that’s just fine by me. Give me a Nina – not me, the Natalie Portman version – or a Miral and Hind from Schnabel’s film or Mattie by the Coen Brothers and my feministic muscles feel relaxed and happy. Cheers to the new Heroines of Hollywood, I say!

EATING WITH ALL THE GUSTO BUT NONE OF THE GUILT

We at The Ajnabee also have a great heroine and her name is Kanwal Ullah. It is because of her recipes, and now her wonderful new restaurant reviews, that we are able to keep the pounds off while still enjoying tasty foods with lots of flavor and spice. Eating healthy does not mean filling up on bland, dry recipes and only chowing down salads and sprouts. What it does mean, in her able hands, is lots of great recipes that are easy on time, calories and money but never skimp on great taste. Check out Kanwal’s Healthy Corner here weekly on Wednesday evening and see what she whips up for us next.

CREATING A BEAUTY ROUTINE THAT WORKS

While we are definitely in the dumps with this economy and everyone is trying to nickel and dime us, we can still find our inner goddess, or god. This simply means finding a workout routine that allows us to spend minimal money and time on it, while giving us the best results. I am a huge fan of Yoga and jogging, as a combo to stretch and increase strength. Throw in a couple of 8 lb. dumbbells – 20 for the men – and you’ve got THE complete workout. I need the discipline of a trainer, once a week, which is why I swear by High Performance in Chelsea. For hair, well you know my secret – Salon Musa, and for nails, another must for releasing your inner glam queen or king, try Jin Soon, at three locations around NYC.

BOOKS THAT MAKE US THINK, LAUGH, CRY

My list does NOT include THAT book, you know the one with the three words which was recently made into an equally silly movie starring Julia Roberts… What I mean are stories like Rula Jebreal’s Miral, or Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, or Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, which all are bound to bring out sentiments so big I suggest reading these gems at home, and not at – say – the hairdresser, where your feelings will end up overwhelming you, tears will flow and your stylist will think you are having a breakdown… Eh hum and yes, that is from personal experience. Please don’t say “I can see the film” because it is a completely different experience and it’s much better to be prepared for that extra layer of visuals which the film versions will feature. Read the book, then watch the film. Repeat.

FINDING A SOUNDTRACK FOR OUR LIVES

We may not live in Bollywood’s outrageous setups or even call Hollywood our home – anymore! – but we can still feel like a star, especially during a time of year that calls for making resolutions and plans for the future. I say, make yourself a soundtrack and call it MY LIFE. In this playlist you should have a song that makes you laugh, one that makes you cry, one that makes you want to love with all your heart and a dance track. While mine at the moment is sounding an awful lot like the soundtrack from Sofia Coppola’s latest Somewhere, with songs like Cool by Gwen Stefani and My Hero by the Foo Fighters, I know it will change with each passing stage… Today it may have more US rock, but tomorrow it may just feature Arab ballads and Hindi pop songs. Make yours personal and rock out to it!

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Man’s Opinion: Truth in Advertising

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

by Ivan Calhoun

I recently caught three films in short order and was surprised by each being something different than I expected. The surprises were setup by the trailers I’d seen, advertisements, and even our Ajnabee friend Nina. I knew two were probably the proverbial “chick” flick but none were what they seemed -- the advertising hadn’t let on.

Now I should give you some background on me. I write, work, and raise kids on my own in New Mexico and I can do things like guide friends fly fishing for trout or twice facilitating week long camping trips to Yellowstone for multiple families. Yeah, I’m a Davy Crockett type of guy.

Just to get it out of the way, the first film I saw was an actual chick flick and How Do You Know, to me, was unwatchable.  The combination of Jack Nicholson and James L. Brooks had sucked me in but unfortunately Brooks’ screenplay and direction caused people to leave the screening I saw -- I should have left with them.

But I held out for the Nicholson of As Good as it Gets that the advertisements seemed to promise – he never showed up. I gotta believe USA Softball and the Washington Nationals are furious about the story lines featuring them. This film actually made me feel better about not having ever been a fan of Brooks’ Terms of Endearment.

True Grit as you can imagine was going to be right up my alley being a Western filmed in locales I know in New Mexico and featuring a common amount of violence for a Coen Brothers film. What I did not expect was how much it was a “chick” flick too – and an awesome one. The Coen’s have written and directed wonderful female characters before, most notably in Fargo and Miller’s Crossing (my favorite film of theirs).

Yet you cannot but adore the character of Mattie in the new True Grit. I did not want the film to end because I wanted to see more of her life growing up in the American West. The Coen’s going back to the original novel and telling Mattie’s story is a masterstroke. Jeff Bridges is as great as expected as Rooster Cogburn and I loved actor Barry Pepper properly shouting “I CALL THAT BULL TALK FOR A ONE-EYED FAT MAN!”. But Hailee Steinfeld’s portrayal of Mattie Ross is the heart of this retelling and you end up wishing you could have known her more. John Wayne would have been proud.

So the other night I was wearing wranglers, ropers, a Pendleton blanket shirt, and a ballcap from when I attended the 2003 Iditarod in Alaska and I’m sure I stunned the ticket person at the theater asking for one to Black Swan. I had to look like the last person on Earth who was going to ask to see a “chick” flick about ballet. The first review of the film I read was right here on The Ajnabee and Nina’s restraint in only implying a great ending while championing the performances won me over -- plus I liked the art direction that was apparent in the trailers. What I wasn’t expecting was how powerful, visceral, and scary a chick flick could be. Director Darren Aronofsky I felt delivered the best film of 2008 with The Wrestler and I think he shows in Black Swan that chicks are pretty dang tough too. A whole lot more up my alley than I’d ever expected – even from the advertising. Plus Natalie Portman’s performance is nothing short of courageous. Reese Witherspoon comes nowhere close in How Do You Know or even, dare I say, Walk the Line. Even belting a country tune pales in comparison to the ballet talent Natalie demonstrates.

For films, truth in advertising is a tricky thing. Terrific trailers are cut for horrible films and great films often cannot be edited down to two minutes, but having seen these three films reminds me that more importantly than truth in advertising is truth in filmmaking. And after taking another summer off not watching all the major studio tentpoles I am heartened that two of these three were terrific and truthful -- despite what the advertising had made me initially think.

Movies images courtesy of Sony Pictures, Fox Searchlight and Paramount Pictures

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Kanwal’s Healthy Corner – Matter Chicken

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

by Kanwal Ullah

Chicken and peas, Indian style is such an easy and tasty dish to make. Traditionally, this dish is called Matter Keema. Matter, meaning peas and Keema, meaning minced meat. I’ve revamped this dish so you can use either lean, ground chicken or ground turkey. This way you have a healthy, traditional tasting dish, without sacrificing any flavor! I hope you enjoy my recipe below for Matter Chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One pound lean, ground chicken
  • 4tsp. Canola oil
  • Half of large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Half of a large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 2 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups of frozen peas

PREPARATION:

In a sauté pan, add the oil and place on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili. Sauté these for 5-7 minutes or until browned. Once browned, add the tomato, cumin powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Sauté for another five minutes, until fragrant. Add the ground chicken and cook. Once cooked, stir in the peas. Stir this for a couple more minutes, until peas are warmed through. Enjoy with some warmed pita bread or brown rice!

Servings: 4

Top image courtesy of TheDailyGreen.com

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It’s All Your Fault: A Modern Fairy Tale

Monday, December 27th, 2010

On Monday night I attended a soiree organized by a work contact of mine. It was a holiday party and I always adore those: people are in a festive mood, food is served, wine is consumed and party dresses are worn. What is there not to love?! This party, on the Upper East Side, certainly lived up to all expectations.

Channeling a bit of LA rockstar meets Kate Moss, I felt quite stunning in my beautiful All Saints ruffled silk dress and brown cropped leather jacket. My brown suede Louboutin heels finished the all-chocolate tones look and I allowed my hair to dry naturally straight for a last understated touch. All was in place for a great evening.

Silly me, I thought everyone at the party would be in a “Festivus” mood, so I let my defenses down. I talked to people I have noticed to be less than supportive of me, and joked with new-found acquaintances who would hardly fit in my inner circle of friends. But that’s the great thing about parties, NYC and being in the holiday spirit, it makes everything seem OK.

While I chatted with an artist woman friend of mine, a sixty-something man with a bit of a chip on his shoulder – maybe due to his amazingly annoying wife! – cut into the conversation we were having. “What are you girls talking about” already putting us down to the level of seven-year-olds with the “girls” reference. My artist friend jokingly answered “We are figuring out how to find Nina a man”. As quick as lightening, though he had been waiting all his life to utter the words, Mr. Personality chimed back “If she can’t find a man, she doesn’t deserve to have one!” Ah, yes… “Of course, this comes from your great experience of being a woman in NYC?!” was my comeback, which achieved the desired effect of getting us off that subject. We continued joking around, even if he had not meant his comment as a joke at all, and I was glad to move on to a different guest, a more welcoming personality and a kinder conversation in less than two minutes flat.

But ultimately, though he was rude and spiteful in his comment, Mr. Personality is a reflexion to what most out there are actually thinking. Recently someone reported of a conversation they were having with someone else about me, with the other person saying ‘What is wrong with Nina that she’s not married?!” which of course was not meant to come out THAT way but represented the true meaning of an otherwise well-intentioned thought. And when I advised the same person of a recently ended fling with a sort-of just known enough actor, his immediate reaction: “I didn’t know you were aiming so high!” As if I should only direct my eyes and heart at vagrants and serial losers, you know, types more appropriate for a woman like me?!

So, is it really all my fault? While I tried to explain my life to my artist friend, after our run-in with Personality Saab, I tried to keep in mind that our experiences in this world are always the result of our choices. But there is an element of luck in finding our soulmate. I mean, there is at least one for each of us, out there somewhere. What if mine lives in the Galapagos and even if I were to meet him – say, while turtle sightseeing there – he would need more than a casual introduction to realize that I’m indeed his soulmate? And NYC is definitely the least relationship-friendly city on earth. Milan, with its Mammonis – Italian for “Mama’s boys” – and Los Angeles with its age-obsessed, botox-injected men are a piece of cake compared to the Big Apple. We are constantly tempted here and there is always someone greener on the other side. Even a woman with the self confidence of steel like me ends up feeling insecure at many a turn in NY.

Had dinner a couple of nights ago with a dear, beautiful, fabulously successful Russian male friend of mine. He firstly explained to me that indeed, my theory on world positioning for love is correct. But not so much in the location of my one, geographically challenged soul mate in the Galapagos – just an example of course, everyone knows my true soulmate lives in the UK! – as much as where we live and love and who we love with. After endless giggles and tons of double meanings, we indeed agreed that I need to look for a European man familiar with NYC, who will understand all the nuances, exciting twists and turns of my personality and beauty, and not bother with men who only notice a woman if she hits them over the head with her blond extensions and size DD implants. Or her PhD…

So what is your modern fairy tale? I’d love to share your story here, at The Ajnabee.

Top image courtesy of AllPosters.com

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Kanwal’s Healthy Corner – The Kati Roll Company

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

by Kanwal Ullah

Taste of KOLKATA

Sometimes the best foods can be found not in an expensive restaurant, but in small hole-in-the-wall places. So goes true for the Kati Roll Company located in Greenwich Village and Midtown, NYC, as well as in London’s Oxford Circle area.

The Kati Roll Co. brings Indian street food to your fingertips. Originating in the streets of Calcutta, India, the kati roll is a warm paratha, wrapped around tenderized, marinated meats, cheese, potato or egg. As with most Indian food, the spice factor can be altered to your liking. My most favorite kati roll is the paneer (cheese) kati roll. The warm paratha (indian flat bread) wrapped around slightly charred paneer, onions and chilies is a foodies delight!

The atmosphere of The Kati Roll Company will bring nostalgia to people who have grown up in vibrant india. As you approach the restaurant in Greenwich village, you will most likely see the line going out the door with hungry students and professors waiting to get their lati rolls. The walls are painted with bright colors and lined with posters of old Indian films while melodious music of Hindi films from the 1940′s plays in the background.

If you are looking for great ethnic food in an even more ethnic atmosphere, The Kati Roll Company is the place to be!

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Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere: There Goes My Hero

Monday, December 20th, 2010

So just what are the necessary ingredients to make us fall in love with a film? This elusive formula has been discussed at length by strangers, friends and colleagues, but I recently had a lightbulb moment when I realized that for a film to grab me, heart mind and soul, it needs to redefine the concept of Hero. In the last six months, three films have successfully introduced me to a brand new kind of romantic hero. In Julian Schnabel’s Miral it’s Jamal, the unfaltering father who gives unconditional love, in Kiran Rao’s upcoming Dhobi Ghat it’s Munna, the unselfishly handsome dhobiwalla with a heart of gold and in Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time it is Tareq, the self-sacrificing friend and unlikely companion we can’t help but fall head over heels in love with. Now they will be joined by a fourth ideal leading man: Johnny Marco.

The late Indian filmmaker Manish Acharya brilliantly came up with this description for the perfect film character: “A character should enter a room, light it up, grab our attention, surprise us, challenge us, make us laugh, give us insight we’ve always guessed but never articulated and then, when you want more, when you least expect it…disappear.” It fits Johnny Marco (played to perfection by Stephen Dorff) the leading man in Sofia Coppola’s latest film Somewhere to a T.

To say that I’m a big fan of Coppola would be an understatement. She hit cinematic and emotional jackpot for me with Lost in Translation when she introduced us to a completely different kind of romantic hero, a figure she continues to reinvent in Somewhere. Her films blend modern day simple urban elegance with an “olden days” introspective calm, all mixed together to absolute perfection by a healthy dose of humor and voyeurism. It isn’t so much that you watch a Sofia Coppola film, you live it, breathe it, see it, smell it, hear it, feel it. She’s one of the few directors out there who has the ability to bring in the sound designer along with her actors and crew during shooting and allow the genius of a Richard Beggs to work his magic. Just watch the scene where Johnny is getting a cast of his head made up at the studio and notice the claustrophobia of the soundtrack there to know what I’m talking about.

From the first scene, which BTW has been mentioned in every single review of the film, of the black Ferrari going around in loops in the desert, to the very last shot -- you would have to torture me to give that away! -- Coppola has us spellbound. She is a Hollywood rockstar, making films for those who like a little thinking with our entertainment, but also need to make up our minds for ourselves. Johnny could be the typical unlikeable, pompous, drugged out movie star we are so used to seeing on the big screen, but instead Dorff plays him vulnerable and kind, aging silently and hopelessly sad. Until his eleven-year-old daughter Cleo (played by the super cool Elle Fanning) comes along and throws his world upside down. But that also does not happen in typical dramatic Hollywood movie fashion… With Coppola, it’s a quiet thing.

To accompany that quiet, Somewhere comes with a wonderful collection of songs, a soundtrack that has kept me mesmerized for days after watching the film. Some of the song seem almost like an inspiration for the film, and one is left to wonder what came first, the film or the music. I’ve included a separate post with a list of the songs to purchase individually on ITunes, since the Somewhere soundtrack is not available there. But this way, you get to discover it for yourself and find some amazing musical talent you may have overlooked in the process.

Somewhere was apparently the working title of the film until Coppola realized that it fit because “It was just this sort of vague idea that he [Johnny Marco] wanted to go somewhere else, but he didn’t know where exactly. It is just the idea of being somewhere other than he is.” Johnny is a movie star but he’s also completely alone, until Cleo comes along. His phone only vibrates with incoming nasty text messages, he lies in bed watching twin strippers pole dance for him with an expression only slightly more excited than a coma, his fingernails are chewed to the edge and he doesn’t even say a word until the film is well into its first 20 minutes.

At a special screening in NYC, Dorff -- dashingly handsome in a down-to-earth way and wearing a chic black pinstripe suit -- revealed that Coppola writes her scripts in a completely different way from other filmmakers. She avoids directions in favor of a rough sketch with a specific feeling. She also helped her actors to create a bond with each other by having Dorff pick Fanning up from school one day and allowing them to construct their own personal moments together, which included painting pottery and Pinkberry yogurt, at Fanning’s request.

The performances resulting out of this experiment in intimacy are quiet, truthful, gloriously understated and I was honestly surprised not to find either Fanning or Dorff on the SAG Awards nominations list. The theater-full of actors and SAG nominating members I saw the film with seemed absolutely enthralled by both stars and commented enthusiastically on the “realness” of their acting. Me, the hopeless romantic, was left to wonder if love is indeed all about romance or maybe a much more complicated explanation for companionship. Is romance just a fancy word for friendship, the kind of friendship that keeps your heart warm, your days occupied and your thoughts full? It is exactly this kind of thinking that Somewhere stimulates in the viewer and the reason I am still in its glow more than a week after watching it. Rounding out the film are wonderful supporting performances by Chris Pontius -- of Jackass fame -- as Johnny’s cousin Sammy, and a cameo by Benicio Del Toro in the Chateau Marmont elevator.

Somewhere was initially inspired by the Fellini short film Toby Dammit -- part of the trilogy of Poe stories titled here in the US Spirits of the Dead -- and I can see how with the Ferrari references, all the untranslated over-the-top Italian characters in Milan and a girl who appears out of nowhere, though thankfully the films don’t end the same way. Somewhere also seems a very personal journey for Coppola, recounting what could easily be moments of her relationship with her father Francis Ford Coppola, but also magical instances in her own life as a celebrity. Who among us would not cherish staying at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, in their Presidential Suite complete with private indoor pool? But instead of showing off and making the film about that insider’s obsession of keeping outsiders out of her life and fortune, Coppola allows us, her audience, right in, to experience the place to the fullest. So much so that you’ll feel like settling your bill at the Chateau Marmont on your way out of the movie theater.

Although Johnny is a lost man, alone in spite of his success, he grew in my heart at every turn because of his well-intentioned, kind-hearted manner. Cleo could be a spoiled brat with her upbringing and money, but she’s instead a gentle soul who appreciates her life and loves her father. It is the kindness of everyone in this film which left the biggest impression on me, more than a week after first watching it.

There are a couple of warnings: Somewhere is not a film for the ADD generation because, like a good red wine, it needs time to breathe and take on its full body. It is also a film that will leave you with many questions unanswered, open to discussions, with friends over before said bottle of red wine, if you wish. Somewhere will also inspire a yearning need to visit LA, to breathe the air of the legendary Chateau Marmont, to experience that lifestyle, despite the downfalls. And most importantly, Somewhere will make you want to call your father… You’ll see.

Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, December 22nd.

Images courtesy of Focus Features

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Somewhere’s Songs

Monday, December 20th, 2010

I could not resist the soundtrack of Sofia Coppola’s latest film Somewhere and had to share it here with my Ajnabee friends. The list below is for you to find the songs on ITunes, though a few aren’t so easy, like the Jannacci song, which is an exclusive for the film. The other option, of course, is to purchase the CD, which I still can’t find anywhere, including my beloved Amazon.com… But by getting a little crafty and creating my own playlist, I enjoyed decorating my tree to the sounds of Gwen, Phoenix and the Foo Fighters, while feeling the company of my new favorite romantic hero, Johnny Marco, which was all the holiday experience I needed. N-joy the list below, read my review and go watch the film in theaters. You’ll thank me for it!

01. Phoenix – “Love Like a Sunset Part I”
02. William Storkson – “Gandhi Fix”
03. Foo Fighters – “My Hero”
04. The Police – “So Lonely”
05. Amerie- 1 Thing”
06 . T.Rex – “20th Century Boy”
07. Gwen Stefani – “Cool”
08. Paolo Jannacci – “Che si fa”
09. Romulo – “Teddy Bear”
10.
Kiss – “Love Theme From Kiss”
11. The Strokes – “I’ll Try Anything Once”
12. Sebastian Tellier – “Look”
13. Bryan Ferry – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
14. William Storkson – Massage Music”
15. Phoenix Love Like A Sunset Part II”

Image courtesy of Focus Features

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B-Wood’s Akira Kurosawa Song. What?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Ever danced around in the shower singing Fellini, Bertolucci, Kurosawa and De Sica? NO? Me neither… But for those of us who can make a ditty out of just about anything in life, well Bollywood has one-upped you! This is their tribute to Tarantino, Wilder, Hitchcock and all the others we love in the firmament of world filmmakers. Not quite sure what this item number is for, but I say bring it on! Just in time for a good holiday laugh. N-joy it, listen to it carefully and share it.

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The Barneys Co-op Sale is ON!

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

So Winter doesn’t officially start for another week but the chill and gloom of it are definitely here to stay in NYC and around most of the US. If you live in a warm climate where there is currently sun shining and lots of beach frolicking going on, I don’t want to hear from you. But if you are stuck in NYC at this time and are yearning for a place to warm up both your body and your soul, then shopping at Barneys CO-OP is just what you need! And with prices 60% off, you simply can’t go wrong. I wonder if that beautiful Lanvin trench coat is on sale too… Happy Holidays!

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Kanwal’s Healthy Corner – The Organic Grill, a Review

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

by Kanwal Ullah

Taste of ORGANIC

Last week I met up with my wonderful friend, Nina. She rightfully suggested we check out The Organic Grill in the East Village. We met up for dinner on an extremely cold night. But when I walked into the small eatery, which had no more than ten tables, I was immediately greeted by the warm atmosphere, colorful décor and a very friendly host (I wish I had gotten his name). On such a cold night, Nina and I shared a steaming pot of organic loose leaf Elderflower tea.

Next, came dinner. I ordered the Raw Kale Salad. This is by far, was the best salad I’ve ever had and I am not exaggerating! This salad was a mix of raw kale, collard greens, dulse, scallions, tomatoes, carrots, hemp seeds and olives, lightly dressed in an AMAZING Sweet Herb dressing! Honestly, this was such a hearty and delicious salad, a meal in itself. Each bite was loaded with crisp, fresh bites of greens and flavor.

Now, what’s dinner without dessert? Nina and I shared a slice of delicious Chocolate Mocha Cake. This was a serious chocolate-power cake which I would happily go for seconds! The cake was so fudgy and not too sweet, but very chocolaty!

The menu at The Organic Grill features everything from eggs to soups to sandwiches and even a children’s menu! All options are organic and most you can order vegetarian, as well as totally vegan! And please, do not think you’ll burn a hole in your wallet since, as their website says….”you don’t have to be wealthy to eat healthy!”

If you guys are in the area, I really do hope you’ll try The Organic Grill out.

The Organic Grill

123 First Ave (btwn 7st. & St.Marks Place)
New York, NY 10003
Daily 12:00pm-10:00pm
Tel: (212) 477-7177

** Hi, Nina here. Wanted to say that it’s sooo much fun to eat out with Kanwal, and find out everything about nutrition and food preparation from her. She’s a doll. And I had The Organic Grill Burger which is all vegetarian and was – as the menu suggests – a “party in my mouth”. Give this place a try, you’ll become addicted as we now are… Looking forward to the next dinner with Kanwal. Stay tuned for her reviews!

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