Monday, July 09, 2007

Hot Damn! Not everything you read on the Internet is true!

But this is!

So yesterday Mike and I went to see Food, Film, and Friendship, Italian Style at Lisner Auditorium. We were a good 2-3 inches shorter by the time we got there, as it was hot as blazes and we melted slightly during the short walk from the metro.

The program was supposed to be a lively discussion with Marisa Tomei and Italian chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich about Italian food and the role it plays in cinema and popular culture in general. We were especially looking forward to what we anticipated would be a good, humorous banter between Tomei and Batali.

The moderator, Jim Bohannon, was clearly having an off-day. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because it's hard to believe that a professional radio host who makes his living by interviewing people could be such a dud on a regular basis, but seriously-- I think my 4-year old nephew could have done a better job.

Is it possible for a "lively discussion" to come to a screeching halt before it's even really begun? Bohannon started with Tomei, asking her two questions inspired by what turned out to be misinformation from the Internet. Either he's responsible for shabby research or some underling is going to be applying at Ruby Tuesday's this week.

Anyway, I don't want to go on and on about him, but Bohannon really seemed to do his best to keep the "lively" out of the "discussion". It was painful.

Next!

The description of the event said that it would be highlighted by video clips. The only clips they played were in the very beginning, as they were introducing the panelists. Later, as Bohannon was awkwardly asking the celebs about the 10 best food moments in film, and I kept waiting for the screen to lower.

We're talking about that food fight scene in Fried Green Tomatoes... let's see it! I silently urged, but to no avail. The celebs half-heartedly replied that the Fried Green Tomatoes scene was not a shining example of food in film. Bohannon gave up after mentioning just one more film, and the remaining 8 are still a mystery to us all.

Grade: C-. But Mario is really funny.

The day improved with a stop at Lindy's on the way home, where we ended up drinking beer with another couple that had been at the show. The wife and my husband instantly bonded over their very obviously Italian last names. You know, I'm only gradually coming to understand the way a shared ethnic background can spontaneously turn a stranger into a friend.

When Mike and I bought our house over four years ago, there were multiple bids on the house, two of which were higher than ours. I waited, without much hope, for word from our realtor. When we found out that we got it, I was stunned.

"But why?" I asked the realtor. "Why would they accept a contract for less money?"

"Look at the seller's last name," Mike pointed out. "He's Italian!"

I snorted. As if.

On closing day we went for our final walk-through, and met the seller for the first time. He shook hands with both of us and then clapped Mike on the back in a hearty half-hug.

"I'm glad it's going to a paisan!" he declared.

My mouth dropped open and Mike raised his eyebrow at me.

What do I know?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

I LOVE Lidia and what a great story....

I've adopted an Italian grandma as my own. I just hope she passes on her olive bread recipe...OH, to die for!

11:35 PM  
Blogger nutmeg said...

I knew Italian food was good but actually sporting an Italian last name... no-one's ever really passed on that there are such huge financial benefits.... Take your bonuses where you can get 'em!

7:25 AM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

What a disappointment that must have been. But at least you got to see Mario!! I have 2 of his cookbooks... and I'm German! However having an Italian last name does seem to reap benefits!!

Hope you're having a great week!

9:50 PM  

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