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Celebrity | Manolo's Food Blog - Part 9
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Mr. Henry Dines with Celebrities


Mr. Henry is not easily wowed. However, at Matsuri Restaurant (11th Ave. and 16th Street — at 11:00 p.m. ground zero for the young and attractive) when he took his seat at a tiny table with Jeanne-Claude and Christo, he smiled and began an exceptional evening of food and company, a dinner in celebration of the artist Ryo Toyonaga‘s opening at Charles Cowles Gallery.


The Christos’ charm was contagious, their energy preternatural, and their enthusiasm for good sushi apparent (and it was very, very good, as was the black cod in miso and the sirloin steak). Having visited Japan 71 times, they knew very well what they were eating.

Mid-meal, when Jeanne-Claude drew a long cigarette from out of her pack, our host, Dr. Alvin, came rushing over to inform her most graciously that here in New York smoking is not permitted indoors. Feigning shock (she has lived here for 40 years) and heaving a very Gallic sigh, she unseated herself and headed upstairs out the door.

Indeed, they are a unit. Even though he does not smoke, Christo dutifully, loyally, adoringly followed behind. Holding her bag while she efficiently disposed of not one but three quick cigarettes, he wryly admitted that although her smoking was not something he enjoyed, after 45 years together he was not about to try to change her.

How do they get that sprite-like energy, anyway? All night they bounced around like sylvan creatures who, were the sushi to run out, might survive equally well on mushrooms or nettles.

The next day they sent Mr. Henry a book which documents every moment of The Gates from its inception 26 years ago to its installation last year, a tome solid enough to have served as a column base for a Gate. Mr. Henry has not tired of turning the pages and reliving this divine folly, an event that rendered all of New York participants in a “happening.” Taxi drivers opined about aesthetics. Street vendors held forth on subjects of art criticism not normally included in their customer palaver. The whole city was chewing, digesting, and expelling their “take” on The Gates.

It was like a huge dinner party on the lawn organized by a couple of eccentric, expatriot New Yorkers, the kind who make this city great. Merci.

The Gates Central Park New York 1979 2005 Christo Jeanne-Claude Wolfgang Volz.jpg

Manolo and the Rachael Ray

Manolo says, the Manolo he has the very complex relationship with the Rachel Ray.

On the one of the hands the Manolo finds the Rachael Ray to be supremely annoying, in the same way that the Manolo finds the Katie Couric to be annoying, which it is to say, that the Manolo disapproves of the bossy/bitchy person who hides behind the perky/nice exterior.

Yet, at the same of the time, the Manolo finds that the Rachael Ray she has the trainwreck quality; it is the rolling disaster, and many persons are injured, but you cannot take your eyes off of it.

And yet, on the third of the hands, there is this evidence from the Willamette Week Online.

In town to tape segments for another of her shows, Tasty Travels, Ray had already bought five pairs of shoes before spending time at the Pearl Bakery and Powell’s….

And so one must suspect that the Rachael Ray loves the shoes, and the loving of the shoes, it goes far with the Manolo.

And yet, on the fourth of the hands, there are the “cookbooks” in which the Rachael Ray suggests the making of the ultra-rapid meals out of the mundane items like the frankfurters and the canned sawdust, things you would serve to your family if you hated them.

And then there is the elimination of the Tony Danza, which, yes you feel sorry for the Tony Danza, such the befuddled and mostly harmless character, but this, is it not the sort of televised mercy killing? Something that ends the suffering?

So, as you may see, it is the love-hate-hate-love-disgusted-by-appalled-by sort of the relationship, in which the Manolo still finds that he cannot cease watching the Rachael Ray, if only to see what latest atrocities against fashion and common sense she has committed.

Oil of Anderson

Manolo says, 100% Pure Silicon!

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