Lechon: Roasted Pig Magic in Guavate, Cayey, Puerto Rico. Food Porn Friday.

We stole away from Vieques as swiftly as possible that morning. In a short time, we’d grown to love it so much: the quiet, the mountains, the wild horses, the bioluminescent bay.

Vieques ferry pier view, Puerto Rico

Vieques ferry pier view, Puerto Rico

An hour’s ferry ride brought us back to our rented Charlie Car on the main island. My girlfriend’s iPad guided us south around El Yunque National Rainforest to Guavate in Cayey (same US mainland cellular carriers!). Mountains of roasted pig magic await! Lechon, ho! Where else would three Pinays visiting Puerto Rico for the first time go? Continue reading

Sabayon, almond crisp, hazelnut, Joel Robuchon. Photo by Rosemary Nickel, Motivating Other Moms.

Vegas is for Adults: Fine Dining at Joël Robuchon

Author’s note: I dedicate this post to Marissa, friend and faithful reader of this blog. Her response to the reader poll asked me to include more food porn. Here ya go, baby. I aim to please (my readers, especially).

“This is why we do not let children in here”

— Yann, one of Joël Robuchon’s waitstaff, as my dinner companion and I struggled to contain our effusive glee, that reached crescendo as the second dessert phase glided to a soft stop aside our table  — a cornucopia of sweet trifles atop a wheeled Louis XIV style cart — , shaking ever so gently the chocolate sculpture and twisting the heads of the chocolate lollipops in their holder.


I’m not sure if Yann was kidding, but if he wasn’t, I can think of one reason that they do not allow children in here. Joël Robuchon, the Las Vegas fine dining institution led by the Chef of the Century of the same name, elicits responses from sensible adults with escrow accounts and PPOs a la Meg Ryan’s character in the classic film, When Harry Met Sally (1989). Except we’re totally NOT FAKING IT. Definitely not a place for children. Continue reading

"Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor, Millennium Park, Chicago

Chicago’s Millennium Park with Flat Stanlina

Flat Stanlina was so surprised at all the people playing outside, even if it was so cold. My friend Jenny took Flat Stanlina and me to Millennium Park.

When we arrived there was a man polishing the ice rink with a special machine called a Zamboni. The Zamboni machine smoothes flat the grooves that the blades on the skates make into the ice. Soon after the ice was polished, many kids and adults skated. Some people skated fast or even backwards. Other people skated slowly and did not have good balance. A few people fell down, but they got back up again. It was fun to watch them and listen to the music.

Flat Stanlina asked me what that giant shiny bean was. We walked up to see the sculpture called “Cloud Gate.” It was created by British artist Anish Kapoor, and the sculpture was installed at Millennium Park in July 2004. It has a reflective surface that shines like a giant fun house mirror. But Flat Stanlina was right, the sculpture does look like a giant Bean. (In fact, most people here have nicknamed the sculpture ‘the Bean’.) Continue reading

What is Chicago Street Art

While we were visiting different places around Chicago, Flat Stanlina noticed that some buildings and street signs had interesting and colorful designs placed on them, either with paint or stickers. Some were like giant paintings or murals. Some looked like real life and others were like cartoons. She asked me what these are.

We went to see an exhibit about Street Art, “Paint Paste Sticker” at the Chicago Cultural Center. Street Art is a form of visual art made where people in public can see it – on buildings, sidewalks, signs and other public areas.

The artists are not usually trained in art schools. People make street art for different reasons: to make people laugh, to spread a message, to be seen or heard, to make others think, among others.

Sometimes the artists have permission to create their art on spaces owned by other people. The exhibit showed some examples of public art projects that the local government, street artists, homeowners and business owners worked on together.  Continue reading