Category Archives: Arts Travel & Culture Features

Sirk TV Concert Review: Kronos Quartet [Bailey Hall - Davie, FL]

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Seeing Kronos Quartet in close quarters always belies the noticeable texture of their playing. Their emotion always run counter-place to norm but still never fails to intercede with melodics and identity within the music. For their recent stop at Bailey Hall in Davie, Florida, the energy was there in spades with a touch of the absurd. And unlike in a larger venue like Royce Hall at UCLA, the second row here is possible giving a much more practical and in-depth look at the playing and interrelation of the performers.

Kronos has a massive repertoire to work from but, like all, personify a cross section. They, in grand fashion, did play the “Requiem For A Dream” Suite, arguably a highlight of their career, but the different themes and compositions they surrounded them with obviously reflects a darker texture below the surface. The first on this stop was “Aheym” (Homeward) by Bryce Dessner which speaks of Jewish immigrants in NY but also the past they left behind. The lingering standards of strings spin like lost memories feathering in between thoughts of loss and hope for the future. Nicole Lizee’s “Death To Kosmiche” is a little more out there using a style of music from the late 60s and combining it with atmospherics to become a more experiential experience. Here the different players have a different responsibilities throughout each movement where different instrumentation, including some further-out digital manipulators, are integrated. To finish out the first half of the concert, the quartet played a composition that was only finished weeks before by Philip Glass for them called String Quartet No. 6 as part of their ongoing collaboration with the composer. Like all Glass compostions, the heavy base of the strings adds a lush countenance but with slight variations which makes you think he is trying something new. It doesn’t come back to a melodic wrangling but shows that he is trying to push the bounds of his comfortability.

After the intermission, the mentioned “Dream” suite was performed. Its darkness and energy every bit as superb live as it was in recording with the screaming violins balancing against the beating cello. The next composition “Flow” by Laurie Anderson intersects almost as an epitaph where the last words of complacency and intention run out as if in a last breath. The last piece by Aleksandra Vrebalov entitled “hold me neighbor, in this storm” follows the essence of life in Serbia, both related as a folk element using tribal drums but also likely a reflection of the strife there specifically in the 90s. Using different instrumentation again, the Quartet branches out in challenging what they are capable of. As has always been true of their selections, they can balance between simply effortless masterful playing and didactic approaches to otherwise very difficult pieces.

Dexterous Sun & Intense Angles: The 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Food & Wine Festival – Feature

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The texture of the South Florida sun revels in its ability to be many angles at once. In approaching a festival, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida understands the balance of the game, especially when culinary potions are in play. With their Food & Wine Festival, the key is being dexterous and intense while still showing the ideals of VIP and simple fun.

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Beginning the progression, Luca Bella fancied a bit of variety with their stuff mushrooms, baked clams, meatballs and penne alla vodka but, across the way, Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, whose location is situated in the round just outside the festival gates, triumphed with its sliced pork mixed with mashed plantains.

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After a small but potent sip of Capital’s Supper Club Beer from Wisconsin, the comfortability of PDQ with its tasty chicken club and tenders balanced into the down home tremblings of Chef Creole. As the dancers spun in headdresses and the pig was sliced, the essential element of catfish, sausage and beans warmed the stomach.

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Roho Kitchen offered a Short Rib Empanada with distinction, though dry in its follow through, and Tijuana Flats Burrito Company proved that fresh ingredients in the right proportions always makes sure the job is adequately completed. However, it was Jet Runway Cafe, with its unquenched line and its Asian Chicken Salad, meatloaf slider and luscious brownie that truly touched the soul.

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Kitchen 305 circled in generous style with an exceptional seafood salad not lacking in tasty crustaceans while Martorano’s, a staple at the Hard Rock Hollywood as well as The Rio in Las Vegas, simmered with the owner’s signature meatball.

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Swirling into the VIP section, which allows for early entrance into the festival, is a decidedly smart idea. Within their tent caddy corner to all the festival’s wares, Bahama Breeze offered up an alfredo tuna pasta that lulls one with its intention.

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Looking towards the looming and tantalizing hotel, the tent remaining featured that of the Hard Rock itself with the Center Bar pouring libations in unending fashion while Blue Plate enhanced the finding with its salacious buffalo chicken poppers.

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The Seminole Hard Rock Food & Wine Festival, entranced by all realizes the temptations and notions of its guests to both enjoy food, libations and life, all with considerable stride.

Sea Dexterity & Texture Tasting: The New Times Pairing 2013 – Feature

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The textures of South Florida bathe in the tropical heat with the dexterity of both sea and land. The key with any tasting as with the New Times Pairings is finding a balance of both heartiness, taste and presentation.

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A food truck/street food progression especially with the Mexican contingent always begins the proceedings well. El Jefe Luchador shows the angle with a lamb neck barbacoa soft taco with charred corn, salsa fresca and porland cream allowing for a spicy yet comfortable intention.

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BBQ has its place and within the essence of Smokey Bones, the pulled pork sliders offer sustenence with thick chunks of meat and a vicarious bread while Rebel House serves up its Cobia Crudo Vera Cruz mixing spicy tomato with lime, avocado and watermelon radish while the crunchy aftertaste of chicharrones gives a lurid and original afterthought.

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The Dubliner, as a new Irish Pub destination in Fort Lauderdale, moves towards the more baseline pleasures mixing a hefty mac and cheese with its incandescent shepherd’s piece while the Bimini Boatyard Grill, just around the corner near the 17th Street Bridge at Port Everglades, entices with a grilled pineapple shrimp flat bread which entices its connection with a vivacious bite.

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Using a cross-section of radishes and other herbs of sport, Green Spot Kitchen progresses the night with an interesting veggie ceviche piled high accompanied by an organically raised vision of bacon mac and cheese.while Sette Bello satisfies the stomach with a homemade tagliatelle with carmelized sausage and pesto for an excellent finish.

The New Times Pairings, held on the apex of Port Everglades at the Broward Convention Center, begins the tradition of what this famous South Florida has to offer.

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