Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

What’s Cooking in New York this Autumn

September 22nd, 2017

Autumn in New York, the air is crisp, the sky a cloudless, cerulean blue, anything seems possible. It’s back to school, work, life. And entertainment. “The New Season” came out two Sundays ago, and I happened to be in New York then. I spent much of that afternoon feasting on the New York Time’s annual post-Labour Day round-up.

Whoa, there’s a lot going on in the Big Apple over the next six months – Denzel Washington in An Iceman Cometh, Aaron Sorkin adapting To Kill a Mockingbird to the stage, Bette Midler tackling Hello Dolly.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted and I hadn’t left my chair. After a successful meditation, I calmed down and cherry picked. Women take centre stage.

On the small screen, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays savvy platinum blonde prostitute Candy  in The Deuce.  From the creators of The Wire, the fast-paced TV series is set in Manhattan’s seedy Times Square in the 70’s when the billion-dollar sex trade was on the rise, and Candy wants to get in on the action – without the help of the bejewelled, not always sweet as pie, pimps in her hood.

Battle of the Sexes starring Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs is a sport I will be spectating.

Like The Deuce, this film resonates now; earlier this year tennis legend and sports commentator John McEnroe claimed Serena Williams would rank 700th if she played on the men’s circuit. And let’s not forget Trump’s comments about women – there to be grabbed.

Leaping from screen to stage, get your Downton Abbey fix with the revival of J.B. Priestley’s 1937 Time and the Conways at the Roundabout Theatre. Actress Elizabeth McGovern can’t wait to be a bad mom.

 I’m just so blatantly loving being this woman. She’s not somebody who is very emotionally intelligent or developed or mature. She’s not really grown up herself, so she’s an absolutely terrible mother. And you see the damage that she wreaks on her children, all done in the most unconscious fashion, never meaning to tear them down, to break them apart”,

Mc Govern tells the NYT.

Warm, foul-mouthed feminist Amy Schumer is starring in a new comedy by Steve Martin and directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks. Also starring will be fellow American comedian Keegan-Michael Key (of Key & Peele fame, also played “Luther” – Obama’s anger translator at White House Correspondent’s Dinner)

Meteor Shower takes a coastal Californian dinner party and lets it go very, very wrong.

I can’t wait to devour culinary queen Alice Waters’ long-awaited  memoir Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counter-Culture Cook.

The celebrated chef moved from a repressive household in suburban Chatham, NJ to UC Berkeley in 1964, the height of the Free Speech Movement. The bohemian lifestyle she discovered there formed the basis for Chez Panisse’s fresh and in season culture, revolutionary then, commonplace now.

I was a freshman at UC Berkeley in 1980, the same year Waters’ introduced her baked in-house Californian pizza drizzled with local ingredients. My boyfriend used to take me to  Chez Panisse’s cafe for pizza on  Saturday nights. The restaurant on the ground floor with its set menu was far too expensive and adult for us. But the homemade thin crust pizza upstairs was novel, mouthwatering and definitely impressed me.

I hadn’t grown up going to restaurants, no one did.  As a teenager I went to diners for a hamburger or grilled cheese sandwich. The only pizza I’d ever tried was from a NY chain called Ray’s where we burned our tongues gorging on greasy slices off of a paper plate. Then all of a sudden I’m being taken to this nicely designed cafe (I remember a lot of wood interiors)  with a pizza oven (!)  fresh mozarella and organic vegetables. On the same Berkeley street as Chez Panisse was a gourmet cheese shop and a homemade ice cream spot called Vivoli’s where we’d go post-pizza. It was a dazzling street for the times.

September 2017