Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for August 26th, 2002

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Posted by shannonclark on August 26, 2002

The movies

This weekend I saw two movies, one in the theater, and one on TV (AMC).

In the theater I saw “Who is Cletis Tout?” – not a bad movie, a bit too contrived and trying for more than it achieves, but amusing and enjoyable in a movie buff who loves crime capers manner.

On tv I saw ‘Grand Canyon” which seems to be a movie that divides viewers and reviewers. Looking at the reviews on Amazon of Grand Canyon you see that it is mostly split between 5 stars and 1 star reviews.

I really enjoyed the film, yes perhaps it was a bit sappy in some respects, but I thought that unlike most films it took complex characters and wove a story around them, one that involved black and white characters interacting in a way that was conscious of race but not unrealistic. Some of the reviews approach it as “will make you think that all inner city black young men are thugs, and that to escape required moving to a “white” neighborhood.” This ignores what the film itself shows, not something black or white persay, but a family moving from the inner city of LA to a an area “not so white” as Kevin Klein’s character describes it – an area with whites and blacks living in, but not in perfect harmony.

But it is shown as imperfect harmony in large part due to the character’s own perceptions – the young black man of the family runs away from a group of youths (apparently hispanic) who approach him – one who comments “where did he come from, Beruit?”, in his running he is then flagged down by two white police officers – but though flagged down, he is later shown brought back to his mom’s house, where he then stomps off in a rage.

Not a simple picture, but a layered one, and one that clearly would have be very beautiful to see and hear on a large screen.

Perhaps I am a sucker of long, complex films that feel as if they have real characters, debth, and subtle touches – all elements that are rare in films of any era, or perhaps I am not well tuned as the many critics who seemingly panned this movie as toughly as any film can be panned (on the bottom of one critics all time worst films list!).

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Posted by shannonclark on August 26, 2002

One of my favorite places

or the story of the Korean Restaurant, named…. “Korean Restaurant”

For many years, probably going on 10 now, one of my favorite places in Chicago has been a restaurant on Lawerence Ave. that is a 24hr Korean Restaurant. Through countless late nights it has been my solution to “what can I eat for dinner when I am hungry after 11:00pm in Chicago” or more usually “after 3 am”.

However, five months ago they had a fire in their kitchen and closed down.

Perhaps just how traumatic this was for me I did not fully comprehend, certainly I have often over the past four months found myself driving north just to look and see if they had reopened yet, always however being disappointed and having to resort to lesser places, sometimes not Korean places, and often more expensive and not as tasty.

So, this weekend, when I found myself far north having driven a friend home from a potluck lunch that had stretched late into the night, I decided to drive by, on the off chance that they were open.

Surprise.

They were open (or, to quote their banner “We opening 24hr 7 days”) so not the most English language fluent of places, but good food and you can point to your choices on the menu and usually get something very tasty.

The interior was mostly unchanged, the same tables and chairs, but new lamps and new artwork on the walls. The menus were new, most of their old dishes, but reordered on the menu, some new dishes (at least new on the English language translations – for all I know they may have always been on the menu but untranslated), and some new dishes are served slightly differently.

I went back for dinner again Sunday night, I’ll probably return a few times more this week. Feels very good to have a piece of Chicago that I had feared lost returned.

This week is my week for the past returning, a contact called me today whom I had thought was no longer at his firm, not only is the small project I had started for him possibly going to be finished (and my company paid), but he had at least one small additional project for me to work on – a very good kind of past returning.

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