You are reading this review for free on the internet. This is because, one, I’m stupid, and two, because of the perceived and real pressures of a system. While you would take great pleasure from me counting the ways of my idiocy in depth, let’s examine that system first. Advertisements
You don’t really know Nikola Tesla. If you think you do, then you probably think he invented the electronic car, or he’s the front man who sang “Love Song” (LOOOVE WILL FIND A WAAAY!) in Tesla, a band that toured with Poison on their 1989 Open Up and Say… Ahh! tour. If you’re the latter, you also probably told all your friends that Poison’s blonde-locked mascara-eyed shredding-guitarist, C.C. DeVille had studied at Julliard before joining the band. Because Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet (J.K.), Wikipedia didn’t exist, and because every rose has its thorn, your friends believed you. Now that you’re a journalist, you double checked that fact and found that DeVille actually studied music theory at NYU, which, while still impressive for a hair band rocker, is not as mythical.
My country, the Philippines, land of gold and flowers, it was love that, as per her fate, offered up beauty and splendor. And with her refinement and beauty, the foreigner was enticed; Bayan Ko – a traditional Filipino song I did not grow up Pinoy. I am, apologies to all Jews and Filipinos, a pin-goy. I am the enticed foreigner, the dayuhan, or stranger, encapsulated in the lyrics of “Bayan Ko”, the patriotic anthem of the Philippines quoted above. I am mesmerized by the majesty of Filipino food.
In Detroit, there are a pair of hundred-year-old hot dog stands known as the Lafayette, and American, “Coney Islands”. Though this is basically what they serve, they are not known as the Lafayette and American “chili dog” parlors. The alleged reason for this unconventional New York-area naming of hot dog spots located in Michigan is that the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce banned the term “hot dog” in 1913 because they feared people might assume the sausages were filled with the carcasses of cute puppies.
It’s not the big things. It’s the thousand trivial cuts that erode the soul. However, parsing woes, unless you are Larry David, has never gotten anyone anywhere. The only choice is to push through, to do the work.
Drive down the 1700 block of Chicago Avenue at night and you will see a neon light beckoning, the kind of flashy signage reserved for truck-stop massage parlors, adult bookstores, or strip clubs. This particular neon doesn’t flash “live nude girls” or anything like that. It says “Funkenhausen”, which is apparently a made-up word that basically translates to “radio live” in German. I suspect it was chosen because it sounds like “Funky House”, or an excuse to swear (say it three times fast) to English-speaking Americans. With a name like this, you expect to be blasted with a live set from George Clinton once you open the doors to this modern German restaurant.
I attended the University of Michigan around the same time as Tom Brady. I’ve watched every single one of Brady’s Super Bowl performances. But I cannot become Tom Brady. Even if I were genetically gifted like TB12, committed to a Torquemada-worthy Pilates routine and drank ten gallons of water daily, minor study and brushes with greatness are not enough to be superlative like Brady and the New England Patriots.
I did not expect things at the restaurant to start out like a Viagra ad. Me: “It’s ok. It happens.” Chef: “Not to me it doesn’t. I don’t think that has ever happened.”
Hotel restaurants are like a mash-up of The Twilight Zone and the Bermuda Triangle. Weird stuff happens. Models eat carbs in sweatpants next to dudes in Beats headphones making music on Macbook Pros, while ingenues like Scarlett Johansson fall in love with washed up old men. Ok, that last part was a movie, but you know what I mean. Hotel restaurants also swallow up chefs’ careers like the Triangle claims ships and airliners.
Aaat Laaast! You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably in the background of a jewelry commercial where some rich lady’s self-worth is confirmed by the receipt of a humongous diamond necklace. There’s the string section swell followed by the dusky croon of relief from Etta James that her lovelorn days are finally over. It is an earworm of the first order.