Roland Garros 2009 Dialogue

A conversation about the upcoming French Open between three tennis fans: Sydneysider Lucy Perkins, New Yorker Asad Raza, and Ecuadorian-North Carolinian Juan José Vallejo. Asad Raza: Hey guys, thanks for coming aboard the 3quarksdaily raft. So here we are at Roland Garros time, again, where for the last several years Rafa Nadal has been the…

Dispatches: Rome Food Report

Fettuccine alla gricia, a common pasta dish in Rome, has four ingredients: the noodles, olive oil, bits of cured pig's cheek, and grated cheese. Most trattorias offer it. It's not innovative, nor is it usually presented with much elegance. It's simply an oily plate of flat, yellow noodles with some reddish brown bits of guanciale…

Interpretations: Maurizio Cattelan, Daddy Daddy (2008)

(Interpretations is a new, occasional series of reflections on artworks, films, songs, signs, artifacts, and other items by Asad Raza and other contributors.) In Maurizio Cattelan's Daddy Daddy, Pinocchio has met his end, floating face-down in the Guggenheim's fountain–presumably having jumped, fell, or been pushed off the ramparts of the museum's ascending spiral ramp. There…

Dispatches: A Post-Wimbledon Dialogue

To recap an exceptional tournament, tack-sharp tennis mind Lucy Perkins has kindly agreed to take part in another dialogue.  (For our pre-tournament conversation, click here.)  Because of time constraints, we’re going to stick to the men’s final, despite the fact that Venus and Serena Williams produced their best match at a major tournament–it’ll have to…

Dispatches: A Wimbledon Dialogue

Perhaps you’re aware that the Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, better known by the name of the London suburb in which it’s played–Wimbledon–begins today.  In case you’d like to catch up, here’s a discussion of the major storylines with my friend and fellow tennis fan, Sydneysider Lucy Perkins. Asad Raza:…

Dispatches: Porochista Khakpour

My most valuable contribution to literature is probably this: a couple years back, I used the NYU English Department copier to run off some manuscripts for an impoverished friend.  I had read her book in email attachment (subject line: “the nov-hell”) and thought it was great.  At the time, Porochista Khakpour was freelancing for various…

U.S. Open: Second Week Report

In his match against James Blake, an overmatched player named Michael Russell won a point by hitting an excellent crosscourt backhand.  At this, my friend Andrew Friedman leaned over and said, “Lucky.  He doesn’t have that shot.”  To “have” or “own” a shot in tennis means that you can hit it nine times out of…

The 3qd U.S. Open Preview

How good are the tennis players competing in the U.S. Open, which starts today?  Consider these names: Frank Dancevic, the Canadian number one, who beat Andy Roddick three weeks ago; Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi, the Pakistani number one, who played Marat Safin at Wimbledon this year; Israeli number one Dudi Sela; and Japanese number one Takao Suzuki,…

Dispatches: Abbas Kiarostami

Now that nearly every American has access to VHS and DVD and Netflix and Blockbuster, a certain feature of the cinephilia of times past has disappeared: scarcity.  Almost every film one wants to see, one can see – albeit on television.  This has had a major negative effect on the cultural importance of retrospectives, revival…

Dispatches: Nihari Redux

Last week, Abbas posted a little video I made of a journey to Karachi’s Burns Road to have one of my very favorite foods, nihari.  So I thought I would supply some more information about this gastronomic epiphany. Nihari is a dish of spiced, braised meat that has achieved sentimental status for many Pakistanis and…