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The greatest Shabbat experience I’ve possibly ever had is back with their 7th event. Pop-Up Shabbat will be celebrating 90’s hip hop with the theme “Jew-Tang Forever.” Buy your tickets for this weekends event and get on their mailing list for future events!

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Back in June, The Duckman and Double Sunday were invited to attend Pop-Up Shabbat’s 6th event, so we gladly accepted the invitation to experience Shabbat like this.

The night’s theme, Tikkun Olam (helping to perfect the world), reminds us to ask, “How we can help better the world?” Pop-Up Shabbat’s response is to provide access to organic and local foods to the community. They urged us that eating locally grown foods prepares us for a better tomorrow because we allow more room for self-sufficiency.

We met at the Ikea water taxi across the East River into Red Hook, Brooklyn. Oh lala, a perfect recipe for romance. We took a quick stroll to the converted warehouse at Pier 41. Three large decorated tables topped with framed prayer cards wooed us inside.

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Friendly greetings were accompanied by apricot crostinis. We were invited to immediately begin our boozy adventure with masterly crafted cocktails. Spoiler alert: I became a gin-soaked mound of food by evening’s end.

Buzzing with excitement, people started filling in the open dining room. A two-piece jazz duo helped fill any potential awkward air between strangers meeting for an intimate homestyle dinner. We picked our own seats, and I hoped for fun dining neighbors that won’t mind my raging social anxiety. Speaking of social anxiety, the perfect elixir, wine, was freely being passed around like candy.

Our gracious hostess led the evening with a brief talk about this month’s dinner Oyganic theme. Beautiful, beautiful challah made its round (round, get it? cuz it’s round?). Pesto gruyère stuffed and traditional challah served with a strawberry rhubarb butter spread. C’mon. We quickly learned that this dinner ain’t childs play. Our chef, Sarah Schiear, is about to school us.

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Then, spring pea gazpacho made with garlic scales, cucumber and mint. The presentation was stunning. These crisp and concentrated earthy colors played right into the farm-to-table theme.

Without delay, our entrees commanded their way onto our tables. Move on soup and make way for roasted carrot quinoa with smoked almond pesto. If that wasn’t enough, there was a second entree for meat-eaters: lamb shoulder roast with ramp salsa verde. Don’t think I forgot about you roasted asparagus and butter potatoes. If this dinner was a person, I would ask it for a second date. I was in love with every bite.

I wanted to eat everything the chef and her team prepared, but my breathing was becoming labored. I needed to walk and talk and get even boozier. When I come back from my rendezvous, but who did I see waiting for me on the table? Olive oil cake with rosé-soaked strawberries and lavender cream. I don’t know how to quit you dessert.

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So relaxed, so full, and so boozy–I forgot that I wasn’t at home, and I cannot go lie down to “work this off”. We said our goodbyes to everyone, exchanged contact information, and gave to the tzedakah box.

Jews know tradition. The tradition of Shabbat dinner was artistically and tastefully honored at Pop-Up Shabbat by sticking to a never fail formula: good food and good people.

photos by Adam Thompson

Did you think cross-stitching was just for ladies living in castles in the 1600s? Me too!

Or is that embroidery? Quilting? Knitting? I don’t know.  It’s one of those things for those possessing hand-eye coordination.

Well, you (and I) were wrong. Cross-stitching isn’t just for princesses and ladies-in-waiting. Hip post-grads do it too. They do spunky cross-stitching that involves pop culture references and snide remarks! Which, in hindsight, might be my favorite sort of cross-stitching.

I’ll let the images do the talking and stop rambling. For once.

 

You can follow the lovely ladies who create these beautiful works of art on the Instagram (@crossstitchwitches) or even the Tumblr ( crossstitchwitches.tumblr.com). And then you can buy their affordable yet incredibly well-made items on the Etsy. Want something commissioned? Send them a sweet lil email at crossstitchwitches [at] gmail.com

I know what all of my Christmas presents are going to be. And Hannukah. Both holidays… with just a dash of Kwanza for politically correctness.

Hi kids. Electric Zoo doesnt want you to do Molly. Not because it isn’t a super cool drug. But because a bunch of people died last year from a bad batch. In this PSA they warn you that you might miss out on all the “awesome” “music” if you do Molly. I assume they are only talking about the bad Molly that kills. Everyone knows you can’t enjoy life when you’re dead.

For anyone that just got out of a coma, this past Friday was the 4th of July. (Oh and the year is 2014. The Cubs still haven’t won a World Series since 1908.) As you may expect, every brand is trying to get int your face about it. Whether it’s a new product, old product, or re-posting an image to get you to see they exist, they’re doing it in full force. Sometimes the posts are vague. Such as this one posted by American Apparel.

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While the pattern of the smoke may seem a bit *cool*, there is obviously something wrong here. This isn’t any ordinary smoke. It’s the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding. Wow. Such great material for the 4th of July.

So obviously the formerly Canadian run company took it down. And wrote this apology:

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Now, to be honest, I wasn’t born until after the Challenger disaster. I’ve seen movies on it, but I wouldn’t have recognized this photo as the Challenger exploding. ALTHOUGH I would have seen this as SOMETHING exploding. I understand that this person had no idea what’s going on and just saw some white clouds on red sky. I believe it. Just please, next time there’s a holiday, post some fireworks. The last thing you want to do is celebrate Victory over Japan Day (which why does this still exist in Rhode Island?) with a photo of a nuke exploding over Nagasaki.

Kosher Enemas! Yum!

Chicky —  06/05/2014 —  Comments

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Kosher used to mean something. It used to mean that a Rabbi came over, looked at some food, and was like ‘yeah seems cool’. Then, it meant that a super religious Rabbi had to look at food and check it over like the world’s most OCD person ever. Being beyond strict used to be what mattered most when some sort of food item was deemed Kosher. But now?

Now anything can be deemed Kosher. It’s like the word has lost all meaning, except for ‘person who cares WAAAAYYY too much about being a better Jew than their neighbor.’ Toilet paper can be Kosher. Plastics can be Kosher. Non-edible lube can be Kosher. And even butt things can be Kosher.

Yeah that’s right, Kosher enemas! When you need solvent put in your tuchus, and it needs to be Kosher (would a Rabbi have to make some sort of ‘No Homo Brucha’ while using this product? Is there such a blessing? I mean, you’re supposed to thank God every time you poop…does this include accidentally pooping your pants..nevermind.)

Turns out you can charge some money and slap a Kosher symbol on anything, because people are gullible. And they* said Rabbis wouldn’t be hip with capitalism!
*No one.

//Failed Messiah

Just a reminder that you can check out my previous days of this road trip here: Days 1-5 Days 6-10 Days 11-15 Days 16-20. And you can check out more photos from the trip!

Day 21: Phoenix // Los Angeles

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I finally made it to the desert and it’s hot as hell. People say that the desert isn’t bad because it’s a dry heat. But honestly, 106 degrees dry or humid is terrible. I went to my second National Park, Joshua Tree. It’s okay. In terms of what my favorite parks were on this trip, it would probably be ranked last. There really isn’t much to see, but the things you can see look like they came out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Day 22: Los Angeles // Tijuana

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I took my first ever trip to Mexico. Around this time there was a lot of talk about the cartel. The week before I left, the leader of the cartel was arrested outside El Paso. I really didn’t feel like getting involved with the cartel, but still wanted to go to Tijuana. So I just hung out by the border until I got bored.

The one thing I did in Mexico was buy a Coke. But considering the fact I have a 2 year olds knowledge of Spanish, I couldn’t understand the transaction. Apparently I agreed to drink the entire coke in the store so that I could give them back the glass bottle. I really should have payed attention during my 6 years of Spanish classes. Yo tengo un gato en me pantelones.

Day 23: Los Angeles

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For most of the time I spent in LA, I stayed with Heather. Not to insult anyone I stayed with on this trip, but Heather was probably the coolest person I met along the way. Seriously, don’t be offended, she is just that cool. She makes the best Cheesecakes and the best gluten free cookies I have ever had. I will never find a better cheesecake or cookie in my life. Today we walked around Downtown LA.

Later in the evening I met up with an old friend from Providence, Ben. We hung around Venice beach, got some drinks, some food. It was the perfect chill out day.

Day 24: Los Angeles

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I finally met one of the last Hipster Jew writers I had never met: Jew Tits. Jew Tits, her Boyfriend, and I decided to hit up Griffith Observatory. It’s beautiful up there. You can see the Hollywood sign, the ocean, downtown, and all the pollution you could ever ask for!

Day 25: Los Angeles

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I went to the Hollywood walk of fame. It was the same day the Vin Diesel had his star unveiled. It’s a really boring place to go. In fact, I would suggest that one should never go to the Hollywood walk of fame. Oh great! I took a photo of Mel Brook’s star. I’m going to show that to everyone I know! Bleh

One interesting thing did happen. I homeless person stopped me to ask for cigarettes. I humored their request for awhile as they continued to talk to me. I recognized them. So I asked “You were in a movie, right?” “Yes.” “Which one?” “Well a few… but Lost Angeles…” That was it! I saw half of Lost Angeles the night before and finished it early that morning. It was Bam Bam! So we talked a little more. Told me about Christ. Then asked me for a hug. I obviously said no. Bam Bam obviously didn’t listen. I bathed in purel afterwards.

LA Side Note:

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Before I got to LA, everyone told me I would hate it. But I tried. I let the people who loved it show me why they loved it. In the process of doing so, I seemed to have forgotten where I was, and what I was doing. I ended up staying a little longer than I had wished to. I lost track of time and felt very out of place. I’m not sure what it was about LA, but I felt like the city wanted something from me. I don’t know what, but I just felt like I had to give it something. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Maybe someone else who has had this same experience can put it into better words. By day 25 I realized I had to get out of there and continue my trip.

I have a goal of finishing up my stories from my trip before we hit one year since I first left. I think that’s a doable goal. Anyways, I’m now using these stories as an outline for a book I’ll make on my trip. So there’s some motivation! Check out my previous posts Days 1-5 Days 6-10 Days 11-15. And check out more photos from the trip!

Day 16: Austin

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Michelle and I explored for most of the day. We went to all of the touristy sites. But the one thing that stood out to me on this day was a conversation I had over coffee with Jeff Klein and Andy Langer
, and a few of their friends. We were over by the Colorado River discussing whatever came to mind. The topic of Israel came up. I stated that I disliked Jerusalem and wanted to spend more time in Tel Aviv, considering Birthright ignores it. But Andy told me something that is still stuck in my head. I’m paraphrasing here but the idea of it was “Why go all the way to the Middle East for Tel Aviv when I can just go to Palm Spring?” While I still do want to explore Tel Aviv a bit more, this point really hit me later in my journey. (Sorry but you’ll have to wait until then to figure out why.)

Day 17: Austin // Nowhere Texas

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It was my last day with Michelle. We had been having a tough time over the last few days. She was anxious about a new life down south. And I wasn’t use to having someone along on the ride with me (also can be read as: I’m an asshole). We spent our day stuffing our faces with donuts, seeing a few more sites, and traveling to her new apartment. Staying together in Austin was a wonderful and stressful experience for us both but we came out of it better friends than before.

Day 18: Nowhere Texas // Santa Fe

Continue Reading…

The NRA has finally realized that kids and hicks are not the only types of people who love guns. They realized rich, start up loving millennials are an untapped market! We all love guns, right? I mean, when I go grocery shopping in my yoga pants, I know that I have to have a gun on me. You know… to make my outfit really match. Or when I walk downstairs to the CVS under my luxury apartment. Because I’m too lazy to do real food shopping at a supermarket a block away. And we really care about how our guns are packaged when we pick them up from the gun shows we all frequent. Like seriously, why are guns in homeless people homes instead of diamond encrusted, space age cases? Like seriously!

// Gawker

Check this out.

Yes, that is a city bus sporting a PBR full sleeve. Look closer and you’ll see that it went all out and is showing off the tallboy, every hipster’s 16oz weapon of choice for any situation. Viewing party? Tallboy. Alleyway loitering? Tallboy sixpack. House party? Tallboy 24pack. Littering? Empty tallboy can. Taking the bus? Brownbagged tallboy. Shower beer? Two tallboys and a one hitter. Taking the bus that’s advertising tallboys? Use your common sense, cmon. Tallboys all day.

I’m from Rhode Island. This means many different things. I like Dell’s Lemonade, coffee milk, and I enjoy the mediocrity of Narragansett Beer (especially their coffee stout).

This also means that I, if for some fucked up, perverse reason wanted to, could marry my niece. It’s not just because of religious cults and Tay Sachs and making sure the bloodlines stay pure. It’s because Rhode Island made an exception for Jewish men to marry their nieces. And it’s still on the books today.

Only three states in the U.S. allow some form of niece/uncle marriage, and all of them have conditions. Minnesota and Colorado both allow it if it’s permitted by ‘aboriginal’ culture. I’m unsure if that means native, or ancient, or if it literally means the Aboriginal from Australia. Either way, that’s weird and oddly specific. I didn’t realize Minnesota and Colorado were flush in Aboriginals and Aboriginal uncle/niece troupes looking to tie the knot. Rhode island, on the other hand, allows Jews and only Jews to marry their creepy old uncles.

Marriages of kindred allowed by Jewish religion. – The provisions of §§ 15-1-2 and 15-1-3 shall not extend to, or in any way affect, any marriage which shall be solemnized among the Jewish people, within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity allowed by their religion.

All it would take is one crazy Jewish religious sect to interpret Scriptures to how they see fit and…bam! Old weirdos with smichas (Rabbinic ordination) can be even weirder.

Rhode Island’s Jewish incest laws were codified in 1798. It’s believed that the law was established to show how inviting RI was to Jews living outside of RI. This was in line with Roger William and Rhode Island’s overall views on religious diversity and freedom. The presence of Touro Synagogue in 1763, and the prestige of Jews involved in the early American slave trade certainly had some influence in colonial Rhode Island. So instead of guaranteeing regular religious freedoms, why not tack on some incestuous freedoms, maybe even one from Leviticus? Atleast in the 1700s and 1800s it was a bit less creepy to marry Uncle Shmuley.

You’d think this little-known law wouldn’t be used in modern times, just a record to look at and laugh at and giggle about how weird life used to be. Maybe an occasional Rhode Islander would use it, but it’s not like it could apply to out-of-state Jews, right? Rhode Island has the incest thing down pat. It’s ours and ours only, like a snowflake that likes to have sex with his snowflake relative, right?

Unless you’re a New York Jew, then it’s entirely legal to jump on the incest marriage wagon. A wagon that should have stayed horse-drawn and residing in 1796. Realistically, yeah, I doubt many people are looking for this kind of marriage. Unless you’re in some extreme Jewish cult, it’s not really a concern. (Are you in a Jewish cult? I’d love to interview you…)

Why doesn’t the RI state legislature close this loophole?

You’re really fucking weird sometimes, Rhode Island. (But I love you anyway.)

Read a very interesting scholarly article about this legal loophole, here.