When we traveled down to the Dominican Republic, eating lechon, the country’s iconic roast pig, was at the top of our to-do list. After watching the DR episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, we even knew the place we wanted to eat it at. However, when we asked our concierge for directions to the lechonera Tony visited on his show, he sent us to a completely different restaurant. But his mistake worked in our favor as Lechonera Mota was a few blocks from our hotel, not too crowded, and served a wide variety of amazing preparations of pork! Here’s a look…
Run by a lovely family who warmly welcomed us in for a late lunch, all of Mota’s pigs have been roasted in these same handmade ovens for the last 60 years…
Just look at that crispy skin!! Lovely, isn’t it?
Plates of pork…
Started with a flaky empanada…
Then it was on to this amazing braided pork in a spiced sauce. I apologize for not remembering the name of the dish…
The main event was the luscious lechon, which we watch them pull part by hand in front of us…
Accompanied by traditional red beans and rice, of course…
My El Presidente beer wrapped in newspaper stands by Mota’s homemade hot sauce…
Lechonera Mota was our introduction to Dominican cuisine, and after this meal, we knew we’d be eating well on this vacation!
“Nab a table overlooking the garden for a breakfast of fresh Dominican passion fruit juice, Dominican sausages, great coffee and equally good service at The Hostal Nicolas de Ovando, in Santo Domingo.”
« À l’Hostal Nicolas de Ovando de Saint-Domingue, prenez une table avec vue sur le jardin pour un déjeuner de jus de grenadille du pays, de saucisses dominicaines et d’excellent café, avec un service qui l’est tout autant. »
Bubi Canal’s Magic Garden Solo Show: A Journal of Realms In Between.
On the eve of the Ides of March—which was also π (Pi) Day, as Aaron pointed out later—Bubi’s second solo show opened at Munch Gallery. It was a momentous day, which I anticipated with great emotion, having witnessed the creation of many of the images from inception to completion. Like Bubi mentioned during a conversation we had after the show, the exhibit also functions as a diary of the life of imagination.
Bubi and I habitually meet during the week at Little Skips, the Bushwick café where we run internet errands and bounce ideas around. I had the honor of helping Bubi generate some of images for the show, by modeling or providing assistance, which gave me unique insight into the power of resourcefulness and ingenuity.
For the piece Lord, I wore a headband Bubi created for the character, with large beaded necklace and bracelets he strung in his trademark primary color wave. Moreover, he had me hold a baton with a plastic chicken on it, a sign of pure kismet, as chickens are so close and dear to my heart.
In a day-to-day, organic fashion, Bubi gathers artifacts from his daily comings and goings and creates an archive from which he draws materials for his work. Last summer, many afternoons were spent taking photographs and filming video, with endless variations Bubi would later edit into final mix of the show.
The video Hologram went through various incarnations, and its characters were also photographed for portraits. For one session, we went to Flushing Meadows park on Madonna’s birthday to do some filming and stills, next to Philip Johnson’s New York Pavilion. Miuko, Idan, Bubi and I enjoyed an impromptu picnic with tortilla española and sandwiches, and we listened to music on a bluetooth Bose on a sunny day.
As I saw the show, I remembered conversations where Bubi mentioned how he had created dioramas in the basement of his mother-in-law’s house, gathered plastic pieces and knit sweaters to remodel into sculpture, and also anecdotes, similar to the ones I have about favorite pieces of clothing, on how items he had collected from even years ago suddenly found a place in his ouevre.
In the end, the show is a story of the power of conviction and mentalism, of how keeping your desires in focus, within an atmosphere of generalized well-being, is fundamental to manifesting creativity and its end products. The world of dreams, for instance, can become concrete, teletransported from another dimension to the physical realm.
Speaking of serendipity, Abel and Idan had gifted me a sweater on my birthday that, upon first glance, was obviously meant for this opening. I wore the primary color waved creation with Vinti Andrews Eco-Jeans, Keith Haring SPRZ socks Scooter had also gifted me on my birthday, Adidas Jam Master Jay Ultrastar Superstar vintage sneakers, a bespoke necklace by Bubi, Alain Mikli/Philippe Starck Biocity frames and a Nadaam/Knickerbocker cashmere baseball cap customized with an insignia Bubi brought me from a flea market in Sicily.
Bubi was wearing a sweater of his own design, custom manufactured by his friend Senyor Pablo in Spain.
After the show, we all went to the El Nuevo Amanecer Mexican/Dominican restaurant to grab a bite. Ladyfag was having the afterparty for the show at Holy Mountain; we went to the super well-attended event late into the night, and even enjoyed a surprise concert by Crystal Waters.
mofongo(my fave food) is mashed up plantains w like broth and oil and garlic and all that shjt. usually w pork trimmings and if ur in a restaurant they serve it w lettuce and tomato which is, in my opinion, super good w the mofongo bc a lil bit of salad vinegar is SO GOOD on it
u usually have the option to use the pork broth as a sauce on top of it which ends up making it just the perfect amount of salt if u want salt. broth usually has enough sodium in it and adds extra flavor to it so there’s no need for any extra seasonings imo
it can b made with any kind of meat if u want! my fave is pork but u can have pulled chicken or pulled beef(but I don’t think beef would b good imo) and I know someone that preferred shrimp w his mofongo.
it’s rly good!!! find a (good) Puerto Rican restaurant and pig out!! (can also b found at Dominican and Colombian restaurants if ur lucky)
tasting all these wanna-be pastelon de platano maduro from the Dominican restaurants has me appreciating that my mom taught me her special recipe to make em as they should all heavenly, irresistible, and with lots of love👌💗.