Wendy the Welder (Rosie the Riveter’s Cousin)

A friend and I went to see Behind the Mask: The Art of Women Who Weld at The Culture Lab in Long Island City. So cutting edge (or torch) I hear you saying. LIC always seems like it will be a huge trip but from the Upper East Side it’s two simple subways and a short walk, the  trip total about a half- hour  (friend opted for the ferry.)

The free exhibit has about twenty-five works on view, all interesting if not what you might like in your living room, (although there are a few I would welcome.)  Culture Lab operates in a large converted warehouse with two galleries, a theater and an outside venue and is open Thursdays through Sundays starting at 5 PM. There are concerts every Saturday night, dance and comedy presentations, and opportunities for artists to participate in many ways. For more: https://www.culturelablic.org/

We didn’t partake of the Culture Lab offerings for sale (wine, chips, soft drinks) but went to Cyclo, a Vietnamese restaurant a short walk away. https://www.cyclolic.com/

Summer rolls with peanut sauce

The place is very popular with good reason such as delicious food, charming young women servers and reasonable prices  We shared Vietnamese summer rolls and a bahn mi on perfect, crispy French bread,  a must for a good bahn mi. (A woman at the next table was eating pho, the quintessential Vietnamese soup, but that’s a hard dish to share.)








And now, food as art. This particular recipe is filled with nostalgia. When I was a kid, my parents sometimes hired a waitress when they had large parties. Barbara, the waitress, always made these penguins to decorate the passed hors d’oeuvres plates. They were fascinating then although I don’t expect anyone to make them now—the age of passed food has itself passed and guests for dinner can mean ordering in Chinese.


Barbara’s Penguins

large ripe olives

6 hard-boiled eggs

12 small baby carrots (or pieces of regular carrots)

For the penguin heads, attach one olive to the top of each egg with a toothpick. For beaks, cut six carrots 1/2.in from the pointed end; attach the flat side of a pointed piece to the center of each head with half a toothpick.

For the feet, make a lengthwise cut through the remaining carrots; place flat side down in pairs (trim carrots if necessary). Place a toothpick in each carrot; press an egg on top of each pair.

For flippers, cut the remaining olives lengthwise into quarters; attach one olive quarter to each side of eggs with half a toothpick. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Inspired to make egg penquins (eggguins)? Learn to weld? Visit Long Island City? Why not all?


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