Monthly Archives: April 2014

Worth a Visit? The Station, Raleigh, NC

There’s other places in Raleigh where you can drink drinks and eat eats. And there are places with more SEO friendly names. Those places aren’t The Station. But nonsensical preamble aside, I’ve been to The Station, so I consider it my duty to answer your burning questions on whether or not a visit is worth your time.

Do you like drinking drinks and eating eats?

One visit is all it will take to realize that EATING AND DRINKING ARE THE MAIN THINGS GOING DOWN AT THE STATION, so this is an important question to answer, even if it seems a foregone expectation in the bar/restaurant industry. Besides, here at Worth A Visit?,  we pride ourselves on writing a comprehensive review. There are anorexic people out there that probably appreciate a heads up that going to The Station will be walking into a psychological warzone where peer judgment of their body might conflict with peer judgment of their hiding pita points underneath the Bacon Habanero Pimento Cheese Dip while claiming lactose/habanero intolerance. If you’re not a member of the anorexic community that is criminally underserved in most restaurant reviews, VISIT! This place meets the eating/drinking criteria in spades.

Did you read the name of that appetizer in the mostly unhelpful paragraph above?

Of course YOU DID. Everyone knows that bacon is the ultimate cheat code of the culinary world. Even bacon-wrapped paint thinner is probably worth trying. But replace “paint thinner” with “pimento cheese dip” and you’ve got a dish WORTH VISITING FOR!

Are you the kind of individual that enjoys paying $10 for a lunchtime sandwich?

When the sandwiches are this good, YOU’D PAY $12 DOLLARS! And it’s a good thing, because some of the sandwiches are $12 dollars. Let me make a recommendation. The Brown Butter Beer Grilled Cheese is the ballz! CHEEEEZZZEE 4 DAYZ!!! If it were an actor, it would be Shemar Moore in every movie he’s ever been in, warm and inviting and (probably) delicious. But not everyone’s into Shemar (lolz! They totally are), and that’s okay. The burger was awesome too, SO VISIT! Sidenote: a girl nearby said she liked her salad, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Do you like drinking outside?

You don’t have lupus if that’s what I’m asking? And what’s with the medical cautions in this review? You LOVE DRINKING OUTSIDE! And The Station is for a true lover of unsheltered imbibement. There’s a self contained outdoor bar that is simply wonderful, so that old saying, “Sun’s out, let’s get wasted,” is very applicable here. YOU’RE VISITING!

Did you find the intro of American Horror Story to be unappetizing? Particularly the part that shows odd animal body parts suspended in an unknown preservation fluid inside of mason jars?

American Horror Story!!!

Maybe you DON’T VISIT, because this place has a lot of that going on. Sure, pickling apologists will say this is a charming affectation for the otherwise “cozy, rustic, watering-hole” ambience, but how different is an egg and a baby chicken really? They’re gross and you can’t avoid talking about them unless you AVOID VISITING.

The Station!!!

Now that I’m thinking about it, how did the cucumber become the titled king of pickled mountain?

When assessing this debatably trivial piece of criteria, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU VISIT. All the etymological knowledge of pickling that you need is right on Wikipedia. The Internet knows it’s a just a geographical oddity that Americans call the pickled cucumber a “pickle” while calling the pickled onion a “pickled onion”. Maybe the UK does it smarter (they do), whatever. But you should read up on it IF YOU VISIT, because you won’t be able to avoid talking about the mason jars.

Does the message of whether or not to visit feel like it’s getting a little lost and convoluted as this author takes forever to throw a blanket recommendation on this place?

Relax. This is a low-risk proposition. You’re not signing a mortgage in 2006, geez! IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT….unless you don’t like drinking drinks and eating eats. ANOREXIC PEOPLE SHOULD NOT VISIT.

Wondering if etymology is a fun hobby,
Dusty “The Big Pickle” Riedesel

An Airplane in a Vagina. The Downsizing of Corporate Branding

By now you’ve heard. US Airways let out a pornographic pic on their Twitter feed. It was a woman retrofitting the function of a model airplane in (debatably) creative fashion. In other words, she stuck it in her vagina. Who the woman is and how the picture hit the Twitterverse are of little concern to me, and you can go find it on Google easily if you wish. What struck me later—I’d say immediately, but when you’re met by a picture of a dildo-fied airplane in use, thoughtful analysis isn’t a natural response—is that the democratization of information sharing has actually created a meritocracy to corporate branding that we should be thankful for.

Brands used to be big. And technically, by most forms of economic and cultural currency, they still are. For example, Coca-Cola has roughly the same number of Twitter followers (but a lot more money) as Chris Rock. But Brands used to be unknowably big. They were more abstract concepts like the weight of a galaxy or the size of the national debt. Whatever anonymous Don Draper fed you the idea that McDonald’s beats Mom’s cooking in any language was shielded by the time and process of the ancient ad mediums. Everything came out big and slow and crafted, so everything came out planned, double-checked and safe.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in the brainstorming sessions of Wieden + Kennedy’s creative brass, breaking down a marketing mix with the breadth of target countries and the granularity of specified font kerning. But I know how to use a Twitter account. And I know that every company has someone doing that for them. I also know that the chances are good that the person is a sub-30’s hipster who needs to infuse a little sass and personality to give their brand a noteworthy voice in the ongoing B2C conversations. Basically, the daily mouthpiece of a brand’s most volatile interactive platform is just a regular human being. Mistakes happen. Because we are all this person, we can all allow it.

Does this forgive the digital parceling of a particularly intrepid model airplane? Nope. Not by a longshot. The absolute best-case scenario is a hacked account, otherwise someone deserves to be fired. I can’t help but believe that 20 years ago this would have stunted US Airways in a very severe way. Knowing less makes each bit of information more vital to the brand’s consumers. Now we know so much, that we can’t possibly blame the whole company. When I fly to San Diego next month, if US Airways has the best deal, I’ll still fly with them, using this marketing snafu only as an odd conversation piece. The internet has given companies enough rope to hang themselves with, sure. But the declining impact of errors makes me believe that the new rope is too thin to hold a brand’s weight. And unlike that model airplane, US Airways is going to land safely.

It’s a little tight here,
Dusty “Flies Coach” Riedesel

Don-O-Mite trailer — MAD MEN meets Blaxploitation

Donomite_Poster

Every now and then, the Internet does exactly what it was meant to do. This is one of those times. The final season of Mad Men is debuting this Sunday. Frankly, it’s the best written show I’ve ever watched, and I’m happy spank anyone who disagress like a 1950’s stepchild.

That said, if there’s ever been something recognizably missing in the show, it’s relation to the world-dominating Marvel Comics movie franchise. If there’s two things missing, it’s the world-dominating Marvel Comics movie franchise and black people. The gaping holes left by the absence of black men (and women) have been satirically and satisfactorily filled thanks to the Internet harkening back to the blaxploitation of the era Mad Men inhabits.

By the way, this is incredibly well done. Hat’s off to Leroy& Clarkson.

How I Met Your Mother Ends with a Perfect Non-Finale

The Series Finale of How I Met Your Mother is over. A lot of people are pissed:

And that’s funny. Most people were just haters. “Haters, would you just!…okay!?” The predominant gripe has been that this finale made the show all about Ted and Robin, that it should have been titled something like How I Met The Woman I Want To Be With Now That Your Mother Is Dead. While catchy, that’s wrong. This was a great finale because it stayed true to itself, just like all the characters did, especially Ted Mosby.

Stephen King compares the job of writer to that of an archaeologist. To summarize his viewpoint, a writer is trying to bring a preformed thing from obscurity to public attention. The analogy works even better from the vantage point of the consumer. An archaeological artifact is a small window into an entirely different time and civilization. It’s a fragment of a much larger world, and with few exceptions, that’s exactly the way stories let us look into their imaginative worlds.

208 episodes is a lot of time to spend with characters, but it all adds up to less than four days of real time. If you want this show to be true to real life, that’s an important fact to remember. A lot of life happens in these unwatched margins. Does it seem weird to you that the kids aren’t emotionally enraptured by how Ted met their mother? They’re teenagers who have been with Ted their whole life. They’ve heard the stories. They’ve seen him living alone, and they’re not shocked about the big reveal that their mother is dead. We’re all egocentric, so confusing the show and the story is simple, but the show was called How I Met Your Mother, not How I Met The Mother of My Children. We were always the show’s audience, but we were never the story’s audience. After waiting for 9 years, the word “Your” ended up being way more important than the word “Mother”.

Completion is the biggest fallacy pitched in most finales. Even the tightly-packaged Breaking Bad finale left us with some unanswered questions (What happens to Jesse? Did Hule ever leave that hotel room? Will Walt Jr. ever enjoy breakfast again?), and that was a show that told us it was a completed story. HIMYM was almost finished after a few seasons, revived, then dragged out all the way to season nine. It never had the luxury of being complete. Instead, the writers had to keep brushing away more dirt from the artifact. They had to keep showing you more and more of the fantasy world that these New Yorkers encompassed. And it was a fantasy, Barney alone proves that.

In the end, Ted probably did marry Robin (“The only way either of you are having sex with her is if you marry her.”) But the story we were actually being told was of the emotionally resilient Ted Mosby. Maybe we wished his life was even more fantasy because the real stuff isn’t as fun. We watched him fail. A lot. We watched him struggle to find himself by looking for completion in others. But we mostly just watched him keep on going. That’s what real people have to do. And in the final moments of the show, they took us back to the show’s one prevailing sentiment, the undying romanticism of a human soul (forever enshrined for Ted by a blue French horn). And honestly, to give that romanticism a complete finale would have been the biggest betrayal of the show’s true star.

“Love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in.” – Ted Evelyn Mosby