Doughnut Plant A Taste of Asia

By Paul Kornblueh

Followers of Changing Chelsea and those who know me know that I am nuts about Doughnut Plant. When I first approached them about advertising in The New York Observer I became privy to some of their principles plans for expansion. We were both in agreement that expansion in Japan would be a natural fit. Twelve years latter Doughnut Plant LES and Chelsea are celebrating Lunar New Year with a Taste of Japan.doughnutplant

While most of us are only familiar with Asian baking either in Japanese Bubble Tea Shops and in China town bakeries both of which I love. I have fond memories of meeting my Tai Chi instructors at The Golden Unicorn and returning to Chelsea with a box of Chinese baked goods (a dozen for less than two bucks) sharing them with my doorman or other visitors to my studio with green tea. Often more savory than sweet sampling Doughnut Plants taste of Asia will be a surprise for most of their customers.

My favorite is without question the Black Sesame Doughnut which combines texture, taste, and visual appeal. I wonder and want to know which is your favorite.

Do stop in to Doughnut Plant 222 west 23rd St

David Craig Ellis ‘Shits His Pants’ (Almost)

By Paul Kornblueh

It was a strangely quiet morning on 23rd Street, I was sleeping in, recuperating from a late night session of photo editing when the phone rang. It was David Craig Ellis. “Paul, I have the angle for your new piece, it’s David Craig Ellis Shits His Pants.” I said “ok,” slowly realizing what I was agreeing to. “We’ll talk it over in the studio this afternoon.” I hung up thinking, this can’t be good.

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“Gob” 24 x 18 Oil on Board

Later that afternoon, catching up with Ellis in his Dumbo studio, he had reflections about growing older and wiser. “Five grand a year I spend on coffee, so it’s inevitable I’m gonna shit my pants once in a while. The worst is when you’re on the turnpike- just trapped in a diarrhea soaked seat. Last week it was on Front Street after a blackeye with bad half and half.”  He continued. “Just this morning, waiting for the water taxi I realized I wouldn’t make it unless I acted fast. I bolted to a friends condo in the nearby Edge building and went both number one and number two in luxury. Thank God, I thought to call a friend. Major relief, although I felt bad ’cause it dawned on me I still had yet to return some of his Tupperware from a dinner party, after he had sent me home with some anchovies…Oh, ya, so lemme give you a tour of the studio.”

So if you are wondering what this has to do with the hot mess in Dave’s black jeans consider for a moment that Dave can be as childish and visceral as his paintings, with sensibilities honed by living on the streets of Toronto, by years as an itinerant rock and roller, and by seeing ALL of his worldly possessions stolen from his car within 24 hours of hitting The Big Apple. While I am on the subject, Dave’s new studio (the point of this piece) is more of a mixed media playground than a studio. It’s a magnet for creativity calling out to other artists to drop by roll up their sleeves and get busy making art.

Following Dave into his studio, sporting Beatles Yellow Submarine sneakers, you pass through basement electric and water meter rooms giving the feel of a turn of the century steam punk venue. On entering you will see a tournament quality ping pong table, covered with butcher paper with scrolling calculations of numbers and notes. Even though ping pong paddles and a ball stand at the ready the table doubles as a work table and a place to share ideas just as Dave and I were engaged in with the photographer Holger Keifel, who has photographed Dave for German Marie Claire and had stopped in to knock off a few pictures of Dave in between sips of coffee and elaborations of atheistic realities.

      DCE.3                                                          Dave has also been photographed by Terry  Richardson for Hysteric Glamour and even once made Donald Trump dance in his appearance on The Apprentice. He devotes a large wall to framed press pieces going     back to his Toronto days 30 years ago.

The back wall contains an impressive graphics studio. Two 1500 watt soft lights provide “daylight” for painting or can be used in front of a seamless background for photography or video. Also available is a complete silk screen setup with darkroom and a two color silk screen press. On a hanging rack are a bevy of Dave’s notable T-shirts which will be rebranded with iconoclastic new colliding images as part of a project that is underway.

                                                                                                                                                                    Adding to the photo studio are an enviable assortment of analog cameras and working Polaroids. Behind double glass doors lies the jewel in the crown of this multimedia playground, a full on recording studio. Dave has designed and built Grammy Award winning recording studios, but this is what he has brought into play for himself and his collaborators: A Pearl drum kit finished in Ringo Blue. Gibson custom guitars which includes a three pick up Peter Frampton model complete with a Talkbox, Marshall Amps with a full PA system and Shure microphones.

Opposite to the entry of the sound studio is a display wall filled with oil and acrylic paintings rotating in and out of shows quite often at The Greenpoint Gallery. I noticed that a few of the paintings featured left over silver paint from the recording studio. Waste not!

 Coming soon as additions to the lounge area are a sit down version of the classic ’80s video game Frogger made famous in a Seinfield Episode. A working mock up of a Starbucks with a live uniformed barrista serving an assortment of beverages rebranded as Starfuckers, will be a conceptual piece in itself (uh-oh more coffee). So if all you collaborators and co-conspirators would like to visit Ellis Island Studio try not to soil yourselves and feel free to call the studio @ 718-643-9444. Please check out David Craig Ellis’ new work on his website www.davidcraigellisart.com

(c) 2016 Changing Chelsea Paul Kornblueh

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

David Craig Ellis Open Notebook


Artist David Craig Ellis’ current show at  Venticinque 162 Fifth Ave Brooklyn NY is a fascinating rare view into his working process. The show is entirely a collection of morning drawings taken from his sketchbook and framed and presented on the walls of this Park Slope Cafe.

When the Mafia proposes DaveEa prospect to be a “made man” it is said that “they opened the books for him.” While David Craig Ellis is not a Mafioso he did at one time own and operate a Pizza joint, and for that matter, was a regular at many Soprano’s cast events so I will run with this metaphor for better or worse. Dave is a dichotomy with almost child like whimsy combining a highly disciplined edge of a proficient and profound draftsman who is hardworking not only in his commitment to the volume of his work, but to also engage your attention and to impart his audience with emotions and lessons within his paintings and drawings.

For many years now David begins his day with a strong cup of coffee and several pages of writing and a spontaneous drawing. Morning pages a la Julia Cameron’s bible for creative recovery “The Artist’s Way.” SexandIf you are not familiar with Cameron’s book let’s just say that she does for the Artist what Lao Tzu did for the warrior.

Dave’s current show is a collection of 20 of his favorite drawings
from his morning pages. He has sifted down from 700 or so to these 20 strong examples of what he cAnietyan do with his pencil, pens and sketchbook. Drawing his inspiration from such diverse souses as Charles Schultz and R Crumb. His drawings are engaging and mildly disturbing in a most engaging fashion. Dave has also participated in The Sketchbook Project the largest online aggregation of sketch book images that has ever been undertaken http://www.sketchbookproject.com/ . His Id # is S145934

You will see in this show a collection of nasty characters living on the edge of Dave’s grizzly world. Case in point “It’s Done” complete with cross hatch modeling which is a trademark of Dave’s work. Within the drawing a street wise misfit with white gloves sits on the street surrounded by bottles with a smoke of something nefarious drooping from his mouth. A sign in his hand proclaims “It’s Done.”Itsdone

Several motifs run through many of these drawing, binding them together.
1) A bottle of spirits. 2) The word God sometimes camouflaged in text or within a drawing. 3) A cup a coffee. Ever reminding us that these images are created at first light while the artist is enjoying clearing his cobwebs with a morning joe.

Separation Anxiety features a woman of questionable morals and a cup ofbold coffee is clearly pictured in it. How appropriate that this show is hosted by a fine coffee bar! All of the images have their own appeal and I strongly recommend that you make the trip to Park Slope to have an espresso and take the show in it’s entirety. The show will be up through October 16. Some of the drawings are available for sale and they are going fast so don’t delay.

Visit  :

http://www.davidcraigellis.com

More from the Hotel Chelsea Doughnut Plant!

Why I Love Doughnut Plant

Yes it had been on my mind, it comes every year, the long days of June; the running of The Belmont Stakes, and of course D-Day. In this case I am not speaking to the Allied invasion of France, rather an issue and institution much closer to home. I am referring to Doughnut Plant & National Doughnut Day. This D-Day, I was informed that more than 1700 doughnuts were served many of them free of charge, well worth standing in line for.

Twenty years ago I would have never believed that a doughnut shop offering artisan quality treats at a premium price would last till   their first commercial lease renewal, well I was certainly wrong on that one Ollie. I first began to really process Doughnut Plant while a Rep for The New York Observer. We were producing some beautiful magazines, and I very much wanted them to participate as an advertiser.

Talking it out with their Managers, and some of the company principles it became clear to me that they did not wish to take any chances on advertising. This was a shame since my boss would have probably accepted a barter arrangement, and those wondrous morsels would have made a nifty change from my coffee and oatmeal, not to mention, being well appreciated at our weekly sales meetings.

Last Spring I adopted the Meyer lemon as a very important part of my Artist Way work. I had in the past done a lot of work on my art development with the Julia Cameron book “The Artist Way.” The Meyer lemons sold out in one day at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. They were nowhere to be seen at Fairway or Garden of Eden.

A few days latter a shipment arrived at Whole Foods I went home with a big sackful of them. The creator came through! Juicy, aromatic with a soft and edible peal, I set to work adding them to fish dishes and baking projects. I perfected a scone recipe which I added unsweetened coco and flax seeds, Meyer lemon juice and peal bits. This was a real game changer, they are still talking about these scones at my eye doctor’s office where I treated them to a big basket of these “cookies.” BTW anyone that you bake for will remember you fondly!

You might say that the Creme Brulee doughnuts alone made the Doughnut Plant brand a reality. Deliciously sweet, crunchy with a wonderful custard center I am talking about pure doughnut perfection. Also the Mole Chocolate and the Verona Chocolate are amazing. What really surprises me is the depth to the Doughnut Plant menu which includes carrot cake peanut butter and jelly, just to name a few. All of course washed down with great coffee.

Doughnut Plant came up with a sensational Meyer Lemon doughnut which in my mind Doughnutplant.2surpasses any expectations that I might have of a perfect sweet treat. On all accounts, taste, texture, ect it is about as good as a doughnut can get. I have passionately lobbied the Doughnut Plant principles to keep this doughnut on as a regular menu item, sadly it has not come to pass. How about a bitter dark glaze on this doughnut to do justice to it’s lemony perfection and please! Make his doughnut a year round phenom.

I spoke with a very friendly customer who happily shared that he goes to Doughnut Plant three or more times a week. He loves the Peanut butter and Jelly Doughnuts, it was in his honor that I tried the Peanut Butter and Banana Doughnut, which I found delis’, if a bit too large and sticky for me.

I favor the Cake over the Yeast Doughnuts as well as the smaller ones like the Creme Brulee Doughnut which made their brand and causes patrons to cue up at their LES original location 20 years ago.

For those of us who have to struggle a bit to get into our swim suits I appreciate that you have a choice at Doughnut plant of large yeast Doughnuts as well as smaller cake ones, not to mention bite sized ones that can make a great side car to a coffee or as an extra doughnut for that especially rewarding day.

I have posted briefly on Doughnut Plant in the past, and will post more photographs of this special and beloved institution over the weekend. Visit Doughnut Plant at the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd St. http://doughnutplant.com/  Cheers!

Cowboy Mouth at The Chelsea Hotel

cowboymouth.6 Cowboymouth.7

Young Artists at the Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth at the Chelsea 

It is no secret that I have a thing for T-Shirts. One of my most favorite is a gray, red and white one from The Hamptons Film Festival. It presents a simple and irrefutable message, and I quote: “Film is Art, Theater is Life & Television is Furniture. Much of my working life has been in the film industry, but I have also spent ten years raising money and providing marketing services for theaters.

I am also lucky to count as Brothers and Sister, Friends and Family some of the most dedicated and talented performers around. The experience of looking at theater from the inside out has driven home what I have always believed that the show that starts with the opening of a theatrical performance is only a small part of what theater really does for us.

When I broke in to arts development I was on the phone for NYC Ballet’s 50 Anniversary Season. We were tasked to raise a half of a million dollars (which we did). The most effective hooks that I used to evoke the power of the performing arts is that “you probably remember something about every performance that you have seen over the past 20 years.” This also is a strong testament to the power of Theater.

Sunday night I was treated to that power, very close to home. Once again edgy theater was again being presented on my block. I can think back to those by gone years when Squat Theater was pumping out hit after hit like “The Many Loves of Andy Warhol,” and “Mr. Dead and Mrs. Free.” When the plays weren’t up there were monthly performances of Sun Ra’s Arcestra. It was all a bit of hipster heaven.

I am thrilled that some young people who met at Harvard joined with some local talent to produce a very strong and enjoyable production of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s collaboration “Cowboy Mouth” If you don’t know the play is a tug of war filled with poetic jabs at dysfunction in love, and the push pull of the artistic blur of an existence Vs.the straight life of bringing up one’s baby. But rest assured there is more meat on this stick.

Annie Fox who plays Cavale organically absorbed Patti Smiths movements including the “Space Monkey” squat jumps to perfection. She spits out stories or reproaches to Slim, beautifully draw by David Andrew Laws. Laws also moves skillfully with aplomb. Thomas Sullivan, the “Lobster Man” is very adept with a comic, and somewhat tragic interpretation of the guy who would bring this couple lobsters from El Quixote downstairs. I certainly want to see more of this talented man.

Young Artists at the Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth will run until June 20. Tickets

are available while they last via their website http://www.youngartistschelsea.com/

A Theatre Grows in The Chelsea

Young Artist at The Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth

Young Artist at The Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth

Had a good talk about the production today with Zander one of the Set Designers.

Had a good talk about the production today with Zander one of the Set Designers.

Young Artists at the Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth at the Chelsea 

It is no secret that I have a thing for T-Shirts. One of my most favorite is a gray, red and white one from The Hamptons Film Festival. It presents a simple and irrefutable message, and I quote: “Film is Art, Theater is Life & Television is Furniture. Much of my working life has been in the film industry, but I have also spent ten years raising money and providing marketing services for theaters.

I am also lucky to count as Brothers and Sister, Friends and Family some of the most dedicated and talented performers around. The experience of looking at theater from the inside out has driven home what I have always believed that the show that starts with the opening of a theatrical performance is only a small part of what theater really does for us.

When I broke in to arts development I was on the phone for NYC Ballet’s 50 Anniversary Season. We were tasked to raise a half of a million dollars (which we did). The most effective close I used was to evoke the power of the performing arts in that “you probably remember something about every performance that you have seen over the past 20 years.” This also is a strong testament to the power of Theater.

Sunday night I was treated to that power, very close to home. Once again edgy theater was again being presented on my block. I can think back to those by gone years when Squat theater was pumping out hit after hit like “The Many Loves of Andy Warhol,” and “Mr. Dead and Mrs. Free.” When the plays weren’t up there were monthly performances of Sun Ra’s Arcestra. It was all a bit of hipster heaven.

I am thrilled that some young people who met at Harvard joined with some local talent to produce a very strong and enjoyable production of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s collaboration “Cowboy Mouth” If you don’t know the play is a tug of war filled with poetic jabs at dysfunction in love, and the push pull of the artistic blur of an existence and the straight life of bringing up one’s baby. But rest assured there is more meat on this stick.

Annie Fox who plays Cavale organically absorbed Patti Smiths movements including the “Space Monkey” squat jumps to perfection. She spits out stories or reproaches to Slim, beautifully draw by David Andrew Laws. Laws also moves skillfully with aplomb. Thomas Sullivan, the “Lobster Man” is very adept with a comic, and somewhat tragic interpretation of the guy who would bring this couple lobsters from El Quixote downstairs. I certainly want to see more of this talented man.

Young Artists at the Chelsea Production of Cowboy Mouth will run until June 20. Tickets

are available while they last via their website http://www.youngartistschelsea.com/