2013 The Year in Review - Part Two

2013 the year in review part two.  This is basically the second half of the year.

at the end of june I went back to Paris and had the whole house to myself because the Fam was away in the states for 2 months.  It was just me and Kaz the golden doodle all summer.  He got a bath, he had it coming to him.

A summer working upstairs, watching the Tour de France, wishing I was out on my bike

Sorry but I ate crap loads of cheese in 2013, awesome good French cheeses.  Bob hates it because now I talk like a cheese snob according to him.  I dare you to live in France and not come out feeling a little snooty towards other cheeses, it's just that good.

I really ramped up my French cooking in the summer.  But if you knew how easy it is to cook quiche or gratin dauphinois you would scoff at me. 

In love with this corner of Ile de la Cite, I brought all my visitors here.  That's Pont Des Arts in the background.

lots of petanque was played in 2013.  There was lots of Lori Tomanari from Hawaii too.  I was gonna call her Hawaiian but erased it because I think that's not correct she is just from Hawaii.  Pfff, Hawaiians

So many awesome picnics full of awesome French foods like terrine, fois gras, terrine, baguettes, lentils, wine, tarts, quiches, rotisserie meats, cured meats, etc...  I am ruined for life now, it's just not the same in the states.  I am not being sentimental here, the bread and cheese is literally not the same especially since true raw milk cheese are illegal in the US.

Rome for the second time in 2013.  It was summer and hot as ballz.  Bob and I messed up/got messed up and weren't able to see the Vatican Museum with the Sistine Chapel inside.  The same thing happened to Jen and I but I wasn't about to let this one last chance to see the Sistine Chapel slip away.  I don't plan on going to Rome again.  We had a few hours before our flight if we got to the Vatican museum before it opened.  But upon arriving we saw a queue that stretched around corners.  By the time we got in we literally had to run through an entire art history book to get to the Sistine Chapel and only had 3 minutes to look at it before we had to run back to the exit like in that movie "Band of Outsiders" where they run through the Louvre.  It was kind of exciting.....well for me at least.  Jen was not going to be happy with what would happen next. 

We missed our flight back to Paris by 5 minutes, the 5 minutes we were calmly waiting in the check-in line.  We had to buy new tickets too.  Anger.  6 hours and a few bottles of wine later we somehow miss that flight too despite being 50 feet from the gate.  This time we were all checked in and missed boarding by 4 minutes.  Anger, 3 tears, and calls to hotels.  After a crazy taxi ride we end up at this cute homey place with an attached restaurant with the best pizza I had in Italy and 4 euro pitchers of very decent wine.  We had the most fun the whole time in Rome because we missed two flights and were probably insane at that point.  Jen is kind of an anal person and never missed a flight in her life.  She was pretty upset to miss not one but 2 flights in one day and have to buy new tix twice............

After 5 years and 4 months I packed it in and moved back to New York City.  I lived in 6 countries, Beijing China, Tokyo Japan, Barcelona Spain, London UK, and Paris France.  It's a big deal you guys, hanging up the green tights.  I'm a different person now because of my travels and It was the best thing I could even imagine doing.  I worked so hard and with a lot of luck I was able to live like peter pan, if he were an illustrator.  2013 saw me start a new chapter.  Hopefully I will not become like the arsehole lawyer Robin Williams was at the beginning of the movie but more like the old but loving every minute of life Robin Williams he became at the end of the movie.

I lived out of 2 suitcases for a month and a half for 3 weeks in Harlem with Matt Cianfrani and after that 3 weeks in willyburg with James Chang and Vince.  Thanks for getting Jason Pan back on his feet fellas.

I am trying to rejoin the New York Illustrators scene, which isn't as easy as you think because I was never even in it when I left for other shores 5 years ago.  It's been fun kickin' it with peeps like Jonathan Bartlett here.

I moved into a 3 bedroom apartment on Hope street off the Lorimer L train stop.  I live with Kat and Tae both from the Illustration community.  These huge windows in my room are both awesome and not awesome.  They get awesome sunlight from like 10am to 3pm but if I have to work on the computer even with the curtains closed it is kind of too bright.  Just get better curtains, yes I know that A-hole.

North Fork shoots off the Hamptons and there are lots of wineries there.  We rented a house and went there for the weekend for Mel's birthday.  Wine tasting, cooking, drinking, games.

I did some promotional work including Bill Murray here

and Elvis Costello and Questlove

I made Julia Child's beef bourgingon.  It took 6 hours and part of my soul.  It was delicious but I will never make her recipe again.  There are ways to make it shorter, Julia just adds so many excessive steps.  It also cost $100 to make, granted I bought all the stuff at Union Market which is really expensive.  

peeps seemed to like this Leonardo Dicaprio Wolf of Wall Street piece I did.

and this Obamacare Illustration.

First time I had thanksgiving dinner in America in 5 years.  The dogs have to wear these vests because people will think they are bears.  There are a bunch of bears up there now, my dad's friend shot a 400 pounder.  There were no bears when we were kids.  Environmental change?

I went with my mom to a Newfoundland Christmas tree pull.  The Genesee Region Newfoundland club www.grnewfdogclub.org/ got together and brought their newfs to Moore Christmas Tree Farm, a self cut xmas tree farm and the dogs hauled the trees out for a donation to their dog rescue fund.  There were like 20 Newfoundlands or more.  It was super cute and weird to see so many of the same dog I grew up with all my life.  There were spotted ones, a brown one, a grey one, big ones, small ones, not just black ones.  Cuteness overload

Made xmas tree decorations out of Sculpy and baked it in the oven and hand detailed them.  Jen's Narwhal came out the best.

Tae and Kat my brooklyn roommates

Did my annual Japanese new years card painting totally analog as usual, no computer involved.  I wish I had a way to photograph this gold paint better because it looks pretty cool in person.  2014 is the year of the horse.

It's always a good time when Bob is around for the holidays.  This was not a coincidence.  It was a coincidence that we happened to have the same shirt, or is it?  I bought that shirt for Bob......

Road trip, kind of.  It takes 5 hrs if there is no traffic to drive to our parents house upstate.  We got this pimpin' Ford Focus compact (38 mpg big pimpin!), ate at Cracker Barrel 30 minutes outside of the city in New Jersey, had to wait 20 min to get seated, regretted eating so much, sang christmas songs really loud, and made decent time.  Then our parents had to pick us up at the Corning/Elmira regional airport and drive another hour back to our house because if you drive a rental one way its mostly just between airports and that's the closest airport to our house.

a white Christmas

Another very challenging French dish, Coq au vin.  This has a total time of 13 hours because the chicken has to be quartered and brined over night.  But man oh man is this delicious!  I will def try to make this again.  Why do we do this?  because there is nothing to do upstate and we can only play rock band so long before our parents go crazy (just kidding they are so tolerant but our kick drum leg will hurt or our thumbs and voices will be sore....just like real musicians!) Bob says I talk like a food arsehole now.  I had to ask the meat guys at our local wegmans for like 4 things and they didn't have any of it or know what I was talking about.  They probably thought I was arsehole 

BECAUSE I AM!!!!! HAHAHAHAHHAA one of the best moments of 2013 was pushing Bob into a ravine full of thorns.  Look at him.  He has no idea of the sheer evil joy on my face or the unfortunate turn is he about to take.

made a Buche de Noel, a French traditional yule log cake typically decorated with meringue mushrooms and stuff but I used marzipan instead because there was no way i was gonna make meringue.  This came out pretty well I think.  There is a little Kodama character from Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke movie back there by the pine sprig.  The frosting is dark chocolate with orange extract because we ran out of vanilla.  inside it has coffee butter cream frosting rolled into it.  This cake actually tasted pretty awesome!  Everyone liked it so much they said we should make it a family tradition.  Next year i'm going to try and soak the bottom in rum like the one I had in Paris.

got a new lens for Christmas!  Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens.  Check out how small it is.  hopefully this will encourage me to carry my camera around more

we saw Susan Sarandon at the Heavenly Sunset Alpaca farm!  Jeff Goldblum, Guy Pierce, and Keira Knightly were also there.  So many celeb sightings that day, it was insane.

We made gingerbread houses from scratch, not a kit!  Everyone was feeling so in the spirit that we made Christmas village on the table.  Bob and I were amazed how the parents gladly participated in all our excessive christmas activities from molding and baking and painting christmas decorations out of Sculpy to decorating xmas cookies, to making gingerbread houses and decorating them and setting up christmas town, to making dumplings in our dumpling fiesta and then even rolling out dumpling wrappers when we ran out of store bought ones, to decorating the tree and drinking various bottles of wine, hot buttered rum, mulled wine.  Well done with the Christmas cheer this year parents.  My Dad might have even had more than my Mom!

Meat Bang Meat Gong from Jason Raish on Vimeo.
The Raish Brothers' Meat Bang was born out of boredom during holidays at their parents' home in upstate New York. They thought, "Hey, we can really trick out this Denny's Meat Lover's Skillet that we love so much", and so it came to be. The Meat Bang consists of all the kinds of meats that are in the house (no fish doesn't count) fried up and placed atop a bed of fried potatoes, peppers, and onion, and then on top of corned beef hash, after which cheddar and two eggs over easy and a choice of hot sauce are also placed. Such an epic culinary expedition deserves a commencement ceremony and gong. Perhaps we will have a better opening and closing ceremony and gong next year, we just thought of this on the spot. Bang the Gong! Ring in the Meat Bang!

flying planes down by the river

ringing in the new year at a very small intimate party in a more civilized manor than usual.

Well 2013 was one for the books.  I moved to another country again this year (America), will I stay in this one?  It's looking like that.  I look forward to being able to focus on my career and art more without the distractions of exploring some foreign city with its beautiful streets and architecture and new foods and friendly people.  Do I sound like I'll miss it?  Yea of course I will, but there are things in New York that I would miss even more.  Stick with me and I'll try to keep this blog running and keep New York interesting for you and me.  For once in my life I'm truly happy you guys.  Now that's news.  Bring on 2014