The Ace Love/Hate List for 2010

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Photo of the Late Great Marge by Greg Eans

What is the single greatest thing that happened to Lexington, Kentucky in 2010? Was it the World Equestrian Games?  The Horsemania revival?  The hotly contested mayoral race? The long-awaited opening of the Newtown Pike extension? Good guesses, but the best thing to happen to Lexington was Mick Jeffries returning home safely from Burning Man, after a collision in Gillette, Wyoming totaled Marge the Airstream on the drive out. Those who’ve seen the wreckage would tell you that the word Miracle would not be an overstatement. Mick is a photographer and designer; the host of WRFL’s Trivial Thursdays; the author of the Best Blog of 2009 according to Ace Best of Lex readers (minglefreely.blogspot.com); and one of “This Year’s Models” in 2009. More than that, he’s a Lexington institution and it’s a blessing to us all  that he came home safely, and a reminder to celebrate the miraculous people who make our town miraculous on a daily basis — not just after a very close call.

So, in honor of the devoted mixologist, we toast the New Year with The Friesan Flower, the Bollinger champagne cocktail he was commissioned to create in 2009 by the owners of then-Derby contender Friesan Fire.

And with that, on to the rest of Ace’s Love/Hate List for 2010.

The most embarrassing off-guard moment from the World Equestrian Games? Had to be Chef Marc Vetri posting on his twitter, “Beard event in Kentucky, real deal treatment, guy driving me to airport at 5 am pulled over to puke, didn’t quite make it out the door.” He continued, “Then he almost hit a truck while almost dozing off. I would have offered to drive, but there was puke all over the wheel. Fun!”

Our new loves on Jefferson Street?  Two new neighbors. Cuppa Tea Cafe is at the corner of Jefferson and Short. On November 13, we attended the preview for Nick Ryan’s Saloon, now open for lunch and dinner. It joins our culinary anchors, Wine + Market (corner of 2nd and Jefferson); the Grey Goose, across Jefferson from the Ace office; and Stella’s, just down the street.

The official list of favorite movies from Raj Ranade, Ace’s official movie critic, in alphabetical order, are: 

A Prophet (dir. by Jacques Audiard)
Carlos (dir. by Olivier Assayas)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (dir. by Banksy)
The Fighter (dir. by David O. Russell)
The Ghost Writer (dir. by Roman Polanski)
Mother (dir. by Bong Joon-Ho)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (dir. by Edgar Wright)
Shutter Island (dir. by Martin Scorsese) (dir. by David Fincher)

The Social Network  
True Grit (dir. by Joel and Ethan Coen)
Winter’s Bone (dir. by Debra Granik)

The unofficial Ace favorites were The Social Network, and Winter’s Bone, starring Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence. Meriting a mention is The Kids are All Right (Kentucky native Josh Hutcherson plays the son), but it violated any possible pretense at political correctness when one of the lesbian characters opts for a fling with a man.


The third worst movie of the year was Love and Other Drugs. Hate is too mild a word.


A pleasant surprise was the underrated and overlooked The Other Guys. We didn’t even review it when it came out, but it’s definitely worth a rental. (Click to the Unrated Version. It should never have been edited or marketed as a PG-13.) There’s nothing new or special about Will Ferrell (or Adam McKay) here, but Mark Wahlberg gives a completely straight-faced performance that’s the precise flip of the performance he gave in The Departed – the trick is that the plays them nearly identically. It wouldn’t be funny any other way. 

Also overlooked — meaning it didn’t play in Lexington, but made for a great DVD — is The Art of the Steal, a fully one-sided account of what happened to the art world’s Barnes Foundation. The one side that the filmmakers present is definitely the most entertaining side.  

On HBO, Martin Scorsese directed  Public Speaking, the Fran Lebowitz documentary — which arrived onscreen at the same time a reissue of The Fran Lebowitz Reader arrived in the mailbox. Both are classics, in different ways.

In a year where book news was completely dominated by Franzen’s Freedom, for sheer entertainment, it would be hard to pass up Anthony Bourdain’s latest, Medium Raw. Also recommended, the latest from Steve Martin, An Object of Beauty: A Novel.

In local music, we like Beacon, from Matt Duncan, and specifically, the track “Mean Streak.” Buy it on iTunes. Read more about Matt Duncan and his Hop Hop cohorts here.

“The Amazing Alltech Digital Water Fountain Has Spoken.” By Mick Jeffries

And the Ace favorite photo of the year? Well, it was snapped by Mick Jeffries at the World Equestrian Games.

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