Remember that store Nobody Beats the Wiz? The one that used to dominate New York electronics? Well guess what, they figured out what beats the Wiz...it's called better selection and lower prices!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It continues to boggle the mind that poker is illegal in most states and, more importantly, we can no longer play it on the internet. But at least we can buy $50 scratch-off tickets!
“Scratch-off tickets are to the lottery what crack is to cocaine,” said State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, a Democrat who represents El Paso.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Been spending the night watching Nostradamus: 500 Years Later (more info here) and a Decoding the Past episode mostly about Edgar Cayce. This stuff is genius. Best parts so far:
Nostradamus discusses an evil presence called Mabus. With a little manipulation, this easily becomes OSAmabusH, proving that Nostra predicted 9/11. BUT, not everyone believes in Nostra's quatrains. Some scientists are skeptical. Enter the publisher of Skeptic Magazine!!! No joke.
Then, in discussion of Edgar Cayce's brilliant powers of medical diagnosis, something he know absolutely nothing about, we see the New York Times headline: "Illiterate Man Becomes a Doctor When Hypnotized."
Watch the History Channel.
Friday, December 21, 2007
...about what life might be like if you were a smart professional basketball player, check out Paul Shirley's writings. He wrote for awhile, took some time off (partially to write his book) and has now been back in the game for a bit. I am happy to have re-discovered his writing and I particularly enjoyed this column. You can find all the other ones from that page.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
That's right! Courtesy of the lovely Kelsey Atwood, Eat Richly now has a logo and merchandise. There are t-shirts, tote bags, mugs and more. Please visit the shop and support the site. However, there is currently no mark up on any of the items. So if you wanna support the site with cold hard cash by buying me lunch or dinner...do that instead. If not, I'd love the publicity and I think the merchandise looks great. Here's the logo:
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
So, as many of you know, prices for multi-ride Metrocards are on the rise. But thanks to the generosity of my company, I get a monthly Metrocard as part of my compensation every month. Thus, instead of complaining about this $5 per month hike, I'm gonna be dancing in the streets to celebrate my $60-a-year raise!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Everyone knows that girls generally have neater handwriting than boys. However, what I wonder is why girls' letters are generally more curvy and bubble-like, as opposed to boys' letters, which are usually sharper and full of straight lines. Any ideas?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
For all you folks out there looking for a lunch-time sandwich, I really have to recommend Starwich. This place makes great sandwiches with high quality ingredients (so many aiolis!) and creative combinations. In particular, unlike at most delis, the bread is actually an asset here (the ciabatta is particularly good)! Look for daily specials or create your own. Recently I have greatly enjoyed a Skirt Steak sandwich and a Slab of Bacon sandwich.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
This is something I meant to post over a year ago. Here are the notes:
drunk irish guy with bluetooth style headset...extremely raunchy, says this trivia night is all about love and sex
announces scores 3 times (every time every score is btw. 24 and 26, 44 and 46, 84 and 86...he made them up)
time for a break to "tally scores"...he goes for a few cigarettes
actual question: which primate has largest AND thickest penis? besides Bush, who is the biggest Dick in the country? what is your phone number (women and attractive men only)?
takes FOREVER between questions and rounds, seemingly random. making jokes all the time during his questions.
i ask waitress: "is he always like this?" "yes, unfortunately"
Friday, December 07, 2007
It FINALLY opened on Bleecker Street today and it is better than Pinkberry! Creamier (closer to gelato) and simply more delicious. It tastes less like yogurt, but still has some tang. Pinkberry is too icy these days. Red Mango also offers a legitimately small size, which is great for those of us like me who often just want to dabble in some yogurt, not be wedded to a monster cup of it.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
When I was in high school, Britney Spears was hot shit no doubt. The idea that anyone I knew would even have met her was a big deal. These days? She hooks up with random guys at gas stations. If a friend of mine hooked up with her, I'd sort of feel bad him....but also still think it was amazing.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I'm launching a new site called "GreetRichly.com" in which I teach people how to entertain relatives and friends who are in New York from out of town. I advise them on walking tours, restaurants to eat at (those with an Eat Richly seal of approval) and places to simply splay. Unlike Eat Richly, this is a pay service. A man's gotta eat (richly).
This started off as a joke and now seems like a halfway decent idea. Should I buy the domain name? Eric (I know that you are Anonymous!) and Nostra are my only commenters, so what do you think boys?
Monday, December 03, 2007
"What's kind of music do you like?"
"Everything except for country."
That is a terrible answer that is almost always untrue. Name some bands or a couple of specific genres. I used to hear this answer all the time Freshman Year and I always hated it. Just wanted to get that out there.
Friday, November 30, 2007
So apparently because Singapore has been in the news recently, I have seen a spike in the traffic to Marquis. This is because a lot of people around the world (including some from Singapore...Alvin, I'm looking at you...) have been searching for this picture from this post.
Enjoy it, mes amis!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Just something I was thinking about when I woke up at 7 this morning: Consider how big an effect technology has had on changing people's imaginations. You imagine new Firefox add-ons, people used to imagine new plow add-ons. In particular, I was thinking about Hieronymus Bosch and his incredible painting from the early 16th century, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Imagine how different that painting would look now!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For a real treat, check out the International Bottled Water Association's home page.
Here's a nice position statement in response to that vicious New York Times hit piece from a few months ago.
Maybe Beneficent Allah can give us a log-in to the Member's Only section?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I mentioned the issue of white writers discussing the black experience here. You can find more thoughts on the issue here, in a commentary by Steve James, the maker of Hoop Dreams. Check out previous posts in that thread for more commentary. Be careful for spoilers in other entries, however, if you have not seen all of The Wire.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I picked up a Rider Report Card Multi-Lingual Brochure today and was fascinated by what languages made and didn't make the cut.
The information was available in 14 languages, including the usuals like English, Chinese, and Spanish. But in lieu of languages you might expect to see such as French, German, and Japanese, other languages included were Haitian Creole, Hebrew AND Yiddish, Polish, Bengali, and Urdu. Yiddish, really? I guess they probably know what they are doing with this thing, I just found it amusing. Furthermore, people who speak French and German at least are probably more likely to know English or another language on the list than Bengali speakers, so that might be part of the reasoning behind their exclusion.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I can't help it, because Super Mario Galaxy just came out to universal acclaim (and I just ordered it on Amazon). IGN calls it the best game for Wii and arguably the best Nintendo platformer ever! Also, check out their neat history of Super Mario Bros.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Look, I can't help it if Apple manages to find really catchy songs for its iPod commercials. And I can't help it that I have an iPhone (it's just the money-est (moniest?) phone). Their latest wonder is "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" and it's a great listen (over and over and over again). Previous studs for me were "Jerk It Out" and "1234"...at least I haven't bought them on iTunes...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
It's available for the Wii. Just the way they made it originally in Japan. Mushrooms that kill you, Bloopers (squids) flying in the sky, the usual. I am now a proud owner of this very difficult game and I no longer have to rue the day I decided not to buy it in Japan (well...I can rue it less).
I am also gonna buy Donkey Kong this weekend so that I can beat Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell soon.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I can't help myself, but I have this silly problem. I am much more likely to read a feed that has a manageable number of unread items, such as 10 or fewer, because I enjoy the sense of accomplishment of being up to date on these feeds too much. Even though I should really be spending my time only reading blogs that are the most interesting to me, once I fall behind on those I waste time reading a few posts on lesser lights of the blogosphere. Reading 5 of 85 posts just seems more daunting than reading 5 of 5 posts, even if those 5 of 85 will be better!
Finally, for better or worse, I always prioritize posts written by friends of mine. I'm going to try to get better about this, but I feel like I'm not alone...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The real Frank Lucas is much more interesting to read about in this article than the dramatized Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is to watch in American Gangster. There's a simple explanation for this:
Then finally, Frank said, "Look, all you got to know is that I am sitting here talking to you right now. Walking and talking -- when I could have, should have, been dead and buried a hundred times. And you know why that is?"Because: People like me. People like the fuck out of me."
Needless to say, it was difficult to "like the fuck" out of Denzel's Lucas character. He just wasn't compelling and charismatic enough. Maybe it's because I always knew I was watching Denzel and couldn't imagine him as the character. Or maybe it's because the movie just didn't do a good job of making Lucas a three-dimensional character. Anyway, I couldn't get into the story and character as I expected to. I found myself much more wrapped up in the aforementioned article and the more recent conversation between Lucas and Nicky Barnes, moderated by the excellent Mark Jacobson.
On another note, why is it that middle-aged Jewish men (Jacobson, David Simon, Richard Price and others) are so good at getting to the core of these black gangsters? Maybe these great writers all just happen to be Jewish. Or maybe, as David Milch believes (in general about Jewish writers), there is more to the story. Because of a need to fit in (and hide their "Jewishness"), Jewish writers have always been able to use a certain chameleon-like quality to integrate themselves into other milieus, especially that of the ideal Christian family in the 1950s. So perhaps these writers are using this same quality to write about important issues in the black community? Just a thought.
Finally, while I was disappointed with American Gangster, partially because I had such high expectations, I will give it credit for at least attempting to do what The Wire does so brilliantly. It showed the story of the streets from both sides. It wasn't always 100% obvious who to "root for." And while it's not fair to ever condone the violence and drug dealing that a character like Lucas engages in, his position speaks to a larger problem with the culture in which he grew up and lived in. When your opportunities are limited to criminal ventures, your only role models are gangsters, and your friends are all involved in "The Game," it is hard to adjust your frame of reference. Most people have a lot in common with their friends and do not want to think of them as doing bad things, things that would reflect badly on themselves. And if it's not bad for your friend to do it, it's not too long before it's not bad for you to do it.
Which leads to this fascinating idea of characters like Lucas (going to Thailand to buy heroin) or for an even better example, Stringer Bell (knowingly applying macroeconomics lessons to drug dealing), displaying business acumen that you know would have been put to better use if they had only explored other opportunities. Or had the chance to do so...
When asked about the relative morality of killing people, selling millions of dollars of dope, and playing a significant role in the destruction of the social fabric of his times, Frank Lucas bristles. What choice did he have? he demands. "Kind of sonofabitch I saw myself being, money I wanted to make, I'd have to be on Wall Street. On Wall Street, from the giddy-up. But I couldn't have even gotten a job being a fucking janitor on Wall Street."
Friday, November 02, 2007
You know where I really shine? Filling out the memo part of a check. Like, I might be paying my gas bill, but in the memo I'll write "Meatballs." I wish I could see the expression on the face of whoever opens up that bill! Of course, I always add an asterisk and an attached note to make sure they know I'm just kidding and don't return the check uncashed. I may be tastefully madcap, but I also have a credit rating to think of.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Pants are back baby! As someone who has eschewed jeans for so long, what does this mean for me? Well, for starters, it means that I'll no longer get dirty looks for wearing corduroys. On the other hand, if everyone stops wearing jeans all the time, I'll be more like everybody else, which is never a good thing. Let's see how this one plays out.
But as men grow more at ease articulating how they want to look, the limitations of jeans become clear: you are always that guy in jeans. What connoted rebel status in the ’50s and cool status in the late ’90s now merely looks safe.
Hat tip to Mom.
Sadly I have been remiss in updating my site because of work-related conflicts, but I promise all concerned that I have plenty of notes about places I have been recently, so that it will be easier to put them up once I get cracking again. In the meantime, I have still been thinking about the site constantly. Check out this "upgraded profile" information from my Halloween costume:
Here's a close up of the early stages of the Eat Richly logo:
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'm convinced that's why Marisa Tomei was naked so early and often in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, a pretty good, but not great movie. There were plenty of funny moments in such a depressing story, and I liked seeing the story pieced together and re-told from different perspectives, but the second half of the movie dragged a lot.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
As the World Series is about to start, I thought I would share this picture with all of you. This was taken in the summer of 2004, when Papi and I chatted about the best ever episode of Mr. Show. We had the classic debate and I ended up coming down on the side of "The Velveteen Touch of a Dandy Fop," while he chose "Bush is a Pussy." He just adored Kedzie. I'm still not sure who won. Man did we have a rollicking good time talking about the finer points of comedy!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
From the latest issue of The New Yorker. Way to go Bubs:
Once [on set], a man pressed a package of heroin into the hands of Andre Royo, the actor who plays the sympathetic junkie and police informant Bubbles, saying, “Man, you need a fix more than I do.” Royo refers to that moment as his “street Oscar.”Thanks Dan.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wanted to give a shout-out to 'wichcraft today for providing me with some excellent bacon as part of my turkey sandwich. The key was that it was still moist and flavorful, as opposed to most bacon I come across, which is burnt to a crisp and disgusting.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The Indians did a wonderful job of stifling the Yankees for the better part of four games and taking full advantage of the Yankees' mediocre starting pitching for a well-deserved series victory. However, it's still pretty obvious to me that manager Eric Wedge should not have started Paul Byrd, who was very fortunate to give up only two runs in five innings of mediocre work. I actually said before the game that Byrd should have refused to pitch and forced Wedge to start C.C. Sabathia instead, but I guess that never could have happened.
Later in the game, Wedge made another mistake by inserting Joe Borowski to pitch the ninth inning. Rafael Betancourt had just pitched a brilliant eighth inning using only twelve pitches. He is a far superior pitcher to Borowski and should have at minimum started the ninth. Borowski flirted with disaster, but survived, so Wedge still looks "smart." Unfortunately his general strategy is indicative of a conventional/conservative managing style that may or may not come back to bite him in the ass against Boston. It truly amazes me that managers still make so many basic mistakes, but I guess if the market is choosing people like this to manage baseball teams then maybe I am the fool.
Finally, this looks like the end for Joe Torre in New York. He seems like a nice guy, but he has also been a corpse in the dugout for the past five or six years.
Friday, October 05, 2007
1. Why do girls ALWAYS think they look bad or will look bad in candid photos? Do they think that they look bad walking around all the time? If yes, don't worry girls, only some of you look bad, and I'm not gonna be taking pictures of you.
2. Why is it that when your cell phone gets stolen, people always make $600 worth of calls to Africa? Is it because these people really wanna call home and would prefer stealing your cell phone, with all the associated risks, over buying a $10 phone card? Do they think, "Oh, I haven't called Mom in awhile, better jack a phone."? Or do phone thieves just get off on dialing random numbers and spending your money? Better yet, maybe most phone thieves secretly work for call centers in India, showing the phone companies how important they are because of how they deal with these mini-crises all the time?
Never mind all this. Perhaps, as Mulatto Jesus says, the answer is simpler: "Africa probably has the best phone sex."
Thursday, October 04, 2007
...part of me wants to read either Metro or AMNY on the subway every morning, but another part of me doesn't want to because I don't want to get newsprint on my hands? Thus I often spend mornings reading over peoples' shoulders until they get creeped out.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Just in case you haven't been following the Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial, you can catch up here, courtesy of the Sports Guy. There should be a verdict tomorrow or next week.
Juicy nuggets include this one:
When asked to remember a heated exchange with Browne Sanders after she wouldn't give him free tickets to a home game, Marbury made one thing clear: "I didn't call her a black bitch. I called her a bitch."
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
In a poetic reflection of outsourcing’s new face, Wipro’s chairman, Azim Premji, told Wall Street analysts this year that he was considering hubs in Idaho and Virginia, in addition to Georgia, to take advantage of American “states which are less developed.” (India’s per capita income is less than $1,000 a year.)
My first night with a working iPhone led me to have a nightmare in which Dan got beaten up after fighting back against some thugs. Then while I was worrying about him, my iPhone, which was sitting in my car, got stolen, along with the car. For some reason in this dream, my iPhone worked as a car key as well. Then when I called the cops, they made that old "working in shifts" joke from Lebowski. And it all happened in San Francisco. Harrowing stuff.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I'm sitting down in the aisle seat when a "fratty" guy who has the window seat asks the woman in the middle seat to move up one row so his "crazy" buddy can sit there instead. "Trust me," he says to the woman in the seat in front of me, "you will not want to sit near him." I expect them to be drinking the whole flight, as rowdy as can be. What happens instead? They spend the whole flight quizzing each other on orthopedic surgery questions.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
You really learn to appreciate them when you re-join the workforce. Three recent examples:
1. Getting Firefox installed on my computer (thanks Tom). It has made almost every aspect of my job run more smoothly.
2. Getting a new mouse. I thought that my thumb was gonna fall off with the old one.
3. Having an amazing office with two big windows. I hope I get to stay. I haven't turned on the disgusting fluorescent lighting once before 7 PM...yet.
The angry mob of one has spoken! More content will come to this blog. It's not like I haven't been busy though. I've been working, seeing my old college roommate, buying an iPhone a day (it's a terrible habit)...and BRENNER! This weekend, the bloggers are off to the Deep South and will hopefully come back with some tales to tell.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Since Saturday, my mobile phone has been deteriorating like the photo of the McFly children in Back to the Future. So I am either going to have play an incredible version "Johnny B. Goode" for my parents in the 1970s ("Watch me for the changes and try to keep up") or get a new phone. It seems completely inexplicable at this point, but if I don't call you anymore, that's why. Especially if your name begins with any letter after "Rugby Dan."
Friday, September 07, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
If you have a chance this week, go see the The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz (it's mostly Jobim and Brazilian...not much Getz as far as I could tell) show at Dizzy's Club over at Columbus Circle. Joe Locke is particularly brilliant on the vibraphone. He plays with four mallets at once (two in each hand) and in my opinion he steals the show from some other very talented musicians.
Monday, August 13, 2007
“Walking speed absolutely reflects health status,” [Eleanor] Simonsick says. So when you irritatedly blow past a trio of ambling visitors from Ohio or Iowa on the subway platform, you’re not just being an obnoxious New Yorker. You’re demonstrating that you’re going to outlive them—and enjoy better health while they slowly degrade.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
The water Nazis at the New York Times are at it again with this piece about the guilt people now feel when drinking bottled water. If they really want us to drink less bottled water, how about installing more water fountains around the city (like in Rome)? I don't think that everyone should be expected to carry around a Nalgene all day. We're not on FOOT anymore.
And if Barry Eskandani is a connoisseur, I can't even imagine how the Times would describe Beneficent Allah.
Barry Eskandani, 31, an administrative assistant in San Francisco who considers himself a connoisseur of water brands, said that lately his fellow Bay Area residents act as if “you just killed their puppy” if you dare throw a bottle in the garbage.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
1. In the Summer of 2004, when I had a "perfect game" in Tecmo Super Bowl. By this I mean that I ran the ball 9 times with Barry Sanders for 450 yards and 9 touchdowns. I can't even tell you how nervous I was after 7 or 8 touchdowns. But I kept running until the game was over.
1a. This week, when I knocked out 8 cups on one turn of beer pong. Playing one-on-one, I got two balls in the same cup, which brought it down to 5 cups. Then I got two balls in different cups, bringing me down to 3 cups. So then I put two balls in the same cup again, leaving me having to hit the final cup to finish my glorious run. Nothing but PBR.
Yes, I need to get a job.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
There Are No Such Thing as Shark Attacks
There are these things called shark attacks, but there is no such thing as a shark attack. I have never seen a real shark attack.
I know you’re making a weird face as you’re reading this. OK people, a shark attack is not what we see on TV and what people portray it as.
We’re humans. We live on land.
Sharks live in water.
So if you’re swimming in the water and a shark bites you, that’s called trespassing. That is called trespassing. That is not a shark attack.
A shark attack is if you’re chilling at home, sitting on your couch, and a shark comes in and bites you; now that’s a shark attack. Now, if you’re chilling in the water, that is called invasion of space. So I have never heard of a shark attack.
When I see on the news where it’s like, “There have been 10 shark attacks,” I’m like, “Hey, for real?! They’re just running around? Sharks are walking now, huh! We live on the land, we don’t live underwater.”
Monday, August 06, 2007
This weekend I turned pro in Wii Tennis. I know some of you think I'm too old to just be reaching this level, but I had to pay my dues on the smaller circuits. It all started with an embarrassing defeat to Al in his first match, which was when I knew how hard my training would have to be. It's all paid off now, however, and I expect the endorsements to come flooding in. Hopefully some wrist strap companies will get involved, or maybe some grip specialists?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
The last shipment of Evian to the New York Times office must not have been cummy enough, because these guys have their panties up in a bunch about how ballers shouldn't ball no more and live like poor people and drink nothing but Poland Spring. That's what they mean by tap water, right?
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Everyone and his mother has had to deal with the problem of how to appropriately split the bill at a restaurant. Some people just divide everything evenly, while others look closely to see if they were charged extra or not for Diet Coke refills. But in the South (at least in South Carolina), they make all these issues moot: they just give each person a separate check. If you split an appetizer, it gets divided. If you got a drink, only you get charged for it. You can figure out exactly how much you owe.
So is this better for everyone? It takes a little bit more time for the waiters to sort out the bill (e.g. having to run 3 credit cards or make change for 2 people), but on the other hand it ends all those nasty arguments and is better at preventing people from shirking their payment responsibilities. Also, it leads to higher tips in general I would guess because people tend to round up on tips, and if 3 people round up, that's better for the waiter. This in turn would lead to slightly higher costs for each customer. But maybe it's worth it? Does anyone else have more considered thoughts? This is just my first impression.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I took my first ride on a new R160 subway train today. Unlike most of the new trains (which are on the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and L lines), this was an N train, a welcome sight for many riders I'm sure. Overall, I would give the cars high marks, as the FIND system is a good upgrade over the previous electronic maps. However, I would still say that I prefer the maps on the cars in Hong Kong.
Monday, July 23, 2007
A fun afternoon with the family on Friday, as we squared off in a game of Petanque (aka Boules) in Bryant Park. For the record, Dad and I won. Also, I came up with a marketing slogan if my Mom follows through on her idea to promote Petanque among women: You Don't Need Balls to Play Boules. These guys from La Boule New Yorkaise are nice enough to set up four courts every day (Monday-Friday from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM) for free. And unlike in France, where the old men are too intimidating to approach for a game, it's a little easier here. So if anyone wants to meet up with me and play during lunch time, let me know.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
This afternoon I discovered this wonderful Sunday street festival (all summer long) and ate myself silly for free while enjoying a great neighborhood atmosphere on Broome Street (between Orchard and Allen). My favorite part was interacting with Jeffrey, from Jeffrey's on Essex (a wonderful butcher shop normally in Essex Street Market). He is a 4th generation butcher, a first-rate New Yorker, and he knows his cuts of meat, even offering up things like rattlesnake and emu at the shop. On the street I got to try out a ton of nicely marinated Hanger steak, along with a delicious lamb chop. The pizza and bruschetta from Isabella's Oven were also nice. Check this place out if you have a chance over the rest of the summer. I know that I'll be back.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Huge news out of the Berger Cave (aka my bedroom)! After a ton of Ctrl+T, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Tab, and many other keyboard shortcut operations, Phase One of the restaurant guide re-design is complete. Please enjoy my new web site, www.eatrichly.com. The maps are the best part probably. Also, please give me comments about design, structure, typos, and all that. Suggestions for improvements are encouraged.
Phase Two will begin soon. After it is complete, each restaurant will have its own post on Eat Richly: The Blog. Phase Three will involve me correcting all my mistakes.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Last week, Beneficent Allah, ever the tastemaker, dropped this bit of aquatic knowledge on us, "I only drink Evian now. I've abandoned Fiji to the gays." Ever since then, my Gay-dar has been on high alert for signs of Feej. Now I hate to play the Isiah Washington role here, and we hardly have much evidence, but this photo that my crack staff of paparazzi snapped of Dan is highly suspicious...
Whatever happens, know that I love you unconditionally, bro.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sorry I haven't blogged for awhile. I've been busy with some stuff. There is some major blog news on the horizon (seriously), hopefully I will be able to post about it by early next week. In the meantime, I just played an extremely competitive game of Wii Tennis with my Mom. I won, but the game went to four deuces!
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Throughout my life, I've generally had a bit of a problem with getting places on time. I have been better about this in recent years, but I still make mistakes periodically. In the last couple of months though, as I have had numerous meetings and interviews, I have been playing things safe and have started showing up very early (15-20 minutes) for most of these events. If I'm supposed to meet someone at 11:00 AM, being there at 10:40 AM is sort of rude, right? But standing around outside and taking walks by myself until at least 10:50 AM feels sort of awkward too.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
People who worked at video stores used to be cool (see Tarantino, Quentin), but do these people know what they are involved in these days? Are they self-aware? Their stores must constantly be on the verge of going out of business. Video stores are dinosaurs that are being destroyed by the meteor that is Netflix. The most interesting question might be if these clerks have Netflix accounts. What do you think?
Monday, July 02, 2007
Yesterday afternoon, I was watching a 4-year-old have the time of her little life. It got me thinking about what she was thinking about. At that moment, her thoughts were probably simple but seemingly important to her. But, despite the fact that she is in her so-called formative years, she will remember NOTHING of it. However, I bet that she could type...so my thought is that when I have kids, I'm gonna get them blogging as soon as they can type. That way, by the time they are in college, they will have an unbelievable history of their thought processes as they grew up.
After a required romp through Flushing's Chinatown today, right before I got on the subway home, I noticed a restaurant selling Peking Duck through a window on the street. For 75 cents, I could get a little bun with a piece of duck, some scallions, and plum sauce. Naturally, I scooped up one of these tasty suckers right away. And it got me thinking that a cart with these would do dynamite business in midtown. Am I wrong dude?
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
In case you were not aware of it, the Dutch really are the most civilized people in the world. The case:
1. They finish compulsory education with good knowledge of four languages: Dutch, English, German, French.
2. They are the tallest people in the world.
3. They are very friendly.
4. They are completely accepting of soft drugs and run a highly regulated prostitution system. They give people what they want, but keep control of it.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
After a beautiful day in Amsterdam, the boys were almost home to their hotel when this happened:
Tall, drunken chach with a woman motions me to come over to talk to him.
TDC: You know what?
Me (nervously): Um...
TDC (pointing to the woman while both of them laugh): I AM GOING TO FUCK HER SO HARD TONIGHT!
Just what I needed at the end of the night.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
While eating some foie gras yesterday, I thought about a great innovation that has to be on the verge of hitting the French restaurant circuit: Foie Gras made tableside! You just forcefeed the goose (or duck) directly in front of the customer. And for a better tasting result, you make sure that the goose is eating foie gras himself. Then, when the customer tells you that the liver looks just fat enough, it's time to pop that sucker like a pimple.
Monday, June 11, 2007
The plane from Miami to Newark:
Girl sits by the window, I sit in the middle, Tom on the aisle. I just want to read my book. Tom initiates conversation with the girl so we can splay some popcorn. She gushes about her trip to Bolivia and Peru to both of us, there's a lull, and Tom puts on his noise-cancelling earphones and leaves me to chat for about 30 minutes with her. Fast-forward to the end of the flight. She wants to make her 8 PM flight, but we just landed at 7:50 PM. There's no chance she'll make it, but she asks to get off the plane first. Tom reluctantly gets up to let her out, she says, "Have a great time in Paris guys!" Tom responds, "Yeah, whatever."
Tom and I are walking by an airport exchange place as a guy changes his money.
Tom (very loudly): 66 cents per Euro?! What kind of idiot would change money at this place? COME ON!
Internet is harder to find in Miami than it is in China. Sorry (to both of you) for the lack of updates. A couple quick hitters:
-There is a drink called a Miami Vice (strawberry daiquiri mixed with pina colada). Drop a shot of 151 on that shit and it's a Miami Express...because it gets you there faster.
-I highly recommend driving in Miami while listening to DJ Tiesto.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Six years ago, Dan and I went to Miami and we were obsessed with Will Smith's "Miami." The whole plane ride down we were singing "Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami" and so on. It was super cool.
Now that we're going back this weekend, we've got a new theme song in mind, and we are gonna blast that shit from Tom's car. Every day we gonna be Hustlin'.
Monday, June 04, 2007
A 3rd place finish in a WSOP event. Could have been more...but you can't win 'em all. The bust:
Alex Jacob Eliminated in
On the next hand O’Leary limped and Jacob checked his option. O’Leary checked in the dark and the flop was dealt A42. Jacob bet $150,000 and “Big C” raised to $600,000. The K was dealt on the turn and O’Leary went to his favorite move, the all-in push. Jacob went into the tank, while O’Leary once again paced the stage. This time he made ample use of every square inch available. He ended up over by the media table at one point. Jacob finally made the call and O’Leary flipped over pocket sevens. Jacob looked livid when he turned over 94. Jacob’s visual anger increased as the 6 was peeled off the deck on the river. O’Leary, who had gone into hiding during this process, appeared stage right. He walked over to congratulate Jacob on his third place finish. Jacob will take home $282,367 in prize money.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
It's the moment I've been waiting for: I finally have Man vs. Beast on my DVR. I found out about the Fox Reality Channel nearly a year ago, but I basically forgot about it until I was sitting at my computer and my wonderful brother called me from his bedroom this afternoon (don't worry, he's in my Fave 5). Man vs. Beast was just starting, and Man vs. Beast 2 would be on later this week. My prayers had been answered. If you're nice to me, perhaps you can come over and watch the episodes...
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
...what happens when a truck that is 6 inches too tall enters a tunnel, wonder no more. Pretty weird that the driver didn't stop.
Courtesy of Gothamist.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wow. Forget about Iverson, LeBron is the Answer to every question. That was the best basketball performance I've ever seen. My favorite thing about it was that every Cleveland possession in the 4th quarter and the overtimes involved LeBron getting the ball at the top of the key and everyone else on the Cavs just getting out of his way. The rest of the Cavs looked they were rec league players who were absolutely TERRIFIED to touch the ball. And then LeBron beat double teams, triple teams, and quadruple teams to drive for dunks, knock down fallaway jumpers, and do whatever else was necessary. Just remarkable.
And now he's sitting at a podium answering questions with pat answers for fat sportswriters in a boring monotone. He should be taunting AG and MJ or something. Sorry guys.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
As soon as Armando Benitez entered the game, I started booing strongly. But then it dawned on me that maybe I should cheer...Benitez was probably the Mets' best chance to come back. And come back they did. Reyes terrorized Benitez into two balks. Delgado took advantage of the fact that Benitez was rattled, and he jacked one over the right-field fence. One of the most exciting Mets games that I have been to in a long while.
-Tim Lincecum is the real deal. He was throwing in the high 90s effortlessly for 7 innings. And, oh yeah, he's got a dominant curveball too.
-The booing of Bonds was incredible. Just entering the on-deck circle, it was non-stop. And then when he was on base, nothing but chants directed at him. That's gotta grate on a man.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Have you ever been craving a croissant on 106th Street before? Have you ever been on 106th Street (on the East Side) before? If you're like most of my readers (and me once upon a time), you probably answered "no" to both questions (unless you count the school bus to Randall's Island or the car ride to Connecticut). But good news dear readers, you now have a reason to make the trek, because you've gotta check out Samba Bakery. Chef Youssef Samba, who learned his craft under one of the top pastry chefs in all of France, uses nothing but the best ingredients so that his customers eat nothing but the best pastries. The French Brownie that I had was soft and rich, not to mention delicious.
So hop on the subway (or get an event catered) and find out what you've been missing. I can't wait to try the Pain au Chocolat. Also, you can sample some great Mexican food at the taqueria two doors down. And finally, if you're lucky, Lucy (of Death/Media fame) will be working at the bakery that day and maybe she can tell you what is looking particularly fresh.
Samba Bakery is located at 165 East 106th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues).
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
I was in a store on Bleecker Street last night when I finally spotted a pair of sunglasses that weren't too wide for my skinny face. There was no price tag, so I assumed that they were negotiable. Furthermore, I took into account the fact that the store was in the process of closing. I figured that bought me another couple of dollars off the price.
Me: How much for the shades?
Store Clerk: $10.
Me (brief pause): How about $5?
Store Clerk: $8.
Me (pause, put down shades, start walking out): Sorry man, I can only do them for $5.
And he let me walk out! This NEVER would have happened in China. Ever. I guess that I've learned my lesson. Next time I should start with a lower initial offer...
...me putting my foot in my mouth in a couple weeks, but the winner of the Eastern Conference has a better chance of drafting Greg Oden than of winning the NBA title. The Cavs probably should have won both of the first two ugly games in this series and tonight's non-call on Rip Hamilton against LeBron was simply pathetic (that said, Larry Hughes should have hit the follow up). I mean, Hamilton fouled him in every way except for giving him a shove to the floor. What an embarrassing display by the officials. There is no doubt that Michael Jordan (or Dwyane Wade) would have gotten that call...correctly. Furthermore, if Detroit can barely beat the Cavs, what hope do they have against San Antonio? None.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
A frustrating Champions League final. Milan 2-Liverpool 1. Liverpool were clearly the better team on this day, but poor finishing and poor crosses did them in. They have no one to blame but themselves. It was still an impressive Champions League campaign, but it should have ended in glory. A few remarks (if you don't follow this stuff, you can probably stop reading):
1. What the hell was Bolo Zenden doing on the pitch? At all. Let alone for 60 minutes. He was absolutely awful and definitely cost Liverpool a few good chances at goal. Zenden was coming bak for injury and has been terrible all season. Rafa Benitez is normally an astute team selector, but this was simply inexplicable.
2. Wasn't Inzaghi's first goal a hand ball? Maybe I'm wrong on the rules, but I'm not wrong in saying that he clearly redirected the ball into the net with his arm. Shouldn't someone have at least explained this?
3. It was nice to see Jermaine Pennant with acres of space on the right side throughout the first half, but there were two problems: he kept on putting in bad crosses; and he had no one to cross to...which leads to:
4. Where was Peter Crouch? I suppose I can understand excluding him from the starting lineup and seeing how the game goes, but once Liverpool were down and Zenden was clearly useless and Pennant had run out of ideas, how could Benitez not have brought Crouch on earlier? He waited until the 78th minute! I was simply shocked. Crouch may be ungainly at times, but he is always valuable on set pieces and he was clearly a much greater goal threat than almost everyone else on the pitch.
5. Javier Mascherano was fantastic. So was Daniel Agger. The problem (as has been the case many times in recent years) was that Liverpool simply have major trouble scoring goals. Their defense is generally excellent, but they desperately need to sign a top-class striker this summer.
That is all for now.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
First, check out a response to the AKS editorial (make sure to read the AKS response to the response in the comments).
Then, take a trip down memory lane with a look at the mother of all campaign web sites, as AKS makes his first promise to "fight for you, the students" at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School. Make sure to read each link on the sidebar or you might miss:
Other Reasons To Contact Me
You can also e-mail me to tell me that you would like to join my Campaign Committee, be in or help produce a television campaign commercial, or help put up campaign posters. If you do, I'll be your best friend (in the Student Council).
Note the e-mail address: email@example.com. And he was doing television commercials?
A huge tip of my hat to Dan for finding this stuff...and a strong wag of my finger at the rest of you for not coming up with anything.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
He's back in a big way. Apparently there's been some serious controversy over a law school election down at William and Mary. AKS has been disobeying election rules I believe...Here's what AKS had to say about the "Dishonest Honor Council" fiasco (make sure to read the comments). And more importantly, check out this campaign video of AKS "raising the bar":
Huge tip of the hat to Lester on this one.
And for more information, don't forget to check out AKS's personal web site.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It's been said before and it will be said again: The Wire is a brilliant television show. I just finished watching season 1 and I feel fortunate to know that I will get to watch the next three seasons as quickly as Netflix can send them to me.
In my mind, the one thing that most sets The Wire apart from other cop shows is that it's not really a cop show, it's more. It's a drama about the city of Baltimore (and the decaying urban ghettos of America) that uses the struggle between cops and criminals to tell its story (I feel like series creator David Simon (who also created the brilliant show Homicide) might have said something to this effect in the audio commentary...). The Wire is unique (as far as I know) in that rather than just giving the viewer an in-depth look at police work, it gives the viewer an in-depth look at the drug scene in the projects. You see how both sides think and you come away understanding the whole situation in a lot more detail. You see numerous parallels in both the hierarchies and the types of people involved on the police side and the drug side. And best of all, the whole show feels incredibly authentic. The street slang is there, the cop slang is there, and the gritty Baltimore streets and projects are there.
Furthermore, the characters on both sides are incredibly compelling. Each episode ends with you dying to know more about them. But as this is a television show, this is also a function of the fantastic acting and writing of course. Most of the performances are wonderful, with Dominic West (Jimmy McNulty), Larry Gilliard Jr. (D'Angelo Barksdale), Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs), Michael K. Williams (Omar), Andre Royo (Bubs), and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) really standing out in my mind (Fine, everyone's amazing). In addition to the acting and writing, I love the music, both in the opening and closing credits. I dare you to listen to "Way Down in the Hole" just once.
Basically what I'm saying is that you have to watch The Wire. Now. I can't believe that I waited so long.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
It appears that Fusion Crepes is no longer in business. On the plus side, their awning is still out there...
Fusion Crepes [125 Bowery (at Grand St.) 212-966-2266]
It's a crepe stand with an Asian twist...and funny names for most of the crepes. All the usuals are there, but if you're in the mood for a meal, I strongly recommend the savory Duck crepe. It consists of roast duck, scallions, sliced cucumber, and oyster sauce. It is essentially like Peking Duck. It is delicious and it costs $5.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The Bergers (and Haines) were at it again this Saturday for another round of family fun and adventure. The setting this time was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the occasion was a night of "Murder at the Met." Seemingly inspired by The Da Vinci Code, the purpose of this hunt was to find out who murdered the assistant curator of the Met (the night before the unveiling of a new $45 million Rembrandt painting) and why. There were 24 clues hidden around the museum in different galleries. A typical clue would tell you which gallery to go and then hint at what piece of art to examine. The rest was up to you. We had two hours.
At 5:45 PM we set off from the Great Hall to hunt down the answer to our first clue (#22). At 6:05 PM we were finally convinced that every possible route to our destination was closed (which was true), so after my mom considered asking for a refund, we decided to start from the beginning with clue #1. About three clues in, I began to get pretty competitive, as is my wont. So in each gallery, after I figured out where to look for the clue, I would move away from that piece of art as quickly as possible so that if another team walked by, they wouldn't know where to look right away. I got my parents involved in this as well and one time I had to scold my mother for looking at the back of a statue where a clue was hidden. Pathetic, I know. I can't imagine what the regular museum visitors were thinking.
Anyway, in spite of our initial 20 minute detour, we managed to find the answers to every clue that wasn't in a closed gallery and solve the case with time to spare. When it came time to reveal the answers, we knew that we were in with a perfect score. But was anyone else? Yes.
Two other teams also scored the maximum, so it was down to a tiebreaker. In what year was the board game Clue originally published? Whichever team was closest to the correct year would be the winner. Luckily my dad remembered seeing the game as a child, so we had a good ballpark estimate right away. After a little deliberation we guessed 1949. The other teams guessed 1958 and 1971. And the answer was.....1948 (my dad's original guess)!
I had finally realized my lifelong dream of winning a scavenger hunt with my parents:
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Another one bites the dust. Luckily this was not one of my better reviews, so I am not too sad to see it go...
Shaan [57 W. 48th St. (bet. 5th and 6th Aves.) 212-977-8400]
This high-quality midtown joint is tasty and authentic. Guaranteed to fill you up while not lightening your wallet too much, I would recommend the Lamb Pasanda.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
No, I'm not talking about smelling like Provolone Cheese. Here's a nice article from New York magazine on what happens when a regular guy suddenly becomes famous. New York has really had a renaissance in the past year or two, coming up with stories that people (like me) really want to read. I would say that there is at least one (often two or three) compelling feature-length piece every week. And most importantly, the articles focus on New York-centric topics like the "High Line" or the extent of gentrification as the L train meanders through Brooklyn. This is stuff that you don't really find elsewhere.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I never posted anything about this wonderful event back in March. So here goes:
Quote of the night (from Finnegan): "If you are not lifting, you might as well be dead."
Go here to see pictures.
The plan is to have another party in July with some new blood even. Sound good?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
After the flood of comments from when I posted a preview to my pictures, I'm afraid that I might crash Google's servers this time, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Here, finally, is a photographic recap of my trip to China. Don't worry, there are less than 500 pictures up there.
Monday, May 07, 2007
I just got out of Spider-Man 3 with my good buddy George W. Bush. He loved that shit:
George: Hey Rich, you got a phone number for that Sandman guy?
Me: He's just a character George, he doesn't really exist.
George: Well I don't care what he is, we need to get him out to Iraq pronto. With the infinite sand out there, he'll be unstoppable.
(As discussed with Dan.)
(Am I the only one who often types "Iraw" instead of "Iraq"?...I think not)
Friday, May 04, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
The boys and I took in a taping of The Colbert Report this afternoon and we had a blast. Check out the outside of the studio:
Colbert was brilliant as usual, blah blah blah. He is simply a masterful comic performer of both scripted and improvised material. However, as fun as it was to finally see the show in person after so many episodes on TV, it was nothing quite like the warm-up act. If you've ever been to the taping of a television show, you know what these guys are like. If not, the guy's basic shtick (although apparently he was not the normal guy here) was to take the most obvious attribute of an audience member (e.g. being black) and use that to "comic" effect. Here's an actual example:
Warm-up Guy: Oh, look, I finally got the black girl to laugh. What's your name honey?
"Black Girl" (she was actually South Asian): I'm not a black girl!
Warm-up Guy: What is that, a rap name?
He later moved onto more "Jewy" targets...meaning us. It all started when Tom refused to clap for the umpteenth time when we were asked if we were "ready for more show."
Warm-up Guy (looking at Tom): Hey, you up there, Cory from Boy Meets World, what's the deal? Clap it up a bit.
(Tom feigns indifference)
Warm-up Guy: What's your name? What do you do for a living?
Tom (with no energy): Tom. I work in IT.
Warm-up Guy: Oooh, Information Technology, your parents must be very proud of you. Are you always so subdued? And what about your friends over there? Smiley (that was me) on your left can't seem to close his mouth for a second, and that kid in the glasses...stand up for a minute (Dan stands). Look everybody, we've got Jeff Goldblum here. What do you do?
Dan: I'm Dan and I'm a paralegal.
Warm-up Guy: Looks like we got a cripple over here, eh guys? (One or two laughs) Come on, that's a great joke! Paralegal sounds like paraplegic...
For the rest of the time until the show (at least 10 minutes), Warm-up Guy would reference Tom every third joke. "Hey Tom, is that good enough for you? You wanna crack a smile this time?" This culminated in him naming our row the "Bored Tom who doesn't laugh row," a quip that got a laugh out of Tom. I'm thinking of inviting the guy to the next Bloggers Party.
(As a side note, he also said something about everyone in our row being bald because one man actually was...BA, you are the expert, Dan, Tom, and I are ok, right??)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Jessica Alba has perfect face and is stunningly beautiful, but she smells bad. Also, her teeth are too white and her hair color is too close to being poop brown.
Check out this article for some information on Chinese actresses who you might THINK are beautiful, but CCTV knows better.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The family and I went to the see the Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden today:
Don't they look beautiful?! After spending many hours in the Garden, we then walked around Park Slope, had an early dinner and drove over to Brooklyn Heights, where we walked around some more. It was sooo cute. If you have read this far, you deserve a real picture of all of us:
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
It has been suggested that I add a rating system to my restaurant guide. Is this a good idea? Probably...but it would also be a lot of work for me, so here's how it might work. Five categories: 1. Food Quality, 2. Decor, 3. Quality of Service, 4. Value, 5. Approximate Price. Each of the first four categories would be scored from 1 to 10.
10 = A special treat. As close to perfection as possible.
8-9 = Excellent. A place that you always feel up to eating at.
6-7 = Very good. You're happy to eat here, but you know you could do a little better.
4-5 = Serviceable. You would eat here, but not be that happy about it.
1-3 = Very bad. You do not want to eat here.
These are just some ideas I have. I would love reader feedback and I have not committed yet to anything that I have written here.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
"Chicken Lo Mein no vegetables with Egg Drop Soup please."
That was my (boring) order for lunch a couple of days ago at a Chinese restaurant near my house. And before I had broken my chopsticks, a bowl of piping-hot Egg Drop Soup was sitting directly in front of me. Wonderful. But wait, before I could take a second spoonful, a plate of steaming Chicken Lo Mein was sitting right behind my soup. A little troubling. Now I couldn't believe it, as I was half-way done with the soup, I saw the check (with fortune cookie) on the table just beyond my reach. Efficient yes, but proper?
On the plus side, of course, it reminded me of what eating at a restaurant had been like in China! Believe it or not, this experience was a step up in some ways (they left me alone once everything had arrived; on the other hand the food was far worse). Here's a list of some typical experiences/observations:
1. Sit down at a table and get handed a book-like (20 pages) menu. Hope that there are pictures. Have waiter hover over you while you look through every page and debate different options with your friends or yourself. This may take up to five minutes, but the waiter will NOT move. Order.
2. Whichever dish is ready first will come out first. At one (delicious) Peking Duck restaurant, we ordered something like two ducks, two other meat dishes, three vegetable dishes, and one dessert plate. What do you think came first? But if this happens, just tell them to put the dessert aside and they will leave the plate on the bar behind you so you can keep a close eye on it throughout your meal.
3. When it's time to pay, it's really time to pay. Because when that waiter comes over with the check, he's not going anywhere until it's all paid up. There's no leaving the money and saying "xiexie" on your way out the door. And yes, he will wait for you to discuss exactly how to split the check for as long as it takes. And no, he will not receive a tip.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
My main man Nostra recently bought me a wonderful birthday present: he made Not About Marquis Grissom the official sponsor of Marquis Grissom's Baseball-Reference page. And even more recently, five different people visited my blog because of this. Good stuff.
Someone also stumbled on Marquis when searching for the phrase "husband looking for internet porn"...I was proud to be the first result, but I just wish that I could have been of more help to the poor wife who is clearly worried about her husband spending too much time alone in the computer room at 3 AM. Although I suppose if she clicked on my link instead of the one right below it that might actually have been relevant, she might not be so hard up after all.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Some of you might be interested to know which American brands are big in China. From what I saw, Starbucks is EVERYWHERE. It's almost as widespread in China as it is in America. And of course McDonald's is huge. But the big chain that surprised me most with its overwhelming presence was KFC. It was omnipresent. The Colonel must have Chinese citizenship by this point.
But I don't understand why people would go there for fried chicken, when they could just as easily head out on the streets of Shanghai and get some fresh chicken.
Posted by Rich at 7:53 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2007
One day in Shanghai was completely rainy and miserable, so I decided to try and go to the movies. My options were limited to some Chinese movies that I never heard of, a British movie that I never heard of, and Babel. So after thinking about it for a few minutes, and figuring out that Babel was being shown in its original version, I decided to give it a try. I asked for one ticket...
Ticket Woman: Just so you know, the subtitles are only in Chinese.
Me: Um, ok...isn't this movie in English?
(Which is when I remembered that a lot Babel is in Spanish and Japanese!)
Ticket Woman: Parts of it are not, and there will not be English subtitles.
At this point I thanked her profusely for saving me from sitting in a movie theater in Shanghai for over 2 hours watching people speak Japanese in an American movie with me just hoping that they were saying "North south east west big person gate heaven sea capital central country" so that I could have a chance of understanding anything.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
For better or worse, there is excellent mobile phone service on all of the subway systems in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Do you guys think that this would be a good thing to have in New York? I guess it probably would be...although I often like the idea that I am unreachable in the subway...(I know that I could always turn my phone off, but if service is available, people always expect to be able to reach you)
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
After my long sojourn to the Middle Kingdom, I have returned to New York. I had a great time over there and much thanks to all the people who gave me such warm hospitality during my journey, especially Connie, Nick A., Nick Z., and Lu.
Fittingly, my last night in Hong Kong, Nick Z. and I went to a Chinese sauna (they have some of the hottest saunas and steam rooms around, almost on a par with the Russians...) and got massages, a relaxing way to wrap things up.
Also, you all can finally see Lu, among other things, as there are now pictures up for all previous China posts.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Stonegrill that is. It's a slab of black rock heated to 400 degrees and brought to your table so that you can cook your own steak (and the name of a chain of Hong Kong steakhouses). If it sounds like Korean BBQ, well...that's because it's sort of pretty similar...BUT this is for American-style steak, chicken, and fish dishes, so it is different. Furthermore, everything is personalized, because each person gets his own grill. Which leads me to the Killer App of The Stonegrill: Every bite of steak that you eat will be cooked freshly, EXACTLY to your liking. This is especially critical for someone like me who eats slowly. My final piece of steak is almost never as good as the earlier pieces because it has been sitting out for so long. But here, I can cook it for the first time even though it's the final piece!
Basically, the concept is simple. You start out with a piece of meat on the grill. You cook it a little bit and take it off the grill. Then you cut it up and put it back on piece by piece to cook it and eat it. And of course, crucially, they serve good meat here as well. My piece had enough natural flavors that I didn't even put any sauce on it (and that was a lower-end cut of meat).
All in all, a place definitely worth a visit, especially for the HK$98 lunch set special.
Monday, April 09, 2007
In my opinion, the only thing that Macau and Las Vegas have in common is a lot of casinos. Las Vegas is a place to visit in order to gamble, party, and pretend that any printed money that you don't spend will be taken away from you when you leave. Macau is actually a city, and a fascinating one at that. Depending on where you are, you can feel like you are in Europe (at the beautiful Largo do Senado), China (most of the narrow alleys and apartment buildings), or Las Vegas (inside any casino). And amazingly all of these different parts of Macau are extremely close to each other. So there's plenty to do besides gamble, but of course I have to admit that one of the big reasons I came to Macau was to gamble...or at least to survey the gambling scene.
At this moment, the Wynn Macau is by far the class of the casino field. The recently opened Grand Lisboa has potential (although they might want to fix their blackjack tables that say "Delaer must hit on 16..."), but until all of the construction is done, it will be hard to judge it completely. The Grand Lisboa is looking to replace its neighbor and predecessor, the Casino Lisboa, which has seen better days interior-wise. Meanwhile, construction is continuing on other mega-casinos as well, including an MGM Grand Macau and a Venetian Macau. Obviously these will significantly change the scene, as will the inevitable introduction of poker (and I don't mean Caribbean Stud). Right now, the massively dominant table game is Baccarat. Maybe the Chinese really like James Bond? People also play a decent amount of Sic Bo. I played both those games, but mostly stuck to boring old Blackjack.
The casinos are all situated in an area right on the water, and the big three right now are all very close together (the Sands is actually probably up there as well, but it's a little farther away from the central axis). No 30-minute walks from one casino to the next through massive parking lots like in Las Vegas. The other casinos are of varying quality and mostly resemble those in downtown Las Vegas. Amazingly, one of these that I went into had a "massage" parlor inside! And this wasn't even a really low-level one...
On the whole, I'd like to visit Macau again more as a tourist (especially to see the other islands, Taipa and Coloane) than as a gambler right now, but the simple addition of poker rooms would change my tune. Seeing as Macau has already passed Las Vegas in gambling revenues, it appears as if the sky's the limit...although I hope that they manage to maintain some of the local flavor in the transition from regional gambling hub to worldwide destination.
For the record: After going down big early, I rallied to finish up $150 Hong Kong dollars, which is a shade under $20 U.S.