Saturday, September 12, 2009


I figured it would be interesting to be in New York on 9/11, and it was. Basically the city is back to normal, except for the area right around Ground Zero. They read the names of the victims, there was singing outside the church, and there were people aggressively handing out conspiracy theory literature. There was a great article on the front page of today's NY Times, available here.

Meanwhile, 9/11/2009 will live in infamy because Derek Jeter apparently did something important! Woo hoo! (There's something about Yankees records that's not all that exciting to me.)

I'm lovin New York this time around. Before I'd just been in Manhattan and Queens, and usually under some sort of time crunch. Lounging around, going to some conference events (I'm at Lavender Law with friends from school.) The subway and the people watching are great -- and so's the fact that I can get big meals from trucks for 3 bucks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This is about right

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blue! Green! Pineapple!

This has got to be the best invention ever: Giant gummy bear! On a stick!

Forget those ads saying you would have to eat FOUR (or was it six?) boxes of Raisin Bran to get the same vitamins in a box of Total. You would have to eat EIGHTY-EIGHT gummy bears to get the same uh ... gumminess ... as in one giant gummy bear. Americans rejoice!

My only question -- did green become a flavor, or did pineapple become a color? (I know from experience with Boone's Farm that "blue" has long been a flavor. Although apparently a different one than the blue bear is.) Orange, meanwhile, has always been tricky with its double meanings.

If one/eighty-eight isn't enough, the site includes a special note: "P.S. The cost to ship two Giant Gummy Bears is about the same as shipping one." Now that's thinking ahead.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mr. Justice Robot

I'll admit I haven't been following the Sotomayor nomination as much as I should be. The quick overview:
• I found her life story, at least what was in a lengthy feature in the NY Times a while ago, to be compelling. Based on that alone, I like and respect her personally -- again, with very limited information.
• I think she'll be a fine Justice, and imagine Justice Ginsberg will be very happy to have another "Ms. Justice."
• I'm almost embarrassed to say I haven't read a single one of her opinions -- a relative rarity for me. (Haven't been up to it this summer!)

Regardless of how much I know about her, this always rings true: I HATE the constitutionally necessary evil of mixing politics with judging. And this article, from the National Law Journal, nicely sums up why. Enjoy!
Judging is both robotic and discretionary (for the record, I like my title better)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some more on coffee

Since I haven't had any Starbucks in 3.5 days (a record! I think), here's a list of the places I've been killing time lately:

Chocolati on Greenwood: great espresso and truffles, good neighborhood place to hang out. Not much of a food selection beyond the dessert extravaganza.

Cloud City on Roosevelt: great espresso and lots of yummy yummy food across the board (snacks, breakfast, lunch, desserts). Can be uncomfortably crowded.

60th St Desserts on Sand Point: the dessert case will make you want to eat for days - try the farmhouse cookie, lemon bar or other fruity concoctions. Don't remember if I've had the coffee there, but it serves Caffe Umbria, which is yummy. I used to drink it at school. Tiny seating area and only one outdoor table, but usually not crowded. Oh, and it's NOT located at 60th, despite the name. When it stopped being all wholesale, it moved to 7401 Sand Point. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Victrola on 15th: great espresso, sometimes more food than others. Better for people-watching than concentrating (working, studying). Parking can be a pain.

Cafe Ladro (various - mostly lower and upper Queen Anne): not crazy about their espresso, which is rich (good) but not as smooth (bad) as some others. But a convenient place to hang out with free wi-fi that works most of the time. Good quiche and apple pie.

Places I want to try:

Vivace at its new(ish) location! (Now at 532 Broadway - by Jefferson and Minor.) I was very sad when everything good about Broadway (Piroshky, smoke shop, book store, Vivace) was razed to make way for a crappy new light rail station. Piroshky and Twice Sold Tales both moved to locations I'm not crazy about. I'm curious to see how Vivace made out. I loved the old building.

• The aforementioned Caffe Umbria: I don't generally like Pioneer Square, but am interested to see what this place looks like. Since its caffeine surges got me through 2 years at Trinity all the way out in Hartford, CT.

Crepe-happy (Seattle)

Since re-arriving on the Seattle scene for the summer, I've generally been riding the poverty circuit -- thus haven't been going out as much as I'd like. Luckily, I was able to try a couple new(ish) breakfast joints, plus one that was new to me, and was most satisfied all around.

Here's the place I went to today -- Anita's Crepes -- and a rundown of some frenchy things in general.

Anita's Crepes, which reportedly also has a stand at the Ballard farmer's market, is a cute little place in a decidedly uncute part of town. Props to them: thanks in part to the flowers by the sidewalk, the neat little bistro feel managed to survive, even with my outdoor table's unobstructed view of dusty train tracks and the hulking gray facade of Fred Meyer across the street. Impressive.

On to the food. They have Caffe Vita coffee and excellent bacon -- off to a great start. As for the crepe, not what I was expecting. I discovered my love for crepes at a sidewalk shop in Vancouver, B.C., and those are the crepes I measure all others by: tasty, cheesy, piping hot handheld goodness with no frills and no plate. (I've found two other places that do that exceedingly well: the one at the ferry dock in Kingston, WA and Crepe Express in the Haight in San Francisco.) Anita's was not that. With the fancy plating and pile of miscellaneous stuff, it reminded me immediately of the tasteless, incohesive disaster I was served at the Crepevine in Berkeley. Thankfully, Anita's wasn't that either.

First, the service was great. The chef came out to confess she had forgotten to add the fresh mozzarella I requested, just as I was busily trying to pick out the arugula (which wasn't a listed ingredient on the menu). She quickly remade the whole thing, at her suggestion -- and the result was a great pile of egg, fresh mozz and lots of a tasty French gruyere (comte, I think), with the arugula salad on the side where it belongs, and the tasty tasty bacon also on the side as I prefer it. At the end, I was happy and stuffed, for about 10 bucks. Hooray!

End result: go there, but if you're picky (like me), be clear about exactly what you want. Then eat happy. (I should note that it wasn't busy when I went, at about 11:30 this (Monday) morning. This may not work quite as well if they're packed.)

Anita's Crêpes on Urbanspoon

And while I'm talking about French stuff, if you want sinful buttery French pastries, run now to Le Panier. Prepare to wait in line. For best results, get several of the a la suisse and its other little puff pastry cousins. (However, I don't dig the one with tomato filling -- tasted oddly like a pizza stick -- or the potato-filled one.) My favorites are the ones with broccoli, asparagus, and especially swiss cheese. Mmm, fatty heaven!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coffee and lutefisk: together at last!

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm going out of my way not to give Starbucks any money. Mostly because the info contained in this article was kind of the last straw. They won't let anyone take pictures in their stores for fear of spying competitors, but they've had folks from corporate spying on local shops -- without buying anything -- in order to create a competing "authentic coffeehouse" or whatever. I'm all about big corporations, but not so much into blatant hypocrisy.

There's no better place to try to wean off of Starbucks than in Seattle, where a lot of places have coffee that tastes way better anyway.

In other news, I'm pleased to announce I'll be attending (NOT participating in) the lutefisk eating contest at the annual Ballard Seafood Fest next weekend. Jealous? You should be. I was afraid I had missed it.