Jan 31, 2014

the frozen north

a densely packed visit to nyc. while standing up, i discovered that entry-level dönnhoff, unfortunately, is not the dönnhoff worth drinking—for that, only the expensive dönnhoff will do. early on the morning of the second day, a damp flake fell from the grey wool sky, shortly followed by many of its little moist pals. much-loved, well-worn chuck taylors are not suitable footwear for crusty slush. a real-estate/seafood preservation magnate presented me a rare copy of a nyc-themed board game of his design in which players must perform a simulated mugging in order to win. or something like that. some empirical research conducted in the field indicated that caesar salad, veal parmesan, citrus-marinated rutabaga, and tarentaise with corn purée may all be appropriate foods for quiet and snowy days and nights. the next day, every acela express train was canceled, but i whined my way aboard an ice-encrusted northeast regional—which anyway has better seats—that eventually deposited me in boston. when i finally made it to cambridge, i was relieved to find it drier and colder, and with better mugs.

Jan 13, 2014

las vegas, week 2

this city perplexes, surprises.

the strip is filled with people trying energetically to convince themselves that they're having fun. downtown has more pawnshops and bail bond brokers than it has grocery stores. everything you want to go to is at least a 10-minute drive away. there is a pervasive belief in the virtues of excess.

on the other hand: its winter weather—crisp air, bright sun—is hard to beat. the low-angled evening light on the northern hills is a spectacle. west spring mountain road, particularly between south decatur and hauck, is filled with chefs with singular ideas and precise execution. in the "stab-and-rape district" (not my words), between a wedding chapel that has seen better days and a shop selling "turquoise," is a gelato shop that would hold its own in any city.

Jan 4, 2014

cambridge, ma

with appropriate reading material. outside, it is 1°F (-17°C).