A long, but interesting and informative article from Vanity Fair: If You Knew Sushi (June 2007)
In it, Nick Tosches tells you lots about Tokyo's Tsukiji Market as the global clearing house for tuna, how sushi gradually gains acceptance amongst (the more health conscious) Americans, and much more.
Kabuki opened in downtown New York in early 1961. "Not all of the dishes at the Kabuki will appeal to American palates. Count among these sashimi, or raw fish," wrote Craig Claiborne in the Times. Nippon, with its sushi bar, opened in Midtown Manhattan in 1963, the year that Ronald McDonald entered the world through the McMiracle of parthenogenesis. "New Yorkers seem to take to the raw fish dishes, sashimi and sushi, with almost the same enthusiasm they display for tempura and sukiyaki," wrote Claiborne. But McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwich, introduced in 1964, was the real vanguard of fish-eating in America.
In July 1971, McDonald's came to Japan, opening in the Ginza Mitsukoshi department store, in Tokyo. It was the summer before that first New England tuna to be auctioned at Tsukiji made its transoceanic journey.
The ascent of sushi's popularity in urban America in the years 1972 to 1982 was phenomenal, as was its ascent throughout the rest of the country in the decades that followed. This ascent reached its peak on January 1, 2004, when a place called Tiger Sushi opened at the Mall of America, in Minnesota. Since then, like the ruler of two domains, sushi has reigned as America's new favorite fast food and favorite slow food as well, and its imperium is extending to Europe and beyond.
Both this and a recent article by 蔡瀾 in Next Magazine (壹週刊) state clearly that salmon is not supposed to be eaten raw, since "its movement between freshwater and salt water renders it the host to many parasites". However, many sushi/sashimi eateries, especially those outside of Japan at cheap-eat places, sell raw salmon as delicacy. Beware!
PHILADELPHIA: Mayor John F. Street abruptly ended his wait in line for an iPhone Friday after a passer-by asked him about the city's murder rate.
Street, who showed up outside an AT&T store at 3:30 a.m., left shortly after 22-year-old Larry West asked him, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?"
Street told him: "I'm doing my job."
Street had planned to stay in line for most of the day, waiting for Apple Inc.'s iPhone to go on sale at 6 p.m. When he left at 11:30 a.m., Street said he planned to return to his spot.
West returned later in the day to protest Street's actions — only to find the mayor still had not returned.
"In this climate, at this time in this city, you shouldn't be waiting in line for a phone," West said.
Before the encounter with West, the mayor said he wants the new device because he loves trying out the latest technology. Apple's new handheld would allow him to work some of the day outside the office, he said.
"We don't have to be sitting in City Hall to be conducting city business," he said.
Philadelphia recently had its 200th slaying of the year. Its murder rate is up from last year, the deadliest in nearly a decade.
Only in America, indeed. I mean, do you expect a Chinese mayor to have to personally queue for a fashionable gadget? You must be joking!
* "Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?" So begins Laura Kipnis's profoundly provocative and waggish inquiry into our never ending quest for lasting love and its attendant issues of fidelity and betrayal. ...
首先，這部書開首第一句並不是"Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?"，而是一通「解說」，說明為何要against love，為何要寫一部polemic來「反愛」。這已是polemic的大忌。接著，是個何謂adultery的「前言」。
到了第一章，亦即以"Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?"這種戰鬥格提問開首的一章，虎頭蛇尾，提問之後，隨即轉入「married」、「coupledom」等名詞的解說和規範，再後就是引經據典，從Freud、Marx、Weber、到Frankfurt School諸公，全都粉墨登場。
Picturesque Lake Como is an inverted-Y shape lake north of Milan.
From Milan, take a train to Como. Trains leave from Milan's Stazione Centrale and Stazione Porta Garibaldi, and arrive at Como's San Giovanni station 30-60 minutes later. The ferry terminal, at Piazza Cavour, is just a 10-15 minute walk from the station.
Sights in Como
- Piazza Cavour
From Como, travel to Bellagio by bus or ferry.
Sightseeing in Bellagio
- Bellagio is a beautiful hilly town on the promentory where Lake Como separates into two branches.
- Because of its location, it offers a good view of the whole lake.
- Some of the best views can be seen from the park of Villa Serbelloni and from the top of Monte San Primo.
There are ferry services which link up Bellagio, Menaggio (on the western shore) and Varenna (on the eastern shore)
To go straight Centro Largo towns, take the train from Milan to Varenna (1-2 hours).
Milan -(train)- Como -(fast ferry)- Bellagio -(ferry)- Menaggio -(ferry)- Varenna -(train)- Milan
Skip Menaggio if time is tight (or spend a short while in Como).
Lake Como ferry
- Fast ferry from Como to Bellagio takes 1 hour (€11), while slow ferry takes twice as long (€7.8).
- Fare for ferries between Bellagio – Menaggio - Varenna is €3.4 per trip. Day pass is also available.
- Arena, at Piazza Bra
- Piazza delle Erbe
- Piazza dei Signori
- San Zeno Maggiore
- Via Mazzini
- Most sights in Verona are closed on Mondays.
(Extracted from Time Out: Verona)
The Arena is the most obvious sign of the ancients, dominating the entrance to the thumb-shaped old town in piazza Bra. The largest Roman amphitheatre in northern Italy, the Arena was capacious enough to seat the city’s whole population of 20,000 when it was constructed in about AD 30.
A short distance north-west, by Ponte Scagliero, is the Castelvecchio (‘old castle’) of Verona’s della Scala family, the medieval rulers.
The heart of the city is formed by the adjoining squares piazza delle Erbe and piazza dei Signori, a short walk north-east from piazza Bra [through Via Mazzini].
Of the many churches in Verona, the most atmospheric isn’t the cathedral, but San Zeno Maggiore. It was built in the 12th century to house the remains of African St Zeno, Verona’s first bishop and patron saint.
Trains from Milan leave for Verona frequently and take 1.5-2 hours to reach Verona's train station, which is 1.5 km south of the old city. Take a bus or just walk for around 20 minutes along Corso Porta Nuova.
Around €14 one way for fast trains. Slower trains cost much less.
For €8 (1 day)/€12 (3 days), Verona Card allows free entry to museums, churches and monuments in the city and travel free on AMT bus services. Buy it at the Money Exchange Office near the Tourist Information Centre at the train station.
In - 8/9 - Ciampino Airport (flight from Berlin) - arrival 9:10
Out - 10/9 - Tibertina Station (coach to Amalfi Coast) - depature 7:00
In - 13/9 - Tibertina Station (coach from Amalfi Coast) - arrival 9:00
Out - 16/9 - Fiumicino Airport (flight to Hong Kong) - depature 12:50
From Ciampino Airport, take the Terravision airport coach to Termini. To go to the Amalfi Coast, take the Metro Line B from Termini to Tibertina (the 4th stop) and take the Marozzi coach.
Terrevision coach is a dedicated airport-city transfer for airlines using the Ciampino Airport. Departure times correspond with flight arrival and departure. Passengers should be in possession of an airline boarding pass, ticket or e-ticket. Single: €8 / Return: €14. Online booking is available from the Terravision web site.
Tickets for Marozzi coach must be purchased before hand (coach leaves at 7:00 while the office opens at 9:00), at the long-distance bus office outside the Tibertina station. One way: €16.
While Termini is not a particularly attractive region, and not close to the major tourist spots, staying at a hotel within walking distance of Termini does minimise the hazzle of travelling with luggage.
A death foretold - Yahoo! Photos is closing down in September (later for international sites). I am one of those who have thousands of photos there, and now have less than 100 days to plan an escape route.
Millions of users, for various reasons, have chosen to store 2 billion photos on Yahoo! Photos. There will therefore be no single best escape route for all.
For me, I have tried most photo storage sites and settled for Flickr (also owned by Yahoo!) and Yahoo! Photos a few months back. Flickr is unrivalled in its web 2.0 capabilities. Unfortunately, its free service is very restrictive. Yahoo! Photos, however, is free and unlimited in storage. So I decided to put the bulk of my travel photos on Yahoo! Photos and the best one on Flickr.
Since then, the excellent Picasa (owned by Google) has increased its storage capacity to 1GB, quite adequate for my requirements (I want to store my scaled-down photos online for web display and sharing; storage of full-resolution photos is not needed). Picasa is now my preferred photo storage service. However, for reason obvious to those who follow the Google-Yahoo! rivalry, Yahoo! Photos does not offer a direct escape route to Picasa.
Perhaps I should do nothing and just let my photos on Yahoo! Photos vanish from the virtual world "on Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 9 p.m. PDT". No one is going to shed any tears.
-- With the "Amica" fare, you can have 20% off all medium- and long-distance trains (AV, T-Biz, ES*, ES* City, IC Plus, IC, ICN, and Express). The tariff applies to the tickets purchased until midnight of the day before departure, for a limited number of places for each train and for a spending of at least 10 euro. --
The five villages that make up the Cinque Terre (literally "5 lands"), from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are perilously-perched villages strung along a short stretch of cliffs in Liguria.
- Route 2 or Sentiero Azzuro (Blue Trail) - Monterosso to Riomaggiore (5 hours): The Monterosso-Vernazza leg (2 hours) is hard, while Vernazza-Riomaggiore is relatively easy, especially the paved final leg, called Via dell'Amore or Path of Love between Manarola and Riomaggiore.
- Levanto to Monterosso (2 hours)
Previous stop: Milan (25/8) | Next stop: Pisa Airport (27/8)
From Milan: 2 choices:
1. Take the 7:15 direct train from Milan Central Station, arriving in Vernazza at 11:05 (total time: 3:50)
2. Take 8:10 train from Milan Central Station to Monterosso, arriving at 11:02. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy the sea view. Buy Cinque Terre Card. Take 12:06-12:10 train to Vernazza (total time: 4:00)
To Pisa Airport: Take 8:18 train, arriving in Pisa Airport at 10:25 (2 changes at La Spezia and Pisa Central Station; total time: 2:07)
Getting to La Mala
Address: Via San Giovanni Battista 29, 19018 Vernazza
La Mala is located in the westward part of Vernazza known by locals as Luvegu. It takes just a few minutes to get to the hotel from the railway station.
Advise the hotel before hand your arrival time, and they will meet you at the railway station to show you to your room and help you with your luggage.
Tickets are valid on all the types of public transport. A single ticket lasts 75 minutes and costs €1 - use it on as many buses and trams as you like, but only one metro journey. For more, see About Milan: Transportation in Milan.
All Queenslanders are in joyful mood today, following an overnight rain which brought 30-50 mm of water to most Southeast Queensland localities. It was said to be the heaviest rainfall recorded over the past two years. More rain is expected for today and tomorrow.
Brisbane had only 2 mm (i.e. zero) of rain for the whole of April. Since late May though, things seeme to have been changing for the better (some say El Nino is being replaced by La Nina, whatever that means).
The book started with young Christopher deciding to find out who killed his neighbour's dog with a garden fork, hence the book's title. Christopher, who has Asperger Syndrome, is great with mathematics but totally dysfunctional in social interactions and looking after himself.
The book is not what it seems though. Rather, it is a portrait of the breakdown in the marriage of Christopher's parents, the burden of looking after him being a major factor.
As a book for the "younger readers", The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has its obvious merits. But to me, it was ultimately an annoying reading experience, since I always have problems with books, films or songs by adults "pretending" to be kids. While the book is written from the first-person perspective of Christopher, I can always feel the presence of a smart adult behind, pulling strings.
Finland is issuing a stamp in the honour of Leonard Cohen. Cohen, aka the poet laureate of pessimism, the grocer of despair, the godfather of gloom, the prince of bummers, "has an enormous following in Finland, where the nights are long and depression is said to be widespread."