Friday, February 17, 2012
My new favorite coffee place, la Colombe (north)
LA COLOMBE has two cafés on Lafayette a few blocks apart. There are no good photos of the larger, northern café online, but I'll get one.
At the northern outpost there are taps with chilled water, room temperature, and sparkling New York tap water.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Finally, a Starbucks to love
THIS ROOM is upstairs at the new(ish) Starbucks in Harvard Square. It has a great view of the square, chairs set up along the window to look out at the square, and decor that has virtually none of the old Starbucks look. That's a good thing.
BTW, the floorboards are recycled, and there are a lot of recycled materials in the store.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Here are the most recent, there are 500+ more here.
Mayor Mike visited Zuccotti Park, now Chase CEO Jamie Dimon should invite #OWS to Occupy Chase Plaza - and help with tents, hot food etc.
"I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love." Steve Jobs
Bought 2 arch guides in Amsterdam. More than 30% of bldngs on both lists since 1940. Have they been to Amsterdam? #ArchitectsAreIdeologues
From Amsterdam on a perfect day: When the Dutch ride Vespas, the noise is a pleasant summer drone. Italians? A raucous cacophany!
“There’s class warfare, all right,” Warren Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Strikes me @ ps1.org/calendar/view/… that many New York urbanists have an ideological rejection of New Urbanists based solely on style (Pt 1)
Yo! The 20th century is over—we don't have to be "Modern" anymore
Duchamp's urinal was "created" 94 years ago. Must we still pay the consequences today? #bringbackthebeautiful
Beautiful architecture speaks to the senses Lot of contemporary architecture speaks to intellect Without common sense the intellect is dumb
I've lost what little patience I had for new architecture that supports alienation, anomie, depression, misanthropy, nihilism ... and ego.
New Urbanist-leanings of Guggenheim Lab paint democratic vision of a civic ideal. What is your civic vision?: bit.ly/pU99ii RT@NewUrbanism
Paul Newman talks about urbanism - and gets it all right bitly.com/vvpnew
Andrew Sullivan asks if we need more roads (hint: "no) bit.ly/2manyrds
@NAHBhome: old days of selling sububan houses like hotcakes are over. In new world, we have too much sprawl and too little walkable urbanism
Curbed shows Starchitects' houses but skips all the Starchitects who live in traditional buildings like Rem & Zaha http://bit.ly/starchi
October 14, 2011 in Architecture, Baseball, Books, Classicism, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Film, Food and Drink, History, Jokes, New Urbanism, New York, Personal, Quote of the Day, Religion & Metaphysics, Science, Sports, Television, Travel, Urbanism, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
BTW, I'm not against luxury
Here's a post I sent to an internet list:
Some might wonder why I write about lunch at an expensive French restaurant on a discussion list for urbanism. Well, all urbanists should go to Paris. And if they don't visit one of the best French restaurants while they're there, they've missed one of the great experiences of French and Western civilization.
We went to lunch at Lucas Carton, a three-star restaurant in the Michelin guide, because they have a lunch menu that costs considerably less than ordering à la carte: about $55 each when the dollar is strong. We noticed that many of the items on the à la carte menu could be ordered with glasses of wine chosen by the sommelier, and asked if we could do that with the menu. We took several of the wines chosen for the same courses on the à la carte menu, and the sommelier helped us with the rest.
For Americans, it's a unique experience. Lucas Carton has one of the two or three best wine cellars in Paris, and it goes without saying that the sommelier there is a master of his profession. None of the wines he chose were overly famous or expensive, but they were all great. And we discovered that they would refill your glass for free, somewhat like the bottomless coffee cup at HoJo's. In the end, 15 glasses of wine, champagne and port cost about $60 each.In 2001, I had the lunch menu at Alain Ducasse, an eponymous restaurant that belongs to the only chef in the century-old history of the Michelin guide to have two three-star restaurants. The meal at Lucas Carton was even better, and Ducasse, as far as I know, does not have wines by the glass. If he does, he doesn't feature them as Lucas Carton does. And when you step outside after lunch and find yourself facing the Madeleine, the urbanism is that much better. Save your centimes and go to a three-star restaurant when you're in France.
Amuses bouches (shellfish in cream sauce)
Lucas Carton champagne
Scallops marinated in olive oil with herbs (for my wife)
Crozes-Hermitage "Mûles Blanche" 1998 - Jaboulet (Northern Rhône) Scallops in raviolis (for me)
Savoie Verre de Chignin V.V. 1998 - Quenard (Savoie, Chignin)
Saddle of lamb with eggplant in three styles
Bandol Château de Pibarnon 1989 (Provence)
Pauillac La Fleur de Haut-Bages Libéral 1997 (Bordeaux, Haut-Medoc)
Vanille Mille Feuilles Napoléon (for my wife)
Chocolat "Sanbamb" (for me)
Muscat de Rivesaltes 1998 - Domaine Cazes (Languedoc-Roussillon)
Biscuits and chocolates
Fonseca Port 20 Ans
Monday, September 20, 2010
Dear Pret A Manger - Why are your London restaurants so much cheaper and better than your branches in New York?
IT doesn't make sense. A lunch that costs £6 or £7* at Pret A Manger in London, costs $15 in New York (which is about 50% more). But New York is cheaper than London (if something costs $1 or $2 in New York, it usually costs 1 or 2 more expensive pounds in London), and the city now has excellent access to good local produce, meats and cheese.
Why do I ask? Well, in London I liked the Pret A Manger food and found it a good buy. In New York the food has been disappointing, and I've stopped going.
* $9 to $10
PS: "In London, McDonald's is so 20th century" - McDonald's knows this, which is why they owned a large stake in Pret A Manger from 2001 to 2008. In America, McDonald's was the largest stakeholder in Chipotle until a public stock offering in 2006.
The topic of "the problem of numbers," raising the quality of chain stores is an interesting and the issue of local economies is an interesting one. The chains market so well and make so much money.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
V&V Redux: London Calling
MY BROTHER won't be in his London apartment for a few weeks, although his chocolate Lab Angus will be. So we gave American Airlines a pile of miles (they won't be worth a lot the next time oil prices go up), and we're going over. I may need the pub list I posted a few years ago:
By the time this post goes up on the web, I'll be over the Atlantic, half way to London. When it's 5 o'clock in New York, we'll be out at the pub for last call.
My introduction to pubs came when I was an exchange student in London. I was in a boarding school that didn't allow us out at night, and many of my classmates were under the drinking age. But half the students in the school were day boys, and we'd join them at the pub at least 3 nights a week.
American bars are often dark places where you go to get drunk or hook up. Pubs are community social centers, like clubs open to everyone. They are some of the world's great third good places.
Postscript — 06/12/04: Time Out's guide to pubs and bars in London calls one of my schoolboy haunts "the best pub in Mayfair." Lunch was good.
The Dog and Duck in Dean Street, SohoOther links are at the site for the Good Beer Guide and the historic interiors page of BeerInTheEvening.com.
The Salisbury, St Martin's Lane
The Crown at Seven Dials - sit on the monument in the middle of the roundabout
The Princess Louise, High Holborn
The French House, Soho
Museum Tavern, Museum Street (opposite the British Museum).
All these are a bit touristy, but still good pubs. But then, lots of pubs in central London are touristy. You have to go further out to find fewer tourists. Tourists are a feature of London pubs, as are Antipodean bar staff.
Here are some nice out-of-centre pubs:
Canonbury Tavern, Canonbury, N1 - biggest and greenest beer garden in London.
Edinboro Castle, Delancey Street, NW1 - second biggest beer garden, not so green.
Old King's Head, Upper Street, N1 - theatre pub, opens late. Guaranteed to meet locals here.
Wells Tavern, Well Walk, Hampstead NW3 - nice street, some outside seats.
The Crown, Cloudesley Road, Barnsbury, N1
The Crown, Grove Road, Victoria Park, E3 - organic food
The Eagle, Farringdon Road, WC1 - the original gastro-pub.
Try the Time Out guide to London pubs and bars for many more.
Now I remember why I don't go to Whole Foods more often...
AT 10 AM THIS MORNING at the Union Square Whole Foods there were 10 checkout lines. Some lines were longer than mine, which had 10 people in front of me. A system at the head of the lines went through the lines in order and announced registers as they opened up. Each minute, 6 or 7 registers were announced - so I knew I probably had a 15 minute wait in line, and that turned out to be just about right.
Obvious Yogi Berra reference: "It's so crowded nobody goes there anymore." Of course I would go more often if they had one in my neighborhood, but apparently Eli Zabar somehow keeps them out.