Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Collection

How's this for a sweet item in your book collection? It's George Washington's copy of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It was in Herbert Hoover's book collection.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Months

In the past two months, I have organized a conference with five outside speakers, organized an additional eight talks outside of the conference, given five talks myself, attended six conferences, supervised my first dissertation defense, DJ-ed twice, supervised the music for a French-themed party, visited DC five separate times, spent the night in fourteen different cities (in four different countries), and led adventure days in Long Island and London.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hamburg Inn No. 2 (Iowa City)

Had a burger today at the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City, which is regularly listed as one of the best burgers in the States. Fairly simple burger, with almost nothing on it, so it was all about the patty. Cooked thoroughly through, it almost had a crunchy exterior (which is something I like). My favorite patty in that regard--the one that best achieves the perfect combo of crunchy exterior and juicy interior--is still the one at Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Office Space

Saw this in the dog section at LL Bean yesterday. Which came first, Innotek or Initech?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I first had currywurst last fall, when Mike R. and I went to a new place in the East Village. Here's a currywurst I had in Cologne. The Cologne one was spicier (due to the spicy curry ketchup) though the sausage itself seemed more like a hot dog (not in a bad way). The beer in the background was the best Kolsch that I had on my trip, mainly because it actually had some flavor and was less bland than the others.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Beach Boys

Saw several of these tags around Cologne and Bonn.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Smell of Los Angeles

"I smelled Los Angeles before I got to it. It smelled stale and old like a living-room that had been closed too long. But the coloured lights fooled you. The lights were wonderful. There ought to be a monument to the man who invented neon lights. Fifteen stories high, solid marble. There's a boy who really made something out of nothing."
(Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, 1949)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Party Poster

Saw this in Bonn yesterday. Yes, it is exactly what it appears to be. I guess I would fit right in.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

German Bread

Had this bread with dinner the other night. My German friends said they really miss it when they travel abroad. It's very dense and fairly bland. They said that foreign bread tastes too airy for them and that it doesn't fill them up the way this bread does.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I really miss that spy-sized digital camera I used to have, because I would bring it everywhere with me. As it is, I end up taking most of my photos with my phone, which isn't really that effective.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Für mich bitte eine Wernesgrüner!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

London Adventure Day

Got a late start, but here's what I did yesterday:

Wellcome Collection: Henry Wellcome's collection of medical oddities, including a tanned bit of Jeremy Bentham's skin, with a bunch of writing on it.
Stern's Music: sadly, the world's best African music store no longer exists as a retail establishment.
Pret a Manger: they really need to bring their cucumber and tuna sandwiches to the States.
Muji: how absurd is it that three of the stores and restaurants that I first came to love abroad (in three different countries: Cosi in Paris, Pret a Manger in London, and Muji in Tokyo) now all have branches just a couple of blocks from my office in NYC?
Sir John Soane's Museum: still one of my favorite interiors in the world. It's funny that I like both minimalist modern interiors and cluttered folk art environments (that end up looking a lot like Soane's very non-folk art, but nonetheless very cluttered, interior).
Hunterian Museum: more medical oddities.
Cordings: tweeds.
Sounds of the Universe: Soul Jazz's record shop in Soho.
Liberty: fabrics.
Mentone Hotel: quick trip back to the hotel to drop stuff off.
Thomas Carlyle' House: Carlye, like Charles Babbage, hated noise, so he built a soundproof study on the top of his house. Turned out not to be as quiet as he wanted. It has no windows on its walls, but it's actually flooded with light from a skylight. I would love to have a small garden in the back like his. Here's the library he founded, when the librarian from the British Library turned down his request for a private room (apparently because of something Carlyle said about him).
Chelsea Physic Garden: contrary to what my tour book said, they were closed when I got here, so I couldn't see their recreations of mini-greenhouses built to transport ferns, that I had just read about.
Harrod's: bought Moses a present.
Michelin House: Conran's
Old Knightsbridge Village Pub Walk: tour of Knightsbridge and Kensington.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pizza Express

Maybe next year.


Here's a photo my Mom recently took of Moses playing with a squeaky pig toy I got him at Harrod's.