December 08, 2007

stop and smell the roses

I periodically go up to the rooftop of my building and take in the views. I'm especially sentimental now, since I'll be leaving this building soon.
My new travel schedule is:
Nov 30 - Dec 11 Santa Monica, CA
Dec 11 - Dec 18 Washington, DC
Dec 18 - Dec 27 Orlando, FL
Dec 27 - Dec 30 Washington DC
Dec 30 - Jan 10 Switzerland (Basel, Zurich, Lausanne, Geneva)
Jan 10 - Jan 23 Italy (Orvieto and Rome)
Jan 23 - Jan 27 Washington DC
Jan 27 - Feb 2 New York City
after that, I haven't decided.
on the rooftop of the Cairo

December 01, 2007

Espos in DC!

I was actually in town when some family came through.
Georgetown with the Espos

The old Canal in Georgetown

November 29, 2007

Ruth Gruber: Witness to History - 92Y Blog - 92nd Street Y - New York, NY

Ruth Gruber is a determined spirit, and I consider myself lucky to have seen her speak on Veteran's Day in Los Angeles. If you're in New York, see her at the 92Y.
Ruth Gruber: Witness to History - 92Y Blog - 92nd Street Y - New York, NY

November 22, 2007


Godzuki is one of the coolest cats ever.
huge pawsGodzuki
rocker.kid.catil leone Godzuki and Bunny IIFurry belly

October 29, 2007

Wii the People

My second grade cousin has a thing for all things related to money. For fun, he asks me if we can look up currencies on Wikipedia. "What kind of money do they use in Sweden?" he wondered. I made him type into the search bar, but he paused: "how do you spell it?"

I made him sound it out.
"Ssssuh..." I sounded
"S" he typed.
Swii he typed.
"Uh, no, Ari, it's not wii. What else sounds like 'eeee'?"

October 10, 2007

In Rainbows

I'm listening on phones right now. Yes, it's late, really late, nearing my regular sleep time of 4 a.m., but this is a great midnight, or rather 2 a.m. treat. Thanks, Radiohead. Your fans love you.

October 07, 2007

Breakfast in NY, Canadian Style

NY Breakfast, Canadian StyleWhy these things happen to me, I'm not sure, but I wish I could bottle it up and hand it out. Check this out and here, too.

"Do you need a fourth chair?" I asked the gentleman arranging tables next to me.
"Not unless we have an unexpected guest." he answered.

I had just finished my breakfast and was drinking my pot of coffee from Le Pain Quotidien. He ordered his coffee and we chatted for a few minutes, then I turned back to my New Yorker.

A few minutes after his wife joined him, they leaned over to me and asked, "Do you know the difference between a caffe latte and a café au lait?" Other than one being Italian and the other being French, I gave them my best guess that a caffe latte was made from a shot of espresso with steamed milk and the café au lait was brewed (or pressed) french roast with hot milk. But in this day and age of part- skim- soy- decaf- macchiato- over-easy, who knew?

This was the start of a wonderful conversation. The Browns were from Toronto, and the night before had gone to see their son, a trombonist, perform in Brooklyn, away from his usual gigs with Michael Buble. Eventually, Josh joined his parents and our chat. Mr. Brown encouraged me to have an additional pot of coffee, which I did. They made me laugh, and I hope I did the same for them.

When it came time to leave, I asked for my check. The waiter nodded in the direction of Mr. Brown; "He already paid." I was told. I know people have been kind to me my entire life, but it still always amazes me how often and how much it happens, and each event is as sweet as the next. Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Brown!

Jump New England

My sister and I took a road trip to the Berkshires and Vermont for John and Erin's gorgeous wedding.

Happy Autumn!
John and Erin's weddingJohn and Erin's wedding
Berkshires Wedding ReceptionBerkshires | Williamstown MassachusettsUpside down maple trees at Mass MoCA

October 01, 2007

The Mill in New York

Oh man, this place is magic.
Our friend David said "It's the sort of place you imagine a Katherine Hepburn movie would be filmed."

The Mill with G&MThe Mill with G&M
The Mill with G&MThe Mill with G&M

September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad turned 75 and the whole family, dozens of us, descended on the eating fest in Florida.
Dad's 75th Birthday

July 20, 2007

Virgin [welcome to] America

Please, please, DOT, grant them their government operating authority so we can fly.

On board, you can pick your own movies, videos, live TV; listen to music and make your own playlists (that will transfer to connecting flights); choose your food options in a picture-in-picture format while watching your show; play games; or talk to people in other seats, all on a 9" in-seat monitor.

And, first class seats are ridiculously cheap.

July 16, 2007

Jersey Boys on Broadway

Jersey Boys in New York City
I'm lucky enough to know Matthew Scott through his awesome aunt and uncle (who I am forever grateful to for too many things to list).

He's the swing on Broadway's Jersey Boys, and this particular day, he was performing as Frankie Valli -- to rave reviews and adoring fans. People couldn't get enough of him outside the stage door. Matt's so talented, he also performs the Bob Gaudio and Tommy Devito roles superbly (from what I hear on the streets).

If you get to see him perform, consider yourself lucky.

Fans crowding Mattwith Mike
jumpingfans raving to his proud mom
Clockwise from top left: Fans crowding Matt; Matt poses with anyone who asks; a fan raving to Matt's mom (who saw the show with us); and Mike jumping in front of the August Wilson Theater on Broadway.

Independence Day from Washington D.C.

Finally, a fourth of July spent in Washington D.C. We even had a view of the fireworks (with the tip of the Washington monument, the red light on the left) from our apartment window. The guy across the street was busy in his kitchen during the entire show.

4th of July Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks

July 11, 2007

Beach Yoga

Beach Yoga in Venice, CABeach Yoga in Venice, CA
Beach Yoga in Venice, CASunset, Venice CA
My friend Aaron teaches yoga on the beach at Rose and the Pacific Ocean a few times each summer -- free to anyone who happens to be in Venice, California.

This kick off date for yoga in June was particularly special because it came complete with a kirtan at the end with Dave Stringer and friends performing.

June 22, 2007

When Organic Isn't Really Organic | TIME

When Organic Isn't Really Organic:
Albert Straus, owner of the Straus Family Creamery in the small northern California town of Marshall, decided to test the feed that he gives his 1,600 cows last year and was alarmed to find that nearly 6% of the organic corn feed he received from suppliers was "contaminated" by genetically modified (GM) organisms. Organic food is, by definition, supposed to be free of genetically modified material, and organic crops are required to be isolated from other crops. But as GM crops become more prevalent, there is little that an organic farmer can do to prevent a speck of GM pollen or a stray GM seed from being blown by the wind onto his land or farm equipment and, eventually, into his products. In 2006, GM crops accounted for 61% of all the corn planted in the U.S. and 89% of all the soybeans. "I feared that there weren't enough safeguards," Straus says.

excerpted from Time Magazine. Bold emphasis by me. I'm wondering if my grits are GMO.

June 09, 2007

Philip Johnson's Glass House.

I can't wait to see this.

New York Times article.

Tours are completely booked this year, and all weekend tours are sold out until next Spring already. Best chance is to go on a weekday, sometime in 2008!

Remember to eat here in NYC.

I have always loved meatloaf. And now, apparently, meatballs are the in food.

June 07, 2007

Jump Utah!

While in Utah, we jumped in the Coral Sand Dunes Park. Then off to the Grand Canyon the next day.

Jump Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park

June 03, 2007

Road Trip

Road Trip to Kanab, Utah
Roy's Motel & Cafe in Amboy, California is just a tiny ghost town. Erin and I stopped in search of food in the middle of the desert on our way to Kanab, Utah. Mission was not accomplished. Roy's isn't a functioning stop for anything other than bathrooms though the man sitting inside the diner with two dogs told us they'd be restoring the gas station and the diner one day. He also told us we were a hundred miles from the nearest eatery.

After shooting photos and a hundred miles later at some time past 3 p.m., Erin and I pulled into Searchlight, Nevada. Our choices were McDonalds or a casino. We opted for the casino -- which turned out to be surprisingly decent.

We poked around the Pink Coral Sand Dunes State park yesterday, and hiked on the north rim of the Grand Canyon today.
Photos soon.

May 18, 2007

A Call for Justice Against Poverty

I got this in my email today and read the whole speech by Bono. It is available as an online book called The ONE Campaign - on the move and for sale in tangible form (proceeds support the ONE Campaign).

Here's the text of the email:
Having worked in politics for a long time, I've heard thousands of speeches in my life, but none as moving as Bono's at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. It was profound. It was a spiritual call to arms against injustices that we -- together as ONE -- can end. He elevated every person in the room to rise up and do something. See for yourself.

The speech is now available in a small, beautiful book called On the Move. Proceeds from On the Move support The ONE Campaign.

Here is one of my favorite passages:

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."

You can read more through a new tool we're using called digital paper. It lets you literally flip through the pages of the book.

Go here for a virtual tour of On the Move and order your own copy.

This is an incredible time to be a ONE member. More than 100,000 members joined in less than a week and we've had a string of major back-to-back victories as we build our movement into a force unlike any other. We are growing. We are on the move. We will end extreme poverty. Bono's On the Move book reminds us of that. It guides, inspires and shines light for all to see. Please read it, and share it.

Thank you,

Susan McCue,

May 14, 2007

Giro d'Italia live online

Dammit. Robert got me hooked. We hovered over his desktop this morning having coffee and watching Day 2 of the tour.

Watch the Giro d'Italia on RAI here, every day, live.

And since the RAI links are unreliable (at least on Mac), visit the official Giro website for updates (English and Italian), or the gazzetta for updates in Italian.

I guess once an American starts winning, we'll eventually get to see the Giro on U.S. TV. Back in 1996 I used to have to watch the Tour de France on ESPN2 at 2:30 a.m. for measly 30-minute highlights.

May 12, 2007

If you buy bottled water, read this

First, the NRDC: Bottled Water - Executive Summary and the full report here based on a four-year study.

You might find this disturbing:
"Some of this marketing is misleading, implying the water comes from pristine sources when it does not. brand of "spring water" whose label pictured a lake and mountains, actually came from a well in an industrial facility's parking lot, near a hazardous waste dump, and periodically was contaminated with industrial chemicals at levels above FDA standards.

"...about one fourth of bottled water is bottled tap water (and by some accounts, as much as 40 percent is derived from tap water)..."

and a bit more
Even when bottled waters are covered by FDA's specific bottled water standards, those rules are weaker in many ways than EPA rules that apply to big city tap water. For instance, comparing those EPA regulations (for water systems which serve the majority of the U.S. population) with FDA's bottled water rules:

City tap water can have no confirmed E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria... FDA bottled water rules include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliform bacteria is allowed in bottled water).

Well, actually, just go read that executive summary -- it tells you the rest!

May 10, 2007

Engine Trouble

2007 is proving to be an exciting drama filled year. First, I was chased by the NYPD in January. Yesterday, on my return to Chicago, we had an incident in the air.

So I had a bad vibe that hovered since morning. I couldn't place it. I wandered around Chicago with an ominous feeling all day long. We boarded the plane -- the flight attendant was unkind about helping me put my five pound small bag up in the bin, but everything else was rather uneventful.

Take off. Um, sparks. Flames. Smoke...where I happened to be sitting, immediately behind the wing. Really bad burning smell seeping through the cabin.

What I love about United is Channel 9 Audio -- air traffic control communication is open to all passengers, which I happen to find fascinating audio. The most exciting thing in the past was hearing the Air France pilot speak -- gotta love an accent. So our pilot explains to air traffic control that we had a 'bird strike' -- a "fairly large bird, like a goose or something."

Shortly after take off, at about 5000 feet, a goose (or something) went straight through our right engine -- hence the sparks, flame, and smoke. The burning smell entered the cabin, at which time the pilots turned off the A/C controls for that engine. While the engine was fine at 5000 feet, they were concerned how it would react when we reached cruising altitude and chose to turn us back around to land in O'Hare just to be sure.

Non-emergency landing. Sit on aircraft and wait for inspection. Announcement: This aircraft is being taken out of service. We found significant damage to the blades in the engine. At this time, please take all of your personal belongings and deboard the plane.

It was a good call from the pilots, who later also explained that the plane was taken to a hangar for further inspection for internal engine damage, and that in 30-something years of flying, he had "never smelled anything quite like that."

Dining Out for Eastern Market

On Monday, May 21, Dine Out for Eastern Market, a special fundraiser to help rebuild our beloved and historic neighborhood market, lost in a fire on April 30.

April 13, 2007

A Lyon in the Kitchen

My mom is a chef. I bought my All-Clad eight months before I bought a bed. I cooked almost daily in my 150sf Greenwich Village apartment which was so small, my kitchen only had a pint-sized fridge that fit under the counter. Imagine my excitement when I heard from my old college buddy Nathan Lyon that he has his own cooking show on Discovery Health, focusing on local fresh foods. It's a philosophy I've always abided by, encouraged by my neighborhood in NYC and my stint in Italy.

I lived across the street from Pearl Oyster Bar and on the same block as Murray's Cheese store. I went to Faicco's for my meats and the baker for my breads. Given zero freezer space and about nine cubic feet of fridge space, I always cooked and ate fresh, and I always had to go out for my ice cream.

My bowl of the week.Living in my medieval village in Italy was much the same. I bought from the local market on Tuesdays, and on Saturdays, I bought the seasonal produce off a truck -- the sweetest cherry tomatoes (I popped them in my mouth like candy), artichokes so gorgeous that my American friends who visited thought they were fake, and arugula so tasty I ate it senza dressing.

Tune in on Thursday nights to watch Nathan, who is made for stardom, and check this out!

April 01, 2007

Google Fools

Toilet ISP service. Free, through your very own commode.

Thanks for the laughs, Google. I wonder how many people will actually sign up for this service?

March 31, 2007


I love vintage things because often, they're just better designed and better manufactured. Companies go the cheap route these days, and mass production has taken the quality out of most things.

On the way back from Myrtle Beach, I saw this vintage Esso station, est. 1912. I jumped, of course.

Pee Dee Farms Vintage Esso Service Station, 1912
At the Pee Dee Farms Esso Service Station, South Carolina. Vintage, est. 1912Pee Dee Farms Esso Service StationPee Dee Farms Esso Service StationPee Dee Farms Esso Service StationPee Dee Farms Esso Service Station

March 21, 2007


Seattle had awesome jump spots.
West SeattleJump UW Quad!Jump Volunteer Park!Jump Kerry Park!Jump Pike Place Market!West SeattleJump Lake Washington!Jump University of Washington!Jump University of Washington!SAM

and of course, the Starbucks HQ...we just happened to be at a restaurant supply place across the street.
Jump Starbucks HQ