Archive for January, 2005

Jan 22 2005

The Last Supper Club

Published by under Food

Note: The last Supper Club has changed management since thsi was written.

Tasty food, but noisy with a bar along one side of the single large dining room. Stuffed risoto appetizer was notable. Pasta Vongola with peppery, spicy red sauce.
Crowded with a line by 7 Pm on a Friday night.
Similar to Luna Park

On the corner of 23rd and Valencia.

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Jan 22 2005

Among the Believers:An Islamic Journey

Published by under Books

While this might seem like a book inspired by 9/11 and the subsequent “war on terror’s” focus on islamic terrorism, it is an old book first published in 1981. Written is the form of a travel book it recounts the authors travels to revolutionary Iran just after the fall of the Shah, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. As a travel book it recounts the relatively short time the author spent in each country, and though he seems well connected and attempts to get under the skin of the societies, her is necessarily an outside. More so in Iran which provides the least satisfying part of the book. Pakistan provides the most complete feeling section presumably since Niapaul’s Indian heritage yields a better understanding.
Overall, the conclusion seems that Iran and Pakistan are non functional states since they depend on islamic bases wishful thinking and an unwillingness to go beyond “what is written”. But Islam does provide a sense of pride and identity in both states. In Malaysia and Indonesia, Islam is not central to the cultures but provides an outlet for those torm quickly from a rural, almost isolated village live and thrust into the impersonal modern, westernized, individualistic culture imposed on them. It is the basis for the counter culture.
In all four cases, the West is “rejected”, but is counted on to provide some of the modern conveniences that have come to be “necessitites”.
A good read, but somewhat dated.
Author: V.S. Naipaul

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Jan 16 2005

Accordian Crimes

Published by under Books

An odd book that I didn’t like. It is a string of short stories hung around a hand made accordian produced by an Italian who emigrates to the US and lands in New Orleans. The imigrant never gets out of New Orleans, but the accordian does. The story then proceeds to describe a series of lives of poor or nearly poor people from Texas to Minnesota. All of the stories touch on accordians and the imagrant’s accordion in some what and most of the stories have a large dose of despiration and/or tragedy.
The stories are well written and readable in the small details and descriptions, but I soon got to the point of “why am I reading this”+ In the end, I did read on to the end where I put down the book with a sense of relieve.
Author: E. Annie Proulx

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Jan 15 2005

Master of Go (Meijin)

Published by under Books

The story of a ‘legendary’, 1938 Go match between and aging Master and an up and coming “youngster”. Mostly of interest for those who play go, but an intriging glimpse of pre WW II Japan culture and the conflict between the “old ways” and the new. Essentially a rewrite of newspaper stories, but reads like a novel. Well written.

Author: Yasunari Kawabata – translated E.G. Seidensticker
About 180 pages.
There is a wikipedia entry for this title

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Jan 11 2005

Andalu

Published by under Food

San Francisco cuisine with smallish dishes that are easily shared. Kind of Tapas like

On 16th St. at Guerrero St.

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Jan 09 2005

Ramblas

Published by under Food

Tapas and pealla. Excellent dishes. Casual and can be noisy when crowded.

Menu online at http://www.ramblastapas.com/

557 Valencia St. Just south of 16th Street on east side of Valencia.
415-565-0207

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Jan 09 2005

The Devil In the White City-Erik Larsen

Published by under Books

A “confusion” of two stories both of which are set in Chicago near the end of the 19th century. One is the effort to gain national endorsement and then build the 1893 World’s. A mamouth undertaking that consumed many people and live, but ended up with a spectacular White City. The other story is that of on of the first “serial killers” who lived near the site of the fair and preyed on and apparently killed numerous women and children . Informative and entertaining. Especially if you have any connection to Chicago.

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Jan 09 2005

52 books this year

Published by under Books,General

Received a bunch of books as gifts during the holiday and have just decided that I’m going to try to read an average of one book per week this year. Possibly including some of Lim Ping’s novels and essays, but certainly not limited to that genre. So off I go……..

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