On the Road

Society

Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you’re not lonely without me

Eddie Vedder

unaware - busy - happy

unaware – busy – happy: Los Angeles County Museum of Art: The “yellow spaghetti” installation

Visiting the old stomping ground was a bittersweet experience. It is a pleasure to see that some great businesses have survived and are thriving. 25 years ago the House of Nanking was a hole in the wall preparing excellent Chinese fusion in a kitchen barely fitting two chefs and their 2 burner range… Today the food is still amazing, always a line of customers waiting in line on Kearny. The Hong Kong Flower lounge attracts locals, Tom Kiang is a hit with visitors sampling delicious Dim Sum. And Tart to Tart in the Sunset is still the place to get pastry and a cup o’Joe. I miss the free newspapers listing what’s happening in the City. All gone digital? Looks like some of the music venues are not doing so great.

Rasputin and Amoeba are still around. Tower Records is long gone. I guess only dinosaurs are listening to CDs or Vinyl any more.

I guess there are places in the City to find peace and comfort. San Francisco is a wonderful city to visit, don’t get me wrong. Living though, that’s another story. I realized how much we are exposed to things that we think we need to have. It’s very simple, if you don’t know about a gadget, we don’t miss it. Smart phones are everywhere now. I see groups of people in restaurants, sitting on a table, not talking to each other, staring at their small screens, instead. What’s up with that? “Social media” has become an oxymoron.

Society, you are a crazy breed, indeed.

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On the Road

Where I am

After breakfast I walked from China to Italy, had a biscotti and a flaky apricot turnover to go. On the way back to Vietnam I sampled freshly steamed scallop and shrimp dumplings. Before dinner (salted baked shrimp in the shell) the sun broke through the clouds making for a pleasant stroll home.

Where am I?

Heaven?

 

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On the Road

Porterhouse, baby!

San Francisco, Yosemite, Mono Lake, Death Valley, and Las Vegas. Those were the highlights and low points of our whirl wind tour through the Wild West with 26 Dutch tourists and a trailer in tow.


What do we do on our night off in Vegas? Sleep!


Well, not exactly. There was a $70 Porterhouse and a couple of serious margaritas involved to soothe the pain from our babysitting job.
San Francisco was fantastic. The best Chinese food at the house of Nanking, thank you Peter. The best Dim Sum at Tom Kiang, some Russian Pastry, and a great World Cup final.


Yosemite is a zoo. This is not a park. Ban all private traffic and commerce in the Valley. Enough said.


Mono Lake surprised us with a spectacular thunder storm. Wish you were here, if you know what I mean…


Then we roasted at the furnace of Death Valley. It was 48C. Dry heat, though. It melted off the sole of one of our passengers.


Finally Vegas, baby. Tolerable only with blood alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit.


On with the show…

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