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January 21, 2006

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Hey von, need somewhere to crash?

"Usually, I choose the W (where I am now)."

I feel for your suffering. My god, you're really slumming it.

I've been doing a lot of yelling at my computer screen the last day or so - the WaPo's freakout over its ombusdman's incompetence continues to amaze.

As a matter of fact, we SF residents do appreciate how clean the air is, as well as the many other fine qualities the city has to offer. That's why, on the downside, we're willing to pay a king's ransom to buy a house in the area.

Each in its own way: Barcelona. Kyoto. Sydney. London. Hanoi or Hue (but not Saigon). Chiang Mai and Penang as they were 35 years ago. Florence as it was 40 years ago. Santa Cruz. Madison in the summer months. Bath. Edinburgh. Hong Kong (and Ann Arbor, but in the summer only), if I can count places I've lived.

If - she'd want me to say WHEN - my wife wins the lottery, we'll actually have to make up our minds which of these we prefer. Until then we're quite happy in The Research Triangle [tm], NC.

And the best cappucino you've ever had is where? (I'm moving to SF in a few months...this kind of information is gold.)

Woodstock, NY (disclaimer -- I live about 10 miles away)

Someone said Santa Cruz. That town might have been on my list had Woodstock not been there first. Santa Cruz seems to me like Woodstock, except with 100,000 extra people. And that's a scary thought.

Miami Beach (South Beach)
Key West
Flagstaff, AZ
Boston, NY, SF

Some of these places I could live in, others are just for visiting.

The W?

I take it you're on the client's tab.

Free sherry? How bohemian.

An update on my little computer problem. I tried everything and everything failed. My son's 14-year computer geek friend came over reformatted the hard drive, but in the process he doubled the RAM on both our computers.

The SF pollution blows south to San Jose and east to the Central Valley, unfortunately.

Santa Cruz seems to me like Woodstock, except with 100,000 extra people.

Wow! Whodathunkit? I somehow never envisaged the surf crashing on the cliffs at Woodstock, and forgot (?) there was a first-class university there.

My bad?

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Qualifies in the deeply dirty department. Most of the archetecture is circa fifties so tawdry rules the day! Located on the banks of the Yukon so the summer sky is decorated with arctic terns. The air has an underlying chill all year long , the fireweed is so brilliant it hurts your eyes and the wilderness, real wilderness is right there, right outside town. It's a funny little place, the only town of any size,and, at about 20,000, has two thirds of the territory's population so that of the 20,000 an unusually large percentage are white collar. I mean a town of 20,000 in, say, Wyoming would not have such a high concentration of nurses, lawyers, admininstrators. The cultural atmosphere is more like Missoula, Montana (another great town). There is a wonderful atmosphere of expectation: everyone seems to be about to go someplace interesting or do something interesting. Of course I'm romaniticizing since I've never actually lived there. It is unique and full of people who choose to live there, thriving in the adversity.

Chicago, Il

I admit this is cheating somewhat since I lived there at one time. Chicago has character and charm that cannot be found in NYC, Boston, LA etc. Even my memories of the brutal cold winters are bathed in a romantic glow these days.


Honorable mention:
Steamboat Springs Colorado
Sanderling North Carolina

Jerusalem as it was 25 years ago. I suspect that it's an entirely different place now: back then, there were horrible divisions all over the place, but it was still possible to talk to more or less anyone, and go more or less anywhere. Now, I doubt it.

Tucson. I have only been to Austin once, but it seemed like the ur-Tucson, and I suspect it would go on my list if I knew it better.

(Actually, I did live in both places, so I don't know whether they count.)

A lot of small towns on the Mediterranean. Hania, in particular. London. Paris. (I am so original!) Stockholm, in its way. (I wouldn't want to live there, and I did, for six months. But it's gorgeous in the clear cold distant autumn light; plus, for all you lovers of Blake, it has signs that say: Tyger! Tyger! (in Swedish, Cloth! Cloth!) And, for me, also signs that say: Bok Special! (Book sale!) And a place that sharpens scissors is delightfully called a 'Snickeri'.)

Dubrovnik, before the war. I have no idea what's become of it since. And I always liked Istanbul and Diyarbakir, though (especially in the latter case) I can't say why.

The cities from hell: Phoenix, Ankara. I hated Tel Aviv, but I suspect that had more to do with me. And I have always loathed Berlin; I'm a lot less convinced that that's just me, but I suspect it must be, since so many other people disagree. I did spend several months there, though, so this is not an entirely uninformed opinion.

Truth be told, I have never actually been happy in Germany. Any part of Germany.

Then there are places like Arad, Israel, whose tourist literature touts its pollen-free air, that being about all there is to tout. Dull, dull, dull.

Denver. Of course I have a pretty limited experience of the place since I stay largely confined to LoDo (although I did spend some time in the youth hostel on Colfax, so there's a bit of "rot" fer ya). But I love the big old boxy brick warehouses extending on the flats seemingly all the way to Kansas. And the front range is gorgeous. And Union Station. And every year the skyline is dominated by cranes making more of the stuff.

And the Falling Rock Tap House, naturally.

New York, Chicago, London, Florence, Siena, Budapest.

I've loved other places but those are the ones I badly want to get back to--to live, in the first two cases, to visit in the latter four.

Chicago takes its architecture more seriously than any place I've seen in the U.S. Even the new buildings are better.

But New York is home.

Until then we're quite happy in The Research Triangle [tm], NC.

i'm pretty bummed, whenever i go there. but that's because i hate my job. but in the evenings, when i get back to Apex, things mellow out and i can enjoy life.

My sister lives in Oak Park. She likes it. I don't. Chicago just seems dirty, smelly, crowded and ugly. She has a pedestrian's prespective, however, and cities usually look better on foot. I liked Seattle when I lived there. It's a city that can be enjoyed without a car. One of its virtues is that you can see out of town from almost anywhere. I find places like Chicago, where the view (except near the lake) is resticted to a few blocks, claustrophobic. But I'm glad somebody likes it!

My family was stationed in Germany in the late 1970s, and visited Frankfurt often. Then, in 2002, I spent a month living in Frankfurt on business, helping train my company's new European staff. I can easily imagine living there full-time despite my language deficiency. It's got bustling culture, history and museums to keep you busy forever, a wonderful mix of historic architecture (rebuilt in the postwar period) and a modern skyline, a restaurant, bakery or Apfelwein establishment about every six feet, booming business world, and you can easily live in and get around the city and many surrounding towns without ever owning a car. (And rentals are cheap if you ever need one, because gas is so expensive. I rented a brand-new Mercedes for a weekend while I was there for something like $60.)


When I visited Australia, I fell in love with Melbourne and Adelaide. Particularly the latter's beautiful gardens, quick access to wine country, and vibrant arts culture. Would live there in a heartbeat.

London. Granted, that could be partly because of the absolutely killer hotel we stay in when we go there courtesy of my mother working for Marriott. (West India Quay, by the way, is a great place to stay.) Its so easy to move around the city and the mix of very very old and completely modern is a bunch of fun. Though British food doesn't offer much in the way of anything you'd want to eay, the food in London is as good in terms of variety and quality as in any city I've been. Far more expensive than many, for sure, especially with the exchange rate being what it is but if you've eaten in a Wagamama, you know what I'm writing about. The British Library is remarkable, by the way. Obvious and redundant for anyone whose seen it, but there it is.

Edinburgh: What an amazing city. Where London has a modern undertone to much of the city, Edinburgh feels old, even when you're looking at the Starbucks. The view from everywhere in the city is simply incredible. I can't wait to get back there.

Seattle: I lived there for a couple of years in the International District. The food is entirely overlooked as a feature in Seattle insofar as I think it should be ranked just behind New York, San Francisco and New Orleans as the best food cities in the States. It may have the best ingredients for purchase anywhere in the country. Between chantrelle mushrooms at $4 a pound and fresh Sockeye salmon one can live happily for months at a time. The whole city feels pretty laid back and the coffee really is all its cracked up to be.

Phil,

Where were you stationed? I graduated from high school in Kaiserslautern and if Hilzoy hasn't spent much time in the Rheinland-Pfalz, I recommend it highly.

Von,

I graduated from San Francisco State University and let me assure, we do appreciate the air there. My favorite place to stay is the Marina district. A calming vibe, great restaurants on Union Street, the Marina Green is a great place to walk and people watch and a Travelodge where I paid a whopping $75 a night a few years ago.

As for my cities:

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil: Arguably the most African city outside of Africa, a terrific music scene, fascinating history, set in a beautiful natural bay, great food and those stunning women.

Speyer am Rhein, Germany: Founded by Celts more than 2000 years ago, it's dominated by a nearly 1,000 year old Romanesque Cathedral, but it's a great place to walk with a lot of other old buildings, beautiful views of the Rhein lined with lombardy poplars and best of all: a pretzel festival in July!

Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil and Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil: old colonial towns filled with baroque churches and architecture and a history that most norteamericanos know very little about. Great dining and terrific arts festivals.

Granada, Spain: Though the Alhambra dominates its tourism, there's so much more. For my money it was the best place to walk around at night in Spain. The air was fresh, the views are spectacular and the food was heavenly.

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil: Probably one of the most sensibly built cities in the world. great for pedestrians, efficient mass transit, relatively safe, and the start of the train to Paranagua, which takes you through the mountains to see one of the best preserved areas of Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

I could go on, but I've taken up enough time here.

Randy -- Do you know much about the Pantanal? (I keep intending to go looking for Hyacinthine Macaws there.)

Randy, officially speaking we were stationed in Darmstadt -- my father's unit, the 94th Engineers, were split between Ernst Ludwig Kaserne (which I believe is now closed) and Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne -- but because of the lack of adequate housing, we lived in one of a trio of apartment buildings in Biebesheim, all of which were rented by DOD for overflow housing. Walking out the back door of our building, we were about 200 steps from the Rhine River.

I returned to check out that Biebesheim neighborhood while I was staying in Frankfurt, and although with the military drawdowns in the 1990s DOD no longer houses US servicemen there, not a thing had changed. After 23 years, everything looked exactly the same as it had the day we left. It was wondrous, like stepping into a time machine.

Hilzoy,

It's one of my dream destinations in Brazil, but alas remains only a dream. I'm afraid I'll have to go there when I retire and live in Brazil.

Here's a good article about it.

You can also see hyacinth macaws in Manu national Park in Peru.

Phil,

Darmstadt I remember for a field trip to see Illuminated Manuscripts at a museum there.

I remeber when my Germany got better, I got grosse out by the name Darmstadt. It literally means intestine city, but its actual name derives from Darmundestat, place at the mouth of the Darmbach.

My dad was a civilian employee of the US Army Missile Command and worked supervising civilian missile maintenance technicians for the 32nd AADCOM (Army Air Defense Command).


Free sherry? How bohemian.
Charles Bird:
"An update on my little computer problem. I tried everything and everything failed. My son's 14-year computer geek friend came over reformatted the hard drive, but in the process he doubled the RAM on both our computers."

This seems to be a requirement on PC's, after a year or two. The main thing, IMHO, is to back up the data and to keep the software installation disks *and* any forms which list the codes to unlock the software.

Sherry is not bohemian, it's more of a Tory thing; a relaxing after-business drink.

You can also see hyacinth macaws in Manu national Park in Peru.

You can just go to Iquitos, a part of the Amazon rainforest and see the Macaws in the trees. It is a magnificient site.

Jerusalem as it was 25 years ago

Bah. The city's never been the same since the Romans razed the Temple.

Also, I greatly preferred Paris before that butcher Haussmann got his hands on it.

Are all these reasons, as plenty as blackberries, why people like certain places really accurate? Two or three years ago I visited Sicily and spent a few days in Syracuse. I loved it, for no discernible reason. Don't get me wrong. It's very nice, and has a decent set of tourist attractions. But something else got me and I have no idea what it is. Have others had this experience?

Haven't been to Syracuse, but had same reaction to Vancouver BC. There's lots there, but nothing in particular made it stand out from other places with roughly same complement of attractions. My wife and I both love being there for some less identifiable reason.

Bernard: that was my experience with both Jerusalem and Tucson. -- I mean, after all, Jerusalem is a little bitty city, and parts of it are pretty tacky. The architecture, while drenched in History and Significance, isn't much to write home about either.

So what? I was lost from the moment I set foot there.

And since this is an open thread, the strangest thing just happened: just yesterday, I got my annual little questionnaire from the tax preparers, and today -- well, I did it. I never, ever do this sort of thing before mid-March, at the earliest. What possessed me?

I really love San Diego. It is the perfect balance of city, suburb, and access to wilderness. It has beautiful beaches, more beautiful deserts and of course perfect weather (well not perfect, we actually had frost in the morning one day last week).

Since this is an open thread. Curses to my brother-in-law for introducing me to hold-em poker. The interplay between psychology, math, and just enough luck to mess with your head is really evil. (Like I need another way to waste time on the internet. I wonder if I can read blogs and play at the same time.....)

Sebastian: all I have to say is: never, ever start Sudoku. When I decided I had spent enough time recovering, I tried to stop. Ha ha. I eventually tore up the remaining puzzles in the book my Mom sent me. Really.

"What possessed me?"

Perhaps you anticipate being really, really busy in March... or perhaps the Universe anticipates that for you, and gave you a subtle nudge to get it done now :)

Re: Falling For Cities - I'm not an envious person, ever, but I'm getting some real twinges here, listening to y'all rhapsodize about your international gaddings about. Aside from a trip to Europe over 20 years ago, I've never left North America.

But there are loads of places here in the States I've fallen for. Ashland and Portland, Oregon. San Anselmo, California (back in the 80's, when it was tiny and charming; I have no idea what it's like now). The Grand Coulee area and Columbia River Gorge in Eastern Washington.

Silver City, New Mexico. An old friend and I road-tripped through New Mexico, back in '92. The vast sweep of desert (I think it's called the Sea of Delaware, and it was easy to imagine an ocean there, a few million years ago) was so big we could see thunderstorms traveling in "cells" (though they reminded me more of whale pods) across the desert. The air conditioner in our car wasn't working, so we'd drive to meet the storms and get out of the car and dance around in the wind and rain. Silver City was this tiny little town just starting to be "discovered," so there were fancy touristy shops selling the requisite torquoise-and-silver jewelry, city-emigre arts and crafts, and a coffeeship selling overpriced lattes. But there were still a lot of original businesses there, including an old fashioned Five and Dime, complete with sun-faded displays in the windows. I'm not sure why I "fell for" SIlver City - maybe because it reminded me of so many towns and cities that become victims of their own charm, when the yuppies and gentrifiers and developers move in, only it hadn't quite happened there yet.

Chicago. I was only there for a few days, and it was about 10 years ago, but I totally fell for the architecture; the sheer monumentalism of it. The statue of Ceres on the Board of Trade rooftop! The Library, with an owl on every corner! (I was absolutely shocked when I found out the Library had been built very recently; it fit right in with the older stuff.) I'd like to go back for a longer stay, just to stare at those buildings some more.

Have any of you travelled to Australia?
I unfortunately have travelled very little. I have been to Sydney and Mt Isa Way out queensland's west. I live in Ipswich which is right on Brisbanes doorstep, in sunny southeast Queensland.
You all make me feel sad, I wish to see so much but the cost to travel outside Aust is very high. eg au$2000 return to LA, economy
We can barley afford to travel within aus.
One day maybe, I too dream of winning the lottery.

Debbie, as I mentioned above, I did travel to Australia as part of a tour group. My trip included three days in Sydney, two in Hobart, two in Melbourne (w/a side trip to Kangaroo Island), two in Adelaide, two in Alice Springs (reached via the Ghan train), two at a resort near Uluru, over to Coconut Beach rainforest resort, a day in Cairns, a day trip out to the reef, then back to Sydney and flying home. Absolute heaven.

CaseyL, don't feel bad -- my wife has never left North America either, and has never been west of the Mississippi except for one trip to San Jose when she was 14 and one business trip to LA last year. I feel almost guilty having seen as much of the world as I have! I am taking her to Maui for our 15th wedding anniversary this year, so that's a start.

Regarding the "client's tab" comments: I'm at the W because it's standard (and usually required) to stay downtown and the W, believe it or not, is usually one of the cheaper business hotels in SF -- Friday's stay was 219/night, which is very reasonable by such standards. The night before I stayed at a Best Western, which was one of the cheaper hotels in that particular area.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm one of the cheaper dates in the biz.

Sorry to have missed you Rilkefan.

Regarding best cappuccino: I wish I remembered the name. It's pretty close, though to 445-447 Columbus (near the top of the hill).

By the way, I second the votes (by Toby and others) for Chicago. I still miss the place on Milwaukee Ave, where I lived in '96. (God, that was ten years ago. Amazing how fast time moves.)

"Amazing how fast time moves."

Interesting science factoid: After a certain age, the brain processes time perception differently, on a fundamental chemical level. In other words, it's not just our imagination that time passes more quickly; our brains really do compress things. I don't know if it's data storage issue - if we defrag ourselves, so to speak - and I wish I could remember where I read about this. But it's nice to know that "tempus fugit" thing isn't just a symptom of encroaching codgerhood :)

I would, quite seriously, kill to have air like this.

I've always wondered why people go out of their way to include locutions like "quite seriously" (or "literally") in contexts where it is very unlikely that they actually mean it.

I've always wondered why people go out of their way to include locutions like "quite seriously" (or "literally") in contexts where it is very unlikely that they actually mean it.

I've always wondered why people constantly wonder about this.

Saying you'd "kill" for cleaner air is (hopefully) a rhetorical exaggeration for effect. Nothing wrong with that, though, right? So then people sometimes add "literally" or "quite seriously" or what have you--why? Well, obviously, to heighten the exaggeration, because "I'd kill for X" is such a stock phrase that it lacks much rhetorical force.

So I don't get the rules of High Pedantry wherein it's okay flatly to state something untrue about the world ("I'd kill..."), but it's a hanging offense to state something untrue about one's own sentence ("I'd literally kill...").

So then people sometimes add "literally" or "quite seriously" or what have you--why? Well, obviously, to heighten the exaggeration, because "I'd kill for X" is such a stock phrase that it lacks much rhetorical force.

I don't agree with this. My take on it is that the proper function of locutions such as "literally" or "quite seriously" is to underline that the speaker isn't just using a figure of speech. If you want to heighten exaggeration, you can do it without misusing words that mean something else.

Of course people do often misuse "literally," etc., in this way, and we understand what they mean (no one thinks von is going to kill anyone over air quality). But this is akin to crying wolf, and the result is that we are left without an effective way of signaling that our words are meant, well, literally, since the existing signals are now also meant only rhetorically. Are we supposed to come up with some new way of signaling literalness?

Since I am, after all, a pedant, I should make it clear that when I said "I don't agree with this" in my last post, I did not mean to disagree with the factual claim that people often do use these words in this way; rather, I am of course disagreeing with the claim that there is nothing illegitimate about such usage.

Do I lose sleep over it? No. But I do think precision in usage is worth caring about.

I spent a year as a single woman in the Rheinland-Pfalz, and I can't really recommend it. Beautiful for a month in good weather--great bicycling tours, wonderful castle ruins to explore--good quality of life for an extended stay--local sports clubs, good schools, theater clubs, adult education--but very boring for people making an intermediate stay.

Bernard Yomtov:

I had the same feeling about Granada and Vancouver also.

"Saying you'd "kill" for cleaner air is (hopefully) a rhetorical exaggeration for effect."

Well, he didn't say what he would kill. Maybe a bunch of cockroaches. :)

CaseyL: But it's nice to know that "tempus fugit" thing isn't just a symptom of encroaching codgerhood :)

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;

Time for another poetry thread?

[Hey, Slarti, where is the promised Phantom Tollbooth thread? Have I missed it?]

I didn't think of this before but...

For Milo,
who has plenty of time [emphasis added]

I'm a big fan of Paris.

yeah, it sounds trite. but i lived there for a while and just had a wonderful time.

missoula, last i visited, seemed to be being overrun by gambling.

I lived in Louisville, KY for some months, and -- being an effete latte-drinking Northeasterner -- was surprised at how much I liked it. Beautiful weather & scenery, no crowds on the highway even during rush hour, friendly people, and none of the sterile cityscape I have seen in other New South cities like Atlanta. It's a good pedestrian city, with excellent used bookstores, and has one of the best Indian restaurants I have ever dined at.

Not perfect, of course -- I would have like more theater, and fewer Jeeezus-bumperstickered pickup trucks. But these are small potatoes.

"My favorite place to stay is the Marina district. A calming vibe, great restaurants on Union Street, the Marina Green is a great place to walk and people watch and a Travelodge where I paid a whopping $75 a night a few years ago."

Barf. Personally, the Marina is just a wee bit too plastic for my taste. Too many perfect aryan blondes jogging around, too many guys with little chick-magnet dogs trying to pick them up. And my God, it is whiter than a loaf of Wonderbread.

And the perpertual puzzle of why in the name of Gawd are the houses so expensive there, when you're sitting on is landfill from the 1906 quake (Yeah, yeah, yeah, the views; but there are several dozen neighbourhoods in SF with spectacular views, but still, that's a lot of one's net worth that will be on liquifiying ground come the next Big One.)

Half-a-mile down, in Chrissy Fields, is beautiful though. And public land, thank the diety.

For my input: Newcastle, UK; Belfast, Northern Ireland (I'm not kidding here); New York; Vancouver, BC; St. Petersburg, Russia; Cairo, Egypt; and (if ruined cities are allowed) Petra, Jordan.


If you find yourself in San Francisco on a Saturday morning, walk over to the farmers market at the Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street. Great food, and a SF scene.

I wouldn't recommend travelling to anywhere Tyrone Slothrop has recently been ;-)

"The SF pollution blows south to San Jose and east to the Central Valley, unfortunately."
True to some extent, but believe me, those cities can generate tons of smog on their own. SF's population doubles on work days and the cars are all coming from SJ, Oakland, the east bay and the central valley. Assuming you took the visitors out of the equation, SF's smog is generated by fermenting dog poop and the glorious scent of the homeless.

I've always wondered why people go out of their way to include locutions like "quite seriously" (or "literally") in contexts where it is very unlikely that they actually mean it.

Ironic effect. And what Bird said.

If you find yourself in San Francisco on a Saturday morning, walk over to the farmers market at the Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street. Great food, and a SF scene.

Excellent point. Before I go, however, I'll need confirmation from you, Lt. Slothorp, that your relationship(s) with the farmers' market, Ferry Building, et al., has been strictly platonic.

(Excellent nickname.)

If you want to heighten exaggeration, you can do it without misusing words that mean something else.

Doesn't this beg the question (original meaning) of what is and is not a "misuse."

Urinated States,

Sorry, but last time I was there I had a great time in the Marina District, landfil not withstanding.

For living, there is no better place than Noe Valley.

"If you want to heighten exaggeration, you can do it without misusing words that mean something else."

Doesn't this beg the question (original meaning) of what is and is not a "misuse."

Yes, and thank you for not slaughtering "beg the question."

I dunno, look, the whole point of "quite seriously" or "literally" is to say "I don't just mean this rhetorically." If you use them to heighten rhetorical effect, well, that's the precise opposite of what their plain meaning is. Maybe you could argue that this oppositeness is itself some kind of über- or meta-heightening of rhetoricalness, but I say it just dilutes the usefulness of these locutions, forcing us ultimately to find some other way to assure the listener, "no, this time I really really mean it literally." Maybe some special hand signal or something.

To me it just counts as using the words wrong, on the level of "infer" for "imply," but hey, there are far more grievous sins in the world today.

pedant: I learned most of the words I know by hearing them in context, and I spent my early childhood believing that "literally" meant "almost". It wasn't until I actually bet another kid about this that I realized my mistake.

There's a place in Missoula, on the river, that makes ice cream, always great, but sometimes also a flavor called 'Mexican Chocolate.' This truly sublime production ought to be redemption enough for any of those stupid little 'casinos.' I lived there for a couple months one summer (early 90s), but have visited in all weathers over the last 30 years. It may be slipping, but it's still pretty far ahead of lots of other cities.

On SF, I just finished reading Winchester's http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060571993/103-6883847-7301447?v=glance&n=283155>Crack in the Edge of the World (having spent some time on planes, and without internet, over the last several days). Fantastic.

Other cities: Sonoma is pleasant enough, Enna too. I could live in Tuebingen. Swimming the Limmat through Zuerich has to count for something. Leiden I like, and would like to know better. And Providence. Really. I've never had a bad day in Spokane, which is, however, no Providence.

Great ice cream in Boston: Toscanini's, near Central Square. It makes a flavor called Burnt Sugar, which is amazingly good. I mean, near-religious-experience good.

Speaking of ice cream, back when there were Swensen's ice cream parlors (they seem to be only in San Fransisco and Singapore now) I remember a great flavor: Swiss Orange Chip. I'm not sure if it is just because I was so young at the time, but I swear I've never had ice cream so good since.

And Providence. Really.

I was born in Providence and it does seem to have recovered nicely. But I haven't been back enough -- well, outside of T.F. Green airport -- to know if I like it.

It makes a flavor called Burnt Sugar, which is amazingly good.

Free association time: I always that Burnt Sugar was a much better name for the dessert commonly called a "creme brulee."

"Speaking of ice cream, back when there were Swensen's ice cream parlors (they seem to be only in San Fransisco and Singapore now) I remember a great flavor: Swiss Orange Chip. I'm not sure if it is just because I was so young at the time, but I swear I've never had ice cream so good since."

If you're in San Francisco, then try Mitchell's Ice Cream, in the Mission District, San Jose Ave & Thirtieth St. There's also a few diners and coffee shops that stock it. They have Mexican Chocolate, and several other Philippino flavors (halo-halo, ube bean) that are divine.

Orthographically it should be "Filipino" (or "Pilipino"), even though the country is the Philippines. Don't ask me why; even if I could explain it wouldn't make sense.

The important question is: do they have macapuno ice-cream? By far the best (IMHO) of all Filipino flavors in this realm.

The important question is: do they have macapuno ice-cream?

I don't know about Mitchell's, but Tucker's in Alameda does. (Not that anyone who doesn't live in the Bay Area knows where Alameda is.)

Lemme guess: La Casa Gelato? The durian was the only flavour for which they felt the need to leave the lid on.

yes, the ice cream place on the river-- I watched a couple of grebes there ones. Also seen from the river bank: bald eagle and beavers. Goldsmith's! I liked it better before they expanded. Their B&B used to be one of my places to stay before I became obsessed with the Yukon. Missoula also has a laundramat called Sparkle that has great frozen yogurt cones.

I had some durian ice cream in Vancouver once. I liked it.

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