New York Burger Company

We ate dinner at New York Burger Company. Good food, and pretty reasonably priced. We got a salad and a burger, and the salad was quite fresh. I'd go back.


I read the graphic novel Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China. Overall, an interesting (but somewhat depressing and non-enlightening) description of a Westerner's view of Shenzhen in the late 1990's. I'm not surprised that the author didn't enjoy being there, although apparently he did not try to learn much Chinese. Not rated highly, but was somewhat interesting.

Clark Brothers exhibit at the Met

We trekked over to the Met to see a special exhibit titled The Clark Brothers Collection. Overall, a fantastic collection of work; these brothers were fascinating people! Sterling Clark (the founder of the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA) amassed a huge collection of Renoirs, and some of the ones we missed in Williamstown we saw at the Met. A really worthwhile exhibit!


We had brunch at Mayrose, and although the food was good and reasonably priced, we had to wait forever for our food to come. It must have been at least 15 minutes, and the place was virtually empty! Highly non-recommended as a result.

Cafe Espanol

We ate in the Village at a Spanish restaurant named (appropriately enough) Cafe Espanol. Good tapas, and everyone seemed to be drinking sangria. We did not have any of the latter, though. The paella was quite good, as was the gazpacho. In addition, the prices were pretty good! We'll go back, I'm sure.

Rubin Museum

We went to the Rubin Museum of Art, which covers the broad category of Himalayan art. There was a special exhibit about the Dalai Lama, as well as Wutaishan (a holy Buddhist mountain/temple complex in China). There was quite a crowd of young people there; it seems to be pretty hip! The museum is small, but worth seeing; I would go back for other special exhibits, as the permanent collection does not seem very large.


We ate at Safran again. Good food, which is why we went back. I'd say that the only downside to this restaurant is that the lighting is extremely dim. My eyes aren't what they used to be!

Korean food

We tried a Korean place near Union Square called Dosirak. Pretty good food, although the portions were somewhat small. Prices were reasonable by NYC standards, but the portions were smaller than in Koreatown. The service was mediocre at best: the food came quickly, but I had to go to the counter to order and to pay. I'd recommend the food if you can put up with the other shortcomings.

Harry Potter ends

JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was fun to read. I thought she did as well as I could have hoped in tying up loose ends, resolving story lines, and coming up with an intricate plot that just kept on going. It almost felt like the latest Die Hard movie: non-stop action (one Horcrux after another). I didn't know how Rowling would have them find and destroy all of the remaining Horcruxes, but somehow she managed to squeeze it all into one volume!

Economics for dummies

Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan is an entertaining explanation of economics for the lay person. I recommend it as a good starting place to read about the basic principles of economics.


We ate burgers at a place called "brgr" (no web site available). Pretty good burgers, but on the expensive side: $20 for the two of us. Great taste, and the burgers were not too large (which I consider a plus, not a minus). However, not cheap, and I almost certainly would never go at lunchtime: I bet it would be way too crowded.


We've had pizza a couple of times from Waldy's, which produces some tasty pizzas. Not too expensive, either: I recommend it highly.

Harry Potter

I've been skimming through the 5th and 6th books of the series (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), in preparation for reading the new book that is due out. I have my own pet theory as to how Voldemort will be killed: after having destroyed the Horcruxes, Voldemort will be destroyed and be forced to flee (or attempt to flee) into Harry's body. (I would guess that the scar will represent the last remnant of Voldemort's power.) However, Voldemort will not be able to abide the force of Harry's ability to love, and will have to let himself die. That's the only plausible theory for why Dumbledore thought Harry can defeat Voldemort with the power of his ability to love.

I also think that Snape will be the one to actually destroy Voldemort's new body: he is the only wizard powerful enough to do so. Harry doesn't have any real experience or power, and the only reason that he has defeated Voldemort several times is that he has always been underestimated by the bad guys.

Well, we'll see!

Antique Cafe

I ate last night at the Antique Cafe with one of my cousins. We both had burgers, which were really good. Unfortunately, it was kind of late, and they didn't have any coffee. For the price, the food was quite good, and the outdoor seating was quite pleasant. The indoor seating is a little noisy because of the music they pipe in.

In and Out

We watched the somewhat-old movie In and Out, which stars Kevin Kline. Lots of Hollywood stars participated in the film. I had hoped it would be a lot funnier, but unfortunately it was a really lame movie with a few good scenes and moments.

Empire Falls

We watched the HBO series Empire Falls. What an outstanding cast! Ed Harris, Philip Seymour Hoffmann, Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, ... I loved the book, and I can understand why people didn't like the movie that much: it certainly was not as good as the book. But still, it was fun watching some great actors work together.

City Bakery

Yum; we had lunch at a restaurant called The City Bakery. Excellent food, although their web site is annoying. Apparently they are quite green, too, which is a bonus. Their prices are certainly not cheap, but the food quality is quite high! Definitely worth visiting.

Value vs. growth

An interesting article aboutmutual fund risk! The theory is that value companies are exposed to more risk of bankruptcy (no surprise there), which is more "dangerous" (presumably insufficiently compensated-for) than growth companies. So investors should not just invest in value companies (which is not too much of a surprise).

Tre Dici

We had a dinner at a small Italian restaurant called Tre Dici. Really good food, although both of us felt that the food was slightly salty. Then again, we've been eating less and less salt, so maybe the saltiness is normal for restaurant fare (it's certainly consistent with our experience that restaurants tend to oversalt their food). The service was OK, with some attitude. Overall, pretty good, but it's not a destination restaurant.


We wandered by L'Arte del Gelato in the West Village. Quite good, albeit a little pricey. For the quality, it was worth it, but I certainly wouldn't make eating here a habit!

More Yolato

We walked by a Yolato store near where we live. Pretty good dessert, and relatively nonfat.

Live Free Or Die Hard

Yippi-kay-yay! John McClane is back in Live Free Or Die Hard. It is definitely worth watching, and on a big screen. For summer entertainment, it is wonderful stuff, especially if you're a fan of the original Die Hard. Go out and see this movie; now!

It was fun to see Timothy Olyphant as the bad guy (he plays the sheriff in Deadwood) and Justin Long as the hacker kid (he is "Mac" on the Apple TV ads).


We splurged and went to Nobu for dinner. Outstanding food, and although it was quite pricey, it felt worth it. The only minor issues I had were:

  • the restaurant was too noisy: all the surfaces seemed to reflect sound

  • the service was OK, but not great for the price

Overall, worth a meal, though! Don't make a habit of it, or it will break your finances...

Idi Amin

We watched The Last King of Scotland. Forest Whitaker was outrageously good as Idi Amin: and the script really let him show off his ability to portrary the many sides of a charismatic megalomaniac. We were really confused (in a good way) by the movie, in that we thought that it sounded like a true story: it did a really good job of weaving real history into the plot.

Gillian Anderson looked nothing like her character in the X-Files! This movie is definitely worth watching, although there are some really hard-to-watch scenes.

Banana Leaf

We ate a South Indian restaurant called Banana Leaf. Not a lot of food for the money, but it was tasty. We had aloo chaat, which was very good; tandoori chicken, which was excellent, fish mouli, which was acceptable, and peshwari naan, which was very good. Overall, worth eating at!


We ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Hanami. Pretty good food: we had the tempura udon and a dinner box. Very good, although not superb; I would go back, given that the prices were pretty reasonable.


Economic markets, that is. John McMillan's book Reinventing the Bazaar covers a lot of the modern economic theory (albeit in a practical manner) about markets. I like his statement that "liberals" oppose the free market and some of the best ideas about how to help poor people, and "conservatives" love the free market so much that they love ideas that would destroy proper market functioning. McMillan keeps coming back to the idea that markets depend on proper government regulation in order to function best: his best example of this is the comparison between Russian shock therapy in the 1990's and China's unprecedented growth during the same time period.

I enjoyed his description of the Tsukiji fish auction in Japan, where $25M of fresh fish is auctioned every morning. My friend Mike Epstein has said that it is quite a sight!