Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is an interesting cult thriller/science fiction/growing-up story. Lots of recognizable Hollywood stars: the lead actor is a young Jake Gyllenhaal. Creepy and mysterious, it's definitely worth watching!

Interesting fact mentioned in the movie: Donnie's teacher says that a linguist claimed that

Cellar door
is the most beautiful phrase in the English language: that person was Tolkien.

The Queen

No, not Freddy Mercury. Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth. A fine movie, if a bit dry and not very exciting. And also predictable, given that it is based on real historical events. Still worth seeing, though.

Sheet music

This online store, Sheet Music Plus, seems to be one of the better places to find/purchase classical sheet music.

Economics humor

The video presentation of this paper is pretty funny, and worth watching.

The author, Yoram Bauman, apparently has given up a tenure-track position teaching economics, and now is a standup comic. Or, as he puts it, a "standup economist". You can see some of his routines on the web, of course!

Rome Season 2

We reluctantly finished watching the end of HBO's TV series Rome. Such fine television; it's too bad that all of the really well-written stuff seems to only on HBO!

One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Michelin-rated restaurant. Excellent food! They are celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, and were giving away $35 gift certificates. So we thought it would be worth a visit. Set in a building that apparently was owned by Aaron Burr, the ambience was spectacular. Not-to-loud lounge music from a grand piano, excellent service, and some revolutionary-war-era decorations. And the food was simple and fine!


Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck played at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Great cast, including F. Murray Abraham and Bobby Canavale. The star of the production was Alison Pill. The writing was not the best, but the play had some wonderful moments. F. Murray Abraham's soliloquies were a delight, in particular. Overall, it was definitely worth seeing, and good entertainment. But profound it was not.


Subwayland by Randy Kennedy is a collection of articles about the NYC subway that apparently were originally published in the NY Times from 2001-2003. They feel a little dated, but still are fascinating stories about the culture that exists around, in, and about the subway system.

No Reservations

This movie was also showing on the flight home. It was a predictable romantic comedy, and was entertaining to the extent that Catherine Zeta-Jones is beautiful. Abigail Breslin (the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine) was cute, but the role wasn't that well written and developed. Oh well, it kept me awake on the plane, at least.

The Magnificent Seven

Interestingly, The Magnificent Seven was playing on the plane from London to JFK. This movie is one of my favorites, and so I had to watch it again. A magnificent soundtrack; fine cast; good script (adapted from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai); and stunning cinematography. One of the best westerns ever made!

Medici Money

Medici Money by Tim Parks is a fun book about the beginning and end of the Medici bank. It digresses marvelously into discussions about the origins of humanism; the interplay of art, money, and religion; the political situation in Italy; and lots of fascinating other tidbits. It's an entertaining read about an interesting period in time.

E.G. Bührle Collection

After taking a break, I wandered over to the E.G. Bührle Collection. This private collection was made open to the public after the owner passed away, and it resides in a lovely 3-floor house. He was a major industrialist/art collector, and the collection has some magnificent pieces in it. I wish I could have taken some photos! I was the first one in the door when they opened at 2PM local time, and the house was virtually empty for the entire 40 minutes that I was there. If I weren't exhausted after flying to Europe (and walking around Zurich), and if a whole busload of people hadn't entered around 2:30, I would have stayed a lot longer.


I got off the plane at 7:15AM (Zurich time), and need to stay up today until evening so that I can force myself onto a normal schedule in Europe. So, after checking into a hotel, I wandered around Zurich and found my way to the Kunsthaus. It's a pretty good museum. Two of the more memorable pieces were 2 large two-paneled paintings by Monet. I'll have to upload some pictures after I get back home.

There was a special exhibition of Felix Vallotton's work, which was interesting: I learned something!