US Virgin Islands

We took a vacation to the US Virgin Islands, and spent most of our time on St. John. What a lovely place! Instead of blogging the whole trip, we'll put notes on a map that we created using Google Maps.

The Logic of Life

Another book written by an economist about incentives and social psychology. Entertaining and illuminating! I did think that the metaphor that people pay high rents move to cities to learn from the "University of Life" a little silly, though. It seems clear to me that people are not paying for knowledge per se: they are paying for the actual connections (relationships with other people) that they build while in those cities.

The Merchants' War

Charles Stross is a highly entertaining author: this series is a good romp that demonstrates his knowledge of the technology industry, the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and historical fiction. I tend to blow through these books, mostly because the characters are not deep. They tend to not have character flaws, but tend to be the one-dimensional characters seen in lots of simple fiction: they are put in situations where they do the most rational thing.

Otto Restaurant Enoteca Pizza

The prices appear pretty reasonable, until you see that they plate very little food for you. Pretty good quality, but extremely crowded and loud. I don't think we'll go back.

Turkish Kitchen

Yum, Turkish food! This restaurant was very reasonably priced, and the food was delicious. Definitely a winner.

Bello Sguardo

We had dinner at this nice restaurant on the Upper West Side. We just happened to walk by it, and the food was quite good! If we lived closer we would certainly go back.


Patrick Stewart at BAM in a production imported from England. He was awesome. Great production, if a little loud in the soundtrack. The set was quite stunning and versatile, and the setting in a fascistic WWI-type setting was quite impressive. I feel quite lucky to have gotten a chance to see this performance.

BAM's Harvey Theater is an interesting performance space; they kept most of the original walls, which had a really bombed-out look.

There were some subtleties that were interesting in this performance. "Damned be he who first cries, 'Hold, enough!'" The meaning of that line was altered greatly through the delivery by Mr. Stewart---they executed the fight between the last two words, and although Macbeth had the upper hand, he gives up and mutters "Enough." in a despairing sigh. Also, the porter's name "Seyton" is pronounced "Satan", which was in retrospect obvious, but disturbing in its connotations.


We decided to eat out for Valentine's Day on the night before, since it is a lot easier to get reservations that day. OK, so we're lazy...

The food was quite good, albeit reasonably pricey. The building doesn't look like it would house such a fancy-looking restaurant. But it's pretty close to where we live, and so is a nice option on bad-weather days.


We watched a few episodes of this BBC antique-dealer-slash-con-man, mostly because Ian McShane was the star. He was the central figure in HBO's Deadwood, and we just saw him on Broadway in The Homecoming. Very fun series, if a bit dated-looking now.

In Defense of Food

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That's the essence (and subtitle) of the book. What else is there to say? Well, you should read the book. Michael Pollan is a wonderful writer; I wish I could have the chance to meet him.


Another season of Lost, and it's a good one so far! Some great scenes and stunning revelations to close each episode.

The comic writer Brian K. Vaughn (he just finished Y the Last Man, which is worth reading) has been involved in writing and producing some episodes of Lost. Interesting tie-in!

Jane Austen Book Club

Although very predictable in many ways, this movie was surprisingly endearing. (Certainly not profound, though.) I would recommend it as pretty good light romantic comedy.

Lewis Black

Red, White, and Screwed was pretty hilarious. What else is there to say? Lewis Black is one of the funniest comedians around; hopefully we'll get a chance to see him in person some day.