Our Inner Ape

A fantastic book about how we are similar (and different) to our evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees and bonobos. Sexual behavior, gender differences, societal structures, you name it. This book is a must-read.

Black Book

Black Book is a fantastic movie about the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. The twists and turns in the plot are startling: quite a dense story. The main character was wonderful; her lover was the main character in The Lives of Others, which won an Academy Award in the same year that Black Book was released. The two actors have apparently been in a relationship since that movie; they definitely had some good chemistry.

I highly recommend watching this movie.

JMW Turner

JMW Turner

We went to a members-only lecture about the JMW Turner exhibit that opens on Tuesday at the Met. The galleries were only open to members this weekend, which is a nice way for the museum to encourage membership. We didn't have a lot of time, so we just walked through it quickly. Our first impressions: the Met used much larger rooms than the National Gallery, and placed the paintings closer together. The exhibit felt more intimate in DC, but the relationships between the paintings seemed clearer at the Met.


A beautiful movie. This film may very well be my favorite Pixar film. A little over-messaged, and the plot wasn't particularly interesting. However, Wall-E is gorgeous to see, and it had a great focus on character and atmosphere. Yes, even robots can have character, when done right!

Bobby Flay

Well, I haven't blogged much lately: there's a backlog of blog entries that I need to clean up and post. But I had to include this amusing tidbit: we walked by Bobby Flay this evening while we were on the way home. Not our first celebrity sighting, but the first one that I recognized before Ming.

Brazil Grill

We grabbed some food here because we were hungry, and this was the first restaurant we came across. We had pasta and salad. The portions were quite large, although there was too much meat on the pasta. OK, not highly recommended.

Top Girls

We saw the MTC's revival of Top Girls. It was kind of fascinating at times, and painfully long-winded in others. The actresses all spoke with incredibly strong British accents (most of them faked, although I don't have the ear to tell if they were accurately faked or not). I liked Marisa Tomei in her role, and Martha Plimpton was fun to watch.

The first act was a weird dinner involving mostly historical/semi-historical/fictional women characters: pretty hard-to-follow dialogue, unfortunately. The second act depicted a young woman visiting her aunt, who was the center of the dinner in the first act. The third act was the best, with the main character visiting her sister, who apparently had adopted the main character's daughter. The sister was played by Marisa Tomei; the daughter was played by Martha Plimpton.

The Incredible Hulk

The second Marvel superhero movie of the summer. I liked it, and it's unfortunate that the marketing of the film was weak compared to Iron Man. Apparently Edward Norton had a dispute with the studio. The graphics weren't perfect, but the storyline was decent; the initial scenes in Brazil were well done.

How do they keep the Abomination imprisoned, though?

Saravana Bhavan

Vegetarian Indian food in NY. Yum! I'm not an expert on the cuisine, but I like this restaurant. I've been to the one in Sunnyvale and the one here; maybe someday I'll get to try one in another country.

The Savages

Wow, what a fantastic movie. Great cast and writing, and quite intense. The relatively happy ending was a little too Hollywood, but other than that it was one of the best movies I have seen in a while.


Ethiopian food in NY. Pretty good: we went there on a hot summer day, and it was empty for lunch. Excellent food, and lots of injera!

The House of Elliot

An interesting BBC production: we've enjoyed watching it. It depicts the difficulty that women had in early 20th-century England in having productive lives, especially without husbands.