Elevated Acre


We visited this small park in the financial district: the above photo shows you the wonderful view of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, and Governor's Island. You can see 3 of the waterfalls, although the one on Governor's Island is off at the time of the photo.
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Democratic National Convention

I watched much of the prime-time coverage of the convention this year, which I have never done before. The Clintons gave some great speeches, as did Obama: probably Obama's biggest problem is how high the expectations are for his speeches. He certainly moved the crowd, although clearly not the ever-obnoxious David Brooks (read his NY Times editorial from the following day).


It's still Restaurant "Week", so we decided to try another restaurant. Very good Mediterranean food at Amalia; the short ribs were OK, but the pasta was better. The starter of watermelon gazpacho was excellent. And the panna cotta was delicious!

Sex and Lucia

This movie is hauntingly beautiful. It is very strange, and its self-referential circularity is kind of odd. But the story itself is wonderful!

The Wire

We finished Season One, which was awesome. I particularly liked the end scene where Major Rawls asks McNulty where he doesn't want to be reassigned. (You really have to watch the series to understand that line.)


Boy, I sure am behind on my blog. I have a backlog of books and movies I've seen that I haven't written about (mostly because I'm not sure that writing anything down on a blog is that interesting, and partially because I'm just lazy). OK, time to catch up today!

Henry Moore: NY Botanical Gardens

This was a nice exhibition that really took advantage of the Garden's beauty. The gardens were not as crowded as during the Chihuly exhibition two summers ago, which made the walk quite pleasant. No crowds!

Sushi Samba

Great place for brunch: $15/person, and you get 4 dishes. We had apple-pear pancakes (excellent), churros (very good), scrambled eggs (yummy), and smoked salmon and whitefish (delicious). Worth visiting, although I bet it is crowded during peak hours. There was a jazz band which was unpleasantly loud at times.


South African food in Brooklyn. This restaurant was in a nice spot near BAM, and the food was interesting and tasty. The staff was pretty friendly too, which is always a bonus. I recommend it.

One If By Land

We went here to get dinner, and discovered that it is Restaurant "Week". (Apparently Restaurant Week lasts around a month this summer.) The food was good (as it was the previous time we came here); I'm not sure why TONY says that it has gone downhill. But maybe my palate is not that sophisticated.


A cute film with some well-written dialogue and a good soundtrack. I see why people liked the movie, but I didn't find it as great as the reviews indicated. Not sure why, though.

Predictable Irrationality

Another book about psychology and economics, which is all the rage. This book was entertaining, but not that well written: it jumps from pretty sensible conclusions about some experiments to over-generalized statements about public policy. And some of the experiments just seem silly. For example, the author placed cans of Coke in student refrigerators at MIT (I wonder if it was in Burton House?): some of them wound up being drunk. However, when he placed plates with dollar bills on them in refrigerators, the dollars were not taken. From this he concludes that people treat $ different from objects. Which may be true, but in the context of this experiment I'd say that having a plate of dollar bills in your refrigerator is an unusual enough sight that most people would consciously avoid the bills.

Still, some amusing stories. Probably the best one is where he explains the experiments where students fill out some surveys while they are sexually aroused.


A book with a vision about the unity of science. Unfortunately, it's a yawner (I didn't finish it) and written with a very arrogant tone. But what can you expect from a Harvard professor?

The Wire

We've started watching The Wire on DVD. Amazing television: of course, it's been cancelled. Great writing and acting, and compelling subject matter. The commentary on the DVD talks about how the writers wanted to illustrate the effects of the corporation of all aspects of life: and they've certainly done a wonderful job at that!

Three Cups of Tea

Wow. The protagonist of this biography, Greg Mortenson, seems like an amazing guy. I think I'd hate to work for him, but he does get results in what does: which has been to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His way is certainly better than President Bush's way!

If you donate money to anyone this year, I think his institute (the Central Asia Institute) is worth donating to.

Charity Navigator rates the Central Asia Institute as a 4-star charity. Given the return on investment on building a school, I think this is a no-brainer.



We watched this movie on DVD (which was based on a comic of the same name). I liked the comic better, but maybe that was because the movie was just an animated version of the comic with voices. Still, it is a compelling story (in both versions).

Salsa Y Salsa

We were hungry, and wandered into this Mexican place. The food wasn't that memorable (although I'm writing this several weeks after our meal there). But it wasn't as bad as some of the reviews on Yelp.

The Dark Knight

Wow. This film deserves to make a lot of money (which it has). A well-written plot with some great performances. I'm not sure that I agree that Heath Ledger was as great as the critics say, but he certainly did put on a fine performance as the Joker. The Harvey Dent/Two-Face plot was a little too truncated for my taste, but I can't really complain: I loved this movie.