Category Archives: Philadelphia

July 2010 Continues

APA’s in the news: I don’t envy the position that US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is in; he has a steep learning curve on the oil leak disaster, even if it’s pretty darn good that we do have a Nobel Laureate like him on the matter.

Speaking of the oil leak disaster, would a Republican President have done any better or worse?  Slate’s Christopher Beam ponders on the subject.  I’m of the view that – considering the complexity and the depth and horror of the situation – it couldn’t be any better or worse under any other Presidency.  But, that’s all very speculative.

Oh, wow – the return of the Rapping Doctor, Dr. John Clarke (who had his big break last year, with his rap on H1N1 virus), telling us to step over the gap on the subway (yeah, that’s a public service announcement in dire need of reminding, and probably does count as a public health and safety concern). (btw, he’s the rapping doctor who had the video about the H1N1 virus last year; pretty nifty).

I thought this NY Times article by Randy Kennedy on the restoration of the Thomas Eakins painting, “The Gross Clinic,” fascinating, because it’s about a well-known American painting, by a significant American painter (reminding me of the great American Painting art history course that I had taken back in college); plus the writing on the subject of restoration reminded me of the lectures by an art history professor I had back in college, who really had strong concerns about what it means to “restore” art (granted, Prof. James Beck focused on Italian Renaissance art (see the well-written obit about him in the NY Times awhile back), but the criticism’s sort of transferable and “restoration” can be tricky stuff).

NY Times’ Linda Greenhouse asks whether Justice Kennedy’s influence – hence a so-called Kennedy Court on the US Supreme Court – is really extant anymore, when it’s becoming clearer that he’s on the right-leaning side of the Court and not exactly that centric after all.

My Soap Box moment: Bob Herbert, in today’s NY Times’ editorial section, is right – kind of scary to push nuclear power when we kind of suck at trying to get oil, such as it is with the mess in the Gulf of Mexico.   Getting off the Soap Box now.

A nice Q&A on NPR’s website, with Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the ABC sitcom, “Modern Family” and currently in the city doing the Shakespeare in the Park repertoire of “Merchant of Venice” and “The Winter’s Tale.”  He’s been nominated for an Emmy for “Modern Family” – in which he plays the former child ice skater and now lawyer (sadly funny episode, where he’s trying to land a new job – and there was that episode where he was scared of a pigeon – which I empathize).

And, let’s end on a positive note: former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on the subject of writing poetry for kids.  Thought this was interesting, since I was – coincidentally – recently reading some Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear work – writings for children, yet darkly funny and weird – not what you’d think as mere kids’ stuff.

Weekends

4th of July weekend was very nice. Watched Public Enemies (decent movie, but it had me wanting so much more texture and depth from Johnny Depp and Christian Bale). Checked out the Morgan Library and Museum – which is turning into one of my more favorite museums, simply because Morgan’s library and study are fabulous 19th Century pieces.

This 2nd weekend of July: weekend Road Trip!

Saturday: Philadelphia – As part of the road trip weekend, siblings and I checked out the Star Trek: The Exhibition” at the Franklin Institute on Saturday, in Philly. It was mildly entertaining, but as even this review in the NY Times noted, I personally wished there had been more of a Science Behind Star Trek theme (the Krauss book, by the way — which I’m amazed that the NY Times review referenced! – is quite good on the physics of Trek, even if it is several years old now).

Guess Franklin Institute’s got to be entertaining, rather than educational.

And, needless to say, I – the Trekkie – probably knew way too much for my own good. And, the exhibit played mostly the soundtrack from either the original Trek series or “First Contact,” the latter of which is really good – and reminded me how the last Next Generation movie “Nemesis” left so much to be desired.

Dinner in Phildelphia: Jade Harbor, in Chinatown. Pretty decent food; clean bathroom, more or less (yes, I do get fussy about that).

Sampled a cheesesteak from Geno’s. Probably should have tried Pat’s, the rival.

Sunday: Saturday overnight was spent in Baltimore. Walked around the Inner Harbor area, walked around Babe Ruth’s museum. Caught the game between the Orioles v. Blue Jays. Blue Jays lost. I kept looking for ex-Mets players. Sigh. Didn’t get to do crab cakes, but perhaps another time.

First Krispy Kreme, now it’s going to be Tim Hortons? Tim Hortons coming to NYC?! I could’ve sworn NYC was a Dunkin’ Donuts town, way back when I was a kid and watching those “Time to make the donuts” commercials. Canadian coffee and donuts? If it’s really going to be at Penn Station, it should at least make the hockey fans content when they head to or from the Madison Square Garden and the Rangers games.

This coming Thursday: Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay, in “La Sonnambula” on Channel 13’s Great Performances! Well, I’m something of a fan of both of them – Florez especially, as noted in previous posts).

Here at Triscribe, we talk about APA’s and we have certainly talked a lot about David Chang (or maybe it’s me who has been talking about him, but that’s because the NY Times and Charlie Rose make it easy to learn so much about him) – here, here, here (which contains the link to the Charlie Rose interview with Chang), plus I spent my birthday dinner at the Momofuku Noodle Bar. The latest: how David Chang spends a lazy Sunday – at home, watching… Charlie Rose on DVR? What? So glad to know you like Charlie Rose, Mr. Chang!

Last, but not least: eventually, I got to check out the new MoCA! Not that its old location is/was bad – the Mulberry St place made it a part of the community, right in the middle of NYC’s Chinatown (Chinatowns being the heart of the concept of the Chinese diaspora), but it’s great that they’re transitioning into bigger space. Fascinating review in the NY Times.

Sweet Land of Liberty

I’m in Philadelphia, the land of liberty, with P- for a Asian lawyers conference. More exactly, I’m here for the conference to score some continuing education credits, and she’s here to eat and shop.

Since it’s mostly on my own dime, we took the Apex Chinatown bus. $20 round trip is an unbeatable price, even with a few glitches. The driver had the heat ramped up while we were waiting – it was like 95 degrees even with the roof vents open. Someone convinced him to turn the AC on instead. Then we were in the stop and go traffic of the Holland Tunnel, and the clutch wasn’t cooperating in the low gears – every once in a while the driver would misshift and the transmission would jar the bus as if we ran over the curb. It got much better when we made it to the Turnpike and got up to highway speeds. In Cherry Hill, a few guys got off – apparently they use the Apex bus to commute to and from jobs in New York. That is really crazy.

Walking from Chinatown, we headed to our hotel at Club Quarters, which was a 15 minute walk through the heart of the city. We stopped by at 5 Guys burgers on Chestnut Street – even 15 minutes to closing, the food was fresh and flavorful. Recommended.

Tomorrow, judging moot court while P- goes while through the city and possibly gets a pedicure.

Oh yeah, I guess I was too pessimistic in my last post – the Dems did win that 51st seat in the Senate. To think that at the end the Republicans lost the Congress because that 51st senator insulted an Indian American – now that’s what I call karmic payback. Sweet!