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About sheldman

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    Degrees In A Circle
  • Birthday 04/17/1965

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  1. From the linked article: "Personally, I go to restaurants primarily for the hospitality and secondarily for the actual food." I am kind of the opposite
  2. I ate at Elle for the first time last night, and (1) it was very nice though loud and (2) it made me realize why I go out so rarely in DC these days. Eating light and vegetarian, two drinks each, $75 per person with tip. I wish I understood the economics of running such a restaurant better. I am not saying that it was yielding enormous profits for anyone. I have no idea. Maybe all employees are very well paid, which would be good. Maybe good bok choy costs more than I imagine. Maybe rent/mortgage is bizarrely high even in Mt. Pleasant. I suppose that maybe I am saying I don't want to pay double for good food, for the opportunity to sit for an hour and a half and have people fold my napkin and refill my water glass. I wish we had restaurants like Superiority Burger here in DC.
  3. Yeah it is a harsh concept that is the law in (I believe) most states. (See that definitive source, wikipedia). We are wild about long-term incarceration in this country.
  4. Thank you for doing this chat. Two questions, if you have the time: 1) I assume you have been eating widely in "great" restaurants for years. How would you describe the change(s) you have seen over the decades? 2) What do you do, to find very promising places to eat at, when you are traveling to a city without a Michelin guide?
  5. Small nonstick pan. 2 or 3 eggs and about a half tablespoon butter, plus salt & pepper. low heat. no whisk. break up eggs and stir and then constantly fiddle and scrape and stir and worry them with small spatula until they are right to your preferred level of wetness or dryness. haven't measured the time but should take at least 3 minutes and perhaps more.
  6. We went to the bar here last night and found it utterly bizarre. As suggested above, the insistence on local is non-uniform and therefore arbitrary: "yuzu oil" in one thing, but no tequila because it's not locally sourced. Could not find a drink that did not sound, from menu description, over-complex and over-sweet. Sorghum is a clever notion; but a whisky cocktail with sorghum etc etc would have been awesome if poured over hot oatmeal but otherwise blech. The building is cool, though, and everyone was nice! Order liquor neat and enjoy the experience.
  7. Some of the leaders among the Parkland kids are on a cross-country organizing and voter registration tour now. They are not the story du jour any longer, but are doing the hard work of political organizing, and (I think) are doing a great job of crossing all sorts of subcultural boundaries. A twitter link here to a story from today. The kids these days, they are alright.
  8. A new entry into the very very good ice cream category - Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream in Mount Pleasant (3110 Mt. Pleasant, NW DC). There are two stores in Maine (the Obamas went to one a few years ago, they say), and this store here just opened up. $10/pint, and of course you can get cones etc. I bought two pints - (1) Kulfi, (2) "Bay of Figs" (figs in fig ice cream) - both were astoundingly good. Tried a thai spicy (peanut and a good bit of cayenne, etc.) and a buttermint (like those funny little mints in old fashioned restaurants) and both were great. Flavors are relatively innovative but not willfully ridiculous. After I went and ate and loved, I realized that the local partners are friends of friends of mine; but I swear I loved the ice cream before I knew that. Check it out.
  9. Have now listened to the second and it is that pronouncement that I paraphrased above - which is not supported by ANY evidence cited - which is Gladwell's big ultimate point. Brian Williams (correctly, is my hunch) ends up in the second episode explaining this memory incorrectness on his part by attributing it in part to his own ego, self-aggrandizement - and it is important to Gladwell (for some unexplained reason) just to declare that this is ridiculous self-flagellation. So yes, it is probably true that Brian Williams wasn't lying: he had actually and subjectively fooled himself into believing that he was at the center of an awesome story that made him look cool. But I was struck by how the bold pronouncement that stuck out to me in the first episode - as being gratuitous and unsupported - ends up being the gratuitous and unsupported point of the second episode. Or maybe I just hate podcasts
  10. Don't want to get too off-topic but I listened to that first one and found it infuriating because Gladwell ends up making these bold pronouncements about human nature (like "how we remember stories about ourselves is not a reflection of our character at all") based on a story that didn't really justify any such thing - for one thing, it was not at all clear to me, from any evidence given, that Weitz was ever actually promoting a version of the story that was inconsistent with Adler's. But Gladwell does love bold pronouncements.
  11. I disagreed with him about practically everything but this makes me think well of him.
  12. The more I have thought about this, the more I believe that the "no" campaign was misleading astroturf by corporate interests, aided by some successful employees who have learned to navigate the current system well and who feared what their bosses might do to them in a new system, all targeted at the worst impulses of prosperous pseudo-liberal DC. We were all led to understand, for one thing, that it was "about" restaurants and bars when - as far as I can understand by some digging - it actually goes broader than that. (Think of nail salons, valet parkers, etc., and wonder whether employees in those industries are being treated as fairly as you hope that your favorite bartender or waiter in a fancy restaurant is being treated.) We were all led to understand that it would somehow lead to a decrease in compensation for those bar and restaurant employees who have been clearing a good compensation package through tips - when there is no reason for anybody without advanced econ training and lots of data to make any such assumption. (There is no inherent reason why now-tipped employees, individually or collectively, would be willing to do the same work for lesser compensation; it would be up to employees and employers to work within the new laws to reach a new equilibrium.) Part of me thinks that perhaps the unspoken thing is that the current system gives employers in tipped industries some hidden tax subsidy that is not available to other industries, like they don't have to pay full employer FICA on tips or something? Mainly, it shows that so many of us lucky west-of-rock-creek (white) people are fearful of changing the arbitrary systems that we have grown up with, especially when Rick Berman tells us that it might cost us a few dollars.
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