Kana, Shoulda, Woulda…

I spent a large part of my limited free time last year in trying to teach myself the Japanese kana syllabaries. To unsophisticated Westerners like me, the angles, triangles, and hooks of the kana characters, especially in blazing neon above Shibuya, convey a sense of alien futurism, like sequences on a Martian spacecraft, despite theirContinue reading “Kana, Shoulda, Woulda…”

On the Berlin-Warsaw Express

Over twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and over six decades since 1945, you still know that there is something different about traveling east from Germany. Instead of a thick network of high-speed rail binding Frankfurt to Paris, and Cologne to Amsterdam, modern state-of-the-art train routes are nearly nonexistent across the easternContinue reading “On the Berlin-Warsaw Express”

Mom’s Cooking

  As some of you might know, my mother’s family is from Germany. This meant, growing up in Texas, we had some fairly diverse meals with decidedly Teutonic character. What I best remember among them is a chicken dish with rice, asparagus, and mushrooms called ‘fricassee’. Now I have no idea if this is authenticContinue reading “Mom’s Cooking”

A Tale of Two Computers

Had a major nostalgia kick (the funeral of Margaret Thatcher maybe?, the new Liberace biopic on HBO?) and ordered a Commodore VIC-20 on eBay. That’s right, the 5K RAM superstar that introduced millions of kids in the early 1980s to PEEKs, POKEs, GOTOs, and the rest of the colorful verbal arsenal of the BASIC programmingContinue reading “A Tale of Two Computers”

F Train to Castro Street

The Eureka Valley/Castro neighborhood was a quintessential ‘streetcar suburb’ a century ago, and it still is today. On the sunnier side of the Twin Peaks divide, and with a straight-shot, ten-minute transit connection to downtown jobs (when the trains show up, that is), the neighborhood thrived on the development of city infrastructure. The 1918 TwinContinue reading “F Train to Castro Street”

%d bloggers like this: