August 2011 Archives

The BBC discovers the beergardens of New York:

Back in the late 1800s New York City was rich in biergartens, some legendarily enormous. They were primarily built for, and by, the city's burgeoning German population. But then Prohibition in the 1920s and an anti-German sentiment inflamed by two world wars threatened the city's biergartens with extinction.

Luckily, in just the last few years, the city has undergone a beer gardenwiedergeburt (rebirth). They are bubbling up on building rooftops, under train overpasses and in repurposed auto garages. ... According to Beer Gardens NYC, a new mobile app whose very existence is an indicator of the resurgence, there are more than 50 spots currently meeting the app's (rather loose) definition.

I've been to a few of the ones mentioned, and they're quite nice.

Miles Davis's Chili

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And Just Add Cheese

Image by Frankenstein via Flickr

A mysterious recipe sets the writer off on a quest to learn about his musical hero, by eating his food.

I've never wanted to be someone else, except for maybe Miles Davis. And so I needed to eat his chili. ...

I started wondering: When would Miles make it? What flickered through his head when he cooked it? Smelled it? Tasted it? Because it hit me then that this man who ignored his past, who made such a wreck of his relationships, who bore so many of his refusals with something close to pride--here was one of his very few nostalgic gestures, the so-seldom look back, conjuring up the tastes of his hometown. ...

And so this recipe, with no instructions, and only a few actual quantities, I realized, was also written to be improvised. What would Miles Davis do? Whatever the hell he wanted.

This reminds me that at some point I should sit down and make a "canonical" written-down recipe for my chili. I mean, my recipe-in-pictures is pretty cool, but still...

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