Refugees being settled in the US are sometimes going from a life of malnutrition, to a life of endless choices, most of them bad! In response, an Illinois state program is teaching recent immigrant refugees how to eat American food!
There's a great new directory of independent coffee shops in the USA that helps you find something other than Starbucks when your in unknown territory. I think that it was started as a college art project. Go to the Starbucks Delocator to find an independent coffee shop, or to post one that isn't there!
An oldtime 25-cent booklet called You Don't See These Sights on the Regular Tours was produced when there was a lot of criticism of "Ugly Americans" that traveled to foreign lands and made nuiances--or worse--of themselves. There are some really well known cartoonists that collaborated in the project.
Ray Childs has spent a lot of time in Atlanta. It's been a while since he's been there, but two things that stick out in his memory, are a vegetarian soul food place, and a biker bar.
The soul food place may have even been called "Vegetarian Soul Food", and possibly had two locations. He remembers it being low-key, with great food, and the guy that seemed to be the manager reminded him of a mellowed out black panther.
The biker bar was in the Little Five Points Vortex, Ray's favorite part of Atlanta. It had motorcycles on walls, and Ray described it as a "big fun burger joint"
|The only time I've ever been to Connecticut was to see the Decendents and Shades Apart/Subculture at a kid run punk club called the Anthrax. That was probably something like 1988 or 89. The club was in a little industrial park, and just had a little dorm fridge with sodas for a buck. There were no security people or any crap like that and the kids running it were something like 15 or 16. It seemed like a really great environment. Anyone know if it still exists?|
|Joe Kelley just told me that Billy Goat's is the place in Chicago that was the source of the old John Belushi 'Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger' skit. I wonder how much it has changed?|
|Here are some Billy Goat Tavern links:|
|A history of the Billy Goat. There are some pretty good stories about the tavern on this page.|
|"Ordering a cheezborger."|
|A Jerry's Diner Revue revue of the Billy Goat.|
|Chicago Metromix guide article on the Billy Goat Tavern.|
|If that's not your thing, check out Pat Bruno's Online Restaurant Guide for Chicago. The information can be sparse, but it'll get you in the ballpark.|
|The Middle East is a cool club and Middle Eastern restaurant.|
The Phoenix is the paper to read to find out what's going on in Boston.
One thing that I'm sure of. If I'm ever in Boston again, I will definitely try and time my visit to coincide with a KAIJU BIG BATTEL.
Audissey Guides has mp3 ($12.95) and CD ($19.95) walking tours of Boston and Cape Cod for sale. I haven't tried them out, so if anyone does, and is reading this, please tell me about them!
A horrible place that should be shut down, but you kind of have to visit once. Please feel very guilty everytime that you shower there and everytime that you see a green lawn. Things like that are why the Colorado river never even reaches the ocean anymore. There are tons of casinos to see. I have only ever been to the Circus Circus. It had the world's largest buffet, with huge plates and so much to choose from. I ate so much that I thought that i'd injured myself internally. I went and laid down in the sun for a half an hour before I could even move again.
I have heard that the former state of super cheap hotels and meals to keep you there, and keep you gambling are no more. The cheap room rates are now only Sunday through Thursday. Is this true?
Robert, the chef in the cooking class i sometimes go to, recommended the International Buffet in the basement of the Aladdin. He stayed at the Flamingo hotel. He said that they tried to push strip facing rooms on them, which may have been nice, but he ended up with a NW facing room that overlooked a huge, beautiful garden (with flamingos!) and guessed that the view couldn't be beat.
Reno has a lot of the good of Vegas, but not as extreme, and doesn't have that shitty plastic feel that Vegas does. There are plenty of lights and casinos, but you don't have to feel guilty going there.
Once a year in the Black Rock Desert is a huge party/art-show/rave/whatever. There is no money exchanged within the grounds, yet people spend inordinate amounts of time and money setting up their camps, art cars, ideas, and much more. It costs a pretty penny to get in, and it's simply not worth it unless you're going for the whole time. People that go think that it's the greatest thing in the world. It's too big and complicated a thing for me to say much here. With all that exists on the internet about it, read some other sites to get a better opinion.
|I woulda never thunk that i would be including New Jersey in this list, but i just saw a magazine called Weird New Jersey that was really nice. Although it looked like it may be targeted more for locals than for visitors.|
I was in Red Bank for a day and saw the Jay and Silent Bob comic book store the "Secret Stash". In addition to comics, they sell a lot of knick-knacks, and stuff signed by Silent Bob himself.
|New York City (just one link)|
I heard about the White Dog Cafe in Philly over ten years ago from Pete Lamport's brother and finally went in early 2003 with Chance. It's really a bar in front and a restaurant in back in an old house in the university district, not a cafe/sandwich shop as I was expecting. It's filled with students and reasonably interesting looking people. We both got sandwiches. (I was surprised that there wasn't a philly cheese steak on the menu.) The food was pretty good, but I had envisioned better. It was pricey for what i'd expected, so it was way pricey for what I got.
Recipe for a White Dog Cafe Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.
I was told to check out the Standard Tap Bar in Philly the next time I'm there. It's supposed to be a pretty good bar with good food.
No one told me until after I got back, but appearantly, everyone knows that South Street is the hippest spot in Philly.
John Brode told me that the Metropol is supposed to be the coolest place in Pittsburgh to see music.
Primani Brother's (several in penn and one in ft lauderdale) is a place Brandon was really into. He said that they developed huge meals in sandwich form for the steel workers that only had a half an hour for lunch, and that it eventually became a big thing.
|Travis just told me about the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, put on each year in Roger Williams State Park, in Rhode Island. He thought that it might be a cheesy crafts fair, but he said that there were awesome designs there by students from RISD (where the Talking Heads came from.) Travis highly recommends it. I hardly ever make it to the east coast, so I probably won't be going anytime soon.|
|Bridge Day is at the New River Gorge Bridge once a year and is a shitload of fun. They close down one side of the bridge and have vendors, base jumping, music and much more. I think that it's the third weekend in October. The last one was October 19th, 2002. It happens in Fayetteville, WV, USA.|
|Just east of Laramie, the Happy Jack and Vedauwoo exits off I-80 are starting points for some great mountain biking in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Check out my pics and write-up|