The ebb and flow of New York neighborhoods is a great example of how cities evolve.
When I attended Pratt Institute in the late 1970s, the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan along St. Marks Place (8th Street becomes St. Marks Place east of 3rd Ave.) was a haven for punk rockers and hipsters, with used record stores (this was pre-CD) and tattoo shops. Drugs were a currency on the street, and leather the couture of choice.
I can recall walking the block of St. Mark's between and 3rd and 2nd Ave. shopping for rare British import albums and marveling at all the street vendors with their wares -- jewelry, records and cassettes, used books -- spread out on blankets on the sidewalk.
That was then. This is now.
OK, I can't stand it anymore. I'm not much of a puzzle person -- crosswords can't catch my attention, and jigsaws don't call out to me. I'm not much of a numbers person either -- hence, I work with words (journalism), not numbers (engineering). So, Sudoku hasn't exactly lit me on fire even though it's apparently the hottest thing in the puzzles and games world.
I see Sudoku everywhere, from supermarket magazine racks to fancy bookstores, and electronic games to lots and lots of sites on the Web.
Real sushi, from the source: a bento box at a sushi restaurant in Sapporo.
I'm in the middle of a two-week trip to Japan, and it's been a fascinating visit.
I was born here in Tokyo (an Army brat -- my dad, a Nisei from Hawaii, was stationed here and met my mom during the Korean war) and moved to the states when I was 8. But as an adult, I've only been in Japan twice -- in 1994 and 1995. This time it's for a family trip, and I'm traveling with my mom.
Here are some observations:
I never got the attraction of cigarette smokers who roll their own smokes. Looks like a pain in the butt to me -- har, I made a punny!
But then, I never got the attraction of cigarette smoking anyway.
But these days I'm into "rolling my own" when it comes to tea... green tea, that is.
We're making great headway in the United States in getting public names changed when they are reflections of an older era when racially charged terms were considered acceptable, or at least, not controversial.
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