Archive for the ‘weird and wacky’ Category
Yesterday was Manhattanhenge, the urban phenomenon for when the sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s grid. Apparently, to the get the best glimpse of sunset you’re supposed to walk as far east as possible and arrive a half-hour before the designated time to watch the sunset. In between commercials of The Bachelorette (roughly around 8:15pm), I snuck out of my apartment to take a peak. I saw nothing. Was I doing it wrong? Was I too late. Too early? Luckily for me (and for us?) July 11-12th offer another chance to bask in the glory of this Significant Astronomical Event. The Hayden Planetarium writes:
What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England. For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.
For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year. For 2011 they fall on May 30th, and July 12th, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid. A rare and beautiful sight. These two days happen to correspond with Memorial Day and Baseball’s All Star break. Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball.
Photo Source: Gothamist
Photo (and recipe) courtesy of Gourmet: the Holy Grail of food photography
I won’t lie: I find myself identifying with parts of the New York Times’ article on food photography: People Who Photograph Food and Display the Pictures Online. I don’t snap pictures of everything I prepare or eat, but I have certainly posted my fair share of food photographs on Facebook, Picasa, Shutterfly, Flickr, etc. However, as I’m reading about these people who photograph their every meal I can’t help but feel slightly queasy. When I’m not really hungry, or if the food is photographed in an unappetizing way, I am really turned off by both the meal and the photographer. I find myself focusing on the photographer’s personal habits (like really personal habits). A bad photograph might conjure up images of the person’s digestion, their skin, their hygiene. It’s just too intimate-in an oversharing, gross way.
Yet, when a meal is photographed beautifully, I want to make it myself. I want to know more about the person’s lifestyle, their food preferences, their go-to recipes. I suppose that’s what I’m trying to evoke when I post my own pictures of food in an album – a feeling of pride for my assembling/culinary skills and perhaps even admiration for my amateur photography skills. That, and a memory. At the end of the day, though, this is a weird phenomenon. I’m half ashamed to participate in this fad but also don’t see myself stopping the food photography train in the near future. Especially since half of this blog is made up of pictures of food!
I write “Fact #1” because this subject could potentially be an ongoing post. I love facts about the animal kingdom. Thanks Meg for sending this to me.
Blue whales, on average, weigh 176 tons. Their tongues alone are as heavy as an elephant. They reach these behemoth proportions on a diet of tiny shrimplike animals called krill. Blue whales were hunted almost to extinction but are now on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of endangered species.
P.S. When I received this on my phone, I was pretty sure it read: “World’s Biggest Stuffed Animal.”
Where to begin. Yesterday Many days ago, the Food & Dining section of the New York Times published an article on the newest yoga trend–yoga for foodies. Studios are picking up on the fact that lots of people who do yoga (or maybe just those who practice at the Exhale studio where the first classes are taking place) also identify as foodies. And so, after a long, sweaty workout, studios are offering rewards (at least, this is what it sounds like) to their patrons with three course (vegan) meals. Does this sound like a wild oxymoron to anyone else?
All had signed up for a strange new hybrid of physical activity: first an hour of vigorous, sweaty yoga, then a multicourse dinner of pasta, red wine and chocolate. As soon as the lights went up, dinner was served on the floor: an (almost) seamless transition designed to allow the yogis to taste, smell and digest in a heightened state of awareness.
After I leave a yoga class I typically feel: sweaty, exhausted, peaceful, detoxified. Indulging in a multicourse pasta dinner polished off with some chocolate dessert and alcohol does not sound appealing. But I will say–and I’m putting aside my disgust for eating in a stuffy room, on my sweaty mat–it sounds like a fun date/once in a blue moon experience. Replacing your regular yoga practice with a few vinyasas and a heavy meal? Ill-advised. Having fun with your friends and thinking outside the mat? I could be convinced.