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Food & Drink

More Ebert

By Asides, Dinner for One, Wellington

Roger Ebert on the per­son­al, private places he loves (and the joys of being alone with them, as well as the occa­sion­al pleas­ures to be found in shar­ing them):

I first vis­ited the Moscow Arms near Pembridge Square in 1970, when the room fee at the hotel now named the Blue Bells was £4 a night. I have nev­er met any­body in that pub. I always sit in the same corner booth. There is a man who comes in every lunch­time, tat­tooed, bald, and wear­ing a motor­cycle jack­et. He is nearly 40 years older now, but he is still there, and it looks like it’s still the same jack­et. Has he noticed me cross­ing his field of vis­ion 50 or 75 times in his life­time? Certainly not. But if he still comes at lunch­time every day, it is my duty to bear wit­ness, because by now I have become the only per­son in the Moscow Arms who knows how long he has been doing this, or cares. I believe this includes him.

I too enjoy sit­ting alone in cafés, res­taur­ants and bars. Indeed this very morn­ing I took brunch at The Cheeky Pipi in Island Bay and, des­pite the average-ness of the cof­fee and the meal, I enjoyed the sit­ting, the read­ing and the watching.

An Anniversary

By Newtown, Personal, Wine

According to TreeHugger, wine in 3 litre card­board casks is sig­ni­fic­antly more envir­on­ment­ally friendly than the equi­val­ent volume in glass. I was pleased to read this as, in my final year of drink­ing, when I was giv­ing it a bit of a nudge, pretty much all my con­sump­tion was from those cheap casks of Country Medium you get at the front of the New World in Newtown. So, I’m glad to con­firm that, even then, I was doing my bit for the planet.

Yesterday, Friday, marked two years sober, two years which have eas­ily been the most pro­duct­ive of my life. To cel­eb­rate (and while we are on the sub­ject of the envir­on­ment) here’s John Clarke and Bryan Dawe dis­cuss­ing an envir­on­ment­al cata­strophe: “The Front Fell Off”.

John Clarke & Bryan Dawe – The Front Fell Off (Bob Collins)


A good idea

By Asides, Food & Drink

I love this idea:

Speaking of caring, though, no dis­cus­sion about cof­fee would be com­plete without men­tion­ing the Neapolitan tra­di­tion of the “caffè pagato”, the paid-for cof­fee. What hap­pens is after you’ve con­sumed your cus­tom­ary morn­ing espresso some­times you’ll choose to pay double, and leave a paid-for cof­fee. Thanks to this prac­tice, the place will be able to cater for a few known cus­tom­ers who could­n’t oth­er­wise afford their daily tazzulella ‘e cafè, without them hav­ing to ask or you hav­ing to offer.

I’d like to think it might save some of our beloved seni­ors from hav­ing to beg for the free cups at McDonald’s.
[via a post by Giovanni Tiso in the epic cof­fee thread at Public Address System]

Patton Oswalt on alcohol and flying

By Asides, Food & Drink

And while we are on the sub­ject of drink­ing, here’s Patton Oswalt:

Southwest Airlines.
No more. I’m done. That’s it.
“Ladies and gen­tle­men, there’s a pas­sanger with a young child who would like to be able to sit with her. As we are a very crowded flight, if there are two pas­sen­gers who’d be will­ing to move so they could sit together –”
“Ma’am? We’ll move.”
“That was so nice of you guys. I can offer you free alco­hol­ic bever­ages for the dur­a­tion of the flight.”
The two guys who moved (FOR THE ENTIRE THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTE FLIGHT): “Aw yeah! Fuck yeah, ma-hun! Free booze! Par-tay! (etc. etc.)
Everyone else (FOR THE ENTIRE THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTE FLIGHT): “What the FUCK?! Why’nint that cunt SAY we’d get free fuck­ing drinks?! No fair! Bullshit!”
If you’re HAPPY about get­ting free beer and cheap blen­ded whis­key for thirty-eight minutes, or SAD about NOT get­ting free beer and cheap blen­ded whis­key for thirty-eight minutes, you need to die. In a plane crash. And I get to fuck your eyes while we’re crashing.

Once upon a time I might have been one of those people and now, I think, I see them all the time.

The Return of the Spelling Police (Wellington Division)

By Cinema, Cricket, Food & Drink, Wellington

Over the last couple of weeks both the Penthouse and the Paramount have upgraded their web­sites – the Penthouse scores marks for hav­ing their ses­sion grid avail­able only a click away from the front page and the Paramount scores bonus marks for hav­ing the ses­sion grid right there on the front page – no extra clicking.

Paramount loses ser­i­ous marks because the film titles aren’t click­able! You have to go to anoth­er menu to read about the films. Counter-intuitive, dudes.

My favour­ite aspect (in a schaden­freude-y sort of way) of the Paramount’s new design is the lack of atten­tion to detail, as dis­played in the fol­low­ing image (snapped today, may have been fixed by the time you get there but it has been like that for more than three weeks):


Notice how they man­age to mis-spell the title of the film and all the mem­bers of the cast. Re-spect to Altman, though, as they got him right.

To prove that I’m not pick­ing on them, here are a couple of choice Wellington chalk-typos. The first from a couple of weeks ago out­side <for­get the name, on the corner of Cuba and Vivian>:

Duck Brest
(click to enlarge)

And my favour­ite, from out­side The Caledonian last Summer (the black­boards and fences have since been taken down by the new management):

Big Screen Cricet
(click to enlarge)

2 Quickies

By Food & Drink, Personal

One of the chees­iest ads of all time – for cof­fee! (via Coudal)

Suggested by Kottke (via Rivers Are Damp):

Go here and look through ran­dom quotes until you find five that you think reflect who you are or what you believe.”

Here are my five:

Our greatest pre­tenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our empti­ness. The hard­est thing to hide is some­thing that is not there.
Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)

I can­not say wheth­er things will get bet­ter if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 – 1799)

No one is use­less in this world who light­ens the bur­dens of another.
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)

People are people, messy and mut­able, com­bin­ing dif­fer­ently with one anoth­er from day to day – even hour to hour.
Elizabeth Moon, The Speed of Dark, 2003

I’m bet­ter than dirt. Well, most kinds of dirt, not that fancy store-bought dirt… I can­’t com­pete with that stuff.
Matt Groening (1954 – ), The Simpsons