I'm looking forward to Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, hoping that I'll love it as much as I did Alphabetical, just maybe, which was, for me, the perfect record at the perfect time.
What's got me really excited about the new album, though, is the Kitsuné Tabloid mix that Phoenix put together, released last month. I guess I no longer need to wonder why I love Phoenix so much, because, really, they put together a set of songs I'd choose myself: a mix with Dirty Projectors, Roxy Music, D'Angelo, and Dusty Springfield? It's as if they read my mind!
My favorite San Francisco politics story from the last week: eight months ago, San Francisco decided to save money by cleaning certain streets only once every other week, rather than every week. The program was supposed to save $1 million per year in cleaning costs.
Unfortunately, the city government neglected to appreciate the auxiliary benefits of regular street cleaning: massive fees in parking tickets. So, how's it working out?
When city officials cut street sweeping in more than 20 neighborhoods in August to save cash, they knew that the change would lead to a loss in revenue from parking tickets. ... They probably didn't anticipate that the city would lose four times more money than it saved ... Street-sweeping tickets, at $50 a pop, dropped 26 percent on the affected routes from October to December, compared with the previous year, according to city figures.
Cocktails+, my favorite cocktail application for the iPhone, is free for the next 7 days:
Skorpiostech, Inc. is proud to announce its “Free Taste of Cocktails” promotion at the App Store. We are officially lowering the price of Cocktails+ to $0.00 for a limited time to promote our new “Publish to Facebook” feature. Customers who wish to take part in this limited offer need to hurry, as the offer begins Monday, April 6th at 12:00pm EDT and ends at the “stroke of midnight” on Sunday, April 12th. The Cocktails+ application downloaded will be full and unlimited, including free updates for the life of the major version.
Michael Ruhlman discusses his new book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which is all about the fundamental ratios behind recipes:
I like the bread dough ratio mentioned in the video (5 parts flour, 3 parts water) because it shows how a ratio takes the mysterious art of bread baking, and by paring it down to the essential balance of two ingredients, renders it the opposite of mysterious, and therefore, I hope, not so intimidating. With this bread dough ratio, you don’t have a single recipe, you have a thousand. Ratios are the launching point for infinite variations.
Ruhlman's "__ of a Chef" trilogy of books (Reach of a Chef, &c.) are some of my favorite books ever about food and cooking.
I'm 100 pages in to David Wondrich's wonderful Imbibe! this weekend, and I'm loving the drink recipes (of course) but also the history, the lore, the stories behind the drinks.
For instance, from the history behind the Philadelphia Fish-House Punch, in describing the Colony of Schuylkill, a private club started in the early eighteen-hundreds that would meet weekly to, well, eat and drink:
Every other Wednesday from May to October, year in and year out for more than two hundred years [they] ... would gather to execute the club's business. ... That "business"? Eating and drinking and precious little else. But what set the State in Shuylkill apart from other rich-people's clubs is that its "citizens" traditionally did all the work. There was no staff to do the marketing, sweep out the Castle, gut the fish (the Coroner did that), build the fire, plank the shad, truss the pig, grill the steaks, or brew the Punch. All pitched in, each according to his abilities, the citizens instructing the apprentices. And when guests came (each member was allowed one), the pitched in, too. In 1825, Marquis de Lafayette turned steaks on the grill. I don't know what they had George Washington doing when he visited in 1787, but rumor has it that in 1882 Chester Arthur--the only other sitting president to be a guest--donned an apron and shelled peas.