Wednesday, September 29, 2004

These Japanese girls stopped a couple white punk boys to take their picture (flirts) during a street fair on Sevent Ave, mid town. They didn't seem to mind me taking advantage of their photo op...

LaGuardia tower

I had to spend last weekend in NYC (east coast work last Friday and this Monday). I stopped by the Prada store in Soho that was designed by Rem Koolhaas. Way kool.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A fine Pacific Northwest wine...

L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Merlot 1998

Last Saturday we had a special dinner, and cracked open a bottle of Northwest Merlot. A couple of years ago we took a second trip to the eastern Washington wine country and made it all the way to Walla Walla.

The L'Ecole No.41 winery is located in Lowden Washington (east of Walla Walla). Known for their merlot, L'Ecole No.41 is an established Pacific Northwest wine maker (since 1983). Many of the wineries we visited on this trip were, ahem, out of our price range. L'Ecole was no exception. However, the opportunity to grab one of the few remaining bottles in their library (some 1100 cases were made) of a reportedly outstanding year induced a momentary weakness and I bought a bottle.

The wine had an intense fruity nose with a hint of flint. Lots of ripe cherry and plum fruit on the palate with a bit of smoke and leather. There was good complexity and depth. Good structure--not too soft and not too chewy with tannins. The finish was a bit short, with lingering fruit and oak. All in all, a very good/excellent wine.

The bottle was also very drinkable the next day (today). The same nose and taste, with a bit of a herbaceous taste on the palate that was not there last night. The tannins were also a little more forward than yesterday. On balance, still a very delightful wine.

Maybe someone can tell me why some wines fall down completely shortly after the bottle is opened, while others hold up well. With only two wine drinkers in the house (not counting our son who gets his watered down) it is near impossible to finish a bottle at one sitting.

This wine went for $28 back in 2000, according to the Wine Guru; presently $60 at the Italian Village restaurants in Chicago; and between $30 and $40 at the winery in 2002.

This is a great site for planning a Washington winery tour--we've used it twice with great results.

If you're fortunate enough to be in or around Kirkland Washington, stop by The Grape Choice. The proprietor Larry Springer, gives great advice about wineries to visit in both Washington and Oregon.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The perfect gift for someone you know, the Godfather Horsehead Pillow.

[Via we make money not art]

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Mr. Beefcake at the pool.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Our hotel, the New Grange hotel in Navan.

This is the Birmingham pub in Navan, more great Guinness. This was shot early, about 8:30pm before dinner. Guinness is known not to "travel well", and in fact the taste and mouth feel of this stout is but a shadow of its true self outside of the Emerald Isle. The texture was so creamy the flavor so rich, like a milkshake.

Had many amazing pints of Guinness at pubs like this one. Twilight in Dublin.

The 400 foot tall Spire on O'Conner Street, Dublin. Completed July 7, 2003 and known locally as "the Spike" the Spire was designed by the limey firm, Ian Ritchie Architects. Critics referred to it as, " ...a brave and uncompromising beacon, re-affirming the status of O'Connell Street as Ireland's principal urban thoroughfare... It will in effect reinvent the cultural dimension of the urban space of O'Connell Street." Locals called it an eye sore and misspent public funds. The 400 foot Spire cost $4.5 million, twice the initial estimate.

The Spire is a modern replacement for Nelson's Pillar, a 134-ft.-high stone edifice erected in 1808 that, unfortunately, was blown up by the IRA around the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966.

This guy was playing a fantastic slide guitar. Nice outfit, too.

Went to Ireland last week for a sales meeting and got to spend half a day checking out Dublin. This is the bank holiday crowd.

Tag in downtown Dublin

Back Again

Well as you might guess, the past few weeks have been rather intense. I'm back, with more photos and stuff to follow...