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ruthless compassion
30 November 2010 @ 01:17 pm
One of my hugest peeves about the urban built environment, especially any area that has been substantially engineered in the last 50 years or so, is that its priorities are all wrong: we design for cars first and other uses a distant second. And we design for cars to go fast, even if we really want them to go slow. And then we throw up a speed limit sign and expect people to think that applies to them. This is stupid.

So, I'm happy to hear the same opinion from a civil engineer. One down ... an entire profession to go.
 
 
I'm feeling: aggravatedaggravated
 
 
ruthless compassion
30 November 2010 @ 01:30 pm
The sestina has long been one of my favorite forms of poetry, in part because of how constrained it is, and inside of that constraint, a really good sestina can perform some magical poetic alchemy. Even inside loving sestinas as I do, I am (and plenty of other people are) utterly gobsmacked by this one, which ran in last week's New Yorker:

Sestina by Ciara Shuttleworth

You
used
to
love
me
well.

Well,
you—
me—
used
love
to …

to …
well …
love.
You
used
me.

Me,
too,
used …
well …
you.
Love,

love
me.
You,
too
well
used,

used
love
well.
Me,
Too.
You!

You used
to love
me well.
 
 
I'm feeling: chipperchipper
 
 
 
ruthless compassion
30 November 2010 @ 03:45 pm
Cold weather has returned, and with it, the hot chocolate project!

First, a repeat: Cafe Zing in Porter Square. I really want this hot chocolate to be awesome, but it's merely okay. I had the spicy "Aztec" hot chocolate, and while I liked the level of sweetness, I found it lacking in chocolateyness and I wanted it to be spicier, and clearer in flavor. Overall: B-

Second, a new highlight!: Blue Tierra Chocolate Cafe in South Boston. This was my first time visiting here; until Saturday, I didn't even know this place existed! The hot chocolate was great: it was rich, chocolatey, with a pleasantly full-bodied mouthfeel, and a nice balance of sweetness and complexity. This gets a solid A.

Blue Tierra is a full-on chocolate shop, so in addition to a hot chocolate, I had a caramel-filled pyramid, which I found delicious. On the other hand, the default was to serve the hot chocolate in a paper cup, even though we ordered in. They did make it in a (very lovely porcelain) teacup for me on request, but not so with eestiplika's chocolate tea, which they would only serve in a paper cup. Also, the chocolate-enrobed cinnamon marshmallow she ordered was disappointing. I'd like to go back there and try other stuff here to see if it's all so hit-or-miss, but, of course, it's a bit out of the way, so it'll probably be a while before I get back there.
 
 
I'm feeling: chipperchipper