Arlington, TX, home of the Cowboys, the Texans.  Fort Worth, too.

Arlington, wrapping normally, from upper-left.

  1. At least 2 Asian shopping centers nearby stadiums.
  2. AT&T stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play.  There is a self guided tour, if you pay the admission.
  3. Bigger view of the turtle that doesn’t want to come out of it’s shell.
  4. Globe Life Field, where the Texas Rangers play.

Fort Worth, wrapping, from top-left.

  1. Fort Worth Stockyards, portrays historical Fort Worth, surrounded by their nightlife district
  2. Brisket, pork chop, and pork ribs from Cooper’s Pit BBQ.  It is THAT good.  You walk in, and the meat is right there under lids smoking.  You pick the piece of meat you want.  Price is per pound.  The brisket is sooooo goooood.  Fatty, moist, and the outside hasn’t yet turned into a hard bark but has all the seasoning.  The ribs and pork chop are ok in comparison.  Don’t let the brisket go cold.  The ribs and pork chop are ok the next day.  For taking it home for the next, it’s all about the fat congealing.
  3. Sundance Square during the day.  Restaurants and shopping all around.
  4. Cooper’s BBQ.
  5. Sundance Square at night.  I must be a sight to see during the summer months.

 

 

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2017, Memphis, TN

A McDonald’s blast from the past, just in time for the movie?

From the uppoer-left, wrapping normally.

  1. You know what’s funny.  I swear Jeremy Renner kinda looks like Elvis.
  2. Gates of Graceland mansion.  $45 gets you a tour of the mansion, access to the car museum.  As well as tour of the plane.
  3. Elvis’s plane, named Lisa Marie.  Took a picture of it, above the fence.  It consumes an hour of so, but if Elvis had any part of your life or heard his music, you might as well see it.

 

Beale Street visually has a lot of character.  It is beautifully photogenic like distressed wood.  It’s turned that into 2 blocks of BBQ and blues clubs.  Wrapping normally, from upper-left.

  1. Beale St Entertainment block is located just blocks from Fedex Forum where Memphis Grizzlies play.
  2. Some of the signs outside on Beale St  (Bail) beckoning customers inside the restaurants.
  3. BB King’s Blues Club
  4. BB King’s Blues club has fantastic brisket.  Good mix of bark and tender pieces.  The potato salad is awesome.  Awesome.
  5. Handy park is nearby, where they can probably play outside concerts.  The Coca-Cola sign is probably an indicator that Memphis is home to the Coca Cola Bottling company headquarters.  I couldn’t find the factory here to tour, though.
  6. More signs outside Beale St
  7. Trolley downtown, with more shopping.

 

The Peabody hotel has live ducks that habitate in the hotel.  They come down from their penthouse and liven the scenery in fountain in the lounge, everyday from 11a to 5a.  And everyday they march themselves to and from work, via the elevator.  Strangely, they seem to run away from me.  I suspect the word is out among the ducks, that I have too many visits to Big Wong in NYC.

Memphis is mostly a sprawling city.  According to Wikipedia, the population is about the same as Nashville, around 600k.  But it feels bigger in terms of places to visit/pass by.  Below is Liberty Stadium.  Where Tim McCarver stadium used to be.

Cooper Young District is like 4 blocks of bars and restaurants started by artists.  But I found the Panera bread at Laurelwood Shopping Center more laptop friendly.  Most of the malls here and there are like 6 of them, have a food court to settle in.  But few have power outlets easily accessible.  Laptop loiterers are not common here, I guess.  East Memphis is the more gentrified parts of town.


Central BBQ.  No bark on the brisket.  Ribs fall off the bone.  Good potato salad and cole slaw.  What’s that about?  Why has cole slaw suddenly tasted good in some places?  Did the secret cole slaw lab finally discovered the right formula a half dozen years ago?  Has outdoor and indoor seating.

I find myself hanging around Bartlet / Germantown area.  There’s a lot of places in that area that have shops with outlets, wifi, and are laptop loitering tolerant.

I have noticed an interesting sign starting in Kentucky, but has been everywhere for about 2 states now.  It has replaced the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” signs I remeber as a kid.  You would think there was somethings that didn’t need a sign for.

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The Memphis Zoo has pandas.  If I pass it too often, the zookeepers outside gates eye me suspiciously, like I’m planning to break them out, and have a store of bamboo in my van.

Lots of schools, High Schools and Colleges.  Like Nashville, a lot of churches.  Not exactly a cornucopia of tourist locations, but you defnitely can just hang out here.

 

I guess even the South has winter.  Nashville is a brisk 41 F

I think I saw some flakes on one morning.  Wrapping normally, from upper left.

  1. There is also an arcade of shops nearby downtown, near the riverfront.
  2. City Hall peeking out in background.
  3. On the riverfront, you can see Nissan stadium for the Tennessee Titans.
  4. Greeting you inside the entrance of the Musicians Hall of Fame
  5. I wish I can say I was a country music fan.  The Musicians Hall of Fame is $24.  The Country Music Hall of Fame is here too.  I kind of skipped it.

Andrew Jackson had a home here, named Hermitage (Air-mudge).  It’s been restored but I really wasn’t interested.  The tour is coincidentally priced at $20.  I’m sure you’ll figure out what the coincidence is.

There is a Greek revival of sorts here.  With a remake of the Parthenon and a statue of Athena. Also skipped.

BiCentennial capital mall Park looks like a great place for a concert in warmer months.  And it’s right next to the Farmers market.

Next was to see the Grand Ole Opry.  To my surprise there’s a big mall right next to it.  Opry Mills mall was pretty busy on a sat, but still able to find a table in the food court.  There’s a Mission BBQ there with an patriotic greeting where new customers are greeted w the American flag on a tv, the star spangled banner plays, and everyone inside stands at attention.  But it has a large movie complex w/ some IMAX projectors, and a Dave and Busters.

Butchertown Hall is a restaurant/bar, in a part of Nashville called Germantown.  It was pretty good for sunday brunch.  A ridiculously …err helpful brunette bartendress was working.  $12 Cheeseburger and roast potatoes (baked in oil and salted, better than fries).

I forgot Peyton manning played in college for Tennessee.  I wonder if the condos are named after him.  Germantown reminds me of Williamsburg in brooklyn.  Some old homes, but about half dozen new condo developments with new businesses cropping up and a seemingly young crowd.

Meat and three is a way of ordering food portions here.  A meat dish and 3 non meat sides for $6.  Here’s meat and 1.  And some pretty good gumbo (needed a little more salt really, but ok).

Eventually I saw the Parthenon.  I went to see Centenial Park, and it’s a very visible part of the scenary there.  Apparently, it was built as part of the Bicentential Celebration and Nashvillers liked it so much, they kept it.  They should see the real thing in Athens, even in ruins, perched on top of a hill.  The real thing stands out.  Still too cold to be walking around in the brisk air.  I enjoyed Nashville color with a hot chocolate from a Crema Coffee shop, with the condensation on the window from the production on the busy Sunday.  And I drove past, what appears to be a sculpture of a bad hair day.

Vanderbilt is in Nashville.  I did not know that. Huge campus, and sports complex.  It was started with a gift from a New Yorker, Vanderbilt of railroad fame.

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Nashville had a 3 day warm streak, but I spent it inside, trying to fix more code I broke.  Camping inside the Green Hills mall for their coffe and Wifi.  Hanging out in Starbucks in Nashville, which has fireplace here.  Even got to see a protest, presumably of Vanderbilt students.  Wish I had my SLR.

Actually I learned to listen to some country music too.  It’s a little like listening to easy listening music at my parents.

There’s an old restored plantation named Belle Meade on the south side of Nashville.  Reminds me of a country club.

Finally had some decent BBQ at Opry Backstage Grill.  Wasn’t as tender as other places I’ve had BBQ, but very very smoky.  You can see the red smoke ring.  And the sauce is on the side for the pulled pork shoulder.  Brisket reminded me of tasty smoky pastrami.

The General Lee from the Dukes of Hazard.  Looking not too shabby, nearby the Grand Ole Opry.


Almost at the end of my time here in Nashville.  Loveless Cafe served delicious southern cooking.  Cornmealed fried catfish was perfectly cooked.  Fried chicken and pulled pork butt were good too.  Surprisingly, I’ve become a fan of fried green tomatoes, which I find delicious on a bed of grits or gravy topped with a subtle protein.  Hash casserole (hash browns loaded with white gravy and cheese) is ok, but the sweet waitress claimed it was a popular seller there.


It’s also the start of the Natchez Trace parkway, which heads southwest into Alabama, then Mississippi.  It’s supposed cememorate an old wagon trail which it’s supposed to follow.  Below is a nearby double arch concrete bridge over Birdsong Hollow (Valley) that received a Presidential Award for design excellence.

Before I left, I saw a bumper sticker that sold out here.  Something about republicans and welfare.  Here a riddle for you.  If the government takes 20%, of everything you make in USA, and a quarter (I think it’s a third) of that is goes to Social Security and welfare, does that mean that 1 in 5 people in USA is supported by the other 4?  And only 1 in 20 (which includes retireees who have survived to 60) is to supported by social programs?  What is the percentage of retirees in USA, to the population?  Just wondering.welfare

 

2017, it’s 65 deg in Princeton, NJ today

And I expected it to be a quiet Thu, weeks before classes start.  But apparently “the Tigers”, they really like it here.  Wrapping normally, from upper-right corner.

  1. Shops nearby campus, around Route 27.
  2. Panorama from inside Princeton University campus
  3. Princeton Public Library (not the university library)
  4. Inside campus
  5. Inside campus near Princeton University Art Museum
  6. Near the Princeton University sports field
  7. View of campus from Nassau st.  Route 27.
  8. Bridge from Plainsboro to Princeton
  9. Inside Princeton University campus
  10. Beautiful girl in the Princeton art museum.  Admission is free of charge.  No guarantee the photo is still there.  But that day had a photography exhibit.
  11. Princeton Public Library has an interesting display of art works in miniature, like on microfiche, posted on the wall.  There’s a iPad to gesture to the magnified work and description of the artist.
  12. The Bent Spoon ice cream shop.  Try the dark chocolate scoop with a scoop of raspberry.
  13. The “wake up call” from Hoagie Haven

 

 

 

2016, Jersey for the Holidays (rehab center after)

My host parties hard!  And is passed out without cleaning the powder from the nose.

But for some reason, keeps feeding me and feeding me asian food.  Wrapping normally:

  1. Sauteed Pork Kidney
  2. Japanese cucumbers marinated in salt, pepper, and sesame oil
  3. Salt and pepper shrimp
  4. Homemade dirty dog w fried egg
  5. Hibachi Buffet in Jersey City (center)
  6. Vietnamese Pho in Jersey City, Lobster sauteed in scallion and ginger, deep fried flounder
  7. Clams in black bean sauce, fried fish, and roast beef wrapped in in scallion pancake
  8. Chinese Hotpot in Flushing (sliced pork, beef, tofu, shrimp paste)
  9. Sliced Braised Roast Beef
  10. Korean BBQ and Hotpot in Brooklyn
  11. New York strip topped with sauteed mushroom and onions
  12. Dim sum in Jersey
  13. Homemade casserole
  14. Homemade dumplings, sauteed broccoli, and savory egg tofu
  15. Tater tots with pulled pork, topped with roasted pepper aoli from Newport Center Mall in Jersey City

I have to re-supply here for the next leg of the trip.

2016, In Boston and Cambridge

Above (Fanuiel Hall, or Quincy Market)

Boston North End

Quincey Market

Cambridge, Massachusetts Ave, wrapping normally from upper left

  1. Harvard Square Station
  2. Cambridge Public Library
  3. Massachussetts Institute of Technology
  4. MIT sailing team?
  5. Gate to Harvard
  6. Sapporo at Lesley College
  7. Harvard Natural History Museum

Boston Commons

Boyleston St (parallel to Newbury St shops).  Wrapping normally, from upper-left

  1. Chinatown gate, near Boston Commons end of Boyleston St
  2. Smith and Wollensky’s
  3. Church across Library (keep going down Boyleston/Newbury to head toward Fenway Park)
  4. Copley Sq
  5. Boston Public Library
  6. Dumplings from Chinatown

Revere Beach

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