Like an undulating famished snake the Turkish market at the Maybachufer in Berlin swallows you whole; the peristaltic wave of female marketers young and old (but nearly all with baby carriages) gently pushing you forward through its one narrow aisle along the southern bank of the city canal. Once you’re in, you’re in. You might… Read More This week at the local market: the Turkish market, Maybachufer, Berlin
Yesterday was Skat night and my card-playing brothers came over for dinner. When we play here I cook, when we play at one of their flats, we have an assortment of deli takeout from Butter Lindner. They always finish all their vegetables here! Tender young spinach is available at the market right now, so I… Read More Spinach soup!
It takes around the same amount of time to get from what my mother calls Penn Central Station to Hudson as it does to get from Kolkata to Shantiniketan. Plus/minus two hours, straight up the river. The taxi driver lets me out at the corner of 31st and 8th, at the entrance closest to the… Read More The train to Hudson
When I’m in Berlin on a Thursday, I go to the Brandenburg Farmers Market at the Wittenbergplatz, right across from the world-famous KaDeWe department store. There are about 12-15 local organic farmers who participate in this market, all from the state of Brandenburg which borders the city perimeter. In addition, there are organic cheese, meat,… Read More This week at the local market – Wittenbergplatz Berlin
As I have mentioned in other places, I have become a bit bored with the large-on-leaf and low-on-taste industrial basil that I find in America and Northern Europe. Even the “bio”/”organic” plants are flat and one-dimensional. That said, I found that my local “exotic herbs” supplier here in Berlin offers about 15 varieties of basil… Read More Basil?
April 9, 2008 I first felt that I crossed into Tibet on the morning of July 13th last year – a morning during which I sat for an hour or so on the curb of the main street of Litang watching life go by. According to the Chinese sense of borders and boundaries, I wasn’t… Read More A reflection on my first moment in Tibet
December 14, 2008 Back in Kolkata after 12 days of adventure in the Northeastern Territories of India. After two days filled with wild one-horned rhinos, playful dolphins, wild boar, and bird—watching par excellance, we shift from Kaziranga National Park to Kohima, Nagaland to attend the much-awaited Hornbill festival. Morning breakfast conversation: 8 piece toast. 4… Read More Ruminations from Kolkata on the tribal Northeast
December 3, 2008 Wakeup call at 4:15 a.m., not a big issue when you are bed by 20:30 the night before. Drag the toothbrush across the gums, jump into the wollens laid out last evening and pile into the Tata Winger for the short drive to Kohora, the entrance to the 423 square km National… Read More A Day in Kaziranga National Park
December 18, 2008 I begin with a disclaimer and an apology. The disclaimer is destined to dear Jim and others whose palates and curiosities are in search of spice: eat now before reading further. The apology to friends of the North and those who know no other form of Indian cuisine – there is more… Read More Flavors of Northeast India
August 31, 2008. Last Monday, I arrived in the center of Moscow by train facing backwards, appropriate to my own inner rewind to the semester abroad spent there nearly two decades earlier. Departing Domodedovo airport, I watched the terminal recede into the woods and, soon after, socialist concrete slab apartment buildings familiarly grey and grimy… Read More Moskva, moskva – give women flowers