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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What’s The Best Place To Be On The Subway?, by Jim Behrle, The Awl

My two favorite rides is a tie between the Roosevelt Island Tram in New York and the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh. Neither one of them goes anywhere in particular. But the view of New York is pretty amazing from the Tramway. It is like you are floating away past the bridge. The Incline is a house that goes up a hill. That is pretty awesome. I have always wanted to live on a house on a bridge, like the one in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” But a house that goes up a hill is even better. You get a nice view of Pittsburgh from the top of the hill. Pittsburgh has lots of bridges. And they put French fries inside of sandwiches for some reason.

Most of the time, I’m not riding the subway for fun. I’m riding it because I have to go someplace. Like the dentist. Or court. So I’m really in it for speed and ease. And not for thinking lyrically about traversing the clouds. I used to be big about leaning against the doors. I used to think the doors were the only place to be. I don’t sit on the New York subway unless it is absolutely necessary. Like I’ve had a rough day in the dentist’s chair. There is just too much of an emotional battle for every seat, I can’t be a part of it. So much attention is paid to where are there seats, how can one get a seat, who should be sitting, manspreading, etc. The seats are basically like the Korean border. And I just can’t participate in that kind of tense warfare.

Let Them Eat Bread: The Theft That Helped Inspire 'Les Miserables', by Minnie Phan, NPR

Bread, of course, had a radical symbolism in a novel set in the shadow of the French Revolution. Whether or not the doomed Marie Antoinette said, 'Let them eat cake,' the rumblings that led to the storming of the Bastille in 1789 started with bread riots.

From Chop Suey To Haute Cuisine: A Case Study In American “Ethnic Food”, by Oliver Wang, Los Angeles Review Of Books

Despite the undeniable popularity of Chinese food in the United States, book-length histories have only appeared in the past 10 years. That long void isn’t unique to Chinese-American cuisine; most “ethnic food,” especially when connected to communities of color, has suffered similar neglect by culinary historians and (non-cookbook) writers. I’ll return to this point later. For now, it’s worth noting that, after decades of being starved, American Chinese food aficionados finally have much to feast upon (bad food puns intended).