Kaedrin
You are here: Kaedrin > Forum
Not signed in (Sign In)

Welcome, Guest

Want to take part in these discussions? If you have an account, sign in now.

If you don't have an account, apply for one now. If you would really like to post before I approve your membership, you can sign in with the username "guest" and the password "guest".

Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    I'm in Seattle. I was living in New York City and going to Washington DC and back by train once a week. I refuse to fly out of New York.

    Tallman is in Philadelphia I believe? I've been through it. I thought of stopping and looking you up but I was always in a hurry. I was on the Acela Express, which is America's fastest train. It gets up to 80mph, but has to slow down to a crawl to corner. This is not Europe or Japan. I quite like the Amtrac staff. They are fun try their best despite having no training budget and very basic kit.

    I've also been in San Francisco (which is a toilet) and Denver and now Seattle. I think I go back to Zurich next week.

    I was at the Sheraton Denver and there is bar next door which says it has the world's largest selection of draft beers. It reminded me to post here because of your interest in beer. I should have when I was in NY and I could have stopped off in Philly or you could have waved at the train trackside for something.

    Anyway nice to catchup
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2012
     
    I'm in Columbus. I leave tomorrow for Philadelphia and on Friday we are taking a day trip to New York City. The majority of the next week will be in Phoenixville, a suburb of Philly staying with my mom and stepdad and helping them get their new house together.

    It's not nearly as exciting as your travel schedule, grenville, but it is a pretty big deal for me. I have never been to New York City.

    And the only reason I haven't contacted Tallman for a Philly meet up is I am not certain if there is time this trip. The next time I come up and have my fiance with me( he's in Hawaii right now), we can use my step uncle's connections for a brewery tour or two.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    I was in San Francisco for a few days earlier this week, which was fun. My girlfriend and I had a couple local-ish (Oakland) friends and another couple friends (who don't live there but are up there often enough to know good spots) showing us around. There's a great arcade museum at Fisherman's Wharf with a bunch of antique machines. Stuff where for a quarter you'd see some animatronic figures act out a brief scene, usually something like an execution or people writhing around in an opium den. It's kinda funny how these old things would play up something taboo or dark and weren't even games. Now everything is Kick Their Fucking Heads In 2 or whatever. Our hotel was right near the edge of the Tenderloin, which is a rough area and freaked my girlfriend out when we walked one block too far looking for the hotel (much to my inappropriate amusement), but our friends showed us some fun spots in North Beach and along the shore. grenville, I'm kinda wondering if you were in the Tenderloin with the toilet comment, heheh.

    Sov, I love NYC. Anything in particular you are planning on doing while there? My first trip there I did a lot of aimless wandering in places I heard were cool and that ended up being a lot of fun but I had a full week to do that.
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2012
     
    Oh hey, the forum still works. Good.

    Sorry to have missed you. Technically, I'm west of the city (West Chester, PA), but I would have liked to have re-enacted one of the many train scenes from movies where I run along the tracks staring longingly and reaching my hands out...

    Largest selection of draft beers at a Sheraton in Denver? Never would have guessed that.

    And did someone say connections for brewery tour? If you were in Phoenixville, there's a decent brewery there called Sly Fox (there's actually two around there, not sure which one the big brewery is at - the other one is just a brew pub).

    I've been to something like 30-35 of the states, but never made it to California. I shall have to do that someday!

    And if anyone is stopping by Philly, feel free to email me:)

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
     
    We did the wander around aimlessly sort of. We thought we were wandering towards central park but hit Chelsea instead. So, we found a little Italian place for lunch with decent ratings on urban spoon. We then figured out the subway. Well, my stepdad and I did, my mom could not for the life of her get through the turnstile without assistance. So we saw the Dakota, which my stepdad really wanted to see and wandered around the park until my friend from college met us at Columbus circle. Then we had waffles and spekuloos, a spread made from cookies, from a cart. We wandered through Times Square and Rockefeller center. I loved New York so much more than I thought I would. Next time I will make it a point to stay overnight with my friend so I can do more.

    We went to Iron Hill for dinner two nights ago, which is the other phoenixville brewery. I had a seasonal sampler, the best of which was called Forbidden fruit. My uncle knows them by virtue of being a restaurant owner in the same street, but has more connections at Sly Fox and Victory. Yesterday went to the Penn museum and today we are going to the Mutter.
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
     
    I'm in Dallas now, well, actually in the United Club at DFW on my way to Charlotte and then to Miami for one night. Plane travel in America is not the most fun you can do in the world, though I must say with the exception of the Customs guys at JFK everyone has been very professional and polite, even the TSA people. I like the way people in Texas and Denver people address me as Sir. It makes for a civilised encounter.

    I was at the St Francis in Union Square which is not far from the tenderloin. Nice old hotel. I'm a Starwood Platinum so they gave me a suite in the landmark building. It is like some of the 18th and 19th century hotels in Europe with the incredibly high ceilings. I spent a couple of days working out of UC Berkeley and that area is a bit of toilet as well. While I was there the cops got into a shootout with a motorist just a couple of blocks over from the campus. Not a good area at night. But I found San Francisco to be pretty squalid. It reminded me a bit of Manila or Cairo because of the begging and the crumbling infrastructure. They don't have a meth problem in Manila or Cairo though. I don't think those guys out in Palo Alto and Mountain View pay their taxes because there is no sign of any being spent on public services in SF. New York is clean as a fresh-washed dinner plate by comparison and that is really saying something if you use the NY subway and compare it with Shanghai's or Hong Kong's or even London's. I love New York though. I could live there very easily.
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     
    All this talk of New York is making me want to take some time off and hang out there! It is indeed a great city, and it's been far too long since I've been there for anything fun...

    I meant that Sly Fox has two locations (I think the other is in Royersford, which is near Phoenixville), but Iron Hill is a really solid brewpub (unfortunately they don't really package and distribute, though I think you can buy bottled reserves for obscene prices if you want). Their standard lineup is pretty straightforward, but they always have a bunch of great one-offs and interesting experiments (these days, those beers often outnumber the standards, which is awesome). There's several of them in this area - though I'm most familiar with the one in West Chester... Victory is also has a great brewpub attached to the brewery in Downingtown. I've not been to Sly Fox, but I've had several of their beers:)

    I don't know enough about how a city like San Francisco spends their taxes, but I suspect they could learn a lot from New York. I was never there in the bad old days, but apparently things weren't quite as nice in NY back in the 80s and early 90s. There was a significant cleanup in the early 90s... Probably need something like that in Philly too...

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     
    I'm in the US Airways Club in Charlotte NC on my way to NY and then home in Zurich. Slow wifi and like all lounges in the US no free drinks and the food is limited to crackers and cheese. Cheapskates.

    I know New York is a lot cleaner than it used to. I stayed mostly based in Greenwich Village and listened to the local debates about Manhattan becoming a rich, white ghetto and the evil doings of NYU around Washington Sq. Some of the old neighbourhoods are not too pleased about gentrification. The Tribeca (Robert De Nero owns all the restaurants there) has a surreal feel to it. Some of the classic American films from the 1970s, like The French Connection, Klute, Fort Apache the Bronx (little appreciated Paul Newman film. If you haven't seen it it check it out) give a good guide to how much NY has changed. I tried to find some of the scenes from French Connection but they have been cleaned up so much they are unrecognisable. The subway is still pretty much the same, though. I read somewhere that NYC tends to cut the maintenance and improvement budget first, which explains the lack of upgrade work on the subway since its construction. Much of the NY subway feels early 20th century which most of it is.

    When I had free time in San Francisco I did the Bullitt and Dirty Harry location visits. Most of them are still there. I don't think anyone pays taxes in San Francisco. I believe Apple has about $150 billion parked offshore which will never be spent in the US.
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     
    I just read an article that says "As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid." No idea about the validity of those stats (nor if it's referring to federal, state, or local income taxes), but it doesn't surprise me. And I don't think they're counting the tax evaders, like Apple.
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
     
    I think some of those Californian tax evaders might be right here in the Swiss Airlines lounge at JFK. Zurich is the place to go if you want advice on how to make a few billion disappear from the tax man. For legal purposes I live in Zurich. People there do pay their taxes, though. The place is as clean as helvetica.

    JFK is a disgrace. Terminal 4 where I am right now, especially. Falling apart. People report seeing rats. It is not as bad as Manilla but give it a couple of years and it will get there. They have the first and biz lounges landside. I still have to go through security. And there is no demarcation by class. Same security as the prols and lumpen. They seem to separate classes at a higher level in the US. The super rich in America have their own planes, their own airports, their own customs and security people. Everyone else has to joint the line. This might go some way to explaining why US infrastructure is in such bad shape. he elite abandonment theory as explanation for America's current plight seems to have some merit from what I have seen.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2012
     
    Funny, I just read this article talking about how Apple and other tech companies avoid paying taxes. Apple, specifically, in California, but also on the federal level. Pretty interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/business/apples-tax-strategy-aims-at-low-tax-states-and-nations.html?pagewanted=all

    Personally, I think aside from various entities not paying taxes, California has a real problem with its ballot proposition system. It's relatively easy to get a new government program, law, or state constitutional amendment on the ballot, where its up to the public to approve. I think it's safe to say most people in general who vote on these propositions probably don't have the financial knowledge to even know if the state can afford these new programs (it clearly can't). Every once in a while there's frustration expressed and a whole slew of propositions will be rejected by the public but for the most part, it seems like things that seem like good ideas get passed and then the state's deficit gets even bigger.

    Another problem we have is a result of this proposition system. A proposition passed in the late 70s makes it very difficult for property tax in California to be increased, even when an increase would make sense. State and local legislative bodies need a two-thirds 'super-majority' to increase property taxes, which in a lot of cases would be political suicide for those legislatures' members. My understanding is that a lot of other states receive a considerable portion of their funding from property taxes, which California can't do. Well, technically, it could, but it's not going to happen for the aforementioned reasons.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on a California politics tangent, but it's a frustrating mess.
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2012
     
    I had heard that California was a political basket case for a number of reasons, one being the proposition system. Underneath that, though, lies an anti-tax, anti-government ideological agenda which began in the late 1960s and caught on with a vengeance in the 1980s. It has been very harmful to civil society.

    Anyway, I'm in Greece this week. Now, if you want the number one basket case outside Africa then Greece is it. The crisis is not really their fault, but in a strange way it suits them. Nobody pays their taxes, or does much work anyway, for that matter. It was silly to let them in the Eurozone, but then the Eurozone is a silly idea to begin with. Blame is spread widely as are the consequences.