Wednesday, October 31, 2007

He's not just the owner…

Happy halloween all.


No idea.

Any guesses?


Yes, and that too.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Talk about mudflaps, Bombay's got 'em


Sunday, October 28, 2007


Today I ate fried things from a street stall / watched kids play cricket on the street / saw a goat walking in a market and puppies eating trash by the side of a highway / went to a beach where kids rode in mini electric cars and an old woman pulled dozens of chicken feet from a bag full of chicken feet and fed them to wild dogs who love chicken feet / sunned myself next to the pool at the Taj / saw the body of a dead man on a stretcher covered with flowers carried past me down the street in a Hindu funeral procession headed to the crematorium (the dead man wore a white hat and an open-mouthed look of wonder) / stepped over an open sewer / was approached by a man asking me to be an extra in a Bollywood movie — his business card said: "Bollystars Casting (Specially Western People)" / played Xbox at a friend's apartment / looked away as an elderly couple urinated at the edge of a beautiful park / watched two men lathered up and shaved by barbers on the side of the street / saw a monkey / admired the gated palatial homes of Malabar Hill and the giant Art Deco banged-up jalopies of apartment buildings along Marine Drive / drank a can of iced coffee from a gas station convenience store / passed a sign that said "Special Bus Lane for Best Buses Only" and another that asked "Are You Ready For the Global Gujarati?" / ate squid koliwada and kerala prawns and butter nan and spongy neer dosa and drank Kingfisher beer.

That was today & I got a late start. And it was a Sunday.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not the least intimidating vehicle in the world.

A few feet from the nicest hotel in Bombay. Unrelated: an ATM ate my bank card today and I found myself shouting at a bank official who asked for a xerox of my passport "I did not bring a photocopier to India!" Sometimes being right doesn't stop you from being an idiot.



The anthology BEST FOOD WRITING 2007 is out and in bookstores now. They re-printed my story about eating in Shanghai from Bon Appetit. That was nice of them. (The image on the right has nothing to do with the book or the original story. It's just a KFC tribute joint I saw in Shanghai and liked.)

Found: In Translation

A Japanese magazine (COURRIER JAPON) translated my New York Times T Travel magazine story about eating everything in Tokyo into JAPANESE. Cool. I am much, much funnier in Japanese. And skinny.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


Still in Bombay but stuck inside writing a story about Sweden, so I'm putting up two images from my week in Stockholm this July.

On a ferry. I like how the windows look like pages of a book.

Biff rydberg. At tiny Bakfickan bar at the Opera House. Steak, potatoes, onions, an egg yolk—why/how so good?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why a duck?

Had lunch the other day at TRISHNA, a Bombay seafood restaurant. On the wall was a copy of a New York Times story written by the late great Johnny Apple. He'd named the place one of his "10 restaurants outside the United States that would be worth boarding a plane to visit." I looked up the story online — turns out it was published exactly one year ago today. I'm a sucker for meaningless coincidences. I've been to 5 of his 10 (Las Lilas/Buenos Aires; Wilton's/London; Jean Georges/Shanghai; Don Alfonso/Amalfi Coast) and can't say I agree with them all but Trishna was really great—especially the fried bombay duck (above). It's locally caught, which is sort of terrifying & is a buttery whitefish & not a duck. My friend Mitchell Davis—possessor of vast Apple-esque food-knowledge and global swagger—told me to eat here, so thanks Mitchell.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More (INDIA)

India is the world capital of parentheses (they love em). Some signs and other Bombay scenes.


Shalom Bombay: I've met Jews from Indiana but never India. One of the half dozen or so synagogues in the city. Built 1884. Very pretty blue.


Bombay Taxis (an appreciation)

& — a little unedited video of traffic fun: HERE.


Scenes from Old Delhi

The sun and the moon.

Parade (and military escort)

Fair Deal.

Hotel Taj (no relation).




Friday, October 19, 2007

More India

Went to dinner last night at this after-hours kebab stand. "We can eat on the car," AT said. I thought he meant in the car, but he meant on the car. You order; take a card with a number; a waiter with a corresponding number pinned to his shirt finds your car in the street, props up the hood with an upturned 7-Up bottle to make it level-ish, lays down some newspaper and plates and plates of grilled chicken legs, lamb skewers, roomali roti ("handkerchief roti", paper thin bread cooked almost instantly on a convex grill) and buttery, spicy soft goats' brains.

The nimble roti maker.

Mango juice on the car-top bar. Good w/ scrambled goat brain.

Electric cigarette lighter at a deli (or something like a deli). Flip the switch and the little metal coils eventually get glowingly hot.

Thumbs up for Thums Up soda.



I've nearly hit the midway point of my month in wonderful, tiring, stinking, beautiful India. Time to post some pictures. Spent about a week looking for tigers and leopards at safari lodges in two national parks, Pench and Bandhavgarh. I'll put up some tiger video later. After that Delhi and a quick trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Above: Churchgate station, Bombay.

View from a bicycle rickshaw in Old Delhi.

I wore a blue blazer when I went to the Pyramids in Cairo so I figured why not here? As you can tell my head is beginning to melt.

All Up. On the road, somewhere, near Jabalpur, I think.

The back of one of the "Goods Carriers" trucks that are everywhere here. The trucks are beautifully painted and always ready to crash into you from the back or mow you down in a head on collision. The ubiquitous "BLOW OK HORN" invitation is sort of unnecessary in a country where every single driver is at all times honking to announce his location or mood or intention, like the nonstop toot-toot-tooting of some agitated species of lunatic songbirds.

I love the taxis here. They're decrepit and exotically duded up.

Taxi detail: the exterior meter.

Kinder-gentler swastikas. Ancient Hindu symbol—still a little hard to get used to.

View of the Gate of India, from the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Bombay.