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Leanne Ogasawara
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“You can’t understand Priorat without understanding this grape.” What is Cariñena? You may have heard its more widely-accepted name, Carignan. It’s surprisingly ubiquitous. Few noble grapes are more widely cultivated—in France, the only vine that enjoys more acreage is Merlot—and yet the grape is unknown by most wine drinkers and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2021 at Drinking Stars
Located in Galicia along the Atlantic coastline, the region overlaps pat of the Camino pilgrimage route. I am dreaming of visiting this green and rainy part of Spain to drink their famous signature grape variety, Albariño. Rías Baixas is named after the coastal inlets (or rías) that characterize the landscape... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2021 at Drinking Stars
About the Wine and Its Appellation (From Opening a Bottle) Priorat’s wine history is a rollercoaster. The practice was first introduced in the 12th century by the Carthusian monks (from France) at the monastery of Scala Dei, who tended vines and crafted wine well into the 1800s. But phylloxera —... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2021 at Drinking Stars
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“Perhaps the Rioja.” The Rioja? Now there was a wine that would clash with the stew as Achilles clashed with Hector.” ― Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow This was the first time I had ever heard about Spanish wine. Better late than never, right? Italian wine is my favorite--because... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2021 at Drinking Stars
It is as though hospitality were the impossible: as though the law of hospitality defined this very impossibility, as if it were only possible to transgress it, as though the law of absolute, unconditional, hyperbolical hospitality, as though the categorical imperative of hospitality commanded that we transgress all the laws... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2021 at Borges' Library
Barolo was the first wine I fell in love with. Having spent my adult life in Japan, I was a beer drinker. Cold beer tastes great with Japanese food. Not to mention, the wine we could afford in Tokyo back then was undrinkable. Grape bombs from Napa. Not only did... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2021 at Drinking Stars
[Review first appeared in Kyoto Journal 2013] Back in 1998, Steven Heine wrote a really interesting article about emotions in Japanese religion and literature. The basic premise went something like this: while in general Buddhism seeks to restrain human emotion, seeing it as an impediment to enlightenment, Japanese forms of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2021 at Borges' Library
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Our journey to Venissa began by boarding Vaporetto 12 at Venice’s Fondamente Nove. It was early summer, when this year’s biennale had brought even greater numbers of tourists to hot and crowded Venice. The trip to Mazzorbo Island, where the vineyards are located, takes about thirty minutes from the main... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2021 at Drinking Stars
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A wonderful seven year anniversary! Chris sent me flowers. He’s been up all night doing observations and sleeping during the day but somehow he managed to send flowers and we decided to open one of our precious bottles of Venissa Bianco. Of all our memories, Venice is so precious. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2021 at Drinking Stars
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Venisa Wine It’s hard to believe that Venetians ever produced wine in the first place. How could they, on islands often flooded by a salty lagoon? But, Venice has grown grapes for almost a thousand years. And one of those grapes, the Dorona di Venezia, is the stuff of legend.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2021 at Drinking Stars
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Barolo Heaven and Hell in Modena Venissa Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2021 at Drinking Stars
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Hierarchy in a Drowning World By LEANNE OGASAWARA Review of Just Hierarchy: Why Social Hierarchies Matter in China and the Rest of the World, by Daniel Bell and Wang Pei Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020 First published in the New Rambler I. Imagine a drowning city. The collapse of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2021 at Borges' Library
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[First published in Dublin Review of Books] Fermentation as Metaphor, by Sandor Ellix Katz, Chelsea Green Publishing, 128 pp, $25, ISBN: 978-1645020219 He calls himself a fermentation revivalist. With several award-winning books on the subject and a very large following on YouTube, Sandor Ellix Katz is part fermentation expert and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2021 at Borges' Library
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#7 La Clemenza di Tito CAST Titus Russell Thomas Vitellia Guanqun Yu Sesto Elizabeth DeShong Servilia Janai Brugger Annio Taylor Raven Publio James Creswell CREATIVE TEAM Conductor James Conlon Director / Set Designer Thaddeus Strassberger Oh, Russell Thomas, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... and this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Musical Notes
#1 Philippe Jaroussky countertenor sings arias from Alcina by George Friderich Handel 00:00 Verdi Prati 04:50 Sta nell'Ircana 10:54 Le Dolci Labbra 12:43 Mio Bel Tesoro #2 Sonya Yoncheva and Kate Lindsey - Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea "Pur Ti Miro" Contrast below: MONTERVERDI: L'incoronazione di Poppea "Pur ti miro, Pur... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Musical Notes
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#1 Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Notes) CAST Jan Lauwers | Choreographer, Stage director, Stage design Lemm&Barkey | Costumes Ken Hioco | Lighting Elke Janssens | Dramaturgy Sonya Yoncheva | Soprano (Poppea) Kate Lindsey | Mezzo-soprano (Nerone) Stéphanie d'Oustrac | Mezzo-soprano (Ottavia) Carlo Vistoli | Countertenor (Ottone) Renato Dolcini | Baritone... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Musical Notes
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Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Summer Festival (2018-2019) CAST Jan Lauwers | Choreographer, Stage director, Stage design Lemm&Barkey | Costumes Ken Hioco | Lighting Elke Janssens | Dramaturgy Sonya Yoncheva | Soprano (Poppea) Kate Lindsey | Mezzo-soprano (Nerone) Stéphanie d'Oustrac | Mezzo-soprano (Ottavia) Carlo Vistoli | Countertenor (Ottone) Renato Dolcini |... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Musical Notes
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Sandor Ellix Katz: Fermentation as Metaphor & The Art of Fermentation The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements And Koji Alchemy Interview with author Rich Shih in Serious Eats He calls himself a fermentation revivalist. With several award-winning books on the subject and a very large... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at Borges' Library
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Whenever Chris teaches in the Feynman Lecture Hall, I attend all his classes. I don't understand anything, but I love being in the room anyway. The sign that always makes me wonder. Laser radiation? Whenever I would arrive the technical assist would have already set up all the demos for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2020 at Borges' Library
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Donabe are made from highly porous clays known for their heat retention properties. The clays for making donabe are --not surpassingly—also well-regarded for making teapots and tea containers. These clays include Shigaraki, Iga, Banko, and Mashiko. As a student of tea ceremony, I grew to love all of these types... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2020 at Borges' Library
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Reading Cities: Alex Kerr on Bangkok William Dalrymple on Delhi Simon Sebag Montefiore on Jerusalem Miles on Carthage Hattori on the Silk Road Popham, Seidensticker , Reid and Waley on Tokyo Nishiyama on Edo Tanizaki on Osaka Pitchaya Sudbanthad on Bangkok Venice Books Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2020 at Borges' Library
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During the pandemic, I read around one hundred books --which is an unchanged number from years past and a much lower number than my pre-social media days. Looking at the stats on Goodreads, it seems like I read fewer pages this year. Maybe I didn't read many long books? I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Borges' Library
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We traveled to Venice to see Titian's Transfiguration. But --sad to say--it was under conservation, so all we saw was a huge reproduction in the Frari. Despite this major calamity, the trip still became a kind of Titian pilgrimage, as we were staying in the quarter where Titian lived and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2020 at Borges' Library
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1) The Gallerie dell'Accademia Museum in Venice contains three famous paintings on the subject of the Miracle that occurred the Bridge of San Lorenzo in 137o. Above is the Miracle of the Relic of the Holy Cross at the Bridge of San Lorenzo, by Gentile Bellini. Below is Gentile Bellini's... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at Borges' Library
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For me, one of the great highlights of the last decade of my life was traveling back to Venice. We went for nine days in June, 2019. It had been thirty years since I last saw the city. We traveled to Venice for one big reason: to see Titian's Transfiguration.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at Borges' Library