Jean Georges and John Digweed

Had dinner last night at Jean Georges Shanghai (外滩三号). It’s my second time eating there, the last time being in November 2005. The food wasn’t as good as I recalled, but tasty all the same. I ordered a soup and a vegetable medley as my entrée. I wasn’t expecting many options being a vegetarian at a French restaurant but the sauce was fantastic from the medley, but if they’d thrown in some noodles it’d been a great dish.

However, the biggest difference between this time and last was foam! Yes, that’s right. Foam is on a rampage. One of the chef’s tasting dishes was a shot glass of corn soup with foamed brown butter on the top. It tasted like pure cholesterol. One of my friends at dinner ordered some beets that came served in a foam sauce/concoction (if you can really call it that). I’m not the biggest fan of this foam craze, it’s just a bit over the top.

After dinner, I went to this new bar on Huaihai Road (淮海路一号) to see John Digweed play. I left pretty early, after seeing him on for only an hour, but his set of was awesome. It was fully of trancy beats and good rhythms. The venue was awful but the music made up for it.

Windows Live Barcode

This morning in China, we went live with a little incubation project called Windows Live Barcode. The project allows users to generate QR-code style barcodes that can contain pretty much any data you want, from URLs to business card information. The technology behind the website is already used in Spaces in Japan to show barcodes for the Space URL. The site also has a lot of tools that allow users to create various barcodes, including one specific to be printed on business cards. I’ve put my business card as a barcode below. If you can decode it, shoot me a email to say hello. It’s pretty rad and hats off to the team for getting it shipped.

Internet Explorer 7

Windows Internet Explorer 7 released yesterday so I updated my work desktop to run it. I’ve been using both IE6 and Firefox 2 beta for a while, with FF being my prefered browser for some time. I hadn’t used any of the intermediate betas of IE7. Out the gate, this is a lot better than IE6. My biggest gripe is that for some of the same interactions (e.g. the search box behavior, the tab behavior) that Firefox has, it’s different which makes it kludgy to swich. For my own sake, here’s what I like and don’t like.

  • I don’t like that Control-L brings up a new “open” window. I can’t Control-Enter in that dialog box.
  • I like that it’s faster, a lot faster on a lot of pages.
  • I like that RSS system is integrated with Outlook’s. When I installed IE7, Outlook asked me if I wished to combine the RSS lists between Outlook. Genious.
  • I don’t like that when I click to choose a different search provider and a keyword is in the box, it tries to execute that search on my current tab.
  • I love quick-tabs
  • I wish the search box had search suggestions
  • Tabs feel slow to open and close
  • The browser still locks up quite a bit

It’s a great step forward and there’s a lot of love. I hope they keep pushing out versions of this and keep pace with Firefox.

Four New Albums

On Sunday I made a frenzied shopping dash around Union Square, including four new albums:

  • Crazy Itch Radio by Basement Jaxx – my first Basement Jaxx album. Of the four, I’m listening to this one the most. I’m surprised I never picked up one of their disks earlier. Good, funky and fun.
  • The Open Door by Evanescence – pretty much what I expected from the goth-rock genre. Not as good as their first album, but predictable and enjoyable.
  • Feedback by Jurassic 5 – every subsequent album J5 releases is a step back from the one before. Track one of the disk is great, and there a few sprinklings of the good ol’ lyrical J5 that drew me in years ago, but overall this is just so so.
  • The Outsider by DJ Shadow – talk about a disappointment. From DJ Shadow, who gave us Entroducing, this is just garbage. It’s so hip-hop’ed out, lacks any of the interesting mixes and electronica touches that made his work great.

Wikipedia (Sorta) Works in China

Wikipedia has started to work in Shanghai. I was able to access most pages and thought I’d push my luck. So I looked up the page on Mao. That worked, then for Cultural Revolution, that worked. Really pushing it, I looked up Tiananmen, and a page about the actual square came up and worked. I followed the link to a disambiguation page and went to the the Tiananmen Square “incident”. Boom. The page fails to load and all pages on Wikipedia failed to load thereafter. My connection to Wikipedia was suspended for fifteen minutes or so, probably for seeking too much information.

Retail at Narita

There’s a McDonalds now open at Narita. When did that happen? Almost all the stores in the airport were closed today, from the FaSoLa electronics store to the kitchy gift stores. The only ones that were open were the mochi store (the one where the international connections checkpoint) and the bookstore. I wanted to pick up a new set of headphones, but I’m out of luck. I don’t recall them being closed this early so I’m curious if they’ve gone out of business or they just happend to close early.

Anyway, I’m back in Shanghai. Humid, muggy and warm. Not bad for mid-October.

Hotel Triton

I think I’m staying at a hippie hotel. The drawer has a Bible plus a copy of the teachings of Buddha. The wake up calls are from Kathy Griffin (“Hi! This is Kathy Griffin, time to wake up!”). The shower has amenity pumps which tell me how many little bottles I’ll save out of a landfill if I use the pumps instead. Well, at lest they have an iPod stero dock.

Also, TV seems to have changed since I moved to China. It’s completly full of ring tone ads (“text 51 to 40001 for something”) like in Europe. When did this happen?

Zazie

Had dinner last night at Zazie on Cole near Carl. While most dinners are not worth writing about this place was such a great value it’s worth mentioning. They had a $20 prix-fixe option that was veg friendly with a soup (or appetizer), an entree (I had the polenta) and a desert (a chocolate mouse for me). Quite a good value given the price and the good food.

Back in Action

After nearly two months of downtime, RedYawning is back online at a new home thanks to a new hosting home at Dan’s apartment. It joins in his excessively powerful set of servers and connectivity already wired through his Civic Center pad. For me, I’m in the states this week until Sunday. Now that my blog is reenabled, expect to see more posts from me again (or not).