Thursday, 21 October 2010

Dog S#!t! How much is a DNA test these days?

So I was just walking around a lovely park, in the lovely sunshine, enjoying the fact that summer is coming, and is just around the corner, when I luckily noticed, and avoided a pile of dog s#!t, which is never a fun site to see.

Now, if I was in the bush, and it was possum poo, it really wouldn't bother me, but the domestic pet mess is just not so acceptable.

Basically people should really understand that there are "other" people around them... yes you are not the centre of the world... so if your dog does its business while on a walk, or exercise, it is your responsibility to clean up after it.  As someone else, especially in our every expanding world where higher density living is becoming the norm, will no doubt be wanting to use that particular space in the not to distant future, and you have ruined it by not cleaning up after your pet.

This got me to thinking, the best way to stop people essentially being lazy, is to charge them for it, and of course a fine should be a % of income, or net worth, not an arbitrary amount set by the council (this of course ensures the fine "hurts" everyone)
Then there comes to the problem of finding the perpetrator, of which of course can be difficult, as we don't and don't want to live in a 1984 world of CCTV and big brother.
However this lead me to the thought that it would be simple enough to identify the said dog via a DNA test on the said doo-do, of which could be linked back to the DNA test performed on the pet when it is registered.

Seems like a good idea? What do you think? How much is a DNA test these days anyway?

Monday, 18 October 2010

New York, New York - Part 1 - Coffee

Ok, so it has been almost a month since I got back from one of the greatest cities in the world, and I wrote this a while back, but finally I am posting it! Yaah!

New York, New York

So, as a true Melbournian, I am definetely a coffee snob, and OMG finding good coffee is hard in America... One would of thought that in New York there would be plenty of great little coffee shops... I mean come on there is a coffee shop in every single block of Manhattan.  But no, this is no where near the case.
In fact, there is about 6 decent coffee shops in the whole of New York State, 3 of them in Brooklyn, so I thought I would write a little something about the journey to find decent coffee in New York.

Doing a search for "Melbourne coffee in New York" came up with a article from The Age/SMH in Australia that discussed the poor performance of New York coffee, and how a Melbournian had come here to make good coffee and teach other New Yorkers about it, and apparently there is quite a following now.
I also came across this blog in the hunt...

The Findings:
Culture Espresso
Manhattan, Midtown
The exciting part of this place was they actually had "flat white" on the chalk board, so we had some hope.  And it "okay" but mediocre in Melbourne standards, so the search continued.  It was going to be enough if nothing else showed up, but doing some more research of course we landed some more recommendations, and well, they had to be tried.

Manhattan, Lower East Side
Suprisingly this chain store served reasonably good coffee.  It wasn't a great coffee, but for a chain, and for a mini "starbucks" style coffee place it was pretty good.  The only reason for going here was the fact it was the closest decent coffee shop near the conference location, so it was going to have to do in the 20 mins we had for lunch.

World of Coffee
86 st
Manhattan, Upper West Side
Ok, so we got recommend to come to this place by someone from Melbourne, so we trudged across town to get there.  Unfortunately due to a stupid oversight by yours truly, we got off the subway on the East side of Central park, instead of the West side, so we had to walk from Lexington Ave to 7th, which is across Central Park, about 1.5km's I guess, which in Manhattan is a LONG way.  And to be honest, it was just not that good.  The served the coffee in "take out" cups, that is "take away" for the Aussies of the world, when we where sitting in.  The burnt the milk on my first go, so I returned it, and the second one was "okay" but not really right at all...nothing in comparision to the great coffee that could be found elsewhere in NY....

Joes Art of COffee
West Village, Manhattan
Not too bad, but could really be better
JP discovered the Cortado.
What is a Cortado you ask?
It essentially is a small Melbourne Latte, usually a double shot of coffee with a little bit of Milk.

East village
Corner A Ave and 12th
Professional Barrista here, with a passion for coffee, makes it just how he suggests
Tried a Soy Cortado here, based on JPs recommendation, and really a "latte" should be in a glass, not in a bloody big bowl size cup like they serve it here... I guess, that is just a cultural difference (for now)

Carlton Ave
The owner Escoball was a lovely guy, ex photographer come cafe owner..... he had a funny story about how poor the service and the coffee was in Brooklyn, and he sort of fell into the space and was a great barrista in hiding.
Coffee here was GREAT, JP had his flat white, and I a Soy Latte, this was the first Melbourne tasting latte I had had since leaving Melbourne... It was like being back in Fitzroy on a Saturday morning at one of the great little holes in the wall.
Escoball made a film, hopefully it will be featuring in a film festival or two, and I can see it, sounded great... the story of two guys that travel across America asking people about there perspective on Obama and "change"

Milk Bar
Prospect Pl
This little gem is the coffee shop mentioned in The Age / SMH article, and boy does it live up to the praise in the article.  I made us get up and hour and a half earlier in order to make a quick stop here on the way to the airport, and it took just shy of 1.5 hours from Harlem (where we stayed) to this coffee shop in Brooklyn, but boy was it worth it.  Soy Latte in a "proper" latte glass, with coffee done perfectly and milk treated with the respect a Great Barrista can only pay and a proper Melbourne Coffee Snob can enjoy.
This place really does make standard New York Coffee look like suridge.

Another post on New York - The Shows to come soon.