I'm in New York to visit my sister. We went to a couple restaurants and had some good conversations. Lots of stuff going on here, as always. Bloomberg has apparently just last week passed a ban on taking photos of food in restaurants!! The scourge of food bloggers was annoying him I guess. So unfortunately no food photos this time :-( We went to a local place in Brooklyn called Romans. Elena got a plate of meatballs in tomato sauce and I had a braised dandelion salad with poached eggs, anchovy, and salty crouton bits. Also we went to Del Posto, which I was excited about. We split a pork ragu with shaved Perigord truffles on top. I don't eat French truffles very much at all and was very interested to compare them to the Oregon black truffles. The aroma is strong and pungent, however the flavor was more subdued and less perfumed, with notes of soil and compost. I think the best Oregon truffles could certainly stand up, but the size of the truffle our waiter was shaving was enormous! It was much larger then a testicle. Overall the restaurant is definitely more about the ambiance and the fawning service. The waiter described practically every single ingredient in every dish! The food is surprisingly simple, although totally delicious.

I visited the September 11th memorial. What a crazy scene. I was expecting a park, a feeling of contemplation, reflection. How naive of me. Nowhere is our new Orwellian world made more clear then at the 9/11 memorial. The park is ringed with construction, razor wire, an intense police presence, and literally *thousands* of security cameras. Often every 10 feet. I was told to get a ticket. Ok. Where does one get a ticket? From the man who checks if you have a ticket. So I got my free ticket from the same guy checking if other people had tickets, and then passed into the security screening room, which looks like a TSA checkpoint at the Bagdad airport. Dozens of armed police, X-ray machines, more video cameras. I thought I was just going to a park! I asked one official, "what's the security for?" He responded, "haven't you heard what happened here?" Ok. Sure. I wonder how long access to this park will be screened this way? Anyway, once inside its pretty intense. The pools are truly monumental and beautiful in a very morbid way. The water drains into central depressions which are just deep enough that from the ground one cannot see the bottom, creating a sense of infinite depth. I wandered around, gazed up at the 1776 foot tall freedom tower still under construction. All around the park is construction, and we are hemmed in by the razor wire and the hundreds of police officers standing around watching for terrorists.

Today I'm flying to Minneapolis to visit my grandmother and cousins.