May 20th, 2012
Dan Hill on the joys of Helsinki's Restaurant Day:
Ravintolapäivä is "Restaurant Day" [...] After starting in Helsinki a year ago, Ravintolapäivä's role is to suggest "a food carnival when anyone can open a restaurant for a day".
Which it is, although this doesn't quite describe the genesis of the event, which came out of frustration with the effort required to set up a restaurant in Helsinki, of the kind that is open for more than a single day. [...]
Today, though, the sun was shining, the streets were full, and that frustration was long forgotten, given the explosion of invention on offer. [...]
For instance, our first stop this morning was for breakfast served from a little wicker basket lowered from a first floor window into the group of waiting customers below. Euros are stuffed in the basket, and up it goes. You shout up your order. Breakfast comes back.
The string had a menu attached, featuring egg and bacon, or eggs benedict, in home-baked English muffins (both hot bacon sandwiches and English muffins are extremely difficult to come by in Helsinki.) This is, again, not exactly within the law, but if this is considered a problem, then I believe the saying is the law is an ass. [...]
April 18th, 2012
I didn't expect to encounter the phrase "the cult of vice surrounding urban post offices" when I started reading the web today.
Angela Serratore's Post Secrets recounts the reaction of New Yorkers to the spread of a modern postal service:
Communication of and by women has always struck fear into the hearts of men (see: novels; epistolary), but until the middle of the eighteenth century it was largely manageable – husbands and fathers, even servants, monitored a lady's letters, and the wild fluctuations in cost of mail kept all but the wealthiest of girls and women from taking pen to paper on a regular basis. That changed with the standardization of postal prices in 1845. [...] Suddenly, wide swaths of women had access to two dangerous things – the mail and the post office. Anthony Trollope's 1852 invention of the pillar-box had given British girls a chance to subvert the authority of their scandalized parents by mailing letters in secret, but their New York counterparts who visited the post office could both send and receive mail almost entirely unmonitored by those who might want to regulate their epistolary lives. [...]
[Via The Awl]
September 19th, 2008
An apology from an unintentional stalker.
It was late. We happened to be walking on the same path. I knew you were nervous–I would be too if I was a petite female, walking alone on a desolate and dark city street at 1:00 a.m.
You were about fifty feet in front of me. I was going to turn right. You turned right. Soon, I was going to turn left. You turned left. I tried walking slower to let you get ahead of me. Unfortunately, you decided to walk slower at the exact moment I did. I then decided to start walking very fast, so that I could pass you by, let you be in control of the situation by being behind me. You started walking fast at the exact moment I did. [...]
[Via Why, That's Delightful!]