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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Two Earl Grey © Nina Buesing

Studio 360 had a great little segment on tea preparation this morning titled "Design for the Real World: Tea Bag" (with tea expert/historian Jane Pettigrew) - play below to listen :

For readily available tea (loose & bags) and everyday use
Twinings is outstanding.
Twinings Earl Grey flavor in my opinion is hard to beat. For the advanced tea lover (and design enthusiast alike!) Mariage Feres
is a treat (they have a wonderful store in Paris, and now also in Berlin & Tokyo). If you find yourself in Germany and would like
to buy quality tea at a very good price the German drugstore chain Rossman's house brand is surprisingly good & a great deal.
New York's Chinatown also has some fantastic tea stores.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Afghanistan

Afghanis 2007 © Andrea Woodhouse

Andrea has posted more pictures from Afghanistan on Flickr.

Yesterday at the Pace/McGill Gallery I saw the latest exhibit by Fazal Sheikh, who has extensively worked in Afghanistan and some of those portraits are included in his current show. The exhibit ends in a couple of days, but you can also see these images in his book "The Victor Weeps: Afghanistan". Mr. Seihkh is a gifted photographer, and he always approaches his subjects with respect, producing dignified portraits.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holy Moly!

and some more creepy:


My friend Andrea, who is like a little, but much more brilliant sister to me, is currently travelling through Afghanistan. You can see some pictures she took along the way on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/andreawoodhouse/2040525582/

Afghanistan November 2007 © Andrea Woodhouse

Andrea's friend Rory Stewart in turn wrote a non-fiction book about his experience walking through Afghanistan in 2002 called "The Places in Between". Conde Nast Traveler called it one of the 86 greatest travel books of all time.
The Kite Runner, the fiction bestseller by Kabul born Khaled Hosseini is also a touching read. An epic story that encompasses three decades of Afghan history and re-introduces Afghanistan to the post 9/11 (western) world.
The Kite Runner also opens as a movie December 14, 2007. You can take a look at the trailer here: www.kiterunnermovie.com.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vegetarian Cuisine in San Francisco

The NY Times Travel Section this week has an detailed review of the vegetarian culinary landscape in San Francisco by Gregory Dicum titled "Expanding the Frontiers of the Vegetarian Plate", which is well worth reading.
Note: while my name is Nina, I am married and adhere to a vegetarian diet, I am however not the woman mentioned in the article :)

Teany Cafe

Moby's Teany Cafe, is a neat little place that I don't frequent often enough. I had not been in months, so we decided to eat dinner there tonight.
Moby and his friend Kelly own/run this tiny all vegetarian restaurant/tea house on New York's LES (hence the name).
The current staff is friendly & helpful and the quality of the food
is very consistent.
Much vegetarian cuisine in New York is Asian influenced and Teany provides a counter balance to those fine restaurants with a vegetarian menu that recreates many American staple foods (sans meat). Teany is also a brand of delicious not-too-sweet ice tea and while many excellent restaurants in New York offer incredible & vast wine lists, Teany offers an extensive & exquisite tea list (hot & cold). In addition to that Teany offered hot cider with a shot of port tonight, which was the perfect beverage after a 20 minute walk in the cold.
Another treat is that the entire menu is offered whenever Teany
is open. Thus you can have a breakfast style bagel for dinner
- like I just did :)
Too bad Teany is not open 24/7 .

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We recently visited Montreal & Quebec City (or Ville de Quebec).
If you ever find yourself in beautiful Quebec City, we can recommend the Auberge Saint-Antoine for lodging. Very centrally located and a good value for the price. Saint-Antoine is particularly attractive if you are visiting during the cold season like we did. There are three fire places and a bar in the inviting and cozy but stylish common area of the hotel. Service was outstanding. Dinning out in Quebec seemed expensive to us, and ordering room service at Saint-Antoine might actually be a financially sound decision that allows you to take advantage of
the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, while enjoying your spacious
and very clean and comfortable room.

Auberge Saint-Antoine © Nina Buesing

We did stumble on Le Commensal while in Quebec City, a franchise of vegetarian buffet style restaurants and frozen foods. This family style eatery of course delighted our vegetarian hearts; it is just so exciting to see more and more options for the vegetarian eater. You pay by the weight for your food at this restaurant--which we liked because it allows you to control your spending better . Compared to equivalent food in New York or Los Angles or Berlin we felt it was a bit expensive, however this also has to do with the value of our currency and perhaps our appetites ;) . We ate at
Le Commensal in Quebec City and in Montreal (Saint Denis location) and both establishments were welcoming --no one minds if you take your time and linger.
It is also BYOB.
I read that many people say that Montreal is the Paris of North America, however I felt if one was in search for a European experience and confined to North America, La Ville de Quebec
(or parts of Mexico) might offer a better peek at European culture/tradition than Montreal. That said I think comparison is maybe not the way to go anyway, I think that the Province of Quebec/Canada very much had its own identity and was very much worth the visit.