Showing posts from December, 2014

Las Vegas, "Unbroken" & the Arrival of 2015

We spent several days in Las Vegas during the Christmas holidays. Being there helped me reflect on a couple things that are relevant as we turn the page from 2014 to 2015.
Outside the glitz and the slots and the sleaze, Las Vegas is actually a lot like Fresno. It’s the same hardscrabble town in an arid landscape. Both have a major university, thousands of immigrants, a large homeless population, and many success stories built on the back of the local economy. Las Vegas is the country’s 30th largest city, Fresno the 34th. They both face serious social, economic and environmental challenges.
Yet unlike Fresno, Las Vegas has crafted a profitable niche for itself that draws millions of visitors a year. Fresno’s airport served 700,000 passengers in 2013, Las Vegas’ airport 42,000,000 (not a misprint!). Fresno markets itself as being CLOSE to major attractions. Las Vegas is close to major sites as well, but it is a destination in and of itself. It’s a fascinating contrast between two otherw…

Buying "Suspended" Coffee in Naples

A small article in the New York Times twitter feed caught my eye today. Its headline was something about "the Neapolitan tradition of suspended coffee." I read it (a) because I wondered if this was talking about Naples, Italy; and (b) because I wondered what kind of weird suspension coffee drink I had missed during my one and only visit to Naples.
Lo and behold, it was about Naples, Italy. Yes, that's the legendary mob town. Yes, it's the dirty, chaotic, underfunded part of Italy. And yes, it's not where most Americans want to go.
But there's much to enjoy in and near Naples: Pompeii, museums, the Amalfi Coast, and pizza. Oh yes, pizza. It's the supposed birthplace of pizza: simple ingredients, wood-fire cooked, real buffalo mozzarella, and so very wonderful. An article about food in Naples, therefore, grabbed my attention.
Suspended coffee was something I had never heard about. It's a drink that passed my notice. "What is it?" I wondered to…