Happy In Bag

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It Ain't the Meat, It's the Motion

Although they make for tempting targets, I won't write about gas prices, ethanol subsidies or drivers of black SUVs. Instead, I'll confess that the inflated cost of a tank of gas has yet to significantly alter my driving habits. It's not that I hate the planet or my wallet. The instantaneous change of scenery afforded by a car is my favorite luxury. Knowing that entirely different vantage points are never more than fifteen minutes away is enormously reassuring.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spiral Staircase

The view from the Eiffel Tower is breathtaking. The vista it affords is just one of the reasons I loved visiting Paris for the first time last month. As far as I could tell, however, the famous landmark may be the only structure in Paris with an elevator. My bed was a six-floor climb up a spiral staircase. Montmartre looks charming from a distance but it's actually a torturous series of stairs. Spending a day at the Louvre feels like an Iron Man competition. Any one of these challenges wouldn't have posed a problem, but the cumulative toil they took on a chunky "Kansas City skinny" tourist was taxing. I've heard that cigarettes and wine keep Parisians trim. I know better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chrome Horses and Diplomats

I'll invest a Benjamin on a special occasion dinner replete with appetizers and wine once every year or two, yet I've never set foot inside an attractive French restaurant near my home. Its thirty-dollars-an-entree price tag doesn't prevent patrons from packing the establishment most every night. The idea of wealthy people spending money on fine food and wine doesn't bother me. I'm tempted, in fact, to set up shop as a mendicant on the sidewalk outside the eatery.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Anthology of Argentine

As a youth I spent a few years at a miserable job in the Argentine district. I had neither the time nor the inclination to do much sightseeing back then. I failed to appreciate the enormous mural on Metropolitan Avenue. An image I posted at Plastic Sax provides a better perspective of the scale of Anthology of Argentine. Some elements of the piece are self-explanatory. Others are baffling. Here's the best analysis I could find.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cock of the Walk

With all due respect to the Kansas City area's celebrated fried chicken establishments, I recently ate the most delicious chicken imaginable at El Pollo Rey. The smoke lured me in but I subsequently discovered that the joint is not a secret. I believe that the chicken is pressed, slathered in spices and cooked over flames. Oh my. Adding to my pleasure was the price. I paid $8.50 for a half-chicken with condiments, tortillas and two bottled drinks.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Rub It

What are you looking for as you dine at a restaurant? This fat boy just wants his food. Others, however, apparently want to make new friends. Aladdin Cafe is perfect for that purpose. The exceedingly friendly staff of the Mediterranean establishment wanted to get to know me during a recent visit. Hadn't they heard? I'm antisocial. If I'm ever inclined to ask someone what they're doing after work, however, I know just the place.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I can't begin to comprehend such anguish and horror.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Manneken Pis

What's the essence of Brussels? Beats me. Even after spending three nights in the capital of the European Union, I was never able to get a handle on what the town is all about. The appeal of Brussels' famous beer and chocolate is obvious, but what's up with the obsession with cartoons and a urinating child? Oh, I liked Brussels and its people a lot, yet my recent visit continues to mystify me.