Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Brief neighborhood exploration

No supermarkets…. So. Thirsty….

When I first arrived, I thought, “Gee that place across the street looks where my friend Michael lived!” But it turns out that the neighborhood is nothing but apartment buildings as far as the eye can see, and they all share a basic similarity, namely the belief that painting something with Pottery Barn colors is an Architectural Style.

Terra cotta as far as the eye can see is a bit disconcerting– the Tommy Hilfiger principle of outsourced mass market references to elite forms of consumption applied to buildings.


  1. I used to live right behind the Hyatt in “apartment hell,” as the locals call it. If you don’t mind a bit of a tromp, you can head over across the 5 from the Mormon temple (on Nobel), and there’s a bunch of decent chain restaurants (surprised?): an Islands, a Pizza Kitchen, a Fish Taco place, etc.. There are also a couple of good markets there. It’s less than a half-mile from the hotel.

    There used to be this great restaurant attached to the hotel, I want to say it was called “Pasquale’s,” but they got chased out by a place called Aquarella that’s still pricey, but not very good (IMVHO).

    Man, do I miss California. I’d give up my character-infused house on a New Englandy block for the Potery Barnesque surrounds you’re in now in a New York minute. Unfortunately, I just found out that a return home is not likely to make my 5-year plan. Brr.

  2. In Chicago, of course, terra cotta is white. You miss it now, don’t you?

  3. Hey, thanks!

    And despite my shocked, slightly snarky comments, I’d choose this over upstate New York any day. Though in some weird way that I can’t put my finger on, there are parts of San Diego that remind me of the Troy-Albany area– some trick of the view of the hills from the 5, or something.

  4. And of course I miss Chicago, though by coincidence, both of my traveling companions spent time in Chicago. At one point they got into an earnest discussion with our dinner hosts over whether Evanston counts as Chicago or not. The consensus seemed to be that it does, but the fact that there were several NU alums at the table must have swayed things a bit.

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