Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wo ist die Wissenschaft?

This is a question I find myself asking...myself (though usually in English) quite frequently these days.  Since starting as a professor, I've done little in the way of what I would call 'science,' and a lot in the way of what I would call 'administrative drudgery.'  Trying to decipher the Machiavellian machinations of the procurement office is my current challenge.  I thought I would have more time to spend on, you know, trying to cure cancer.

Admittedly, I expected this, and I am just starting out, so the lab isn't ready.  But still -- why is the life of a biomedical engineering professor permeated with so much non-science?  This is a topic that I will definitely revisit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Philadelphia food scene

I think nationally, and certainly internationally, people don't realize how good the food scene is in Philadelphia.  It's not just the quality, but also the diversity -- from hole-in-the-wall sandwich shops and streetside food trucks to outrageously trendy restaurants and white tablecloth fine dining.  I want to highlight a few of the places I've visited in just the last week:

Capogiro: Their gelato is fantastic, the best I've had since Perche No in Florence.  Flavors change daily and vary between their four locations: two in Center City, one by Penn, and one on Passyunk.  Highlights: sweet basil, wildflower honey, and gianduja.

DiBruno Bros: After living in Switzerland, I've developed a real taste for fine cheeses and charcuterie.  This shop in the Italian Market is going to be my salvation.  Something to try: duck prosciutto made in Warminster, PA.

Giwa: A small Korean restaurant near Rittenhouse Square that I recently visited with my friend Katie for lunch.  They have a really nice dol sot bibim bap.

Paesano's: I'd heard so much about this sandwich shop (actually two locations, one near the Italian Market, one on Girard) that I had to go.  After all, who can resist the Arista, a roast pork sandwich piled high with roast suckling pig.  I plan on going back -- I have, conservatively, five more sandwiches I absolutely must try.

Nan: This is a Thai-French BYO at the western edge of Penn's campus.  Really nice food (my dad's black cod was expertly prepared), with a nice neighborhood feel to it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Even though I am about five years behind the times, I've finally decided to start a blog.

Why, exactly?  Not sure.  It would be a bit narcissistic of me to think that people on the Intarwebs would care about what I have to say.  At the same time, since I feel like I have something to say, in the 21st century, the blog appears to be the medium of choice.

The big focus of my blog will be two-fold: chronicling my return and readjustment to life in America after four years in Switzerland, and giving some insight into the travails of wet-behind-the-ears assistant professor.  Along the way, I'll probably have a thing or two to say about food, restaurants, travel, science, hiking, and games.