2 in 2

Two good restaurants in as many days. Raunheim is yielding some worthy secrets. Restaurant Donna Maria is definitely worth a visit; a decent Italian in an area full of questionable ones.

Corner Steakhouse

With all the travelling I’m doing in my new role, I’m actually having more meals in restaurants than not. This isn’t as exciting as it sounds; particularly here in Germany, where even the smartest-looking Italian restaurants (which seem to be the largest ethnic food group aside from German restaurants themselves) serve up cheap, uninspired food.

So I was delighted today to find the nice (and not so cheap) Corner Steakhouse - not on the corner, but in the middle of Raunheim. Excellent steak, ironically cooked by yours truly on the hot lava stone they gave me. I’m ashamed to say it’s the first time I’ve tried that exact style of food, but it won’t be the last.

Yum.

Gel 2008

Really, really, looking forward to Gel 2008 in a couple of weeks. One of my Thursday ‘activities’ is an authentic foods tour, taking in my favourite food store in the whole world, then an evening party at Google NYC.

Speakers the next day include Clay Shirky and Marissa Mayer.

Plus I get to spend the preceding week hanging out in NYC for the first time in yonks - staying on Times Square for free.

Can’t wait.

Adam Smith in the 21st Century

A post on the Economist’s Free Exchange blog - about Adam Smith’s house in Edinburgh going on sale - reminded me of a childhood fantasy, and caused me to think how it could be brought up to date.

Adam Smith (and many other free-marketers since) have had a lot to say about the ingenuity of the human spirit and the market’s ability to do a better job of enriching humans than central planning. Nevertheless, I sometimes still wonder about the extent to which new ideas are sometimes missed, even in strong market arenas, because existing ones are taken for granted.

If Adam Smith could be brought into the 21st Century, with a time machine (this is where the childhood fantasy comes in), what would he think? After the initial shock had subsided, would he be pleased with the globalised world we’ve built, or would he be disappointed by general economic ignorance?

But here’s the real puzzle - if one showed him that it’s now possible to get from London to New York in 7 hours, would he be impressed with what we’ve managed to do with that capability, or disappointed? Would he think it’s cool that we can eat fruit from the other side of the planet, or think that the human race is hardly stretching itself?

I’d love to know.

On a More Positive Note... Travel Tip #1

Always add a note to your hotel reservation requesting a high floor if possible. Some hotel chains will let you do this on your frequent traveller profile, for others you may have to request each time. It’s worth it, for two reasons:

  • You typically get a better view and a quieter room.

  • You sometimes get upgraded to a better class of room, without having to explicitly ask for it - they are often high up.

It has a disadvantage, however.

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