Tag Archives: New York Times

Podcasting: The Audible Revolution

23 Nov

Podcasts have been an effective and easy way to share audible content ever since their inception in the mid-2000s. The basic advantage of podcasts are simple: they are PORTABLE! Users can listen to what they want, when they want it, and where they want to. Having to plan part of a day around being at a certain place at a specific time to catch a half-hour show when it airs is a thing of the past. Want to listen to the New York Times audio version show from that same morning on your evening flight from Barcelona to Paris? You got it. Podcasting has been so popular and widespread because of how easy it is for all. Almost everyone I know has an iPod and enjoys keeping up with the news, or has a favorite television show, or possesses some sort of interest in a radio program. The combination of the two has become simple: podcasts. Podcasts represent the shift from a push medium to a pull medium: the audience has never had so much control over media content.

In my personal experience, it is equally as simple to create a podcast. Back in 2007, my friend and I recorded ourselves talking on a weekly basis about our favorite baseball team, the New York Mets. Granted, I have forgotten the details of how it was uploaded, but within minutes, we had our content available for all to enjoy (or most likely, ignore) on iTunes. Yes, the same iTunes visited daily by millions of users worldwide. It was astoundingly simple for us to record ourselves in a New York City kitchen and potentially be heard only minutes later by some lone Mets fan riding the bus on the way to work in Taiwan.

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Koy Shunka

17 Oct

Place: Koy Shunka

Address: Carrer Copons, 7

Meal Eaten: Dinner

Background: As I briefly mentioned in my post reviewing the sushi restaurant Shunka, the owners of the establishment recently opened the chic restaurant Koy Shunka on a nearby parallel street. I had spent the past couple of months reading praising reviews, as I listened to critics from TripAdvisor all the way to The New York Times talk about its standing as one of the top Japanese restaurants in all of Europe. Finally, blessed with the apparently unbeatable and very lucky combination of my girlfriend’s 21st birthday and her mother being in town to celebrate, I got my long-awaited chance to try it out for myself. Be advised to book a table in advance, as the restaurant reaches capacity virtually every night.

Setting: Much like its sister restaurant, Koy Shunka is situated on an tiny, quiet side street near the Cathedral of Barcelona. The entrance is unassuming, with several miniature sushi sculptures surrounding the menu outside its front door. The sushi bar and tables in front allow consumers a view of the kitchen, a feature becoming more and more popular in today’s restaurant world. The seating in the main portion of the restaurant in the back, where we sat, is very quiet.

Food/Price: Knowing that I had been waiting for this meal for quite awhile (and having starved myself all day), I leapt at the chance to order one of the two set daily menus (72 euros) offered by the restaurant. The menu featured both sushi and non-sushi Japanese specialties, including eel nigiri with a shiso leaf garnish (picture bottom left), several different cuts of tuna sashimi (bottom right), a mushroom based cold soup, Wagyu beef, tempura, and an assortment of sushi. See the pictures taken below for mouthwatering details. My girlfriend ordered the sushi combination plate (21 euros), which included seven pieces of sushi and two roll pieces (bottom center). Each of my seven courses were exquisite and truly delicious. The fatty tuna cuts from the tuna sashimi plate melted in my mouth, while I used the sheet of nori seaweed to scoop up the tuna tartare also included in the dish. The Wagyu beef was soft and marinated to perfection, and the final plate, the assortment of sushi, provided somewhat of a twist, as each piece was slightly seared to give off a bit of a smoky flavor to the fish (see following picture). 

Bottom Line: Koy Shunka is pricey. Very pricey. The a la carte portions are small, and, starting at 72 euros, the set menus are not exactly a bargain. The restaurant is critically acclaimed for good reason, however. Several times during the course of my set menu (which was more than enough food, by the way), I had the feeling that I was nibbling at art rather than consuming food. The dishes were meticulously prepared, often pairing a salty flavor with a sweet one, or offering several of the same type of fish in a radically different method, yielding various flavors. Koy Shunka lived up to my expectations as a top-notch inventive restaurant that I would be lucky enough to visit once.

Ratings:

Food: 9

Ambiance: 8

Cost: Depending on a la carte/set menu one/set menu two: 45 euros/80 euros/115 euros

Advantages of Blogs: An Example

26 Sep

Class discussion last week focused on certain differences between using blogs and print as forms of information. Various advantages listed were the constant stream of feedback from readers, authority on investigation, an improvement in style while writing, more frequent updates, conversational style, and, perhaps most importantly, the inclusion of images, videos, and links. This class period allowed me to reflect on how I have received information about the New York Mets, my somewhat obsession of a team, over the past several years. 10 years ago, when I first became a fan of the team, I remember rushing quickly to the front door of my apartment to check the newspaper and read about the previous night’s game. I would excitedly study the black and white pictures, read the entire game recap and statistics, and consider myself well-versed in the team’s events of the day. A few years later, I was astounded to learn that all this information was more easily accessible at the team’s official website, updated frequently and containing interactive features such as video highlights. Today, I have an entire new way of following the team. Started a few years back by avid Mets fan Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com has become a sort of mecca of information for all things Mets. A team of roughly five writers assembles anything and everything relevant to the team several times per day, and often breaks news to the public from inside sources. This system is especially advantageous because it is business policy to not officially announce a significant move, such as a trade or player signing, until the deal is entirely complete. MetsBlog allows writers with a passion for the team to post opinion, rumors, and other content pertaining to the team that the official site would never post, as the blog is not regulated by any higher authority (I believe that the Mets network recently purchased a portion of the blog, and there has definitely been a vast increase in the amount of site official sponsors, but the content remains relatively unfiltered). Readers in turn respond with comments, and discussions often take place on the board, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of posts. MetsBlog is the number one sports blog following a single team, and while statistics vary, the site receives over one million views per month. More and more fans want to know EVERYTHING about their favorite team NOW, and be able to discuss it with others just as interested. The days of waiting until 9 AM for home delivery of The New York Times are officially over.

Similarly, I have noticed that girl friends of mine carefully consult fashion and shopping blogs before making purchases. Going ‘window shopping’ and spending hours in stores looking for the perfect outfit has transformed into researching the latest trends online, usually followed by a couple more clicks of the mouse and a purchase via the internet (I can’t count how many times I have heard the word, “Shopbop“). A new age is definitely underway…