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Making Ideas Happen: The Cake Edition

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My friend Scott Belsky spent nearly 5 years writing “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming The Obstacles Between Vision & Reality” – a book all about execution and how some of the most productive people and teams in the creative world operate. The book was published two days before his 30th birthday, so his wife went all out and made him a cake. The cake was tasty, and the book is now a bestseller on Amazon.

Il Gelato di San Crispino

It might be the weather, the water, or the love with which it’s made, but regardless of the cause, the fact remains that the gelato is just better in Italy. Most gelaterias in Rome are pretty amazing. Of course, there are ones that are sub-par too (Blue Ice is the chain you’ll run into frequently). But for true craft gelato, the only choice is San Crispino. For the last couple of decades it’s been the gelateria that’s stayed true to the art of gelato, using only fresh, local ingredients and constantly striving to innovate new flavors. In the past 24 hours I’ve been to their location by the Trevi fountain three times. Here are my flavor combos: strawberry and Barolo wine (made with a 15-year-old bottle), honey and ginger & cinnamon, and hazelnut and plum. I’ve only scratched the surface and I’m already addicted.

SriPraPhai: Queens, New York

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I lived in Bangkok from age zero to thirteen and only realized I took true Thai food for granted after I spent some time in the US. Yes, it’s true that there’s plenty of Thai folk working their culinary magic right here in America (especially in New York), but I’d given up hope for perfectly authentic Thai food until I experienced SriPraPhai, a little spot in Queens that made me miss home more than ever. The place is not exactly fancy, but that just adds to the effect, reminiscent of the Thailand I remember where the best food is at street level and won’t cost you much. While I’ve always favored beef noodle soup, that’s about the most basic thing on the extensive menu, which includes obscure items from every region. Go there once and take a Thai person with you. They’ll agree, the proof is in the spicy som tam.

Stone 13th Anniversary Ale

stone13.jpg It’s not often that someone throws a birthday party and gives you a present. Checking in with my local beer wholesaler last week, Stone’s 13th Anniversary Ale is now widely available on the East Coast. Like most of Stone’s best work, the brewery’s first Imperial IPA/Double Red offering has more hops than a froggie jamboree (those that just bought The State on DVD know what I’m talking about). Tons of dry-hopping give it the citrus aroma and bitter-smooth finish, and the “Imperial” in the name means you’re looking at a bell-ringing 9.5% ABV. The sadists over at Stone put their usual 1000 word diatribe on the back of the bottle, but bring up a good point as Good Beer Month comes to a close: in these trying times, invest in what really matters.

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