Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things that are not my dissertation

-Ombré, the eternal work-in-progress, has reached a new phase: rebleached ends, followed by one of the deep-conditioning masques (the "-que" is key; the stuff itself smells worse than the bleach, like burnt rubber, and this without heating it). Not sure yet if the ends are lighter than before, or just de-oranged, but either way works.

-What unites all Heidelbergers is ice cream. As I was having my daily cone, I noticed a woman on the other side of the bridge doing the same. The difference was that she was also wearing a burqa. She lifted her niqab (Wikipedia says this specifies just the face-veil) and... I did wonder whether "cup" might have been more practical than "cone," but she seemed to have it figured out. The ice cream really is a uniter, though, what with Islam's stance on alcohol and (some) Jews' inability to consume the stuff in large quantities. (Why are the tiny beers in Cologne, but rarely here?)

-This is my seventh consecutive month (minus a month) of communal-kitchen living. The German-guesthouse version sure beats the Paris-dorm one, but readers in whom my even mentioning these Euro locales inspires wanderlust, unless you have roommates, think of your kitchens, yes, even studio-apt kitchenettes, think of how you can go to the kitchen without getting dressed properly, how you can be sure the container of salt will be somewhere on the counter and not in another person's bedroom. How you do not need to negotiate for burner or counter space. How, when time comes to clean up when you're done, someone else hasn't just started cooking, thus leaving you with a choice between cleaning up your mess and theirs (and, once again without a splatter-guard, I know whichever mess is 99% mine and have to go with this option) or leave it be. Think, if applicable, of your dishwasher. Or even just of your drying rack - here, there are communal dishes, but you have to dry them and put them away immediately, in case someone else needs them urgently or, more likely, to avoid them getting splattered on. As romantic (or something) as daily ice cream sounds, remember that at a euro a (generous) cone-full, this is merely the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach my daily caloric requirement, one a kitchen intended for "snacks and small meals" can't quite meet.


Britta said...

I spent two months in Germany at age 5, and one of my most vivd memories was the ice cream, particularly watermelon ice cream. It wasn't sorbet or gelato, it was both ice creamy and watermelon-y, and it was this very pale pink color (at least in my memory. maybe I am making that up). To this day I've never eaten anything like it. It was so delicious that it even outranked nutella and those kinder eggs that have the little toy inside in the Discoveries of Delicious European Food for Five Year Olds category (this was pre-nutella & kinder eggs in the US).

Phoebe said...

Huh. Maybe I'm not being adventurous enough with my flavor choices (the tiramisu one's too good to break away from!) but overall I'm not finding the ice cream here radically better than elsewhere. It's just better than one might expect, and ridiculously convenient. I will occasionally prepare some kind of nutritionally-sound, complicated fish-potatoes-salad ordeal, but this is very much not what the kitchen's designed for, and the guy who just wants to make his pasta and sauce (two of the four available burners) could probably do without Kabeljauwfilet-grease flying at him and his dinner. Meanwhile, a hefty scoop of "tiramisu," and I'm good to go.

Britta said...

Well, maybe it wasn't actually that good, maybe it just was really good to my 5 year old self. It's probably one of those things best left to the memory bank and not recreated.

Speaking of things ice cream related that are good, there is a new gelato place in HP, and it is quite cheap for gelato (smallest size is $1.75). People say it's not as good as Istria (I haven't been to Istria recently enough to compare), but it is much more centrally located, still quite tasty, and cheaper, so slight decrease in quality isn't a problem.

They are also bringing in a Whole Foods and an all-night diner. I am pleased with the latter and less so with the former. For expensive high quality food, HPP expanded into an almost full-service grocery store, so $7 boxes of organic cereal are already available. Plus, Treasure Island is kind of ridiculously overpriced as it is, so a cheaper option would be better. I think all the students wanted Trader Joe's. Worse, WF might take the place of Village Foods, which is depressing but at least sells affordable staples.

Phoebe said...

Wow. I haven't been back to HP (or Chicago at all) since forever. So Istria, Treasure Island, all that would be new to me. As for $7 boxes of cereal, that's nearly twice what name-brand boxes go for at the Tribeca Whole Foods, so you might be in for a pleasant surprise!