Sunday, January 16, 2011

On the road again: Boston, day 5;
Arisia, day 3

I passed most of the daytime in useless indulgence: more sleep by far than normal, reading, a bit of TV movie watching, and of course some work. Okay, the work part wasn't an indulgence, but I needed to do it.

Dinner again took us to Cambridge, this time for a meal at East by Northeast, whose chef, Phillip Tang, won Boston Magazine's 2010 Best Up-and-Coming Chef award. The menu accurately refers to the dishes as locally sourced and Chinese inspired. We sampled quite a few of the small plates--the whole menu is tapas-style--and enjoyed them all. None, however, blew us away. I wouldn't recommend a special trip just for this place, but if you're in town, it's worth a try.

Because the restaurant doesn't offer desserts and because we've wanted to try the place for some time, after dinner we walked the couple of short blocks to Christina's Homemade Ice Cream. With great ingredients, over fifty flavors available, and a growing national rep, this place was tailor-made for an ice cream lover like me. Sadly, though I enjoyed the flavors I tasted, none had that magic that so many of Jeni's ice creams provide. If I lived here, I'd eat Christina's sometimes, but more often, I'd mail-order Jeni's.

We rushed back from dinner for my 9:30 panel on the singularity and how SF writers should deal with it. This panel sat right in the middle of the other two I've done here, with the audience frequently trying to take over and the moderator gamely trying to wrest back control. We unfortunately had one audience member who knew everything and wanted to lecture on all of it, at one point talking for over ten straight minutes until the moderator finally was able to get him to surrender the floor. The discussion also wandered all over the place and never seemed to muster a clear focus, but most of the audience stayed and seemed to have a decent time.

More than any other convention I have attended, Arisia has many panels that end up blurring the line between audience and panel. Sometimes I think that is a horrible idea, and other times, it seems wisely democratic. Regardless of what I feel, however, if I'm going to keep being on programming at this con, I better get used to it.


Anonymous said...

I'm partway through "Overthrowing Heaven" and I love Matahi "the truly mysterious and dazzling one" (from a blog review)- she's almost a perfect description of my exgirlfriend, a bartender in Las Vegas at the Island Lounge. Please include her in more books?

Mark said...

I never talk in advance about what future books will contain, but I will say that she is also one of my favorite characters. I'm glad you're enjoying the book.


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