#musicamondays #MUSICMONDAYS (13)

This tune is from Odesza, an electronic music band that hails from Seattle, USA. This song is on the Majestic Casual Radio Station. Hope you start your week mellow, balanced & a just a lil’ funky.

Welcome to the 13th installation of #musicamondays & #MUSICMONDAYS, which features music from around the world. Each song is selected to start your week off with a new energy and new country(ies) to explore! Go forth and do great things!

Enjoy the tunes…

Food Mubarak!

Fasting has a way of resurrecting old foodgasms. I find myself thinking about iftar very early on in the day. Often I oscillate between wondering how I can avoid spending my whole paycheck on a fancy dinner and wondering how fast I can make microwaveable oatmeal. But there are glimpses in the middle of great food experiences of yesteryear, which then lead me to wonder where I should go to break my fast. There are many places to choose from, but I’m drawn to locales where the food is delicious, the prices are decent, and the portion sizes are disciplined.

Today’s musing led me to list my favorite restaurants from around the world. I’ve tried to be as inclusive as possible of all my travels but, so as not to taint your experience in any way and also not to get too hungry too early in my fast, I’ll give you recommendations and reviews from others. Happy global hunger hunting!


Barbados: 10 Best says “Chefette is a small fast food chain, and there are 14 locations all over the island. It’s not particularly fast, but the prices are reasonable and the food is quite good. Tasty chicken and chips is the staple offering, but the “broasted” chicken sandwich and the various rotis are also satisfying. Several locations have drive-throughs and playgrounds for the kids, and some also serve pizza, barbecue or ice cream.”


France: Creperie Framboise in Paris really got me to appreciate crepes for their decadence. Before this they were just thin pancakes with nutella inside:  -_- (boring face). After Framboise, I see crepes and I smile. 

escale caraibe

L’escale Caraibe on Rue de Guerre was a delightful treat for me, someone who believes I know Caribbean food. Trying the cuisine of Martinique & Guadeloupe was a culinary pleasure of awesome proportions. Yum Yum!

el perro

Germany: Leave it to me to find an awesome Spanish restaurant in the middle of Munich. But, hey, que será será. El Perro y El Griego is as good as I say it is.




Grenada: This isn’t a restaurant review. Grenada produces two good food items – nutmeg (who uses nutmeg though, really?) and thee best chocolate I’ve had in all the world. Don’t take my word for it!



sanchos logoIndiaSancho’s is in Mumbai, and here’s what the good folks at Zomato have to say: “Bandra rather Mumbai has its fair share of Mexican restaurants, but not an overwhelming amount, fading in comparison to the number of Chinese, Sports Bars and Sea Food institutions in town. Broadly speaking, Sancho’s falls firmly in the “Awesome” category. More specifically, the food is “Delicious,” albeit generally a bit too hyped given the prices.”

sant lucias

Santa Lucia is in Fort Aguada, Goa and my mouth is watering just thinking of their Goan fish curry. Check out the reviews here.




Netherlands: Mashua in Amsterdam has me reeling from great cocktails to Quinoa Risotto. Oy vey! Gianguido says, “It is Peruvian fusion food. The menu is quite short, which I actually like it. Ample choice of whine.. which I also like 🙂 I went for Ceviche as starter… it was nicely prepared with all the whistles and bells…. I could feel a bit too much the lemon for my personal taste, but over all well done. My main course was a great boneless chicken leg prepared with cumin crust/sauce with wild spinach and young potatoes. it was really delish!” Need I say more?


tongue thaiThailand:  Tongue Thai in Bangkok had me with the vintage pics, the jazz music and the authentic food. I went back twice in three days.



The Corson Building picnic

United States: The Corson Building in Seattle is exactly how I’d want to run a restaurant, if ever I wanted to run a restaurant. Read up for yourself. And here’s what 50 Shades of Delicious has got to say…


sala 1 9

Sala One Nine is my favorite restaurant in New York City, which means its probably my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. Zagat says 90% of people like the restaurant.



And with that, I’m famished. It’s time to head off to the Blue Nile for some injera stuffed goodness. Ramzan Mubarak!

Social consciousness disclaimer: Everything I’ve had to say about Trayvon Martin trial/fiasco has already been said.

The Best Coast

Alyson L. Palmer was born and raised in the Seattle area. After undergrad she spent a year in NYC and two-ish with the Obama administration in DC. Now gearing up for her third year of law school at UDub = Univ of Washington. Timing seems sweet for her to jump back on the campaign trail for Obama 2013, but as yet she has no comment on that subject. 

Before I moved to New York City, a co-worker cautioned, “on the west coast, we’re wash and wear. On the east coast, they’re dry clean only.”  For you East Coasters, that was a dig at you.  Those of us on the “Best Coast” are decidedly more relaxed and we like it that way.  We don’t walk like something is on fire. Unless, you know, it is.  We don’t consider traffic signals mere suggestions, but rather a useful tool to regulate that pesky balance between pedestrians and vehicles.  And when we talk about having an apartment or office with a view, we don’t mean a view of other apartments or office buildings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling east.  I graduated from college and high-tailed it to NYC as fast as JetBlue could carry me.  You folks have the market cornered on revolutionary era buildings, cobblestone, and national monuments – all symbols of years gone by that a wonk like me enjoys.  I mean, you occupy 2/3 of every US history book…and you know it.  I don’t think I am letting out any State secrets when I say ya’ll have a superiority complex a mile wide and an ocean deep.

True, the west is the rebellious, upstart little sister with all her unbridled energy running around without a care in the world, because Thomas Jefferson never signed a proclamation on her desk and Sojourn Truth never ate at her counter.  But, that is what I love about the west!  She can invent and invest in whatever strikes her fancy.  There aren’t as many traditions on the west coast, so we make our own way – do things that don’t fit inside a box constructed in 1799 or 1999 for that matter.

This idea manifests most clearly in our ideas of style and culture.  If the east coast is Paris, the west coast is Tokyo.  We’re quirky in that “sure, this doesn’t match, but I meant to do that” kind of way.  We aren’t afraid to make mistakes and start trends we will regret in 5 years (flannel anyone??).  We drive with the windows down rain or shine, because we aren’t worried about the leather in our BMW becoming discolored.  An advertisement saying “vintage clothing” means someone actually wore it before and not just to the tents last February.  Street style on the west coast isn’t folks trying to make the “trends” page in Elle magazine, it’s stuff we actually wear while walking on the street to work, school and play.  And we indulge in music, art and science as part of our everyday life, because “work-life balance” isn’t a synonym for the “mommy-track”.  We exercise by paddling, biking, skiing, surfing, and climbing, because not to would be an unforgivable waste of this gorgeous landscape.  After all, we’ve got all those adventures 15 minutes away from home.

Our refusal to walk the path of the settlers does have its downsides.  Why it takes 4 hours to get to the next city of note is beyond me.  A road trip stops being fun when you realize you are still in the middle of nowhere 3 hours later.  For an area of the country founded on exploration, it’s ironic that we’d be so adverse to cutting away from the pack and starting anew just a few miles down the road.  We still struggle with mass transit, because we are mostly a collection of big small-towns.  Nobody had the foresight to think about what would happen when an increase in population and business would force us to travel not just sea to sea but north to south.  Now that our traffic is legendary, maybe we’ll get it together and figure out high-speed rail.  Last and least is our own complex.  The one that makes us not as sweet as the south with its barbeque and twang, and not as refined as the east with its universities made from the plantations of the Founders.  We are accent-less, our food and architecture are riffs off of someone else’s invention, and our refusal to be pinned in a direction makes us a bit directionless.

But for all of her deficiencies, the left coast is absolutely the best coast.  Because when we say we “went for a run in the mountains,” we’re not talk about a vacation.  We’re talking about Tuesday.  We’re not opposed to being nerdy and techie, because our nerds brought us Microsoft and Google and Apple.  We aren’t opposed to innovative scholarship, but when we use the phrase “ivy of the west,” we mean the school is distinguished and high caliber, not pretentious.

We may be drinking our own Kool-Aid on this one, but we like being “not like the rest.”  If you must liken us to anything at all, think of us as ducks.  We make life look carefree, but below the surface we are working hard as hell and reaping the benefits of a clear night sky and a cool ocean breeze. You east coasters, on the other hand, reap the benefits of using of our MACs & PCs to power through 14 hour days – I mean, stay ahead of the curve.