(It’s So Close but…) We’re So Far Away

Earlier today, the Supreme Court came to the monumental decision on marriage (I’m deliberately not referring to this as same-sex marriage), namely deciding whether homosexuals have a right to constitutionally marry or whether state bans on same-sex marriage can remain in place. It’s perhaps as monumental (at least close to) as the 19th Amendment that passed in 1919 that allowed women the right to vote. It’s perhaps as monumental (at least close to) as the Voting Rights Act in 1965 that allowed blacks the right to vote. This could – perhaps like those other two monumental decisions – change the way an entire group of Americans are treated in this country. This could finally mean equality for all: women, minorities, and the LGBT community.

I mean, after all, we’ve recently seen the way that racism has nearly ceased to exist in America since 1965. We’ve seen the level of equality that women have achieved since 1920. I mean, we have, haven’t we?

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Humanized Greatness

Nobu Sushi, in case you haven’t heard of it, was created by a man named Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. “Nobu” as he is commonly known, started in an apprenticeship in a sushi bar in Tokyo, travelled from Tokyo to Argentina, back to Japan, and then to Alaska before finally settling down in Los Angeles. In L.A., Nobu opened his first restaurant called “Matsuhisa” in Beverly Hills. From here,  he met his now good friend Robert De Niro (yes, that De Niro), and on De Niro’s urging opened the first ever Nobu sushi in New York in 1994. Now, Nobu Sushi exists on five continents – 32 restaurants in 28 cities around the world – and has been listed as one of the Top Ten Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times (1993), among other honors. Nobu himself has been named One of the Most Influential Chefs of the Decade by Madrid Fusion (2009) and a nine-time nominee for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation (1997, 1999-2006). One of those 32 locations is in Stadium 2 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California, home of professionl tennis’ BNP Paribas Open (the proclaimed “fifth major”) every March. Stadium 1 of the Gardens holds the claim as the second largest tennis stadium in the world behind Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The Desert Sun, the newspaper of the Palm Springs area, reported in March of 2014 that the BNP Paribas Open brings in approximately $5 million a year in revenue from approximately 450,000 fans, and that’s just part of the estimated $350 million a year the tournament brings to the entire Indian Wells community per year.

In other words, Nobu – and Indian Wells – is kind of a big deal.

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Roger Federer and the Most Unpredictable US Open in Years

It’s Never Too Late…

Back in March, after Roger Federer won the Dubai Duty Free Championship, I mused on the joys of seeing the Great One play in a manner reminiscent of the Federer we remember. In the comments, I expressed my opinion that if Federer doesn’t win a Slam this year, he would never win another. After the summer (and really the year in general) that Fed has had, I – along with many others – find myself choking on my words, almost wondering why I ever doubted him to begin with. We all speculated the demise of his tennis career and the end of his indomitable reign of greatness. Yet no one told Roger Federer; or at the very least, Federer chose not to listen, thankfully.

It says a lot about his level of play, even now, that when he struggles you still hear announcers saying the phrase, “He’s still human.” And rightfully so. The guy is 33 years old and says he plans on playing for another five years. The fact that he’s still playing at the level he’s playing is inhuman. And he’s doing it while toting around two sets of twins! At the end of last year, having only one title win all season, pretty much everyone seriously speculated that Fed would not win another major in his career. Federer didn’t even make one major final last year, his best result being the semis in Melbourne. Also, he finished the year with an abysmal 4-10 record against top 10 players.

Fast forward to now. Going into the US Open, Fed has appeared in four consecutive finals of tournaments he has played in (Halle, Wimbledon, Toronto, Cincinnati), winning two of those (Halle, Cincinnati). His loss in Toronto just happened to make him the final victim of the best week of tennis Jo Wilfried Tsonga had pretty much ever played in his life (Tsonga took out four top-10 players that week: Murray, Dimitrov, Djokovic, and Federer – Try doing that again, Jo.) That 4-10 record against top-10 opponents last year has flipped around 180 to an amazing 12-4 record against top-10 opponents this year. And while his loss at Wimbledon to Djokovic – in one of the greatest matches I’ve ever had the privilege of watching – was heartbreaking (I’ll never forget Fed crying at the award presentation), it seems that final did more for Federer’s confidence than it did for Djokovic’s. Federer knows he lost that match in a handful of points, and now with Nadal out of the US Open, he has to feel like he can beat anyone this year, including Djokovic.

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There Is No Spoon

Note: I need to reiterate what is stated in my about me page: the views expressed in this article are solely mine and do not represent the views of any else, most notably my employer. Many people who read this will disagree with what will be discussed. If you are someone who gets easily offended by differing ideologies, this may not be the best article for you. 

I’ve delayed writing this post because I believed I needed research to support every idea I’m about to express. To give you an idea, I initially decided to write this post nearly four months ago, and it’s taken me this long to realize that there is no amount of unbiased research that can make this article a persuasive article. So, rather than using this as an opportunity to persuade anyone, this is going to be me expressing my beliefs. I’m sure I will get comments of people refuting or supporting me, and I’m sure for every point I make someone can find research supporting and refuting it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that if anyone was capable of indisputably resolving these issues, they would no longer be issues. As such, what follow are my thoughts, my feelings, and my musings, nothing more and nothing less. There will be some research included, but mostly just my opinion. Here we go…

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Wildfires and Coyotes and Winds (& Wines), Oh My!

Chase, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Philly anymore

Embarking on week three as San Diego residents, there are some notable differences living here versus the East Coast that didn’t figure into the “Pros and Cons” list when making the decision to move out west. Continue reading

The “Miss” List

Heading West

For a while now I’ve been preparing for the move out west.  The thought first crossed my mind when I got an interview at USC for residency way back when, but ultimately decided at that point NYC was what I wanted and cancelled the interview. Now after years of dreaming and contemplating, I’m finally doing it. I’m packing up, putting Chase in the car, and we’ll drive straight on til morning to the Promised Land called San Diego. As we get close to the day, people keep asking me what I’ll miss about Philly/NY. Continue reading