Playing catch up

I’ve been extremely busy for the past few days moving to a new apartment and just barely getting a book review submitted by deadline. I’ve left the place Court and I shared in Clarendon. It was a great location and she was an ideal flatmate — one of the few people I could tolerate, much less enjoy, living with — but it was time to move on. I’d originally planned on throwing my stuff into storage and bidding D.C. adieu for the summer, but at the last minute a number of plans changed and I decided it was worth sticking around. I was lucky to find a great apartment in Courthouse’s Colonial Village, a sunny complex with lots of grass and no high rises, and move into it this weekend. The downside is that I’m no longer just two and a half blocks from Murky; the upside is I’m now dangerously close to my favorite pho restaurant.

Rather than play catch up with new blog entries, here’s a list of the things I would have written about if I’d had the time:

Radley on Wegmans — Radley has a good op-ed up about the awesomeness of Wegmans grocery stores, the way they defy the expectation that markets produce low culture, and how lame grocery chains like Giant are using politics to block their expansion.

The Village Voice on Starbucks — In contrast, this Village Voice piece about Starbucks is all kinds of stupid. It’s written in reaction to news that Starbucks will have six weeks of exclusivity on retail sales of Alanis Morissette’s acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill (which I admit I’ll probably buy the day it comes out). I needn’t count the ways this op-ed goes wrong for frequent readers of this site, but I do get a kick out this quote from a member of the indie band Antigone, who will apparently have their CDs in Starbucks stores soon. It’s the smartest remark in the article:

“I think the biggest challenge for labels is breaking bands,” says Antigone’s Kristen Henderson, whose band will release its major-label studio debut in August. “The situation with Starbucks is perfect for us because it’s going to get us into 4,400 stores, front and center, and expose our band, our music, our name to a whole group of people who have never known us.” The acoustic Starbucks release doesn’t do the band’s accomplished hard-rock chopsówhich at times recall the Allman Brothers or the Black Crowesójustice. Still, the twentysomething guitarist feels no shame in having her band associated with the coffee store. “There’s always negative spin, people get like, hate the Man, the corporationóbut we’re signed to a major label. We were an indie touring band, but we consider our band a small business. We want to grow our business. . . . It doesn’t really freak us out.”

[Via Starbucks Gossip.] — Sticking with the coffee theme, check out this new coffee group blog. The contributors include Murky owner Nick Cho and reps from Eternal Recurrence favorites Counter Culture and Intelligentsia. It’s got a podcast, too.

Love and motivation — There’s some interesting new cognitive science research out about the way romantic love works. Peruse the NY Times article (thanks, Court!) or, even better, read Randall Parker’s take on it.

“Influential magicians” — Google offers an unintentional commentary on the state of the art. [Via The Magic Circle Jerk.]


3 thoughts on “Playing catch up”

  1. So the Love and Motivation article says “romantic love engages brain systems associated with motivation to acquire a reward.” Does this mean my mom was right, playing hard to get really will get you a guy? If so, I’m going to go get rid of all my low cut shirts.

  2. Sarah, this is where the economist in me wants to remind you to think of the positive externalities those shirts create. Since a Coasian solution seems unlikely here, it’s up to you to provide!

  3. Heh heh… you said “externalities…”

    Also, if someone sold fake Vietnamese food, would that be faux pho?

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