bk’s Fun Blog

How does one have fun in Syracuse other than going to Wegman’s on a Saturday? Here are some of my favorite activities:

Coffee: I am addicted to coffee, and I hear that as far as addictions go, this is the least harmful one. My favorite coffee roasters and coffee shops are located in Chicago: Intelligentsia, Ipsento (cayenne peppered Ipsento latte is a killer) and Metropolis. Their baristas are world famous, and are winners of numerous World Barista Championships — yes, there is such a thing.

Aside from the above three coffee shops, I have a few other coffee shops I enjoy when I visit New York City. These include: Stumptown Coffee at Ace Hotel and the various locations of Joe: The Art of Coffee.

Wine: My research interests include pricing of wine and mitigating risks in the production of wine (see the descriptions under What’s On My Mind). As a result, I developed a palate for some wines. Here are my personal favorites:

Thanks to Steve Stein, professor of history specializing on the history of winemaking in Argentina, I developed an interest in Malbecs of Argentina, and here are my two personal favorites to serve with steaks:

I also like wines from California. I am a big fan of the following three Paso Robles wineries:

  • Justin: Their Isosceles is well-balanced, smooth and velvety
  • L’Aventure: Côte à Côte is an amazing wine
  • Turley: Excellent producer of zinfandel

From Napa and Sonoma Valleys, I also like:

From France, I love:

Finally, from Australia, I like the wines of

  • Mollydooker: Love their marketing ideas, and of course, find the stamp-like labels extremely creative.

Music: I am a big fan of Afro-Cuban and Latin Jazz. The musicians I frequently listen to in this category include:

  • Mongo Santamaria: Conga player
  • Poncho Sanchez: Conga player
  • Israel Lopez Cachao: Bass player
  • Candido: Congas and percussion
  • Patato Valdes: Poly-rhythmic percussion player

I also like the suggestions I get from Marina. I recently got into listening to:

  • Julietta Venegas: Enjoy her album “Limon y Sal.”
  • Bande à part