Sep 11, 2014

Joker’s picks

--> During my run here on W.A.S. I’ve always loved recommending a variety of things because regardless of the effects of advertising and marketing, there is no better promotion than word of mouth, and although some people insist otherwise, you can’t buy gosh honest word of mouth. So here’s some recommendations throughout all the things I could think of recommending.

Food and drink

- The Thomas at Fagianni’s (Napa): out of my meals when I’ve traveled to Napa, this place is something truly special. Great food, great drinks, wonderful ambiance and a rooftop terrace.

-  The Franklin Fountain (Philadelphia): old school ice cream bliss in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has offered me brilliant beer, great concerts and the Franklin Fountain. Make sure to visit and feel free to indulge.

- The Plough and the Stars (Philadelphia): One of the best bars I’ve ever been to. Clean, great drinks, wonderful beers and just a lovely atmosphere. Did I mention the great beer... yeah. GREAT beer. :D

- Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew: A wonderfully complex beer that should be drunk from draft, if you can find it.I've paid $12 a glass for a fundraiser and thought it was a deal. THAT good.

Kollar Chocolates: cardamom, earl grey tea, pollen and chili flavored truffles are waiting for you to bite in.If you need anything else to convince you, I have no idea what is wrong with you.

- Ikura Sushi Bistro (Puerto Rico): The best eel sashimi I’ve ever had in my life. With over 60 sushi restaurant visits in my life, this means something. If you’re ever in the Caribbean, don’t miss out on this gem of a spot near the Caribe Hilton.Make sure to keep your group to 4 or under though. Small place, slight wait... brilliant sushi.

- Kangaroo and Ostrich meat: If you can find these cuts at some fine dining place, you will not regret it. As Me would say, amazeballs.


Bodyboarding: People fail to realize just how amazing bodyboarding is. More versatile, economic, dynamic and challenging than stand up surfing, even if it’s looked down upon, you should check out some videos on Vimeo to see what you’re missing.Been bodyboarding for 20 years and looking fwd to the next 20.

- Robert Hunter & TerraValentine Wineries: Simply two of the most breathtakingly beautiful experiences in my life. If you’re at Napa/Sonoma, look both these places up. They’re off the beaten path and that’s a wonderful thing.

- Amoeba Music (Height and Ashburry – San Francisco): The end all experiences of record stores. The store is overwhelming and a throwback to the good old days where you could lose yourself in a record store for hours.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Go to Orlando, be a muggle, throw caution to the wind. Your inner child will always love you for it. And try butterbeer (frozen is better!)

- Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta): Awe inspiring is the apt term for visiting this massive aquarium. Whale sharks, manta rays, 300 lbs. groupers… it is spellbinding.

Movies and TV Series

Waking Life: one of the biggest mind trips you’ll ever take in cinema. If you haven’t seen this movie, consider buying because you may want to watch more than once.

- Mushi –Shi: One of the most beautiful animated series I’ve ever seen. It is spooky and beautiful NS timeless.

- Broken Saints: One of the most intense visual experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

Big Trouble in Little China: The movie I’ve watched the most in my life. Watch it so you can learn what Jack Burton says.

- The Secret World of Arriety, Nausicaaand the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away and Ponyo: Studio Ghibli is near and dear to me and these four movies are just a glimpse of what you’re missing.

- Dark City: This 90’s classic holds the test of time and proves that when you nail it, decades can pass and you’re still relevant.

Bands and artists

Elbow: One of my favorite bands and one that isn’t as popular as it deserves to be. Do yourself a favor, check them out on Spotify, Now.

- Asian Kung Fu Generation: Some of the best rock you’ll ever hear comes from Japan. Don’t believe me? Check out Sol Fa or Funclub.

- Café Tacuva: One of the best Spanish bands you’ll ever listen to and a hell of a live act.

Gustavo Cerati and Soda Stereo: Cerati passed away recently and  left behind one hell of a testament to what good music sounds like in Spanish. 

- St Vincent: quirky, odd, harmonious, fun, deep, dark and talented. If you want a woman that shreds on the guitar and produces memorably odd music, lok no further.

- Emiliana Torrini: great artist you should check out to add some estrogen to your discography. Fun, clever, talented. Bring it on.

- VAST: Although their recent work isn’t as solid, this band’s first three albums are well worth a listen.


Xenoblade Chronicles: The single longest game I’ve ever played. 156 hours of glory. Meets up with my other favorite all time RPGs including FFVI and VII, Chrono Trigger, Zelda games, Xenogears and Secret of Mana

- Journey: This game is an experience more than a game. It is deep, heartfelt, touching and invites you to see videogames in a whole new spectrum.

- Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaro’streasure: The most clever usage of the Wii Mote ever in a game, Zack and Wiki’s sales sucked, fooling people into thinking this is one of the coolest experiences on any platform.

- Beyond good and evil: such a good game even if it’s short. If you can grab any version of this game, play and enjoy.

- Eternal Darkness – Sanity’s Requiem: one of the best written and scariest games I’ve ever played.


- Delivering Happiness: The President and CEO of Zappos shows you what it’s like to work at a place where you like to work. A supreme ethos of service and kindness shows that when you believe in something, you will make it work.

- Ready Player One: In the future there is a virtual world that is just as important and often more important than the “real” world. Science Fiction and 80’s nostalgia meet up in one of the most refreshing reads I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.

- Only Human: You would have had me at vampires that don’t sparkle, though beneath that, there are demons and a fantastic world within our own that invites you to question any and everything. An exploration into humanity, this novel could very well surprise you, if you give it a chance.


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