Friday, January 26, 2007

New Orleans Revisited: French Market

I took my GRE general early this week: Miraculously my score was better than what I got in my last prep-test on the night before. (According to ETS these types of miracles do not occur. Oops! I am under oath not to talk about the test at all. You see, this is a very serious problem since I didn’t know if I was allowed to tell my scores to my lovely and concerned husband!) After the GRE excuse, I was busy following up on my PhD applications, so finally now my schedule is back to normal and with about two weeks of delay I return to were I had left in New Orleans Tales:

French Market

French Market is a daily bazaar on the bank of Mississippi river in French Quarter in New Orleans. I enjoyed walking among the carts, talking to vendors, and taking some photos. The sellers of the French market mostly carry their own business, so hurricane Katrina among other things, directly affected their earnings. Amazingly, this relatively small bazaar gathers sellers from all around the globe. Among American, Asian and Mexican sellers, I located a Syrian, a seller from Tibet who was reading the Da Vinci Code, and even an Iranian selling ornamental silver and of course, he did not let me took his picture. They sell about everything and mostly they sell what they think may attract tourists: spices, hand made masks for Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) carnival, stuffed puppets and dolls, imported goods from Sari to Turkish rugs. To make your walk lovelier in the in the French Market I recommend a refreshing Ice tea from Café du monde.

Here are some of the photos I took at the French Market in a rainy day.

French Market, New Orleans, 2007

French Market, New Orleans, 2007

Salt & Pepper Shaker, French Market, New Orleans, 2007

French Market, New Orleans, 2007

Handmade dolls, French Market, New Orleans, 2007

A merchant from Tibet,
was reading Da Vinci Code before I distracted him,
French Market, New Orleans, 2007

A Small Buddha Shop, French Market, New Orleans, 2007

French Market, New Orleans, 2007

My favorite Corner House
in the streets of French Quarter, New Orleans, 2007

To be continued …

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chamomile : A Rule-Breaker !

We were out of milk so I went out to do some grocery shopping. My principles in grocery shopping sums up in 1- going straight to the needed items and do not wasting any time wondering around. 2- do not even think of buying Saffron from any place in the world except Iran. 3- never buy tea from an American supermarket (call it my Persian Tea Pride)

Today, while finding my way toward the dairy products section in Wegmans, I broke my third rule. I was passing trough the Coffee/Tea isle, using it as a shortcut, when a box of Chamomile Herbal Tea got my eye, reminding me of a conversation I had 3 weeks ago with my dear friend about Babune (Chamomile) and its calming effects. So I, desperate for a little bit of peace, got my first box of organic Chamomile. Then that delicious moment came; a sweet taste that fills the whole body when a rule is about to break, even if it is my own rule; it is great when it is broken. And then I just wanted to repeat that sweetness; so I got myself some more tea: a box of Salada White Tea and a box of Mango Ceylon Tea.

Right now, I am having my first cup of Chamomile and it feels like apple. Here on the box it says that it is a Calmative and Digestive aid, So! ?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The First Snow of Princeton in 2007 !

Today, it snowed a little more than 15 minutes. It is still snowing on and off ! This is the second snow this year, the first time was so short no one noticed it! Tehran had its Fifth snow last week, It was amazing that we didn't have any, till TODAY !

Here I just took these: Some Snow Photos !

The Fist Snow in Princeton, in 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Triple A Movies !

A late, Happy Martin Luther King Day!

King, together with Mahatma Gandhi, are my two favorite Socio/Political activists. Last week was one of the busiest weeks that I have had so far. Every time I think that O.K. this was the busiest one, and I am done, and everything will go smoothly from now on, well, I will get surprises, one after another; so this week won’t be a good week either.

Now, lets go to the most recent movies that I saw and have a brief review for each:

Le Mani Sulla Città (Hands Over the City) (1963) directed by Francesco Rosi. A+

Every single shot in this movie is perfect, just perfect. Each plan is a decoupage lesson. The amazing story, the characters and the brilliant performance of Rod Steiger (Edoardo Nottola), all of it, blows me away.

Water (2006) directed by Deepa Mehta. A

Water is the story of Indian widows and their lives. While they are considered dead by the society, an 8-year old widow brings color to their half-dead bodies. Mehta has a very powerful sense of moment and time. She knows exactly how much time is needed for each element to be shown and that allows her to develop the story; So she give us a well develop ending for every single sequence, leading us to believe the sad reality, and gives us hope for the ending that we can not predict. The making of the film took a couple of years since the extremist in India stopped the filming and...

Notes on a Scandal (2006) directed by Richard Eyre. A-

It is a well-prepared drama, based on a novel by Zeo Heller, which is narrated to the viewer by Judi Dench. Together, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, performed beautifully and add to their performances, Philip Glass’s music.

This was the AAA from the past couple of weeks.

Le Mani Sulla Città (Hands Over the City) (1963)

Water (2006)

Notes on a Scandal (2006)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Days In New Orleans

I am back from New Orleans and finally I got to my USB cord !

French Quarter, where our hotel was located, is the gorgeous side of New Orleans especially after Katrina. New Orleans is a unique city, where, both, in its beauty, and in its beast, I felt the unsheltered harmony of survival. With its genuinely kind and easygoing people, New Orleans forms a suitable atmosphere that allows everyone to enjoy their time, whether they are in company of boring mathematicians or not.

I spent my mornings studying in Café Beignet in Royal Street, Which is full of Antique Shops and Art Galleries, ordering Beignet (a kind of doughnuts, that we call, Pirashky in Iran) and in afternoons I went around taking photos and talking to locals about New Orleans. I reserved the nights to be with friends. We walked every night along the crowded Bourbon Street; I do not recommend Bourbon St. during the day since it stinks.

Of course it is good to be home, nonetheless I’ve missed New Orleans already. These are some pictures out of four hundred photos that I took last week in New Orleans.

Louisiana Superdome, 2007
It was used as a Shelter during Katrina disaster.

Café Beignet in Royal Street, New Orleans, 2007
The gray cat waiting for charity. I named her Chimney.

Café Beignet in Royal Street, 2007
The lovely gril reminded me of Little Red Riding Hood.

The view of Saint Louis Cathedral from Jackson square, 2007

Bourbon Street, Night view, 2007

Bourbon Street, Night view,2007

To be continued…The next post will be about the French Market and the Lower Ninth Ward.

PS. (I) Regarding the Anonymous who said...

WOW! who says that mathematicians are boring! If they were, why would they hold their meetings in New Orleans! :)


You are right; New Orleans is a very interesting place, but holding a math conference in a fun place does not make the attendees less boring. Nonetheless, I agree that the definition of being boring or interesting is relative, and of course if one is a mathematician, it won’t be fun to consider oneself as a boring person. So mathematicians should think that they are interesting. Now that I think more, I know some mathematicians who are really interesting creatures, in fact I am married to one of them.

Here is my theory for this matter :

1 Non-Mathematician can handle at most 2 Mathematicians. But if the number of mathematicians is greater than 2, no matter how many of us (non-Mathematicians) are there, we will lose.

Corollary: if |{mathematicians}|> 2 then they behave as Dementors.

PS. (II)
Anonymous said...

Well, we think there are many counterexamples to your lemma! :) Note that the measure of math words we used ( in our New Orleans gatherings with you and Hossein ) was almost zero! Actually, you were the one who was more interested in talking about math stories! :)


1/13/2007 2:59 AM

My dear Anonymous [Tea Jana Ghoorban ] you are really in the state of denial.

First I need to clarify that I never said a conversation that is using math words or moreover any math related conversation, is boring. In fact they are really interesting. What I said is that Mathematicians Are Boring. And it is the saddest part, since no matter what they are doing, whether solving a very exciting Math problem or gossiping about one another, they, themselves are boring. And of course it would be really interesting to hear your Counterexamples to my Lemma. Since you really did not present any.

Answering this question may help us to understand My Point.

Frankly, Did I bore you when I told you guys some of my math stories?

If your answer is leaning toward NO, my point is proven; Talking about math is not boring so It depends who is talking about it and (Most of) Mathematicians do make any conversation boring.

And if your answer is Yes and I did bore you by my share of math stories - even though, I usually do not make any effort to hold an interesting conversation - I feel bad.

Anyhow, [Tea Bala Mi Sar] New Orleans is so full of joy that being with a group of (Mostly) boring mathematicians does not spoil it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Orleans

I am in New Orleans with Hossein who is going to attend the Joint AMS/MAA Annual Meeting starting tomorrow. We got here this morning and we will be here for 4 days. I usually don’t join him in his Math trips, mostly because they are 1 or 2 day trips and I don’t feel good in short trips. I think my body needs some time to cope with the new environment and moving fast will make things confusing. So far we have had a good time. It started to rain an hour ago. We are settled in the French Quarter. I don’t know whether it is this area of the town or New Orleans in general, but here is really different from the other American cities that I’ve been to so far.

For me the city atmosphere and architectural view is a constant reminder of Bandar-e-Anzali, my dad’s hometown, by the Caspian sea. I am taking a lot of pictures but I have to get back home to post them since I forgot to bring the USB cord.

My grandmother’s back yard in Bandar-e-Anzali, 2006