An email written on May. 28, 2007:
How’s your Hershey Park trip with Jessie ?? Anything interesting to report ?
I’ve been so indulged in problem-solving in my work such that I didn’t really realize tomorrow (May 28) is a holiday before last Wed. or Thur. ? Needless to say, I’ve made no plan … but probably holiday or not really doesn’t matter. Before the next fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2007), I have 12 more vacation days. Of course, no matter how I put down on paper, spending the vacations in the lab. or outside the lab. is my freedom 🙂 In any case, I’m happy to have found the correlation between the timing shift dependence on the beam intensity in my polarization measurement. To me, it’s almost like Newton realizing the gravitational law … Now, the main control room crew/physicists just need to set the beam intensity in some narrow range before the RF group is able to get rid of the dependence !
Have you been to Roosevelt Island (the small island between Manhattan and Queens) either recently or in any of your high school trips ? I’ve paid this tiny island a visit today and at the same time I’ve finally tried taking the subway from Flushing. I didn’t bother as I thought it’d take like at least an hour but yet today on the way back from Grand Central to Flushing, it took ~38 minutes only (though part of it was like Express … sklpping some local stops). It’s saved me a few bucks … and I’ll seriously consider going to Manhattan by driving to Flushing and taking subway from there, especially when my Mom is here —> saving more bucks, with about the same amount of travelling time.
One needs to change at 74th St.-Broadway and take "F" to go to Roosevelt Island though. Roosevelt Island is even smaller than I thought in the west-east direction — I’ve not fully explored the north-south direction yet. It’s an interesting place overseeing either Manhattan or Queens. It’s very pleasant to spend some time strolling on its quiet promenade. It’s almost fully a residential area with very few shops. Fortunately, it’s more like Uptown near Central Park rather than your miserable/run-down Avenue U in Brooklyn. The buildings are not exactly stylish nor avant garde but I wouldn’t use the word "nonedescript" either ! Besides the subway, the only other public transportation to get there is the elevated tram to/from Manhattan. Somehow, the tram belongs to MTA and uses the same subway ticket with the same price ($2). Economy certainly is not the reason one’d consider taking the tram. The view is ! In this short trip (2 or 3 minutes), Manhattan seemed to have shown me its best. With the elevated view, I suddenly realized how straight the uptown streets are and they looked more charming than ever. The end-station is at the junction of the 60th St. and 2nd Ave. 2nd Ave. is slightly better economy-wise than 5th Ave. near Central Park to look for possible lunch locations. Just at the 58th, I’ve seen the Moonstruck Diner, a Chinese, an Italian and a French restaurant almost next to each other. Because of the egg appeal, I’ve picked the Moonstruck Diner. I chose an interesting omelette combination. The verdict is that it’s not really better than any other "Diners" in Long Island but may be marginally more expensive.
My favorite activity in Roosevelt Island would be and indeed was reading a book by the river overlooking Manhattan. Today, it’s not any "Quantum Field Theory" but a novel called "the devil wears prada". I’ve seen the movie and I’ve read that the novel ends differently. And that has thus made me curious. It’s certainly not "War and Peace" but it’s slightly deeper and more entertaining to me than Spiderman or Caribbean Pirate which I don’t bother to see —- unfortunately, one has to decide whether to read a book or see a movie before one actually reads/sees it. The book writing is a bit like my writing, flashing out all the things that the author thinks worth showing off, with "slightly" better and more vocabularies. Though it’s sometimes a bit pretentious, it’s still a good read. Though it’s the best-seller of a couple years ago, I still feel that I’m in the most thorough contact with the current trend and life in America.
After lunch and reading for another 10 pages or so in Central Park, I walked down the 5th Ave. and it’s like for the 1st time (… not really but it feels like), I’ve realized all the shops of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi and Prada (!) down the grandest 5th Ave. I’m only interested in Lindt Chocolate though … but quickly found that the Lindt shop in the Tanger outlet near my home would have better deal. The old location of "Barnes and Noble" bookstore (near the Rockerfeller Bldg.) is going to be an "Espirit" ! Luckily, the new "Barnes and Noble" is still on the 5th Ave. just a few blocks down. Just feeling very pleasant to be in the middle of all the books, I’ve also found the next book to read called "FABRIC OF THE COSMOS" by Brian Greene. I’ve recently read "Not even wrong" which attacks very hard at the superstring theory and this is one which may rebalance my mind. Reading the author’s bit (your one time Columbia professor), he has one or two common things with me —> he’s got his PhD from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. I didn’t know that. ( But of course, it’s not called PhD in Oxford but DPhil. ) …. It’s not yet in my town library but I’m sure that I can ask them to buy it so that I can borrow … which is more reasonable than making them buy a stupid US version of "China Strike Force" DVD of Ruby’s last time — just to make sure that it’s not a version that I want 🙂
Going back to Flushing, I read many more pages of "the devil wears prada" in the subway train … but I’ve also realized that by driving back home from Flushing, I would lose the additional one hour that I would be able to have to read a book if I had taken a train.