Five and Dime – Fantastic dessert

18 Oct

EAT Alone Together

I met my friends for lunch at Five and Dime, which is a small, cozy eatery located on River Valley Road, within walking distance from the Somerset MRT station.

Five and Dime’s lunch menu is pretty simple compared to its dinner menu – just English breakfast, Eggs Benny, Mentaiko pasta, salads and desserts. To be honest the limited choices available was a little disappointing, it seems like I need to make another trip down in order to try their dinner main courses.

My friend and I ordered the Eggs Benny ($16), while my other friend ordered a Salmon Rocket salad ($15).

Five and Dime Eggs Benedict - Eat Alone Together

The Eggs Benny consists of poached eggs and beef slices served with toast, potatoes and fruit salad. It was quite okay, but nothing spectacular. The beef was a little bland and dry, and I think I’ll definitely prefer to have bacon or ham with poached eggs instead…

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Six Barrel Soda

18 Oct


Venue: Six Barrel Soda Co
Visited: Tuesday, 7pm
Mood at time of visit: Relaxed
Type: Cafe
Ambience: I can forgive its borderline twee-ness because it’s cosy and charming and there’s soft lighting at night and the music is always really great, though maybe a bit too obscure for me to recognise
Seating: It’s all counter seating – either at a large communal table/counter or along the windows looking over Dixon St
Busy? Practically deserted at this time on a Tuesday night
Clientèle: A couple other solo diners in for a burger and soda, a young family stopping for dessert
Service: Table service, but very casual – nice, but not over-the-top
Price (for one): $19
Difficulty: Easy as pie (which, at Six Barrel, as it happens, is very delicious)

If there was one place out of all the restaurants and cafes…

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Story7-Elevating Dinner for One

15 Oct

Elevating Dinner for One

—-THE New York Times story by Food stylist: Heather Meldrom. Prop stylist: Maeve Sheridan.

For a happy life, Montaigne wrote, we “should set aside a room, just for ourselves, at the back of the shop” — a refuge, mental if not physical, where our liberty is ours alone and our conversation inward. I like to think he meant us to include a carefully laid dinner table in the room’s shaded corner, considering how thoroughly our useful exercise of freedom relies on our being well fed.mag-05eat-t_CA0-articleLarge

Too often, though, when alone and hungry, we end up eating poorly. Or I have: Over the years, I’ve rushed through dozens of bad dinners scraped together because they were just for me, only to later realize the bad food and haste had delivered me directly into the loneliness I was trying to avoid. It’s when I’ve resolved to act not by myself but with myself — to serve as dignified a meal to me as I would to another — that the room has come to seem full and happy and loneliness has slunk away.


It’s the only cooking you’ll do, so make your preparations purposefully. The stripping of husk and silk, then the cutting of kernels into a bowl, are themselves tiny assertions of dignity. So, too, is standing right next to the hot pan as you add some very good olive oil, for warming sliced garlic and a bit of chopped scallion. There is light salting, then some chopped cucumber or tomato, or a bit of bacon, then the corn and a sprinkle of water; as soon as it becomes less brothy, add a few drops of sharp vinegar and a great shower of roughly chopped herbs. These last are an especially important touch, not to be skipped.

Then there is just the setting of the scene: a place in the darkening light, a little pitcher of water, a table laid with a clean plate, heavy silverware, chilled wine or beer. And sitting at it, enjoying the fine meal and good wine, and the patter of leaves against the window and the fading light and breeze.

Such dinners for one don’t just keep loneliness out. They provide a lesson in being happy at more crowded tables. It is impossible to eat well in groups if you cannot eat well alone. I think this is true of anything — if it’s not what you do when no one’s looking, it will never be truly what you do. An hour spent tasting, watching, hearing only the rustle of your own observation, allows for a certain perceptiveness to arise, for the I to be sharpened.

I now find that when weeks have passed and I’ve not found time for meals with only me, I yearn for them — in much the same way that once, before I learned how to treat myself well at the table, I longed for someone else with whom to dine.

Eating alone doesn’t mean you must eat poorly!

Recipe:  sweet corn salad


Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Oven-Roasted Plum Cakes

13 Oct

Tomato Jam

13 Oct


13 Oct

Individual Apple Galettes

12 Oct

Mikey's In My Kitchen

Tis’ that time of year when folks bundle up in their sweaters and head out to the pumpkin patch/apple orchard to sip hot drinks and take pictures next to pumpkins.

Here is (yet another) reason to gather some friends and make a trek to the nearest pumpkin patch/apple orchard/hay maze to get your hands on some delicious, seasonal apples.


I never knew you could go to one place and experience so many fall festivities at once (we didn’t have these in Northern WI). A place where you can pick your own apples, corn or pumpkins. Drink hot cider, pose with animals/cut-outs of farmers, run through hay mazes, feed the animals in a petting zoo…the list goes on!

In my small town, you went over to your friends farm to pick apples.

We bought our pumpkins and corn stalks from local farmer friends and occasionally bought pumpkins from the stores in…

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week11- Apps :multiplicity, flexibility, ubiquity

19 May

In my social circle, we use apps everyday through our smart phones. As we learned from this week’s topic, all apps, digital platforms and even individuals can be viewed as engaged with other multiplicities (or assemblages  across individuals and different things). And this idea leads to some key questions about apps: How does each app assemble things? What social relations does it come together with? How does this change social
relations?  How does all this come together in the world  including the physical world and the online world?

Here are the apps which I am using at the moment on my smart phone.

photo2 photo3 photo1

I have around 40 apps on my iPhone these days (some of them are Chinese apps).

Some apps like the starbucks, H&M can assemblage the online experience and the real-life goods together. For example, with the Starbucks app you can order what you wanna drink then send it to the recent shop then you can get a fresh warm drink when you arrive the shop.

Some apps change my social relations like the facebook, twitter, skype, it helps me communicate with friends anytime anywhere and breaks the barrier of space and distance. As we get more apps, more platforms, with more kinds of relations between them, and between them and the world (and us) we get what we might call a “multiplicity of multiplicities” in contemporary media and communications.  Or we could say that apps make for multiple transindividuations of environments,users, Cloud/Stack/data and world (Bratton, 2014). Bratton (2014) argues that apps are data centers. By opening apps, we enter into a world of connectedness through a remote device such as  what I use my phones for. He also mentions that apps help assemblage the users and the environment together by  various specific programmings.

Also, Apps seem to be one part of ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous computing is a concept where computing is made to appear everywhere and anywhere. In contrast to desktop computing, ubiquitous computing can occur using any device, in any location, and in any format. (Wikipedia, 2014).So, another feature of these apps is ubiquity. Ubiquity means things everywhere, it can be the social realations in our real life, it can be the envrionment we  are in, now it can be the apps we have in our hand.

Moreover, apps also can affect the outside environment when it links to the world. Ambient Commons (Boullier, 2013) refers to Mccullogh’s notion of ‘ambient commons’, which consists of all things in the built environment that we take for granted as part of the landscape, such as architectural design, urban spaces and amenities. We see that mediated technology such as smart phones become part of the ambient commons as it is increasingly integrated into society. He observes media feeds are everywhere, such as on building facades, billboards, hotel lobbies and restaurants, and phone apps have become common use in everyday transactions, such as transferring money between accounts and scanning bar codes. For example,  from the apps on my phone, I have Zhifubao (a Chinese app) which helps me transfer money between people and buy things online. The technology is already affect what we do in the society (pay by zhifubao app) and the society accept this as well (permit this app’s normal running). In summary, through the analysis of Bratton and Bollier’s ideas, and also the apps I showed above,  the smart phones and apps have become so integrated into our society, our relations and even our habits. These technologies have empowered the individual to use them as ‘tools’ to suit their needs and connect to the outside with multiplicity, flexibility and ubiquity.



Bollier, David (2013) ‘How Will We Reclaim and Shape the Ambient Commons?’, David Bollier: news and perspectives on the commons, July 16, <>

Bratton, Benjamin (2014) ‘On Apps and Elementary Forms of Interfacial Life: Object, Image, Superimposition’,, December, <>

Wikipedia (n.d.) ‘Ubiquitous Computing’ Wikipedia <>


week10- Affection

11 May

In this week, we learned an interesting topic about Affection. Affection is what we are experiencing everyday,  nothing can be simpler to understand than affect , lots of forces around affect each other. As Munster mentioned that affect is the primary way people communicate ( 2013). When people are affected, they have the power to affect something (Massumi & Zournazi, 2002). Here is an example which may prove this idea:



The Fun Theory org wanna to get more people to throw their rubbish in the bin by making it fun to do.

After such a trying, the rubbish bin did get more rubbish bin then others just a small distance away. This interesting rubbish bin affect the passengers’ minds and emotions (curious, interesting etc.) And it also affect their behaviors -to throw rubbish into the bin.  There are lot of forces around affecting each other in this video’s situation: forces from the passengers to passengers, forces of the strange voice. In the middle of all this we find affect. Or, more radically, we could say that all this is made up of affect, differently assembled, and always changing as more forces affect the situation- throw it in the bin.

As more and more people involved in a situation of something, ‘The more things go viral, the more they become networked and virological; spreading itself spawns industries that parasitically host on spreading’ (Munster, 2013). That is, affection can affect ourselves while affect each other inside a larger environment. Being affecting and being affected by forces of all kinds,it often leads to a change (Murphie, 2010).

Also, with the development of technology, media have already brought a broader platform of affection in a huge network. It may also bring affect people on wrong track if the intention is attack or something else (for example, the terrorist may take advantage of affection to create fear and panic online ). So affection is quite important, as in the video, it can make the world better, but also can destroy it.


Massumi, B & Zournazi, M (2002) ‘Navigating Moments: A Conversation with Brian Massumi’, in Mary Zournazi (ed.) Hope: New Philosophies for Change Sydney: Pluto Press: 210-243

Munster, A (2013) ‘Going Viral: Contagion as Networked Affect, Networked Refrain’ in An Aesthesia of Networks: Conjunctive Experience in Art and Technology Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 99-123

Murphie, A (2010) ‘Affect: a basic summary of approaches’, Adventures in Jutland, June 30, Accessed 11 May 2014 <;


week9- micropolitics and the new communities

5 May

week9- micropolitics and the new communities

Last week our ARTS3091 studies investigated on what do the media and technologies have allowed the shift occurred in a large politics environment includes the government, big corporations and communities. Those people who are living in such a marcopolitics are experiencing the social changes by media, such as the transparency and the surveillance.  This week we  move towards a smaller scale of a social issue: As opposite to marcopolitics, mircopolitics is the use of formal and informal power by individuals and groups to achieve their goals within organizations (Wiktionary, 2014). The definition may not be the most apporiate for our study but it still shows some features which micropolitics have, such as the power, the individuals and groups, and also within organzations.  The rise of P2P (peer-to-peer) networks can be a good example of mircopolitics.

I can remember that in the movie the holiday ,Cameron Diaz  and Kate Winslet swap their house from a home swap website. This is a P2P network, the two peers communicate, exchange information without any others’ involvement.  As Bauwens mentioned in his article,the emergence of P2P network provide a platform for producing communities to share knowledge, code and design for the common good of humanity using open licensing arrangements that enable and facilitate universal sharing are showing the way for a fundamental reorganisation into a smarter world (2014). Moreover, these networks act as decentralised and horizontal platforms and traverses traditional power structures (which was under the macropolitical environment) by enabling an open forum for all involved.

This not only creates virtual communities amongst these individual networks by bringing people with similar interests and objectives together, for example, in the movie the holiday, it can be a group desiring exchange for the house to experience something new, but enables these people to collaborate in an open environment towards achieving whatever goal that individual network may have. It can even be a form of political movement to some extent. These network communities constitute a form of micropolitics as they each transverse established frames through open and decentralised collaboration; they “involve experimentation and an openness to be experimental” (Jellis, 2009).

However, as Rushkoff (2011) explains, “the internet as built will always be subject to top-down government control and domination by the biggest corporations” because of the complex relationships between technological systems, commercial profits or even legality . This is a difficult issue to overcome, however, as the micropolitics are becoming more and more common, there are more and more new communities born, the barriers or the diffculities may be dismissed or changed one day unconsciously.


Bauwens, Michel (2014) ‘Openness, a necessary revolution in to a smarter world’, P2P Foundation, February 4, <;.

Jellis, Thomas (2009) ‘Disorientation and micropolitics: a response’, spacesof[aesthetic]experimentation,;.

Rushkoff, Dougals (2011) ‘The Evolution Will Be Socialized’, Shareable: Science & Tech,;

Wiktionary (2014) <;