ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

April 14, 2010

Top 10 things on the 10s: LA and Phoenix.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — ifindkarma @ 6:23 pm

In accord with the theme of our On the 10’s road trip, we’ll be blogging our Top 10 observations every day, yay!

Before we do, BIG THANKS to LA Times‘ Jessica Guynn for writing about our Road Trip as we were driving through LA!

Now, on to the Top 10 list.

First leg: Palo Alto to the start of Interstate 10 in Santa Monica to Phoenix. The highlight? Pizza!

1. Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ. Allegedly the best pizza in America, and totally worth the 3.5 hours we waited for a table (tip: Bar Bianco, in the next building, has no sign). Short and exceedingly strict menu: only two appetizers (grilled veg and spiedini, both very worthwhile), half a dozen of the most delicate pizzas you’ll ever see, and maybe a salad or two. You must try the marinara pizza if you get nothing else… the chef says marinara is the most severe test of his art, because it’s nothing but gently hand-tossed wood-brick-fired crust and a light tomato sauce — no cheese, nowhere to hide. Come before 4PM or after 9pm, or you will wait a long time for such a great pizza experience.

2. Chicks dig the Overdrive mobile wireless hotspot! Sprint had decent 3G coverage all the way from Palo Alto to Phoenix, but 4G which is allegedly available in Phoenix did not work at all and it regularly threw the iPad and Nexus One off the networks. Plants vs Zombies took half an hour to download in the middle of downtown Phoenix. AT&T’s coverage was spotty at best, and we still haven’t gotten the Palm Pre Plus working on Verizon :(.

3. We Tweeted via text message all day long, and Twitter appears to have lost 100% of our updates. 100% packet loss! This was doubly frustrating because our friends expected updates, and started texting and calling when they couldn’t see our current status. Facebook status OTOH was flawless, immediate, and highly interactive.??I did most of my replies yesterday on Facebook, not Twitter.??

4. The History Museum in Phoenix closed and was merged with the science museum. 😦

5. Big ups to the photo flash on the Palm Pre and the Blackberry Curve. iPhone and Nexus One found the restaurant too dark for pizza photos.

6. Huckleberry Bakery in Santa Monica, CA. The maple bacon biscuit is not a biscuit, it’s not even a scone… it’s basically a hunk of shortbread with bacon bits and maple glaze. The essence of biscuits is evanescence: a puff of steam should come out when you crack one open, and they should be fluffy. Green eggs and ham, on the other hand, was as good as we remembered. Not only is the combination of ingredients intriguing and tasty, but each one (sunnyside eggs, pesto, arugula, house made English muffin, prosciutto) was perfectly prepared for this purpose. Joyce did not eat her English muffin with pesto, so I took it on the road for lunch.

7. Both Pizzeria Bianco and Huckleberry served La Quercia prosciutto. It’s made in Iowa and it’s the real deal, fresh yet complex.

8. Uploading photos to Flickr and Twitpic via email interface were super easy and fast — send and forget — and they both tweet the photo automatically for you. Facebook app on iPhone was an epic fail for uploading photos. Crashed my iPhone for 40 minutes, and uploads took several minutes in LA — thanks AT&T. Not!

9. Google Maps directions were incomprehensible, illogical, or just plain wrong all the time in Phoenix. For instance, Google Maps directions told us to go left to 3rd street to get to 7th street… when they are parallel to each other! Also, Google Maps on the Palm Pre has no automatic saved searches… so for instance if you type in an address but lose connectivity before you arrive there, you’re screwed.

10. Without traffic it took 90 minutes to get out of LA Metro on Interstate 10. Strip-mall sprawl all the way out past Riverside!

See also: On the 10s Tour??and LA Times feature

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