Dec 29, 2016

Black Rainbows

We arrived in Atlanta without any problems. We were the first off the plane, and then, since we were exiting at Atlanta, we were diverted from the main group of people clearing immigration and followed a long and labyrinthine series of corridors and escalators echoingly empty except for airline employees at turns, who welcomed us to Atlanta as we passed by. 

We must have just missed Joshua and Tim at the welcoming area- we popped out, and then went into the crowd and only then noticed the three year old holding the "welcome home" sign. They drove us to their home in Sandy Springs, outside of the perimeter loop.

Ayumi made a good dinner of daikon and pork belly in the pressure cooker. and we fought through jet lag to crash into bed at 10pm. The next day was mostly resting and playing with Joshua and Penney. Joshua is three and a half now and happily chatters away both in English and Japanese. Ever since watching Pixar's Lava short, he's been fascinated with volcanoes and rainbows. Although apparently volcanoes are not mountains but gendered flaming creatures. It also clarifies why his rainbows are all black: the "rainbows" come out of the volcano. When I showed him some photos of actual rainbows, I found myself a bit stuck explaining what they are. How do you explain optical diffraction and the visible light spectrum to a three year old? I explained that rainbows are the sun shining through the rain, which is pretty close to the truth, but he still pointed to a person in the background of the photo and said they were looking at the back of the rainbow.

Tim took Saori, Joshua, and I out the next afternoon, and we went to Sublime Donuts out by the fake brick plastered Georgia Tech. Sublime is just that: the salt and balsamic vinegar doughnut could be the best doughnut I've ever had. Thoroughly good. Not some tarted-up gourmet muffin masquerading as a doughnut, but a doughnut which is true to the tradition of doughnuts, deep to the roots, and still transcendent with the hint of saltiness and vinegar. People who care too much about doughnuts in Atlanta are divided into the Sublime and Revolution camps. After trying both, I have to go with Sublime. Revolution is just a bit too second-wave doughnut for me. They also had a really killer peach fritter, and good coffee.

After doughnuts, we went to the central library, which is a remarkable brutalist concrete building by German architect Marcel Breuer. We parked in the garage next door and went in to take photos. The building was completed in the early 1980s and features some staggering half inch thick single pane windows the size of Apple store windows. It's a lovely building and I'm sad to read it's now under threat of demolition. 

That night, we went out for Japanese food at a restaurant modeled after a typical Japanese pub, Shoya Izakaya. Dark wood paneling everywhere, but the food was pretty authentic. Saori told me that it was pretty close to the price and quality to a comparable pub in Japan. We split a bunch of sushi and I got a bowl of ramen which was fantastic. Penny and Joshua came along too, and Ayumi in the center spent most of her time tending to one or the other, getting a bit frazzled in the process. I don't think they eat out much unless they have company. 

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