Places to Go

A Killer Garden, the Voodoo
Market & New Noodle Museum

Here are three places to go this weekend, after you stop by at the Zuccotti Park to support the Occupy Wall Street movement: stroll through a garden, go to the market, and visit a museum.
DON’T TOUCH THE FLOWERS
There are few occupations in life that can lead you straight back to your roots other than to be a gardener. For some, there’s nothing like sowing seeds to the earth and building a palette of colors and fragrances with exotic flora.
It’s also one of the reasons why backs are hardly straight these days, and chiropractors and orthopedic specialists are constantly on demand.
Something else entirely happens at Alnwick Poison Gardens in England. As its name leaves little doubt about it, you bend down and smell the flowers at your own risk.
Hand-picked by a certainly glove-clad English duchess, the garden opened in 2005 with luscious displays of renown herbal killers, such as the benignly named Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), the churned lovers favorite Strychnos nux-vomica (strychnine), and the less popular Conium maculatum (hemlock).
For good measure, Alnwick park also exhibits rows with world-famous narcotic plants like opium poppies, cannabis, magic mushrooms, and tobacco. All obviously caged and heavily guarded.
It’s unlikely that you’d be able to convince a Wall Street banker to touch one of those lethal beauties, while you’d enjoy the view addled by a nice smoke. Not that you’d even try it, wink wink.
But it’s surely nice to know that there’s such a perfect setting for a sick mind like yours to stage a nightmare or two, involving wealthy financiers and hedge-fund managers, isn’t it?

YOUR VOODOO CHILD
Or you could always stab a hand-crafted little fabric doll with a long, rusty needle. That’s the sort of merchandise that the Akodessewa Fetish Market, in Togo, strives to have in stock throughout its aisles.
Billed as the place where the discriminative voodoo practitioner can fulfill all his or her shopping needs, it carries a complete line of the tools of the trade.
Animal parts, bone statues, herbs, talismans and everything else a professional would need for the completion of magic rituals can be found in the outdoor market.
But the clientele is not restricted only to priests and practitioners. Churned lovers (they always top the list), couples wanting babies, football players, the whole spectrum of the human desire to overcome nature may be found going over the tail and skins, and stones, and potions on display.
That may or may not include just the right doll you’ve been searching for a long while now, but don’t quote us on that, lest let sleeping zombies lay but never crave after our own heels.
THE FIRST FAST-FOOD
A bunch of very important things have happened in 1971, but we’d let it up to you to recall the ones you can. It’s unlikely, though, that you’d include a certain invention that still means a lot to millions of unemployed and poverty-stricken folks across the land: the cup noodles.
Forty years ago, it was up to Momofuko Ando, a Taiwanese-Japanese businessman, to give the world what many consider its first fast food item. What would you know?
To celebrate the date, the city of Yokohama created last month the Cup Noodle Museum, which is already the second of its kind: in 1999, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum opened in Osaka.
After becoming a culinary hit of sorts, mainly for their easy preparation and, above all, cheap price, the low-calorie noodles fell into hard times.
Concerns about the unhealthy levels of salt in its accompanying condiment determined a powerful backlash, that all but rid them off most shelves of American food stores.
No longer. High unemployment and staggering poverty indices in the U.S., combined with a general malaise about eating health foods when you simply cannot afford it, has led to a resurgence of the “Chinese noodles.”
As they stage a comeback to the family meals enjoyed by the poor and the class formerly known as the middle, another museum to memorialize it makes perfect sense, at least to some.
That doesn’t mean that you should donate bags of them to those courageous souls occupying lower Manhattan (Watch it here).
Since they’re willing to face the elements and law enforcement, they definitely deserve a much higher calorie count type of nourishment in order to stand for everyone’s rights, including your own.

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