Beer Breweries Along the US Mideastern Corridor

A few months ago when I took a trip back to the United States for six weeks, I arrive in Queens, NYC at JFK Airport. From there I went on a road trip for about five days, as far north as Boston, stopping at beer breweries along the way.

Going into this trip, I didn’t consider myself much of a beer drinker. In 2017 I went most of the year (over 9 months) without drinking any alcohol, and in 2018 I did very little drinking. For years I’ve known beer brewers, both in China and in the United States. A former high school classmate of mine – who I wasn’t friends with, but we have many mutual friends – went on to co-found what is now the most visible brewery in Washington, DC (D.C. Brau, which I visited recently for the first time).

But on this trip, I not only gained some knowledge of many different beer varieties, brewing methods, and regional tastes, but an appreciation for them. It’s hard to separate the artisanal qualities of beer and the inebriation that comes from it, but on this trip I felt like I was beginning to get a glimpse at distinguishing between the two. Like most people, my relationship with beer is probably typified by my 20’s where the purpose of drinking beer was merely to get a buzz, and nothing more. Those days are long gone.

I wouldn’t have been able to find any of these places without Nemo. Of all my friends, he might be the most knowledgeable on beer. I’m grateful to have a friend to show me the ropes, as it were. Here’s a list of some of the places we visited:

2019-03-05T17:19:47+08:00Tuesday, March 5th, 2019|

Superhot VR

One of my favorite games from the last few years is a first person shooter game called Superhot. It has a distinct and memorable minimal aesthetic, but what really separates it is a unique mechanic which makes it more of a strategy or puzzle game than a shooter: time only passes in the game as you move. For example, you start a level surrounded by enemies who are motionless, and as you move, they move to eliminate you. The game is basically a series of scenarios where you confront armed enemies who appear like minimalist low-poly characters in a stark white, Matrix-like environment (specifically the scene of the first movie where Neo is armed and trained by Morpheus). It offers a surreal sense of presence, as you feel like Neo dodging bullets and ducking under flying fists in slow motion.

I completed Superhot in 2016, the year that it was released by “Superhot Team”. Years prior to its release, it was a gamejam winner (in 2013) and was then successfully funded on Kickstarter before seeing a commercial release in 2016. Without spoiling anything about the game itself, it was clear to me when I completed the game on Steam in 2016 that it was perfect for VR. So it comes as no surprise that that’s such a unique and memorable experience in VR. The low-poly minimal aesthetic of the game perfectly suits the limited resolution of the current generation of VR hardware. Battlezone is another game which does this very well. The stark minimalism of the simple objects which these games are made of look fantastic in 2019, even on what will clearly be viewed as limited devices just a few years from now.

At about three hours in length, it’s not a particularly long game. But for me, this might be the sweet spot in terms of length for a VR experience. It’s after this length of time that I feel fatigue and discomfort in VR. After you complete the main campaign, there are additional challenges to complete, which extend the length of the game considerably.

It’s a good workout, as well. You’re progressing through the levels in slow motion, as you duck behind virtual objects, slowly moving arms your arms and head to dodge enemies and strike at, or shoot targets. It is truly a “full body” VR experience, in that you keenly aware of the position of your head, extremities, and body in the VR space. It’s a truly remarkable VR experience.

Superhot VR is available for SteamVR and PSVR. I played it on PSVR.

Visit the Official Superhot VR website

2019-03-04T19:02:01+08:00Monday, March 4th, 2019|