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Neil Solanki
Worked at Neil's Heart and Mind
Attended Northwestern University
Lives in Chicago, IL
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Neil Solanki

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Story
Tagline
I left college in search of greenbacks, found them in trading bonds, felt my brain rusting, and thus became an author & poet.
Introduction
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away, I was an analytic stereotype bathed in the flickering lights of a million computer monitors and surrounded by dubious data.  In other words, I was a bond trader. The profession outgrew me (or I outgrew it), and I thought it time to shove on and get to my real life's work!  I now consider myself a man of professional hard leisure—you know, the tormented, work-twice-as-much-as-I-did-in-finance kind of leisure. I'm currently finishing edits on my novel, Steel Wolves in the Crystal City.  Also, I love pho, my wife, and my dog, Genghis (not in that order).
Bragging rights
cancer survivor, national merit scholar, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the MMSS program at Northwestern University, previously trader extraordinaire, finished my novel Steel Wolves in the Crystal City
Education
  • Northwestern University
    Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences & Economics, 2001 - 2004
    I think the major description pretty much obviates the need for a detailed description of my coursework. =)
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Author, Poet, Tweeter, Blogger, ex-Bond Trader
Skills
Writing Sci-Fi and Poetry, Beard-wearing, Trading (in a past life), Whistling, Rotating my arms in opposite directions simultaneously
Employment
  • Neil's Heart and Mind
    Navel Gazer, Cloud Inspector
    Use the braininess inside my brain to write things down. Then, try not to care if anyone likes the final product but fail.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Chicago, IL
Previously
Dallas, Texas - Outer Space
There are a lot of pho places in the area, but we've made this our go-to dive. I'm a pretty die-hard pho fan--I've gone to Vietnam to try the real thing--and am always pleased with the dishes here. The pho is yummy. The egg rolls are a staple. And the bun thit nuong is a nice second choice when the urge for pho wanes for no reason--a rarity, I'll admit. My family and I comes here all the time and we have yet to be disappointed. Even the vegetarians in the bunch strongly recommend the vegetarian pho. We love Pho Apple and we'll definitely keep coming back.
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
As a die-hard pho-eater who's gone as far as Vietnam to try the real thing, I can say the pho here is pretty good. The meat was succulent and tender, and the broth was pretty much spot on. The only disappointing thing about the pho was the sparseness of greens and side veggies. The egg rolls were quite tasty and the bun thit nuong was good too. The reason I'm only giving it 4 stars is because of the price. This place is about 30% more expensive than most family run pho joints I've been to in the United States.
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
I came here as a non-Cuban tourist, so take this review for what it's worth. I had a cubano sandwich and something I could only describe as a fried-corn-cheese pancake. I would definitely recommend the cubano. It was crispy and delicious. The pancake was a bit heavy, but also tasty. I do believe this is an authentic Cuban joint, because there is no menu and English communication was a bit of an issue. There were a lot of other things behind the serving counter that looked delicious. If I'm ever back in town, I'll go back and try something more exotic.
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
We opted for the doors-off ride, which ended up being a very worthwhile experience. A word of caution, however: it can get very cold up there with wind whipping all around you. Dress warmly!
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
17 reviews
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We were passing through Baton Rouge and desperately wanted to try some authentic cajun food. After doing some Googling, we settled on Parrain's. Starving, we arrived to a disappointing one hour wait. We waited, and it was worth every minute--so much so that we even ate at Parrain's the next day on the way out of town! We had the deep fried cornish hen over dirty rice, hush puppies, boudin balls, corn and crab bisque, & the fried stuffed shrimp and catfish platter. Everything was phenomenal. If you love hush puppies, get them here! The bisque was to die for and the stuffed shrimp were amazing. Eat here and you won't be disappointed.
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Take it from an Indian: Chaat Cafe is awesome. My family, with a patriarch that is VERY picky about eating anything from any restaurant, loves this place. The dishes are authentic, tasty, and of generous proportions. The staff is consistently friendly and always prompt in correcting any potential issues with an order. If you like Indian food and live in the area, you have to give this place a try.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
After a long day hiking in Haena State Park, this place really hit the spot. The service was relatively prompt, and the food was tasty. The fish and chips were made of marlin (the catch of the day) and came with a side of good, fresh French fries. Would definitely recommend. We also ordered a veggie burger, which ended up being very good.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago