Month: February 2006
Dry mouth. Clammy hands. Profuse sweating. This unholy trinity of symptoms can mean only one thing: I was on live radio!
Yesterday afternoon I sat down with Christopher Lydon, host of the public radio show Open Source, and several fellow Seattlites* to talk about our fair northwesterly city, or, more precisely, to try to tease apart the question, “What makes a city great?” If you’d like to hear me gush about salmon and doughnuts, lament the state of the local real estate market, and mull over Seattle’s love for the “missed connections” section of craigslist, hop over to Open Source for an mp3 of the show. My segment comes in the final third of the show, so please, be patient. Or skip ahead. I won’t tell.
*Also joining the party via a pre-recorded interview was our favorite local bonne vivante, Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant.
Sometimes the best hidden treasures are the ones that I hide from myself. While it might be fun, in theory, to stumble upon a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or, say, a wooden chest with a pirate’s cache of jewels and coins, there is a special satisfaction reserved for the finds that are familiar—the old, forgotten-about something that resurfaces, resplendent, when I least expect it. Take, for example, that tube of Chanel “Vamp” lipstick, ten years old but barely used, unearthed last week from an early grave beside my bathroom sink. A color somewhere between blood and black, it made me feel daring and dangerous at seventeen, and at twenty-seven, dangerously nostalgic. Then there’s The Mysteries…Read more
By the standards of only a few decades ago, I am woefully unfit for marriage. I do not know how to cook a pot roast, or a pork roast, crown roast, standing rib roast, prime rib, slab of ribs, leg of lamb, brisket, beef tenderloin, or, really, most portions of meat larger than a single serving. Not long ago, I would have been laughed out of the kitchen, shooed away by potential mothers-in-law, and shunted off to spinsterdom with my steak knives still unused. Thank goodness I fell in love with a vegetarian. But nonetheless, there comes a time in every young woman’s life when she must learn how to handle large pieces of meat. I am ready to rest…Read more
Like any half-hearted confession, mine begins with a defense: I am not a shopper. I love pointy shoes, of course, and pencil skirts, shrugs, frilly things, and half-off items from the Marc Jacobs 2005 holiday collection, but I’m not so into shopping, straight up. Though I have wildly expensive taste—which, I might add, I cannot afford—I have never been wild about exercising it. I go in pursuit of purchases only once every few months or so, and then with a specific item in mind and a single-minded purpose. But within the wide world of shopping malls, boutiques, and bazaars, there is one type of store that cuts straight to the heart of this non-shopper. One step into the Bermuda Triangle…Read more
Like many things of unassuming appearance and surprising worth, I first found tamarind in a strip mall. I was nineteen, a newly minted college freshman and a recent arrival to California, when a friend proposed dinner at Amber India, a well-regarded restaurant in nearby Mountain View. My palate was then untested by tandoors, chutneys, vindaloos, and the slow rumble of Indian spices, and needless to say, I did not expect to make their exotic acquaintance under a neon sign in a slab of shopping center on El Camino Real. You can well imagine my surprise when, at that table on the old King’s Highway, I lifted to my lips a forkful of aloo chat, cold cubes of cooked potato folded…Read more