Friday, September 16, 2011

Would you want her promoting your book?

Not the perky one on the left, the OTHER one
Funny. Neither would I.

Nonetheless, I'm going to be on a panel next Friday at the Eat Real Festival in Oakland, California. Come!

Back to our usual programming:

Wednesday night I got back from six days driving around Oregon gathering notes for some travel stories. It was lots of fun, though I find it increasingly hard to fall asleep in hotels.  I drank a huckleberry milkshake, which was delicious, and picked thimbleberries which are even more delicious. I hiked through evergreen forests, had the opportunity to bungee jump and declined, visited the Timberline Lodge, which I admired even more than I did the first time, and toured a botanical garden that made me want to come home and work in my sorry yard.

The last night of the trip, I was eating a chicken salad in the hotel lounge when two older ladies plopped down across from me and we got to chatting. I ended up buying them a round. I realized later that I'd never bought strangers "a round" before, or even said the words, "we'll have another round." I liked the way it made me feel -- not just light-headed and drunk, but big-hearted and convivial.

Then I went back to my room and did not fall asleep the entire night.
Just another crappy photograph of something I liked
The highlight of the trip was a tour of the Gordon House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a farmer and his artist wife. It's the third Frank Lloyd Wright house that I've visited, and each time I come out of one of these residences I feel sad that I will never get to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Life is hard.

The kitchen looks hideous in my pictures, but trust me, tomato soup-colored countertops notwithstanding, it's a seductive room: unfussy, utilitarian, the perfect size and shape for one or two people who are trying to produce a meal. It isn't aiming to be the "heart of the home" with an island the size of Bermuda, homework center, wine refrigerator, puffy sofa, big screen TV. I think the backlash against the great room kitchen is inevitable simply because of how good -- how refreshing -- this small, thoughtfully designed kitchen looked.
The banquette was designed so it feels like sitting in the seat of a Chevy truck.
I haven't had a chance to cook a meal since I've been home, but when I do, it will be African.


  1. anybody with the guts to run that picture of themself can certainly promote a book in oakland.
    and i think i like the idea of eating dinner in a chevy truck.
    what's the subject of your panel?

  2. Very cute photo.

  3. You have unknowingly given me excellent cooking advice - my travel advice is to pick a hotel chain that you like and always stay in it. You may not always know where you are, but you will definitely sleep better. And, travel with those foam earplugs - makes a true difference, especially after a cocktail.
    Can't wait for the book and I wish you great success with the tour.

  4. hmm, i think i like that tomato soup colored counter top.

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