December 27, 2009

Why I wished I lived in Santa Monica, or at least spent, say, every February here

In a word, the Santa Monica farmer's market. I've been here less than a week, but have already been to this market twice. It's hard to get over strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb in December, a time when growers are deserting New York City's green markets, and all you can find is some squash and apples. And if you miss that frozen feeling underfoot, the city has just opened it's own little outdoor skating rink at 5th Street and Santa Monical Boulevard.

December 25, 2009

Christmas Lights

My latest foray into Brooklyn was to tour the over-the-top Christmas decorations of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, Brooklyn with my favorite Brooklyn guide Tony Muia. Tony likes to brag about Brooklyn's size and clout: its population is bigger than Boston's and Philadelphia's combined, and it claims everone from W.H. Auden to Shelley Winters as native sons and daughters.
We even passed the high school of Scott Baio! Another thing is that no one does Christmas lights like the residents Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. 84th Street is ground zero for the lights extravaganza in the latter neighborhood, a warren of large mansions owned by guys who allegedly made their fortunes in cigars or selling Porsches. Residents hire professionals to deck their houses out with inflatable Santas, giant nutcrackers, nativity scenes and choirs of angels. The bigger the displays the better, and gaudy is good. Con Ed bills can run up for $10,000 a month, and one guy even set up his own radio station so passersby can tune into his Christmas music and watch a computer coordinated lights display on two adjacent homes.

This week we're in Los Angeles, where we've viewed Christmas lights in Santa Monica, Hancock Park and Monterey Park. The residents of St. Alban's Road in San Marino drape their monumental evergreens with colored bulbs every year, but it's more stately than in-your face.For sheer zaniness nothing compares to Italian- and Irish-American Brookyn. And the end of the tour canoli stop at Mona Lisa Pastry Shoppe and Cafe? Priceless.

Have a Merry Christmas!

December 6, 2009

Myers of Keswick

I had a lot of fun last week with the two Myers behind the West Village British grocery store Myers of Keswick, Peter Myers and his daughter Jennifer Myers Pulidore. This year, the Hudson Street shop is celebrating its 25th anniversary. I love it because it’s my go-to source for PG Tips tea, scones, McVitie’s HobNobs, and for Husband’s beloved Maynard’s Wine Gums, which are gummy bears that aspire to more complex flavors.

Store founder Peter demonstrated how to make authentic Cumberland sausages—a mixture of pork shoulder, loin and belly, salt, white pepper and dried sage and parsley —that have a delicacy of flavor and surface snap that are hard to beat. The recipe was handed down to Peter from his father, Tommy, who ran his own butcher shop in the town of Keswick in England’s Lake District.

Peter, who is retired now but still likes to come around the store during the holiday season to help out, learned how to make the sausages when he was a 14-year-old apprentice butcher, and probably could turn them out in his sleep. He showed me how to extrude the ground meat, spices and herbs into hog intestine casing and then deftly twisted them into a triple-stranded chain of links. “I’m the only Cumbrian making these sausages in New York,” he crowed. Although the shop turns out a variety of sausages, the Cumberland is the only type Peter eats.

His sausages, bangers, meat pies and Cornish pasties have won him a loyal following of ex-pats, including a number of rock stars. Keith Richards had just sent his driver in from Connecticut to pick up four pounds of bangers the day I visited, and Peter says he’s shipped sausages to Rod Stewart and Elton John as well.

Another of Myers of Keswick’s claims to fame is that it’s probably the only shop in the West Village whose cat has her own Facebook account, and was once world famous. In April 2006, Peter’s 11-month-old black cat Molly became trapped between the walls of the building for two weeks. Her plight became a cause célèbre first locally, then nationally and internationally. Satellite dish-equipped trucks in front of the shop stopped traffic. Cat psychics, cat psychologists, and cat fanatics descended on the store and kept vigil around the clock (“Nutters, in my book,” says Myers). The New York Post sent a person dressed up in a mouse outfit to the shop to try to lure Molly out.

Eventually a passerby who lived in the neighborhood (who somehow had remained ignorant of the furor), inquired what was going on. It turned out that he was a sound technician. He went home and came back with a microphone on the end of a fishing rod. After waving it around for a bit, the technician pointed to a wall above the meat counter and said, “She’s there.”

“He was spot on,” says Myers. “We had to drill a hole in the wall. The cat was stuck in a drain pipe.”
I asked Peter’s daughter Jennifer what the store’s most popular products are. Here they are, in no particular order:

Tea: PG Tips or Typhoo
Meat pie: Myers’ own pork pie
Crisp: Walker’s Cheese and Onion
Sweet: Cadbury Flake, a flaky milk chocolate bar which, when stuck in a scoop of vanilla ice cream, is called a “99” for the 99 pence it costs to buy.
Cheese: Stilton or Irish Cheddar
Biscuit: McVitie’s Digestives or HobNobs
Christmas item: Myers’ own mince meat pie

For more on Myers of Keswick, stay tuned for my article on the store in the January/February edition of Edible Manhattan!

November 26, 2009

Brussels spouts: what's the big deal?

I'ver never really liked brussels sprouts that much until recently. Husband likes them, so I've experimented with them and finally hit on a style of cooking them that I like: caramelized  in oil and buttter until they are dark and crisp. I got to thinking about how they are such an autumn vegetable, associated with Thanksgiving and other holiday repasts when chef Jonathan Waxman (who really knows how to cook the little sprouts) recently outlined his Barbuto Thanksgiving menu for me. He says he's had some of the best brussels sprouts of his life in the Haut-Savoie region of France. Food historian Alan Davidson says the mini cabbage heads popped up in French and English gardens only at the end of the 18th century and a little later in North America. I recently tried and liked this method of cooking the bittersweet balls, chef David Shea's version, carmelized with bacon, butter and lemon. Davidson says they are traditionally cooked with roasted chestnuts in Belgium, so that's next!

November 25, 2009

Sarah Bunting, Tomato Nation fundraising powerhouse

I want to tell you the story of Sarah Bunting, an inspiring woman I came across during my adventures in reporting. It’s a story about giving back, so it seems like an appropriate Thanksgiving post. Sarah is the socially conscious (yet funny) blogger who somehow managed to convince her followers to give a lot of money to, a smart organization that allows public school teachers to post their classroom needs on its website. Potential donors can select the worthy project of their choice and donate to that. This year, Sarah inspired 1,128 of her followers to donate $354, 215, which directly helped close to 70,000 students.

Sarah’s the Brooklyn-based co-founder of the site Television Without Pity. When Bravo bought the site in 2007, she retained a good number of readers on a blog she launched, , a kind of “humor, pop culture, catch-all blog,” as she describes it.

The blog and her 10,000 to 15,000 followers came in handy when Sarah learned about Donors Choose five years ago. “At the time, my brother’s girlfriend (now wife), was a public school teacher in a low-income neighborhood on Staten Island,” Sarah says. “She told me her school had run out of paper by October first, and she was giving pop quizzes on paper towels.”

Feeling frustrated with a political climate and administration she didn’t think valued education enough, Bunting was drawn to the educational focus of and issued a call to her followers. “I said, ‘Why don’t we buy these kids a bunch of copies of George Orwell’s 1984? Wouldn’t that be funny? Or how about The Diary of Anne Frank ?’” Although Bunting was joking about the titles she wanted to buy in protest of the Bush Administration, she did make a contest out of the pledge drive in November and December of 2004. To her surprise, her readers donated a total of $23,000.

Curious, a rep from Donors Choose called her, wanting to know where this large donation came from. Bunting explained that although she contributes to a number of causes, most were not transparent about operating costs, and donors couldn’t see how their money was making a difference. She liked that at Donors Choose, teachers can post pictures of their completed projects and donors routinely get thank-you notes from the classes they help.

In the spring of 2006, Bunting told her readers that if they raised $30,000 she would shave her head. Twenty-two days later, her readers had raised the money, and the next day, Bunting shaved her head and posted the video on YouTube

Giving back, explains Bunting, was just part of how she and her brother Dave were brought up: her parents were active in non-profits and they used their children as free envelope stuffing labor.

Donor’s choice, in awe of Bunting’s ability to leverage her social media networking skills to bring in donations, asked her to be a consultant as they launched what they called their Social Media Challenge. Bunting advised Donors Choose on everything from dropping the minimum donation from $20 to no minimum (a lot of small donations can be just as powerful as a few large contributions) to more technical programming issues.

Two years ago, Bunting rented a tomato outfit and did a dance at Rockefeller Center. Last year, Bunting took the plunge and bought her own tomato suit and made good on her pledge by traveling in it to the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

In the five years she has been clowning for a good cause, Bunting has raised a total of close to half a million dollars for Donors Choose.

Every year Bunting creates a launch video for the drive. This year’s is called Bunting’s 11a spoof on “Ocean’s 11.” For meeting this year’s Donors Choose fundraising goal Sarah has promised she’ll go to Atlantic City and play blackjack in her tomato suit. When’s it gonna happen, Sarah? We’ll post the video here when it does.

November 14, 2009

Old school Brooklyn pizza, or newfangled West Village Slice?

I’d been to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in DUMBO before, but never with a native Brooklynite sporting a tattoo of the Verrazano Bridge and “BKNY64” on his forearm. He was Tony Muia, the mastermind behind the “A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour,” and he peppered our little group with Brooklyn trivia, mob lore, clips of famous movie scenes shot in Brooklyn (“Scent of a Woman,” and “Saturday Night Fever”). Our authentically accented guide pointed out the Army yard where Elvis shipped off Europe during World War II and the kiddie golf course where Tiger Woods first took a swing at a golf ball. He was opinionated, railing against the “Manhattanization of Brooklyn” (ugly high-rises) and shaper-of-New York City Robert Moses (“For his role in us losing the Dodgers to L.A. alone, he should burn in hell”).

There was lots of pizza, too. Grimaldi’s, we learned, is home to the only remaining coal burning pizza oven in the city. The San Marzano tomatoes of its Margherita pizza are pureed but not cooked, the crust is thin and chewy and the mozzarella is fresh. The simplicity, economy of ingredients and deliciousness of this pie are hard to beat.

After a drive-by tour of Red Hook, Bay Ridge, and Bath Beach we ended up in Bensonhurst for our second pizza pit stop: L&B Spumoni Gardens. We’d been marinating in so much Brooklyn lore that we felt we were almost a part of the Gambino crime family, and our palates had been opened to the possibility of crust that was not thin.

L&B has been around since 1939, and luckily has not shortened its now unfashionably thick crust Sicilian-style pizza one millimeter. The crust is almost like focaccia, but a version crafted by a Sicilian grandmother with ties to heavenly beings. The tomato sauce was thick and sweet and the way it blanketed the mozzarella underneath made the cheese seem like a sticky and mysterious extension of the crust. After sprinkling it with Pecorino Romano and eating it, I had to wonder if the thin-crust craze was manufactured by a bunch of low-carb zealots who just wanted everyone else to suffer, too.

But wait, what does all this Brooklyn stuff have to do with my main beat, the West Village? Where we lost Hudson Street’s Pizza Lucca, and will soon be getting a pie place called “Slice,” which specializes in “natural and organic” pizza “that won’t drench your stomach or face with grease”? Slice’s menu touts herb crust, part-skim organic mozzarella and vegan and nut-free basil pesto among its pizza offerings (rice mozzarella and “Vegan Mozz” $2 extra per pie).

There are a lot of great things about the West Village, but Brooklyn pizza is not one of them. As far as I know, there haven’t been any gangland killings here, either.

November 2, 2009

Johnny Iuzzini's dirt cups aren't like your or mine

With his modified pompadour and mutton chops, Johnny Iuzzini resembles a flying Elvis more than the four-star,hydrocolloid-flinging pastry chef that he is. Iuzzini, who creates fantasy desserts for Jean Georges in Manhattan, entertained and fed a crowd yesterday at the annual Chocolate Show, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street.

I can write about it this event now that I’ve awoken from my cacao- and sugar-induced coma. From what I remember, Iuzzini’s stage patter was highly entertaining and his performance a combination of magic and science show, complete with lovely assistant and chemical compounds. He told the assembled crowd that he grew up in the Catskills, loves Kraft mac and cheese and would just as soon put a perfect peach on a plate as is than gussy it up with fancy chef tricks. He pooh-poohed the term “molecular gastronomy.” The audience could relate to him.

Iuzzini even picked a classic kid’s dessert to adapt, the Dirt Cup, which I know about because Son and his cooking pal Matt love them and make them, usually with Cool Whip, packaged chocolate pudding mix, crushed Oreos and a lot of chocolate syrup. Iuzzini took this supermarket kids’ concoction and decided he would ditch the typical “make at home” cooking demo. “I’m going to make something there’s no way you could possibly do at home,” he told the crowd.

The tattooed chef brought out the peristaltic pump, the seaweed extract iota carrageenan and the hand-held blender and gave the crowd a little chemistry lesson, explaining how how hydrocolloids need water to be activated, how gums are sheared into liquids, and how they “swell, gel and give viscosity” to the chocolate pudding and chocolate gummy worms he was making. Putting eggs in chocolate pudding is for amateurs, said Iuzzini, because although they lend creaminess, they mask the “true in-your-face-smack-you-up” chocolatey-ness of the dessert. Instead, a bit of iota carrageenan, which binds best with dairy products, give the pudding its body without sacrificing flavor.

After demonstrating how to make the gummy worms and the pudding, Iuzzini had his bevy of young female assistants hand out the finished Four-Star Dirt Cups, multi-textured extravaganzas that included a cake-like base, the eggless pudding, cocoa nibs and wheat-based chocolate “pearls” for crunch, some micro basil leaves, Maldon sea salt, chocolate agar sponge rectangles, and the extruded chocolate gummy worms.

Iuzzini was right: it was nothing I wanted to attempt at home. Copies of his book, Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef, however sold out at the fair’s Barnes and Noble booth. There are plenty of people, it seems, who like the idea of kitchen chemistry.

Every year, the Manhattan Fruit Exchange at Chelsea Market puts on a great display of carved pumpkins, like the one on the right. The overhead fall foliage graced a walk in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Then of course there's the great Jack O' Lantern display in Abington Square Park every Halloween. Pumpkins are set out a week before the big day for residents and local businesses to take and carve. On Halloween, they are returned and the park lawn fills up with pumpkins. I took the picture at the far left early in the evening, before all the pumpkins had come home to roost.

October 27, 2009

Reclaiming Photographs of the WWII Japanese-American Resettlement

I recently picked up a fascinating book, Lane Ryo Hirabayashi’s, Japanese American Resettlement Through the Lens: Hikaru Carl Iwasaki and the WRA’s Photographic Section, 1943-1945. Hirabayashi teaches in the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA, where he holds an endowed chair dedicated to research on and teaching about the Japanese American World War II internment, redress and other Japanese-American issues.

In Through the Lens, which Hirabayashi wrote with researcher Kenichiro Shimada, the authors brings to light the work of Hikaru Carl Iwasaki, a 19-year-old Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) photographer who was plucked out of the Heart Mountain, Wyo. internment camp in 1943 to take a job with the War Relocation Authority’s Denver, Colo.-based Photographic Section (WRAPS).
Iwasaki was one of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent living on the West coast of the U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 who were summarily rounded up and placed in 10 so-called “internment camps.” The role of the civilian War Relocation Authority was to oversee the evacuation and internment, which took place between 1942 and 1945.

WRA photographers meticulously documented this process, both for historical record-keeping and for public relations purposes. All photos were subject to military oversight and those that did not depict the treatment of the Japanese Americans in a positive light were censored.

Hirabayashi divides the WRA’s photo documentation into two phases, first the evacuation and internment, and second the process of resettlement. This second phase began in 1943, the year that Iwasaki was hired. During this period, WRAPS’ goal, Hirabayashi explains, was to pressure “loyal” imprisoned Japanese Americans to return to society as quickly as possible. Although the anti-Japanese hysteria that led to internment had lessened somewhat, prisoners, who in many cases had lost all their possessions and savings, knew they would face hostility and few job options.

WRAPS (which by this time had consolidated its photo operation from scattered locations to the one Denver office where Iwasaki was employed) skillfully combined image and text to create what Hirabayashi calls “photo-narrative public relations packages” designed to convince fearful camp residents that fulfilling educational experiences, satisfying careers and happy roles in American communities awaited those who were brave enough to leave camp and settle in communities far from the still militarily sensitive and largely unwelcoming West coast. At the same, the photos were meant to quell anxiety among the people seeing Japanese former internees move into their neighborhoods, and to show that the decision to evacuate, imprison and then resettle the Japanese Americans had been the correct one.

As a WRAPS staff photographer, Iwasaki traveled through broad swaths of the Midwest and East coast documenting the success stories of Japanese American resettlement. He took over 1,300 pictures for WRAPS before going on to an illustrious career as a photojournalist.

Among his WRAPS photos, we see Kosaku Steven Tamura, described in the caption as a lawyer, a member of the California bar in private practice in Santa Ana, now doing graduate work at Harvard. There is group of fresh-faced college co-eds from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and Shin Tanaka, a 16-year-old Issei (first-generation Japanese immigrant) and aspiring doctor, working at as a lab assistant at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York City. Tanaka’s father, the photo caption tells us, was educated in the U.S., and held degrees from Duke, Clark, and Yale Universities. Photo captions were not written by the photographer, but by WRA officers.

“Naturally,” Hirabayashi writes, WRAPS did not document stories of Japanese Americans “in difficult or impoverished conditions.” Designed to further the WRA’s goal of resettlement, the photos depict former prisoners as “smiling, happy, free, confident about their safety,” eager to contribute to the war effort through their compliant and successful resettlement.

Despite the smiling faces and rosy captions, we get glimpses of the genuine fear that the Japanese Americans must have felt reentering society, and the hostility they faced. Toshihiro Masada grins into the distance as he holds up a beautiful cluster of Thompson seedless grapes. He was released from the Rhower, Ark. camp, and was lucky enough to return to the family’s California farm. The caption reads, “The Masada home was a target of one of the shooting incidents in the Fresno district on the night of May 19, 1945. Five rifle shots were fired into their home, none of which caused any injury or damage. In spite of the incident, the family is glad to be home again.”

George Yamamoto, an Issei farmer who was imprisoned at Gila River in Ariz., is pictured carrying a bushel of tomatoes, smiling widely and standing beside his boss, farmer Herman S. Heston of Bucks County, Pa. Yamamoto is described as “leader of the group of five Issei who were obliged by neighbors’ protests to leave another farm at Great Meadows, New Jersey shortly after arriving there from Gila River.”

Heston’s comment about his Issei employees is typical of those found in the WRAPS captions: “I have found them loyal, hardworking, clean, and pleasant to work with.” At the time, these words were no doubt considered complimentary, an endorsement of a people many hated and feared. Today, they bring to mind Sen. Joe Biden’s off-the-cuff description of Barack Obama as “articulate and bright and clean,” for which he was widely criticized.

There is no sense of irony behind the beaming smile of Mrs. John M. Sakai, shown holding up her husband’s picture in one hand and the Purple Heart medal he won in battle in Italy in the other. She is quoted as saying she is “proud that he is an American fighting for America,” and adding, “I also know my mother-in-law in the Gila River Relocation Center is just as proud.”

Despite the transparent agenda of these relentlessly and at times absurdly cheerful photos, Iwasaki told Hirayabayashi, who interviewed the photographer, now in his eighties, that he does not remember any overt censorship. Instead, the photographer attributed the upbeat nature of his WRAPS work to his youthful optimism, and his own successful experience of leaving camp early and finding fulfilling work with a bureaucratic arm of the government.

Hirayabayashi acknowledges that “critics might fault [Iwasaki] for not assertively seeking out cases that might damage WRA claims of resettlement success,” but defends the photographer, noting that those that did defy authority were not released from camp, and that prisoners like Iwasaki who were released early were the most capable and likely to succeed.”

In the final, most powerful section of his book, Hirabayashi tells readers that there is a way to reclaim these photographs, to shake off their original purpose as propaganda and view them in a more positive or honest light. “There is no reason the photos cannot be appropriated and redeployed for new purposes and with new visions in mind,” he writes.

To illustrate what he means Hirayabayashi selects a handful of the 1,300 Iwasaki photos (available on line online at
JARDA, the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive) that assert the humanity, resourcefulness and perseverance of the imprisoned, including a touching close-up of handmade zori (straw sandals) and geta (raised wooden sandals), which prisoners made out of scavenged materials. The traditional footwear was not only functional, it was a reminder and a connection to the prisoners’ homeland. There is a beautiful wood carving of a mother hawk attending to her chicks, and another of creatively carved wood nameplates that were hung outside barracks, all beautiful examples of native Japanese crafts.

Hirabayashi also counters the image of all resettlers as upwardly mobile professionals or highly respected laborers by poring through WRA archives and uncovering photographs that depict another side to the story: a desolate, Burbank, Calif. trailer park and housing project where Japanese Americans were temporarily resettled, squalid quarters in rural Colorado and elsewhere that Hirabayashi writes were “hardly different from those found in the camps.”

Japanese American Resettlement Through the Lens ends on a poignant note, with a photograph of a group of elderly Issei at a nursing home in San Francisco. The five men, looking haggard but stoic, pose with a nurse in uniform. One is in a wheelchair, one on crutches. Hirabayashi recalls his own, early, memories of his grandfather’s nursing home for elderly Japanese American resettlers in Spokane, Wash. “The plight of these Issei—single, elderly, infirm, poor—is something that I have not found discussed in any detail in the official WRA, or even in the scholarly literature,” Hirabayashi writes. This single Iwasaki photo, he adds, “has to represent the thousands of Issei whose lives were ruined by federal policies and who did not have the energy or the resources to recover after they were released from camp.”

October 21, 2009

On Subway Buskers and Photography

I was waiting for the 8th Avenue- bound L train today at Union Station when I witnessed an interesting exchange. A tall African-American busker with long dreadlocks was playing a blistering funk solo on his electric guitar. Suddenly he began shouting at a young woman who had been trying to take his picture.

“Lady!” he shouted, “If I move away like this, it means I don’t want my picture taken. Do you understand that? People think they can just come down here and photograph me, I’ve got guys with video cameras shootin’ five, ten minutes of footage of me, and no one even has the decency to put a dollar in my case! At least show a little respect!! I’m not here to help you build your portfolio!”

Then, his tirade over, he composed himself and said, “Now, having said that, let me get back to work,” and resumed his playing.

Photography has always been a form of voyeurism. At its worst, it is a parasitic way of living off the talent, charisma, beauty, exoticism, or often the misfortune and tragedy of others. (The print journalist’s livelihood of capturing these people’s stories in words is no less exploitative.) Add to this dynamic the careerism that fuels the ambitious, image-collecting young photographer or filmmaker, or the glory-hungry journalist in search of a scoop, and you have a profession that—looked at in this light—can seem pretty lowly. What we do sometimes seems okay because our subjects, too, are in the game for personal fame or glory. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Sometimes we are even helping people by bringing wide attention to their plight, or winning recognition for some deserving but unsung hero.

In this subway scenario, though, the guitarist had it right. I admired his fierce desire to make a living through his obvious talent, not as a colorful tourist attraction. He understood the inherently exploitative nature of the photographer-subject relationship as it pertained to him at that moment, and he spoke out passionately and articulately against it.

True to New York City form, after turning their heads briefly to see what the commotion was about, everybody on the platform ignored both the musician and the chastised photographer. The urge to drop money in the musician’s guitar case rose up in me but then, as it often happens, my train arrived just at that moment.

October 20, 2009

The West Village Celebrates El Dia de los Muertos

For some reason, the owner of the House of Cards & Curiosities on 8th Avenue between Jane and W. 12th Streets really loves Frida Kahlo. In addition to a large image of her face that's always in view in the store's display window, the owner mounts a killer Day of the Dead display every year around All Souls Day. Here's one little portion of it. You can't see her, but Frida's head, painted on a beaded curtain, undulates above, looking a little sadder than usual. The store really is a house of curiosities. In addition to lots of cool Mexican and Peruvian stuff, it carries Retablos, Indonesian skull boxes, tin toys, and fossil ivory carvings from Bali. Happy All Soul's Day!

September 29, 2009

About this blog

Welcome to my blog! As a journalist, I write about a lot of different topics: culture, food, art, Japanese-American life, health, my West Village neighborhood in New York City, and eating disorders. It’s hard to fit them all under one umbrella, but that’s what I love about my job: it gets me out and about, walking and talking to people whose lives and work are very different from mine.
This blog is a place for me to share information that doesn’t make it into my articles, projects I’m working on now, places I’ve visited and people I’ve met. The only topic from the list above that I’m not including in this blog is eating disorders. To read my posts on that subject, check out this blog on the book website that Dr. Marcia Herrin and I share. Please post any comments that come to mind; I would like to hear from you.