Chicken. Grits. Greens. High Life ponies. Jack Daniels. There are worse ways to spend a Friday night. (at Maurepas Foods)
I was so obsessed with finding out what my Uber passenger rating was that I wrote an email to their customer service department requesting they share it with me. 4.9 out of 5 ain’t too shabby! But I’m still curious as to what I did to lose that 1/10th of a point that’s keeping me from having a perfect score. And I’ll forgive Thomas the friendly Uber customer service rep for his confusing “your” and you’re” — a mild pet peeve of mine.
Saz had a rough day at the vet today so I got him a thick, juicy filet mignon to make it all better. As for me, I’ll probably have cereal for dinner.
When I moved to New York in 2002, my first apartment was a 2-bedroom in a rat-infested 5th floor walk up on the Lower East Side — at Allen and Delancey, to be specific. My first roommate, found via Craigslist, was an aspiring opera singer who barely lasted a month, ending up in one of the psychiatric wards at Bellevue after she stopped taking the heavy anti-depressants she had been prescribed. So yeah, that was a fun welcome to New York experience!
Anyway, after the aspiring opera singer’s family came up to take her and her things back home to Atlanta, I found a new roommate, a chef who’d just taken a job working in the kitchen at the hot new restaurant around the corner, WD-50. Her name was Vivian. She and I lived together for a year or so before she decided to relocate to Brooklyn to move in with her boyfriend, Ben. We stayed in contact off and on for a little while, but then eventually lost touch in the way that people lost touch before social media came along and forced us to remain friends with everyone forever. Over the years since, I’d think of her occasionally and wonder what became of her, how her life turned out.
Fast forward to a few days ago and I’m on an Amtrak train, flipping through the new issue of Garden and Gun, when suddenly I run across a profile of Vivian in the magazine (sadly, it does not appear to be available online). Turns out, she and Ben moved back to her hometown in rural North Carolina where together they opened a restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, and have built an amazing farmhouse. Another delightful surprise I learned from reading the G&G piece is that Vivian is the subject of a documentary series on PBS titled, “A Chef’s Life.” So I guess she turned out alright!
I’m planning on paying she and Ben a visit soon so we can catch up and laugh about dodging rats in the stairwell of the Lower East Side tenement building we lived together in a decade ago. I’m looking very forward to it.
Sunset on the Atchafalaya River. #nofilter (at Port of Morgan City)
My hotel room in Houston came complete with a Texas-themed rubber ducky.
One of my favorite things about traveling via Amtrak is being seated with strangers in the dining car and hearing their stories. For lunch today my dining companion was Dee-Dee, a profoundly precocious 10 year-old from Austin who’s traveling with her grandparents. After telling her I was going to Texas just to see Boyhood she responded, “You’re traveling just to go see a movie? That’s AWESOME!” Dee-Dee totally gets it.
Dee-Dee wants to be a surgeon when she grows up and her nickname at school is “the chocolate girl.” (With her finger covered in chocolate syrup in the photo above, perhaps you can see why.) When I asked if she prefers traveling by train or plane she said the following: “Can you stretch out and lay down and go to sleep on a plane? No! Can you have a good dinner in a dining car on a plane? No! Can you look out the window and watch the country go by on a plane? No! So the answer is train, obviously.”
Dee-Dee has a black lab named “Prince” and two border collies named “Eli” and “Peyton.” Eli, she says, is “really, really dumb.”
Dee-Dee is my new best friend. (at Mermentau River)
This is what I woke up to this morning. Coincidentally, this is what I wake up to most mornings.
The Pimm’s Cup daiquiri at St. Lawrence is still the finest daiquiri in all the land. Just FYI. (at Saint Lawrence Nola)
The day that these arrive in the mail is always one of the best days of the year.
Joel Embiid hasn’t played a single game in the NBA yet and he may already be my favorite athlete to follow on Twitter.
A herd of 10,000 shrieking, frenzied cats could be running in circles all around him and I doubt he’d take his eyes off of this dumb tennis ball.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Channeling my inner goth tonight. (at Mahalia Jackson Theater)