June 2010

If I had my way, I would have a food shop that served salad lyonnaise, Cheeseboard-style pizza, grilled calamari, steak frites, banh cuon, karaage, fatty tuna and suadero tacos.

On the drinks list: Melville pinot noir, Japanese (like Orion and Hitachino) and Belgian (Delirium Tremens, maybe some lambic) beers.

For dessert, red velvet cupcakes, macarons, home made ice cream and matcha tea cakes served with Philz coffee and Fortnum & Mason tea.

People would sit on long, communal tables and eat family style. Just so I could have a little bit of everything.


My friend K was in town for a meeting in Paris so we met at the Louvre because she wanted to take in and channel the energy of some of the Masters. We’re both from California, so this is a totally normal way to speak.

“You know you can find inspiration and good energy just walking down the street, not just at the Louvre,” I say to her.

She was pretty annoyed by my comment, to say the least. Maybe it was obnoxious, but I find the Louvre, with its crowds and sheer immensity, really difficult to manage and am baffled by people’s reverence they have for this institution and some of its “must-see” pieces, particularly the Mona Lisa. I get pretty worked up about it because I like to see and think about art but it’s also frustrating that institutions have decided that we, the masses, consume particular works of art that a group of elitist art historians deemed worthy and many people often eat it up without questioning how and where their own tastes have been derived. Honestly, I have nothing against you if you truly love the Mona Lisa but I just hope it’s based on your own judgment and not because you accept it as a “Masterpiece,” whatever that even means. Anyway, maybe these are musings that are more appropriate for Linda to talk about on her blog.

So with my own walking in Paris and browsing on the ‘nets, I found inspiration in the form of a sandwich.

To get a seat at Kiosko Universal at the Boqueria Market, everyone, even Marc Almond of Soft Cell, has to hover over the people eating at the bar, like vultures circling over a wounded animal. It doesn’t feel very civilized, but supposedly that’s what they do in these parts.

Almond, like the rest of us, was in Barcelona for the Primavera Sound festival, but he eventually left before going that far for a seat. Our group was more determined after seeing and smelling this: