A couple of years ago, I spent the summer in Portland, Oregon, losing things. I normally live on the East Coast, but that year, unable to face another sweltering August, I decided to temporarily decamp to the West. This turned out to be strangely easy. I’d lived in Portland for a while after college, and some acquaintances there needed a house sitter. Another friend was away for the summer and happy to loan me her pickup truck. Someone on Craigslist sold me a bike for next to nothing. In very short order, and with very little effort, everything fell into place.
And then, mystifyingly, everything fell out of place. My first day in town, I left the keys to the truck on the counter of a coffee shop. The next day, I left the keys to the house in the front door. A few days after that, warming up in the midday sun at an outdoor café, I took off the long-sleeved shirt I’d been wearing, only to leave it hanging over the back of the chair when I headed home. When I returned to claim it, I discovered that I’d left my wallet behind as well. Prior to that summer, I should note, I had lost a wallet exactly once in my adult life: at gunpoint. Yet later that afternoon I stopped by a sporting-goods store to buy a lock for my new bike and left my wallet sitting next to the cash register.
Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker
The Coffee Shaman
The way a shaman comes to light is that, as a child, he’s given fairy tales that are only that: fairy tales. And the shaman has to then penetrate the veil, to understand that there’s really something else beyond. So they present him with veil after veil after veil, and they have to penetrate through these stories to this final point. So there are all these levels of popular understanding until you get to the tip of the pyramid. And there, it’s completely different.”
George Howell is telling me this as we sit at a tile-topped café table stuck in a corner of his office/warehouse/roastery in the Boston exurbs, his legs crossed and lanky frame leaning back against a straight-backed wicker chair. With a checked button-down tucked into his khakis and a drawling mid-Atlantic accent, he appears like a former ambassador holding court at the country club or an archaeologist planning his next dig.
Read the rest of this article at: Lucky Peach
The Passion of Daniel Humm, the Greatest Chef in America
It had been snowing all night.
The road down the mountain snaked through an icing of whiteness. Daniel Humm, the young chef whose cooking had brought a Michelin star to this patch of the Swiss Alps, had crawled into bed around three in the morning. Now he was up again, two or three hours later, his bones aching and his eyes bloodshot.
Humm had to make it from his kitchen at Gasthaus zum Gupf in Rehetobel, Switzerland, to the market in Zurich, about ninety minutes away. He needed to buy the best lettuces and herbs from the countryside, the best lemons and oranges trucked in from Italy. His dishes relied on these ingredients, and his dishes were so good, so revelatory, that wealthy customers had started flying to the restaurant via helicopter to eat them.
Read the rest of this article at: Esquire
Love ‘La La Land’? Hate It? So Do We
Our Culture Department is a staff divided. It’s not what you think — it’s “La La Land.”
We talk movies all the time, but for some reason Emma Stone (as Mia, aspiring actress) and Ryan Gosling (Sebastian, aspiring jazz pianist), singing and dancing about love and career, have provoked passionate arguments. Some of us love “La La Land”; some of us really hate it.
So as the Oscars near (“La La Land” is the front-runner), we’re putting our arguments to you. Read the debate, and in the comments tell us where you stand.
Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times
Revenge of The Lunch Lady
How an unassuming bureaucrat outsmarted JamieOliver and pulled off an honest-to-god miracle in one of America's unhealthiest cities.
Read the rest of this article at: The Huffington Post