I hold a memory of being, say, seven years old. My parents were hosting a family party, and I walked into their bedroom — maybe I was playing hide and seek with my cousins.
Something drew me to the sight of a classic red Budweiser can sitting on a TV table. Not only was I seven, but the can was probably room temperature and likely discarded. The taste was so jarring that I spit it out into a nearby plastic cup. That was the memory I had for the drink for years to come.
I didn’t drink at high school parties, or even in my early college career. It wasn’t exactly that I held some moral stance — most of my friends did drink before they turned 21. I had no insightful health or philosophical stance. I just didn’t like the culture that came with it. I felt mostly socially comfortable and came to like being different by not drinking.
Years later I would better understand there were issues of alcoholism in my family. That became a factor in my approaching drinking with a kind of detached anthropological approach. Somewhere in my mind is always the fear of losing control and hurting those around me, as others in my family have.
I recognized the deep and historical culture tied to it all, and I also respected many people who had very informed, robust views of spirits. I wanted to have something resembling that too.
Surely there will be others, but presently, the summer of 2015 was one of the hardest, busiest and most stressful of my life.
In the last few years, I’ve been blessed with a nice calendar rhythm I’ve enjoyed — hectic and busy and big spring, fall and winter, with calmer summers to re-tool and a few weeks of December to get primed for the new year.
2015 was different. In the span of three months I bought a house, got married, rented out my former house, effectively acquired a company, grew our business staff headcount by a quarter, transitioned out an internal leader, took a road trip near Calgary, spent two weeks in Ecuador and, you know, just did the normal stuff too.
Though I do strive to have -some- work-life balance (here is where SACM and others close to me roll their eyes), this incredibly time-crunch resulted in the inevitable: I slept a whole lot less. I did more successive late nights and early mornings than perhaps ever before. So I started drinking coffee.
I realize links here to larger features I’ve written have been lessening.
It’s not because I’ve been writing less. Rather, I’ve been writing more — just more of it has gone to Technically Philly, the Web product I’m developing with two colleagues. Rather than ignore them, I hope to link out to the larger and perhaps more notable ones, just as I would for any other piece for another publication.
From back in May, I came across some notes that were left over from a feature we ran on Daniel Delaney, a University of the Arts graduate who is now running a popular food podcast.
He just finished a bit of a rant about how zoning laws that govern where street vendors can do business are putting a stranglehold on Philadelphia’s food cart culture, and seemed startled when I said I assumed he was now based in New York.
“I didn’t mean that as an insult,” he says. “I just look at this stuff a bit scientifically.” Read the rest here.
Like I do for others, after the jump, see the extra information that didn’t fit into the piece.
How about fresh Jersey tomatoes from my mother’s garden and a hunk of mozzarella from a northwest New Jersey dairy farm? Drizzle on some olive oil and pinch some salt and pepper. Add a Ritz cracker if you need that carbohydrate fix. That’s a delicious treat on a Sunday.
Thus far I have only reviewed three places in Harrisburg, but hope to get into the habit of doing so for all restaurants. Join and let’s share places we like and those we don’t. It’s a great tool to find the best places in the best locations anywhere, particularly because the site is known for its fine community.