Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Best Recent Epiphany

I feel lame for stealing this picture.  I can't believe how few photos I have of Super Tacos.

The first issue of Lucky Peach, the "New Food Quarterly from Momofuku's David Chang" published my McSweeney's, starts with a nice, long essay by Peter Meehan about the trip he took to Tokyo with Chang to learn about ramen and film stuff for the upcoming Lucky Peach iPad app*.  There's this part of the essay where Pete talks about wanting to meet someone who can show them all of Tokyo's food treasures, but Chang laughs at Pete's notion, Tokyo being an unknowably huge and complex city.  Pete then goes a little deeper on why he wants a coherent picture of the food scene of Tokyo:

Creating a picture like that had been part of my motivation for getting to know the food and restaurants when I moved to New York.  If I learn what all these neighborhoods and places and cuisines are, I thought, and if I figure out how to order and what to order and when to order, then this will be home.  I will know where I am, and who I am in the bigger picture.

As I read this it struck me: This is why I'm still uneasy about life as an Upper West Sider. I don't know where to eat.  In my neighborhood I have three places I like . . . the taco truck at 96th and Broadway, Two Boots Pizza, and Saigon Grill.  But these were all places I liked back when I still lived downtown, I would literally sometimes come up here to eat at that taco truck or at least make it a required stop if I was in the neighborhood and I used to eat at the Two Boots or Saigon Grill by my old house with some frequency.  Without food anchors up here, I will always be adrift.

But I have found myself cooking a lot more while I live up here.  That's probably why I like it in my apartment, I am at least home when I'm in it.

*Also, if you've ever taken an exciting trip to Tokyo, this essay will make you feel lame for not having written a story about it yet.  Even if you went, say, nearly 5 years ago.

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