Any man will tell you that to pack up and leave a city they’ve called home for more than a few years is, essentially, to leave that city behind forever. Changes, for the better and for the worse, will chip away at city you knew until eventually the memory is rather incompatible with the new landscape. All this I expected when I left Austin for New York: Dive bars would go bottom-up, restaurants would change hands, high rises would replace my mundane urban landmarks.
But the memories just couldn’t fade gently. Instead, mid-June, smack in the middle of the New York Times section A is a smattering of apparently world renowned BBQ joints cropping up in Austin, Texas. And I hadn’t heard of a one of ‘em.
Hungry and lost on dark empty streets without a cent of local currency to our name was, not surprisingly, a familiar sensation. In our travels, my fellow editor and I have had our share of rough starts to new cities. Québec City it seemed, was no exception. And though I was confident we would eventually find what we were looking for (a working ATM), I was less confident that we could find that which had brought us Québec: the sense of boundless adventure that accompanies international travel. Instead, we found a city that wasn’t the “Europe of North America” that we’d expected, but a unique city unto itself.
Arriving in Quebec City days earlier we had sought something unique and unfamiliar, to capture the sense of discovery in a foreign land despite our relative proximity to home. What we found was something else, not the detachment of internationalism that we had expected, but a uniquely Québécois appeal. Leaving behind Quebec City’s francophonic charm for the modernism of Montreal then seemed bittersweet, having breached the apex of our northern venture, it seemed we were being drawn back toward the familiar, and everything ahead was literally, figuratively, and culturally closer to home.
Dodging a frightful thunderstorm on our second day in Montreal, we head to the open air (but covered, thankfully) Marché Jean-Talon for the city’s freshest eats. There we traded loonies and toonies for fresh fried cod, pork empanadas, juicy tomatoes and no small number of crêpes. Hats off to Legal Nomads for the recommendation.
Korean food is tricky. Rarely have we experienced such a fine line between the bliss of consumption and the discomfort of over-consumption. It’s largely under appreciated on the world food scene, but while Korean cuisine lacks the regional diversity of Chinese or the Michelin-star-count of French, what it does it does exceptionally well, and without pretense. Here we look at a cross section of the Korean diet: from fast food to traditional dishes, from spicy to more spicy, the food in Korea is uniquely its own, as minimally tainted by external East Asian or Western influence as any contributor to Korea’s cultural identity.
A little after noon along Florida’s two-lane coastal Highway 30-A, a crowd of beach-goers floods the crosswalks leading from the beach to the small village of Seaside. The bulk of this sandaled exodus will end up at a cluster of aluminum Airstream trailers nestled around the post office in the town’s central square. These Airstreams, with their eclectic decorations and chalkboard-menus touting wholesome organic foodstuffs are the new culinary cutting-edge in this planned community* (and I do mean planned: Seaside provided the backdrop for The Truman Show).