Hello hello – welcome, September, with your dusky evenings and chilly mornings. Our summer was awash with work, culminating in a quick, much-needed trip to France at the end of August. Word to the wise: one week is never long enough for a trip to Europe. Not from the West Coast anyway. It takes two days to travel (back and forth), three days to try to get over jet-lag, and then, it’s time to come home. C’est la vie.
So, yes. Things have been busy around here, but it’s a new month, the start of a new season, and I feel charged with excitement about what the rest of the year will bring. Partly because I’m headed off to India for six weeks starting in November, but also because this time of the year always fills me with a sense of renewal and anticipation. I am excited about peppering this blog with more stories, photographs and recipes in the weeks to come. I realize (and apologize) that part of the silence in the past few months comes from a perfectionist streak that I needed to publish the “perfect” post every single time. Perfectly written, perfect photographs, perfect recipes, perfect stories – clearly, too much perfection can cripple you. That will change, and with your help too, if you like! If there’s a story or a recipe or a photography-related question that you have which you’d like to see on this blog, let me know in the comments or drop me a note using the contact form. I’d love to hear from you!
And now – updates and photos!
The Thomas, Napa
I got a sneak peak at Napa’s newest restaurant, The Thomas when I photographed Executive Chef Brad Farmerie‘s creations for their menu. You may know him from his other establishments in New York City, like the Michelin-starred Public and Saxon + Parole. The newest addition to the AvroKo Hospitality Group‘s stable of restaurants, The Thomas is a revival of a Napa landmark, the Fagiani’s Liquor Store and Bar. Closed since 1974 after its owner’s murder, the restored space pays tribute to its historical significance with an understated New York sensibility. I highly recommend a negroni (or two) at their bar – which is not a bad excuse to savor the decor – and, if you get a reservation, a dinner on their rooftop terrace.
BlogHer 2012, New York City
I’ve been photographing BlogHer’s conferences for the past year and out of all of them, this one, the Annual, is their most overwhelming, intense and rewarding event, by far. While their Food conference is all about…..food (duh), and their Entrepreneurs conference is all about new ventures, their Annual conference, held every summer, is about heart. I suppose that’s what you get when you bring (mostly) 5,000 women together to share their life experiences covering everything from motherhood to grief to self-actualization. It’s been a month since the event and I’m filled with reflections and insights which will make its way here in the coming days.
I got my first taste of Jewish culture by photographing the Bar Mitzvah for a friend’s son, which featured the largest loaf of Challah ever, and the excitement of photographing the Hora while trying to stay out of everyone’s way. Fun times.
Towards the end of August, I spent a morning tasting delicious Chinese and Taiwanese teas in San Francisco (a very worthwhile way to spend one’s time), learning, in the process, the importance of appreciating – and consuming – quality tea. I also chatted with folks at The Sustainable Food Lab to learn about their efforts to work with the multinational food industry to bring about change. Both stories found on the Etsy blog.
If you’ve read this far, congratulations, here’s a treat for you. The folks at Etsy TV just produced a short clip about Joe Threat, a smoke master in Kansas City, MO who’s not only on a quest to create the ultimate barbecue rub, but also to keep his family’s traditions and expertise of meat-smoking alive. The home-made smoker in his backyard is worth the watch alone. Labor Day may be over, but it doesn’t mean grilling season should end just yet. Watch, and enjoy.