A quick stop in Vegas to be part of a roundtable of very cool people on virtual worlds. Played limit hold’em for about four hours–first time I’ve done that outside of home games, and I did pretty well, though I would have done better if I’d had the good sense to cash in when I was $120.00 up. Then off to San Francisco.
The Farmer’s Market here depresses me. It depresses me because it’s so so so good and because there’s no reason why it’s goodness shouldn’t be imitated more broadly. It’s good because the food is in many cases unpretentiously good, just good because the people buying know what’s good and what’s not. That’s all. It’s not what sometimes is entailed in “gourmet” food shopping (like in our neck of the woods) where the potato chips that cost $2.00 per chip are preferred simply because they’re $2.00 per chip.
The smell in the market at noon. Meat fat dripping on a hot surface, the faint scent of cheeses, somewhere the aroma of warm corn tortillas, a drift of cut herbs and roasting vegetables, chickens with rosemary on a rotisserie. That’s the distilled ambrosia of human civilization for me: the buildings, the art, the busy or happy, sad or lost crowds wandering the streets, that’s something but it’s not what matters most to me. It’s what people cook and brew when they come together that matters most.
It’s what I sometimes wish the public sphere was: a market where everyone put out their best wares, a thousand tastes. Some universally loved, others odd and for the quirky palate, but all there to feed and nourish and please.