There’s been so much great writing this week following the death of the Los Angeles icon Jonathan Gold, from all the people he inspired--who to his credit are a seriously talented bunch of writers and food creators. We like hitting up his LA Weekly archive but in particular this 2004 account of a drunken afternoon in Bakersfield getting Basque food with fellow critic and adventurous eater Robert Sietsema. City of Gold has jumped up to the top of our list. Have you seen it?
Some people just say fuck it, and don’t tip. These sorts may reveal themselves on Reddit threads, or to the national restaurant blog of record, Eater, with the guarantee of omitting their last name. Tipping is complicated and not necessarily handled ideally. But until the industry can figure itself out, it’s true that there are individuals whose livelihoods in many states and types of establishments depend on it. Is the server at Per Se going to get evicted if you don’t drop 20% on your $500 per person bill? Probably not. But the server at that Chili’s at the airport in some town you’re not from may be getting less than $2 an hour, and that policy isn’t going to change because you stiffed them.
The take of the day bemoaning New York City’s decline into an uninhabited, cultureless, Chase Bank-filled wasteland, overrun with the underutilized mega-apartments of the super-wealthy, this long-winded Harpers article is filled with facts to bum you out (30% of New Yorkers pay 50% of their income in rent) and unfortunate anecdotes of businesses and people run out of their longtime homes. What do we do about these problems? When making the most revenue possible is the only goal anyone who makes any decisions around here can focus on, it doesn’t feel very promising.
You’re welcome we don’t put each week’s Grub Street Diet in each week’s TableTalk. We actually don’t ever really talk about it at our tables, either, but maybe one day we’ll be tapped to do one, and we will. This one’s a fun stream of consciousness from a writer we’ve admired named Jen Doll, bouncing between the city and Hudson Valley. Her theory on classifying the world based on which item in Chex Mix they prefer is an interesting one, though we’re not sure we agree with her SATC character pairings. Why is Miranda the breads? Though I guess Samantha would be the nuts.
Lance Armstrong doped when everyone else was doping, then he was banned from cycling forever. Alex Rodriguez gets to appear on any baseball show he wants to, thoroughly ingrained in the sport, and Lance, who did pretty much all the same things, is banned. Everyone took off their Livestrong bracelets in unison, not much considering the malfeasance, as the prevailing winds changed. This podcast is how we learned about Defy Ventures, a great opportunity for rethinking your position on second chances. What do you want a second chance at?