There’s never been a debate in our house on how to pronounce Louisville. When I was a kid, my stepfather made frequent business trips south, guiding his Kentucky sales team on the best practices for selling snowblowers before the Midwest winter began.
It was tough to sleep on the red-eye from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Toronto, Ontario. When I initially booked my tickets from Portland, Oregon, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the cheapest route put me through Canada, which I certainly didn’t mind. A short jump to Vancouver, a red-eye flight, and a day to play in Toronto before I boarded for Brazil.
Aside from your relationship with potatoes, you hadn’t really crossed my mind over the years, your state little more than a hostage to the French fry existence. As it turns out, there’s more to you, with over 180 agricultural products, a top producer of Austrian winter peas, trout, barley, sugarbeets – and yes, potatoes. You also have a serious relationship with wine. Who knew?
My knowledge of the Tri-Cities area had been somewhere between the Hanford Site and the Kennewick Man over the last fifteen years of my Northwest residence. It seemed a flat, uninteresting corridor in the lower middle of Washington state with nothing but space to offer, overshadowed by the evergreen of Seattle further west.
There wasn’t much English being tossed around on my flight from Canada to Brazil. Throughout the nearly-eleven-hour trip, I heard Portuguese, Spanish, French, German – but very few words I understood.
Piling into a crowded, frenzied amusement park is generally the last on my list of trips to take, but as a parent, it is inevitably a moment that arrives at some point, the pulling of ones heartstrings, t-shirt, and wallet until tickets are purchased, hotels are booked, and comfortable shoes are packed.
I hadn’t seen the Southern Cross in nearly twenty years. Back then, I was a junior in college, studying abroad for a semester along the southern coast of Australia, thousands of miles away from family and friends.
There is something magical to the end of a year. It’s as if we’re given the opportunity for a do-over, to do away with another twelve months that may or may not have served its purpose.
Oh, Portland. After a decade, you’re finally starting to grow on me. Your rivers, your bridges, your crazy cyclists. The food and drink selection, however, is certainly one of your shiny bits.
I was hiding in the shade as much as I could. It felt unusually hot for a September day, but it was Louisville, and Midwest weather is always a force to be reckoned with.
If you didn’t know who you were looking for, I’m not sure you would’ve even noticed him standing there on the sidewalk. Pacing back and forth along the curb, a phone pressed to his ear, he had a black cap pulled tightly over his head, black jacket, black shirt, black pants.
I was too hungry to notice when Joe Johnston walked through the door of Joe’s Farm Grill. It was later in the morning than I usually ate breakfast, and I was starving, wishing for everything on the menu.
As a Midwest kid who grew up in a faith-heavy community, it almost felt a little sacrilege to read Christopher Moore’s Lamb. The story of Jesus’s teen years as told by his best friend, Biff, Lamb spins the story of the Messiah’s early life, before the healing and the leading and the fishes and the whatnot.
Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.
Chef Tom Colicchio is more than just a pretty face. Most often recognized due to his stint as judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, Colicchio doesn’t just sit behind a table and critique ill-fated dishes delivered by nerve-wracked cheftestants every day.