Archive for the 'Politics' Category


Beyond Festivals: Street Food Actually on Streets and Sidewalks

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Night dining in Hong Kong

These last two weekends in the Bay Area have been a celebration of the best and the biggest of food on the go. La Cocina and Eat Real both showed that there are indeed thousands of people willing to stand in long lines in the full heat of summer to try any tasty treat served from a bicycle or cart, tent or renovated taco truck.

But it was a bit like eating Thanksgiving dinner, my cousin’s 12-course wedding banquet and my mom’s new year’s brunch all in the same week. The specialness of each blurred together, and the meaning of each was lost in the flurry of food.

If we would like to see the creativity of those festivals extended to the other 362 days of the year, we now need to divert some of our gustatory energy to ensuring systemic support of microenterprise. Yes, I know, public policy and economic reform is not nearly as sexy as a coconut-basil popsicle. And, yes, talking about immigration and community development is such a downer. Tweeting is way more fun than writing letters to our city supervisors.

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Chili and Change: Dispatch From DC

Monday, January 19th, 2009

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Along with 4 million other people in Washington, I’m trying to figure out how to keep warm and dry while waiting (and waiting…) to witness history in the making. Fuzzy boots and mittens with hand warmers and puffy rain pants are my own fashion statement for this inaugural ceremony. And while the 44th POTUS settles into his luncheon, enjoying “A Brace of American Birds” beneath a painting of Yosemite Valley, I’ll be making my way very very very slowly back up to Tenleytown…to a crock pot full of warming chili.

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FLOW: For the Love of Water

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

flow.jpgThousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

Like the earth itself, our bodies are 70 percent water. This also happens to be the proportion of our water supply that the agricultural industry consumes to bring food to our tables. No conversation about sustainable food systems can exclude the topic of water.

While water wars seem like the concerns of distant communities, experts predict that towns across the US will also soon be struggling to provide clean, affordable water to their citizens. An award-winning documentary, Flow, one of the post powerful and elegant films in the recent 3rd I Film Festival, tackles the complex issues embedded in a simple glass of water. From Bolivia to India, from Michigan to our very own California, access to water is being contested.

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Pie and Politics

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

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What does an energetic, intrepid cook do with her anger about an unfair world? Just ask Colleen Hubbard later this week…over a slice of her pie.

On Sunday, July 13, Colleen and her friend, David Pistrang, will be serving up dish after dish of their favorite homey dessert at the Women’s Building. It’s a Pie Social, their grassroots and very delicious way to raise money for Equality California’s fight against the November ballot initiative that would nullify gay marriage. Conservative groups have already rallied and pumped money into their coffers.

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Wartime Comfort

Monday, April 21st, 2008

This Friday, April 25, is ANZAC Day. Short for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, it’s a day of remembrance for the 8,000 soldiers who died during the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I. Still young in their nationhood, Australia and New Zealand sent soldiers to join the Allied forces, who were landing on the Turkish peninsula in order to clear a sea route to supply the Russian army. Although the Allies had to retreat and although Gallipoli is remembered more for its mistakes than its accomplishments, the founding spirit of Australia and New Zealand rose from the image of the returning ANZAC soldiers: heroic, tough, irreverent and worthy of national pride freed from colonial superiority.

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