The opposite of art, for Proust, is something he calls habit. For Proust, much of life is ruined for us by a blanket or shroud of familiarity that descends between us and everything that matters. It dulls our senses and stops us appreciating everything, from the beauty of a sunset to our work and our friends. Children dont suffer from habit, which is why they get excited by some very key but simple things like puddles, jumping on the bed, sand, and fresh bread. But we adults get ineluctably spoiled, which is why we seek ever more powerful stimulants, like fame and love.
The trick, in Prousts eyes, is to recover the powers of appreciation of a child in adulthood, to strip the veil of habit and therefore to start to look upon daily life with a new and more grateful sensitivity. This, for Proust, is what one group in the population does all the time: artists. Artists are people who strip habit away and return life to its deserved glory. Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life
Summer rages on and I am readying for a big restaurant and drink research road trip in 3 Texas cities, 2 of which I haven’t been to in years (Dallas, Houston) and 1 (Austin) which I will finally visit for the first time. The Renaissance Man and I are road-tripping it for maximum research and to let cares and concerns drift away as we hit the open road between cities and “AirBnB it” for a more “locals” experience.
In the meantime, I wrote about 10 LA cocktail bars (Hollywood classics to 2015 newcomers) in my feature article in the summer 2015 issue of Distiller magazine (one Brilliantshine sadly closed just after I’d submitted the article for the print deadline).
In food discoveries, I recommend Kitchit for home dinner parties… I was shocked at how easy it was to set up a dinner party for 10 with a CIA-trained chef who came and cooked in (and cleaned up!) our kitchen using our own kitchen and dinnerware for a delicious 3 course dinner. At merely $39 a person, we were contemplating how easy it would be, if everyone chipped in, to throw regular dinner parties where you can savor uninterrupted conversation and foster community at home for less than what it often costs to dine out (and if you have your own booze which they don’t provide it’s even easier).
Imbiber Top 10 Cocktails of the Month: From SF to the East Bay, 10 summer standouts.
Wandering Traveler Exploring Japan’s Tsukiji Fish Market with a Sushi Chef: Visiting the famed fish market with sushi chef Ken Tominaga a photo journey.
Imbiber Visiting Suntory Yamazaki Distillery in Japan: The distillery that started it all.
On the Town – S. Pellegrino Presents The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle: Spain’s famed Mugaritz chef cooks at SF’s Coi for one night, along with 37 chefs doing a similar restaurant swap around the world.
As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I also create personalized itineraries: trips, meals, explorations (under Services).
CLICKABLE LINKS to Social Media & Articles:
Zagat SF Editor
Editor, Distiller Magazine
SF Bay Guardian Critic (Weekly Column: 2009-2013)Spoonwiz
Freelance: Whisky Magazine UK, The Times London, Eater, PureWow, Drink Me Magazine, Citysearch, NBCs The Feast, Blackboard Eats, Tasting Table, Grubstreet, Where Magazine
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