I decided at the beginning of 2013 that I was going to go for the entire year without eating pizza. I guess you could have called it a New Year's Resolution. For the past several years, I've tried to come up with a year-long sacrifice, discipline or other lifestyle change that would force me to experiencing something different just so I could see how it affected me, a kind of extended Lent season.
In early January, I published a blog entry noting that Tom Amyx, owner of Tom's New York Deli here in Richmond, wanted to give away his restaurant to someone who could carry it forward with a positive and exciting vision. It turns out that my blog post generated quite a few inquiries to Tom about […]
Last night we had a great experience with some friends at the Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub down the road in Oxford, OH.
The place has apparently been open only a few months after some Miami University alums decided to pursue their vision for a local brewpub, and it already seems to be one of the most popular dining destinations in town.
Tom Amyx is giving away the business he spent the last 20 years of his life building.
This morning when I spoke with Tom, the owner of Tom's New York Deli here in Richmond, he talked of troubling health issues and financial factors in his decision, but he seemed as energetic and excited as ever. He opened the restaurant in December of 1991 and it's been a fixture on Main Street in the downtown business district ever since. Professionals, passers-through, families and sports teams alike frequent the establishment, which is known for its great sandwiches, corny jokes and extensive collection of local and national memorabilia.
But as he looks toward the next phase of his own life, instead of trying to sell the small restaurant to the highest bidder, or close it down altogether, he's ready to give it away to the person who would bring the best vision for its future.
A few raves and reviews from the weekend:
On Friday night I had the opportunity to see The Punch Brothers with Chris Thile in concert at Earlham College. As with many of the artists that Earlham brings to town, I hadn't heard of them when I came in, but when I left I was craving more of their work. The event was billed as a mix of "bluegrass, gospel and klezmer," but that hardly does justice to the talent, complexity and variety the group brought to the packed auditorium. Mandolin player and group convener Chris Thile evoked David Gray, Jeff Buckley and Dave Matthews in his vocal range, honest lyrics and child-like wonder as he danced around the stage - he made it hard not to smile and dance in my seat, and several audience members were moved to call out in praise throughout the show. It was quite an experience, and based on the quality of the performance I saw and the group's full tour schedule, it looks like they're really going places.
I've been walking to and from work via the Main Street business district here in Richmond, Indiana, and as I take in with fresh eyes the businesses and product/service offerings located there, I can't help but argue a bit with the folks who would say it's a struggling area. We have several great local restaurants, a wide variety of local banks, a place devoted entirely to the art of knitting and crocheting, a cloud computing specialist, a local sporting goods store, massage therapists and acupuncturists, software consultants and website developers, an amazing toy store, bakeries and candy shops, several local jewelers, coffee shops...yeah, the list keeps going on. What a neat place to live and work!
One of the new additions that I'm most proud of right now is the Clear Creek Food Cooperative, located at 710 East Main Street, right below my company's new headquarters. The store is open to the public as of this past weekend, and the inventory is still growing as we stock local foods, organic produce, crafts and gifts made by local artisans, and healthy bulk foods, snacks, spices and more. - Read More -
Lierre Keith's The Vegetarian Myth is one of the most important books ever written about food and the sustainability of the human species. It is at once deeply personal, overwhelmingly provocative, and academically sound as it calls into question all of the stories we have ever been told about where food comes from, what kind of food we should eat (especially in the context of veganism and vegetarianism), and what impact our food choices make on our bodies and the world around us. And that's just the core themes; Keith deftly weaves together food politics with economics, religion, culture, misogyny, masculinity, feminism, media issues, peak oil, liberalism vs radicalism, and so much more.
In short, if you think about what you eat, how it got to you, and the issues of nutrition, morality, politics and spirituality come with it, it is paramount that you encounter what The Vegetarian Myth has to offer.
My full review continues:
I did eat a salad for lunch today (nice transition) - radish, green onion, and goat cheese on spring mix greens, with poppy seed dressing. Everything but the dressing was grown/made at Abundant Acres Farm, the provider of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share that I bought this season. Friends Kent and Dori have again done a great job making fresh, local, chemical-free food available, and I'm grateful for it. I don't have a garden on my own land right now, but having a bag of garden-fresh stuff delivered to me every week is hard to beat. There's still quite a gap between my ideals about where my food comes from and my actual diet.
Later today I'll be sitting on a panel put together by the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, and we'll be talking about issues related to local food. Beyond some home gardening I'm not a food producer or any sort of expert, but between my work with the Clear Creek Food Coop, my interest in food / energy issues, and my efforts around making Richmond more self-reliant, I hope I'll have something useful to offer.
It's at 3:30 PM at Ivy Tech Community College, 3421 Johnson Hall - I hope you can join us.
In case you won't be able to attend, here's a list of 12 reasons that it's a good idea to support the production and consumption of locally grown food (adopted from a list produced by The Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association):
I've got a few "real" blog posts in the works (instead of random stories about cables installers, ahem), but for now, here are some links of possible interest: How DO you end parenthetical statements with emoticons? I'd really like to know. Make your own handwriting font - I used to dream about this kind of […]