So you might have noticed that I haven’t been writing nearly as much during the past two months as I usually do. That’s because I’ve been traveling a lot! I’m finally back in the East Bay for at least the next month, so hopefully I’ll have more time to dedicate to writing.
You probably know by now that I think a lot about Oakland while I’m gone, and I’ve even started a series comparing Oakland to other cities, but beyond all of this, traveling has made me realize how much I miss Oakland and why I love it so much. Depending on what city I’m in, I usually miss a different aspect of Oakland.
This past week, I was in New Orleans, and there was certainly a lot I didn’t miss, like the bars not closing at 2am and the streets being deserted at night. But I found myself almost desperately missing Oakland food. This probably sounds pretty strange, since New Orleans is famous for its food, but I’m a vegetarian so I didn’t get to enjoy any of the fresh seafood offerings.
And don’t get me wrong. Nearly every restaurant was very accommodating to my dietary needs (one chef even came to my table to discuss my tastes so he could determine what special dish to make for me), and the food tasted great. But I realized how spoiled I am with all the fresh, local, organic food I eat daily. My body’s just not used to eating food doused in butter (I think I ate more butter last week than I had eaten in the previous month or two), and by the end of the week I was seriously craving some non-dairy protein.
As I ate my final biscuit and drank my last Bloody Mary yesterday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Temescal Farmer’s Market, sushi at Ichiro, and homemade salads and soups. Needless to say, I’m glad to be home, and am even happier that my girlfriend greeted me at the Oakland airport last night with sushi rolls – avocado and spinach/mushroom – and inari – yum!
I’m sure many of you will be traveling over the next few weeks, so what is it that you miss when you leave Oakland?