rumination 14: ping…

I’m not Shakespeare. My writing is far from Pulitzer Prize-winning material.  And, though I’ve tried to pare down my blog posts over the last year, they’re not the exactly concise. But I get so many comments and compliments on my photos, and comparatively few on the substance of my blog posts that I often wonder […]


I’m not Shakespeare. My writing is far from Pulitzer Prize-winning material.  And, though I’ve tried to pare down my blog posts over the last year, they’re not the exactly concise.

But I get so many comments and compliments on my photos, and comparatively few on the substance of my blog posts that I often wonder whether people are reading the text between the photos at all. Am I blowing a lot of hot air into cyberspace?  Is this blog little more than a portal to my Flickr account?

(No, I am not fishing for compliments.)

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23 replies on “rumination 14: ping…”

Admit it. You want it all, (as do we all).
Your write ups are very well done. The care you take in choosing the right words to make the point or express the feeling you want is obvious. Writing done with care and skill is rare these days. I appreciate yours.

I appreciate both photography and your written reviews. Your writing is insightful and poetic. I still don’t know how you afford all these great meals, so it would be great to have some more transparency on how they were paid for either by your own income, and also the bill for each meal or as a reviewer for a publication who pay. Personally i love to understand where food culture at the high-end is heading, so reflection on trends like how different chefs are related (through technique, dishes, approach, philosophy) is of interest. I do miss a bit on covering guests or clientele eating at different places. Personally high-end dining is something i save up for, for one experience like that a year. It’s a decadent hobby. Some people eat high-end food each day.

“I read it for the articles…” Seriously, I was led to your blog through your flickr site so it was the photos that originally caught my interest and keep me coming back. I will say though, that after finding your blog and reading your reviews/accounts of your dining experiences, I was impressed by your writing skills as well. I’ll admit I’m still partial to the photos though–hope you don’t mind. I’d have to say that I’m with James in that you could take the blog in a very unique direction because of your ability to travel and eat so extensively. You could provide a perspective that many other bloggers cannot for whatever reason. You have created an anonymous persona that is intriguing–you can continue to maintain that, or take things in the complete opposite direction. This is just my opinion, a reader, who will continue to follow your photos religiously and read your blog, because it is a good blog nonetheless.

We’ve never met, and I’m not totally sure what you do, but I adore reading your blog. The pictures are amazing, but it’s your words that really makes me drool. I just stumbled across your blog one day and started reading, and decided an hour later to try fancy restaurant food, which really has hugely improved my life. Please keep up the reviews – I get excited every time something from you pops up in google reader.

Thanks, everyone, for your reassurances and encouragement.

For those who are curious about my standard of review, unless I otherwise note, you may assume that I pay for all of these meals – in full – out of my own pocket. I try to avoid and discourage chefs/restaurants from giving me comped meals/food.

I love reading the text! I do enjoy looking at the food photos, but what I’m really interested in is the text accompanying them. We indulge in high-end food on a moderate basis (every few months maybe), and I like reading about new places we might to put on our list. Or, conversely, I also find value in your recounting of less-than-ideal experiences: we don’t have infinite resources, and when we’re traveling or choosing a restaurant more data points are always a good thing. (Especially when it comes to ultra-hyped places – I find your opinions often seem to cut through a lot of that and get to the heart of a chef/restaurant.)

I used to come for both the photos and the next, but I find more and more that I begin reading, and then end up skimming through to “get to the point”. I do appreciate the high quality of the writing, but I generally subscribe to “speak with intent, but be lean of expression” camp of writers. My favourite of your posts these days are those in the “Photo of the Week” series. Concise, yet full of memories and meaning.

Your standards are perfect. Those who are not doing their job properly are the ones paid to write food reviews but end up serving as advertising proxies for their friends in the Business. We have couple of those fakers in Montreal and I guess around the world too!

I’m drawn to the blog for your keen take on food and eating, and as I see it your perspective is channeled primarily through your writing and secondarily through your photography. That is to say, I definitely stick around to hear what you have to say, particularly when you’re reviewing a restaurant I’m interested in. The writing’s great, and so are the photos. Please don’t dispense with either!

I totally read the text. I enjoy reading your take on the food, decor, and service of restaurants. There are so many aspects of a dining experience that cannot be expressed through photos. Please keep up the good job that you’re doing. I hope to see you back in Chi-town soon (especially after the Michelin guide comes out).

You may not have been fishing for compliments, but somehow you have received them anyway – and deservedly so! Count me in that pool complimenting both your writing and your drool-worthy photography! I am in awe.

You are not Shakespeare. You are not a pulitzer prize winning writer such as Albee or O’Neil. The measure of your writing cannot be measured in inches, cups, or degrees. it is far more complex than that. That being said, what are we and you left with? At the end of your days, at least you got to eat great food, drink great wine, and conversed electronically with inquistive strangers. Cheers.

I certainly read the content and enjoy it, so please continue to write reviews…scattered of course with as many beautiful images as possible! :)

@Jess L; Rony Y; S. Lloyd; nathan; Rich; docsconz; and svatzini: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

@Possom: Well, I’m glad at least you enjoy the prose. :)

@Michael: Yes, I will not forget how blessed I have been to have eaten this well thus far.

I tend to consume the two narratives separately. I will read the written review first, then go through the Flickr pages. Your writing is an inspiration to me to continue my blog. (Having spent many many years in “the Business,” I am now content to sit down for a spell and write about it. ) The elegance with which you infuse your prose and the honesty with which you cover these far-flung rooms is a breath of fresh air. Thank you!