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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My urban tribe


It is a condition of modernity, I suppose, that we live in urban tribes. No, this is not a great discovery on my part or anything, there's already at least one book written on the subject.

But it's so true isn't it? Look around your social circle and I am sure you'll see. Many of us in big cities live faraway from our families, so we have our friends, our urban tribes, to rely on for good times and bad.

Mine showed up in full force last Saturday at the local Thai temple in San Bruno. The occasion was the anniversary of my grandfather's passing. It was not the easiest of time, but it was made easier because I had my tribe with me. Thai people have a ritual of bringing the favorite foods of our dead relatives to the monks, who function as a sort of divine Fedex. I used to make fun of this practice growing up, but somehow I found myself bringing armloads of my grandfather's favorite foods to the temple Saturday. How funny.

We went through the entire ritual, chanting in Pali, lighting incense, blessing the water, Dharma talk, etcetera, etcetera, and throughout the whole thing my tribe stuck with me. It really didn't matter that Dave and Allison were jews, or that Malik was muslim, they were there because we are an urban tribe, and tribes stick together. How cool was that.

Chickenfeet_1And of course, tribes also need to do fun things together, so we head over for a dimsum lunch at the nearby Hong Kong Flower Lounge. It was a little challenging navigating a dimsum lunch without pork or shellfish, but we managed, there are always chicken feet, you know. ;-)

LotuseliseThe fun didn't end at lunch. You see, our Dave had just taken delivery of a rather fun toy, a Lotus Elise -for which he had been waiting two years on the impossibly long waiting list- so of course the tribe must take it out to celebrate with a little spin. And of course, what fun would it be without Malik's Boxter joining the fray?

Dsc02359_2So there we found ourselves in two sporties, racing up the gorgeous highway 1, and I got to ride in the Lotus. I really must tell you, I am not at all into cars, I mean, I drive a matronly audi stationwagon for peace sake! All I care about is to have enough room for all my ski gear, really. But I must tell you, that Lotus is one sweet little toy. It handles super well, and way more comfortable that it seems.

Mov02358_1At one point we found a stretch of road that was pretty much free of other cars, on a side road that split of from the main highway 1, and the boys just let it rip. I mean, really, they did. Watch the video (click on the photo here) and you'll hear me screaming my head off, how bizarrely exhilirating. Well, it was all fun and game until the Boxter spit up cow dung from the road right smack on the front windshield of the gorgeous Lotus which was following right at the tail. Dave and I -after we were done ducking- laughed so hard we thought we had to stop the car. That's the reason this video was shot from the window -you see- the windshield was covered in disgustingly stinky cow shit!

Tbfcheeseroom_1 Tbfoutside_1 Tbfinside_1 Tbfcheesetable_1

But of course, being a foodie tribe that we are, we simply could not finish our fun without proper nourishment -this is after all a food blog- so we ended up at Point Reyes Station. The first stop at Tomales Bay's Food, the original shop of the fabulous cowgirls. If you are ever up at Point Reyes, this shop really is a great stop to get some lovely provision before you are off to look for somewhere romantic for a picnic lunch. We also stopped at Bovine Bakery, for the best -the best- sticky bun in the known universe.

Barefootwine Anotherptreyesbeach
Pointreyesbeach Barefoot

Our next stop was for a little stroll on the beach at Point Reyes Seashore. It was nearing sunset and the light was just out of this world. I simply adore walking on the beach, there's nothing like the feel of bare feet on soft sand. Malik -bless that Malik- had a few bottles of wine in his trunk and we broke out one -a very nice Italian in fact- to celebrate our tribe's perfect day.

Sunsetpointreyes_1There was no wine glass however, so there we were, sitting on a driftwood log, in the splendid twilight and the even more magnificent view of Northern California coast, sharing a bottle of good wine, toasting our friendship and all our grandfathers. They all met earlier that day, I am sure, because during the rite the monk asked us to write down all their names. It must have been a funny little convention, our grandfathers, who lived in so very different worlds, looking down at our strange little tribe.

It was such a marvelous day, so much so that we didn't even let the far-beyond-mediocre meal at a Thai place in Petaluma bothered us. And with the fun a night out for a few drinks at Dalva, and then a little groove at Pink, it was a perfect day, which ended even more perfectly, life is grand.


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