Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The North Market

I LOVE markets, and I go to them every time I visit a new city, but my review of farmers' markets would be entirely incomplete if I didn't mention the North Market in our own town. Every time I go, I ask myself why I don't visit more often.

My favorite vendor, Jeni's Fresh Ice Creams, has some of the world's most intriguing flavors, and you can have a six-pack delivered to your door packed in dry ice. My pet flavor is Aztec Chocolate. Who knew ice cream could have heat?

With dessert out of the way, you can have some serious difficulty choosing a place to have lunch. With authentic cuisines from around the world, you can have Flavors of India, Firdous from the Mediterranean, humble Mexican fare from El Paraiso, or pick up a bit of Italy from Pastaria.

On your way out, don’t forget to pick up some flowers from Marty and Bob at Market Blooms, a loaf of bread and some cheese from Curds and Whey.

Most importantly, don’t forget to get chocolates from my favorite chocolatier, Pure Imagination. If you like your chocolate with a kick, try the Theobroma, modeled after the truffles made famous in the movie Chocolat. Eat them all yourself or give them as a gift. They are the perfect way to say ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘It’s Wednesday.’ One taste of these truffles and you’ll think Dan has a crush on you too.

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

My husband and I received a visit from my sister and a friend of hers this past weekend. As I mentioned before, they are traversing the country with a final destination of Arizona. One of the things they both did to make this move possible is sell all of their belongings, save a handful of things that they either needed or loved, which they squeezed into their cars. While it seems simple enough to say, “I’m selling all of my personal belongings,” it’s an enormously tedious, time-consuming and labor-intensive job … depending, of course, on how much stuff you’ve collected over the years.

While I have no intention of doing this myself, my friends and family have heard more than a few times over the past few years how eager I am to declutter, shed the excess, unload the junk. I have more than my share of odd, quirky, and unnecessary objects that I neither need nor love. I fantasize about a home that better reflects the essence of those who dwell in it, unclouded by the confusion of things that don’t quite fit. A home where you notice the people in a room more than the room itself or the stuff in it. And as Debbie Millman says, "we can either talk about making a difference, or we can make a difference." And, while my husband has more books than God, I intend to leave them alone. (Though on reflection, do we need two copies of Ulysses?)

This is my goal for the balance of the year, a gift to myself; to streamline my material world until I no longer feel distracted by the visual confusion. I want my home to have room for discussions and ideas, and whatever material things remain are there because they have honest meaning and value.
Oh, and the title is a quote from Leonardo da Vinci.

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