February 16, 2011

Cultural Trends of the West

I slammed my computer shut with a loud sigh.  Myrna looked startled.  "Sometimes" I said, "I can't even fathom why I'm not in California.  I should be there, with all this creativity and vibrant life."  She laughed.

I had been reading aloud the Top 100 Cultural Trends from Sunset Magazine.  And they were all just so awesome I had to give up, and stop reading.  The ideas vary from brilliant products (olive oil made locally and amazing cheeses) to perspective changing brilliance (Farmer's Market + Craigslist).  Here are my favorite ideas:

What could be better than sitting in a bookshop cafe?  Sitting in a garden cafe...or, rather, a nursery cafe.

Soft Serve isn't watered down flavorless ice cream anymore.  But they neglected to mention my favorite soft-serve place, Pizzeria Azzuro in Napa.

I had "artisanal" vodka in California before I knew what that word meant.  The rest of the west has caught up with a whole slew of specially made spirits.

Businesses run on bikes: coffee delivered.  Soup too.  And Pie!  A well balanced days eating.

Clearly, the jam-it-yourself trend is close to my heart.  I would kill to work for any of these new artisan jam companies.

The food truck crazy started, without a doubt, in the West.  Portland is king (though CA has lots of wonderful options too).


  1. I miss the food trucks at USC. At noon, on the main drag by the school, you could get just about any kind of cuisine you wanted. Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Greek, Italian, West African, fancy sandwiches, crepes, hamburgers, fish and chips...a far cry from the old taco truck playing "Mexican Hat Dance" over its speakers. Also, since they could only park in the same place for about an hour at a time, they would Tweet their coordinates so you could find them on Google Maps!

    Here in NC, people don't even know what food trucks are. *sigh* Fortunately, we are not totally devoid of culture.

  2. And by the way, since the overhead was relatively low, the food was cheap by L.A. standards. Of course, not that cheap compared to the diners here, where you can get a full breakfast and coffee for $3.50.

  3. By the way, sorry for third comment in a row, but as you can probably tell by the picture, "Jane" is my blogging nom de plume. --Colleen

  4. patty1:33 PM

    Portland is food cart king. Every other day I find more have sprung up on every street corner. I am not complaining because its good food cheap and much nicer than empty lots, but there are so many carts to choose from that its overwhelming!