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Like a good wine, yesterday aged marvelously, ending with a delicious pinot, but only after working at a table overlooking Union Square in the afternoon, having dinner at Jasper’s with dear friends, and spending a few hours with Mark Bittman (cookbook author, NY Times columnist, food writer).

A quick note on Jasper’s – fun place for drinks and/or dinner after work – yummy, simple Amercian food (the burger is a must have!), nice vibe, and beer/wine “tastes” (small portions so you can try many) which I love.  I also love their french fry order sheet with pencil when you sit down.  Kudos on coming up with a way to get a basket o’ fries on every table…and you should not be the exception (they are delish!).

Back to the more important Mark B…  So, it wasn’t a catch up with my old friend, Mark, as I make it sound.  Instead, it was a City Arts and Lecture’s event at the Herbst Theatre.

Mark Bittman at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Even my iphone can’t take a decent picture from the nose-bleed section, but it helps to paint the picture.  If you haven’t checked out a city arts and lecture talk before, I would highly recommend it.  If nothing else, you get to admire the architectural beauty of some old SF theatres.  The Herbst Theatre is a beaut!

Some architectural details

Most likely, however, you will be hooked on the main event, hearing a “leading figure in literature, criticism, science or the performing and visual arts” converse on various topics, including many audience-asked questions.

Mark Bittman was no exception here.  While much of the night was focused on food policy (ex. prop 37, organic benefits, FDA involvement,…), I especially enjoyed seeing a ‘leading figure’ just being themselves in what looks like an intimate living room conversation on stage.  He described his food path from 1976 to today, his dislike of fine dining establishments, and simply his outlook on putting a meal on the table.  I walked away feeling more educated on important issues, but also feeling like I have a new friend.  In other words, it’s not just a cookbook I have on the shelf.  It’s Mark Bittman who I had a personal conversation with a while back.  If you’d like to experience this yourself, listen to the aired recording on public radio (Sundays 1pm, Tuesdays 8pm, Wednesdays 2am).

Bonus: the event started at 7:30pm and we were leaving at 9pm sharp.  Perfect for a school night!  One more bonus…this picture of city hall when we walked out of the theatre…

City Hall in blue, San Francisco

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