First of all, I’d like to present my first postcard from Korea! It’s from my friend “Bette Davis Eyes” Ellie, who is teaching English and Spanish to tykes and teens in Seoul. The average South Korean eats 40 pounds of kimchi a year! For those who don’t know, kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish. Heavily seasoned, it’s served cold as a side dish or stirred into cooked dishes.
It’s appropriate that Ellie chose this kimchi postcard, because most of her letter is about her gastronomic experience. A vegan who has found herself in the land of barbecue (“gogigui,” in Korean), she curiously mentions an inaccessibility of produce. (I’ve just written back asking for further information.) Ellie is off for a trip to China this week, and will be visiting Japan (including an Ego Wrappin’ concert, a Japanese jazz band she turned me on to. The singer sings in Japanese, and it totally works!) and Cambodia this summer, so maybe she’ll send more postcards!
As a teenager in Los Angeles, Mama Snail occasionally paid up $3 for a salad (like a teen coughing up $12 just for a salad today) to be where the action was at The Source Restaurant on the Sunset Strip. It was the first time Mama Snail encountered alfalfa sprouts. Gazing down at a bowl of something that looked like a hairy stomach virus, the young fifteen year-old wondered if it was a joke, if some hot hippie was back in the kitchen laughing at her square normalcy. In the final scene of Annie Hall, Woody Allen pokes fun at the fact that sprouts were in fact the thing at The Source.
In the late 1960s and early ’70s, The Source was the first major healthfood (mostly raw-food) restaurant. All counter-culture royalty ate there– Joni Mitchell, Goldie Hawn, Steve McQueen… Mama Snail was on the lookout for the celebrities, but somehow missed that all the attractive longhaired staff were part of a cult, The Source Family. The restaurant was the cult’s means of financial support.
And Mama Snail is fascinated by cults… She later learned all about The Source Family through the recent biography “The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and the Source Family” by former members Isis and Electricity Aquarian (the last name all members took). A documentary has just come out as well, and I took Mama Snail to a screening for Mother’s Day. Expertly organized and visually stunning, this film is a load of food for thought.
Fold Gallery is part of an atrium of galleries and shops within the Last Bookstore In Los Angeles. (That’s the full name, but I assure you Los Angeles actually has many independent new and used bookstores.) I saw Mark Edward’s steampunk pieces on a visit to the Last Bookstore a few days ago for a high-energy poetry reading by Jeremy Radin and Derrick Brown. Check out Brown’s kickass Austin-based publishing house Write Bloody.
The still on the postcard is from Bufalo 66. Don’t you love their shoes?