It's almost impossible to believe, but after purchasing tickets a year ago (you've gotta jump on flight deals when you see them!), Jonah and I are leaving for Vietnam this Friday! Vietnam is a country I've wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. My dad was drafted into the Vietnam War, stationed in and around then-Saigon, while Jonah's dad was arrested for protesting and evading the draft. It's a place that's felt almost mythical to both of us—we each grew up hearing about what a uniquely beautiful and rich country it is (needless to say, like many Vietnam War veterans, my dad has a lot of complicated feelings about serving in the war). When Jonah and I were watching Anthony Bourdain's Part Unknown in Hanoi yesterday, he was surprised to look over and see I'd started crying. As the camera panned over bowls of Bun Cha and streets in the Old Quarter, I suddenly felt so overwhelmed and grateful that I get to spend two full weeks there. I feel so, so lucky to be able to go, and excited to experience the country, food, and people. As for our plans, we're starting in Hanoi and Cat Ba, then working our way south to Ninh Binh, Phong Nha, Hoi An, and Hoi Chi Minh City, then spending two days in Bangkok, Thailand before flying home. If you have any recommendations, please comment below—I'd love to read through them! Here's what else I'm up to this week:
In April, EmbraceLA is hosting 100 dinners throughout the city, with 10 guests each, to encourage a thoughtful dialogue around the topic of race. The idea is that the dinner table is a safe and open place to hold difficult and open conversations that maybe aren't happening as often as they should. You can apply to join the conversation here.
Because Jonah and I are on full "clean out the fridge" mode, I took an audit of our perishables last night and found a half-jar of tomato paste, a round of mozzarella, and a loaf of bread on its last legs. What began as not-super-promising ingredients ended up turning into an amazing meal. Loosely following this recipe from one of my favorite Food52 contributors, I toasted the bread and tossed sliced mozzerella into the tomato paste, warming it over the stove, then poured the concoction over slices brushed with olive oil and garlic. Turns out, the slightly stale toast was the perfect vehicle for the cheesy tomato sauce, since it stayed firm enough that I could cut into it without the entire thing turning into a melty, sloppy mess.
Ok, so, you know those people who meet their roommates on Craigslist and become best friends? This is not that. Jamison Bachman was pretty much the worst nightmare of a roommate—while cordial at first, by the time the second months' rent came around, he turned into a monster, and then completely unraveled. Read the full story here.
Some of my all-time favorite movies are mountain movies: Meru, Touching the Void, Sherpa, anything shot by/mentioning Jimmy Chin, that dramatized Everest movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. Love 'em. The short film Mountain Fever, available on Vimeo, captures exactly what I love about mountain movies—the adventure, adrenaline, power of nature—in nine edge-of-your-seat minutes. When a climber's tentmate goes missing in the middle of the night in a snowstorm, a climber goes out to search for him. Most of the drama takes place in a tent, but the result is chilling (see what I did there?). Watch the full film here.
It should come as a surprise to no know who knows about my love of (obsession with?) Gwyneth Paltrow and podcasts that I basically counted down to the launch of goop's podcast last week. In the first episode, GP interviews none other than Queen Oprah herself. I loved listening in on their conversation about the 'Me Too' movement, building their careers, and the importance of intentions over actions. Listen to the full episode here before the next one comes out this Thursday!