i'm sorry i've been neglecting you. blame the winter. i blame everything on this winter. it takes all my will just to go outside, so obviously, these are not optimal conditions for generating new material. just wait til spring - you won't know what hit you! there will be blog posts every day! (well, don't hold me to that.)
it seems as good time as any to go back a few months to warmer times. in december, i was in the bay area for about 10 days. the goal of the trip was for hhh to clean out his childhood room (a gargantuan task then documented in this talk at the museum of chinese in america), but we managed to go up to berkeley, oakland, and san francisco twice. (the rest of the time was spent sifting through mountains of records, 20-year-old pez dispensers, gum, old homework, shoes, and gifts from ex-girlfriends....) we visited some new places and an old favorite.
first up, umami mart. it's a super cute shop (both brick-and-mortar and online) opened by kayoko akabori and yoko kumano a few years back. they carry all kinds of japanese kitchen and barware, and have a selection of grocery/pantry goods in the back. they recently opened up their bottle shop as well. it is the first japanese beer shop in the u.s.! check it out if you're in oakland.