Last night we welcomed a small group of new and old friends to West Bank Social Center for dinner. The menu was simple: we ate soup that had been made the day before by five of our friends, and leftover focaccia that Miranda had brought from work. The soup-makers had designed an activity to place us at the table next to people we didn’t know, and as you might expect, the conversations meandered.
I was seated across from a woman named Amanda who works for KFAI and produces a podcast about local food issues. By the end of our conversation we were swapping thoughts about the future of agriculture, and the world-changing possibilities of cookbooks. Next to me were two professors from the University who teach a course about art spaces and community engagement. We talked about food and politics, food and art, about the simple pleasures of cooking together, and strange fruits from faraway places.
At one point, I was asked why we decided to do this project, to have this soup dinner in this space we’d created?
I didn’t have a definitive answer, in part because I have had no time to think of one. I realized as I meandered my way through the idea that we’d never really thought about soup as a project so much as an anti-project, that one day each month when we would simply share the company of interesting people.
“Because we’re hungry.” I told her. “And because we like to spend time with other people.”
In some ways, West Bank Social Center is the same story. We never really talk about it as a project so much as a space for things to happen. Since we began last summer it’s been a laboratory and a retreat, a noisy mess and a conversation. We struggle to pay the rent, we swap a lot of big and small ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s really about being hungry and being together.
WBSC is taking November off to reflect, rest, and re-energize.* I can’t think of a better way to kick that off then Shanai’s thoughts on dinner last night. Also, a big thank you to Sara, Chris, Paul, Stephanie, and Nate for making soup. It warmed me up and made me feel good.
So many exciting things are happening.
* We still have a few events on the books, most notably Mr. Sturdevant’s 30th Birthday Party on the 7th!
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — The Big Mac, long a symbol of globalization, has become the latest victim of this tiny island nation’s overexposure to the world financial crisis.
Iceland’s three McDonald’s restaurants - all in the capital Reykjavik - will close next weekend, as the franchise owner gives in to falling profits caused by the collapse in the Icelandic krona.” —Associated Press. So there’s no McDonald’s in Iceland? Sounds like paradise.
Colin Nissan on decorative gourd season.
Fuck yeah motherfuckin’ gourds.