I’m incredibly gratified by some of the wonderful response I’ve gotten to my article in Haaretz last Friday. For that and other reasons, my site traffic has gotten a delightful boost in the past week or so. No doubt that’ll come down to earth all too soon. Bloggers and authors have written telling me about their new projects. They even ask me for advice as if I’m the eminence grise of the blog world. Here I can’t get a publisher interested in my book proposal and people are asking me about improving their blogs and securing funding for video projects. Heady stuff. And the nasty trollish stuff in the Haaretz Talkback thread has been pretty tame. Except for the one who surmised that my self-hate must mean that I “married out” (I haven’t, not that it’s anyone business), nothing too brutish, thuggish or assaultive.
Politics can be so all-engrossing that it’s good to remember there are other wonderful things in life like children, family, friends, and FOOD. That’s where Semifreddis comes in. I’ve known Mike Rose, one the owners, since he was an undergrad at UC Berkeley back in the 1970s, where I was pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature. Mike had a huge impact on my life. We’re both enthusiasts at heart and he imparted several of his to me.
Until I met Mike and his wife Barb I knew precious little about food. But after many, many wonderful meals at their home I slowly but surely absorbed a food ethos and consciousness. And this was even before they bought a small bakery in Kensington and turned it into the mega-boutique (is that a contradiction in terms) bakery that it has become.
When Mike moved from Berkeley to a Craftsman home in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood, he began educating me about the joys of Craftsman architecture. I must admit that I was covetous of such a beautiful home. As a then single person living on a very limited income I couldn’t dream that one day I might be able to share the joy of living in such a home.
But (I’m not religious so pardon me for saying this) thank God, I met a wonderful woman who became my wife. We moved to Seattle and have had three children and live in a lovely 1906 Craftsman which we’ve been able to furnish with some wonderful Tom Stangeland pieces. Life can be good sometimes.
I’ve been waiting for years for Mike and his partners to create a website so I could feature it here. Some time ago they did just that. So here’s to you, Mike. You’ve meant a lot to me as I know your wonderful business does to so many of its customers in the Bay Area. I shouldn’t sign off here without mentioning how incredibly generous a person Mike has been to me as well.
A tip: You’ve NEVER had real biscotti till you’ve had a Semifreddi’s almond biscotte. They’re just out of this world.