Perspective on Local Nomad (cont’d.)

Expanding on one of my final posts (“Perspective”) on the old Local Nomad blog:

In Infinite City: a San Francisco Atlas, Rebecca Solnit contemplates San Francisco from multiple perspectives, noting that “every place is if not infinite then practically inexhaustible, and no quantity of maps will allow the distance to be completely traversed.”

Over the last few weeks, mostly at home as I’ve been recovering from this ailment, I find myself reviewing the focus for this blog. Perhaps it hasn’t changed that much; I’m still interested in local histories, in the seasonal cycles of food growing, production and market, in people and communities, and in the arts and culture produced therein.

While I often write about food, I try to present in Local Nomad something beyond the travel brochures and visitor’s guides—what you might see and hear if you open up your senses; unavoidably, I also bring my own personal history and perspective to bear on any area that I inhabit. While some people look at the vast vegetable fields of the Salinas Valley, and think of the bounty of food it provides for Monterey restaurants—I think of good food and about the many years of labor that my Filipino father put into these fields as a migrant farmworker. While some people see Dolan Rd. as a detour to 101, some folks see it as the direct route to the “private” and well-attended charreada, the local Mexican expression of the original American rodeo, and an alternative to the Salinas rodeo.

So this isn’t primarily a food blog, or even—in a strict sense—a “local” blog written by someone putting down roots, although I’ve lived in various parts of this area for years. Like many people nowadays, I’m a renter, not a homeowner (and in that sense, a “nomad”). And although I live in a rural area, technology enables me to range far and wide (literally, I have wide-area broadband, so I’m not even limited to the wifi connections found in the local cafes). But I am infinitely curious about people, communities, and local resources—constantly exploring and writing through my relationships to the area and its inhabitants.



* Rebecca Solnit in Believer.

* “The Charreada: America’s Original Rodeo”
* FLU and the Salinas Lettuce Strike of 1934