2015 REFLECTIONS: the beginning

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Doing what I do best, with an outrageously expensive smoked turkey leg at Universal Studios

There are 3 parts to this reflection: ‘the beginning’, ‘growth’, and ‘goals’.

(other 2 coming soon)

the beginning: in which I discuss how all of this started


THE BEGINNING

I remember first getting the idea for a food website. My family had just brunched at West Egg Café. On the way home in the car, my sister joked about how I should start a food blog. My mind immediately started thinking, could I do it?

I already had a blog, one that I constantly nurtured. Would starting another website detract from my effort?

But then I thought, or would it boost me up? Give me a platform to focus on something central to my life, food?

That afternoon, I began brainstorming, writing down possible goals and values, thinking about what sort of focus I’d have, and most importantly, what I would call it.

The timing was perfect. It was the beginning of the summer after my senior year. I had a part-time job working at a bubble tea café, and had lots of tip money to spend and free time to kill.

And then, college would start, and I’d move to Evanston, a completely new area, with Chicago just an hour or so away by public transit.

Now, Evanston food isn’t THAT bad, but it feels completely unjustified to pay for restaurant food when you could dedicate a few bucks of your mediocre meal towards public transit and get a cheaper, tastier meal elsewhere. Of course, that relies on you having free time to spend on commutes, but hey, sometimes it’s worth it.

A lot of college kids succumb to their laziness and settle for Evanston food, but I say, WHY? One of the best parts of living in/near a big city is that it has a lot of great, diverse food to offer. Take a step out of your comfort zone and try cuisines that aren’t tailored toward college taste buds.

I settled on the motto, “Reviews for the young crew on a budget” because I wanted to encourage students to go out and eat amazing food, coupled with adventurous experiences, with the understanding that money can be a limiting factor for most of us. As a food critic, I’m basically a reporter following a restaurant beat.

But my perspective is unique, in that I’m no professional. I’m a student living on a budget with other parts of my life fighting for center stage. Food is more than a hobby, it’s a passion and a lifestyle. It’s a mode of therapy, as I lose myself chopping vegetables or stirring a pot. It’s a literal escape, as I hop on the L train to Argyle for some bánh mì and to elude the monotony of campus life.

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