Searching For The World’s Biggest Trees In California’s Redwood Parks

giant redwood tree world's biggest treesWhen it comes to giant California redwoods, size matters. Or at least that was my premise when I committed to a long detour that would take me through the state and national Redwood parks of Northern California in early May. A friend had suggested that I could visit Muir Woods, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, to get my redwoods fix, but when I read that the biggest redwoods were up near the Oregon border, suddenly the moderately huge redwoods of Muir Woods simply wouldn’t do.
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The desire to see the world’s biggest trees led me into a knee-deep thicket of ferns alongside the Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, my first stop on an early May redwood road trip with my wife and two little boys. I was looking for a tree called the Del Norte Titan, one of the world’s largest (by cubic feed of wood) at 74 feet in circumference, or the equivalent of 108 cans of coke, and a grove called the Grove of Titans, but I had just a vague set of instructions pulled off the Internet.

I had written in my notebook, “Grove of Titans – across from Stout Grove @ Smith River end of Mill Creek.” We had hiked through the Stout Grove trail and had veered off onto the Hiouchi Trail, but it seemed to peter out into a thicket of ferns. We could see the Smith River and we were at the creek but did we need to cross the river? And if so, where were the summer footbridges noted on the map (rocks?) that would enable us to get across?

jedediah smith redwoods state park

Park officials and the handful of redwoods geeks who know the location of the Grove of Titans won’t divulge where it is, for fear that hordes of tourists would seek it out and ultimately damage the trees. After a few minutes of pointless bushwhacking and staring, mystified, at the photo of the trail map I had taken on my camera, I realized that I wasn’t going to find the Grove of Titans, at least not on this day.


We trekked back to the Stout Grove trail, passing wave after wave of colossal redwoods -mighty, seemingly indestructible trees that were as tall as a 30-story building and so thick that sumo wrestlers could stand next to them and appear svelte – and I lost interest in searching for the biggest trees. On a Thursday morning in May, we had the place almost all to ourselves, and the appeal of the place was in the silence and the way the giant, timeless redwoods made us feel small, almost insignificant. If you spend too much time obsessing over size, you run the risk of missing the forest for the trees.

Coastal redwoods grow only in a narrow, damp corridor, 40 miles wide and 450 miles long, in Northern California that stretches just over the border into Oregon. The trees once covered more than 2 million acres of Northern California but today, only about 4 percent of the trees remain, and the survivors are around thanks to the intervention of some committed naturalists who founded the Save the Redwoods League nearly a century ago.

After leaving Stout Grove, we drove west on Howland Hill Road, a narrow, shady path dominated by gigantic trees that loom ominously over the humble, potholed little passageway. As my wife drove, I read a fascinating piece in Orion Magazine about how Steve Sillett, a professor of redwood forest ecology at Humboldt State University, and his friend, Michael Taylor, discovered the Grove of Titans on May 11, 1998. (Particularly stout redwoods are referred to as “titans.”) The fact that they found the grove only after seven hours of intense bushwhacking that left them bloodied and nearly insane made me glad that I didn’t invest too much time in looking for them myself, but it also made me intensely curious about the beasts that lurk in the nether regions of the park, hidden from the public.

grove of titans redwoods world's biggest trees

We were once again awestruck by the magnificent redwoods on the Cathedral Trees – Big Tree Loop at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, just south of Jedediah Smith. And by the time we took the steep drive up Bald Hills Drive to see Lady Bird Johnson Grove in the adjacent Redwood National Park, I had given up all hope of finding Hyperion, supposedly the world’s tallest tree at 379 feet and located somewhere in the untrammeled interior of the park.

If you consult Yahoo Answers, some yahoo has listed what he claims are the GPS coordinates of Hyperion, as though one could simply pull the car right up to the damn thing. Another so-called “Geography expert” claims, “The tree is well marked for tourists that go there.” If you believe that, check out, Mario Vaden’s roundup about Hyperion – which states that the “rare few” who have found this tree “all have one thing in common: some bleeding.”

The Lady Bird Johnson Grove, dedicated to President Lyndon Johnson’s wife, a redwood lover, by then Governor Ronald Reagan and President Richard Nixon in 1969, is a perfect introduction to the giant redwoods for those who are short on time. We arrived late in the afternoon and the trees were partially enshrouded in a dense fog that only added to the surreal beauty of the place.

It was perfectly quiet, with not another soul around, and we nearly broke our necks marveling at all the majestic trees. Weather changes quickly in these parts, and by the time we’d completed the 1.4-mile loop, rays of sunshine bathed clusters of the hulking trees in a golden light. As we walked to the parking lot, I whistled the Woody Guthrie tune that had been in my head all day.

From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

After a restful night in Arcata, an inviting little town with a distinctive central plaza, we were back on the Redwood Trail, heading south to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I worried that hitting four parks might be redwood overkill, but as we set out on the first trail of our second day, the Greig French Bell Trail, I felt like I still hadn’t had my fill of redwoods. Each park has a different feel and the trails are all unique.

The Founders Grove Trail, our second stop of the day, is reason enough to visit Humboldt. Midway through the short, 1.3 mile loop, we stumbled across the Fallen Giants area, which is littered with titanic fallen trees, none bigger than the Dyerville Giant, once considered the world’s tallest tree at somewhere between 362-370 feet, or just taller than Niagara Falls.

The Dyerville Giant was hit by another tree, causing it to topple over on March 24, 1991. No one witnessed it crashing to the ground, but a neighbor who heard the sound from a mile away said it sounded like a train wreck. Walking alongside it, one can barely believe its immensity. It feels like it’s as long an aircraft carrier, and even on its side, it stands nearly 8 feet tall. The walk past the magnificent Fallen Giants felt like a stroll through hallowed ground; oddly enough it is somehow easier to digest the grandeur of these trees dead than alive, in the same way you can’t appreciate a great work of art until the artist is gone.

Somewhere in this vicinity, according to the trail’s interpretive guide, lives the world’s oldest redwood at over 2,200 years old. (The world’s oldest known tree, the Patriarch Tree, in the White Mountains of Eastern California is believed to be between 5,062-3 years old.) We were sharing our Friday morning with a living thing that was older than Jesus Christ and the fact that this grove of trees will hopefully still be around in another 2,000 years, speaks to the humble place we occupy, alive for just a brief spell in the scheme of the universe.

The 30-mile Avenue of the Giants is unquestionably scenic, but I preferred our four-mile detour onto Mattole Road, a narrow, bumpy road dominated by towering redwoods that led us to two more splendid hikes in the Rockefeller Grove and (not-so-cleverly-named) Big Tree areas. On a hike in the Big Tree area, I stopped to record the stats on a sign in front of the appropriately named Giant Tree. Height: 363 feet, circumference: 53.2 feet, average crown spread: 62 feet.

The Giant Tree seems thicker than the cast of a Sir-Mix-A-Lot video when you take the time to walk around it, but when you consider that the Del Norte Titan, for example, has a circumference of 74 feet, it’s clear that the big, easy-to-find trees in the parks are small potatoes compared to what’s lurking deep and hidden, far off the trails. (And the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park, though shorter at 275 feet, is even stouter at 78.5 feet circumference.) I’m still torn over whether I want to return to find the world’s biggest trees or if I want to keep them alive in my imagination, as mysterious, unapproachable giants that deserve to be left alone.

Great Short Hikes in the Redwood Parks

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

  • Stout Grove- .6 miles

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

  • Big Tree Loop- 3.2 miles

Redwood National Park

  • Lady Bird Johnson Grove- 1.4 miles

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

  • Big Tree Area- .6 miles
  • Rockefeller Loop- .7 miles
  • Founders Grove- 1.3 miles

IF YOU GO: I flew into and out of San Francisco, which is about 6 hours south of Arcata, the town we used as our base to explore the parks. If you are going to visit one park, I recommend Jedediah Smith or Humboldt, which I think are the two most scenic to explore, either on foot or on scenic roads like Howland Hill Road in Jedediah and Mattole in Humboldt.

Budget Guide 2013: San Francisco

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San Francisco has a well-deserved reputation for being expensive, but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy it to the fullest on a budget. The joy of this compact, walkable city is that you don’t need your own transportation. Remember, though, that food is the soul of San Francisco. That means loads of pop-up restaurants, street food, food trucks, farmers markets and ethnic bites for cheap. The cultural and multi-ethnic focus of the city also means there’s no shortage of art exhibits, festivals and parades, many of which are inexpensive or free.

The number one thing to do on the cheap? Walk! San Francisco is one of the world’s great strolling cities, with dozens of hidden stairways, garden walks, parks, narrow streets and bay views. There are even books devoted to the subject. If you want more of a historical, architectural or culinary focus, spring for an affordable walking tour of specific neighborhoods. Tip: If your feet are tired from all that trudging, one of the city’s best deals is the 60-minute “foot” massage – which includes head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs – at Delightful Foot Massage on Polk Street. And yes, it’s a reputable place.

If the weather is cooperating, take the ferry from Pier 41 to Angel Island ($17) and hike to a picnic spot (everything you need for lunch is right there; more on that in a minute). Since this is San Francisco, though, there’s a distinct possibility of crappy weather. No problem – hit the city’s plethora of museums or the Exploratorium (the latter is a must if you have kids with you). Most have free days. Check here for listings.

The way locals prefer to pass the time? Eating! Great food of almost every imaginable ethnic persuasion is so readily available in San Francisco. You can graze your way through the day for less than the cost of a mid-range dinner. Not hungry? Linger over a cup of exceptional – try Four Barrel in The Mission, and don’t forget a Bacon-Maple-Apple donut for later – and a good book. Used bookstores abound nearby.

Hotels

San Francisco has loads of scuzzy motels, but there are plenty of great places to stay, from hostel to boutique, that won’t bankrupt you. Avoid the depressing youth hostels located on sketchy side streets off of Union Square, the main shopping district, and the sad little motels in the Tenderloin (although there are some pleasant exceptions). For a little bit extra, you can have a more secure, peaceful and cleaner place to lay your head. Tip: Lombard Street just off the Golden Gate Bridge/101 is jammed with motels, most of which are decent, and usually offer parking – a precious commodity.

Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel at Fort Mason: This ain’t no ordinary, janky hostel. Situated in the historic waterfront buildings at Fort Mason, this attractive property with a cool, vintage nautical vibe straddles the border of the Wharf and Marina (which has a glorious green for strolling, kite-flying and soccer playing, as well as a beach). Dorm beds and private rooms provide wallet-friendly accommodations for all types, from young backpackers to older couples. There’s a free continental breakfast; clean, attractive rooms and airy common areas; loads of discounts and activities on offer; and a location that can’t be beat for views and convenience. From $28. sfhostels.com/fishermans-wharf 240 Fort Mason

Casa Loma Hotel: This sweet, 48-room, Euro-style hotel is centrally located in Alamo Square. The clean, spare rooms have a Scandinavian, modern aesthetic that gives off a hip IKEA vibe. Close to the park and famed “Painted Ladies” houses (think: title sequence of “Full House”). From $65 standard/shared bath.
casalomahotelsf.com 610 Fillmore Street

Hotel Des Artes: This swank, modern art hotel, a block off Union Square, is decorated with the current works of local artists. The special “Painted Rooms” are all unique (literally, the walls are murals) by emerging global artists, while standard rooms feature washbasins with shared baths. Seekers of San Francisco’s modern Boho scene will feel right at home at this kaleidoscopic boutique property. From $79.
sfhoteldesarts.com 447 Bush Street

Hotel Diva: Describing itself as, “sexy, modern, and fresh from a facelift,” this Union Square boutique hotel reopened last June. And it’s indeed seductive, from the gray and white color scheme with violet accents, to the sleek modernist trappings. Think the “W” with SF flair: nightly sake hour, fitness center, dog friendly and on the fringe of the rapidly hipsterfying Tenderloin. From $140 deluxe Queen.
hoteldiva.com 440 Geary Boulevard

Eat and Drink

Farmers Markets: You’re in Northern California, birthplace of the modern local food movement. That means year-round farmers markets, the most famous of which is the massive, Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on the Embarcadero (there are also smaller Tuesday and Thursday markets). Hit the market by 10 a.m., before the swarms arrive, and snack your way through the stalls. The Embarcadero itself has undergone a major renovation in recent years; it’s safe day or night, and populated with art installations and trendy cafes and restaurants. It’s also an ideal place for a long, bayside stroll or run on a sunny day.

The Ferry Building is a concentration of farmer- and artisan-owned shops featuring everything from estate olive oil to certified humane meat. Tip: Plan on buying a late breakfast or early lunch at the market. Top picks are the porchetta sandwich at Roli Roti’s stall (get there early or go hungry), anything from La Primavera’s stall, or a sit-down brunch at Boulette’s Larder in the Building (not served on Saturdays). If it’s oysters you want, hit Hog Island’s Raw Bar at the far end of the main hall. Then go stock up on edible souvenirs from Cowgirl Creamery, Miette (pastry), McEvoy Ranch and Recchiuti Confections.
ferrybuildingmarketplace.com One Ferry Building

Off the Grid: Every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., a fleet of the city’s best food trucks arrives at Fort Mason, down in the Marina. Up to 40 sweet and savory vendors may appear on a given night, featuring street food as creative, multi-culti and adventurous as only San Francisco would have it. There’s music, views of the bay, Golden Gate and Alcatraz, and a seriously local vibe – this isn’t a tourist attraction. It’s simply a raucous, joyous, festival of flavor, San Fran-style. offthegridsf.com

Go Ethnic: Between the Asian restaurants of the Sunset and Richmond Districts (locals know better than to eat in Chinatown) to the diverse ethnic dives of the Tenderloin, you can indulge your inner glutton for less than a ten-spot. Best of all, adventurous eaters have almost every style of cuisine to choose from, as well as menus that boast authenticity (frog legs or sea cucumber, anyone?) Some of the best: Brother’s Korean and King of Thai Noodle on Clement Street (I don’t know why, but this is the only location that does it for me); Wing Lee Bakery and Burma SuperStar (Inner Richmond); and Shalimar, Pakwan, Turtle Tower and Osha Thai (Tenderloin).

The Mission: If you love Latin flavors, you won’t need to venture beyond this Hispanic neighborhood, where you’ll find excellent everything, from El Salvadorean to Peruvian. But the Mission is also the newest hipster ‘hood for craft foods, from coffee and chocolate (such as Dandelion’s “bar to bean” aesthetic) to modern Korean food. Check out the latter at Namu Gaji, or the insane happy hour deals at Wo Hing General Store ($6 craft cocktails to die for, and $5 for a bamboo steamer of shiu mai or plate of pork dumplings, 5:30 -7 p.m., daily). Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the baked goods at Craftsmen & Wolves (yes, you’ll pay $7 for a muffin, but it will have a soft-boiled egg encased within, as well as cheesy, hammy bits and it will fill you up for hours) or Tartine Bakery. Get there early to avoid a wait, and let go of guilt. One look in the pastry case, and you’ll understand.

Get Around

If walking isn’t an option, the bus, MUNI, will get you anywhere you need to go. Sure, it’s a crowded mobile petri dish and full of freaks, but do as the locals do. San Francisco is an easy city to navigate, since it really is a giant grid. Google maps makes things a snap on your phone or computer.

There are also the cable cars, which are just $6 a pop and always fun (they may not admit it, but locals love them, too), the trolley down in the Embarcadero/Market Street area, and BART, which covers the East Bay. It’s also the fastest, easiest way to traverse the Downtown, Financial and Mission districts of the city; otherwise the bus is your cheapest bet.

Budget Tip

One way to save a chunk of cash is to take BART to and from the airport (it services both SFO and Oakland). It will run you around $8, instead of a $50 cab ride, or $17 for a shared van, which can take well over an hour if you’re not the first drop-off. Even if you’re too far to hoof it to your hotel from the BART station, you’ll still save time and money, unless you’re staying out in the hinterlands of the city.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Trodel]

Sacramento Serves Up Second Annual Baconfest

porkPork products may have reached their tipping point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate their existence. The second annual Sacramento Baconfest, held January 20-27, pays tribute to “pork from pigs who lived healthy, happy lives at farms where farmers value ethical and sustainable food production.” I’ll scarf some pork belly to that.

All bacon and other charcuterie served at Baconfest are made in-house by “Sacramento chefs who give a damn about quality natural foods.”

So besides cured meat products produced by introverted industry people with tats of butcher’s charts on their forearms, what can you expect at Baconfest? Besides lots of saturated fat? For starters, there’s an opening night party at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., featuring a special menu by chef Brian Mizner. There there’s the BLT Bike Crawl; Baconfest-vs-Sacramento Beer Week; a Chef’s Competition; a “secret event,” and a multitude of special dinners and happy hours. And let’s not forget the “Second Annual Kevin Bacon Tribute Night,” which features local bands playing songs from the actor’s films (“to the first degree.”).

Sounds like a blast, and the makings of a swine time. And hey, check this out: most of the events are free; those that do charge minimal fees give back to local chefs, restaurateurs and the very fine Center for Land-Based Learning in nearby Winters.

[Photo credit: Flickr user ChefMattRock]

Why I Love The ‘Loin: San Francisco’s Vibrant Tenderloin Neighborhood

kiss
Having lived in San Francisco off and on for the better part of half my life, I’ve seen my share of gentrification. And, like many things, it has its positives and negatives. It’s hard to hate on improvements in housing standards, public safety and sanitation. It’s great to see economic growth in neighborhoods once plagued by social ills. It utterly sucks to see yet another crappy chain store replace the corner grocery.

I have high hopes for San Francisco’s Tenderloin, however. While it’s developed an undeniable hipster presence/street cred over the last few years, I don’t believe it’s ever going to fully go the way of, say, Williamsburg, or Boston’s Quincy Market. No matter how many Prohibition-era-style bars, or trendy restaurants populate its hilly streets, the ‘loin will, I hope, always remain more than a little bit seedy, sketchy and sleazy. Bless its sooty soul.

Historically, the Tenderloin has always been a bit rough, and folklore about how it got its name ranges from meaty references to the city’s underbelly to the haunches of hookers. Technically, the neighborhood stretches from Union Square to the southern side of Nob Hill (lower Nob Hill is now known as the “Tendernob,” and popular for its bars and restaurants).

Today, despite the uptick in trendiness, the Tenderloin still most visibly populated by crack addicts, gutter drunks, prostitutes, transvestites, transvestite prostitutes, junkies, bag ladies and assorted other ne’er-do-wells. It’s not a pretty sight, but the people watching is priceless – especially these days, when you throw in lost tourists, nuthugger-wearing club kids and suspender-clad bartenders.tenderloinI’ve been hanging in the Tenderloin since my mid-20s, exploring its innumerable dive bars and incredible ethnic eateries (Vietnamese, Pakistani, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Indonesian …). Back then, nearly 20 years ago, I confess it was a bit dicey walking around the Tenderloin at night, but I’ll stand by my opinion that today, it’s not a dangerous neighborhood if you’re not looking for trouble. I’ve walked, alone, at 3 a.m., with no problem. When I lived on the edge of the Tenderloin for 16 months, from 2008 to late 2009, I walked to and from work through the Tenderloin every morning and evening, with nary a hassle.

On one memorable night, it seemed every freak in the ‘hood was gathered on my doorstep or beneath my window. Asian Tranny Hooker was smoking crack in the doorway, her smeared vermillion lipstick giving her the look of a Cubist painting, as usual. A junkie was shooting up in front of my garage (I sternly ordered him to find a more private place, given my block’s populace of elderly Asian couples). As I readied for bed, the cops busted a john propositioning one of the neighborhood streetwalkers underneath my bedroom window. Never a dull moment, I tell you.

I don’t mean to glorify the ugliness that typifies the lives of many ‘loin residents. I just have a real appreciation for the grittiness of city life, as well as diversity, and a glaring dose of reality. Some of the Tenderloin’s more unfortunate denizens are living the way they are due to their own mistakes; others are merely victims of circumstance. I can’t say I’m always empathetic, but living in such a neighborhood certainly has made me more understanding to the plight of some of the residents (a term I use loosely, as I’m primarily referring to the homeless). It’s also made me more grateful for things in life I often take for granted: healthy food, warm clothes, shelter, friends, family, education, a non-addictive personality, and indoor plumbing.

Sociopolitics aside, I love the Tenderloin because I find it San Francisco’s most vibrant neighborhood for food and drink, as well as people watching. Some of my favorite ethnic dives and “casual fine dining” restaurants are there – Shalimar, Pakwan, Turtle Tower, Osha Thai Noodle, Canteen, Farmerbrown – as well as some of the best cocktails in the city.

Try a libation at temples of mixology like Bourbon & Branch, or Rye, or savor the dingy, dodgy atmosphere of classic, old-school dives like HaRa, Summer Place, Nite Cap, or Geary Club (the fact that you can smoke at the latter isn’t a selling point for me, but when combined with the aging Russian barmaids – all cleavage, throaty voices, and stiff pouring hands – it’s a treasure).
cocktail
There are some boutiques scattered about – an upscale pet shop here, an Australian specialty product store there – but mostly you’ll find corner stores of the Korean and Halal variety, pizzerias, “massage parlors,” and coffee houses, as well as the famed Glide Memorial Church. SF’s theater district is there, just around the corner from Union Square. There are dozens of hotels, too. Some rent rooms by the hour, some by the month. Others are old, Art Deco and Art Noveau gems that provide some of the city’s most affordable, eclectic accommodations (I like the Essex Hotel), but newer boutique properties like Hotel Monaco are on the increase.

You’re also within walking distance from just about every part of San Francisco worth seeing from the Tenderloin, even if the views of and from the neighborhood aren’t the stuff of movies. But if you want affordable, colorful and convenient, it’s your place.

The one serious piece of advice I have to offer with regard to safety is to stay the hell away from Eddy Street, even in daylight. I don’t know why this is the epicenter of all that’s f—-ed up and wrong in the world, but it is, and even the local cops try to avoid it. Just stay away.

Eddy Street aside, if you, too, believe all that glitters could be anything from the cap in a hooker’s front tooth to the neon of a glorious dive bar, come spend some time in the Tenderloin.

[Photo credits: kiss, Flickr user charlottz; hotel, Flickr user CT Young; cocktail, Flickr user Splat Worldwide]

Is Eddie Huang The Next Anthony Bourdain? Watch And Find Out

If the name Eddie Huang isn’t familiar, it may soon be, if the folks at VICE.tv have their way. The Washington, D.C., native is a chef, former lawyer and, according to his website, a former “hustler and street wear designer” born to Taiwanese immigrants – a background that led him to become the force behind Manhattan’s popular Baohaus restaurant.

Huang’s new VICE video series, “Fresh Off the Boat,” premiered online on October 15. According to VICE’s website, the show is “Eddie Huang’s genre-bending venture into subculture through the lens of food.” That’s one way to describe it.

Huang has been positioning himself as a chef-turned-media-personality in the vein of Anthony Bourdain or David Chang for a while now. As in, he’s street smart, opinionated, and doesn’t appear to give a rat’s ass what people think of his renegade ways. Ostensibly, it’s a great fit for VICE, which is known for its edgy exposés and other content.

Here we hit the first divergence among FOTB and the canon of travel series. Regardless of how you feel about them, Bourdain and Chang are still, respectively, articulate, intelligent commentators of what’s been called “food anthropology.” Huang is obviously a savvy businessman, and thus, one must assume, not lacking in brain cells. But he isn’t as likable. Unlike Chang, a mad genius, he’s not so outrageously batshit that he’s funny. He’s not particularly charming, witty, or aesthetically appealing, and he comes off more wannabe-Bourdain and imposter street thug than informative host and armchair travel guide.

In the premiere, Huang takes viewers on a backwoods tour of the Bay Area, starting with a visit to Oakland’s East Bay Rats Motorcycle Club.

We’re briefly introduced to Rats president Trevor Latham, and next thing we know Huang and Latham are armed with rifles and wandering Latham’s Livermore ranch in search of rabbits. Says, Latham, an avid hunter, “People that eat meat and aren’t willing to kill an animal are fucking pussies, and fuck them.”

Of note, the below video is fairly graphic.


rabbitsFor his part, Huang appears suitably humbled, although I have to wonder why a chef of his standing and ethnic and familial background (his father is also a restaurateur) doesn’t appear to have been exposed to animal slaughter before. Still, he gets bonus points for trying to disseminate what should have been the primary message.

Says Huang in the final scene, “Every time I eat meat now, I have to be conscious that…I am choosing to enable someone to kill an animal and create a market demand for slaughter. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Just be conscious of the choices you make.”

Well done. I just wish the rest of the episode carried that levity.

“Fresh Off the Boat airs Mondays; future episodes will include San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, and Taiwan.

[Photo credit: Eddie Huang, Youtube ; rabbits, Flickr user Robobobobo]