Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

My Times

Anyone who’s spent more than a couple of minutes talking to me will walk away knowing two things; I love Los Angeles and I miss my home greatly. No I wasn’t born there, nor did I grow up there. I moved there 5 days after I turned 20, having fallen in love with the city on a vacation the summer before.

I spent 15 years in Los Angeles, and though it often hurts to be away from my adopted home, for the foreseeable future, I’m in the NYC area.

One of the things I loved the most about Los Angeles, was and is the Los Angeles Times, one of the great newspapers of our Nation, and our World. — In its history the Los Angeles Times has won 38 Pulitzer prizes; winning 5 of them in 2004 alone.

[Update: On April 20, 2009 the Los Angeles Times was awarded its 39th Pulitzer Prize this one went to reporters Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart for ‘Explanatory Reporting’ for their series on brush fires.]

I used to spend my Sundays working my way through the paper; Books, Opinion, Entertainment, News, (often Jobs), and back when I was young and broke the coupons (oh, the coupons!).

In later years I’d sit at a coffee house, and read the paper, I loved the newsprint on my hands, the smell, and the relaxation of sipping coffee and reading the paper on a typically gorgeous Southern California day, alternately laughing my ass off and pulling my hair out to Steve Lopez’ columns, and of course Steve Harvey’s “Only In LA” which I was once published in (you’ll have to pay to read it, unfortunately).

As with everything else in our current economic mess the Times is hurting, its parent The Tribune Company has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, its Publisher Sam Zell appears to not know what the fuck he’s doing in running a newspaper, and there is of course the 24 hour news cycle of Cable TV & the Internet making real newspapers seem just a bit behind the scoop.

But the Internet, and Cable TV are no replacement for in depth news reporting and the Los Angeles Times does wonderful reporting, not just on Los Angeles, and California, but on the Nation, the World, Business, Opinion and Food.

Yeah, it’s me, you knew we’d get to food. I love the Food section of the L.A. Times. Great stories, great recipes, and amazing writers; Russ Parsons is a treasure.

Since leaving Los Angeles, I’ve had to read the times online, and I rarely missed a week of the Food section, I’ve tried many recipes, been inspired by even more, read about new chefs, equipment, and cookbooks.

I’m sure you can imagine my great joy when last summer the Times started publishing a Kindle edition; I subscribed immediately and now I get to read my beloved hometown paper every morning on my subway ride into Manhattan.

With newspapers around the county going under or killing their print editions and going online only, there is a real danger that we could lose even more of our great newspapers. If you live in the Los Angeles Area, and don’t already subscribe, please consider a trial subscription. If like me you have an Amazon Kindle book reader, you can get a 2 week free trial. After that it’s only $9.99 a month, and that is a great deal!

PLEASE support our newspapers, because if you don’t, this could be your only source of news.