Nancy Silverton's Roast Potatoes, Onions, Fennel and Bay Leaves
Mark Bittman's Hainanese Chicken with Rice

On Why I'll Always Remember My Trip to San Francisco


Not because of its beauty, its dramatic bridges and sweeping vistas (a nighttime drive up Twin Peaks took my breath away) though I couldn't stop gaping at every corner. Not because of the romantic fog and bright, bright sunshine, both in one day - one minute - from corner to corner of the city.


Not because of the food, even though - my goodness - it was good (from morning buns at Tartine to the first burrito I ever liked at Taqueria Cancun, from house-cured sardines at Zuni to the chili oil dabbed on burrata at A16). And not because of the donut muffin from Downtown Bakery, the best cake for breakfast you'll ever have.


Not because of the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, which. Blew. My. Mind. I mean, seriously? Every single mayor of every single town in America should go to that market just to see how vibrant and healthy and wonderful something like that is for municipal spirit (even if it has to be just three tables instead of, oh, 50).


Not because of the way that San Francisco kept reminding me of Berlin, the city I grew up in, with its independently owned businesses and quiet, residential blocks, even in the middle of town. With its efficient public transit and its lack of commercialization (relative - I live in New York, people). With its gorgeous architecture and clean streets and quiet cafes.


But because on Saturday morning, as a surprise, Ben flew out to San Francisco, drove me up to Napa, and asked me to marry him.


I said yes!