Sunday, August 8, 2010

Living It Up, Loft Style... with Crab!

Ok - generally, I think I'm pretty cool. Fairly hip to the world. Not entirely primitive in the scheme of things or clueless to what is au courant. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm on the cutting edge, but I didn't think I was wading in the backwaters either. And I'm talking in generalities about everything - technology, fashion, hot spots, friends, hobbies.... whatever. I felt like I had a finger kind of on the pulse.

Um.... turns out, no so much.

I got a bit of a wake up call this week. It hit me - hard up side of the head - that I'm actually quite the country bumpkin. Completely out of my league when it comes to all things trendy, chic and happening. I am, officially, a nerd. Ouch. It stung for a moment as I saw all of my urban fantasies fizzle into reality. But then I looked around and realized I'm ok - more than ok - with my quiet little life and went back to reading my novel. I also realized that I just need to continue living vicariously, and glom onto my friends that have a much more glamourous life than I do.

So that's just what I did this weekend. Ran and I have a friend, Jennifer, who lives in one of those super cool lofts in Oakland - you know the kind: a huge industrial warehouse that has been converted into an amazing living space. That, in and of itself, makes her WAY cooler than I'll ever be. Her loft is particularly spectacular: penthouse level, wrap-around terrace, with sweeping views of the Bay, San Francisco and the East Bay hills. It's got soaring ceilings with 12-foot glass doors and windows providing the same unobstructed view as from the terrace.

It's located near Jack London Square, buffered by the low drone of the 880 on one side and the haunting wails of the train whistles on the other. You can walk to Oakland's Chinatown or the Alameda estuary waterfront, and in between the scrappy, dark, shipyard bars, you can wander into any number of micro wineries or groovy wine bars that are taking up residence in that part of town as well.

It was a great place to convene for a dinner party.

Earlier in the day, Jennifer had procured fresh Dungeness crab from the Asian fishmonger's warehouse a block up the street, and a crab feed was born. She boiled them briefly (just to... you know.... kill them), then they were finished off by roasting them in a bath of olive oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Pair that with a salad, bread and good wine - perfection.

Now I love me some crab, but I shy away from cleaning them. Not that I wouldn't do it, but luckily for me, I have a husband who is really really good at it. Here's a video where he shows you how to clean crab, if you're interested in making them fresh yourself. Invaluable information folks, take a look:

So anyhow, my hipster coolness was restored (in my mind) for a night. I should be good to go for another 30,000 miles. Now where's my jammies?

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