Heaven is a bookshop

I’m rather hoping that heaven will be a cul-de-sac of independent bookshops, interspersed with French, Italian, and Thai restaurants.
— David Abbott

Preview photo by Jim Winslet.


Some thoughtful words on independent bookshops from David Abbott; the eternal copywriter, legendary founding partner of Abbott Mead Vickers, and humble author who passed away last year.

Long Live Gilliam

I've always loved Terry Gilliam's films (Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas), but the stuff that always brought a smile to my face were the animations from the Monty Python's Flying Circus TV series. I was reminded of the genius, humor and endearing quirkiness of those animations when I saw this advert by Frank, for Grans Brewery in Norway. Amazing work, Frank!

Death For Food

One of our good friends, the photographer and dreamer Jaime Fritsch, has started a new series of images documenting animal slaughtering on small farms. Using a 50mm lens, Fritsch hopes the images will help the viewer get one step closer to everyday food without distorting the reality of the subject. Jaime's vision for the series is to faithfully depict the reality of the slaughtering process happening on small farms, arguably the best-case scenario in terms of humane meat production. In Fritsch's words,

This is not a series on brutal, cruel slaughterhouses; nor is it a series on ethical, humane practices. This is about the sheer act of death for food.

WARNING: The chicken slaughter in the second half of this post is very graphic, so don't scroll down if you're concerned about seeing some pretty intense imagery of blood.

The first shoot includes two pigs, eating and mulling about their pen, with eerily human eyes and cute little curly-Q tails.

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The second shoot was during a chicken slaughter, capturing some intensely graphic images of the process, including some breathtaking mid-air blood droplets unlike anything we've ever seen.

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We're excited to see how the series unfolds and would love to hear what you think of Fritsch's work.

Our Public Market

A couple months ago at Mother Sponge headquarters, we were on cloud nine when we discovered some new neighbors in the giant Frasier boiler warehouse, half a block from our doorstep – a PUBLIC MARKET! The San Diego Public Market is coming. And unsurprisingly, people are stoked. A final tally today found close to 1,400 people backed the project on Kickstarter, raising close to $150,000!

Catt White (one of our most prominent farmers' market managers) and her partner in crime Dale Steel (public market guru) have spent many years researching and plotting to make this happen, so this current and highly social chapter is actually somewhere in the middle of their story. Lots of hard work lies ahead, but these two couldn't be a better fit for the job.

Check out their Kickstarter video for more info... and we'll drop more news as things progress down here in Barrio Logan.

Misión 19

Finally. We've been slightly obsessed with Cebicheria Erizo for a few years now, so it was only a matter of time before a pilgrimage to Javier Plascencia's flagship Misión 19 would materialize. And the other day, materialize it did.

Our buds at Slow Food Urban San Diego extended an invite our way for a lunch that Javier was putting together – we did not, could not, should not decline. Here are some photos from the experience...

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Part of the experience at Misión 19 is walking through the gorgeous new building that houses the restaurant. This is a shot taken directly under a giant skylight and glass-flanked atrium that winds through the center of the building.

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One corner of the restaurant has a private dining area on a platform, with copious amounts of sunlight streaming through skylights above. I recall zero light fixtures – this is the first LEED certified building in Tijuana.

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Restaurant entrance with signage. The tagline, "cocina de autor" is an apt description – where Erizo hosts Plascencia's ceviche studies in charcoal, Misión 19 is a refined conceptual masterpiece in marble.

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The long communal table setup especially for the SFUSD board members, with MoSpo tagging along and giddy with excitement at this point.

Now, onto the food! Disclaimer: some dishes were not documented as their aroma and plating were too enticing not to dive right in.

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Steamed oyster.

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Seared ahi with mole, chicharrones, radish, grilled shishito pepper.

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Heirloom bean and Summer mushroom risotto with huitlacoche dust and epazote spume.

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Tamarind martini.

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Mezcalero with chapulin sea salt on the rim!

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Local cheeses with guava puree, candied hibiscus and honey.

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Banana brulee with oatmeal ice cream, strawberries and bougavillea.

Slow Food Urban San Diego board (and MoSpo's Sean Kelley) with Javier Plascencia atop the Via Corporativo building where Misión 19 resides. Our SFUSD buddy Chelsea Coleman took the above photo, and many others, along with great notes on the courses – check them out here.