Income Disparities & Food Reporting

I’ll admit it: I’m confused.

Globally, media outlets report on food in a variety of ways, chiefly trying hard to decide if a story is news.  That happens here in the U.S., too, but there seems to be a real disconnect–and here’s my confusion–between economic issues or concerns and what’s on the plate.

Case in point: On 4/29/16, the NY Times ran this story–  Dinner for two at Grant Achatz’s restaurant in Chicago, according to Forbes, runs about $1000 a couple.

The median salary in Illinois, according to the Bureau of Numbers, is $57,444.  That’s about $1104 a week.  So the average person would need to spend a week’s salary to eat at the restaurant.  Yes, I know, it’s not for everyone in the same way that a lot of experiences are not for everyone.  But how is it it newsworthy?

Will this restaurant influence dining in the U.S.?  I don’t think so.  Will customers feel differently about their lives and communities after dining there?  As if.  Will a different service model or business plan develop as a result of the restaurant?  No, because it’s a rarified experience.

Oddly, the U.S. media has on one page thoughtful commentary and analysis of income disparities–page 3, today’s NY Times notes school achievement and how it is linked to money.

On another page, it’s as if there is no connection between a place where 1% of the population dine–diverting income–and school conditions in Chicago.  But there is a connection, and it ought to be explored.

That’s there story, that’s the news.

We are turning into a country where income disparities are examined on the op-ed pages or in news articles, but where economic analysis is not applied to related stories.  And you wonder how Trump is triumphant?  Editors aren’t consistent in their approach to the news–it’s compartmentalized.

So: I’m confused.

When the editors are applying analysis of economics to school achievement, but reporting on a restaurant only 1% of the population experiences, without analysis, a place with no significance, what is news?


Merry Month of May

The whole neighborhood is blooming, and for reasons and sentiments buried and somehow unfamiliar, it seems as if it has never happened before, the way these shapes and colors affect my awareness, is this what happens to some of us as we get older?  Nature has more pull?

A male Cardinal alarmed its kin on Hubbard Park, which is a lovely street, maybe the most beautiful one in the whole city, once was a big part of the Hubbard Farm, which stretched from Brattle Street to the Charles River.  It posted itself on a branch of a chestnut tree.

Domestically, the house still has a chill and it wouldn’t be out of place to build an early spring fire.

But, no, that’s not in the cards, instead it’s the NBA, Santarpio’s pizza, and more on my new book.