Sunday, June 28, 2009


I credit the French with teaching me the art of the picnic. It is the absolute best, low-budget way to enjoy good food, good wine, & great company with friends.

I vividly remember my first picnic experience in France. It was the first warm day of the year and there was a literally mass exodus to the park. It wasn't just us skipping class, but our professors too. It's as if everyone was given a free pass for the day, no matter your profession. I had arrived in the dead of winter and never seen this many people in one place before. It's as if they had all awoken from hibernation. All summer, every park was covered with picnic blankets, impromptu soccer games, and copious public displays of affection by couples of all ages. It was not unheard of to spend the entire day picnicking. We'd pick up a baguette from the local boulangerie, some Camembert and ripe tomatoes from the market, and a nice bottle of rosé from the Loire Valley, and head to the parc de la pepiniere. Everyone gathered together in a way I'd never been exposed to growing up in the United States and I loved it!

It's not so different here in San Francisco. The tradition definitely continues on. On warm days, we pick up some cheese and bread from the farmer's market and a bottle of wine from the Russian River Valley and head to Washington Square or one of the many other parks there are to choose from. It's one of the best afternoons I can imagine for well under $10/person.

_Inspired by Matt Gross's recent article for the NY Times, "Frugal Paris" and this weekend's beautiful, warm weather in San Francisco.

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