As the Nation Reopens, Americans Are on the Road Again


MC: That would be silicone.

AM: It’s a little silicone collapsy thing.

LG: Good thing it’s not silicon because there’d be a global shortage of the collapsible tea kettles.

AM: Right, right, right.

LG: This sounds really cool and I would be very tempted to buy it, mostly because I just think foldable and collapsible things sound cool and because they’re aspirational. Maybe sometime this summer I will get out and sleep in the woods, Aarian, like you’re doing. And so, just in case, I might need the collapsible tea kettle.

AM: Absolutely.

LG: Mike, what’s your recommendation this week?

MC: Aarian, every time you come on the show, end up with a recommendation that is thematically appropriate, and this time is no different because I’m going to recommend a book, it’s by David Byrne, a front man of Talking Heads and songwriter and performer of his own right. You might know him from David Byrne’s American Utopia. He wrote a book about 10 or 12 years ago called Bicycle Diaries. I read it when it was new, and I was looking through my Kindle looking for something to read and I saw it and I started reading it a second time and it is just as delightful, so I want to recommend it. David Byrne kept a blog, I think he still does keep a blog, he’s just always producing stuff on the internet. He’s always writing, he has a radio show, and this is sort of blog entries from the period of around the aughts, like mid 2000s to about 2008, 2009, where he was traveling around the world, he takes a folding bike with him and then unfolds it and rides around the city that he’s in.

And he writes these beautiful diaries, not only about the cycling infrastructure in the city, but about the architecture and the fashion and the food and the nightlife and all the crazy adventures he gets into. It’s really delightful, and it’s like one of the best travel books. David Byrne is also a very singular writer, he has a really efficient and economical writing style and a real dry-wit and it’s just delightful and fun and breezy. So, if you like David Byrne and if you like bikes, and if you like travel writing, it’s like right at the middle of that Venn diagram.

LG: This is the perfect recommendation for you. This is everything you’re into, Mike.

MC: Yeah, sure, why not? It’s also like a lot of things that a bunch of people are into, which is why I like recommending things like that. Also, we didn’t really talk too much about bikes this episode, and I know that that’s a big part of the cities and the way that people experience cities and it has grown exponentially over the pandemic. So, maybe, there are people out there who weren’t cyclists a couple of years ago, who now love it, and they also love David Byrne and they didn’t know this exists.

LG: We should do a whole other podcast about bikes. What do you think?

MC: I mean, sign me up.

LG: All right.

AM: Yeah.

MC: Or we could do a whole episode about what your recommendation is.

LG: I don’t know if it would take up an entire episode, but my recommendation this week is the Lindberg Snider Porterhouse and Roast Seasoning.

MC: That’ll beat.

AM: That sounds great.

LG: Yeah. I didn’t eat meat for, I don’t know, five years maybe, I gave up meat and then I went back to it last year. And so, I started cooking meat again and I can’t say that that was necessarily a pandemic hobby. It’s not like I got really, really good at it or took it really seriously. I wasn’t like, I couldn’t make brisket, but I was cooking more meat than I had for several years prior and recently, it was at a friend’s house, and she did a great job with meat, and I was like, “What are you using?” And she said, “Lindberg Snider Porterhouse and Roast Seasoning. It’s been around forever. It’s, I don’t know, it’s not expensive, it’s $11 for 14 ounces, and it’s just, it’s great for barbecuing, you don’t necessarily have to just put it on beef or poultry or seafood, you can put it on vegetables as well. It’s this nice combination of different herbs and spices and I really like it. So yeah, I recommend just having it in your pantry as a staple, it’ll probably last forever.