Thursday, July 06, 2006

starving student
I recently received the following comment on my Bocadillos post:

"uh, you're a 19 year old college student? How can u afford to go out to eat at all these fancy places, and do you realize that most of us out here have to spend most of our money paying rent and other bills? I like your blog but just wish it was a little more realistic- maybe try reviewing a restaurant or two where normal people who don't live off of mommy and daddy's money could eat well. Believe it or not, there are some great places to eat in this city that don't cost $35+ per person."

Lucky me and many others to have one of the most fattening and expensive hobbies around. I am passionate about food--passionate enough to lug around my huge camera to take a photo of everything I eat and then talk about it long-windedly on this blog. As one of my favorite hobbies, dining out and trying restaurants can end up costing a lot. Do I think it's worth it? Absolutely. Most people end up spending a lot on their favorite hobby, whether it is on a musical instrument or art supplies; I don't feel food is any different.

And yes, I am a 19-year-old college student. Perhaps the "typical" college student more "typically" dines on pizza, tacos, and ramen, while my blog seems to tell a different story. I can see how my New York restaurant itinerary comes off as indulgent and downright snobby. But, in fact, I do eat at places that, even as a bottomless pit, I can leave full on a bill in the single digits. While I do appreciate a good value, I try not to let cost hinder me from what or where I want to eat. It just so happens that the restaurants I most enjoy or want to try hover around the upper-middle price range. Another factor to consider is that certain cuisines often cost more than others. At the same time, let me reiterate, I do go to places that cost <$35 a person.

Every blog is unique. I don't try to cater my blog to the college crowd or the price-sensitive--or anyone, for that matter. This blog is for me to document my meals, as well as to share some of my insight to those interested in my idea of good food.

As for "mommy and daddy", I thank them sincerely for supporting this hobby of mine.



Blogger Sam said...

would your "mommy and daddy" like to sponsor me to meet you for lunch!

7/06/2006 11:44 PM  
Blogger jeanie said...

Good on you Jen!!! Stick up for what you enjoy doing and do so well at it. I love your reviews and come back for more everytime.

Keep it up, girl.

7/07/2006 5:35 AM  
Blogger LeeLoreya said...

right on (wo)man, you don't know me and neither i you but i share your opinion about it being a hobby. You can see it this way: you are born and dead naked, therefore do not possess anything, so i'd rather spend money on something that stays with me for a while in a weirdly intimate way.

7/07/2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger NS said...

For whatever it's worth, I think your blog is outstanding exactly as it is, and I wouldn't change a thing in terms of its focus or content. It's great that you've developed a passion for food at such a relatively young age, and it's even better that you have the opportunity to indulge and write about that passion. Keep up the great work!

7/07/2006 8:50 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

I don't get comments like that; there are other blogs where people review more accessible restaurants. If the reader is disturbed by your expensive meals, they don't have to read your blog. :P And if you weren't 19 I doubt the price issue would be raised. Blaargh.

I like your blog partially because you eat at all these places that I'll never get to go to, haha! Let me know what I'm missing.

7/07/2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

It's funny I kind of had the opposite. A college student linking to my blog and wishing she could "be like sam and fred and have all that money to go out and eat". In reality we are not rich at all, we really only eat at mid-range restaurants, albeit rather a lot of them I suppose. Just like you Jennifer - I spend most of what money I do have on food, since it is my hobby, and I have very little else to show for myself in this world.

You know what - it's no one else's business about what you, me or anyone else for that matter spends their money on. And I think it is great what you do, and to find a kindred spirit whose hobby is food.

When I was a student and with little money, is when I discovered dining out for the first time. Although I wasn't in a town with anywhere near like SF's or NYs culinary reputation, it gave me the greatest pleasure back then to go out and eat, we did it as often as we could afford and the rest of the time, when at home, ate the cheapest food you could imagine to make up the difference.

And I was serious about the lunch thing next week? Mon Tues or Friday is currently ok for me.


7/07/2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger katie said...

I can't believe the way you are able to write about food at 19. 19 was just when I started to realize that I loved food, and loved it to be complex. Now three years later I still don't know half of what you do about food!

and I'm definitely with Sam and everyone else on this: food is a hobby, so are video games and those are also expensive. Instead of buying a whole bunch of crap I buy high quality food.

7/07/2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Hungry Hedonist said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. It is an honor to have such supportive readers!

7/09/2006 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a newbie here, but I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you! I too am thankfully supported by my "mommy and daddy" and save up and spend all on eating as a hobby. Unlike other students who really spend a lot of money without realizing it on booze and dvds, I just decided to spend it on what I eat. It's really irritating when people think that spending money on food is a waste or what snobby people do, they're just different. This is your blog and your life and you can eat whatever makes you happy! Keep up with the great photos and reviews, the variety is good! And you really are lucky to have discovered a love for food so early in life. That just means you have a few more years than other people to try more yummy restaurants! : )

7/09/2006 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you all missed my point, which WASN'T that spending money on food was stupid. I spend lots of money on food too, and love going to fancy or more upscale restaurants when and if I can. Maybe I didn't articulate it well, but my point was more that if your meals weren't being subsidized by mom and dad, you might actually be a little more adventurous with your food choices, and would be able to apply your writing talents to describing those meals. I think that because you aren't worried about money, you are going to these big name places that are more style than substance (aquavit and spice market? seriously?) and are missing out on higher quality places. Your entry about Subs aside, most of your entries are about the glossy, pretentious places in nyc and sf that most real foodies wouldn't touch. and that's a shame.

7/12/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger jeanie said...

What a load, original poster! I'm a chef, and to say that these places Jen likes to dine at aren't places that "real" foodies wouldn't go to is nonsense...

Granted, some of these places are more style than substance but NOT all of them are. Some of these places are equally weighted in the style and substance dept. And you can't knock it if you haven't tried it!

No one is trying to attack you here but we are all just standing up for Jen and the great hobby/passion/love for food she has. So if you are not happy with what she posts on HER blog, go start your own blog and there you can post whatever you want...

Jen, sorry...I just had to say something. I hope you don't mind.

7/13/2006 6:25 PM  

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