Today's New York magazine has a profile of Diane Chang, a NYC-based "27-year-old food lover." Titled, "When Did Young People Start Spending 25% of Their Paychecks on Pickled Lamb's Tongues?," Chang openly flaunts her foodie nonsense, admitting to spending all her time and money eating out (and reading Yelp, if only somewhat ironically). It is ostensibly about how people have turned dining out into an obnoxious status symbol-seeking hobby. It is also eye-rollingly maddening. Here now, the top ten lines:
1) On being called a foodie: "'But it's like when my boss says,
'Oh, you're such a foodie.' I'm like, Oh God. When I hear the word foodie, I think of Yelp. I don't want to be lumped in with Yelp.'"
2) On following the herd: "She says she disliked M.Wells, last year's consensus 'It' restaurant, partly because of 'the fact that everybody loves it, and I just don't want to believe the hype."
3) A special appearance by James Casey, editor of Swallow magazine and friend of Eater: "Lately, Casey has been championing the theory that mediocre food is better than good, the equivalent of a jaded indie kid extolling the virtues of Barry Manilow."
4) When the author says his favorite restaurant is Eleven Madison Park: "It's not that the group doesn't respect chef Daniel Humm. It's that my answer is so pathetically predictable... On the food-as-indie-rock matrix, I have just accidentally confessed to loving the Dave Matthews Band."
5 On blogs, the early "aughts," and how they're so over now: "Chang's college years coincided with the first explosion of websites like Chowhound... 'just people talking about food. The food blogs are still big, but they really had their moment in the early aughts.'"
6) Solutions on how to avoid food poisoning in Los Angeles: "She... began frequenting a nameless pop-up Burmese restaurant that operated on weekends out of someone’s garage. After one visit, she got food poisoning. She later reasoned that by Sunday evening, when she had eaten it, the chicken was no longer fresh. So she stopped going—on Sundays."
7) On having lunch at David Chang's Momofuku Ko: "The lunch took up three hours, involved sixteen courses, and left Chang, the would-be un-foodie, unimpressed. 'Remember when he just made burritos?' she asks, sighing, the culinary equivalent of claiming R.E.M. sold out after Chronic Town."
8) On not riding the subway: "The largest single bill she racked up was $58, although Han Joo, a Korean barbecue spot in Flushing famous for its slanted grills that pour rendered pork fat onto kimchee, required a $38 cab ride."
9) On how her neighborhood is the worst: "Chang earns about $70,000 a year; her rent in Park Slope, where she lives now ('the worst food destination ever'), runs $1,100 a month."
10) On being a closet Yelper: "Aside from Robert Sietsema and Jonathan Gold, with their tight focus on rustic and ethnic food, Chang doesn't trust food critics... Despite her distrust of Yelp and sites like it, she still reads them compulsively, at least to look at the photos."