Food & Wine has this series called "Where to Go Next." It's all about featuring the latest something. The hip new place to eat such and such. To drink this new drink this guy came up with at this one bar … and it tastes as good as it looks in that crystal highball glass.
Needless to say, I really like the series. It's kind of unapologetically confident in its endorsements. It rattles off the names of joints you'd feel lucky to stumble across, and then forcibly puts them on the radar until they're impossible for anyone to miss. As far as I’m concerned, the Where to Go Next column (WTGN, once you get hip to mag. abbrev. speak) represents all that’s fascinating and compelling about magazines. They curate “cool.” And they make it look so infuriatingly easy.
Maybe I’m inordinately impressed by the series and all it represents simply because I’m the sort that can’t even decide where to go to dinner. I’ve literally wandered the streets of Chicago for hours just trying to find a hamburger … anywhere, DEAR GOD … only to end up sweaty and moaning on the doorstep of an overpriced Michigan Avenue restaurant. AND, guess what folks, it wasn’t even that tasty.
So, in retrospect, it’s funny to me that I spent so much of my time at Food & Wine researching their “Where to Go Next” section. I rarely know where I am going, let alone where I should go next. Generally, my ambition is directed in pursuit of some changing variable or abstract somewhere. Nothing about my life is as organized or certain as the pages of a magazine.
But I’ve always been in search of that effortless cool that comes from knowing where to find the best hamburger, or how to wear those shoes the right way (my roommate works at Glamour), or how to set your table for a summer picnic (and another Martha Stewart) or what exercises will make your abs worthy of a magazine cover (and at SELF, too).
What’s the moral of my long-winded and meandering story? If anyone wants to know where to get a good burger, I have a few suggestions.