Born: Kansas City, Missouri, 1958; lived there until I was 18, at which time I departed for Cambridge, Massachusetts, there to attend college at the H place.
Spent seven years knocking around Boston, pretending to study, engaging in debauchery, exploring the nooks and crannies of the transit system, playing the state sport (politics: amateur division) and learning about dining out on foods not Mexican, down home or barbecue.
Met my partner there in 1982; within a year, he had dragged me kicking and screaming to Philadelphia, his hometown, where I have lived ever since and which I have come to love in a way only a non-native can. Here, I have indulged my passion for scribbling, rail travel (local division, mainly) and food, eating out in more good restaurants than I care to count and gradually becoming more self-confident in the kitchen. I've also learned what makes a hoagie transcendent and the makings of a really good cheesesteak.
My friends will also tell you: When I cook, everyone eats.