My second cover story for Swerve is on another topic that fascinates me: the decline of young drivers. When I was 16, getting my drivers licence was more important than losing my virginity. Now, a surprising amount of teens couldn't care less about the Class 5 card. What gives? Read the story to find out.
Why the Kids Don't Drive
The only time Islam Aboutaha drove, it was in a straight line through a quiet suburb, in her older brother’s car with him in the passenger seat, and she barely reached the end of the block before she put it in park. “It’s too nerve-racking,” says the 17-year-old.
It’s been five years since Chris Doleman, 27, last got behind the wheel, to drive a load of drunken friends home after the bar, a trip so stressful that he’s made up his mind never to drive again. Says the economics graduate, “There are too many variables out of my control.”
Of the four times Elysia Turner has driven, twice she panicked at the sight of a car in her rear-view mirror, and once because the hood of her company vehicle was smoking. The last time was to get her licence. That was 17 years ago. She’s 33 now. “I just don’t feel equipped to deal with any possible scenario that will occur,” Turner says. [continue reading]
Alberta Venture had me write two features this summer. One on Alberta's richest and most elusive man, Daryl Katz, the billionaire owner of the Edmonton Oilers, and cats. Expensive cats. Luxury cats.
Web Exclusive: Chasing Daryl Katz
Web Exclusive: 9 Most Influential Cats
After two trips to Texas, I've visited Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Fredericksburg. But the place I love most? San Antonio. I've written about ten articles on Texas tourism, but this is my favourite. The good folk at the Globe and Mail sent me to the relatively new Culinary Institute of America San Antonio campus to capture how its changing the Alamo City's food scene and trying to spur a Latin American food revolution.
It’s not the most settling thing I’ve ever seen in a restaurant: the chef is pacing the dining floor with his arms crossed and head down. But then again, Geronimo Lopez is not your typical chef and Nao: New World Flavors is not your typical restaurant. It’s the mouth of the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, staffed by students on three-week rotations. For Lopez, their Venezuelan instructor and Nao’s executive chef, that means an “opening night” every 21 days, tonight included.
There’s another reason why I suspect Lopez is pacing. As one of America’s few pan-Latin fine dining experiences, Nao – housed behind a wood door massive enough to fortify the Alamo – is on the front lines of schooling diners like me in the next chapter of American cuisine, daring people in the Tex Mex capital to taste unfamiliar and sometimes unpronounceable Latin American flavours that haven’t yet been popularized. Think scallops with smoky panca peppers, coconut-marinated ceviche served with plantain chips, or mushrooms and malanga root broth over pork belly. Those flavours are on their way, and they’re coming fast. [continue reading]