February 21, 2009

The Call of the Salt

It's kind of a weird coincidence that someone from the "Salt City" would be so drawn to the Salton Sea. Is there some intrinsic desire for salt in me that causes both my cravings for french fries and my obsession with a salty sea?

I'm thinking twice now when sprinkling Maldon sea salt on my salads. The jagged shards look a little like the shore in Salton City.

photo: Edith BellinghausenI ate a tilapia po' boy for dinner last night at Marshall Stack and it made me want to leave New York City and open a yacht club. I imagined living in Indio or Joshua Tree and taking a weekly or a monthly trip back to the Ski Inn, to catch up on the gossip and have a patty melt. Maybe I could help the SDIA get their act together and market themselves a little better, so that people like me would actually pay the $5 membership if they knew they were getting something out of it, like, oh I don't know, a newsletter?

There's a plot of land in Bombay Beach up for auction on eBay. Last time I looked, the price was $3000 and that didn't seem so bad. A quick web search brings up other foreclosure listings in Salton City, and I wonder, who will buy those? More inner city families from LA looking to keep their kids safe and off the streets? Local residents who believe in the ultimate comeback of the area? Poets, writers, painters and other artists, who are perpetually inspired by the sea's sunsets, dust storms and boiling mud pots?

I've spent so much time trying to get away from where I came from, and yet I keep seeking out the fifth taste, even asking Maria to make salt potatoes (a hometown delicacy) when she hates potatoes herself. But I've always been one to give into cravings rather than resisting them. If you're thirsty, drink water. If you feel anemic, eat skirt steak. And when salt comes calling, you might as well answer it to see what it has to say.

Further reading:
Leave No Trace
Land of Opportunity

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