The sound of the metal spoon clanks against the bowl as I slurp the last of my leftover hot and sour soup on this hot, summer night. It’s no tomato or watermelon gazpacho to cool the body down, but it was the last of it and I feel semi-accomplished. Except for this blank canvas, with words slowly starting to fill the page, delayed by constant backspaces as I write and write.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. Thoughts have been marinating and emotions are stirred up after listening to podcasts over the last two days about the recent passing of Jonathan Gold. It’s starting to sink in after a week and half since his death that he is no longer here.
Tonight after work, I found myself driving past home. His voice through my car speakers, talking about Thai town almost 20 years ago, almost really did lead me there. But instead, I pulled off to a small street just off Wilshire Blvd., popped my earphones in continuously listening to the podcast, and walk over to The Wiltern. It’s now past 8pm with the sun down and the darkness has started to show. The marquee on the bottom reads: RIP Jonathan Gold.
After snapping a few photos to remember the moments of how Los Angeles is honoring him, I walked back to my car and drove home. I delayed going inside, there’s just something so intimate about listening to things in cars, be it music or podcasts. As the segment on the show closed up, the harmonica and drum beats to Neil Young’s Heart of Gold played and it was then, that the tears finally released.
What Jonathan Gold did for the city and for the people who reside in it is immeasurable. He shined a light on places people wouldn’t think twice about going to or even driving to. But this is LA, a sprawling city that requires you to dig deep into its soul to find what it’s really about. His writing and reviews gave a voice to those who wanted to share with the world what their culture was about through food. It’s the binder that connects us and he was certainly the belly of Los Angeles.
Thank you J. Gold for gracing us with your talents, opening up our eyes, our hearts, and our bellies. It was an honor to read and listen to your work and get to know you through it. Being able to meet you and cross paths a few times over at none other than food festivals, was nothing I’ll ever forget. Thanks for making me fall in love with the unique city of LA again and again, we surely did luck out with you as our LA Gold.