Beeline Interview: Eat Drink One Woman’s Ganda Suthivarakom

Photo from EDOW by Julie Dy
Photo from EDOW by Julie Dy

I first discovered Ganda’s blog, Eat Drink One Woman, when I was still living in Sunset Park. (She had me at pupusa–where to get it in the ‘hood.) She’s smart, witty, has a beautiful voice, (She was part of Cibo Matto! She sang with David Byrne! And is a super-talented musician in her own right–check out the Solitary Cylist) and just pretty damn cool. In light of the current political climate, Ganda also has some beautifully written, wonderfully articulate entries on the election.

Name: Ganda Suthivarakom
Occupation: Web editor, musician
Borough/Neighborhood: Brooklyn

Tell us a little about your blog (EatDrinkOneWoman) and its transformation over the years: Well, I started out trying to blog about my life, but my life was so boring that it never went anywhere.  Then I decided to blog about food, but really only as a lens through which I viewed life.  I had hoped it would help me become a legitimate food writer, which it sort of did.  And then this year, the economic downturn had me thinking about my obsession with food.  I started losing my appetite for it.  All of a sudden, it felt so…corporeal.  And unimportant.  And excessive.  I guess you could say I’m having a bout of moral constipation.  So now I’m writing about life through the lens of politics, which is my current #1 wakes-me-up-in-the-morning obsession.

Do you think you will continue blogging about politics? You know, I hope I don’t have to.  I hope that on January 20, I’ll post about going to Obama’s inauguration in D.C. and I won’t have to talk politics ever again.  I’d be happy for the economy and our estimation in the eyes of the world and our lives to improve so I can get back to the business of talking fluffily about food.  I miss having a sense of humor. [Tina Fey agrees… at least about the election.–Ed.]

What is your first food related memory? Roasting pumpkin seeds in preschool.  This is actually the earliest memory I can conjure up.

You are also a singer. Any current projects/performances we should know about? My band The Solitary Cyclist has a gig at Spike Hill on 12/16.  My friend John Lindaman and I have been writing lots of duets.  Come on out!

Who are you listening to right now? I am listening a lot to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!  It’s really helpful to have people to laugh about the news with, even if those people totally don’t know I exist.  Music-wise, I’m going to see Salome with the resplendent Karita Mattila at the Met on Thursday, which I am very excited about.

Favorite place to eat in the neighborhood: You know, the place I go to most often is La Parada on 4th Ave. and 31st St.  Their rotisserie chicken is magical and salty.  I make my own rice, though — I really dislike salted rice.

Little known fact about your neighborhood: On the weekends, you can go to Sunset Park (the park, not the neighb) and buy tacos and tamales from vendors who’ve set up shop all over the place.  It’s probably not as extensive as the Red Hook ball fields, which I’ve never been to, but you food adventurers should get out there and do a comparison.

Favorite watering hole: I don’t drink out enough to have a favorite place.  I like to buy my wine from Astor Wines because it’s convenient to my train.  But I’m avoiding reds because I think they make me barf.  You’d think that after 9 years of being able to drink legally, I’d have figured out by now what makes me barf and what doesn’t.

Best pizza in your hood: There’s really no good pizza in my hood.  My roommate always orders from this place called Gina’s on 5th Ave. and 40th-ish when he’s feeling fancy, but think the slice joint on the corner is just as okay.  Much better option is the hand-patted pupusa at Ines Bakery on 4th Ave. and 36th St. — cheesy chicharron goodness.

If there was a movie of your life, what neighborhood would grace the opening scene? Maybe the East Village, seen while going over the Manhattan Bridge towards Manhattan.  I’m pretty sure that’s the route my first taxi took on my first day in New York.  I’d just gotten off the red-eye, and I was going to an apartment on Bleecker and the Bowery which I thought I would be subletting for two months.  Two months turned into four months, and by the end of the summer, I knew I’d be staying in New York.  I’ve been here for almost ten years now, and I still love it.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the States.  (I did just watch Sicko, though, and I have to say that I’m open to marrying a Canadian and crossing the border.)

What is your all time favorite monster and/or horror movie? OR What is your all time favorite food movie? I hate horror movies.  I am a total chicken.  For food movies, it’s gotta be Eat Drink Man Woman (bien sur) because it reminds me of my Pau and what girl doesn’t like to be heartbroken by paternal remembrance?

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