The Soul of Things

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I love this work and I love this restaurant, we’ve been working together for years.   I’ve never shared here because I worried the pictures didn’t “fit.”  I’m a people photographer and this isn’t about people.   I think I’ve been wrong about that.

Over the weekend I helped my 10 y/o son clean out his clothing drawer for fall.  I taught him the KonMarie method of thanking an object before setting it aside for donation.  At first he thought it was weird to talk to clothing but before we knew it memories were spilling out.   “Thanks, pajamas, for protecting me from baby barf!  Remember when Jordan and Safi and I were holding baby Maly and she barfed?  That was on these pajamas!”

Kids feel into the soul of things.  A favorite toy brings security as an emblem of love and consistency and just like the Velveteen Rabbit, it is real.   My boy still looks for “blankie” at bed time, a crochet chevron blanket that my grandmother made for me before I was born.  I watch him unknowingly pick at its stitches as he dreams, a habit he has had since he was a baby seeking comfort.  I wonder how many times her hands passed over the yarn to create each stitch he picks.   I think of how their hands have touched through those stitches even though they never physically met: she died decades before he was born.

If the word soul is too much to imbue in a thing, think of energy instead.  How something is made matters, from its invention to how it as sourced to the skilled hands that touch it along the way.  I am beginning to really pay attention to the energy or lack there of in an object or experience before deciding to spend my energy ($$$) on it.  Or add my energy to it.

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Food is especially intimate because it becomes part of us quite literally once experienced.   It has the potential to engage all of our senses: sight, taste, smell, touch, even sound – think of bacon in a pan.  It can trigger memories and bring comfort or just plain elation (remember that pic of my sis and I with the Unicorn Shake?)   Food, the tradition of its making and the way it is invented and reinvented over time unifies and gathers.

I used to call it “ordering anxiety”, that thing I feel when I stare at a board telling me to pick my base and then pick my protein and then pick up to 3 sauces, infinite toppings, so on and so forth.  As an American I should relish so much choice of… relish.  But it makes me anxious.  I like everything so I add everything: culinary FOMO.  The result isn’t bad but has no play in flavor, no connection to tradition.  Outside of the last time I tried and how my bowl of stuff turned out, that is.  I think I just crave food with intention and soul.  Sometimes I want consistency like a blankie.  Sometimes I want to be surprised, transported, taken somewhere new and when I like where I’ve gone it becomes part of my own cooking.

Buredo is pre-poke and the original sushi burrito, salad or bowl.  Created by DC natives who wanted healthier options on the go, the menu features fresh and colorful veggies and fish (there is a tofu and land lover option as well).  The atmosphere is urban eclectic:  a little futuristic and Blade Runner, a little earthy and alive with wood.   Its all about precision from the sharp knife that is its namesake to the carefully chosen flavors in each menu creation.  Most patrons take out but there is a single, community table if you choose to stay.

The visual experience at the cross section of a roll or in the clear bowl is delightful: layers of color and texture.  Having tasted almost the full menu, I appreciate all the intention and really wanted it to come through the photos themselves.

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Yes, these are food pictures but the energy, passion and perseverance behind Buredo is  very much present:  there is a story here.   The love that families have for one another is primal and universal but passion for creating is universal as well.  Humanity can show up in things: food, blankies, a pair of jammies.  I’m opening this biz up to more love stories, pull me into yours.

If you happen to be in Franklin Square, pick up one for you and please grab one to go for me!   Sophie and GoGo are my personal favs (burritos, please), Pai Mei and Hanzo are close seconds.  And yes, I will share like we’re at the community table 😊.

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