From the Office and Backyard to the Road, Boat, or Plane–Backstories and
Side Stories While on Assignment. Updates on Personal Projects, Too.

Archive for March, 2008


My piece about the El Yunque rainforest, Bird fights in Puerto Rico, gets cover billing and a nice layout in the current issue of Garden & Gun: 21st Century Southern America (March/April 2008). Photography is by Peter Frank Edwards. We did research for this one last summer, staying in Old San Juan for the first few nights, then renting a Jeep Liberty and going as far up a narrow road on the South side of El Yunque as we could, past roadside bars and roaming chicken flocks to stay in the cinder block-built, aqua green-painted Casa Cubuy that juts out from the mountainside, surrounded by the jungle and ginger flowers. I hope to get back there this year.

– Sandy Lang, March 2008


Okay, this shellfish report is closer to home. We went out to Bowens Island last week, for some oysters just down the causeway. Even though fire burned the main building last year, Bowens Island looks about the same… graffitti, steaming pots, white plastic chairs, and plywood tables with holes in the center for dropping shells. It would be a trick for flames to take away that kind of cinderblock-built magic. Owner Robert Barber says he’ll rebuild with green practices, possibly with LEED certification. “I wouldn’t have put in air conditioning anyway. We almost always have a great breeze.”

We ordered trays of steamed oysters, the ones that Robert’s crew get from oyster beds nearby… some within view. These are clusters of mostly small oysters, known for a good mud/earth taste, along with the brine. I prefer them. Towels and oyster knives are provided. Robert suggested a plate of fried shrimp, so we got one of those too. And we drank a couple beers, even though the four people next to us said they’d wait to go back to Folly Beach for beer, where the cans are kept colder.


– Sandy Lang, March 2008.  Images by Peter Frank Edwards.

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