Ishi: Food for Thought

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”  Cesar Chavez

M and I were excited to host a visiting writer for dinner a couple of weeks ago. Ishi was born in Kanagawa, Japan where our friend Akiko Yabuki met him on a beach 4 years ago. Since then Ishi and Akiko have traveled extensively. We met Ishi three years ago in Saigon. Two years ago they moved to Toronto, and early this year they positioned themselves near the center of the hipster universe in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Ishi means “rock” and “expression of desire” in Japanese. Though he tops out at just 1.77 inches he is powerful presence and messenger for good. We were thrilled to have him visit.

M and I cooked dinner for Ishi, Akiko and Aki’s husband, George. We think sharing food with friends (or enemies) is the way to the heart and an avenue toward peace. Ishi agrees.

I made pasta, which Ishi found restful.

Ishi pasta

But, we needed our greens to balance the meal and Ishi agreed and settled in.

Ishi greens

After dinner it was naptime. I’m a big fan of naptime and so is Ishi.

Ishi nap

Ishi tried out a couple of places for his nap and though it was not as soft as the carpet Ishi admired the artistry of the mitered corners in the wine rack and settled there.

Ishi wine rack

This was just a weekend trip, but we hope Ishi and the gang will come back soon. They sent us this photo from Park Slope along with a nice thank you note. Good manners too.

Back home Ishi likes to hang out in Prospect Park. That’s Aki’s dog Pono swimming in to see his friend. Pono missed him a lot when he was away.

Ishi and Pono

You can be Ishi’s friend too. He has a Facebook page and a book of Simple Tips from a Solid Friend. Check it out at

More tomorrow…

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