Later, he thrived in the hotbox of kitchens run on screaming. Like many young chefs, when he took over his own kitchen, he assumed it was the only way: "I was just yelling and screaming all day. I was the most miserable, angry person you can imagine." After one early bad review at the Hermitage, he pledged to his staff that he wouldn't take a day off until they were reviewed again. It took ten months, during which Brock slept at the restaurant most nights.
"We're insane. We shouldn't be doing this to our bodies and to our brains. That's sick. That's an illness," he says, though not without a touch of pride. "But, look,somebody's gotta feed everybody."
So is there another way?
Reading Jacobs’s essays, it’s clear she arrived at the idea that small businesses and individual choices are best for everyone everywhere through her own, local experiences, particularly of postwar New York. One of the virtues of reading a wider range of her writings is that she turns her ever-observant eye on Toronto, Philadelphia, and other places that are perhaps more representative of North American cities. While her thinking has sometimes served as fodder for a hands-off approach to city planning and the privatization of public resources, she approached these issues as a free-market realist, not a laissez-faire fundamentalist.
Most people are aware that the way that we own and consume music has undergone a series of shifts – from vinyl and tape to CDs, from CDs to digital files on iPods and then smartphones, and most recently from digital files to streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. Fewer people may be aware that this is just one aspect of a much bigger set of shifts – and even fewer of the deeper impact of these shifts. In The End of Ownership, Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz chart these changes, explore quite how widely they are spread – from the music and films we listen to and watch to the computer systems that run our cars, fridges and coffee makers – and describe in an often disturbing way how this threatens our autonomy, privacy and whole understanding of our place in the world. It is a book that is deep, unsettling and at the same time humorous and entertaining – and well worth reading.