My Life

I was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, by my parents.  My mother is a professor of Philosophy, and my dad is a lawyer who is heavily involved in local politics.  Their interests rubbed off on me.

Growing up, I lived at the beach, spending summer after summer surfing and swimming.  I played soccer, learned Spanish, and generally lived a Southern Californian life.  Despite growing up in LA, my family's Pennsylvania roots hooked me  on a lifelong (so far) obsession with the Phillies--although the combination of my Dodger fan friends and Yasiel Puig has been tough to resist the past year or so. (EDIT 2015: it felt disingenuous to delete this, but since I moved back to LA in 2013, I've pretty much become a Dodger fan, and now that I no longer live in LA it's my great link to my homeland.)

henry phillies

I went to Santa Monica High School and played on the soccer team and in the band.  The friends that I made during those years in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have remained as close to me as family, and I take every chance I get to see them and stay close.  They are at this point scattered across the country and world, but every once and a while we all manage to find ourselves back in Brandon's back yard. Then, it's just like old times.

henry brandon's yard

I graduated High School in 2008 and went to the University of Chicago that fall.  At Chicago, I dove into academics, much to the detriment of my music and athletics.  My sophomore year I joined the University's chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon.  It was around this time that I began to get serious about archeology, and finally gave up my dreams of being a professional baseball player to shoot for the slightly more realistic dream job of archeologist/historian.

Since college, I've been on the move.  I moved to Pittsburgh and worked on the Obama campaign in 2012.  After the election I travelled the country visiting friends and eventually going on a roadtrip to find the best barbecue in America (from the Mississippi westward).  I returned to Spain to continue my archeological training in the Spring of 2013. I moved back to Santa Monica, where I've started playing music again, getting back into athletics (both yoga and contact sports), and did a two year language program at UCLA. Now, I'm doing my PhD in Ancient History at Harvard University. 

henry menorah

Through this all, I've managed to maintain my love for good food, my overreliance on reason, and my deep and close friendships with the people I've grown up with (as well as those I've only recently gotten to know).

Oh yeah, just in case you were wondering, the best BBQ overall is in Memphis, but Calvin Trillin was right--the burnt ends at Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City are the single greatest dish ever.  Too bad their brisket was dry.

henry morocco

Also, there's a huge disclaimer for any other serious BBQ people out there--we didn't make it to the Carolinas.  

© Henry Gruber 2013