Forage Modern Workshop

Wildsam Field Guides

17.95
Screen_Shot_2014-07-21_at_10.09.10_AM_grande.png
IMG_4564-590x590.jpg
IMG_4106-590x590.jpg
IMG_4546-590x590.jpg
nola_book2-590x590.jpg
bk_book-590x590.jpg
315A6858-590x590.jpg
la-simulated_grande.jpg

Wildsam Field Guides

17.95

Launched in the fall of 2012, Wildsam is a series of American field guides, small books with a lot of soul, packed with local lore, interviews, memoir, hand-drawn maps, personal essays and more. Equal parts travel guide and tribute, the field guides suit both weekender and native. 

Creators often come back to a single sentence when thinking about the beginnings of Wildsam. "And the world was peopled with wonders." If you've not read Steinbeck's East of Eden, the scene's gist is this: an Irishman settles with his sprawling family on a dried-up spread in the Salinas Valley. One day, out digging a well with his two sons, the men hit a quarry of unfamiliar black rock. One son thinks it might be a buried locomotive. The other, some valuable ore. The father, Sam, thinking he might be looking at a fallen meteor, gets what Steinbeck describes as "that joyous faraway look" on his face. We can't imagine a better description of curiosity.

Wildsam believes Steinbeck's words to be as true as the ground we walk on. And we think knowing what's in that ground matters. Wildsam makes their field guides in hopes of populating their pages with those buried joys.

About the editor. Taylor Bruce has spent the better part of ten years writing for magazines. Men's Journal, Budget Travel, Southern Living, Oxford American, Paste, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Adventure, and a few others. He lives in Austin with his wife, Robin, and our dog, Coop. 

More Info

City:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Launched in the fall of 2012, Wildsam is a series of American field guides, small books with a lot of soul, packed with local lore, interviews, memoir, hand-drawn maps, personal essays and more. Equal parts travel guide and tribute, the field guides suit both weekender and native. 

Creators often come back to a single sentence when thinking about the beginnings of Wildsam. "And the world was peopled with wonders." If you've not read Steinbeck's East of Eden, the scene's gist is this: an Irishman settles with his sprawling family on a dried-up spread in the Salinas Valley. One day, out digging a well with his two sons, the men hit a quarry of unfamiliar black rock. One son thinks it might be a buried locomotive. The other, some valuable ore. The father, Sam, thinking he might be looking at a fallen meteor, gets what Steinbeck describes as "that joyous faraway look" on his face. We can't imagine a better description of curiosity.

Wildsam believes Steinbeck's words to be as true as the ground we walk on. And we think knowing what's in that ground matters. Wildsam makes their field guides in hopes of populating their pages with those buried joys.

About the editor. Taylor Bruce has spent the better part of ten years writing for magazines. Men's Journal, Budget Travel, Southern Living, Oxford American, Paste, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Adventure, and a few others. He lives in Austin with his wife, Robin, and our dog, Coop. 

Field Guide 01 // Nashville 
Part almanac, part urban lore, part best-of, part memoir, the first Wildsam Field Guide focuses on Nashville, Tennessee, once monikered Gunpowder City, origin of cotton candy and Cracker Barrel, northern end point to the Natchez Trace. The field guide explores all of that and more. From illustrated maps of comfort food and music stops, to stories from Rosanne Cash, Tony Earley and Senator Bill Frist, Wildsam digs deep to find the taproots of the Music City.

Inside you'll find a never-published note scribbled by Johnny Cash; the story of Jesse James living on Fatherland Street; a taxonomy of songbirds; the lifespan of the Ryman; Mayo’s fried pies; contents of a Civil War knapsack; a historic look at the Billboard Hot 100; poisonous snakes; debutantes; handmade neckties and Arnold's Country Kitchen; the world's smallest art gallery and Jack White's rolling record store. 

Other contributors include fashion designers Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, musicians Jessie Baylin, Courtney Jaye and Thad Cockrell, chef Tandy Wilson, painter Emily Leonard, architect Nick Dryden, and many others, who bring the city to life inside five sections:

  • a collection of twelve interviews with musicians, artists, politicians, food truckers, outdoorsmen, immigrants, and more
  • a cultural almanac full of newspaper clippings, timelines, scientific data, predictions, lists, historical hearsay, and other curio
  • a series of hand-illustrated maps curated by city locals
  • a superlative list for the best in food, drink, action, expertise, and shopping
  • a section of essays from Rosanne Cash, Tony Earley, J Wes Yoder, and Libby Callaway

The sum of these wild and profound parts mirrors the complexity of the Tennessee capitol. And, hopefully, encourages our own adventures in its rolling hills. 

Field Guide 02 // Austin
Austin, Texas. Call it the gateway to the American West. Capitol of the Republic. Home to cosmic cowboys and pit bosses, Sixth Street and Barton Springs. It's the brightest star in Texas – and we can't wait to share its stories with you.  

We've had long conversations with dozens of natives, from hotelier Liz Lambert, editor Evan Smith and Top Chef winner Paul Qui to other amazing locals like a neon artist, a blues club owner,  a portrait photographer, and a former Dallas Cowboy. Our maps scout out the best dive bars, swimming holes, taco trailers, film scenes, and live music. And the Almanac covers a range of heritage, such as armadillos, Lyndon Johnson, Janis Joplin, Texas Rangers, moontowers, SXSW, the tech boom of the 1980’s, the drought, Jack the Ripper, Dazed and Confused, the Whitman shooting of 1966, Willie, and much – much – more. 

Liz Lambert told us, "If you grow up in Texas and you're a little bit different, all paths lead to Austin." We dig that. There's simply no place in America quite like the Lonestar State, and we're deep in the heart of it.

Field Guide 03 // San Francisco
The spirit of the West lives large in San Francisco, a city of ideas and innovation and America reimagined. Dreamers of California dreams. Gold Rush and Summer of Love and Twitter IPO. San Francisco has always been a seven-by-seven mile peninsula of escape and possibility. 

It’s the city where Jack London honed his storytelling, where Joe DiMaggio played high school ball, where Etta James found her voice. Where thousands of African Americans migrated during World War II, escaping Jim Crow for new lives on a new coast. Where runaways hitchhiked. Where Chinese families fled. A fragrant city that the Spanish chose to name Yerba Buena. One wonders if there’s some magic, maybe a spell cast by space. And sea. The thousands of miles between there and here. Time given to shed old skins. To ditch the baggage and picture something new.

Rebecca Solnit writes that San Francisco is “where America comes to reinvent itself.” This book is filled with such stories. Of tech engineers rewiring the world, Harvey Milk rewriting history, John Muir walking into the wild. 

Field Guide 04 // Detroit
For many, the mere mention of Detroit conjures a kind of shock and awe. Newspaper headlines of bankruptcy and scandal. Visions of a city in decline, wrestling with urban blight and crippling poverty. For those able to wade through that noise, there is also the memory's call of heyday: Berry Gordy's Motown tunes that would become American anthems. An automotive juggernaut that turned the city into the nation's roaring assembly line. The "Paris of the Midwest" with grand boulevards and skyscrapers and Belle Isle and street after street of stately mansions. 

But so much of the Detroit story lives between these two ends of the spectrum. The victories and defeats intermingle. One local urban planner told us, "When people ask me about Detroit, I say that things are bother better and worse than you'd think." This book is about that double-edge truth, the whole city, the Detroit that's fighting to win battles of crime and race. The Detroit of small business, like Lonzo Jackson's barber shop and Signal Return's print studio. It's about the Detroit of new ideas, denim makers and metalsmiths in Corktown, urban farmers at Eastern Market, and a thriving arts community across the city. It's about Maggie Townsend, who drives a city bus, and Naomi Long Madgett, a poet ninety years young, and the tens of thousands of others motoring the city south of Eight Mile and north of Canada. (Check that map, folks). 

Detroit is a complicated place. As writer John Carlisle told me, "We can't hide from ourselves here." Maybe that's why I feel so at home. Because Detroit is an honest city, toughened and enlivened by winters and summers, humbled by years of challenge, resilient and strong. 

Field Guide 05 // New Orleans
There’s an old Creole proverb that goes like this: Tell me who you love and I'll tell you who you are. We think the mysterious wisdom of this sentiment rings uniquely true in New Orleans.

Because New Orleans is deeply beloved. Though it bears scars as deeply as any place in America, New Orleans is a place treasured by the generations. These pages are filled with people who prove this true. The river pilot steering ships up the Mississippi. The single mom hustling to get her girls to school. The sax repairman from Germany and the fisherman’s daughter from Vietnam. The sign painter, the midwife, the chef.

Anyone who knows New Orleans knows the romance – mornings in the Quarter, bustling po-boy counters, Rebirth at the Maple Leaf. And they know well the city’s wounds. Forgotten neighborhoods. Swollen prisons. The long disparity of race and class. As always, our hope with this field guide is to open up New Orleans as honestly as we can through story and heritage. To nudge travelers and locals alike towards unforgettable experience. To encourage conversation and reflection. And to help you fall in love with this incredible city.

Field Guide 06 // Brooklyn

Brooklyn begins with proximity. It wrestles with what James Agee called the “mad magnetic energy” that burns non-stop across the East River. For the no-name actor and the playground baller, for the Italian restaurateur and the Haitian cab driver, for them and thousands of others, Brooklyn is the proving ground, the most fertile soil for American narratives – a stranger in a strange land, the underdog, the self-made. It’s seventy-one square miles seeded with hustle and grit and leaps of faith.

Illustrations by
Lauren Tamaki

                                                      

 

 

Field Guide // Charleston

From the grandeur of historic architecture to the modern era of hospitality led by restaurateurs, artists and makers — Charleston has soul, magic and lasting appeal.  

Inside find 145 pages of local stories, travel intel and modern lore, including:

  • The city's queen of fried chicken, Martha Lou Gadsden

  • Fifty years of Beach Music tunes

  • A list of the Holy City’s dreamy and semi-hidden alleyways

  • Southern hospitality, from warm biscuits to thank you notes

  • A list of the city’s most legendary shipwrecks

  • Compelling tributes to the Mother Emanuel victims

  • Walking maps of architectural and secret garden landmarks

  • The perfect order at the city’s seven essential restaurants

  • Chef Sean Brock’s favorite Lowcountry driving route

  • Civil rights pioneers—from Judge Waring to Septima Clark