For years my family, unlike most suburbanites, who prefer the careful landscaping of their own backyards, has hosted parties in the driveway. The idea is to be close to the action, not safely sequestered from it, even if the action is nothing more than hollering at speeding cars or sizing up the baby-sitter's prom date. For these soirees, we break out the plastic patio furniture, a no-frills touch that reflects the "menu" for the gathering: lots of simple food, not to mention jugs of wine and mismatched six-packs that the guests bring. I have little doubt that this personal history of pushing the pavement is what makes me... More >>>