Art Smith's Viking wok/cooker

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Art, however, must deal with a climate that's different from Southern California's, and his 500-square-foot, poured-cement backyard is shared by everyone in the 14-unit Hyde Park condominium. But Art, who sees dinner company and new friends where others see potential roadblocks, assessed the situation with typical exuberance: "We just took over!"

Potted rosemary, thyme, basil and tomato plants grow near Art's Viking wok/cooker.