Sunday Sessions

Document(ary)

Good morning there, friend. It’s a little chilly here today, but the sun is shining and it’s like the serotonin in my brain finally remembered its purpose.

A few years ago, on a quiet New Year’s Eve, I remember looking back at the year and feeling that it was a complete blank—I could not recount one book I had read, one notable event. And to be honest, it scared me a little, to have a year of my life so thoroughly undocumented by memory.

This blog is its own sort of diary, documenting my week-to-week, but there is a lot that doesn’t make the pages here—especially things that feel steeped in mediocrity (but, which are poignant in their own way). So, this year I decided to keep a sort of list. The list includes books I’ve read, restaurants we tried, films I saw, people we met, and my travels, among other things.

The list is often a starting point. Adding the purchase of a new plant to the list becomes a quest to learn more about it. Adding a Broadway play to the list can send me down a rabbit hole of the late ’90s feminist punk rock we heard while waiting for the show to start (see below). And every time I pull up the list to add a notation, I am met with the earlier submissions, deepening their recognition in my memory, and generating little sparks of gratitude for these experiences.

This list reminds me that it’s only March, and 2019 was already a good year.

To Read

If you read one thing: The Tragedy of Baltimore

I mentioned last week that I am rediscovering poetry lately. And unfortunately, it’s often death that pushes me to better explore a particular poet’s oeuvre in an attempt to understand the fullness of their contribution (RIP David Bowie, Donald Hall, Mary Oliver). This week poet laureate W.S. Merwin died—lucky he for us he left much behind.

I just subscribed to Written Out, a twice-weekly newsletter about women’s literature (past and present). Check out the second issue here.

Have I been sleeping on Uniqlo?

Foot-binding has always struck me as perhaps the most cruel fashion statement ever inflicted on women—but is it really so far from the exacting beauty standards perpetuated by our own generation? An excerpt in Granta connects the dots between tenth century A.D foot binding and our own modern performance of gender and sexuality.

“…Book collections become a pantomime of erudition, or a flex, as I often think when walking past the lit windows of tony brownstones in Brooklyn and catch sight of a large built-in bookcase.” Mik Awake on the complicated practice of owning many books.

We’re going to go with “cute” on this, right?

Sesame Street stamps are coming!

Every single link in Laura Olin’s newsletter (particularly this week‘s edition) is worth your click.

Sizzle, burn.

To Watch

Better than any Super Bowl ad I’ve seen.

To Eat

This Tuscan tuna sandwich has a whiff of spring about it.

To Listen

David and I went to see a Broadway play last night called What the Constitution Means to Me. The play was interesting and had potential, but the pre-show playlist was really special—Ariana Grande and Sleater-Kinney.

 

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Sunday Sessions

A Stolen Hour

How is it that one hour can make such a difference? I yawned and stretched and tried to come to life this morning, but it’s raining outside and David is in the kitchen making waffles, so maybe just 15 more minutes?

Yesterday, I boarded a bus to Philly to catch up with my pal Jenna. We toured the Museum of the American Revolution and walked around Center City, stopping at this perfect little coffee shop before basking in the sunshine on the steps of the National Constitution Center for awhile.

My friend Sahar and I have started a book club at work, and it was a really fun way to meet people who don’t usually bump into around the office. We read Killers of the Flower Moon, which is not a book I’d normally pick up, but it sparked fascinating conversation about government corruptions, race and identity, money and power—making it a very good selection indeed.

On Tuesday I stopped by a tea shop to ask a few questions about brewing methods and smells and flavors. The woman at the counter patiently answered my questions, no doubt amused by how much one person could overthink the application of water to tea leaves. I didn’t mind being at the heart of her amusement.

To Read

Go Home to Your ‘Dying’ Hometown
People leave their hometowns for a lot of different reasons, and often there is no reason to ever, ever look back. But sometimes we are drawn back there—because of family, because of nostalgia—and if we do return, perhaps we have an obligation to make it better for the next generation.

Trader Joe’s Is Eliminating a Million Pounds of Plastic From Its Stores

I do 80% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, which I think many of us view as a sort of alternative to traditional grocery stores. But even the halo effect of “alternative” could not sweep away the shame of their wasteful packaging practices (or unsustainable fishing). This decision moves the needle closer to “ethical alternative to traditional grocery stories.”

What Happens When You Drink a Gallon of Water a Day?

I’ve spent most of my life trying to trick myself into drinking more water.

Meat and Three & Ten Dollars’ Worth of Regular

David returned from Texas one time, eager to tell me that he had tasted the best BBQ of his life at a gas station. My reaction: “Okay. And?”

American Women: The West 

Women: may we always be this full of contradictions.

Nursing Homes Are Closing Across Rural America, Scattering Residents

Take good care of your family, y’all.

A Shorter Read

Poetry—or music—is not something I usually seek out. Their forms seemed stiff and tightly controlled, and meanwhile prose was left to rise and tumble in gorgeous waves, untamed. But this year I want to be surrounded by poetry, and I find myself sweeping it up, like leaves, into an ever-growing pile around me.

Gift

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.

—Czeslaw Milosz

To Listen

Borrowed

A new podcast from the Brooklyn Public Library launches this week—can’t wait to check it out.

The Known Unknown

Friends, I knew this story—I remember seeing it unfold on the news—and I was still completely moved by this episode of 99% Invisible.

To Watch

David and I were catching up on the Oscar nominees the past few weeks and finally watched A Star is Born, Blackkklansman, and The Favorite. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if you have to pick one, make it A Star is Born (which I kicked and screamed about watching all the way through the opening credits).

On Netflix, don’t miss After Life, a new dramady from Ricky Gervais. And later this month, Colette comes to Amazon Prime.

 


I know, I know…Macklemore. But this a fun video and a decent song.

 

Look, I won’t tell you to use this video in your meditation—after all, exactly how can you meditate in the face of extreme wealth—but maybe more as an appreciation of nature and architecture and wonder.

 

We all know Gene Kelly’s infamous Singin’ in the Rain scene, but this It’s Always Fair Weather scene was new to me—and on roller skates too!

 

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Sunday Sessions

Not Here, There

I’m starting to get winter cabin fever, and my mind is drifting to all the places I’ll be traveling soon. Next weekend, I’m heading to Philly to meet up with my pal Jenna and to see this Hamilton Was Here exhibit. In a few months, we’re going camping in Acadia National Forest with my brother and sister-in-law. This August, we’ll travel to Palo Alto for a friend’s wedding.

I like having these little map dots on my calendar—the give me a sense of direction for the year ahead. If you know of things I should do, see, or eat while I’m there, drop me a line.

To Read

The Greeter

If you read anything this week, make it this stunning essay.

My Mother’s Daughter

An excerpt from the memoir of Molly Jong-Fast, daughter of acclaimed feminist writer Erica Jong. Parents, amirite?

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable

I’m just going to put this…right here.

The Strange Things I’ve Found inside Books

People are weird.

The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care

A fascinating exploration of the many ways we’re coping with dementia—at personal, familial, and systematic levels.

People Fought for Time Off From Work, So Stop Working So Much

A look at how we arrived at the modern work week.

What’s Next For New Yorker Reporter Jane Mayer?

I didn’t know Jane Mayer by name, but, boy, do I (and you) know her work. A powerful profile of an investigative reporter.

To Listen

I’m into a new series from the BirdNote podcast called Sound Escapes.

I don’t usually seek out true crime podcasts, but Who the Hell is Hamish? is a pretty compelling tale of a serial conman.

Sometimes you’re just not ready for a podcast when it comes out. Two years later, I finally listened to The EP; it delivered exactly what I needed, right when I needed it.

To Eat

Look: food is how I communicate affection for people, so this week at work, I hosted a mini waffle bar for my colleagues. Along with our tiny-apartment-dweller-sized waffle maker, I carried three containers full of waffle batter, fresh cut fruit, and syrup into the office. It was easy to make, easy to setup. Highly recommend.

10 Big Ideas in Coffee Right Now

I am here for fourth wave coffee. Make it so.

Go Get ‘Em Tiger

I’m really digging the coffee flavor chart on this page.

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Sunday Sessions

A Late Edition

This week has been about resurfacing from the flu, and I was surprised to find that even with a lingering cough, I suddenly had this incredible energy. I can’t tell if this is just my usual energy level, or if being forced to slow down for two weeks had allowed me to rebound in a bigger way. Either way, I’ve been doing yoga in the mornings before work, becoming less dependent on coffee, and not falling asleep as soon as I get home. I fully recognize that this is temporary, but I’ll take it for now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend my time online (and if you throw a digital stone, you’ll see all sorts of essays on digital detoxes, etc., so I’m not alone there). A few years ago, I stopped caring about having the latest phone, you’d have to work hard to convince me to download a new app, I’ve always denied push notifications, and I regularly block all social media websites (I haven’t had those apps on my device in years, and the browser tab experience was supposed to make it harder), and yet I still feel weighted by my device.

I noticed that, in particular, a lot of my anxiety is tied to my phone, mostly because it represents all the work left undone. My phone is the work emails I should answer, the Bello Collective articles that need editing, the texts that should have a speedy response. It made me feel like I was letting everyone down, all the time. At the same time, moving to a new city where I felt isolated and alone, the phone was my lifeline to the people I loved. It was a dualism that kept me tethered.

Winter is a challenge and so I’ve been working harder to put the phone down and go out in the world. I no longer look at my phone first thing in the morning. For an hour in spin class, I’m not thinking about the tweets I’ve missed. Sometimes I’m daring (or dumb) enough to leave the phone on the counter when I take Jack for a walk. And in those moments, I feel just a little lighter.

To Read

Everything We Love in the Food World Right Now | Observer Food Monthly

How to Write About Food: In the Classroom with Jonathan Gold | Foodaism

The Most Important New Woman in Congress Is Not Who You Think | Politico

The Remarkable Life of Margaret Rudkin, Founder of Pepperidge Farm | TASTE

Recipe Introductions Matter. Here’s Why. | Food52

A Critic for All Seasons | Eater

To Watch

The Kármán Line | The New Yorker

Chef’s Table | Netflix

Wow, wow, wow. This is a stunning season. Come for Sean Brock, stay for Mashama Bailey.

To Eat

Last week, when I was really sick, I found a lost looking bag of instant mashed potatoes in the back of the cabinet. It was better and more filling than any chicken soup. When I have the time, I’m going all in on this grown up version.

Growing up in south, I really only knew about Lipton sweet iced tea, which tasted bitter and harsh to me. As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate a well-prepared cup of tea—an iced cold matcha, hibiscus on a warm day, Harney and Son’s Paris Fog on a cold day, a flavorful chai. The latter is tough to find, at least a good version, so why not make your own at home?

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Sunday Sessions

The Lost Week

This week David and I succumbed to perhaps the worst flu I can remember. I spent the first two days taking care of him, he spent the next two days taking care of me, and then we both had to push through independently as he made his way down to DC. I took two days off work and existed in a sort of fugue state of fever dreams and coughing. Since I don’t remember much about it at all, I’m calling this my lost week.

To Read

The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire, Citylab

Citylab has done some of the best reporting on aging anywhere. Here they look at people clocking into jobs past traditional retirement ages not because of economic necessity, but because the town needs them to stay on the job.

Want To Be Happy? Live Like a Woman Over 50, Lit Hub

“This year I experienced a vivid illustration of the happiness of older women. I switched recreational centers from the university where I have taught for many years to a gym geared toward older people. I noticed a great change in the locker room atmosphere. At the university, the young women were mostly stressed and unhappy. They talked on their phones or to their exercise partners about their weight, finances, studies, and relationship issues. Almost all of them hid their bodies by crouching as they undressed. Except for occasional happy talk about weekends or school holidays, conversation was generally gloomy.”

Coffee for Overachievers, WSJ

I know a thing or two about coffee, so most of the information in this series was not new to me, but if you enjoy learning more about your brew, this is a fun way to do it.

The Soothing Promise of an Artisanal Internet, Wired

“Read newsletters instead of News Feeds. Fall back to private group chats. Put the person back in personalization. Revert to reverse chron. Avoid virality. Buy your own server. Start a blog. Embraceanonymity. Own your own domain. Spend time on federated social networks rather than centralized ones. And when a big story breaks, consider saving your appetite for the slow-cooked, room-temp take.”

There are plenty of reasons why I would not walk into a restaurant and order six ounces of prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m mostly vegetarian, of course, but also, where did the meat come from, and how hard am I going to have to work at the gym to counterbalance it? Meals like this just seem to be of a new other time. But food critic Tejal Rao reminds me that these traditional meals have value beyond their nostalgia and are worth revisiting because they are simply good food.

Why Can’t We Have Decent Toilet Stalls?, Slate

“In America, our toilet stalls are awful. The flimsy partitions start at least a foot off the ground, don’t go anywhere near the ceiling, and fail to block the reality that we’re pooping and peeing right next to each other. Sometimes, these stalls are so shoddily constructed that there is a gap at the edge of the door through which a toilet sitter and someone outside the stall can make eye contact.”

That’s it for now. See you next week.

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Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions Returns

Winter in New York is a wretched season. Even if you can forbear the cold, the people of the city change too. In my neighborhood, that looks like people letting their dogs shit on the sidewalk—in the very middle of the sidewalk—and not picking up after them (turning any trip outside into a horrible game of hopscotch). It is being as cold on the subway platform as you were on the street—maybe colder. It is seeing cars stop at stoplights, opening their car door, and off-loading all their trash into the middle of the street. It is morally bankrupt slumlords not properly heating the apartments of low-income and immigrant families. It is a person sniffling and coughing without a hand over their mouth and giving by-standers a steady glare that says fuck all the rest of you.

In the winter, New York is irredeemable.

To Read

Dark-Sky Tourism: Under the Idaho Sky, a Sense of Belonging

What I Do as a 911 Dispatcher

Jim Windolf posts a new short story on Medium every Sunday night.

Cooking Tomato-egg Stirfry

Is There Anything Else I Can Help You with Today?

A New Breed of Hunters Focuses on the Cooking

I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell

The Quest for the Multigenerational City

Here’s what I’ve read/am reading so far in 2019.

To Listen

Walking podcast matches my mood.

I thought brown noise was a secret only I knew. Now you can know about it too.

New to me: Billie Eilish

To Do

Build a jump rope workout

Learn how to meditate

Take this yoga ass class
This class is a doozy. I walked bow-legged for a day after, at least.

To Eat

Sheet Pan Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Rice Bowl

Chocolate Semi-freddo

Come for the story, stay for the Mango Pie recipe.

I’m pulling out my best chocolate cheesecake for a Valentine’s Day party today. This recipe has never let me down.

Post Script

My brother and brother-in-law have decided to stop smoking and I wanted to cry with relief. What does one get for a “you stopped smoking 2 months ago this week” gift?

And a reminder: in winter especially, take your multi-vitamins, kids. Vitamin K. Vitamin D. Vitamin C. Iron.

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21st Century Woman

Tabula Rasa

2018 was a weird year, and really the only efficacious way to see it out the door was to start with a tabula rasa, or blank slate. I cleaned out all the tabs on my phone and on my computer and I present the best of them here for you.

Politics and Culture

Embrace the Christmas Miracle That Is Mannheim Steamroller (The New Yorker)

The Best Damn Stories About The South (The Bitter Southerner)

Snowing in Greenwich Village (The New Yorker)

A Tour of Lady Liberty’s Torch (New York Times)

Letter of Recommendation: Recently Returned Booked (New York Times)

The Lie of Little Women (The Atlantic)

Love City: 24 Hours of Romance, Lust and Heartache in New York (New York Times)

They’re just looking for a chance to live safely. (The Nib)

Self Improvement

On Taking a “Depth Year” (Raptitude)

Be Gracious. (Esquire)

15 Minute Bodyweight Workout (Outside)

My Church is Crossfit. (Vox)

The Science of Sleep (National Geographic)

The Best Glutes Exercises (Outside)

Life and Death

The First Time I Saw a Dead Body (The Nib)

Dear Baby Witch (R.KV.R.Y Quarterly)

Aging Ghosts in the Skincare Machine (Unruly Bodies, Medium)

The Woman Who Cared for Hundreds of Abandoned Gay Men Dying of AIDS (Arkansas Times)

I’ll Miss Coffee When I Die (Electric Lit)

Trigger Warning: This article looks closely at cadavers—specifically that of Susan Potter, who donated her body to a unique scientific project –> Visible Human: Susan Potter (National Geographic)

Green Burials: Thinking Outside the Coffin (New York Times)

Food

How Breadmaking Got Me Through My Divorce (Catapult)

19 Veg-Friendly Party Snacks (Naturally Ella)

Roasted Apple & Fennel Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese (Food 52)

Thomas Keller’s Bread Pudding (Food 52)

Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey Butter and Pistachios (Naturally Ella)

Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad (New York Times)

Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes (Serious Eats)

Persian Jeweled Rice (New York Times)

30-Minute Aromatic Poached Cod (Cooking Light)

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars (Half Baked Harvest)

6 ingredient vegan chocolate chia mousse (Half Baked Harvest)

Peanut Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles (Cookie and Kate)

Green Bean Salad with Fried Almonds (Smitten Kitchen)

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Sunday Sessions

For Now, We Feast

Thanksgiving is this week, and while my body has been busy with presenting at first one conference and then another, my mind is already in Martinsville, running the hand mixer through a bowl of boiled potatoes and milk to achieve the creamiest mashed potatoes possible.

The complicated history of the first Thanksgiving is not lost on me, but when I think about what it can mean today (a place to bridge the divides, to focus on gratitude) I am convinced there is a need for this holiday more than ever before. Who can be hateful to their fellow man over a shared table of food?

Of course the Christmas season follows in short order, and here in New York, lights are being strung, store windows are covered in anticipation of their grand reveal, and ice skating rinks are already open. For many years, David and I would come to New York in the winter to wonder at the marvelous displays, and every year we would expand our footprint (and thus our comfort zone) a little further beyond mid-town. One year, we even spent Christmas here and were surprised to find that on Christmas morning we could walk through the middle of Times Square and not encounter another human for blocks. Now that I live here, I worry that some of the novelty of our adventure will be displaced because these sights are part of my everyday routine now. It has pushed me to look for new, unexplored territories, and to seek out new traditions.

But for now—until Friday at least—it is Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving alone. Gather your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors around the table. Thanksgiving doesn’t really have a playlist, so I begrudgingly invite you to put on the holiday jazz while you cook. Bring a deck of cards, and maybe a good bottle of wine.

And leave the rest of it—the lights, the tree, the gifts, the carols—for later. For now, we feast.

To Read

You are welcome at our table.

The toast story. The visiting countries story. The “putting on my citizen hat” story. A conversation with Michelle Obama.

Yellowstone National Park is in danger.

A restaurant critic wonders if he is responsible for killing the thing he loved.

There is a sex recession among the young.

The remarkable history of Joy of Cooking.

The young people will save us all.

Beware: this story is creepy AF.

Go to hell, Edith.

Thursday night when David’s train arrives.

As someone who has been to the hospital, erm, a few times for dehydration, I’m so happy to see hydro-haters are a real phenomenon.

Click for photos #14 and #22, stay the lesson about our relationship with technology.

By my count, I’ve read about 30 books this year (and abandoned at least 3). I’m hoping to finish out the year with Heartland and Florida, both of which have been shortlisted for the National Book Awards.

To Listen

As a 34 year old woman, I have no business being on the John Green train, and yet, here I am.  Listen to this interview with Anna Sale of Death, Sex, and Money, and then check out the absolutely perfect Anthropocene Reviewed.

To Eat

Is this the most beautiful pie editorial I’ve ever seen? Yes, yes, it is.

Okay, you’re cutting it a little close here, but if you haven’t begun to plan your Thanksgiving dinner yet, here’s a good place to start.

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Sunday Sessions

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If we’ve been friends for any amount of time, you probably know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s like Christmas, but better—no religious affiliation, no pressure to spend money on gifts, just food and family and gratitude.

There were a few years early in our relationship when David and I would travel 5 hours south to my family in Martinsville, then 5 hours east to his family in Virginia Beach. It was stressful, trying to be there for two families, and feeling like we were never getting enough time with each (not to mention doing it again at Christmas).

But then there was the Thanksgiving where David’s parents were in the middle of a stressful move and being the newest addition to the family, it didn’t seem appropriate to ask my in-laws if I could take over their kitchen to make them a warm meal. So, dear reader, we thawed frozen pre-packaged foods from Costco, and I thought my heart would damn near break. Since then, we’ve spent Thanksgiving with my family, where the past few years the matriarch (my grandma) lets me take over her kitchen while she tells me how to make the family favorites just so. About 2 hours before the meal, we’ll ceremoniously carry the turkey up to my parent’s house across the street, and prepare it to turn on the spit of a seen-on-TV roaster that only comes out one time a year.

No matter what time we say dinner will start, it’s usually about 2 hours after that, and then we crowd into my grandma’s beloved doublewide trailer and fill our plates so full I fear the styrofoam will break. Mashed potatoes and crockpot macaroni and cheese. Yeast rolls. Green beans and broccoli casserole. Turkey. Ham. Gravy. Plastic cups of soda. I usually try to bring at least one new, fresh thing to the table (although it barely gets eaten). My mom makes an assortment of sweets, and my grandma makes the pies—usually one for everyone else, plus another one secreted away for me.

My brother and his partner are there, plus my mom and dad, my brother and his wife, and their two kiddos. Most years my uncle stops by, and sometimes we have special guests, like my grandma’s friend Cordie. This event has always been the litmus test for potential boyfriends and girlfriends.

I used to dream that one day my family would crowd around my kitchen table for our Thanksgiving meals, and that I would, by then, have mastered the family favorites, but the truth is they have made their lives in my hometown, while we still continue to explore and roam. I’m coming to terms with the idea that I will never host my family for Thanksgiving.

For now, though, I still have a kitchen where I am welcome, and recipes to learn, and vegetables to foist on my carb-loving family, on my favorite day of the year.

To Read

“On one level, this story in Flint is about water. But on another level, it’s about trust in government, feeling like your voice matters and that elected leaders care about you. Pipes are hard to fix. Those other things are even harder.”  Here is your regular reminder that Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water.

Working my way through this incredible thread of stories about matriarchy from the San Francisco Chronicle.

This week I found hope in stories I read and heard about Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia.

A pox on the house of every single one of you drinking garbage coffee from Keurig machines.

America, our food is so gay.

Longer Reads

Populism, preservation, collective memory, architecture: there is so much to entertain in Kate Wagner’s “Archivists of Extension.”

I read David Sedaris’ Calypso this week, more than a few times I found myself chuckling or snorting out loud on the train. Find your release valve—whatever that is—and give yourself permission to open it this week.

To Eat

Look, I don’t know how I feel about this collard green melt either, but if it has the attention of Bon Appetit and some of my favorite food people, I feel like we have to give it a try.

If you’ve got time this weekend, why not make this pumpkin pot pie (or sub butternut squash and no one will guess the difference)?

Still the best and tastiest Brussel sprouts recipe I’ve ever made.

Time to practice those pie crusts, babies.

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Sunday Sessions

My Tree, Myself

 

The windows of our apartment look down on a large park. The park has four quadrants—a soccer field, a playground, and two open parcels of grass with large, shady trees. In the grassy area closest to our apartment, there stands a mighty tree with a thick trunk and leafy limbs. The tree and I have passed three full seasons together, and now begin our fourth.

In summer evenings, the tree becomes a bed to what I suspect may be migrant workers. They stretch out there under the limbs with no blankets or pillows—just a rolled up jacket—and stay there until the early morning. Others use the tree as coverage, for “discreet” drug deals, or a make out spot, or a place to tell secrets with a best friend. Most often though, the tree becomes a toilet. On any given day, a half dozen men will look around to make sure no one is watching, then slip behind the tree to relieve themselves. Mostly, this makes me laugh. The tree may provide protection from visibility on one side, but what about the other three?

Shorter Reads

I feel seen.

Katie Prout writes about going hungry while studying at the most prestigious MFA in America.

Following the news that Sears has filed for bankruptcy, read this thread on why the Sears Catalogue was seen as “radical” in the Jim Crow era.

Longer Reads

A complicated portrait of patron saint of conservative feminism, Dolly Parton.

The love story that upended the Texas prison system.

This is 24 Hours in America.

The surreal, corrupt ways the elderly lose their rights.

12 authors describe why they love libraries.

If you enjoy history, or even just stories powerful (sometimes misunderstood) women, set aside some time to dig into this series on the “queens of infamy.”

Listen

Hoodies Up

To Watch

Watch the new Netflix series, Salt, Acid, Fat and Heat, based on a book of the same name by Samin Nosrat. It’s as close as anyone has ever come, in my opinion, to achieving the same genuine curiosity and profound respect for food cultures as Anthony Bourdain.

To Eat

Since the days have gotten colder, I’ve had a perpetual low-grade cold. My nose runs, my muscles ache, I shiver. Could this magic elixir change everything?

I’ve decided this is the winter of fennel: I want to try this quirky vegetable everywhere. If you’re just discovering fennel too, a good place to start is this apple and fennel salad with walnuts and honey.

Oh Ottolenghi, you have never lead me astray. His baked rice with slow-roasted tomatoes and garlic is an easy and warm side to make for dinner.

On lazy weekends, I’ll whip up some basic pancakes, but this winter feels like a good time to step up my game with this cinnamon apple dutch baby.

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