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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Sunday Sessions

We Have to be Fearless About Love

I never had dreams of a house in the suburbs with a yard and a fence, but the older I get the more I do have a vision of a small cabin, tucked back into the woods, with some water nearby, and maybe a little garden to the side.

The windows are open all the time, some biscuits or perhaps cinnamon rolls on the counter, and a door that swings wide open for anyone who cares to visit. On your way in, you can hear the sound of jazz on the radio just over the barks of the dog.

I’ll greet you at the door and tell you pull up a chair while I make some coffee in the French press. David’s building the fire, he’ll be over in just a minute. And don’t let me forget about the book I have to give you—I loved it and I know you will too.

We’ll talk and laugh, and I’ll make you leave with a plate of something.

And as you’re preparing to go, I’ll give you a good firm hug and tell you I love you; you’ll be a little embarrassed by my open displays of affection (but that’s okay, because in these times we have to be fearless about love).

To Read

Actress Mara Wilson ponders what Matilda would look like at age 30, and Louis Staples explains why Matilda came to represent the LGBTQ experience so well.

Hey, it was a really stressful week. Let’s go on a nature walk.

“We don’t make magic; we make money.” The dark underbelly of Disneyland.

“I had often wondered if anxiety medication would prevent me from thinking I was about to die on a plane, or if it would prevent me from caring that I was about to die on a plane. It was most definitely the latter.” Hello, my name is Ashley, and I have a deep and abiding fear of flying.

My senior year of college, I got really sick. I don’t really remember how she realized I was so sick (maybe I called sounding not quite like myself?), but my mom hopped in her car and drove the three and a half hours to take care of me. The rest of her visit is a total fog, but the sense of comfort and relief I felt when she walked through the door remains with me to this day. I think that’s why even as an adult, homesickness never really goes away.

For a southern gal, I’m late to discover famed Black southern chef (and Virginia-native) Edna Lewis. Now I can’t get enough of stories about her influence and what we’re still learning about southern food culture today.

To Listen

I’ve been listening to Last Seen, a podcast about the most expensive art heist in history.

For The Bello Collective, I wrote about why it’s okay to indulge in stories, even when the world is crumbling around us (there are also 10 recommendations for new podcasts here!).

I recently re-watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. I am happy to say that version—with the cherubic Leonardo DiCaprio—holds up mightily well. It’s soundtrack—which is equally brilliant—makes this list of the 40 best movie soundtracks of all time.

To Eat

I fucking hate myself for even typing these words, but I’ve really been enjoying these overnight oats and this chia seed pudding for breakfast. Yuck. There, I said it. Please forgive me for fulfilling the dream of every Instagram influencer who endorse these recipes endlessly. The truth is, they’re both filling, can be dressed up with fruits or nuts, and take like 10 minutes to put together the night before. I’m sorry.

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Sunday Sessions

Once More Unto the Breach, Friends

This was a tough week, no? I came back from a meeting to find my colleagues crowded around a computer screen watching the hearings, their eyes wide, their breath held. I took a mental picture because it reminded me so much of the other times we as Americans have crowded around a screen to watch a moment of collective horror unfold.

I don’t know what to say anymore. These last few years have shattered a lot of my naive perceptions about people in power—mostly that they are inherently moral and oriented towards good intentions.

I thought we were just a generation away from something better, but we have further to go, and November is coming.

Building community into the renaissance of Durham, North Carolina.

People are suggesting we should eat pie for breakfast, and friends, I am here for it.

Four authors write about the intersection of relationship and place.

I wrote a very long-winded description of our travels to France and Italy.

Maya Rudolph is forever swoon-worthy.

I thought about putting up signs in my neighborhood asking if someone’s abuela would teach me the secrets behind the smells emanating from my neighbors’ kitchens. Someone got there first.

How to be better at uncertainty.

Look, I’ll be the first to tell you that in the age of social media, I advocated (advocated, I say!) for the return of the email newsletter, but now my inbox is flooded as I tried to grasp the individual threads of all my favorite writers. Thank goodness for Kill the Newsletter, a new tool that lets me send those individual newsletters to my feed reader. Now I can read them at my leisure or all at once.

Longer Reads

I just finished Shelia Heti’s book Motherhood and had a lot of feelings, mostly that both men and women alike should read this book. Most of you know David and I have long thought that kids may not be in the picture for us, at least not in the traditional way (read: I am a rockstar babysitter and auntie. Let me love on your kiddos while you take a break with a nice, strong drink), but the premise of this book is really more about the philosophical calling of motherhood—both the individual pressures and the societal complications it creates.

Scouring the book awards can be a great way to find your next read, and among the Kirkus and National Book Award finalists, there look to be some real winners (har, har).

To Eat

I’ve recently developed a new appreciation for dried plums (prunes). This prune couscous looks incredibly easy and delicious.

This winter, find ways to eat your greens, even if they’re loaded with cheddar.

Post Script

Somewhere in me there is a post on the shedding of things. One of the things I shed last year was my winter coat, so please help me fashion-minded friends. Where does one find a New York winter worthy coat?

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Sunday Sessions

Summer is Dead, Long Live Summer

Summer is over and I feel dead inside. Well, not quite, but sort of. The iced fruit carts are beginning to disappear and Mister Softee is becoming scarce too. Everything is pumpkin and apple spice now. Every restaurant has placed their bets on soup. Sigh.

Yesterday, we made one last hurrah of it (summer, I mean). We biked the 8 miles down to the very bottom of Manhattan, then we boarded a short ferry bound for Governor’s Island. We stuffed our faces at the Vendy’s and then we made the long trek back on the train feeling quiet and contemplative.

I’ve long-suspected that I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) since the transition to fall and winter leaves me out of sorts and a little blue. I try to counteract it with exercise and lots of social plans, but if you see me reaching out for your company in these dark winter months, perhaps indulge me? You’ll be my human sunshine.

To Read

It’s here. My favorite piece of media all year is this list of 100 pieces of outstanding journalism. I make it a mission to read them all—join me?

What am I going to do with my life?

Looking for a job? These are really, really good resume templates.

Need to find me? Ask my ham man.

There is no way around it, this is a tough read, but it is important we don’t distance ourselves from their sacrifice.

Noah Chao on sharing a love of Korean cooking with his white mother .

I cling to recipes—I won’t buy a cookbook without pictures—but really, this is the wrong way to learn to cook.

To Watch

We’re working our way through Manic on Netflix. What a weird and wonderful ride from Cary Fukunaga (director of True Detective and the Jane Eyre adaption with haunting Mia Wasikowska).

To Listen

In a packed house on the upper east side, the New York Times revealed that this week’s Magazine would be an audio and visual experience unlike any they’ve tried before. I want to know what you think about it. Start here.

To Eat

During the week, I need something I can make quickly, but bonus points if it feels decadent and can be sized into a dish for one. This midnight pasta will do the trick just fine.

I will not stop my quest to make you try tofu. I haven’t made this Crisp Tofu Katsu With Lemon-Tahini Sauce yet, but it seems like the thing that could endear you to tofu.

I’m visiting my friend Matt and his lovely family today, and I wish I’d had the foresight to make these miso brown sugar cashew buns as gift. Holy wow, these look tasty.

And finally…

It turns out there are a few folks (it was my Grandma) who don’t want to depend on Facebook to show them the latest updates on the blog, so they asked for a little advice on how to get the latest posts sent to them directly.

Currently, there are three ways:

  1. Bookmark 18thandColumbia.co in your browser and visit on Sundays to see if I’ve written anything new.
  2. Add 18thandColumbia.co to your favorite feedreader (I use Feedly).
  3. Sign up to receive an email every time I post something new by adding your email address to the form at the bottom of this page here. This email is automated, so it won’t be very pretty; I suggest you click through to see the post on the site.

Love you, Grandma.

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Sunday Sessions

The One in Which I Realize I Am a Now a Local

Before moving to DC, I had never lived anywhere with a mass transit system before. It took me some time (and a lot of stares) to realize people were not interested in conversing with me on their morning rush hour commutes.

These days, I’m veteran of the subways and the inveterate moods that come with them. I sigh at the tourists walking four across down the stairs, making it impossible for the locals to move around them. I stop to help folks who look overwhelmed by the tangle of routes on the maps. I have deep fondness for the buskers, dancers, and artists who frequent the platform and the cars of the system.

Last weekend, however, I found myself making a rookie mistake: I had hopped on a line that would require me to transfer at 42nd Street/Times Square. On a Saturday afternoon. In the middle of tourist season.

It was hot, I was sweaty, and I was already nearing my the end of my patience when the 2 Express train arrived. We packed onto the car—bodies pressed tightly against each other, the odors of our shared sweat pungent. I strained my neck to identify the locals—you always know your fellow locals—and we shared a look: Just hold out until 72nd street, none of these tourists will dare go up that far, the car will empty out and it will be just us again.

Before it was better, though, it got worse. A warbling voice rose from somewhere in the middle of the car: “Shame on all of you meat eaters! Your body is the graveyard of animals! Your grotesque habits have created climate change and it cannot be undone!”

I outwardly groaned.

I have suffered through shouting preachers at 8:30 AM, and intense political propaganda when I am dead tired after work, but not this, not today.

She continued: “Instead of feeding the world’s hungry and poorest, we use our food sources to feed the animals you will fatten up and slaughter! Leonardo DiCaprio convinced Netlfix to make a movie about it! If you don’t believe me, believe Leonardo DiCaprio!”

I stretched my neck again to find my fellow locals. Some had squeezed their eyes shut, others sighed. How much more of this could we take?

We tried to communicate with our glances: What should we do? What could we do? There was nowhere to move. We could not even see where the voice was coming from.

I pondered my own cynicism as the train and the woman barreled on. I am mostly vegetarian and I even I am extremely annoyed by this tactic. Should I have compassion for this woman with a cause? Should I honor her sense of dedication?

Eventually, the train pulled into 72nd street and a hard break sent bodies rushing into each other as we all tried to stay upright. The doors opened and as people rushed out; the voice stuttered to a stop, overtaken by the masses trying to exit the car.

Within seconds, the train car had cleared by more than half. I looked around and my fellow locals began to pull out books and phones to take up all their new hard-won personal space. The doors closed and we all held our breath, looking around at who remained.

Silence.

Turns out protesters don’t want to go above 72nd street either.

We breathed a collective sigh of relief.

To Read

Want to make and keep friends as an adult? Show up.

Will travel for coffee: Some people drink wine and taste the distinguishing notes right away—that’s how I feel about coffee. More often than not, if I’m exploring a new neighborhood its because I’m on the hunt for a cup of joe. This list from Eater hasn’t let me down yet.

Journalists are not the enemy.

I turned 34 yesterday and I have never felt the unraveling more keenly.

Mindful eating as a kind of prayer.

It drives me bonkers when waitstaff hand the check to David automatically. I’ll be glad when all restaurants do away with the concept of “ladies first.”

Read everything in this thread on our relationship with places, but if you need a place to start, start here.

An informative guide to Black hair.

Traveling through Penn Station? Shh, here’s an insider tip.

A fascinating (and troubling) look at the history of plastic bags. Like all bad things, corporations were involved from the start.

The startling thing about New York is the many ways it’s just like anywhere else.

Longer Reads

I finished Freshwater this week. To appreciate it is to know you are looking at something avant garde and finding meaning in it anyway.

How can so much about relationships, and family, and geopolitical disasters be contained in this one little tome? Exit West is perhaps the truest telling I’ve ever read of how two people can simply grow apart.

To Watch

We the Animals. I can’t remember the last time a film moved me in this way.

To Eat

This week, I met up for dinner with an buddy from DC. She suggested Osteria 106, which I would have never found on my own, hidden as it was along a residential street on the Upper West Side. We thought we’d just have a drink—for old times’ sake—but a shared bottle of wine turned into a shared plate of fried artichokes with lemon, which turned into a shared plate of cheesy gnocchi with walnuts (we sopped up the remaining cheese sauce with olive bread). There is a certain intimacy implied in sharing food—the knowledge you’re likely to clink forks, and that someone will always eat the last bite, and that the bad thing you’ve just eaten is a little less bad because you only at half as much.

This fried-bread panzanella seems the perfect way to say goodbye to summer.

Somebody get me this cheese plate right. now.

I am 100% here for these fresh takes on the humble tuna sandwich.

Yesterday we made an admirable go of the pie crawl, stopping at The Little Pie Company in Hell’s Kitchen, Petee’s Pie on the Lower East Side, and Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanas? Park Slope? Prospect Park? (sorry, I don’t know Brooklyn that well yet). Across our journey, we had key lime, banana cream, matcha, coffee cream, black bottom oat, and salted caramel pies. They were worthy every dollar, and every sugary, creamy bite.

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Sunday Sessions

People-Based Infrastructure

I’ve been living in New York for 8 months, and most of that time has been a steady routine of going to work, coming home, and waiting until the weekend when David returns. When nobody is waiting for you at home, you try the city on for size anytime you like—take new routes, hop off the train somewhere random, see the odd movie or show on a whim. And there is a special kind of joy in indulging that kind of serendipity.

But, frankly, sometimes it can be a little lonely too.

And just when that feeling began to crystalize and I started to worry I might never see our favorite friendly faces ever again, Nicole and Bret wondered if we might want to get brunch while they were visiting. Soon, I was talking chickens with Anna and Sarah and Kara. Not long after that, Charlie came up to test oat milk theory and pioneer City Island. I got drunk on rose with Nitya. We had sushi and sake with Brandon. We talked about the never-ending hustle with Heather and Greg. Tim convinced David to give Queer Eye a chance. Jenna and I pondered chucking it all and opening up a bookstore. And in the middle of torrential downpour, we traipsed across the city with Ryan and Kyndra.

In the middle of building a new life, these visits sustained me. And more importantly, they reminded me that you never know when a casual meeting will turn into a long-lasting friendship.

I’m grateful for the incredible network of friends and family who visit, and send me text messages and letters, and let me share in their joys even though I’m further away than ever before. Thank you.

To Read

What’s the line between southern food and soul food?

When I was a kid, my parents distinguished between girl chores (dusting, vacuuming) and boy chores (mowing the yard). It was bullshit then, and I’m sorry to see it is still bullshit now.

The kids are alright: Four millennials have saved Capitol Hill Books

Can you make a career out of being a waiter? Turns out you can.

Why some people leave their hometowns—and others stay.

Feminize your cannon: Dorothy West

These women are reshaping America’s food system.

To Listen

Bodies

The Organist

StartUp

To Eat

It’s peach season. Peel one and put it in your oatmeal. Have one for Elevenses, and another for lunch. Peaches also make a delicious dessert. All of the peaches, all of the time—no recipe required.

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Sunday Sessions

Just the Links

The rain has passed, the sunshine is out, and we should all be outside. It’ll be just the links this week.

To Read

Did you take French in high school? I did, mostly because it seemed romantic at the time. Now, eight semesters of French later and I barely remember more than the “ferme la bouche!” my friend Jennifer and I would giggle to each other between recitations. I’ve now been to Paris once, and am heading back again in the fall, maybe its finally time to learn French for good?

We have to believe women. We just have to believe women.

I worked for a railroad for a year. The maintenance challenges are substantial, the politics obtuse. Call me hopeful, but I think that maybe, just maybeAndy Byford will actually save the subways.

The middle child is going extinct.

Half of all Americans think women should be required to take their husband’s last name. Uh, that’s going to be a hard no.

“The wishes of the dead do not take precedence over the needs of the living.” This piece resurfaced in the wake of Anthony Bourdain’s death, it’s was powerful in 1996, and it still resonates today. Meanwhile, I’m just reading profile after profile after profile of the late Bourdain, of whom I’m not quite willing to let go.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf is one of the most prolific writers around. When he writes, you read.

I couldn’t look away from this conversation with the supremely strange Gwyneth Paltrow.

Am I brave enough to do this leg workout at the public park in front of my apartment? Hmm.

I wasn’t a regular read of Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold. Much like David Bowie, it’s a shame to really be discovering his work posthumously.

I’m already in for $2.50 in late fees at the library, but I’m hooked on John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

To Watch and Listen

NPR has selected the 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+. Go ahead and open this list up in your browser tab and hit play.

I cried and I have no shame.

To Eat

I was reading a profile of James Beard award-winning pastry chef Dolester Miles. She mentioned her famous lemon merengue tart is her favorite among all of her desserts. Let it be so.

I have never grown a damn thing in my life and now our community garden is flush with cucumbers. These spicy pickles ought to set those up quite nicely.

Replaced the shrimp with tofu, added a little sriracha, and these cold soba noodles with peanut sauce turned out to be a perfect summertime meal.

David’s Instant Pot is getting dusty. Time to put it to work on this miso risotto.

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Sunday Sessions

New York: A Poem

Occasionally in New York,

you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful day.

You will be tempted to take a deep breath of fresh air.

But do not be fooled. There is no fresh air in New York.

Only the smell of garbage, lightly toasted by the sun.

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