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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Sunday Sessions

Postcard from Vermont

I went on vacation this week, the first real, off-the-grid vacation I’d taken in awhile. It took me a few days to ease into it, to stop obsessively checking my work email, to mute Slack for awhile, to remind myself that if there was an emergency, people know how to reach me. Slowly my shoulders relaxed, and my jaw unclenched, I slept well.

We took two hikes and a 25-mile bike ride along the coast. I finished four books. I also watched a lot of cable, which I haven’t personally had in a decade (turns out Home Improvement kinda holds up). For the first time in awhile, I was needed nowhere, and that felt really nice.

After a few days of simulated hospitality though, I started feeling a sort of existential ache for the routines and comforts of home, but also feeling uneasy about where that is these days. I thought of summertime in Martinsville: my uncle’s catfish fry, morning coffee with grandma, croquet in my parent’s backyard. I thought of summertime in DC, the air swampy and oppressive, only counteracted by brunch and iced coffee with friends. And now summer in New York, the street ice purveyors, a walk or bike ride along Riverside park, watching the kids play in the park.

These days home is nowhere. These days home is everywhere. Either way, I’m glad to be back.

To Read

May there come a day when we are no longer defined by our age.

Like so many others, I went to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Fred Rogers. I walked out of the theater and was quiet for a little while, feeling the powers of Mr. Rogers mending my very adult heart. Years ago, one of my favorite writers, Tom Junod, interviewed Mr. Rogers for Esquire and hinted then even then at the nuance of this oft revered man.

Gone Girl. Big Little Lies. Serial. Why are there more fictional stories about dead or missing girls than ever before, and what does it mean about our society? If the topic gives you pause, stay with me: this essay from The Paris Review asks some fascinating philosophical questions worth considering before your next SVU binge.

I read four books last week and it was a glorious, luxurious privilege. A life of reading is never lonely.

This excerpt will make you want to phone up your mother right away.

Love is love is love is love.

“I just know that when she picks me, I feel a little jolt of excitement, as if I have won a small and horrible prize.” The internet is a horrible place. Until—for a moment, or in this case a single email—it isn’t.

To Listen

If you’re like me, you struggle to take in even one more piece of bad news, so it may seem counterintuitive to tell you to subscribe to a podcast about our corrupt justice system. Stick with me here: Season 2 of In the Dark brings laser focus to one story worthy of your attention.

I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz for Still Processing‘s two-week series on anti-Asian racism.

The last time I went to church, I was guilted into attending by my parents. That day—at a megachurch once home to an adulterous pastor—they said:  “A godly woman is one who submits to her husband in all things.” It was Mother’s Day. David held my hand tightly to keep me from walking out. I’m going to take a deep breath and trust the story on this one.

David Kestenbaum, one of my favorite This American Life contributors, selects his favorite episodes.

Listening to this new Panic! at the Disco on repeat.

To Eat

This farro, kale, and strawberry salad is everything summertime should be.

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Sunday Sessions

One Block at a Time

It’s a little daunting to realize that New York is six times the size of DC—that’s a lot of territory to discover. Slowly, but surely, I have been expanding my city footprint one walk at a time. Lately, instead of getting off at the subway stop for work, I’ll get off one early or one late, then I’ll pick a direction approximately towards the office and just start walking. Other times, I’ll grab a Citibike and set off towards a stretch of Harlem I haven’t visited yet and just see what lives on those streets. In doing this, I now know the location of bookstores, and coffeeshops, and cheeseshops (!), and pocket parks, that I may not have discovered if I was limited to Google and Yelp recommendations. I love walking through neighborhoods and seeing the type of people who live there too.

The challenge of New York though, is the sheer quantity of options. Want to find the place with the best dumplings? New Yorkers have told Google and Yelp that twelve places have worthy dumplings, so now you’re left to visit all of them until you find your favorite from among them. A lot of self-discovery, a lot of trial and error. And the same goes for many New York establishments—there is always another customer, so what makes you so special and worthy of our attention?

Mostly though, I miss knowing the quirks of my neighborhood—of being so intimately acquainted that you notice when the Barbie pond changes themes, or the menu at your favorite spot gets an upgrade, or you’ve watched kids grow up over years of Sundays at the farmers market. We’re a long way from being regulars here, but for now I’m living for the subtle nod I get from the old man down the street—a simple acknowledgement that we’ve seen each other before and are likely to again.

Read

I was gutted to learn about the death of Anthony Bourdain. This missive from David Simon sums up everything you need to know about Tony. And this too.

15 women shaping the world we eat today.

24-hours of love and heartache in New York.

For all the Amy Santiagos out there, may you be loved, may you be understood.

For the love of all that is good, please take care of each other.

A new series from The Paris Review seeks to feminize your cannon.

Longer Reads

After 6 months on the wait list at the library, I finally got around to reading An American Marriage, and I think I’m one of the few people who thought it was just okay.

Watch

I downloaded Kanopy, and have been catching up on notable indies, including the visually stunning Loving Vincent.

Listen

If you’re a fan of BBC’s Sherlock, check in on the Johnloc conspiracy.

I am loving this pride playlist from my colleagues at the Bello Collective.

Eat

I’ve been looking for ways to upgrade my “staple meals,” the ones I can make with my eyes closed on a weeknight after work. These noodle salads look very promising.

The potato salad in this list is either the best thing to happen to potato salad or the worst.

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Sunday Sessions

The Hunt for Mr. Softee

For weeks, a Mr. Softee ice cream truck has stalked my neighborhood. From about 10 AM until 9 PM every weekend the incessant sounds of the theme song have invaded my ear drums.

The thing is, Mr. Softee is wanted here. The park across the street is like our town square—the neighborhood children and their parents spend their entire Saturday there—and Mr. Softee is like the mayor.

So yesterday, after loving and loathing the Mr. Softee truck from afar for so long, I decided today is the day I would have an ice cream. We go outside, our ears perked for the now familiar noise, and…nothing. Mr. Softee was no where to be found. We walked ten blocks to the other corner Mr. Softee is known to frequent and still, nothing. We finally decide to settle for a Dominican fruit ice and begin the trek back home, our faces and fingers sticky with mango flavors.

As we round the corner to our apartment, we wonder…is that…could that be the faint tinkle of the Mr. Softee truck? I powerwalk ahead (because I am a GD adult) and there it is, the off-brand Mr. Softee, in all of its summertime glory.

He gets chocolate/vanilla twist, I get a chocolate dipped vanilla cone. We stand at the edge of the park, giggling, and trying to recover as much ice cream as we can before it melts.

To Read

Were you a woman into literature as a teen? You will never feel more seen.

I don’t generally care what men think about #MeToo, but their responses to this survey often demonstrate a lack of empathy—and more importantly, self-control.

6 things you’re recycling incorrectly.

Taking a flight? They’ll have a story waiting for you when you land.

There are so many interesting women lost to a history mostly owned by men. Get to know Natacha Rambova.

If you don’t listen to podcasts, you probably have no idea who the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder is, right? But if you do listen to podcasts, this is a really cool interview with my favorite gender fluid, anonymous music maker.

To Watch

I saw The Seagull and have decided Annette Bening can do no wrong. Molly’s Game was also surprisingly good.

To Listen

I listen to music one song at a time, which is to say, I find a song I like and play it on repeat until I hate it. Right now that song is Friends by Francis and the Lights (ignore that it happens to briefly feature Kanye).

My buddy Grace had a great disco show at Radio Free Brooklyn for awhile. The archives are still up so you can boogie on down forever.

I’m enjoying the quick 15-minute food stories from Meat and Three.

Did you know Stevie Nicks covered Dave Matthew’s “Crash Into Me”? Would you be surprised if I told you it’s so much better than the original?

To Eat

I’ve been working on overcoming my introverted tendencies by inviting people over for dinner, and first up are our neighbors. My usual go-to for family style dinners is a vegetarian mashup of this insanely good mushroom ragu and the classic Marcella Hazan sauce (and which I will now forever be serving with bronze-cut pasta), but I started thinking it felt a little heavy for an early summer meal.

Over on Facebook, I asked my friends about the meals they make when company comes to visit. The thread, I must admit, turned into a bit of a magical place. Here’s what they recommended:

Meat-based

Zuni Cafe’s Roasted Chicken + Bread Salad

Roasted Pork Shoulder

How To Put Together A Great Cheese Plate At A Regular Supermarket

Here’s How To Make A Perfect Cheese Plate And Look Like You’re Fancy AF

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