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.”


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.