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I just got back from a ski weekend away with my family. We stayed at my nana’s house, a straight-from-the-70s, wood paneled and green and orange colored schemed type of abode. A mix of old and new with a heavy emphasis on the old. And so familiar that I love it that way.

I said goodbye to the family and boarded a bus back to NYC this afternoon, as always a little wistful that I couldn’t instead hop in the car and drive back to Connecticut. My family house there is big and spacious, light and comfy. I’d love nothing more than to wake up in the morning and pad downstairs in sweatpants and slippers and pour a cup of coffee and sit on the couch and talk for hours with whoever else happened to be awake.

But today I went back to Brooklyn, to unpack and grocery shop and get ready for work. Maintain my “household,” do things that signify I’m an adult but really just mask the fact that I’m at a very transient stage of life. I don’t always know where I want to be, I just have to adapt to wherever I am. For tonight, it’s Brooklyn, and I’m actually surprised by how good it feels to be back.

Brooklyn looked beautiful tonight when I walked home from the subway. It was sunset and the sky lit up pink over a darkening park, reminding me how much I love runs at twilight. The air smelled slightly of spring, fresh and clear, and I got excited for spring in the city. I thought about the times when I decide I want ice cream at 10:30 at night and can just walk outside and down the block to get some (and then sit on the stoop to eat it and people watch).

And the times when I wake up in the morning and realize we’re out of coffee (or milk or eggs or oatmeal) and it’s not a disaster, we just head next door and are back in 10 min, food supplies in hand. Or maybe we do have the coffee grounds, but decide we want someone else to make it, so we head across the street for a tall iced drink, or take a stroll to our favorite orange food truck, parked outside a bustling farmer’s market, and get a coffee with the perfect amount of “just a little cream.”

Sometimes it’s hot and sticky, or mouse-y and buggy. Sometimes Often I’m frustrated by the lack of closet space and counter space and bathroom sink space and just about every kind of living space you can think of. And not having a car when you want to get away for a weekend (or even just go to Target!) is a big. huge. pain. But it’s okay, because Brooklyn’s a home. I love it here.


I’m relaxed, refreshed and happy with the world this Sunday night. It was the most pleasant type of weekend, filled with delightful small activities that make you love the city you live in and the people you’re with even more. Lots of sleep, simple but classic meals (ummm pb&j sandwich, bagel with cream cheese and pasta), a kick-butt run through a sunny park and board games.

Highlight would definitely be the BC game, the first I’ve seen this season, which we watched at a bar with craft-y brews and fellow football fans. It was just perfect to sit there, chilling and talking, for over 4 hours.

I got a little burnt-out from traveling this summer, can you tell? So far my recovery Fall is going just as planned. Er, just as not-planned, since I’m keeping it free and easy.

I also made my first huge pot of soup of the season. (It was breezy and rainy today, I felt it was an appropriate day to welcome Autumn.) A lovely white bean soup with a variety of veggies. It will be my lunch for the next four days so hopefully it continues to taste as good as it did tonight.


1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped
3-4 medium carrots, chopped
10 oz frozen corn
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans white beans
1 can diced tomatoes (I would add more next time)
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley


1. Heat oil, saute garlic and onion until tender, about 5 minutes
2. Stir in carrots and corn, season with salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes
3. Pour in broth, beans, tomatoes, spinach, thyme, parsley. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. Salt & pepper to taste.

Pair with a fresh crusty roll and enjoy!

Brooklyn is home to a renowned botanic garden. It’s actually only about 3 blocks from my apartment but I’d never managed to visit. Admission is free on Saturdays from 9a.m. to noon, so I told myself that it wouldn’t make sense to go any other time. And then I never got myself mobilized before noon…oops.

[In my defense, I usually wasn’t sleeping. I like to drink coffee and read the paper on Saturdays, then go for long runs in the park. It’s my start-the-weekend-right routine and I tend to stick with it 🙂 ]

But with the help of my mom and sister who came to stay with me for a weekend, I added another check to the life list — and a very significant one, as this has been at the top since I moved to Brooklyn almost 2 years ago.

It was a bright sunny (slightly hot) morning and we stopped for coffee and bagels then proceeded onto the gardens. Mid-summer may not have been the best time to go — in between spring blooms and autumn leaves — but the verdant tree-lined paths, beautiful frog ponds and all sorts of interesting plants and hearty flowers were still lovely. I especially loved the rose garden (who knew there were so many types of roses??) and the little Japanese hill-and-pond garden (with bridge, narrow footpaths and dainty waterfall).

The only minor mishap when when my flip-flop snapped and I was shoeless (in the middle of a forest…). With a button pin and some inventive finagling, we pieced it back together and continued the tour. Lesson learned: Old Navy flip-flops last two seasons, at best.

So glad I finally made it there. Like it or not, I’ll be dragging myself out before noon sometime this fall. Now that I’ve seen its lush green finest, I must visit when it’s all decked out in its autumn brights.

My meal of the week this time is Minestrone Soup. Full of vegetables, beans, yumminess and a little too much dried parsley. But hey, when a baggie-full costs just $0.13, it’s easy to go overboard.

$0.13 for a bag of spices, you say?

Here’s the part I’m really excited about: I just joined a food coop (plug: “the largest wholly member-owned and operated food coop in the country”). The 15,000+ members each work a 2-3 hour shift every four weeks in exchange for a 20-40% savings on food. Really good food. Organic, grass-fed, sustainable food.

I don’t consider myself a granola person, but I’m getting a kick out of how much I love eating well and how I buy the organic- milk-that-costs-twice-as-much.

I’m wondering why it took me so long to join, given my interest in a foodie future. I’m quite giddy, actually. I’ll let you know if I still feel that way after my first shift (I’m a cashier!)

Expect lots of vegetables in my future.

It’s uncanny how much this story resembles my life.

Except for the dumpster diving and quitting-my-job-during-a-recession parts.

Books I’m Reading

Wuthering Heights

Mrs. Kimble

Little Bee


My Life with the Saints

Brave Companions

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Lunch in Paris


Reading Lolita in Tehran

Pride and Prejudice

Rethinking Thin

The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Best Food Writing 2009

Let the Great World Spin

The Middle Place

Northern Borders

In Defense of Food