Monday Memos // 87

Listening:

"Tranquillo" by Eric V. Hachikian. 

"Doctor Doctor" by Oh Pep!

"Clean Jeans" by Remember Sports. 

Reading:

My Week in Disposable Film, By Marie Claire’s Design Director

10 useful foreign language words without direct English translation — the Japanese word “tsundoku,” which means to purchase books but never read them, letting them pile up on shelves or nightstands.

Insufferable Eaters by Olivia de Recat

Craving:

Delicious baked goods and iced coffees.

I did lots of wandering this weekend and the heat index and humidity were not the best. In between mopping sweat off my forehead and neck, I drank lots of iced coffee and refueled my energy with various treats. My favorite were the chocolate chip, double chocolate, and oatmeal raisin cookies from Chez Alex Bakery. A peach blueberry muffin from Bake Shop was also a moist little lifesaver. Plus, there was a banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and a giant cowboy one that were both delights. So many cookies. 

Bake Shop has good neon signs and flooring. 

Bake Shop has good neon signs and flooring. 

Wearing:

Striped t-shirts. Shorts. Slacks. Small and often floral dresses. 

Got this Everlane tee and I could wear it every day. 

Got this Everlane tee and I could wear it every day. 

Watching:

I'm not feeling very obsessed and in awe of tv/movie media from the last week. So tidbits...

YouTube: Such a satisfying journey—Pastry Chef Attempts To Make Gourmet Oreos

TV: Can't wait for Insecure to start up again next week.

Movies: I want to see Crazy Rich Asians (seems like a good, light summer movie) and The Favourite (always a fan of the visually stunning and pretty twisted films of Yorgos Lanthimos).

Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz in the  The Favourite .

Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz in the The Favourite.

Treasuring:

Music and walking and walking and walking: I feel revived by music. Hearing new bands and getting wrapped up in songs. Listening to mixes and cassette tapes. I feel great at my 6-month mark in the city. I'm still so excited to wander for hours and happen upon new corners of this place. 

Casual Wednesday morning. Plus, the striped shirt!

Casual Wednesday morning. Plus, the striped shirt!

Monday Memos // 84

Listening:

"Who's That Guy" by Ricky Banda.  This Zamrock! album is so good. Listen to it all. 

"The River" by Diane Cluck and Jeffrey Lewis.  This song brings me back to a time in my life that I want to smile, laugh, and cry about. Reminds me of jamming on a melodica. 

"Crazy In Love" by Antony and The Johnsons.  This is a wild Beyonce cover, but I've been an Anohni fan for many years. I once had a dance routine set to the original, so I definitely know all the words. 

Reading:

Important thoughts: How to Tell the Bad Men From the Good Men. If anything, read the last paragraph... "despite sex happening all the time, everywhere, we still — still! — haven’t found a way to talk about it that is truthful, open, informative, and not scaring the living daylights out of our young people. We seem not to have told them, at any point, how lovely it all should be. We’ve somehow managed to screw this up. Our tabula is still rasa."

I would hang out with this cast in a heartbeat: Nothing Is Off the Table at Dinner With the Cast of Queer Eye.

Where Your Personalities Go While You’re Having Sex.

I just love Don Featherstone, creator of the pink lawn flamingo. (Image via Seth Resnick/Science Faction, via Corbis)

I just love Don Featherstone, creator of the pink lawn flamingo. (Image via Seth Resnick/Science Faction, via Corbis)

Craving:

Last week felt like an infinite weekend with the Fourth of July holiday falling on a Wednesday. It was also a major heat wave. For better or worse, I consumed quite a bit of ice cream to combat the constant sweat. I had received several free pints of dairy-free ice cream, so I had minimal stomach aches/heaviness. Whole Foods has some new almond milk-based ice creams that weren't bad — I recommend the chocolate chip peanut butter option. Häagen-Dazs really was the winner though, since their varieties are just like eating cold, creamy truffles. 

The rest of the week could be categorized with beach snacks, tiki drinks, more ice cream, the most bubbly water, and multiple late night pizza pit stops. To say it was a fun week would be a vast understatement. 

This is one of my favorite photos from many moons ago (hi Kyle!). My ice cream tendencies are strong and secure.

This is one of my favorite photos from many moons ago (hi Kyle!). My ice cream tendencies are strong and secure.

Wearing:

Broke out an old red-and-white striped jumpsuit (short-shorts) for the holiday, more so for the trip to the beach and the heat versus the patriotism. Wore stupid baseball hats. Wore silly sunglasses. Felt a great swell in my heart that I have new friends I can be my weirdest with. 

Said sunglasses.

Said sunglasses.

Watching:

Saw: I finally saw the movie Band Aid and loved it more than I imagined. Also, Duck Butter — absolutely go watch it, Alia Shawkat is amazing.

What's cooler than a girl named Sergio? (image via variety)

What's cooler than a girl named Sergio? (image via variety)

To Be Seen: I'm ready to go sob in a theater watching Won't You Be My Neighbor?  Also can't wait for Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. Gus Van Sant, Joaquin Phoenix, Jack Black, done!

Jonah Hill is always great too. (image via variety)

Jonah Hill is always great too. (image via variety)

Treasuring:

Bliss: I'm channeling playfulness, contentment, and unobstructed joy. I'm attempting giddiness without doubt or worry. Last night I fell asleep with smiles and laughter for myself, in my newly air-conditioned room, cocooned in blankets and lightness. I think it's working. I recommend it.

Accurate representation of my brain.

Accurate representation of my brain.

Monday Memos // 81

Listening:

"Blue Castaway" by The Shelltones. 

This song makes me feel like I'm in the scene of a movie, and/or makes me want to make a movie. More than 50 years later it holds up. I'm on a melancholy tiki party kind of music kick.

"Enchantment" by The Melody Mates. See above.

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. 

I was at the gym — the Planet Fitness in Harlem is a world of sights and surprises — and this older man on the elliptical next to me was belting out all the songs he was listening to. I heard this line "I'll bet you think this song is about you" and whether or not it really was Carly Simon, it's been stuck in my head ever since. A few days later even, an older woman was busking in the subway with it.

Reading:

I woke up at 6 a.m. on Wednesday because my body was excited for this series of stories to be released on Bon Appétit: America's Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants. 

I first learned about it in February, and was instantly ready to participate and ready to read about all these special places around the country. I wrote draft after draft of my own love story to one of my favorite places on the planet. It was revised and tucked away, then revised again and ready in waiting. And here it is: The Weird, Wonderful Restaurant Where I Always Wanted to Work.

Being lumped among this description makes me feel like my dreams are coming true: We asked 80 of the most interesting people we know—chefs, novelists, activists, comedians, NBA players, and more—to let us in on their most-trusted haunts, from a Tibetan dumpling stand in a grocery store in Columbus to a landlocked fish market in Tulsa. These are the spots we return to again and again, the places that make no claim to be the “newest” or the “trendiest,” and that’s precisely why we love them.

I recommend reading them all. I'm slowly and lovingly making my way through these gems. 

Craving:

Delicious moments experienced in the last week:

- a feast at Lolo's Seafood Shack, which is described as Caribbean Street Eats alongside Classic New England favorites. We had conch fritters, jerk chicken, sweet plantains, crab cakes, and more. 

- Levain cookies for breakfast. A wedge of a chocolate chip walnut and double chocolate chip to start the day is an excellent way to live. 

- A lunch provided by Fuku — a "casual chicken concept by Momofuku." It's hard to pass up free spicy chicken sandwiches with habanero mayo, slaw, and pickles. 

- homemade cherry cobbler. It was sitting just feet from my desk and made by a coworker with strong opinions about the definition of a cobbler. 

- a friend reunion dinner at Jajaja, a "contemporary Mexican spot with a colorful, all-vegan menu." This was incredibly good. Plus, they had plantain chips that were exactly like home! I ate things like crushed Mayan pumpkin seed dip, turmeric queso fundito, mezcal mushroom tacos... and we got free churros with coconut dulce de leche because our wait was so long.

Jajaja was a fun spot: images above via Gothamist and Guest of a Guest.

Wearing:

On Wednesday, because I was so pumped for the day, I wore my gold star corduroy jumpsuit. On Friday, I wandered around a sunny Soho with sparkly red socks and unfashionable sandals. On Saturday, I parted my hair differently (it felt like a whole new head of hair) and wore a very comfortable terrycloth dress (it was like a cozy towel).

I'm having a red, striped moment. (items via & Other Stories)

Watching:

I'm almost done with Killing Eve and loving it. My favorite show right now is I'm Dying Up Here (waiting each week for a new episode is one of those rare acts of media patience.) I saw Ocean's 8 and couldn't wait for it to be over so I could go home and be in bed. I saw the trailer for Bad Times at the El Royale and I am very intrigued. — Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption - before everything goes to hell.

Also, these Bon App videos "Pastry Chef Attempts To Make _______" are so good. The latest, an attempt at making Skittles, watch it.

Treasuring:

Visitors: I got to show off my workspace to visiting old and new friends. We toured various floors of the World Trade Center. I felt so official when the security desk called me about my guests in the lobby. I outfitted my office into a cozy guest room and finally got to host some family. I loved wandering around the city with my sister-in-law, pointing out landmarks, eating great food, and enjoying the peaceful living room together. It's nice to mix familiarity with the newness of my experience here. 

Last week, I pulled this animal spirit for the week ahead. On Saturday, at Bon Appétit's  Healthyish Homecoming  festival, a speaker said, "Don't be a chick, you're an eagle." At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really do feel like I'm soaring. 

Last week, I pulled this animal spirit for the week ahead. On Saturday, at Bon Appétit's Healthyish Homecoming festival, a speaker said, "Don't be a chick, you're an eagle." At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really do feel like I'm soaring. 

Monday Memos // 51

Listening:

"Forgiven/Forgotten" by Angel Olsen. "If there's one thing I fear / It's knowing you're around / So close but not here / So close / Oh, but not with me here / So close / But not with me here"

"New York" by St. Vincent. This video is good.

"Milestones" by Buddy Rich. I love this song in all forms and iterations. Birdland in it's entirety is really groovy too.

 By  Farley Katz .

As a bonus: For the Rock Star, Love Has Finally Landed. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for reading the Weddings section of the New York Times. It's like my inner romantic is constantly trying to melt the nonchalant/fear of rejection/un-celebratory parts of me. Anyways, in a long and winding path, I found my way to this wedding from a year ago (I went to get lunch at Eleven36 and was looking though their Instagram page and saw this photo and went to the source and it had to do with this sweet and magical love story with a record store and a musician and long distance and triumph).

“Matthew floats just above the earth,” said their officiant, Ms. de Wilde. “I think that he needs someone like Emily to help bring him down to earth and make the ground less punishing.”

The couple recited personalized vows before approximately 130 friends and family. “You already think the world’s in color, and then it’s really in color,” the groom said of his bride. “You already think you’re a loving person, and then you feel like your heart doubles in size.”   (image by Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

The couple recited personalized vows before approximately 130 friends and family. “You already think the world’s in color, and then it’s really in color,” the groom said of his bride. “You already think you’re a loving person, and then you feel like your heart doubles in size.”  (image by Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

Craving:

There are rare times in life when I do not want chocolate cake. So as a celebratory treat for my successful move to New York on Saturday, I got myself a slice of Brooklyn blackout cake from Cinnamon Girl. It was light and rich, cakey and puddingy, I could hardly savor it—I completely devoured it. 

"Blackout cake, sometimes called Brooklyn Blackout cake, is an American chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding and chocolate cake crumbs, and frosted with chocolate icing. It was invented during World War II by a Brooklyn-based bakery chain named Ebinger's, in recognition of the mandatory blackouts to protect the Brooklyn Navy Yard."

I think I could make it my quest to find all the best blackout cakes in the city.

On my list is Ovenly's version—a favorite for the Village Voice (image via Adam Robb for the villiagevoice)

On my list is Ovenly's version—a favorite for the Village Voice (image via Adam Robb for the villiagevoice)

Wearing:

It's like I have a uniform. Stripes. Denim. Slip-on, solid-colored shoes. 

I'm ready for fall gear, though the heat seems to have followed me up north thus far. Lusting for layers. Scarves. Jackets. Boots. 

Ready for primping. (image by leah goren)

Ready for primping. (image by leah goren)

Watching:

Keeping up with: "This Is Us" (crying and bonding); "Project Runway" (so much drama and twists this season!); "The Deuce" (entertained but not entirely sold).

Recently viewed: "The Meyerowitz Stories" (typical Baumbach—lots of laughing and cringing)

Want to see: "Blade Runner 2049" (positive recommendations and Gosling); "Mindhunter" (I like Jonathan Groff and David Fincher).

Treasuring:

My cat. Considering the variety of sensitivities he has (loud noises terrify him, knocks on the door terrify him, plastic bags terrify him, the presence of most large men terrify him), I was hoping for an okay experience driving 12-13 hours straight with his company. Turns out he's a phenomenal travel partner. He was patient and quiet and easy—he never made a single terrible noise! We chatted, I sang to him, I cried to him, I felt so grateful for his companionship. 

His first days versus these days. 

His first days versus these days. 

A majority of my life was spent wishing I lived elsewhere. I made it out of my hometown for a few years, then found myself back—a stay that was longer than anticipated. Yet, this last stint was one of the best. I made some of the most amazing relationships. I felt joy and excitement and satisfaction. I discovered so many things about the place and myself. What a relief (and some serious heartache) to leave on such terms. 

My feet in Florida.