His and hers brought from home to the bar. http://t.co/y0a5ANEnMP
This view does not get old. http://t.co/29WfLT3eep
Chocolate cake for breakfast.
Reading through all the @daniellelaporte LoveLove stories, has made me a bit weepy this afternoon. Love Love.
Links of the week, Game of Thrones style http://t.co/1m6dYXzMaT
@nicolelessbs I take back my bootleg comment. They have Doughboy's Red Velvet on the delivery menu.
@nicolelessbs you have bootleg Pink Dot.
@nicolelessbs fresh direct + suntan lotion?
Summer Skills http://t.co/8Qn3xWrcFH
Things I Love Lately http://t.co/G3cSDJwuBD
Stop Doing List http://t.co/TwG4g3GqNG
Peonies from Thursday looking gorg. http://t.co/vqHEyiMvq6
"I like people too much, or not at all" Sylvia Plath http://t.co/3kINvrh2Ni
@alexmyounger starbucks is always cheaper at the airport!
RT @daniellelaporte: Be suspicious of what you want. — Rumi
I made these salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies via Smitten Kitchen, and they turned out a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and perfect for breakfast (they are oatmeal, aren’t they!?).
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped. Good quality white chocolate really makes a difference here, so get the good stuff.
1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt together. Set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down. Then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Slowly add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.
4. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on lined baking sheet. Press gently to flatten the dough to about 3/4-inch thickness. Repeat as necessary (Note: The dough will be crumbly). If you’d like to refrigerate or freeze the dough, now is the time.
5. Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie
6. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.
I love Yoko Furusho’s work. She’s an illustrator from Tokyo, who now lives in NYC. I worked with her on my project, Songs of Love for Japan, which was a three-day flash sale selling 100 songs for $100 to raise money for the tsunami that happened in 2011. She’s so creative and talented, and is awesome to work with. She just came out with some iPhone cases, which are so darn cute. If you’re ever in the market for some illustration work, she’s your girl.
*The photo above is the illustration she did for Songs of Love for Japan!
When I adopted my little dog, he already had a name, and I already knew him by that name, so although he has plenty of nicknames, I didn’t get to name him. 2013 might just be the year that I get a cat (a Ragdoll is my first choice) and so I’ve been thinking of all kinds of pet names that would be fun. Here’s a bunch of duo’s (and one trio) I’ve thought about:
Vladimir + Estragon
Hall + Oates
Spanky + Darla
Wayne + Garth
Lucy + Ethel
Walter + Jesse
Holmes + Watson
Gargamel + Azrael
Calvin + Hobbes
Lois + Clark
F. Scott + Zelda
Heathcliff + Catherine
Boris + Natasha
Fred + Ginger
Bill + Ted
Thelma + Louise
Jack + Jill
John + Paul
Mick + Keith
Augustus, Veruca + Charlie
Click + Clack
Next week marks six years that I’ve lived in NYC. This quote just about sums up how I feel about NYC, and what it feels like to live here.
I’m really interested in the concept of time. Of the malleable-ness of time. Of how sometimes time seems to stand still and creep, second by agonizing second, and yet sometimes time acts like a blur of motion and hours pass without being noticed. And how we all have 24 hours a day, but how those hours feel, individually, is a whole nother ball game.
I came across two definitions of time, one being Chronos, meaning the chronological mark of time, like a train schedule posted on a wall. The other definition, though is so much more interesting. It’s called Kairos, and it means “the right or opportune moment” and in use it points to ”a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved.” In Christian theology, Kairos points to “the time when God acts.”
Kairos to me, are those serendipitous moments where I just know the right steps to take, the right corner to round, it’s that feeling of being on my way, in the right place at the right time, of making hay while the sun shines. Kairos is having the right words at the right time, the right gesture at the right time. Another word for Kairos might be flow.
So far, in my life, I’ve had the most “Kairos” moments when I travel.
You? Have you had those moments? Can you pinpoint what gets you into a Kairos mindset?
A few weeks old, but so good. “A Letter to My Kids Because I’m 40, and That’s OLD“ My favorite quote “Value resiliency and not just brokenness.”
Jeff Bogle makes the case for not saving for your kid’s college. I thought this was an interesting take on the overall idea of education, and what that means.
WTF Evolution. This informative, funny Tumblr is all about nature and how awesomely weird it is.
Why do some kids thrive under pressure and some kids buckle? It may be in our genes. The NY Times dives deeper, and tries to make some sense of how it all works.
Chris Guillebeau of AONC (The Art of Non Conformity) and WDS (The World Domination Summit–this year will be my third year attending) wrote something this week about helping someone for free, or, the idea of a “free lunch.” When I look in the rearview of my life, I’ve had a lot of “free lunches,” of people extending a hand or an invitation or a lead, and I’m so grateful for all those legs up.
In that spirit, Chris put out a call for free goods + services in this post, and I’m answering that call with a literal “free lunch” of some baked goods. I’ll make your choice of: the best brownies you’ve ever had, the best peanut butter chocolate cookies you’ve ever had, or the finest salted caramels you’ve ever laid eyes on. I’ll package them up and mail them out to the first person who emails me at longton (dot) bryce (at) gmail (dot) com and mentions this post! For anyone else, I’ll send you the recipes!
Big Sur is one of my favorite places in northern California (even though the awe-inspiring drive there really tests the limits of my penchant for motion sickness). The windswept beaches and the isolated beauty of the mountains have made this a sort of enclave for writers over the years. The area only has about 1,000 full time residents, and three “towns” which are little more than clusters of restaurants and general stores. And be forewarned, get gas outside of this area if you can, as the prices are super high at the only gas station around.
My favorite spots to eat:
Sierra Mar (at the Post Ranch Inn)
Go for the three-course lunch and for the spectacular views.
Go for the brunch and the scones. And go early, they run out of baked goods sometimes by noon.
Cafe Kevah (at Nepenthe)
Gorgeous views and amazing blue crab eggs benedict. Must go.
Have you been? Any delicious places to eat that I missed?
Count me among the super happy about the time change this week. I am so thrilled that it’s been light out until 7PM every day since Sunday, and it will only stay brighter longer as we move forward into the year. I’m excited about the change of seasons (as always). Here’s my list of 10 fun spring things to do in NYC.
1. The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is May 5th this year, and it’s a 40 mile bike ride through all five boroughs alongside 32,000 cyclists. It’s a neat way to see NYC. And if you’re not up for that much spandex, you can hop on your own ride and cycle around on your own, see all the maps here. Photo is from my friend Jeffrey’s bike shop, the New Amsterdam Bicycle Company.
2. See the cherry blossoms bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Oh, this is so one of my favorite things to do/see in New York. You can check the progression of blooms here (from Pre-Bloom on to Post-Bloom), and if you’re a gentleman/woman of leisure (of just someone who has odd days off) you can go on Tuesdays for free. The season is a short five-six weeks spanning late March through April.
3. Visit Lady Liberty. Spring is a great time to make the trip out to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This year, though, both are still closed (hopefully to be opening this spring) due to Hurricane Sandy. You can check for updates here. (Photo credit)
4. Rent a kayak and kayak around the Hudson. It’s an urban-outdoorsy adventure. You can learn to kayak, and/or take a kayak out on the water for free through the Downtown Boathouse. They usually start operations at the end of April. (Photo: Joshua Philipp/The Epoch Times)
6. & 8. Take the Staten Island Ferry over to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. There are botanical gardens, yes, but there’s also the Heritage Farm–a working farm, and the NYC Compost Project (you can learn to compost). Both the ferry and the SHCC & BG are free. (Photo: Courtesy, Staten Island Borough President’s Office)
7. Train up to the Bronx and walk through the 28-acre public garden that is Wave Hill. There are walking tours and art lessons and beehive investigations (bee suits included!). The gardens are free, lessons/tours/investigations are not. Check it out here. (Photo credit)
9. See a race at the Aqueduct “racino” in Queens. Less famous than nearby Belmont, the Aqueduct holds races throughout the winter, but come March, the races move outdoors. The Wood Memorial race (a test of three-year-olds headed to the Kentucky Derby) is held every April, and is a fun time to go. This year’s will be April 6th. Oh, and the term “racino” means there’s racing + gambling too, if you like your horse bets with a side of slots. Read more, here.
10. See a film at the Tribeca Film Festival. This year’s lineup runs from April 17-28, and is chockablock with documentaries, horror films, and (soon-to-be) blockbuster indie films. Get your schedule + tickets here.
Right now I’m in a bit of an inquiry into creating/changing habits and making change. I’ve been rifling through my moments in my life where I’ve made change, started new habits, or started on a new path and have come to find that basically my changes have been one of two kinds.
The first is what I’m calling the “sunrise” kind of change (I’ve heard this term somewhere before, but I’m not sure where, if you know, link me). So if you’ve ever stayed up late enough to watch the sky lighten into day, you know what I mean here. You start in the complete dark and then the sky changes from black to navy to blue to pink sometimes, and slowly slowy it becomes day. This kind of change is hardly noticeable in my day-to-day life, but it is powerful–probably because you don’t have to pay much attention to the change as it happens. I’ve “sunrised” my way through learning to cook and becoming a writer–just little by little, and then one day I identified with being someone who cooks and someone who writes. Neither of these changes felt like what I would call a “change,” due to the gradual nature of the process.
The second kind of change is the “light switch” change. You know. It’s 4AM, it’s dark and someone flips the light switch on. It’s all at once and very bright and the complete opposite of where I was the moment before. Changes like this are things like sudden breakups or moving across the country or a wake-up call from a health scare. For me, I’ve had a few of these that have really stuck–news of a cheating boyfriend was one, moving across the country was another.
The main difference I find though is that it’s very difficult to intentionally create one of these “light switch” changes. Every single one of the ones I’ve had were precipitated by an external force, including being handed my dog because his previous owner couldn’t care for him any longer. One day I had no dog, and the next I did, and it was a big change.
As I think through this, I’m coming around more and more to the idea that tiny incremental steps in the direction I want to go is a very viable way to create change.
Thoughts on this? Have you been able to make giant leapfrog style changes? Do you prefer either kind of change?
I had the audacity to be surprised at the snowfall this morning. I think it’s my wishful thinking for spring that has me in shock at the slushy streets. This weekend ahead is full of writing, brunches, and salted caramels (I made some last night). Here’s this week’s good reads:
New and Necessary Punctuation Marks for the digital age. Loving “the sinceriod” and the “mockwotation marks.”
This incredible story about generosity and car trouble is so heartwarming. It reminds me a little of the time I was learning to drive stick and was stuck, stalling out in a long line up a hill on a freeway exit in California. I was crying and frustrated, and the guy in the car behind me parked his car, came around to mine and drove it up the hill for me. I was so grateful.
I too, love the process of cooking. This article sums up my feelings about it pretty well.
I wrote about The Meadow, a shop in NYC that sells just salt, chocolate, bitters and flowers over at Trufflepig, an awesome custom travel planning company out of of Toronto.
I made these brownies this week, and the verdict was that yes, they are the best I’ve ever made. They are chewy and sweet and didn’t last for more than three days around here.
And. Ha. The 11 Questions I Ask Myself When Arguing With My Husband. Hilarious.
In honor of SXSWi, which starts today, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite places in Austin–Barton Springs. Barton Springs is a man-made pool that is filled with water from Main Barton Spring. The water is fairly warm year-round, and this spot is an amazing little getaway if you’re getting tired of the crowds and hustle/bustle of SXSW. Highly recommend.
Also, if you’re headed to Austin for the festival (or just in general) here’s a list of my favorite spots:
Get the Migas breakfast tacos.
I’m in love with the Subliminator superfood smoothie. It’s exceptional. And made with peanut butter.
Ok, so this one isn’t technically in Austin, it’s in Lexington, which is an hour away from Austin. And, this spot is only open on Saturdays, and you’d best get there at 8AM, 9AM at the latest, because they sell out early. So, yes, I’m suggesting you get up at 7AM to drive an hour to eat BBQ for breakfast, because it is seriously that good. Really. Go.
If you just can’t make it to Snow’s, or if you’re like me and you want to eat all the BBQ in Texas, you should go to Franklin. It’s the best brisket in town.
Go for the happy hour. Stay for the jalapeno margaritas and free queso.
Great coffee. Good breakfast tacos.
Go for the Mexican Vanilla. Yum.
Any good spots I’ve missed?
photo credit: mharvey.nyc via photopin cc
Grapefruit always reminds me of my mom. She used to eat grapefruits for breakfast, and I was always fascinated by that sharp serrated spoon she used, although I wasn’t much of a fan of the tang of the fruit itself. I’m still not the biggest fan of straight grapefruit, but if you toss it in the oven with some honey and/or brown sugar, and I’m sold.
2 teaspoons honey
Optional: 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat Oven to 400º
Slice grapefruits in half and set them on a baking sheet. I also slice off a little bit of the bottom bits so they don’t wobble or tip over in the oven.
Segment the grapefruit enough that they honey will sink into to the fruit and not just sit there on the top.
Drizzle honey on the grapefruit
Bake for 16-18 minutes
Serve warm with brown sugar sprinkled on top (optional)
Tips: You can substitute maple syrup for honey if you like.
Have I mentioned how much I love the Spin Pin? It does the job of 20 bobby pins and is way less fussy. It works like this: you twist your hair up into a bun, and then twist this little pin through, and that’s it. Really. Growing up dancing and performing, I’ve become somewhat adept at stitching down a bun with a series of strategically placed bobby pins, but this little pin has changed all of that, and goes with me everywhere I go. They’re only $5 for two, and come in different shades so you can match your hair color. I love it. You will too. Get one, here.
There’s this thing that many of my friends are doing that is so annoying to me. At least once a day I see someone posting or hashtagging about how they went to bed early or left a party before 1AM or stopped drinking after they had two drinks, or they’ll confess to me that last Saturday night they DIDN’T GO OUT AT ALL. And every single time they add this disclaimer about how old and/or lame they are now. And every single time it irritates me. And I guess it’s a nod to YOUTH AND PARTYING being the bestthingever, which is what our society says (and sometimes yeah, it actually is the bestthingever) but here’s the thing — most of these “old” and “lame” friends are just as happy and joyful (and sometimes more so) now that they’re going to bed earlier or drinking less or just all around chilling out a little more. Some of them are partying less because they’re running more, or they’re going to bed at 10PM because they have babies to tend to that get up at sunrise. Or some of them just prefer watching marathons of House of Cards over popping bottles on the weekends. These friends actually like their lives and their choices and I’d so much rather hear them own their new priorities and stop with the disclaimers about how much fun they used to be. Life changes, marches on, and there are seasons for all the things in your life, and if you’re in a season that isn’t all about the late nights and cocktails, THAT’S AWESOME (just like it’s AWESOME if it IS your season to dance on tables and knock back shooters of tequila). It’s the faux-apologizing for being “boring” or “lame” or “old” that rings hollow to me. Just own your life. Do your thing. Whatever it is right now.
I read Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things. This is my letter to her about how much I loved her book.
I finished your book, Tiny Beautiful Things over this long weekend. I was in a cabin in Pennsylvania with a gaggle of friends and we spent the days skiing and playing cards, and a bunch of time shrieking as we ran from the snow-covered deck to the hot tub and back. I read the last pages of your ridiculously beautiful book as I sat on the couch next to the fire, and I only wish there was sequel and a prequel as well (and maybe a fireplace in my apartment too).
I’ve been reading your book for weeks now, which is highly unusual for me. The last time I forced myself to read this slowly was when I was in grade school and made myself read only one chapter a night of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. Considering I swallowed your gorgeous book Wild, practically whole in a matter of hours, I was determined to savor TBT and stretch it out over several afternoons rather than in one sitting. It was so worth it. I absolutely fell in love with your words, your thoughts, your ability to see through the original questions the advice-seekers queried and get at the heart of what they were asking.
This past Thanksgiving I found myself sitting at the dining room table of my oldest, dearest friend. I’ve known her since I was six years old. We used to tie sheets in the brambles behind her house and make forts. Her mother used to serve us bean and cheese burritos out of the tiny sliding window between their kitchen and the patio. We would slide down the grassy hills of our neighborhood on sheets of cardboard, and ride our bikes until the streetlights came on. Besides my mom, dad and brother, she is the person who has known me the longest, and with whom I’ve laughed the most.
When I sat down at her table last November my heart was heavy. Heavy with new uncomfortable truths about my family and I wasn’t quite sure how to express what I was feeling. And then she put her hand on mine and looked me right in the eye and she said “How many years have we sat just like this and talked? Tell me all about it, I’m so glad you’re here.” And she listened, and commiserated, and tilted the situation around and around so I could see all the sides I hadn’t been seeing and most of all, she made me feel known.
And Sugar. That’s exactly how your book Tiny Beautiful Things made me feel. So thank you. Thank you for writing and for sharing and for putting so much of yourself in those pages. Your book moved me, and inspired me and grounded me all at once.
It’s been snowing on and off all day, and I was out and about picking up a few things at the store and in the time it took to walk back to my house I was so pummeled by the sleet that my brown paper grocery bag sogged-up and I ended up juggling a 12-pack of toilet paper, two bananas and two avocados, and box of parchment paper without a bag. Word to Urban Living.
Here’s the weekly reads:
I was a girl scout (holler troop 4020), and I’ve been following this boy scout banning gay people closely. Here’s a lovely letter from a former boy scout that expresses how I feel about this whole matter.
Canning jam is the jam, and this tip list of extending the life of your jam jars is excellent.
I love all things ballet documentary (have you seen First Position yet?), and this list of 15 Truths About Being a Professional Dancer is awesome, and relevant to those of use who aren’t actually professional dancers.
This one’s really old (2006), but it’s Malcolm Gladwell on how to solve homelessness. It’s long, but really fascinating, and exposes the difference between how people feel about a problem versus what it would take to solve the problem.
Grub Street ranks comfort food to find out what dish is actually THE MOST comforting. Factors include: fattiness, carb appeal, homeyness and warming bubble. Grilled Cheese clocks in at number seven, and Lasagna at number three.
Nomadic Matt released his book, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. YES!
And finally, Ten Virtues for the Modern Age. Including empathy, humor, and hope.
So long 2010.
Trees on the lake in Central Park
Frozen lake in Central Park
Central Park, snow.
GPOYW, Snow edition.
Butterflies in ANHM.
Lincoln Center Subway stop. Snowed in!
Blue plastic in Eataly. Not sure how it works.
Fire fighter snowmen!
Snow in Soho
Hearts in the snow.
Tiles @ MCO