Year: 2015

At “Home” Out West

Lookin’ good, ladies. As 2015 winds down and I’m trying to find my restorative niche (hint: mine potentially involves catching up on the breakfast issue of Lucky Peach and a warm cup of soup), I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to call a certain place “home.” Although I lived for almost 10 months in a cozy, little town in Northern Italy, it never really felt like “home.” My parents sold my childhood “home” while I was living there. And throughout my four-ish-month-long adventure in New York, I always felt somewhat adrift and frenzied. There were oodles of exciting endeavors and late afternoon/early evening weekend falafel runs to keep me going, for sure, but…something was just missing. So a few weeks ago, I packed up my overflowing suitcase that is now beginning to fray at the edges and headed to San Francisco, where I hoped I would feel a little less anxious and a little more grounded, despite never really having lived there before. If I could sum up 2015 for me in one word (well, that’s …

On the Go, NYC Style

If you haven’t heard of/ demolished the first season of Master of None on Netflix, the weekend can’t come soon enough. The past few weeks of job searching/ freelancing/ networking have just flown by. Luckily I managed to squeeze in a few days back in Tahoe with my parents to celebrate T Day and prance around in the (abundant) snow in my first foray into snowshoeing. Back in Manhattan to pursue a few leads, I’ve been exploring the Lower East Side quite a bit lately. For a while, I was staying in an Airbnb in Williamsburg, and both ends of the Bridge were just teeming with possibilities–like an outpost of Black Seed Bagels and The Butcher’s Daughter, which I have on my to-try list. Down in the LES, Aziz Ansari’s character “Dev” on Master of None does some serious romping around down there. So much so, that even the NYT Fashion & Style section did a writeup (with a map). There’s Morgenstern’s, the fancy pants ice cream place that even I was a little overwhelmed by when I visited a …

Back in New York (For Now)

I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I didn’t like smoked salmon. I mean, come on. Look at this spread from Russ and Daughters Cafe (and then click on the hyperlink so you can see a video of them putting it together). I was only gone a week, but it feels like a lot has changed here in Brooklyn. Well, it has. I’m (f)unemployed! And my counter-strategy for staying sane between emailing/ InMailing/ semi-fretting about my future is exploring yet another previously sort of unfamiliar neighborhood, Williamsburg, on foot. A large part of my genius, non-patented, neighborhood discovery plan involves frequenting various coffee shops, which must have internet to fuel my caffeine-induced productivity. Some winners in the area are Toby’s Estate (they do public cuppings every Saturday at 10 AM) and Freehold Brooklyn (feels like a cool hotel lobby bar, but there is actually no hotel). (I spend a lot of time here.) A few weeks ago, something super duper exciting happened: the Museum of Food and Drink finally opened its doors. It’s squeaky clean …

Bye Bye, Bra

Both the Dean and the Spiritual President (definitely his official title) were out of town, so the guy on the right here (Michele Fino, a UNISG Food Law professor) made a joke about having to bring out the B team for the graduation. The guy on the left (Slow Food International Secretary General Paolo DiCroce) was not amused. I did it! I have a Master’s degree (in Food Culture and Communication with a focus in Representation, Meaning and Media) with a title almost as long as my undergraduate degree (International and Global Studies with focuses in Political Science, Latin America, and Spanish)! After wrapping up my internship commitments here in New York at Saveur and Food Tank, launching a personal website, starting a new stream of stories for Contemporary Food Lab, turning in my thesis (a blend of personal experience and theory), I embarked upon a much needed week (or two, let’s see) of resting priority-resetting (as well as immune system-resetting). This meant good, nourishing food (chestnut and pumpkin soup!), not waking up at 5:30 AM, spending leisurely afternoons and evening drinking …

Revisiting Vermont

I can’t prove this scientifically, but I think the sky is bluer in Vermont. It’s been almost a year and a half since I said goodbye to Middlebury College and the Green Mountain State. After three years of nerding out on Latin American politics, embracing as much of the outdoors-y-ness within me as there was to embrace, and surviving two especially long, tough winters (hey, I’m from California), I was ready to head out into the world to go DO stuff. (Interestingly enough, not even a month later, I decided to enroll in a Master’s program.) I’ve been on the go almost nonstop since that moment, living out of two suitcases (that I sometimes affectionately refer to as “Big Red,” depending on how many floors of stairs I have to carry them up) in San Francisco, Northern Italy, and New York. Honestly, I haven’t really stopped to think about life back at Middlebury very often. Until I returned for Homecoming a few weekends ago. There was no big Homecoming Ball, no big alumni to-do. It was more …

Back in the Bay

Twin Peaks? Been there, done that. Bernal Heights is a big deal.  A lot (a LOT) has happened in the last month, since my post about an Event-Full Weekend has been sitting out alone, in the cold of the internet world. I turned in a Master’s thesis. Part of the ceiling in the apartment where I was staying collapsed. I hit my knee so hard on a grate that popped up from nowhere in the street that I Googled, “How to know when you’ve fractured your patella.” There’s also been a lot of packing, and moving, and re-packing. I’ve learned in the last month that just 48 hours of a getaway with good friends perks me up the week before and the week after, and gives me good mojo to keep up with the sometimes crushing pace of life in NYC. On that note, a few weeks ago, I went westward. I went back to San Francisco. Given that I was staying with my best friend Siena, who is like no other (except, perhaps, myself) when it …

An Event-Full Weekend

A panel at Taste Talks Brooklyn about staying current in the ever-changing landscape of food. The last few weeks have just zoomed by. How is it already Wednesday again? How am I just catching you up on three educational/inspirational events from two weekends ago just now? How is it fall already? Ok, enough with the existential questions. Slow Food NYC recently held a series of events with Canadian cheesemaker David Asher, known for tinkering around with molds in his home to get his bloomy rinds just right. I went to the opening night reception in a cave (that was once a 19th century brewery!) somewhere in Brooklyn that I had not yet ventured to before and learned about the history of kefir. How typical of me. Here’s Slow Food USA Executive Director Richard McCarthy introducing David. At first I wondered, “Who is this guy in a suit?!” Most people were wearing Birkenstocks. And then I realized it was him. Alrighty then. Anyways, back to fermentation. According to David, kefir grains originated somewhere in Central Asia. Apparently …

Taking a Breather from the Concrete Jungle

Roaming through the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. At a rooftop party recently (how New York of me, I know), I found myself with the perfect (well, nothing’s perfect) analogy to describe how I occasionally feel after a month of living and working in New York City: it’s the same feeling I get when I have that second cup of coffee in the afternoon that I didn’t really need and I feel my pulse racing when I really don’t need it to be. It’s that shot of espresso plus that ingenious fight-or-flight response that has kept us humans alive for so long that keeps many a New Yorker on their toes (and dashing across enormous intersections for dear life), but that also is just utterly exhausting once the adrenaline wears off. Although my (temporary) home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn has been a welcome escape from the craziness of Manhattan, I’ve also looked a little further beyond the walls of the concrete jungle in the last few weeks to just catch my breath …

A Few New Edible Discoveries

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also my favorite meal. By far. I mean… just look at this spread from Reynard at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. So I’m coming up on my one month anniversary with New York City. How will I celebrate, I hear you asking through the internet void? Probably with an iced coffee and some kind of pastry involving berries, if I had to guess. I’ve made quite a few food-related finds (shocker!) since returning to the homeland from Europe, so I thought I would take a few moments to share some of this newfound knowledge with the world. Please prepare yourself for an eclectic list that very much reflects the personal tastes of someone who is a self-professed probiotic aficionada (is there even a feminine version of that word?). 1. Dimes Restaurant, Chinatown An intimate, most vegetable-forward restaurant with surprisingly large portions. Hello, leftovers. Expect to find organic wines, lots of avocado (see above), and candles. Doesn’t take reservations, so if you want a table …

August 2015

This is my “to read” pile. Seriously. I love to read. I really do. Books, magazines, blogs, you name it. But sadly, since moving to NYC three weeks (where has this time gone?!) ago and taking on quite a few projects that I always feel slightly behind on, reading has been the thing that has dropped off my radar. It’s almost hilarious that the apartment I’m staying in has one of the most beautifully curated bookshelves I’ve ever seen. And now I have this monster stack of titles sitting on this coffee table thing at my feet while I write this post. Sigh. Anyways, in a throwback to my days in Bra when I read four books during my weeklong staycation, I wanted to tantalize you with the titles that I have waiting for me. I admit, I’m a booktease. 1. The Almost Nearly Perfect People. Recommended to me by a friend who spent a few weeks in Copenhagen. After being in Denmark and seeing lots of blond, smiling, long legged people on bicycles not weaving through traffic …