All posts filed under: Musings

Adiós, Aliment!

Well, not really. I’m just heading over to my website, hosted on Squarespace. In my third year of college, I studied abroad in Buenos Aires. It was a completely liberating/transformative experience and the person who I am today is largely because of that year of complete freedom and exploration. It was also the year when my hunger for telling stories through words and my hunger for dining out (on an advantageous exchange rate) started to intertwine. I had a little blog, hosted on WordPress, (it was pink) where I would write about what I ate, and who I ate it with, and where I went. Pretty straightforward. When I started a master’s program in food culture and communication, I figured that I should step up my game. Again, I landed on WordPress, though I felt my images weren’t very strong (I’m always telling myself someday, someday, I’ll learn how to use that DSLR that’s sitting in a drawer in my living room) to stand up to my text, which is really where I was putting …

Cycles

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about cycles. About how things repeat, but also don’t quite ever remain the same. About how energy flows. How emotions wax and wane. (I’m also thinking about bicycles, but that’s more of a witty aside.) I’m a person who likes structure. I write to do lists. I cross things off. I write more to do lists. I cross more things off. Repeat, adapt, repeat, adapt. But another side of me is enjoying this *very* unique (for me), non-INTJ cycle (summer light-induced, no doubt) right now where I feel free and open and mobile and friendly. This is a good cycle. No, this is a GREAT fucking cycle. Because I can think back to a not-so-distant past where I felt the opposite of all of these things. It was a no bueno cycle. Maybe cycles are more like ruts. Because I’m also in a cycle of “not writing.” I feel so many things about this! Embarrassed. Ashamed. Guilty. Like maybe because I haven’t been doing what I love doing for …

Love is Everywhere

At work lately, we’ve started each month of online communication with a newsletter that we affectionately call a “mood blast,” sharing inspiration from inside our studio in Healdsburg. It’s a way for us to sell product, sure, but also write about these items in a thoughtful (and sometimes whimsical!) way. One of the images that we featured in early February was the print “Love is Everywhere: Look for It” from the artist Susan O’Malley. She passed away in 2015, but her bio suggests her legacy will live on through her work, “Ultimately O’Malley’s projects aspire to inspire hope, optimism and a sense of interconnectedness in our lives.” Hope? Optimism? Interconnectedness? I could hardly think of a better time to reinforce and practice those values than this day, in this year, and in this political climate. At the end of last year, I found my emotional, physical, and spiritual selves utterly depleted. The afterburners just weren’t firing anymore. For several months I felt myself completely disengaged with my surroundings, in a black hole of sorts, as I …

Thoughts on the Supermoon

Living in a quiet place with almost no light pollution, I have been introduced to, and come to savor, night walks. Occasionally with the iPhone flashlight guiding my way, but most times not, night walks are a time for learning a thing or two or three about what lies up above from a thoughtful, knowledgeable companion, and an invitation to a walking meditation. I have never kept track of the moon as intently as I have this year. I’ve noticed its position in relation to my home, to the river, to the mountains, to my moving car, to my physical self, to my spiritual self… The blood moon of last fall while I was rushing around and hardly ever breathing in New York was a passing elevator conversation that I hardly recall. The supermoon of the last few nights was not. I just came from a yoga class where the instructor concluded by offering up that the supermoon is associated with feelings of gratitude and abundance. Gratitude for our selves and accepting that we are enough. Gratitude for feeling supported by and supportive of those …

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 …

July 2015

In a faceoff between avocado toast and rose, the Californian in me has to pick the avo.  Welcome to July! Here are some good, mostly food-related (surprise, anyone?) reads to peruse with an iced tea in a cool place (though obviously not air conditioned in my case because Northern Italy isn’t quite ready for that). The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg I read a review of this book a few weeks ago in The New Yorker, so I decided to give it a good ol’ whirl on the Kindle. Warning: there is nothing fluffy in the Lululemon yoga matching outfits kind of sense about this book. I would describe it as a winding biography that has to do with fame/rich Europeans philosophizing about stuff. This woman did some serious globetrotting/schmoozing in her time and while I’m not super convinced that she is the reason that I have a yoga practice today, it’s a solid read for a nerdy, active type such …

Thoughts on Tech

“The Future of Food” at EXPO Milano 2015. If you missed my scathing review, look here. Full disclosure: I grew up in Silicon Valley, a half hour drive away in an ECO-engine-equipped mid-sized SUV from the HQs of Facebook, Pinterest, Tesla… you name it. I have slender Apple products. I just upgraded to Gmail Inbox to keep all of my emails streamlined. I’m frustrated when WiFi connections are bad. I love reading blogs like Food + Tech Connect and Fast Company. But the more I see gadgets and apps that are supposedly going to save the world (especially our food system), the more I wonder, shouldn’t we really be thinking about analog solutions too? Let’s revisit the picture at the top of this post. When I saw the title of this exhibit hall, I was intrigued as to what would lie inside. Basically it’s a grocery store, equipped with energy-draining fluorescent lights and waist-level refrigerated drawers. The concept is to be able to select a product and view its carbon footprint, origin and nutritional information (which you can already read on the …

I’m Taking a Staycation

Tuesday is apparently the anniversary of the unification of Italy. That means Monday we have off from school, obviously. And well, if I were a professor, I would want a five day weekend too, so no class Wednesday either. Given this ample expanse of free time, my ever-multitasking mind ping-ponged between places to go romp around for a few days. Copenhagen? No, too rainy. Barcelona? Not quite ready for tapas again. Somewhere in Italy? Eh, maybe. After a few hours of some futile internet research, some muesli and many open tabs later, I realized what I really wanted: a staycation. Since arriving in November, I have spent quite a few weekends away from this place that I currently call “home.” Without these jaunts, I think I would go a little bit cray cray (well, more than I already am). Bra is sometimes just so… humdrum. And for me, planning 36-hour itineraries and cruising through market halls and contemporary art museums and successfully zipping up my carry on bag is just so… exciting. But right now, instead of planning where I’m going next, I would …

A Thousand Words

Don’t worry, that’s not the length of this post. You don’t have to read that much. Actually if you prefer, you can just stare longingly at these paper-thin slices of speck. And then beg me to tell you where I got it. Or just keep reading. Today I partook in a 6-hour class entitled “Photography and Visual Literacy.” As “homework,” we were all tasked with bringing in one photograph that was somehow related to food and meant something to us in some way. Sound open-ended enough? I sat down last night and proceeded to cruise through the 3,000+ images on my iPhone camera roll (I really need to do something about that…). I am quite often accused of being an overly zealous food photo taker. I was once asked, “Do you eat everything that you photograph?” by a friend in Argentina. The answer is no. I would die. Anyways, I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled to look for just one (one!) photo that spoke a thousand words to me. And then I found it: my speck/butternut squash/arugula dream of a …

“Why Vermont?”

Yesterday, I met Santa Claus. Well, not exactly. I met Carlo Petrini, who kind of reminded me of Santa for his mythical qualities. I feel like I could have gone up to the podium and sat on his lap and told him that all I wanted for Christmas was to save rare acorns in the world. With the assistance of a handy dandy simultaneous translation kit that looked like a stethoscope, Carlo engaged in some small talk with us new Masters students, provided a glimmer of hope in the midst of the doom and gloom of our food system today and offered some insight on being with the same 23 people all the time. He basically said it’s ok if you hate someone but you have to tell them to their face and then just get over it because we’re all here to talk about food. When my last name was appropriately pronounced in Italian (“air-eeeees”) I raised my hand, lied as usual and said that indeed I was from San Francisco (sorry not sorry) and then he asked the question …