On Where I’ve Been

January 25, 2013

Kids! It’s been a while, aye? You were missed.

Here’s a rundown of the past 4 months, replete with Instagram evidence.

OCTOBER:

Hurricane Sandy. Even now, months later, I find it hard to find the words to describe the way Sandy felt. The way I felt watching my hometown, and across the bay neighbors take one on the chin, hard. How coming back to New York via car service, at midnight, to half the city’s lights out felt. How the survivor guilt set in as I made my way to the Upper East Side while my parents were without heat for weeks, knowing the homes and businesses of friends and relatives were destroyed. How kind of amazingly fun being holed up at Aunt Sue’s, stocked with PBR, camping gear, and firewood was,until we found out just how bad it was down south. How no one really understood what it meant to see Seaside’s amusements in the middle of the ocean, or washing up on shore felt. How thankful I was that everyone I loved was safe.

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I turned 27. Sandy tried pretty hard to ruin my birthday, and failed. I had planned on a huge dinner at Edi & the Wolf with a gaggle of friends, which in the face of zero subway transit and widespread power outages seemed impossible. But then, party Gods be praised, the 6 train opened up from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and the restaurant’s owner called me personally to ask if we could make it in for dinner. And so we ate, a smaller group than planned, trudging past the exploded ConEd station, as the hum of generators filled the streets. It was beautiful – the wine, the candles, the company. And that’s how I crossed into my rock and roll suicide year  – grateful for good friends and good food.

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NOVEMBER:

Beer. I fell in like with a beer nerd. I started drinking all kinds of crazy and beautiful beers. Beers aged in bourbon barrels. Double and triple IPA’s. Smoked beers. Beers on cask. Strong Ales. Coffee stouts. Thick, dark, hardcore beers. Beers with great names – Brown Shugga’, Old Curmudgeon Ale, Lil’ Sumpin’ Sumpin’, Panty Dropper Ale, Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils. I learned so much, in great beer bars and shops. I will always pledge allegiance to the bourbon flag, but this fall into winter has been really wonderfully brew centric.

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Giving Thanks. I kicked off the holiday season at a huge, incredibly relaxed pot luck. All I had to do was wake up and make stuffing, drink beer, and kitchen dance with my mom. there was a bonfire, great cocktails, a zillion little kids, and plenty of good food.  The weather was warm. My little brother towered over me.

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Look. I had a lot of great #outfits. My awkward grow-out hair found it’s way into neat a neat little bun. Blouses got witchier. Lipstick got gothier. I found that one way to feel in control of my otherwise insane grad-school, full time job life was to feel like I looked together.

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DECEMBER:

I fucking finished grad school. I presented a final project that  I was really proud of – a business expansion plan for a food-centric branch of the accounting firm I currently work for. I got great feedback from my peers and advisers. I made my parents proud. I celebrated with oysters, fried chicken, and champagne with two of my favorite classmates/ladies. My adviser gave me congratulatory M&M’s. I finished with a 3.76. I am a master of Food Systems. I can breathe.

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Celebration. I threw a really amazing party. Stocked bar – pomegranate bellinis, celery gin rickies, mulled cider. Good snacks – lamb meatballs, scallop and grapefruit ceviche, blue cheese shortbreads. So many guests that I adore. Visits to the roof. My new (old) punch bowl. Dance party. I was reinvigorated as a hostess. I could not have been happier.

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JANUARY:

New Year. I rang in the new year with one of my favorite humans. We ate ramen, made a dinosaur cake, listened to records, and drank a few beers. It was quiet, and perfect. There is no greater sense of self-righteousness than being clear-eyed and hangover-free on New Years day in quiet NYC streets, and in beautiful art installations.

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Cook. I started cooking with consistency. For myself. For others. For and with lovers. It feels good to be back in my tiny kitchen – punching out semolina gnocchi, deglazing pans, making soup for the work week’s lunches. I missed cooking for people that I love. I am looking forward to lots of hearty Sunday suppers around my little table.

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So! I suppose this means i’ll be around these parts with greater frequency.

Talkin’ snacks and sass at all of you fine people.

Keep an eye out for next week’s post on the best ladies weekend ever in New Orleans, and the ways in which we attempted to see and eat NOLA right – balancing the classic with the new.

And now for a moment of zen: my perfectly organized, and recently stocked bar.

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