When I was attending college in LA I became friend with few ladies from Hawai’i. We were equally distant from home, each of us taking a six-hour flight to get to Scripps. More than just the physical distance, we felt culturally far from our origins. They were used to the slower and friendlier island life, where drivers rolled down their windows and signaled the shaka sign while saying “aloha” and everyone let them through. I was quickly pegged as a New Yorker thanks to my mostly black wardrobe, sarcasm, and the way I quickly walked through crowds, ignoring strangers who tried to engage me. I knew a hand gesture as well, but it was a lot less friendly.
One of my dear Hawai’ian friends had the corniest sense of humor. As we’d walk around campus, she would point to one of the beautiful blooms, and ask me, “Do you know what this was called?” She amazed me with the way she always seemed to know the name of every tree and budding flower, and I was glad to pass the test. “A hibiscus,” I answered. She pointed to another bloom just a little lower on the tree. “What is this one called?” I paused, confused. Was I missing something? This was surely the same flower. “A low-biscus,” she laughed. I groaned.
Hibiscus Nectarine Tea
- Brew several bags of Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Hibiscus Tea in water on the stove
- Let it cool
- Add slivers of fresh nectarine
- Cool in the fridge and then enjoy
JEPPE HEIN: PLEASE TOUCH THE ART
If there’s one art event to check out this summer, it’s Jeppe Hein’s Please Touch the Art. Brooklyn Bridge Park brings art outdoors, making it accessible and fun for children and hipsters alike. Please Touch the Art is an experience. It’s a scavenger hunt of touchable art.
From the Brooklyn Bridge Park website:
Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s parkwide installation, Please Touch the Art, presented by Public Art Fund, features 18 playful sculptures designed specifically for public interaction. Jeppe, now based in Berlin and Copenhagen, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and the Stadelschule in Frankfurt. His works have appeared all over the world. This exhibition includes three distinct bodies of work: Appearing Rooms, a series of “rooms” formed out of jets of water that appear and disappear throughout the day; a large Mirror Labyrinth, featuring evenly-spaced vertical elements of varying heights made from mirror-polished stainless steel that multiply the surrounding landscape; and 16 Modified Social Benches that upend the idea of a traditional park bench with their unconventional angled, curved, twisted, and bent forms.
Such fun! Definitely one of the most memorable things I’ve done so far this summer.
“Where are you?” “Brooklyn.” [silence…]Yeah, they’re not coming to meet you.
“Know anyone who needs a roommate?”Whether you have a friend of a friend who is maybe possibly thinking about moving to New York, or your landlord just hiked your rent up a gajillion percent, someone is ALWAYS looking for an apartment. Usually this is a mass text.
ISTJ: The Age of Innocence by Edith WhartonWith interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.
I might be the only person on the planet who likes humidity. It reminds me of being a child. Growing up in New Jersey, instead of blasting air conditioning, we’d cool off by swimming at night. The sky would be so dark you could see the Big Dipper as you floated on your back in the pool. The lights in the pool would attract moths that would flutter and hover above the surface of the water, occasionally taking a dip of their own. I can still hear the sound of my father’s repetitive splash as he swam back and forth, back and forth.
These days I don’t have ready access to a swimming pool, and in New York City the lights of skyscrapers are so bright that seeing even a single star is rare. Still, muggy nights bring back all the memories of childhood summers for me. Instead of cooling off with the rattling air conditioner by my bed, I drink a beverage that brings me back to my roots.
Behind our pool ran a small brook, and alongside the brook grew wild mint. This refreshing herb is perfect for jazzing up one of earth’s most precious resources, water. It’s easy to grow, but you can also purchase it at almost any grocery store. Here are a few super simple variations:::
- Simply wash the mint, put it in your glass of water (with or without ice), and enjoy immediately
- Muddle the cleaned mint in your glass of water and enjoy
- Store a large batch of water with fresh, washed mint in your fridge
- Freeze the mint in ice cubes and plunk into your water whenever you want — as the ice melts the mint flavor will become stronger
- Try pairing the mint with other flavors such as fresh squeezed lime
It’s so important to stay hydrated, but water sometimes gets boring. Infusing water with mint is a great way to drink more water.
Starving artist might enjoy these other summer food posts:::
It’s been forever since I did a link roundup! I’ve been trying to focus more on my memoir writing these days, but I’ve run across so many great news stories and websites lately that I wanted to share with you:
- My friend Gregory Andrus has been taking these stunning photographs of the Jersey Shore. The other day he posted this article about NJ musician Jon Bon Jovi opening JBJ Soul Kitchen in Toms Kitchen, where there are “no menu prices, to help the fiscally challenged, and the restaurants try to serve organic produce whenever possible.”
- My friend David Sung, the pastor of the Upper East Side-based Christ Resurrection Church, told me about this New York Times article about how Dan Price, who attended the Christian college Seattle Pacific University (which, by the way, offers a creative writing MFA), slashed his $1-million salary to give his lowest-paid workers a raise. The minimum wage at the company he founded, Gravity Payments, is now $70,000/year.
- Meanwhile, this article reveals that 25% of “part-time college faculty” (and their families) receive public assistance. You know who this includes? Professors. Many colleges rely on adjunct professors, who get paid per class instead of being salaried.
- My editor Jordan Green is obsessed with Clickhole. Obsessed. I particularly enjoyed the satirical buzzfeed-style listicle “How Much of a Grammar Nerd Are You?” he posted. My favorite line: “I got a tattoo of a comma splice and then had it removed.”
- Via Pure Wow I discovered the loveliest named jewelry company: Wanderlust + Co. These gold arrow earrings are super cute. Arrows are so hipster.
- Another company I discovered recently is Moorea Seal. I love the fact that sales from their goods benefit charities and that you can shop by cause. I also love these Make a Wish matches!
I thought it might be worth reposting this as a reminder to myself.
Last January, I posted these two articles I wrote for Burnside:::
Reading them a year later, I wish that I had done so sooner and refocused myself. I really love these two resolutions:::
Resolution: Walk humbly with God.
Resolution: Love others.
The notion of walking humbly with God is just so beautiful and peaceful. When I visited my family over the holidays, we took a few walks together. There was no agenda. We simply walked leisurely around the neighborhood, taking in the bright pinks of the flowering trees and the azure sky as we chatted. The walks were short — under half an hour — but that time we spent meandering cul-de-sacs and admiring palm trees made an impression on me. It felt meaningful even though our conversations weren’t necessarily any more meaningful than any other conversations we had during our time together. In New York City, I walk a lot, but I’m usually walking with an agenda — with a predetermined place to go and time to be there by — and am walking on my own against a crowd of strangers. Walking with someone just to enjoy their company is a much different feeling.
* * *
That was from 2012. A lot has changed since then. My sister moved out of the city, and my mother had a stroke, so we haven’t spent the past two Christmases together. I’ve spent a lot of time walking in the city by myself. But new people have also come into my life, and I’ve spent time walking with them, both literally and figuratively. Most importantly, many of the new people that have come into my life have been helping me in my walk with God.
This week I was reflecting on 2 Peter 1: 3-11:
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence,[d] 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[g] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It seems like a good passage to continually focus on this year.