From somewhere up the bike lane I could hear a man bellowing, his voice funneled my way by construction walls and buildings as he came rolling up the street. “Fuck you! I hate it! I hate the fucking motorcycles and the loud fucking cars and the fucking bass amplifiers fuck you you fuck I fucking hate you all!” He was in front of me now, pedaling a commuter bike at a frantic cadence, his face mostly obscured by the shade of his helmet and his sunglasses but still clearly twisted with rage as he yelled at the Honda cruising along next to him, a Civic with tinted windows and a pair of chome exhausts the size of beach pails. The car was purring, windows down, its driver grinning like a toadfish who’s swallowed a hook.
May you all feel the way about the person you love that I feel about this one, a dumb breathless love that smothers cynicism and fills you with wonder, a love that’s undiminished over this first 17ish years of marriage. Happy anniversary, Nif. Thank you for marrying me.
The best parts of our work with Wellness in the Schools are the Cafe Days we do at our partner school, PS 84 in Williamsburg. On these days, we come in and cook a special dish featuring a vegetable that the school’s resident WITS chef, Carly Gould, has been teaching kids to understand. In the past we’ve served roasted carrots with yogurt & coriander, lima beans with pickled onions and sambal olek, and fennel-apple salad. You’d be surprised how many elementary school kids were into those slightly exotic (for 2nd graders) dishes.
This week the featured vegetable was potatoes, and we went for something a little closer to home–and dearer to our hearts: hash. We served 400 kids cheese & arugula hash at lunch and it was by far the most popular dish we’ve done–kids came back for 3rds and 4ths, they asked for the recipe, they told us they wanted to make it at home for their parents. Seeing the kids get excited about it made cooking it all the more fun. The arugula we snuck inside gave some kids pause, at first, but once they’d eaten it almost all came back for more, spicy greens be damned.
Maybe my favorite moment over the day was listening to one kid trying to persuade another to try it: “you had McDonald’s hash browns?” “Yeah” “These are like those, but waaaay better, because they’re FRESH.”
Thinking about Sweet Briar College on my Brooklyn run this morning. Amherst, Virginia, where I spent the better part of my childhood, was just down the road from Sweet Briar. The college was where I learned to play soccer, where I took piano lessons, where I saw Jesus Christ Superstar & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band & my first chamber music concert.
Sweet Briar was the reason our tiny Episcopal church had beautiful music. I learned about the value of a local dairy from Sweet Briar, because the college dairy provided our yogurt and milk. I learned my first lesson about oligarchy from Sweet Briar, because George Steinbrenner’s daughter was a student there in those days. I learned how to jimmy a vending machine in the Sweet Briar laundry room. The memories I have of that place are too numerous to count, I’m sure, and I’m willing to bet I’m the saddest man in Brooklyn over the news of their closing.
The great thing about running is that even when the marathon you’ve spent 4 months preparing for is canceled 20 minutes before it starts, by the first mile of your consolation lap your disappointment is washed away by the simple act of running: it was a beautiful day to run 15 miles as training for some yet-to-be-determined challenge. #whyirun #whyirace #centralparkmarathon #running (thanks @runsmartproject & @brooklynrunningco for getting me ready!) #sorrytheressomefuckedupgrammarinthisbuticantfeelmyfingers (at Central Park In Manhattan)
Like its animal-kingdom analogues, cockroaches and rats, wintry mix showed up in the big city, looked around, and saw that it had found its spiritual home. It is in cahoots with cabbies and dry cleaners. It has kin in the creepy precipitation that falls on subway…