I’m currently on the Acela to Boston, speeding(ish) through the industrial lands around Providence, Rhode Island. Taking the train feels like peering in people’s back windows at their mudroom – you see the parts of towns no one bothered to clean up or hide, piles of rubble cascading toward the tracks and empty loading docks and lots of graffiti, layer upon layer.

I kind of like it.

It’s been a very busy few months, alternately enervating and exciting. The country feels on the precipice of destruction every other day. We bought a house. There is more death and despair with every turn of the globe. It is a very very nice house. Winter has turned to spring and the trees are budding out in lovely little spiky green bursts. We love this house.

A few things I feel moved to share:
Kat wrote a piece for Saveur about grape leaves, specifically my parents’ grape leaves. It makes their vineyard sound much grander than it is, which tickles me. Big ups to Kat.

– Exhale was profiled in a great piece for CNN, with particular focus on my co-board member Susan, who is very brave and wonderful.

– I am training for a half marathon, and last weekend I ran 10 miles, the farthest I’ve ever run. It did not feel terrible, and in fact felt pretty good. I’m as surprised as you are.

– We recently hosted a dinner party, maybe our best yet, for my coworkers and their partners. I loved everything we served and figured I might as well share the menu.

May we all have that kind of delight.

Summer to-do list

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I am goal oriented. I love lists. I LOVE summer. And so, in the spirit of it already being August howthehelldidthathappen, here is my partially-completed Summer 2016 To-Do List.

  1. Check out the local farmer’s markets in our new neighborhood.
  2. Make frosé. DONE: made for a backyard party, smashing success.
  3. Jump in the ocean.
  4. Grill outside. DONE: made ribs at my parents’ house, and more grilling to come when we’re there all next week.
  5. Go kayaking. DONE: did some eagle-spotting on the Delaware!
  6. Eat a whole lobster.
  7. Check out a site outside the city like Storm King or Dia:Beacon.
  8. Buy ice cream from an ice cream truck. DONE: thank you, Mister Softee.
  9. Make fruit juice from scratch. DONE: made a massive amount of watermelon juice for cocktails – so good.
  10. Go to a new brewery.
  11. Go to a baseball game. DONE: sweated our nards off at a Yankees game.
  12. Go berry picking. DONE: my parents’ raspberry bushes count, right?
  13. Bake a galette or a crumble. DONE: rhubarb galettes <3 <3 <3
  14.  Watch an entire sunset. DONE: Manhattenhendge!
  15. See an outdoor concert. DONE: the hokiest brass band, playing all the Sousa marches for the old folks. Added bonus: brought booze.
  16. Go for an extended bike ride (bonus if it’s along a beachside bike path). DONE: my Red Hook birthday party bike ride!
  17. Read a summer beach read. DONE: read The Girls by Emma Cline, and loved it.
  18. Play hooky mid-week to enjoy a beautiful day outside.
  19. Drink a glass of rosé at an outdoor wine bar. DONE: this is basically my social life.
  20. See an outdoor movie. DONE: Taxi Driver at the Yotel in midtown.
  21.  Hang out in our community garden. DONE: had a few lovely lazy afternoons.
  22. Eat a meal completely made from seasonal vegetables. DONE: we have all the vegetables we can handle, from my parents’ garden.
  23. Build a bonfire. DONE: and gonna do it again.
  24. Go wine tasting. DONE: hit up Red Hook Winery as part of my birthday party.
  25. Go on a group hike with friends. DONE: scaled the heights of the ‘Gunks, evidence here.
  26. Pack a picnic for a park you’ve never been to. DONE: hit Prospect Park for July 4.
  27. Go to a pool party. DONE: happy birthday to MegMo!
  28. Camp outside.
  29. Attend a free NYC event.
  30. Make a summer salad.

And a few other fantastic things that won’t make any list, but were an integral part of my first New York City summer:

  1. Hosted a Golden Girls-themed birthday party at a dive bar in Greenpoint.
  2. Snuggled with pitbull puppies at a backyard party.
  3. Spend a long lazy night on a friends’ patio, eating Brazilian barbecue and slapping away mosquitoes.
  4. Enjoyed my first Domino Domingo with old friends.
  5. Went to a theme park wedding.
  6. Explore the Swiss Alps.
  7. Went to a wedding in a museum of medical oddities.
  8. Went for a run and then cooled off in Barton Creek.
  9. Ate at Shake Shack. Multiple times.
  10. Embraced the humidity like only someone who has spent a decade’s worth of chilly San Francisco summer days can.

Beyond allyship

Reading reading reading these days – so much (good, heartbreaking, infuriating, exhausting) to read. I could post a million links. But right now, the piece I’m coming back to is Roxane Gay’s in Marie Claire:

“Black people do not need allies. We need people to stand up and take on the problems borne of oppression as their own, without remove or distance. We need people to do this even if they cannot fully understand what it’s like to be oppressed for their race or ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion, or other marker of identity. We need people to use common sense to figure out how to participate in social justice.”

This is the work.



We haz a home! We haz two homes!

After 2+ months in (slightly uncomfortable but admittedly shmancy) temporary housing, Mike and I are now Brooklyn residents, settled into our own little box in the sky. Welcome to high-rise living!

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The apartment itself is a work in progress, of course. But hoo boy does it feel nice to sit on our couch, sleep in our bed, and made nosh plates on our own damn Heath ceramics.



“I’d like to be quieter. I think I’d like to be quieter and let the work speak for itself.”

This Playboy interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates is really, really good. I saw Coates be interviewed at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco a few months ago, and he really has a unique ability to distill profound truths into clear, bell-like language (with the perfect amount of profanity).

A few of my favorite excerpts:

What role does hip-hop play in your work?
I always considered myself a failed MC. That was what I really wanted to do. I was listening to that old Quincy Jones album Back on the Block. Big Daddy Kane says, “Back up and give the brother room to let poetry bloom to whom it might concern or consume.” I heard that and thought, Good God, there’s so much in that. It’s the kind of faux majesty of it, “to whom.” It’s actually really regal. I heard something like that as a kid, and it was like these cats were taking the language from its inventors and retrofitting it to explain their reality. Nas didn’t need to go to Harvard, or even Howard, to become masterful in the use of language. I think great rappers, because of how stuff is structured, really understand on an intuitive level how to get across as much information as possible in the smallest amount of space.

In terms of literary inspirations, hip-hop’s got to be number one, and I’m talking above actual literature. Aesthetically, it defines how I try to write. You really have to think hard about every single word. Probably a hundred years from now people will look back on something like Illmatic, some of that Wu-Tang stuff, some of the Kendrick stuff, some of the other stuff, and they’re just going to be like, “Holy hell.” You’re talking some of the greatest wordsmiths of our age.


Live from New York

I’ve been a bit gun shy about Instagram lately (couldn’t you tell?), so while I have been posting semi-regularly, I haven’t shared nearly as many images from around the city as I’ve been capturing. Here’s a quick rundown of what New York life has been like lately.


Tulips at Washington Square Park. (more…)

Just a lil CEO shoutout

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I work in partnerships, specifically doing deals with news and magazine publishers, usually around content licensing. It’s not very sexy to the outside world, or even within Google. So I squealed pretty loudly when our CEO, Sundar Pichai, gave a shoutout to a project I worked on with the Elections team and the Associated Press to show elections results right from Google Search. (more…)

Spring clothes, minimalism, and culottes: a love story

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Moving cross country – and having 99% of our belongings in storage for three months – means that my wardrobe is currently minimal. And, to my surprise, I’m discovering I’ve never felt more confident in how I look each day. Not necessarily about my hair or makeup or new little wrinkles around my eyes (damn you, excellent bathroom lighting!), but if you catch me on the way out the door in the morning, I’ll probably be feeling pretty good about what I’m wearing. Because – duh – when you only wear the few pieces you really love, you feel good in them!

That’s not to say I’m ditching the rest of my clothes when I get them out of storage, but I am going to keep most of them hidden away to cycle in as needed. I’m hoping to continue rocking my handful of button downs, pencil skirts, cardigans, and great-fitting jeans, because in the two months since we left San Francisco, they’ve treated me well. Cotton, silk, cashmere, denim and leather: my can’t-fail outfit building blocks.