This year, over a month ago now, I celebrated my 29th birthday on the 4th of July with a glass of wine in hand, fireworks overhead, and my family by my side. I would venture to say it was the best one yet. 
Someone asked me that weekend which year has been my favorite so far. And I honestly I have to say, this past one. Not because it was all good, in fact months on end were pretty rough, but because I grew. This was the year I finally learned stop planning ahead, and be open instead. To put the expectations down that were doing nothing more than robbing the present. To let go of things that were not helping me. To find my voice and ask for exactly what it is that I need. To make decisions that had long since needed to be made and get comfortable with the fact that others might be awhile off yet. To go after what I want. To finally have a clear picture of what that might be. It was a growing year, start to finish. 
On the upside, I got to start 28 in New York, happy as a clam, my sister had just moved into the city. A few weeks later, priced out of SoHo, we moved ourselves across town too. We celebrated our anniversary in Turks and Caicos (a surprise for Coe, successfully pulled off). In August, I took a bus all night (after an untimely cancelled flight) to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday and my cousin’s baby shower in Chicago (so worth it in the end). In the fall, we survived Sandy, skipped down to Philly and got to meet our first niece in Kansas as well. We spent Thanksgiving week with Nathan and Tanya in Paris and visited Iceland on the way home. I successfully cooked my very first turkey all on my own. Then we packed our life into a big yellow truck, celebrated Christmas in Chicago and drove that enormous rig literally across the country from the Hudson River to the San Francisco Bay. We spent the winter skiing in Tahoe, the spring settling into our new friends and new town. All in all, it was a red letter year. 
I look around today and honestly just feel so grateful. Things are not perfect, they will never be. But I feel rich in relationships and alive at how much I’m learning still. I am so thankful for my friends and my family and everybody’s current health. I feel more unabashedly myself; I earned that this past year.  

This year, over a month ago now, I celebrated my 29th birthday on the 4th of July with a glass of wine in hand, fireworks overhead, and my family by my side. I would venture to say it was the best one yet. 

Someone asked me that weekend which year has been my favorite so far. And I honestly I have to say, this past one. Not because it was all good, in fact months on end were pretty rough, but because I grew. This was the year I finally learned stop planning ahead, and be open instead. To put the expectations down that were doing nothing more than robbing the present. To let go of things that were not helping me. To find my voice and ask for exactly what it is that I need. To make decisions that had long since needed to be made and get comfortable with the fact that others might be awhile off yet. To go after what I want. To finally have a clear picture of what that might be. It was a growing year, start to finish. 

On the upside, I got to start 28 in New York, happy as a clam, my sister had just moved into the city. A few weeks later, priced out of SoHo, we moved ourselves across town too. We celebrated our anniversary in Turks and Caicos (a surprise for Coe, successfully pulled off). In August, I took a bus all night (after an untimely cancelled flight) to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday and my cousin’s baby shower in Chicago (so worth it in the end). In the fall, we survived Sandy, skipped down to Philly and got to meet our first niece in Kansas as well. We spent Thanksgiving week with Nathan and Tanya in Paris and visited Iceland on the way home. I successfully cooked my very first turkey all on my own. Then we packed our life into a big yellow truck, celebrated Christmas in Chicago and drove that enormous rig literally across the country from the Hudson River to the San Francisco Bay. We spent the winter skiing in Tahoe, the spring settling into our new friends and new town. All in all, it was a red letter year. 

I look around today and honestly just feel so grateful. Things are not perfect, they will never be. But I feel rich in relationships and alive at how much I’m learning still. I am so thankful for my friends and my family and everybody’s current health. I feel more unabashedly myself; I earned that this past year.  

This is our California team (the people that is, jury’s still out on the Giants vs. the A’s…). And a huge reason we chose to live in San Francisco of all places on the West coast. As improbable as it seems, David’s whole extended family is now concentrated in just two cities (though of course Brian, living the dream in Colombia, is appropriately the outlier). The parents’ generation first made the split: one brother in Kansas, the other one out here. Twenty (or is it thirty?) odd years later, history repeated itself: David’s brother and his lovely wife just bought a house in Kansas and here we are settling into San Francisco. There’s a nice symmetry to that, no?
Having family here has been the best kind of welcome: meals out and wine in and hanging out with the kids. The best part is David’s cousins live right in the neighborhood (or rather we moved into theirs), so Sunday dinners have become something of a tradition which makes this place feel so much more like home.  
We get to visit team Kansas at the end of this week (!) But in the meantime, back on the home front, it’s been so nice getting to know bay area sports courtesy of the ultimate fan, Aunt Jan, and enjoy so much more time with the California Coes. 
(Baseball rundown: A’s lost, but the game was great, and as you might imagine the mascot was a huge hit with the little guy, though not quite as much as running the bases at the end with his new glove. childhood.)

This is our California team (the people that is, jury’s still out on the Giants vs. the A’s…). And a huge reason we chose to live in San Francisco of all places on the West coast. As improbable as it seems, David’s whole extended family is now concentrated in just two cities (though of course Brian, living the dream in Colombia, is appropriately the outlier). The parents’ generation first made the split: one brother in Kansas, the other one out here. Twenty (or is it thirty?) odd years later, history repeated itself: David’s brother and his lovely wife just bought a house in Kansas and here we are settling into San Francisco. There’s a nice symmetry to that, no?

Having family here has been the best kind of welcome: meals out and wine in and hanging out with the kids. The best part is David’s cousins live right in the neighborhood (or rather we moved into theirs), so Sunday dinners have become something of a tradition which makes this place feel so much more like home.  

We get to visit team Kansas at the end of this week (!) But in the meantime, back on the home front, it’s been so nice getting to know bay area sports courtesy of the ultimate fan, Aunt Jan, and enjoy so much more time with the California Coes. 

(Baseball rundown: A’s lost, but the game was great, and as you might imagine the mascot was a huge hit with the little guy, though not quite as much as running the bases at the end with his new glove. childhood.)

I wasn’t sure what to get David for his birthday in June. I batted all kinds of ideas around. But 30 seemed kind of big. Bigger than a box. And bigger than just me.
Years ago David had all my friends and family write me letters - 1 for each day if you can believe that - before I took off for a summer in Tanzania. That stack of words was by far one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  
It felt about time to return the favor. I circulated the request and it was so fun to read the responses as they came in. Two overwhelming themes: this guy knows how to get into trouble and obviously have fun. So, I handed him a stack of letters from friends and family across the country on his birthday filled with congratulations and old memories, plus a few other things to boot, and you should have seen his face. 
Thank you to all our friends who wrote - it was a huge hit! I honestly think words make the best gift. 

I wasn’t sure what to get David for his birthday in June. I batted all kinds of ideas around. But 30 seemed kind of big. Bigger than a box. And bigger than just me.

Years ago David had all my friends and family write me letters - 1 for each day if you can believe that - before I took off for a summer in Tanzania. That stack of words was by far one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  

It felt about time to return the favor. I circulated the request and it was so fun to read the responses as they came in. Two overwhelming themes: this guy knows how to get into trouble and obviously have fun. So, I handed him a stack of letters from friends and family across the country on his birthday filled with congratulations and old memories, plus a few other things to boot, and you should have seen his face. 

Thank you to all our friends who wrote - it was a huge hit! I honestly think words make the best gift. 

the farewell tour

The summer has been a gift. Mainly of time. Just being back in this place I once loved to call home. I spent the last month soaking up evenings in restaurants and rooftops with friends from the East Village to the West. Catching up with Katherine, Julia, Emily, Emily and Ave and spending every Monday night with my favorite rosé ceremony crew. Revisiting old haunts from MoMA to SoHo. Exploring new corners too - from Park Slope to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. I spent this last week staying out late, and riding the bus because I could no longer stomach the subway, threading the crowds to get where I was going and thrumming my fingers along the rails of fences that could not possibly be clean. Closing my eyes to the blink of the flickering blue screens and the lights going out in the buildings across the way. Every day the heat wore me out, and in the evenings descended the kind of summer nights that don’t so much arrive as continue forward from the day.

On Wednesday night the fever broke. The clock struck midnight. And I went from the unrelenting swelter of August to instant October in the span of one 6 hour flight. 

Truth be told, I thought the last month or so might cure me of this place. Might get it out of my system. Partly it did. But of course, partly it did the opposite. So I spent the last week choosing to believe in what’s next instead. Choosing to go home and rejoin my real life. With my husband whom I’ve very much missed. Choosing what’s ahead. Grateful for the time out East, and ready to be West instead. 

emilyinternet
For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar’s gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go
Robert Penn Warren (via cariosus)

inside the rain room

When I was a child, my father once told me about a time that it stormed when he was young. How the rain came down in sheets on one side of the street and on the other, nothing. Dry and clouded, but serene. You never think about the edges of a storm like that, do you? How there could be a line on the ground where it lands. In an odd way, that story he told me planted a seed, and I have always wanted to see that same thing. Call it a life goal, with the knowledge that in all likelihood I never would master that right place, right time kind of serendipity. 

So, honestly, the Rain Room at MoMA might be the closest I ever get.  

Now, I am not a fan of lines. Especially not lines that wrap around an avenue block, that take up half the day, that require arriving earlier than I often wake up. So blockbuster art exhibits where half of New York (and America it seems) shows up, clearly pose a dilemma for me. But I gave it one more go, coffee in hand, and let me just say I have never waited in line for anything as long as I did for that. And somehow, it was fun. 

A lot of that had to do with spending the day with my friend Josh — an old colleague from our Columbus days turned New York compatriot, not to mention a very talented designer — who made the (many) hours fly. 

You know, the truth is, when I think back on it, I’ll think about the 10 minutes I spent feeling like a child inside more than the 5+ hours spent waiting in line. And controlling the rain, testing its boundaries, standing right next to it — within it, surrounded, in fact — and not getting wet? Well, until the real thing hits, we’ll check that dream off the bucket list. 

friday night at the nuyorican poets cafe

image

I wanted to write it down. Before I forgot. Before I forgot to tell you that if there’s one thing you do, you must come here. That if I had seen it sooner, it would have been my destination every single Friday night, despite the wait.

How intoxicating it was to witness such ripe words spoken; forcefully, deliberately, unrelentingly. In person. Face to face. Unmitigated. And human. The acuteness of your pain, your striving, your disappointment, your humor, your surrender, your unthinkable fight. How I understood you better through your voice. How I feel too much. How I felt every word. 

The reminder alone that there is a place for these things that we think and do not say. And sometimes that place is aloud. How fed I was, and buzzed, sober at 2am. And also, alive. 

We did do one other thing last weekend… I managed to convince the girls to try our hand at the flying trapeze. Not a hard sell as it turns out… and man was it FUN

Don’t be surprised when I run off to join the circus now…

In the meantime I’ll be attending to the very bruised backs of my knees…

New York Trapeze School | South Street Seaport

Last weekend Natalie came to town, and then there were 3 of us in NYC. Mostly we rambled around the East Village, but managed to pack in a few adventures across the bridge in Brooklyn as well. 

Festivities included kale margaritas at The Wayland (get there, try these!), dinners at Northern Spy & Empellion (still thinking about those ricotta & pea tacos), citibikes, long naps, chatting with DJ and sipping bourbon all night at Summit (after years of watching David drink it, it’s finally worn off on me), a swing by the cacao-scented Mast Brother’s chocolate shop in Williamsburg (heavenly), a trip to the Brooklyn Brewery (finally!) and a spin atop the Wythe Hotel (which has the most incredible view). 

Not bad for 72 hours!

1 week to go here, the clock is ticking and I’m packing it in…