Homemade bagels!

I asked my brother if he wanted anything from New York and he said that everything was cheaper and available where he lives. True. Sigh. But other folks in MA have requested Bagels so I did it, although I am sorry everyone these are too good to last- next time. I haven’t had a better bagel since hot from the oven at St. Viateur’s in Montreal.

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February Vacation



Spring dress batik



Somerville beer



Dinah Dog



This February vacation I opted for staying fairly local, getting organized at home and meeting at least one of the new babies my friends have been producing this year. I will never forget my magical first trip to St. John in February 2011, but the other places we’ve tried since Maho Bay closed have been very different.  Next year I would like to volunteer for a week at Cinnamon Bay through the Appalachian Mountain Club, giving myself something to do while I enjoy the beaches and tent living.

Back to the present. The northeast is cold. But despite the snow and blowing wind, the sugar shacks are opening this weekend and the sap will soon begin to flow. Spring is imminent!

Blogging regularly is one of the activities I miss most from my Beverly life- where, as I remember it, I was writing daily and connecting with friends and family online. Somehow my ambitious New York lifestyle leaves me no energy in the morning or afterwards for sharing. I also miss reading- something I only seem to do now when I am on vacation.  My colleague, Anna, reads several books a week and is a passionate booktalker, but she’s largely given up asking me what I’m reading. Usually it is a non-fiction book about kelp or something and it takes me three weeks to read the first chapter. Sigh.

If I were to resume blogging regularly I would keep this blog for personal projects and activate the dormant  Slow Travel NYC blog as the spot for building a community of frugal local explorers.  I also think it could be the basis of a Rick Steves style travel empire focused not on pricey trips to Europe but rather on engaging with the mysteries of our own back yards.

What do you think? Is there an audience for that kind of writing?

Valentine’s day tunic

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No such thing as too many hobbies in February. Get busy or hibernate! Thanks to WFMU for keeping me company inside.

Class of 1995

Last weekend I watched Gross Point Blank in honor of my impending 20 year anniversary of graduating High School. The premise of the film is that John Cusack’s character disappeared from his home town without a trace on his prom night and spent the next ten years becoming an expert, professional contract killer. Now he’s going home for his reunion, to see his high school girlfriend who he still dreams of (Minnie Driver), and to get some business done. It’s great, it holds up, go watch it on your online film provider this weekend. It’s a fairy tale, it’s got great action sequences and MD is a feministish heroine who has a radio show. Why aren’t there more movies like that? Although I also loved Hot Tub Time Machine, so probably i’m no judge.

The Winter of 2015 finds me in a reflective mood. This week I visited Grand Army Plaza for a work meeting and remembered that it was 12 years ago this month that I started my first public library job and began a very good career in service to children in public libraries- four different systems in three states.

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20 years ago my entire post graduate plan was to go to England on vacation with Scott. We had such a wonderful three weeks there, visiting London and York and Chew Magna. When I returned home I got a job and applied to Smith and set a very different course than the one I had imagined my Junior year (film school) or my Senior year (nothing). At least in retrospect, the experience of traveling to the UK reset my compass and helped me clear the way for my next adventure.

After college I experienced a similar freedom when I travelled to Spain and Italy with my sister Christina for about a month. Upon returning to Northampton, I moped briefly and then packed my Rabbit for New York City.

For the past year or so I have been turning over and over in my mind the details of the English Coast to Coast walking trip. I know it is a scant three weeks and mostly will be damp and cold and the distance much farther than I think it will be. But I’m eager for the clear air, and to feel the longing to come home and get back to work with a clearer idea of my priorities, and to collect the wonderful memories of being self directed out of doors and in a wild, old landscape.

I don’t yet know the timing of my trip, but I know why I want it now. And spring is on its way, despite the snow and cold of February.

Snow day = Brew Day

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Adventure wear

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MLK day of service 2015 – idlewild park

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Back to the marshes of most southern Queens, for a few hours of solid physical labor picking up waste from Hurricane Sandy. Good god is there a lot of plastic in our lives. It was difficult to stay focussed on the activity of clean up and not get angry about how we live now. Or fantasize about how I’m going to never buy another plastic bottle, lighter, plastic bag, plastic toy, anything ever again!

It makes a woman want to go off grid, seeing the effects of the typical American lifestyle. Is there anything that can be done? How do we stop the tsunami of crap?

I’m glad I chose to spend my day doing the cleanup instead of going to REI for more coveted adventure gear. And the memories will make me pause every time I pick up something new- (even a lip balm- I picked 6 or so out in my tiny quadrant)

On Saturday we watched Bx46 at the Museum of the Moving Image. It’s a French documentary about the Hunt’s Point/ Fulton fish Market and the other industrial uses of that region of the Bronx. It was beautiful and disheartening in the same way as the scrap of tidal marsh at Idlewild Park. People work here, people live here, people are not the problem, but Jesus what a mess.

Tomorrow is No Complaints Tuesday. Any tips for staying positive?