After 11 hours over the Pacific and 3 at the Taiwan airport eating taro cakes in the Hello Kitty terminal, we finally arrived in hot, sticky Bangkok. Our limbs felt heavy as we pushed through the humidity with our trusty packs in stow, marching toward our apartment with the address บ้านเลขที่ 34/8. “No one will know it,” our AirBnB host kindly told us. “Just walk along the green fence past the massage shop.” Perfect, we thought. I’m still not sure what that ‘slash’ is for.
While a bit of a drive, the Methow Valley in northeastern Washington is stunning. Since there is still some snow in the mountains (all of these tulips almost had me fooled), we picked a place that would be good for camping, but in a sit-and-drink-scotch-by-the-wood-burning-stove-in-a-modern-Danish-shipping-container kind of way.
A week in the jungle of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Still dreaming of rice and beans, white sandy beaches, banana pancakes, baby sloths, and the sound of howler monkeys at nightfall.
After a lifetime of embracing my Sephardic heritage—mostly in the form of endless flakey, cheese-filled Turkish pastries—my sister and I decided it was time to give the stage to our Eastern European ancestry for a change.
We had been searching for an opportunity to host a pop-up dinner of some kind for a while, and serendipitously crossed paths with two of Brooklyn’s great food enthusiasts and keepers of Ashkenazic culture and cuisine—Jeff Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern. Through their business, The Gefilteria, Jeff and Liz reimagine old world Jewish cuisine by adapting Eastern European classics to the values and tastes of a new generation.
Hygge [hyɡə]: The art of building sanctuary and community, inviting closeness, and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive.
You might assume that the perks of going to Jewish summer camp your whole life start to dwindle in your 30’s. Well, not if you’re Adam. It turns out Camp Tawonga’s old infirmary nurse, Cricket, now lives on a beautiful farm in Mt. Vernon along with three sheep, two alpaca, and a food dehydrator that won’t quit. Luckily, I made it onto the invite list, so we trekked up north last weekend for a little rural getaway just an hour outside of the city.
Sweet smells. Drive through the city. Bikers on the Wiggle. Charred rosemary. Rye. Old friend. Stories, stories, stories. Scotch. Quiet apartment. Warm air. New friend on Haight. Old friend on Haight. Two shots of espresso. Golden Gate. Buffalos. Unplanned run-ins. Cheese rolls. Sun. Leon Bridges. Old boats. Eucalyptus. Bacalao. Mean Lady. Uphill. Downhill. Mid-century chairs and flannel. Wool coat. Shot in the dark. Serial. Nettle pizza. Punch bowls. Drag queens. Rye. House concert. B-12. Pickle juice. Bloody Mary to go. Windy roads. Cows. Bourbon-smoked oysters. Cheese. Sun. Bluegrass. Cider. Not Cider. Car nap. Burrito mission. RAC. Crowds. Cover bands. Rye. Old friend. The alley. Oakland. Home.
It’s not simply the arrival of rain, but the transition to a different environment and way of life. The drear has a certain dark beauty; a low-contrast softness. There’s no need to squint or close the blinds. Even the sound of the rain on our house is music to my ears, a lullaby.
I couldn’t think of a better way to salute the summer than by basking in some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest with my family for four days. The Doe Bay Resort and Retreat, tucked in the woods on the eastern shore of beautiful Orcas Island, is basically summer camp for adults. And they’re doing everything right. Cabins, yurts, and campsites along the bay have names like “pea pod” and “salmonberry,” and the soaking tubs are clothing optional. We read on the beach, watched seals swim by, drank wine, played Balderdash, and cooked up a storm (Tupp Ups leftover bread series coming soon!).