I’m a graduate of Drexel University. Not sure if you’ve heard of it. Drexel lives in the shadow of the University of Pennsylvania, its bigger, smarter, Ivy League neighbor in West Philadelphia. It’s a rather conservative school, known for its engineering program, and was absolutely the wrong school choice for me. But, I was offered a spot on the swim team, so I packed up and headed there in the fall of 1986.
From the get go, college was hard for me. Classes were hard, finding people with similar interests was hard. Luckily, I found a kindred spirit. I’m not sure when I met Denise. Maybe sophomore, year? I don’t recall the circumstances, but we ended up roommates in an off-campus apartment somewhere around junior year. Continue reading
Before moving to Georgia, my husband and I lived in Northern Virginia for five years. Living in New York was exciting, but I quickly discovered my age and height weren’t exactly desirable traits to casting agents. Moving was inevitable. But where to go? Michael had spent many summers as a kid in Fairfax County, Virginia so we thought we’d give that a shot. Safe neighborhoods, access to DC… what could go wrong? We settled into an apartment in Old Town Alexandria, thinking we’d be there just a few months before buying a home.
Little did we know that the great NVA housing boom of the late 90s was about to hit its stride. Teeny, tiny townhouses built in the 70s (that cost more than the colonial we live in now), houses we didn’t even really want, were suddenly out of our reach. We spent endless weekends getting our hopes crushed, being outbid on homes that were run down and required long commutes. Our time living in the apartment grew longer and longer. Continue reading
Ashley Dale and I worked together a job or two ago. We met at my interview. I believe the circumstances were she had been promoted, and I was interviewing for her old job. I liked her immediately. Women who make it in the construction industry have a certain toughness and no bullshit-ness about them that resonates with me. Ashley has it, and is also funny and smart. She’s the whole package. Continue reading
As a young adult, before I married and had a child, before I moved to the South, I read Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. If you haven’t had a chance to read this short story, may I suggest you check it out this year. http://capoteweb.com/a-christmas-memory/. Continue reading
Butchers and fishmongers fascinate me. Because my butchering skills are mediocre at best, seeing someone dissect a piece of meat or fish into neat little cuts is like watching someone walk on water. They can skin something or cut its head off without batting an eye, while I find myself apologizing to whatever I’m cutting, even though it’s long past dead. Plus they all seem to like what they do. I’ve never met a butcher or fishmonger that didn’t enjoy their work and take pride in their products.
Matt Kirkpatrick is one of those people. Continue reading
Ah summer… How I love it so… Someone asked me recently how my summer was going, and if I were to answer literally, I would have to say, “Not any different than the rest of the year.” I work full time, so I still get up at the same time every day, go to the gym, go to the office, come home, make dinner. My routine is the same, but it’s SUMMER! Warmer weather, longer days… And it’s Super Bowl Sunday every day, food wise. Everything’s in season, ripe, juicy and delicious. It’s heaven. Continue reading
There’s been a lot of chatter in the media about reducing funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Personalities such as Ben Affleck and Newark Mayor Cory Booker participated in the SNAP Challenge, an experiment meant to educate the public on how much money SNAP participants are afforded for food every day. My amazing sister Jen also took the challenge and lived on a food stipend of only $5.13 a day for a week. I asked her to write about the experience.
I met James and Anastasia Goldman more than 20 years ago. We were broke and fabulous and making our way in Philadelphia by working (where else?) in the restaurant business. James and I worked together at a restaurant in Center City called Dockstreet. He was dating (and later married) Anastasia. I was dating (and later married) my husband Michael who was parking cars at the Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Broad Street.
Our lives were so easy back then. No kids, no mortgages, no real jobs. We’d work until midnight, go out, maybe go dancing, and often end up eating in China Town at 3 in the morning. Philadelphia had a thriving arts scene back then (still does) and we enjoyed feeling like we were in the middle of it. And James and Anastasia were that couple that was one step ahead of everyone else in the coolness/hotness factor. They knew about fashion, music, food and always looked like something out of Interview Magazine. Continue reading
I love Mother’s Day! It’s the one day a year I completely take off and just enjoy my husband and daughter. No work, no errands, no cleaning, no cooking. Not that I mind cooking, of course, but it’s nice to have someone dote on you and cater to your every food whim. In our house, this means brunch, starring my husband Michael’s killer French toast. Continue reading