Thursday, September 29, 2011


i walked by this alley on a walk the other day and even in the daylight i could imagine a sweet autumnal dinner party. woolly socks and scarves, twinkling lights, and roasted vegetables gobbled before the night breezes cool them off. i'd take it.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

sidewalk stories.

rose bud
pink rose
yellow rose
other pink rose
red rose
september roses.

{a little bit ragged. but still here}.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

< two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.


survival tip #5.

splurge on pretty towels.

upon entering our apartment, guests* are met with towels hanging unapologetically on the bathroom door. we never remember to close the thing and so it gapes open leaving fuzzy, mismatching towels for all the world to see.

well, no more. we bought four turkish beauties here, and haven't looked back.

mostly. james would be the first to tell you that these towels offer a rather different post-shower treatment than their terrycloth cousins. they require more work. a little more vigorous drying. slightly more aggressive sopping up of water from soaked locks. they're not perfect, but they're awfully pretty. and they dry faster than any towel i've ever used, which means they smell better, longer. major points.

* thought our place was too small for entertaining? this past weekend we squeezed eight people into this lil' place. plus a baby. that's right folks: 9 beating hearts in fewer than 250 square feet.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

rose geranium.

for me, this has been the summer of rose geranium. we grow it on the farm where i work and it's been used with equal enthusiasm in flower bouquets and fruit jams. i can't get enough of it. it's lovely. sweet and fragrant and not nearly as expensive as the rose it smells like.

in an effort to surround myself with its sweet scent for as long as possible, i took a bunch home last week and set to work on making an essential oil and an exfoliating salt scrub. just the sorts of thing i'll need to keep my spirits up as the days get shorter.

while the oil sits on my windowsill, steeping, i thought i'd share a recipe {of sorts} for the salt scrub: 

rose geranium sea salt scrub 

1/2 cup (or so) sea salt
1/2 cup (or so) grapeseed oil
a generous handful chopped rose geranium

pour sea salt in your preferred jar, enough to fill it. add grapeseed oil to salt until thoroughly wetted. {if you prefer, you can substitute olive or jojoba oil}. to stir, dump the mixture into a small mixing bowl and add a large handful of your chopped and bruised geranium leaves. if you're not convinced you'll use the scrub quickly, you might consider adding dried leaves which have less risk of molding. truth be told though, you're going to want to slather yourself in this scrub every chance you get, so i'm not sure the drying bit is necessary.

once mixed, put the mixture back into the original jar. tighten your lid and then use with wild abandon as soon as possible.

{a caveat, equally important for those living with a partner and those living without one: make sure the tub is well rinsed after using. you only thought a banana peel was slippery. this stuff is the real deal. rinse and repeat}.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


queen anne's lace

welp. at this point there's pretty much consensus. i've been spending entirely too much time sitting. too much sitting at my desk. too much sitting in traffic. too much. and i have a very hurt back to prove it. 

but never fear, i'm on the mend. pretending the physical therapy office is an exclusive spa is helping matters considerably {yes, i did consider bringing my own aromatherapy candle into my appointments. this one's my new favorite}. when i'm not busy receiving mandatory deep tissue massages, i'm walking. a lot. in the past two days, i'm fairly certain i circumambulated the entire borough of brooklyn. twice. and while i didn't pass any caterpillars or sweet-eyed horses, all that walking did remind me of a farmy stroll i took with friends earlier this summer. a little nod to a passing season.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011


conuco farm
conuco farm
conuco farm
conuco farm
all photos by ray ray mitrano.

during the hurricane last week, james and i sat mostly bored in our tiny apartment. we had beeswax candles and a deck of cards at the ready in case the power went out and stores of non-perishable food, just to be safe. we weren't too worried about food, though. our kitchen table full to brimming with yellow, orange, red tomatoes, patty pan squash, and other goodies from the farm market where james had worked on saturday morning. while the storm raged, i shot photos of squash blossoms and waxed poetic about the delights of the season.

but in those same moments, the hurricane was wreaking havoc just upstate. hector tejada, the farmer responsible for the bounty we munched on while we waited out the storm, has since lost every last inch of this season's harvest. flood waters devastated his crops and ruined his greenhouse.

in just one day, an entire season's worth of work wiped utterly away. a livelihood taken from farmer and farm hands in one unapologetic swoop. 

unobservant passers-by might not notice hector's missing tent at the fort greene farmer's market this fall. they might walk by the empty spot on the corner of dekalb avenue and never know that the plant that bore them a delicious tomato last week, is now caked in clay, the sun-ripened fruit rotting on the vine. 

if you have spare change, consider donating it to grownyc's campaign.

and if you're not in the habit, thank your farmers the next time you buy a tomato. it's an awfully big gamble they've taken to bring it to you.

more articles on hurricane damage to farms here and here.
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