Showing posts from September, 2012

Finding Balance With Coffee and French Fries, Finding Joy Outside of your Comfort Zone ---and Goodbye to Arthur Sulzberger

You know when you wake up at 9:47 thinking it’s 7 am, it was a late night. That means that drinking coffee becomes a late-morning experience, rather than an early-morning, the birds-are-chirping and I’m chipper experience. Today’s coffee feels a little different because of last night’s pub food.  While the idea of drinking coffee all day long is normal, the idea of eating fries for me is a once-in-a-while experience. Last night I ate fries, drank half a pint of cider and danced to rock and roll at a bar in Middlesex. It was very interesting and lots of fun. There was no coffee---and no skim milk. So it was a paradigm shift, but the band, Road to Ruin ----was amazing. Seriously, it was impossible not to dance. Until the wee hours. Back to the pub food….We’re basically talking chicken wings, soda, and french fries, except in my quest to be healthy and eat clean, I ordered tilapia—which was literally doused in butter. Overall, the food was cooked well and the service was impe

Drinking Coffee—An Epicurean Pleasure and a Source of Chronic Pain Relief…and my Response to the New Weeping Woman at MOMA

While dining at the 2 nd Floor Café at MOMA today, I took an Epicurean delight in my chickpea/fennel salad, replete with beets and a side of focaccia, paired with a delicately brewed skim latte. Contrary to popular belief, Epicurus (b. 341 bc) was not a glutton. There were ugly rumors that Epicurus had to vomit twice a day because he ate so much, and that he would go into sexual frenzies during which time, he would write lewd letters. Not true at all.  In fact, he espoused happiness based on simple pleasures. According to Alain de Botton, writing in “Consolations of Philosophy,” Epicurus’s perception of happiness was based on several basic things: freedom from pain, friendship, freedom, and thought---meaning the possibility of thinking things through, analyzing them and discussing with others. Epicurus cultivated a group of friends, who along with him, preferred water to wine; who enjoyed long walks, and conversation. He once said, “Luxurious foods and drinks in no way produce fre

Is Gene Conklin Drinking Coffee in Heaven?

In March 2012, my friend Gene Conklin died in his mid-40’s of cancer. His cancer was a direct result of 9-11 exposure at the site of the World Trade Center, where he and his girlfriend were spending the morning. He was part of the World Trade Center Health Registry. When Gene and I were in college together in Middlebury, Vermont, we spent lots of days and nights drinking coffee---lots and lots of coffee. We were hyped up on learning new things and being politically left wing. In fact, I often called him “Comrade Conklin” and he called me “Comrade Gray.” We were surrounded by lots of agitprop posters—a type of random kitschy artifact that I glommed onto as a Russian major. We listened to folk rock, hip hop, trip house and bits of Bach here and there. Time passed and we got older.  We were both indelibly affected by 9-11. He more so than I, we would later discover. For me, 9-11 made me aware of my own mortality and that of my then-boyfriend, now husband, whose office was right smac