The Week in Passing

You guys, what a week it has been. Amy Cooper, George Floyd, and now violent riots and protests happening all across the country πŸ˜” In a way, I feel like the country’s been long overdue for a major correction as far as our attitudes and behavior towards race go – whether these events will be the ones to trigger it, I guess we’ll only see.

Like a lot of people, I’m feeling intensely sad and frustrated and angry all at once. I’ve been seeing and reading all the BLM content on Instagram and sharing what I can on my own feed. The most important thing I’ve learned the past few days, something that I’ve thought about a lot now, is that simply being non-racist isn’t enough anymore and we must be more directly anti-racist. Police brutality is nothing new – there are photos from the 1960s and earlier that look eerily similar to the protests now (the only difference is that people were better dressed back then!) – and it doesn’t need to be said that racial issues have persisted over the generations as well, but as the saying goes, you’d be a fool to keep trying the same thing and expecting different results. We are the fool now. We’re distantly aware that implicit racism surrounds us every day, but we tell ourselves “I know I’m not racist” and keep our heads down because we aren’t personally affected. I’m guilty of it myself. But…this is the approach we’ve operated under for the past several decades; it clearly hasn’t worked and there hasn’t been enough change, and at that point we have to try something new, like taking a more active role in defeating such systematic racism.

Honestly I didn’t think I’d be so affected by all of this, precisely because of the above. Whenever this has happened in the past – Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, etc – I’ve felt the requisite sadness and indignation, but never did anything about it because I resignedly thought, “This is just going to happen again – I hate it all but can’t do anything”. But I’m starting to learn now that we can. For example, we can…

  • donate to causes that support black communities
  • educate ourselves through books and articles by black authors who describe in excruciating detail what it’s like to live every day in America
  • spread awareness on social media
  • make a commitment to shop more from black and other minority business owners
  • there’s an excellent list on Medium on 30 ways people perpetuate racism every day, usually implicitly, that I think everyone should read over and consider how often (not if) they engage in any of the items. The title says it’s written forAsian Americans, but honestly it applies to most people

I didn’t expect this to post to get as long as it did! But I had to write down some of the thoughts swirling around right now. There’s a lot going on even without the specter of coronavirus still overhead (after seeing how PACKED the NYC protests have been, I’m totally preparing for another spike in cases in 1-2 weeks), but I really hope people start thinking about these long-pervasive issues more. Maybe this is the start of a sea change or maybe it’s just another blip, but either way, I believe we’re headed for change, no matter how slowly.

Highs of the week

Making a new section to put down things I appreciate/am grateful for/am just happy about!

Food is always gonna be one of my highs πŸ˜† My friend sent me a box of doughnuts from a local bakery because she knew I’d had a hard week, and that was the sweetest thing! (literally) We also cooked a ton this week – these beef empanadas that turned out fantastic, walnut brownies from Dorie Greenspan (I love that anything by Dorie always turns out well), pasta al limone by Frank Prizinsano who’s famous for not using recipes, and a GIGANTIC crunch wrap that took an epic 5 hours and served 14!!! (B somehow missed that and made the entire thing…for two people). And yesterday I made a quick batch of rose sangria at noon…and thus the day drinking started. Also discovered one of my favorite new accounts grossypelosi, who shot the frittata above. It just looks SO GOOD. drools

What I’m reading

What I’m watching

  • Never Have I EverSuch a fun watch! The main character Devi was so sassy and relatable and and full of life, and I thought the whole series was a pretty good reflection of what high school is actually like – chaotic, stressful, more than a lil messy. And I’d be remiss to not mention the Asian American representation of course. It’s so refreshing to see more Asian actors on the screen, let a series almost entirely Asian/minority, especially done in such a realistic way!
  • Beauty and the Baker – I’m still on early episodes but I’m already low key obsessed with this show. A middle-class baker happens to meet one of the most famous celebrities/models at a restaurant after he turns down his girlfriend’s wedding proposal, but as they’re falling in love they have to navigate the many class and wealth differences. It’s criminally underrated!! If you’re looking for a super cute romcom series that’s actually good, this is it.
  • Too Hot to Handle – Finally watched the last episode where they all reunite, what a wild ride haha. I’m pretty sure Harry’s ring-pop proposal to Francesca over Zoom was a joke?! Maybe for publicity?? But at the same time, I can’t be sure. Anyway, this was such a perfect trashy series to stream in the background πŸ˜‚

Hope you’re all safe from whatever it might be these days – viruses, riots, murder hornets?!? Have a good weekend!

The Week in Passing

Happy Memorial Day! It definitely doesn’t feel like the unofficial start of summer, but it’s been really nice seeing people come out from their apartments as the lockdown slowly lifts. We’re “celebrating” with some wine and homemade brownies – nothing special, but still a little nod to the holiday!

Small confession that I’m weirdly averse to sharing with friends/on social media: I’m enough of an introvert that in a lot of ways, I’ve actually…been loving quarantine? I love that there’s no longer any pressure to go out every weekend or seem like you have a busy, jam-packed life. I love that everything – everything! – can now be found online, from workout classes to book clubs to trivia nights and I can access them all from the comfort of my apartment. I love that most of my extended social circle is now on an equal playing field when it comes to general lifestyle, because we’re all staying in with nothing to do (I recognize I’m privileged enough to say this, and that many people, such as essential workers, aren’t able to ). I’ve always felt pressure to present myself as an outgoing, social person – and I guess have been successful enough that a lot of people are surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert – and feel like they’d see me differently if they knew I was such a homebody! So yeah, while quarantine has still had its ups and downs, it’s been 2 months of me being able to be purely myself without constantly worrying how others perceive me, and that has freed up SO much mental energy. It’s really refreshing.

Has anyone else felt this way? πŸ˜…

UNRELATEDLY…this morning I saw my first naked person from my window. I feel like a real New Yorker new, hahaha.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week!

What I’m reading

  • Ummm…nothing! I feel like I read so much during the first half of quarantine that I got burned out or something, because the past two weeks I haven’t even touched a book and feel ok with that. BUT I’ve had my eye on The Art of Showing Up by Rachel Wilkerson Miller – especially relevant during this period – and think I’ll pick that up soon.

What I’m watching

  • Normal People! I didn’t read the book because I’d read Conversations with Friends and it really put me off Sally Rooney’s writing, but the show was really good! The actors were very nuanced and conveyed the depths of emotions needed for their roles perfectly, and how cute is Connell Waldron?? I will say though that while it was good, it was also very sad and mopey and depressing and I was often very frustrated with Frances and Connell because they both sucked at communicating.
  • Community – always a favorite for me. I think this show is vastly underrated! It’s got insanely good writing especially in the first two seasons, and the actors are all amazing and hilarious. It’s very much a comfort watch for me.
  • ….do Instagram stories count?! I’m too scared to look at my screen time cause I’ve just been lazily bingeing on everyone’s stories πŸ˜‚

Around town

And finally, just a few links that made me smile this week.


The Week in Passing

HAPPY WEEKEND! I’m having a hard time believe it’s May already?! April just zoomed by and I can’t believe we’re already 1/3 done with the year.

Feeling a bit wistful this week…I was supposed to go on vacation starting Wednesday – to Greece, which I’ve dreamed about visiting for years and was so excited about that I planned out everything in spreadsheets – but we all know that didn’t happen. I’ll replan the trip for whenever things go back to normal, but it’s a little funny thinking about how different the two situations are – where we should be vs. where we actually are. Still amazing to me that life around entire world can just stop like this.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to this week!

What I’m reading

  • Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino – This was weirdly exhausting to read because it’s so dense. But it’s good – Tolentino is a very sharp writer, even though I wish she’d cut down her word usage by 25%.
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – One of my most anticipated reads of early 2020! The blurb sounded really fresh and interesting but it actually turned out to be kind of disappointing – after the glimpse into the future, it became dramatic and predictable.
  • A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen – This is criminally underrated in today’s reading repertoire I think. It’s very short (you can easily finish in 1-2 hours) so it’s quite snappy, and I’m impressed at the feminism throughout (even if Ibsen didn’t intend it)
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston – More of a back burner read for now, but it’s a mix of Chinese folktales and Kingston’s experiences growing up Asian in America during the first half of the 20th century. Very interesting so far.

(illustration from this beautiful Modern Love column)

What I’m watching

  • Chef!! One of my all-time favorite movies. It came out in 2014 and is one of the most wholesome, feed-good movies ever – if you’re at all into food, it’s an absolute gem (and even if you’re not, it’s a plain fantastic movie). Also it’s obnoxiously star-studded πŸ˜†
  • The Crown – Finally finished season 1! The acting is spectacular.
  • And on the other side of the spectrum…Too Hot to Handle. OMG this is truly the trashiest show I’ve ever watched, and I’ve watched all the trashy reality shows so far – Love Island, Love Is Blind, The Circle, etc. Vulture had an amazing description of the contestants: “The people featured on Too Hot to Handle are, to put it as kindly as I can, the sweetest collection of gentle, hot dummies this show could find.” LOL

Is anyone doing puzzles?!

So, I recently finished this 1000-piece puzzle from The New Yorker and jokingly complained the whole time about how puzzles are way too hard and tedious and should count as unpaid labor…and now I’m kind of obsessed with them. Yes, they are still tedious and slow, but also they’re perfect for quarantine. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so! It’s hilarious that almost every single puzzle on The New Yorker’s site is sold out, so I’ve been looking for other good puzzlemakers. Lantern Press takes artwork and photographs and turns them into 1000-piece puzzles – I’m really eyeing the Florence and the New York starry night. (above is the Venice starry night, also a possibility)

Around town

And finally, just a few fun links that made me smile this week.

  1. I’ve been keeping this panda cam up. Looking over every now and then and seeing pandas trundling around and eating bamboo without a care in the world is just the cutest.
  2. Frying Pan Alley. Seven Sisters Lane. Amen Corner. Fish Street Hill. Why England has such bizarre street names.
  3. A fun and weirdly accurate quiz on which fictional character you are. I got Nelson Bighetti from Silicon Valley, which I’m ambivalent about πŸ˜† Take it and let me know who you get!
  4. Might sound odd, but I love following the editors at Bon Appetit on social media because they’re fun, knowledgeable, and relatable. They put together a roundup of their favorite snacks and now I have the munchies.
  5. Mister Rogers went back and fixed his old shows so they’d be more inclusive and evergreen. What a hero.

Have a good weekend!

(flowers by Kari Herer)