Tag Archives: food

Street Art in San Juan

Thanks to lightning storms in Chicago, my already brief trip to Puerto Rico became even briefer. In a grand total of 60 hours, I ate a lot of fried delicious things, swam with bioluminescent plankton, hiked to a secluded waterfall, did yoga on the walls of the forts of Old San Juan, imbibed a lot of tinto verano, sun bathed, salsa danced, heard live music and an applauded extremely talented 7-year-old dancer, ate fresh mangoes, and drank a lot of cafe con leche. Oh, and I saw a lot of amazing street art:

IMG_2810 IMG_2811 IMG_2815 IMG_2816 IMG_2820 IMG_2821 IMG_2822 IMG_2824 IMG_2958 IMG_2960 IMG_2961 IMG_3057 IMG_3063Related Post: That time I wrote for Women’s Adventure Magazine

Related Post: Pretty things in Costa Rica

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Sunday Scraps 91


1. Books: So, apparently McDonald’s is giving away 15million books instead of plastic crap. This seems like a good thing, no?

2. SCI-FI: Jim Hines, a fantasy author, illustrates some of the ridiculous lady-poses of sci-fi and fantasy covers with some creative posing.

3. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The argument against marriage equality has taken a turn for the strange, in my opinion, with this emphasis on unintended pregnancy and accidental babies….

4. CHICAGO: I’m kind of obsessed with these little graphic illustrations of Liz Fosslien, especially her very accurate understanding of all things Chicago. See especially, the Board of Trade drink ratios.

5. CELEBRITY: God bless NYMag for the gift of 60 high school photos of celebrities, from Amy Poehler to Channing Tatum, Alec Baldwin to Zooey Deschanel.

6. TECH: Really fascinating piece from HuffPo on how Siri came to be and how she changed when she went Apple.

Related Post: Sunday 90 – Frida, Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Zadie

Related Post:  Sunday 89 – Mr. Wright, Matt and Ben, avalanches


Filed under Art, Body Image, Books, Chicago, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics

Sunday Scraps 87


1. SANDY HOOK: If you haven’t read it yet, drop everything and read Liza Long’s Gawker essay “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mom” on being the mother of a violent, dangerous child and how few options she has for his treatment.

2. PINTEREST: Some Pennsylvania police departments are using Pinterest to advertise their Most Wanted lists and increasing arrests by 57%.

3. MAPS: So freaking cool, map the gender variation across LA from age-group to age-group. Check out what happens after you clear age 45.

4. HEMPEL: One of my favorite short story writers, Amy Hempel (you can literally read everything she’s written if you buy her Collected Stories), is interviewed by Cafe Americain. 

5. BIZ: Sallie Krawcheck, former executive of Bank of America, writes a short and sweet piece on why women are more tired than men. Hint: make-up.

6. FOOD: Do you ever make Smitten Kitchen recipes? The kitcheness has just published her first actual cookbook and is defying all publishing expectations.

Related Post: Sunday 86: Emily Rapp, Anita Sarkeesian, Emily McCombs and instagram parodies.

Related Post: Sunday 85: Roxane Gay, the path to the NFL, painless for life?


Filed under Books, Food, Gender, Media, Politics

5 Steps

Step 1: Eat (Note the red tray in the middle, that’s “strawberry pretzel salad”)

Step 2: Eat pie (Note that this is 1/3 of the pie assortment)

Step 3: Digest. Get comfortable.

Step 4: Tell family stories and dig out old photos to match. That’s my grandfather in the top right, circa 1941.

Step 5: Bonfire

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday Scraps 76

1.VOTING: Slate has a time lapsed map marking the last 100 years of presidential elections. Oooh, watch the pretty colors change!

2. SMARTS: Atlantic interview with Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, about his uber famous comic and his new geeky science project, What If?

3. BOOKS: How to pair cocktails with book club books, a guide from Flavorwire. We’re reading Boss in my book club at the moment, which I think requires a Chicago beer that has been purchased in exchange for a couple of votes in a tricky precinct.

4. MAGS: The Daily Beast profiles Vice, a Brooklyn based online and print magazine that uses raunch humor, on-the-ground cheap reporting, and multi-media to try to make millennials care about the world.

5. FOOD: As nutritional labels hit McDonald’s, do consumers care if their lunch is 1,800 calories? Apparently not.

6. WRITING: Words of writerly wisdom from Zadie Smith, whose new book NW I’m very excited to read.

Related Post: Sunday 75: black moms-in-chief, library tattoos, Republican history of America

Related Post: Sunday 74: Emily Dickinson, the end of the Kournikova era, Junot Diaz


Filed under Books, Food, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 70

1. LOUIE: My fictional love affair with Louis CK continues with this AV Club interview about his fan-friendly ticketing system, comedy innovation, etc.

2. GENDER: Another good, complex piece from the NYT about how parents react to young children who want to experiment with gender expression.

3. BOOKS: Top 100 teen books from NPR. I’ve read 39, you?

4. FOOD: Post-Chick-fil-A, the LA Times has mapped the political inclinations of chain restaurants and stores. Shockingly, Whole Foods patrons will be voting Obama.

5. OLYMPICS: Behind the scenes of the Olympics Village’s party scene, with more detail than just a condom count (ESPN).

6. PATRIOTISM: 30% of the U.S. women have medaled this Olympics, 15% of the men. If the U.S. women were their own country, they’d have the fifth most medals (Mother Jones).

Related Post: Sunday 69 – books and bikinis, diving faces, gun culture with Kiese Laymon.

Related Post: Sunday 68 – Being in your 20s, the POV of a condom, Jason Alexander.


Filed under Books, Food, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

How Chick-fil-A Learned about Trade-Offs

Mayor Menino

You’ve probably seen Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s letter to Chick-fil-A floating around the web today, declining the chain a location in Boston’s commercial landscape:


“There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”

There’s also a lot of squawking about free speech on behalf of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who made the homophobic comments that kicked off the shit storm. Those people, the free-speechers, are right. He can voice his opinions and beliefs, and some might even say, as a business leader and community leader, he should.

But, and this harkens back to Daniel Tosh’ internet beating last week, being free to speak your mind is not the same as being free from criticism once you do so. Would I support Chick-fil-A protesters throwing rocks through the storefront window or threatening Cathy? No, of course not. Do I think they should have their licenses revoked due to his personal beliefs? Of course not. That said, say something bigoted, and people may choose to take their business elsewhere.

There are trade-offs to be made, here, right? Between supporting our values with our dollars and living a pragmatic, practical, convenient life. I struggle with clothes shopping for this reason, but we all have to make these decisions every day. How much and at what cost are you willing to compromise?

There’s a gender studies concept called the “patriarchal bargain” in which women (and men) play into gender stereotypes for the sake of their own personal advantage, undermining the overall cause of equality. If Kim Kardashian makes millions playing a hot ditz on television, who cares if she detracts from society’s perception of women and their value? We all make patriarchal bargains any time we choose to adhere to gender stereotypes to make life easier (shaving my armpits, wearing mascara, letting a man pay for my drink), it’s just of question a degrees.

The Chick-fil-A question asks us about our willingness to make a similar bargain, an “I’m-a-real-world-consumer bargain”. If I buy a sandwich at Subway instead of Chick-fil-A today, does it matter? What percentage of my purchase would be supporting, even in the vaguest sense, anti-gay advocacy? 3 cents? 8 cents? How much do I care to not drop 3 cents in an bigotry bucket?

On the other hand, the more successful Chick-fil-A becomes, the bigger platform we give Dan Cathy from which to voice his homophobic beliefs.

Related Post: More from MA: How I wish the Brown/Warren debate had gone down.

Related Post: Kelly Ripa on gendered dating assumptions.


Filed under Food, Gender, Media, Politics

The Soda Wars

Nothing like a little government overreaching to welcome me back to the world post-vacation! In a nutshell, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban of sugary beverages over 16 ounces from all of the city’s restaurants, movie theaters, etc:

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

Now, you might say, well good! Who in their right mind needs 16 ounces of high fructose, corn-enriched, syrupy, fizzy, deliciousness? And to that, I say, none of your business!

Look, I’m not discounting the dangers of childhood (or adult) obesity, and I’m not discounting that, because of health care costs, obesity is and should be a public concern. And I’m not disputing that soda etc. isn’t a prime culprit of the problem. But a ban? Really Bloomberg? You think the answer is telling people what’s right for them? Such a dictatorial approach! Is that really the precedent we want?

Do we ban cigarettes? No. We just tax the crap out of them, and then limit the places people can smoke them. In other words, make it difficult, expensive, and socially unacceptable for people to buy 16 oz beverages, but don’t tell them they can’t. You can’t tell people what to do to themselves (just ask people with idiot tattoos), but with decisions that affect the public well-being, you have to find away to incentivize the best behavior (why there should be higher taxes on hummers than priuses).

Disney has a better plan, believe it or not. The mega-advertiser just announced that food promoted on its kid-focused channels must adhere to a new set of nutritional regulations. Now that’s an incentive I can get behind. We, collectively, have to make it harder to create, package, market, and consume shitty food that makes people sick. We, collectively, have to make it easier to find, afford, purchase and eat healthy food. Individual corporations can take on some of that burden, but the government has a fair share of responsibility too. Banning an excessively large bucket of coke doesn’t even begin to touch the root of the problem.

But, my government should not be telling me what to purchase at the movies. My government should not be subsidizing king corn until the first 6 ingredients in any packaged good start with “corn.” My government should be passing legislation that prevents public schools from serving tater tots and ketchup and calling that two vegetables.  My government should be incentivizing, responsible, local businesses to make decisions that facilitate, but don’t mandate, healthier behaviors.

Chicago’s three biggest food deserts (via Chicago Magazine)

Chicago’s poorest neighborhood are also the ones with the fewest grocery stores, and not coincidentally, they are the ones with the shittiest schools, the highest violence rates, and the shortest life expectancies. Telling people they can’t by a tub of Dr. Pepper is not the same as providing people with the education, access, and tools they  need to keep their families safe and healthy.

Related Post: Obesity linked to lower paychecks.

Related Post: Lucky me, I have grocery stores nearby, so I can make things like this.

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Couscous + Fruit

I don’t do a lot of recipe posts because, well, this isn’t Pinterest, okay? But today, the thing I’m most excited to talk about happens to be the couscous fruit salad I made for a potluck, so this is what you get:

Cold Couscous Salad with Fruit

  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  1. Cook couscous according to instructions (usually 1 to 1 water to couscous ratio), let cool
  2. Add mango, blueberries, strawberries, basil, lemon zest
  3. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  4. Refrigerate

Then go up on your roof with a book, a giant glass of water, and enjoy the view.

Oh, you don’t have a roof? Come share mine!

Related Post: I food blogged for a day on my friend Anna’s food site, The Nom Blog.

Related Post: How not to make ice coffee.

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Sunday Scraps 59

1. WEIGHT: Michelle Obama takes a rare misstep with her support of The Biggest Loser. Ragen Chastain and Virginia Sole-Smith (Beauty Schooled) explain why.

2. KICK: New York Times has a kick-ass interactive graphic mapping the fundraising efforts of kickstarter drives over the last three years. What gets funded, and why?

3. GAY: Comedian Rob Delaney explains where homophobia comes from, and it isn’t pretty.

4. THRONES: My writer crush Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker covers Game of Thrones in all its nude, violent glory and explains why patriarchy, in Westeros and L.A. both, is what it’s really all about.

5. FOOD: Besides Guy Fieri, have any winners of The Next Food Network Star done squat with their title? NYMag breaks it down.

6. PSYCH: Fabulous, fascinating, chilling article in the New York Times Magazine about recent studies in psychopathy in children. At what age can we detect a future psychopath, what does it mean, and what can we do about it?

Related Post: Sunday 58: Alison Bechdel, boy-free prom, 10 most read books

Related Post: Sunday 57: nudity in Central park, David Brooks on higher ed, child stars


Filed under Body Image, Food, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People