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F:  Can you please share with us what you have been listening to?

L: I’ve been feeling in a musical rut lately so I’ve been revisiting a lot of classics.  I’ve also been enjoying this old Henry Threadgill album.



F:  I know you have been staying at a friends place for the past week or so, what is your favorite part about it?

L:  Yes, I’ve been staying at my friend’s awesome apartment for the past week and a half while they’re out of town.  It is a gorgeous place right on the water.  Pretty much every rooftop photo I’ve posted over the last year or two has been from their rooftop (including the photo above).  My favorite part is being right on the river.  It is really interesting to watch all the activity on the water, plus everything just feels really calm and peaceful up there.  The apartment itself is also bigger, airier and all around nicer than mine so I’m generally enjoying all of those things.  It’s been really good for me to have a change in my daily routine.  I like being in a different neighborhood and feel a little bit like I’m on vacation.  I’m going to be sorry to see my stay there come to an end.  Luckily I have a few more days before I head home!

F:  Now that your painting lessons are over, will you take another class of some sort?

L:  I think I will.  I’d like to take another class in the fall.  I think I’ll stick with oil painting for now, though I’m curious to try out acrylics and watercolors too.

F:  Are the fall trends starting yet? Have you seen any changes?

L:  Hmm.  I feel like I always fall short on answering your NYC fashion questions (no pun intended but I’m happy it happened!).  I’m seeing some women in somewhat slouchy, cropped trousers.  There are also still a lot of skirts/dresses being paired with ankle or tied-up distressed boots.  Up until the last couple of days it’s actually felt like fall but we’re back to hot summer weather so I think people will be trying to get a few more of their summer pieces in before Labor Day.

F:  Have you been watching any movies lately? Any good ones?

L:  I have been watching some movies lately as my friends also have a projector and movie channels at their place.  I watched Dead Poet’s Society the other night, which I’d never seen before.  I also rewatched Moonrise Kingdom, which I enjoyed much more the second time around.  I started Gravity but turned it off after about 20 minutes; in addition to being generally stressful to watch, the damsel-in-distress nature of Sandra Bullock’s character really annoyed me.  I just don’t believe that someone who has been trained to carry out a mission in outer space would lack so much confidence and be so overly apologetic as Bullock’s character is in the beginning of the movie.

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I made a pretty delicious summer meal over the weekend, if I don’t say so myself.  It included a Mediterranean farro salad based off of this recipe.  I really love farro for its density and slightly nutty flavor.  Of course quinoa is always a great go-to grain but I think I’m going to keep branching out in my grain exploration.  

After preparing the farro, I added tomatoes, sliced onion, kalamata olives and French feta cheese, which I’m not sure I’d ever had before but really made the salad.  I mixed it all together with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper and voilà!  The salad accompanied baked salmon with a cucumber dill yogurt sauce and a glass of rosé.  Summer never tasted so good!

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Still Life With Herring and an Oval Plate. Chaim Soutine (1917)

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been taking an oil painting class this summer (my first ever painting class). For our first assignment we picked a painting out of an art book to try to replicate.  I opened a book of Chaim Soutine’s work to this page and went with it.  I’ve been taking pictures each week to show this great piece come to life! :)

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Ta-da!  I actually wanted to keep working on it a little more but that might not happen for some time, if at all.  So in the meantime I’ve nestled my five little fish in my bookshelf to keep me company at home.

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F:  Where would you like to visit in the US (that you never have) and why?

L:  I’d really like to take one of those quintessential trips cross country.  I’d like to go to New Mexico and Arizona.  I’d like to check out Nashville.  I’d like to stop for a few weeks in Montana or Wyoming.  Why?  Mostly because they are places I think I know about but have never been.  Might as well take a look and check them out myself.

F:  What is your favorite snack to make for yourself?

L:  Though I’ve only made it once, I love chia seed pudding.  It is SO easy to make and I really like its simplicity and texture.  I’ve been holding on to this recipe to make it again for myself.

F:  How is your painting class going? Is it fun?

L:  I love it!  I really enjoy mixing colors and the class itself is super relaxed.  I’ve started doing some painting at home too.  It’s a new activity I find I can spend hours on and that is coming in super handy lately.  I want to add a few finishing touches to my first painting, then I’m going to post it.  If you’d like, you can take a sneak peak here.

F:  What is something that made an impression on you this week?

L:  I was with some people I don’t really know when we all learned about Robin William’s death.  One of the women commented, “What did he have to be depressed about?!”  I don’t mean to come off righteous but I find this type of thinking to be super ignorant.  People are people.  Rich or poor.  Successful or not.  Everyone struggles and making assumptions or judgments about those struggles is shortsighted.  I’ve been trying to check myself when it comes to making comparisons lately.  There is no value that comes from thinking someone else has it easier than you do.

F:  What is your favorite thing you did this summer in NYC?

L:  Relaxing in Hammock Grove on Governor’s Island is the first thing that comes to mind.  It was more secluded, smaller and with fewer people there than I expected; that almost never happens in NYC.

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