August 2013

Wish upon a star

eco stars recycled crayons

Recycled crayons in the shape of stars. In loads of great colors. What’s not to love? Photo courtesy of

So it’s time to start supplying your kids with their back-to-school supplies. If you’re in the market for new crayons (because the old ones are like little stumps with shredded paper attached to them) may I suggest the Eco Stars crayons pictured above? Made from crayons recycled in the National Crayons Recycle Program (which you can participate in, by the way, ridding yourself of the old stubs without adding to the landfill) these little stars will add a festive sparkle to the arts and crafts table. They make great gifts, too!

Available at the Ultimate Green Store, which is well worth a bit of a browse, while you’re at it. Lots of great stuff to be had there…

Monday, monday

ET Williams at the March on Washington, 50 years ago

Ok see the guy in the sunglasses a little up and to the right of Dr King in this photo? That’s my dad, fifty years ago, being part of history at the March on Washington.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, a few links to get our minds moving…

Danny Glover does a beautiful reading of Langston Hughes’ poem “Montage of a Dream Deferred.”

Ever spend time actually thinking about what happens to a dream deferred? In the case of one of our most famous collective dreams, Gary Younge believes that Martin Luther King’s most famous speech has been misremebered.

Check out these 10 slogans that helped to turn dreams into reality and changed the world (not always for the better)

But then sometimes, those dreams start to fall apart. Like that silly fantasy about all Americans having equal rights to vote. Seems the Supreme Court doesn’t feel it’s a right worth protecting. Read a little about what that decision means in the real world.

When do we dream? Often while asleep. Neuroscientist Russell Foster lays out what happens when we sleep and why we need it so much.

Learn how to interpret your own dreams online! (could be total bunk, but hey, you never know…)

And then get Sheri Clyde’s book A Child’s Library of Dreams and help your kids learn how to cope with, learn from and be empowered by their own dreams.

This is not your ordinary dance class

Ok granted, I’m a bit paranoid, but I have always secretly believed that at some point, the apocalypse is going to really happen and the world-as-we-know-it is going to come to an end.

And in that new Terminator/Matrix reality, we’re going to need a whole different set of skills to survive, and a whole new breed of heroes to potentially save us and put things right again. Our new best friends will be the people who can build things with their hands, grow their own food, jump over buildings, and hack into computer systems to thwart the bad guys.

And as our primary job as parents is to ensure that our kids survive (and because one of my movie heroines is Terminater uber-mom Sarah Connor) my overly imaginative brain has been particularly concerned with ensuring that my daughter become one of these skilled people. — Read more

Tie em up

hair ties made from cute elastics

Cutest hair ties I’ve seen this summer.

The hair accessories fall fully under the category of things-I-could-totally-do-myself-but-lets-be-honest-I’m-never-actually-going-to-get-around-to-it-so-I-may-as-well-just-buy-it, but there you have it.

I was wandering though a store in San Francisco with my daughter who clocked these immediately and insisted that we buy them. And while I had the above mentioned feeling of why don’t I just make this myself-ness, I came to my senses and bought them. And my kid’s ponytails have been looking festive all summer, as a result.

The ones we bought out west are actually by a company called Calliope, but they don’t seem to have a website (only a facebook page– but then again, I’ve also just been trying to get my daughter to sleep for 3 hours, so I’m not the best web researcher right now)

The ties pictured above are by Mane Message and you can buy them direct from your laptop, which is a good thing for those of us who only have time to shop between 10:15 and 10:45 pm…

Speaking of which… time to order some more multivitamins from Amazon…

Monday, monday

Listen to gardener/activist Ron Finley talk about planting food in South Central LA and then go grow your own food.

Who knew that fermented food is amazing for supporting your digestive system? Turns out, fresh isn’t the only thing to look for when it comes to eating right.

I am totally going to try this recipe for braised pork loin. No for real. It looks delicious and evidently it can’t be messed up…

My favorite kids cookbook these days.

Just think about how much cuter my grains would look if they were stored in these jars

We all know that drinking soda is bad for us, and worse for our kids, right? (Please say yes…) But did you know that soda is actually making our kids more violent?

And, for no good reason, I am including this article I just read a few minutes ago listing the 20 cities most vulnerable to flooding given the current state of the world. Which scared the bejeezus out of me, by the way, and made me wonder why oh why am I so attached to NYC?

Shelter Island deliciousness

Reddings pizza

The pizza menu at Reddings Market on Shelter Island.

This week, we visited some friends who are renting a picture perfect house, right on the water in Shelter Island. It has everything you could want… a big yard for the kids to run around in, equipped with an amazing old fashioned wooden playhouse (with real window boxes, a toy kitchen, a picket fence– the works!) Plus, right out front, the beautiful bay with a sweeping view of both sunrise and sunset.

If you looked up perfect childhood summer memories in the dictionary (remember dictionaries?), the first photo would be of this place.

The only thing they don’t have on site is an endless supply of food. For that, we headed over to Reddings Market, a great local gourmet market that alone makes the ferry ride worthwhile. — Read more

Monday, monday (on a rainy Tuesday)

my reality

My current reality. Right now. As I type.

We’re finally back home where we belong, and my daughter is enjoying a week at one of her favorite places in the world, the Waldorf-inspired summer camp where she learns how to build fires, grow veggies, climb trees, knit, create puppet shows and spend time outdoors rain or shine. She is in heaven.

I, on the other hand, am sitting in front of this computer.

In honor of how jealous I am of my daughter’s digital free mornings (this rainy afternoon will most certainly involve a movie, alas) I give you a few technology related things to ponder…

A town without wifi or cell phones…

Turns out posting too many photos of yourself on facebook may very well signify a trouble with having relationships in the real world. No kidding.

A digital potty

The new Spike Jonze movie (coming out in November) is all about a guy who falls in love with his operating system. The trailer made me cry, because it is so convincing.

Wearable technology is fast becoming the new normal. Be afraid. Very afraid.

Maybe it’s not all that bad… Jeff Hancock makes a really good case that the permanence of the information you put out into the web might actually keep us more honest.

But then again, if digital technology is supposedly so great, why are all these silicon valley geeks sending their kids to a screen-free Waldorf School?

Monday, monday

Man am I glad to be back home in Brooklyn after 5 weeks of exploring the Bay Area. Not that we didn’t enjoy ourselves immensely, but nothing beats laying down in your own bed again.

And while we’re on the topic of my homecoming, here are a few related links for your viewing pleasure:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros know all about home. (see above)

A island resurfaces in the middle of Prospect Park.

The development of the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg has been extremely controversial, but at least we can now check out what fresh deliciousness is growing in the raised beds at the new Havemeyer park.

What does home mean these days, anyway? The brilliant travel writer Pico Iyer thinks it’s the place where you become yourself. I agree.

For photographer Nan Goldin, home has always been where her friends are. A new show of her photographs called “Wish You Were Here” opened this weekend at the QT Gallery in East Hampton, NY.

Even if you’re the type that needs to go to the middle of nowhere to find yourself, you’re still going to need some kind of shelter from the elements. Consider the yurt.

Now I know we’re all supposed to be streamlining our lives, but sometimes a girl’s gotta go buy something amazing for her pad. It’s just a fact of life. If you live in NYC, I suggest you check out Williamsburg’s RePOP to add some one of a kind vintage flair to your abode.