The Long Walk to Our Social [Distancing] Club

The only time I am venturing outside of my apartment lately is for trips to the grocery store. I pick moments when there are the fewest number of people out, wear my face mask, and embrace the moment of fresh air.

This past weekend I extended my outside-of-the-apartment-time by two blocks in order to ‘visit’ with friends. I buzzed their apartment, left gifts of sourdough starter and a half loaf of freshly baked bread on their stoop, and stood over six feet away when waving hello and exchanging pleasantries.

The meeting lasted only a few moments before walking back to my own apartment and another three days of lockdown (until the next grocery trip), but was a reminder of the normalcy that still exists out in the world. Covid-19 has been incredibly isolating, but seeing friends, albeit not seeing their faces, has made for a few moments of comradery and feeling like there is an end in sight.

 

In My City: The Huntress

Taking me out for a date, to a place I’ll fall in love with, is a fairly simple equation. Good food + Good drinks = I’m having a ball. Luckily, when I moved to NYC a few months ago I unknowingly moved in just a handful of blocks from what would become my new favorite bar.

The Huntress (sister to The Baroness under ESS Hospitality) quickly won me over with their wings menu and whiskey line up. While the menu is killer, particularly the smoked wings, the team behind the bar is what keeps me coming back. They’re everything you hope for in a local bartender and everything you may not expect to find in a New York bar.

Even if I ever leave the area, I know that The Huntress won’t stop being a favorite to me.

In My City: Regalia Roasting Collective

When I moved into the area the first thing I did was scope out for a new favorite café. What I found wasn’t a café exactly (it lacks our favorite aspect: the bakery), but makes up for it with a coffee situation many only dream of.

Regalia Roasting Collective is a space where local coffee shops across Queens and Brooklyn can roast their beans with top-tier technology, but without taking on the overhead that typically accompanies the ability to have a unique flavor in your shop. The front of the shop has a small bar where coffee is brewed, cup by cup. They have over 15 blends and roasts and the ability to brew them in four different systems. Overwhelmed yet? I was. But the RRC team is incredibly knowledgable and after a few questions about my taste preferences I had my perfect cup brewing away.

Needless to say over the past several weeks they have become a weekend staple.

In My City: Bread Furst

Few things will get me out of bed faster on a lazy Saturday morning than the prospects of a trek to Bread Furst. The bakery is a staple of not just our neighborhood, but of DC as a whole and the larger bakery community. It’s a place that transports you from the moment you enter. With rows and rows of cakes, pastry, croissants. But before you can see those, you’ll pass by the open bakery, where loaves of rye and sourdough are being loaded into a massive oven or cooled on wire racks.

Bread Furst opened in the same month that I moved to DC, so in many ways, we grew up together. I learned how to be independent while this fledgling bakery took off. In 2017, they won the James Beard award and every patron had the same thought: “this is so overdue”. Their breads are spectacular and one of my greatest regrets continues to be that I didn’t accept a bakery apprenticeship when it was offered to me last year.

I find myself coming to Bread Furst several times a week, either for coffee before the long drive out to my 9-to-5 in Virginia, Sunday afternoons for a salmon cake with dill sauce, or mid-week for a baguette to accompany dinner. If there’s a reason to go elsewhere, I haven’t found it yet.

There’s seemingly always a reason to stop in, even if it just to say “hello”, and to me, that’s the beauty of having a bakery on your corner.

An Afternoon in Georgetown {Washington, DC}

90 degree heat with 90% humidity means I’m wearing as little as possible. This floral dress by Sanctuary is perfect for DC summers, light and floaty with a silhouette that hangs away from the body. I realized after shooting for over an hour that I had absolutely zero accessories, but honestly I love it like this. The only additional item I would add is that Calvin Klein Lynn backpack I was carrying all weekend (here’s a dupe from Aldo), frankly it’s too hot for much more.

I’m absolutely obsessed with the brick walls of Georgetown (as well as the shops) and had a great time running around the residential neighborhoods, dipping into the shop along M Street, and (of course) visiting the exorcist stairs.

Dress: SANCTUARY

Shoes : ADIDAS | Advantage Sneaker *white

Bag: CALVIN KLEIN | Lynn Backpack *cashew & gold

Downtown in the District of Columbia

How is it already summer? Three weeks ago we were all wearing long coats and blasting the heat and today the high is 80 degrees. If it walks like global warming and it talks like global warming…. Am I right?

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Despite the freak warm/cold whiplash from earlier in the season this past weekend was beautiful in the 70s each day and K and I took full advantage. I was plagued with a persistent headache all weekend (and therefore not in the mood to bounce around a HIIT work out) so we took to long walks, about 6 miles each day, meandering around downtown DC on Saturday and up to NW DC on Sunday. We strolled through a few museums, ate from food trucks, and stopped into our favorite camera shop for a crash course in a new wide angle lens we’re contemplating.

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With all the walking I forwent the heels this weekend and opted for my tried and true Adidas Stan Smiths — I’m due for a new pair any day now! And as someone who’s chilly until it’s 90*F I also took this weekend as a the perfect time to breakout my favorite jumpsuit. I magically found this beauty in a DC thrift shop years ago and it fits like a dream (finding a full body suit that fits my 5’2″ frame and still accommodates a 32″ inseam is no easy feat). I kept accessories minimal with my staple silver bangles, a vintage Dooney & Burke belt bag, and these awesome shades I snagged off Amazon. That plus my humidity-induced poodle curls rounded out the perfect run-around town style.

Jumpsuit: Vintage

Shoes : ADIDAS | Originals Stan Smith Sneakers *white

Sunglasses: DOLLGER | John Lennon Steampunk Sunglasses *silver w/ mirror lenses

Belt Bag: DOONEY & BURKE | Vintage

Bangles: Maple & J | The MJ

In My City: Little Red Fox

I don’t remember the first time I went to Little Red Fox, but it feels like I’ve been going there forever. While we adore Bread Furst for a weekend walk & brunch destination there’s something about the breakfast that makes it special. Maybe it’s their house hot sauce or their lox sandwiches. Maybe it’s their crackly-crusted loaves of bread. Maybe it’s their breakfast burrito that seems so simple, yet I have been unable to replicate to perfection. Regardless, they hold a special place in our weekends and in our hearts.

A favorite aspect of LRF is that they stock local wear and products. Think: honey from our neighbor’s backyard beehive and treats from a local chocolatier. As you wait in line your eyes start to swim with all options they so thoughtfully have included in their storefront. After ordering you can choose to sit inside, observing the bustling nature of their barista bar, or outside and soak in the rhythm of Connecticut Ave.

The capstone to a weekend morning spent at LRF is that it so beautifully blends into an afternoon at Politics and Prose, the aptly-named bookstore next door.

In My City: The Den

 

The café aptly named The Den, located in the basement of a locally owned bookstore is my refuge. My other favorite bakery has a no-wifi and, subsequently, a no-laptops policy. Rather than having people stare at screens they wanted people staring at each other. A perfect atmosphere for a Sunday morning latté it lacked the digital sustenance I found myself needing today.

In the middle of jotting down a to-do list and conjuring content ideas, I was struck with a moment of introspective clarity about the smallest detail of my life. I always place my coffee, latté, anything to the right of my computer. Left-handed I end up performing this crossover maneuver anytime the need for caffeine strikes. Mentally taking inventory I found no time that I had placed it on the left — in the most convenient position.

Left with a few moments to do nothing, but ponder my latest revelation I wondered how else I had been getting in my own way. Unable to find another example I was left to ponder two possibilities: I had no other issue or I have to wait another 23 years to find out.

The Women’s March

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

Thomas Jefferson

 

The day was full of jammed phone lines, chants of “No more hate, no more fear, refugees are welcome here”, and an incredible showing of womxn, allies, second and third-wave feminists, and pure love in the face of hate. 500,000 of us stood together to protect women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, workers’ rights and tolerance.

 

I climbed a 15 ft pole for this. At the top I met a new friend, who took this for me while we shared in the overwhelming view.

7 Days in Paris, France

Paris has come to a close and I am ready for a solid eight hours. Not sure if it’s the carb-loading, walking several miles a day, or remnants of jet-lag, but I was ready for bed at 5 pm on the first day.

Adjusting to the Parisian life for the week has been a breeze. My Airbnb was given to us by a charming French girl who left us with plenty of ideas for restaurants, bakeries, things to do, etc. It’s a petite place, but lacks no charm with a wall of mirrored closets, views of L’avenue des Champs-Élysées, vaulted ceilings, and even a baguette!

After napping a little on Sunday I ventured out and was surprised to find that my little place is steps away from Arc de Triomphe. I watched the sunset beneath the historic arches and then made our way back down Les Champs looking for a place to have dinner. Just a block off from our apartment, at the corner of Rue de Ponthieu and Rue Jean Mermoz, is a little bar named La Montagne with the friendliest waiters and best beef bourguignon. I would travel across the city just to have that again, but luckily, don’t have to!

Today was a holiday in Paris, so I took it as an easy day. The city didn’t wake up until 10 am so I was one of the first people out on the street, croissant in hand. After picking up groceries and some strangely delicious toothpaste I spent the day getting my bearings, and that is what led us to Tour Eiffel.

Our biggest takeaway? The sheer size is remarkable. Online they tell you it’s 300m high, but that doesn’t compare to standing underneath of it. I considered heading to the top… but with lines running about 7-9 hours long, opted to enjoy the view from the Champ de Mars below.

I kept later days in the week very lowkey, letting the city dictate what I saw and where I drifted. It involved hanging out at the Musée de l’Armee and visiting l’Église Saint-Louis-des-Invalides and afternoons strolling along the Seine. One day I stumbled across a small street market and snacked on everything in sight.

The week felt as long as a lifetime and as short as an afternoon. I’m already anxious to return.