The Messiah Pancake

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by Emily Fox

pancake-stack.jpg Once upon a time, when my future husband and I had just started dating, he called me one Saturday morning to see what I was up to. I was in the car with my friend Phoebe and a trunk full of laundry.

“We’re going to Michael Green’s for breakfast,” I said. I had him on my Reagan-era car phone, which had a curly cord and a speakerphone, which may as well have been a tin can attached to a length of string.

Peter thought about this for a moment. “Is that a restaurant or a person’s house?” he asked.


The First Puppy

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by Laraine Newman

portwaterdog.jpgDear Mr. President Elect Obama,

Senator Ted Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, had the right idea.  As he convalesced on his boat in Hyannisport I saw him beckoning to his dog Splash, a Portuguese Water Dog.

If you’ve never heard of this breed, they have a remarkable story.

Bred as working dogs, they carried messages back and forth between boats for the Portuguese fisherman. But what was even more impressive was that they were trained to herd fish into the nets and could dive under water at considerable depths to retrieve tackle and pull the nets in.

This breed is very old and although they are often mistaken for Standard Poodles, Porties (as we owners like to call them) are the source of the Poodle breed. They can be black, brown or white with either a curly coat or a wavy coat. They have hair, not fur, and that’s why we have two of them.

An Anniversary Dinner at Bar Bao

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by David Latt

barbaosummerrolls.jpgIn New York for a brief visit, my wife and I wanted to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary with a special dinner. After a beautiful day walking around the city, we decided to find a restaurant near where we were staying at 70th and Amsterdam. For our anniversary dinner, we wanted a restaurant where we could talk and hold hands. And we wanted a meal prepared by a chef who cared about making interesting food, but we didn't want to spend a fortune.

The New York Times said a new restaurant was opening nearby that sounded interesting, so we called. On the phone the maitre d' described the menu at Bar Bao as a "modern take on Vietnamese food." The restaurant was opening that night and luckily a table was available.

When we arrived we were greeted warmly. That friendliness continued throughout the evening. Our waiter, Matt, accommodating both Michelle's desire to be meat free and my own unrestricted eating, suggested the Vermicelli Noodles and he would bring the pork belly on the side. Rounding out the meal, we decided on the Vegetable Summer Rolls, Sizzling Cuttlefish, Bean Curd Glazed Black Cod, and Asian Eggplant.


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by Hope Stranger

rathachauwhites.jpgAlex and I have been dating for almost four months now.  We have shared several meals and conversations together beyond Casa Mono.  As our relationship has settled into a ‘monogamous’ place, we have both expressed fears about reaching a ‘monotonous’ place, – when your boyfriend lives in the same neighborhood, in my case the West side (Chelsea/West Village), every date begins to take place within a twelve block radius – emphasizing the potential for “monotony” (not be confused with monogamy).   And, while the dining options are both vast and enticing, you start to feel like you are placing your relationship under quarantine.  

On a recent Wednesday night, we ventured out.  We took what to us was a somewhat lengthy cab ride to a restaurant on the Lower East Side (Allen and Rivington) and as soon as we stepped out of the cab, there was a breath of relief.  I thought to myself, “We’re not old or boring…we just underestimate taxis.” 

Having Faith

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by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Today we ended Faith’s life. She was, according to the records, 19 years old.

faithrug.jpg She had cancer and while still able to go up and down the stairs, take short walks, and eat two square meals a day (her favorite 8 minutes of the day), the tumors were at a point of not just being an annoyance. They caused her pain, and it was clear that as they were now spreading quickly, there was more of that in her future. And so we made an appointment and drove her to the Vet in the Palisades.  I was able to hold it together through the signing of release forms, and the initial wait in the entry, but when it was time to take her back, Gary and she went together for the last walk down the hall.

They tried to get her lay down on the floor, but she wanted to sit up, so Gary wrapped his arms around her and they administered the drug.  He said she peacefully began to breathe more slowly, until she was no longer with him.  He said she looked angelic.  The doctor left him alone with her and he said he lost it, beginning to cry, his tears spilling down onto the front of his blue t-shirt like drops of heavy rain. When he came out of the building, I was waiting in the car, and while we knew we’d done the right thing, the strong thing, the best thing for her – it was so incredibly hard.

Chow Chow

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by Nancy Mehagian

dogs.jpg Friends have teased me for years.  Do I care?  Not one bit. 

So…I cook for my dogs.  When I prepare a delicious meal for friends they are all appreciative, and if dogs are man’s best friends why wouldn’t I make a similar effort for Cisco (my Golden/Husky mix) and Buddha (my Chow).  Most dog owners, when asked, refer to their pets as beloved family members. “Would you feed your family a steady diet of packaged cereal?”

Whose idea was kibble anyway?  Kibble does not exist in nature.  The list of ingredients on a can of Alpo or a bag of Science Diet is a mile long and really scary.  I prefer to keep things simple. I’m certain there is not a dog lover to be found who wasn’t alarmed by the recent recall of at least sixty brands of pet food that contained a deadly plastic called melamine.  Just a few days ago public health officials in California recalled a type of Pedigree pet food because of possible salmonella contamination.  I was outraged and saddened by the loss of dogs and cats that consumed these processed foods, but I wasn’t worried about Cisco and Buddha.  I’ve always known exactly what they are being fed.

Operation Ocho

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by Ashley Maddox

Eloise Lilly West Maddox Malle, born on Monday, August 18, 2008 at 430 in the afternoon. Eloise weighed in at a robust 8 lbs and stands a proud 20 inches tall. Ten days late, but she still has three 8s.


I'm due to have my first baby today, which is conveniently 08-08-08.  

Unlike the number '4', which is apparently somewhat doomed, the number '8' is as lucky as you can get in numerology obsessed China.  (After all, 8 on its side is the symbol for infinity, which must be a good thing). I've since learned that China did not bid on the 2004 Olympics, or the 2012 Olympics - just 2008 - and that they plan to launch their Olympics Games at 8:08 on 08-08-08.   

Open Arms

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by Seale Ballenger

africakids.jpg Today we had another fantastic day here in East Africa. We spent the day at our first distribution for one of the new parishes for the Carpenter's Kids. The village we visited was called Mzologe, and they are not yet linked back to a parish in New York. It was the first time that the children of this community received their school clothes, shoes, and mosquito nets.

Once again the community welcomed us with open arms, and we were greeted by virtually the whole community. Today's trek took us a couple of hours deep into the interior land along the Rift Valley. Upon arrival, we again were greeted by joyous song and dance. Everyone wanted to shake our hands and we happily took the time to meet each one. Young and old, the village excitedly swept us up into their music and dancing.

We later took a tour of the community including a giant windmill just outside of the boundaries. Unfortunately, it was a sad symbol of a government program in failure. The complete machinery was still almost entirely in place, but the long rods that extended down to the well below were broken. What had at one point brought water to the village, sadly lay broken and in disrepair, casting a sad shadow on the tiny country village.

The Pomegranate

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by Katherine Reback

poms_sm.jpg My mother had a way of inventing traditions.  “It’s Lizzie’s birthday!” she’d proclaim periodically and everyone in the family would don a party hat and sing happy birthday to one of our English Springer Spaniels.  The announcement of the dog’s birth and subsequent celebration of it could occur at any time – on April 5, say, or December 12.  It could happen twice a year or once every few years.  But however haphazard, it became a tradition. 

Every so often, we’d gather in the living room; my father on the bongo drums someone had given him for a birthday present, my sister on her recorder, me banging the big copper-bottomed soup pot with a wooden spoon, and my mother on piano, playing from our “American Folk Songs For Piano” songbook.  “Love oh love oh careless love,” she’d sing, entirely off-key, “Love oh love oh careless love, love oh love oh careless love, see what love has done to me.”

Brooklyn, for I Like You

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by Maia Harari

bartono.jpg We’d finally made it all the way to Park Slope, it was less than warm, and I’m pretty sure I had mascara on my forehead from frantically trying to fix my make-up on the subway.  You can imagine my dismay when the only boy I really wanted to see on my trip to New York wasn’t even home.  But we couldn’t just call him!  It would be much better if we ‘just happened to be in the neighborhood’.  “They can’t be far. Their car is here!” But how were we gonna kill an hour in the middle of residential nowhere in 20 degree weather?   That’s when we found it.  BAR TANO.  A little haven of happiness with pressed tin walls and a zinc bar.


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