Stories

All That Matters is That You Jump

Print Email
by Libby Segal

trapeze“All that matters is that you jump.”

One of my trapeze instructors whispers this to me as I am suddenly about to swing off a platform that feels as though it is miles from the ground.

I take a deep breath, bend my knees and then leap-I leap for my fears of heights- for my fears of falling - I leap for my friends – for proving that my last turbulent experience dealing with heights hasn’t held me back - and I leap for myself.

And I soar - like a bird. I feel the air rush past my face. I hear for my commands from below. Legs up. See my hands. Let go. Look for Brooklyn. Enjoy the ride. And boy was I enjoying the the ride.

I listen for my commands again – Legs down, and “up,” which in trapeze lingo means… Drop.

“Awesome,” I proclaim and I get giddy about trying it again.

Trapeze was one of the greatest activities I’ve tried this year. Joined by good friends, I knew that this was the best way to kick off a Saturday morning. And not only was it fun–but it taught me a great lesson as well.

“All that matters it that you jump.”

Berger Queen's Bang for the Buck: Cheese Quest

Print Email
by Ilene Amy Berg

originalcheeseThree years ago, I walked into one of LA’s many Whole Foods stores and saw a pint box of Del Cabo Organic Cherry Tomatoes for $4.99. Wouldn’t buy those here, I thought, because Trader Joe’s always has them for $2.99. Three days later, I was in the 99¢ Only store and, I swear on a stack of tomato crates, they had the same box of cherry tomatoes for, yes…99¢. Of course you can’t possibly rely on dollar stores for your grocery needs, because their stock is limited, constantly changing, and rarely of the Del Cabo quality. But finding these upscale tomatoes at the discount store where I go to buy gift bags and sink stoppers really drove home the point that prices for the same foods can vary wildly depending on where you shop.

Soon after this accidental lesson in comparative pricing, something else happened which cemented my conviction that shopping around can pay significant dividends, especially if you’re on a fixed budget:

I had a delicious sheep’s milk brie, called Brebirousse d’Argental, at a friend’s party, so I asked where he’d bought it. The answer was a local, artisanal cheese shop, the only one for miles and miles. I drove there the next day, but when they said the Brebirousse cost $48 a pound, I nearly choked. (“I’m sorry,” I thought, “did I say caviar? I meant cheese.”) I left the store empty-handed but determined to find this oozy, aromatic mass at a price I could afford. And I should say that I really enjoy this kind of a challenge; it’s a treasure hunt to me.

What I Read This Summer

Print Email
by Carolyn Foster Segal

gonegirlFirst, here’s what I didn’t read: anything that included a vampire or a werewolf. I did read about one ghost—in Anne Tyler’s The Beginner's Goodbye.

Much of my summer reading focused, as usual, on mysteries: I read all three of Gillian Flynn’s novels, starting with this summer’s blockbuster Gone Girl and then working my way through her two earlier ones — Dark Places and the even darker Sharp Objects. Three clever and engaging picks were Joanne Dobson’s academic mystery Cold and Pure and Very Dead, Harry Dolan’s pomo noir tale Bad Things Happen, and Tana French’s Broken Harbor (just as riveting as her other novels).  

I devoted two nights to James Renner’s The Man from Primrose Lane, which veered from noir to sci fi, and made me think longingly of the relatively simpler physics of The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffinegger, a past summer’s selection. It did occur to me that some might find my liking for mysteries obsessive when I realized that I was reading Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters while watching an episode of Inspector Lewis. Mysteries, however, with their murders, trickery, and restoration of order, remain an excellent antidote to articles on education (I read roughly 500 of those).

Dead Horses

Print Email
by Christina Zawadiwsky

dead-horses-1Vintage tales of hardship and survival:
Grandad crushed when the tractor toppled
On Brier Hill. How Uncle John lost his arm
To the picker. Samuel smothered
In the silo, lungs full of harvest.

Thus reads a stanza of the poem Farming – One of the most dangerous occupations. It is representative of the twenty-six poems in Dead Horses, poems of struggle and suffering, loss and death. These are poems of memories, especially memories of horses:

Now that they are dead or gone, the dream
Is always of a field where horses
Flash past, hooves catching and echoing light,
The grass lush, milkweed or Queen Anne’s lace
Along the fencerows. Then suddenly it’s winter,
Snow is falling, shapes are haloed, the sky is bleak.

And another stanza, from the same poem:

…..You want them now, those horses
Crashing the earth with sound as if light
Had been surpassed by speed, as if the laces
That bind you to your bones gave way to winter’s
Blast…..

 

restaurant news

An Evening at Trois Mec
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

ludoBefore Trois Mec opened, being able to claim you attended one of Chef Ludo Lefebvre's infamous LudoBites pop-ups was sort of a badge of honor amongst Angelenos. An elusive and super cool...

Read more...
Explore Like A Local: Vancouver Food Carts
Canada
by Matt Armendariz

japadog-550px.jpgYou’d think stuffing myself with Chinese food in Richmond would cause me to throw in the towel. No way. After a quick trip into Vancouver I was ready to jump into my tour of the Vancouver food...

Read more...
Art & Soul
Washington, DC
by Joseph Erdos

artsoul.jpgArt & Soul, located just inside the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, DC, is Chef Art Smith's first restaurant in DC. Chef Smith, better known as Oprah Winfrey's former personal chef,...

Read more...
The Apalachicola Seafood Grill and The Piggly Wiggly
Florida
by Ann Nichols

floridagrill.jpg On the second day of our Florida trip, we dined at one of our favorite, always good, “coming home” restaurants in Apalachicola: The Apalachicola Seafood Grill. Located in the heart of “downtown”...

Read more...