Exploring New York: Brooklyn Bridge Park

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On one of our first dates, Todd and I met up at City Hall Park in the Financial District and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. On the other side of the river, we stumbled upon Brooklyn Bridge Park, which seemed like a hidden gem amid crumbly brick buildings and a quaint ice cream parlor. On Saturday, we revisited the park as part of Todd’s birthday celebration in the city. Although some things have changed since our first visit, it remains a peaceful getaway where you can view the city from afar.

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Recipe: Coffee & Cocoa Steak

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Although I love experimenting with stir fry dishes in the kitchen, sometimes I like to keep it simple and prepare a delicious meal that’s also really quick! This cocoa and coffee steak recipe is just that. And as a bonus, you probably already have most of the ingredients you need to make it: salt, black pepper, ground coffee, baking cocoa, and thick slices of steak (I like to use prime rib for this, but you can really use any type of steak you want). You’ll also need a broiler pan (shown below).

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Overcoming My Fear of Biking

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I enjoy running in 5k races around the city, such as the NYPD Memorial Run or the Roosevelt Island Ice Cream Social. I also love jogging on my own or with a running buddy around the neighborhood, exploring little-known trails or picking a destination like the miniature golf course. It’s especially rewarding to reach new milestones: this past weekend, I managed to jog five miles! But running is easy: one foot in front of the other, slowly at first and then building up to a faster pace once you’ve trained enough to handle it, the comforting feel of the asphalt always beneath your feet. Running feels safe. Biking, on the other hand, is a whole different story.

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Growing My Green Thumb: Italian Parsley

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I almost forgot that along with my purple basil and pineapple sage–the two herbs I rely on most from my garden–I’m growing flat Italian parsley, which is “probably the most commonly used herb in the world!” (One day soon I’ll share with you a healthy and delicious pasta recipe that relies primarily on Italian parsley, roasted tomatoes, and cottage cheese.)

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Learning Yoga: Camel Pose

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Here in New York City, it’s a beautiful day to grab your yoga mat or a blanket and head to the park. Unfortunately I have to finish up some homework for an online media class I’m taking, so I can’t go enjoy the sunshine. Instead, I’ll do the next best thing and share some photos of last weekend, when I actually did go out to Central Park with my friend Beyza to practice yoga on the Great Lawn. One of the poses we tried out that day was Ustrasana, or “camel pose.”

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Poem: The Space between Words

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I used to know how to write
a poem about anything
rain patter on the window, lanterns
strung up in the garden, breathing
and listening and
aching
inside there is a space
that longs to be filled
o words!
miles logged on hot asphalt
will take you far away
from that stark void
that glimpse into the Real
but eventually you have to come
back home and I will be here
waiting

Book Review: The Story of a Soul

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We’ve all had moments where we feel so stressed or anxious that we aren’t sure how we’re going to make it through. During one of those times recently, I lay in bed and closed my eyes and imagined my grandmother (who died in 1995) standing before me. Many in my family have associated my grandmother with roses, so I said to her, “Grandma, just let me know everything is going to be okay. Show me a rose.” I eventually drifted off to sleep.

The next day, I decided to go to confession before mass since I hadn’t in some time. As I talked with the priest, he suggested to me that I read The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of the Little Flower, written by St. Therese of Lisieux. When I looked up St. Therese on Google, I realized that she went by a number of names: St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, and St. Therese of Roses. According to the Society of the Little Flower:

As she was dying in the convent infirmary, Therese could look out and see the rose bushes blossoming. She loved roses. She had thrown rose petals as a Child before the Blessed Sacrament. … Roses are Therese’s signature. It is her way of whispering to those who need a sign that she has heard, and God is responding.

Whether that’s a coincidence or a sign that my Grandma is up there in Heaven and heard me, I’ll leave up to you to judge. On the priest’s suggestion, I purchased St. Therese’s book, and ultimately was glad that I did.

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