Embarking on a Journey to Rediscover What Poetry Means to Me

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As some of you know, I self-published a poetry book, “An Unfamiliar Ache,” in late 2010. It collects together material spanning the three or four years prior, and I have to admit that it includes much more teenage angst than I remember. As I flip back through its pages, I realize that most of the poems need work. Some of them need to be trashed altogether. They only represent a small sliver of the work I created during that time, and it reminds me of how much and how often I used to write.

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Recipe: Four-Berry Wheat Muffins

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Though I posted a recipe for cherry oat bread only a week or so ago, I decided to post my four-berry wheat muffin recipe today in case you wanted to do some healthy baking during the blizzard that’s coming our way!

Featuring strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, it’s based on a recipe that I found on Yummly. For the most part, my modifications were done out of necessity; I didn’t have enough strawberries to mix into the batter, so I used all four types of blueberries instead. It tasted delicious, so I highly recommend the method outlined below. And, as a bonus, your muffins will come out a stormy shade of blue—the perfect color for a blustery winter day.

Four-berry muffin

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Restaurant Review: Real Madrid

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As a belated Hanukkah gift to his parents, Todd took us all out to dinner this weekend during our visit to Staten Island. Regardless of the complaints one might have about the borough—the ferry is inconvenient, the tolls are expensive, the waters seem unsafe to swim in—I have to say that the food is delicious. Usually we choose to get our favorite meatball, onion, and ricotta pizza from Denino’s, but since we’d had Italian cuisine the day before, we opted instead for Spain-inspired seafood at Real Madrid.

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Recipe: Cherry Oat Bread

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cherry oat breadWhen my mom’s friend said she made a cherry oat bread, I knew that was something I wanted to bake, and luckily I had my mom’s help guiding me through. Though my mom’s friend kindly provided us with her recipe, we didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so we modified it as we went along, using a recipe we found online as a guide. The result was a moist, tasty, nutritious bread that satisfied everyone—chocolate chips on one side for me and my brother, walnuts on the other side for my mom, and some plain cherry slices in the center. The chocolate chip side tasted especially good when warm from the oven!

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A Journey through Ikea for Apartment Ideas

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It really does feel like a journey to wander through an Ikea. Around each bend, a new showroom beckons with furniture that doesn’t fit your color scheme but looks so awesome you can’t resist touching it and checking out the price. In the Marketplace, you load one set of plates into your cart, only to replace it twice with sets you like better. You end up buying a black lamp because it was only $9 and you never know when you’re going to need it. Finally, after three hours, you make your purchases, bring them out to the car, and then go back inside the store because you can’t resist Swedish meatballs, mashed potato, and lingonberries.

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The Sea’s Gifts

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“The sea is the best place to sit and think of the future.” —Los Campesinos

Lake Balaton in Hungary

Lake Balaton in Hungary

I have always found solace when sitting beside a large expanse of water, whether a sea, a lake, or an ocean. In warmer months, I often bike to Orchard Beach and take a rest by dipping my toes into the water. Other times, I walk toward City Island but slip off the main road onto a hidden path that takes me to a small beach frequented only by fisherman, where the water isn’t nice enough to swim in but there are several large rocks to sit upon. I also love the rocks at Coney Island, which jut out into the salty water so that you feel a part of it.

In the winter, though, I don’t necessarily feel like trekking out to a large expanse of water every time I need comfort or a place to think. Instead, I visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spend some time contemplating my favorite paintings, which have always been the ones that feature water in some way. On my most recent trip, I stared at the various depictions of the sea and thought about my my life, my job, what I want to do in the future, and what I don’t want to do in the future. By the time I left, I felt much better.

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