It's been a whirlwind week of visitors — again, one of the great things about moving to the city. On Christmas Day, we went ice skating at Rockefeller Center with Kaia. It was Kin's first time ever on the ice and my first time in probably 35 years or so. Kaia was actually far more confident than us — we held on to the edge for dear life and made it around the rink once before laughing and leaving. We stopped at Angelina's Bakery for bomboloni, but it was a total tourist clusterfuck. We had Christmas dinner at Chi Restaurant, which was delicious. She chose Italian for her final night in the city, so we returned to our neighborhood restaurant, Giardino 54, which was excellent, although, sadly, they didn't have any tiramisu.
Then the kids came to town and on Wednesday, I took them out for breakfast at Golden Diner, where Emmett and I shared the best pancakes I've ever had in my life. They were akin to Japanese souffle pancakes — thick but light, and covered in a berry compote. He and I also got an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, which was stellar. Then I took them shopping in Soho and in the LES (ending the day with a splurge at Economy Candy). I met up with them again briefly on Friday — beforehand I popped into Breads Bakery and bought a loaf of sourdough for Kin and my dinner and a chocolate babka for their grandfather, who is a bread connoisseur. While waiting for them to make their way to Columbus Circle, I sat in Masseria Cafe, an Italian bakery nearby, and had a delicious coffee and an apricot jam tart.
On New Year's Eve Eve, Kin and I went to Dirt Candy (one Michelin star) for an absolutely delightful vegetarian meal. The courses each featured one vegetable: the starter was celeriac; then a beet strudel; a brussels sprouts gremolata; an arugula pasta/soup; a parsnip chorizo; a sweet potato karaage; a chicory root sorbet and panna cotta; and a toffee made from sunchokes. For "fine dining," it was so fun and not at all fussy (even though the food was beautiful).
My cooking: black bean and sweet potato chili; crispy tofu with broccoli and black bean sauce; peanut butter chocolate vegan ice cream; cheddar potato soup with pickled jalapeños; carrot Brie tart with hot honey and merguez sausages.
My training: Biking — I went for a bike ride in Central Park on Christmas Day — a mistake as thousands of tourists had the same idea, weaving slowly on the drive. I wanted to find the easiest way to and from the park (that is to say "protected bike lane") and while it was okay to go there on a day with less traffic, I think I'm going to stick to mostly riding on the west side highway. Running — it was back to my usual schedule as my NYRR class is over: Tuesday speedwork; Thursday, an easy 6 miles; Saturday, an easy 6 miles; and Sunday, my long run of 9.7 miles. Swimming — I extended my swim by 5 minutes (I'm aiming for 45 minutes a week, but building up to that slowly). Lifting — what a great week for lifting! I'm testing my 1 rep, not at max, but at RPE 8. I did the rare afternoon workout on Wednesday, tired as hell having spent the morning with the kids. On Friday, I deadlifted the most I've lifted all year. Walking — we've done Central Park walks with the dog as Kin has been on vacation (and working from home) — Poppy has been thrilled.
My coursework: I finished Stacy Sims's course on menopausal athletes, and I got word from the RRCA that I am now officially a certified running coach.
I finished reading Outlive, which is going to provide the basis for my first 2024 essay on Second Breakfast. We also finished listening to The Upcycled Self. I started Same Bed, Different Dreams by Ed Park — or, I downloaded the novel onto my kindle, at least.
I announced that I've moved Second Breakfast off of Substack. The transition to Ghost was fine — annoying, but fine. I'm going to take this week off before starting the writing back up again. But I'm very excited to do so, and I'm getting a clearer idea of what the project actually entails.
The Year in Review
I should write something in more detail about this year, other than the notes I made in my personal journal. Let's just say this was a big big year for changes. Things did not go at all how I expected them to. I mean, I achieved a lot of personal goals — I ran a half marathon, for starters. Then I ran two more. I became a certified personal trainer, a certified running coach, a nutrition coach. I started Second Breakfast. Kin changed jobs. We moved across the country. I've been sober now for three years. I am strong and fast, I guess, but I recognize how fragile any semblance of stability is. I'm still looking forward — trying to move forward, trying to unstick myself.
When I was hanging out with Emmett and Amelia (but particularly Emmett) this week, I thought a lot about Isaiah. I'm not a big "woo woo" person, but I really could sense him with us — or rather, I had such comforting memories of being with him. I saw him reflected in Emmett, in a young man figuring out who he is, where he's going, what he likes, and so on. (I see myself in Amelia, which is also weirdly wonderful.) I can't even put into words how happy I am to have those two in my life, to live closer to them now. I feel like I was a shitty mom. I'm not sure I'm a great aunt. But I'm me and I'm still here, hoping that I can figure out what exactly it might mean to have a "happy new year."