Brooklyn Restaurant & Book Pairings

by Cara Nicoletti on November 18, 2014


Recently, I took a series of photographs pairing my favorite neighborhood restaurants with books for Opening Ceremony. I wanted to share those photos with you all here!

Okonomi, with a side of Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami writes about food a lot in his novels and short stories, but the food scenes in Norwegian Wood are my favorite because of their clean simplicity. At one point the narrator eats a breakfast of “rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and fried eggs,” and at another point “eggs, mackerel, fresh greens, eggplant, mushrooms, radishes, and sesame seeds, all done in the delicate Kyoto style.” I had never had a traditional Japanese breakfast until Okonomi opened up down the street a few months ago. Every morning there is a prefix menu, the only choice you get is what fish you want, and all the fish comes in fresh every morning. Along with the fish, there are steamed greens with sesame seeds and tofu, pickled vegetables, a small square of egg custard, rice with bonito flakes, and a poached egg, barley tea, and the best miso soup I’ve ever had. I always leave Okonomi feeling somehow cleansed—not my usual feeling after going out to breakfast.

150 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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“The Edible Woman” Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

by Cara Nicoletti on November 11, 2014


It seems like everyone has been talking about feminism lately. Let’s do a quick recap.

There was Beyonce at the VMAs declaring herself a feminist during her set. Then, there was Annie Lennox criticizing that declaration. There was Emma Watson’s “HeForShe” speech for the UN, and then the backlash of that speech. Roxane Gay wrote a New York Times Bestseller called Bad Feminist and expressed her disinterest in making feminism more palatable, and Jenny Slate said “Fuck yeah,” when asked if she was a feminist. Thinking people the world over shed a frustrated tear over the woefully misguided “Women Against Feminism” tumblr, and then tried to forget it existed.

The personal iCloud accounts of dozens of female celebrities got hacked and their private (nude) photos were leaked everywhere on the internet. Rag magazines rejoiced, splashing censored versions of the leaked pictures on every cover next to words like “ruined” and “shame,” despite the fact that these women had done nothing wrong. This lead to lots of discussions about consent and sex crimes and the female body as a commodity. Then Lena Dunham ran a campaign called “Women are Watching” for Planned Parenthood and wrote a memoir called Not That Kind of Girl and was being called things like “the feminist voice of a generation,” until people read the memoir and decided she was no longer worthy of that label (and then some).

Let’s recap this recap:
-Beyonce is a feminist
-Annie Lenox is a feminist and Beyonce is not
-Emma Watson is a feminist and so is Jennifer Lawrence
-unless you talk to Roxane Gay who is one and says they are not
-Tumblr is a terrifying place
-Jenny Slate is queen
-Lena Dunham is a feminist
-Lena Dunham is not a feminist and hates women (and then some)

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“Stacey’s Emergency” Brown Butter Pecan Brownies

by Cara Nicoletti on September 29, 2014


One morning, about two weeks after September 11, 2001, my mom did something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My sister and I were eating cereal at the kitchen counter before school, and like every morning, my mom had The Today Show on the tiny kitchen TV. That TV was almost always on when she was in the kitchen, the hum of All My Children in the background while she made lunch, Oprah while she prepared dinner, Jeopardy or Seinfeld right before we sat down to eat. No one, including her, was ever really watching it. Those weeks after 9/11 were the exception, though. We couldn’t peel our eyes away from the TV, despite the fact that we had already seen the same footage over and over and over again.

Finally, one morning, when the plane flew into the tower for the thousandth time, my mom marched over to the TV and said, “Enough.” She switched the channel to PBS, sat down at the counter with my sister and me, and we watched Sesame Street until it was time for school. That became the new tradition. Despite the fact that I was a sophomore in high school, I looked forward to watching Sesame Street every morning with her. It made my world feel calmer, safer.

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