I’ve never cared very much about birthdays. I have an epically bad one—New Year’s Day—which means that everyone is always too exhausted and hungover to do much celebrating. Either that, or everyone has started in earnest with their resolutions and no one wants to eat cake and mashed potatoes or drink champagne (for at least another couple of days). The last few weeks though, I found myself caring a lot about my birthday—stressing and dreading it in a way that was unfamiliar to me—the mere mention of it sending me into a sweaty anxiety spiral. I feel easy about the number 28, it’s a good, solid, round number. 29 I do not like. 29 feels like clinging to something that just isn’t there anymore, and it’s okay that isn’t there anymore—can we just skip to a clean, even 30 and be done with it?
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
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)