A Poem by Catie Rosemurgy

In Which Blame Like Formaldehyde Is an Attempt to Preserve the Dead

In which composite of bad things
In which grown up huge from seed

In which I don’t know who is speaking
In which why do you think I would?

In which what happened and what didn’t switch places
In which in that way a girl matters

In which first the tart and then the lemon
In which first the burning and then the witches

In which density of the forest
In which small ones don’t get enough light
In which dead ones stand for years held up by the living ones around them

In which women refuse to be named
In which guessing is a pattern called Seven Sisters
In which whoever told you metaphor is figurative?
In which what happened props up one end of a wooden plank
and what didn’t props up the other
In which the surface isn’t quite even
In which I put the bad ideas in mason jars that I tie with twine and hang across my porch

In which women become interchangeable as an adaptive advantage
In which like the crayfish’s exoskeleton
In which both make a noise when crushed

In which I forget how to phrase things as questions

In which metaphor is the scissors and the glue
In which you are cut into an arrow-shape and hung as road sign

In which trees actually do matter
In which no one prunes a whole forest
In which fire does
In which you are already too large to be dug up and replanted into good soil

Old New York, Mapped

The New York Public Library’s massive collection of historical city photography has been mapped:

This site provides an alternative way of browsing the NYPL’s incredible Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection. Its goal is to help you discover the history behind the places you see every day.

And, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even discover something about New York’s rich past that you never knew before!

This is a rare and excellent internet object; a fascinating but unapproachable collection of media made approachable. I RECOMMEND IT, it is a powerful time-waster that asks for nothing in return. Mmmmm. A few tastes:


Tearing down the 6th Ave El at 42nd Street, 1939.


The mud-eating trash birds of Central Park, 1938.

36, 'Sine Dust'


I know nothing about this act but sometimes that makes thingseasier to appreciate. Here’s the whole EP. It is ideally listened to with headphones on, while wandering about on a dark day, but it is also perfectly acceptable at your desk from any sort of speakers. Enjoy.

Jamie xx, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"

An easy summer playlist candidate; a track that sits well between almost any two others.

New York City, May 19, 2015

★★★ Fog again, a chill again. Birds had sung, loudly, through the open window in the dark hours of the night. It was time to drag the beds and the couch away from the heating-and-cooling cabinets so the crew could come in and change the filters. A few streaks of rain hit the windows around midday. It was a little too muggy out in the drizzle for the jacket, and a little too chilly to be without it. Amid the uncertainty, the air conditioning on the train was surely the wrong temperature. In the afternoon, the sun came out, or a blinding sunlike field of glare came out. The sky opposite it was blue, with a haze that only amounted to cloudlike streaks here and there. The hazy glare made its way west and grew yellower. A jet flew through it with an ooze and a flash like a bubble in shampoo. The first mosquito of the year flew into the living room, drifted under the neck of the little blue guitar, and allowed itself to be killed against the hassock.

How a Lazy Person Cooks Indian Food

Chai Tea
For the person who wants to cook Indian food but doesn’t have the patience, time, or wherewithal to learn all the spices and wait for the pot to boil, from an expert in lazy cooking.

1. CHAI
Ingredients:
Dried ginger (whole)
Tea bag (black)
Tablespoon of milk
Cup of water

Tools:
Kettle
Cup
Grater
Tea strainer

Lemme blow your minds: chai means tea. I KNOW!! So all this time you’ve been saying “chai tea latte,” you’ve actually been saying a “tea tea latte.” This is the world we live in.

Friedan's Village

parkway72

Long before Betty Friedan gave voice to American women’s discontent in her groundbreaking classic, The Feminine Mystique, she was a young mother and wife living in Parkway Village, a tiny, planned garden apartment complex in Queens, New York. This vanguard utopian, international, and interracial community served as her incubator and muse, allowing Friedan to rethink the norm for post-war American families. I grew up there, and though Friedan departed eight years before my family moved in, she was so legendary that I was sure she lived across from me, her parties spilling onto her patio.

Built after World War II, Parkway Village was the brainchild of Robert Moses: a forty-acre enclave of garden apartments for foreign United Nations employees, many of whom could not find housing because of racial discrimination. Unlike other huge developments that explicitly forbid people of color, such as Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Parkway Village was open to all races, because no housing for UN employees could violate the UN Charter, which required no “distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”

As a result, Parkway blossomed into an oasis of racial integration and international cooperation that was profiled in newspapers and magazines like the New York Times and Collier’s, which characterized it as “living proof” that the ideals of the UN “can work out on Main Street.” Ralph Bunche, the first man of color to win a Nobel Peace Prize lived there, as did Roy Wilkins, head of the NAACP, as well as Babe Ruth’s widow, who was known to give nice tips and hot chocolate to the boys who shoveled her walk. Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Truman came to visit the cooperative nursery school; Paul Robeson’s wife used to show up for parties. The local children were gathered and photographed for the cover of a seminal jazz album, Evolution of the Blues. And Latin American author Ariel Dorfman would remember Parkway Village as an international paradise, before McCarthyism drove his leftist father out of the UN and the country.

Read an Excerpt of Kirsty Logan's 'The Gracekeepers'

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GRACE

Presented by Penguin Random House. Purchase The Gracekeepers here.

The first Callanish knew of the Circus Excalibur was the striped silk of their sails against the gray sky. They approached her tiny island in convoy: the main boat with its bobbing trail of canvas-covered coracles following like ducklings, chained in an obedient line. Ships arrived a dozen a day in the archipelagos, and Callanish knew that the circus folk would have to fight for their place on her island. Tomorrow the dock would be needed for a messenger boat, or a crime crew, or a medic. In a world that is almost entirely sea, placing your feet on land was a privilege that must be earned.

As dusk fell, Callanish loitered at the blackshore, her slippered feet restless on the wooden slats. She watched as the circus crew spilled ashore: a red-faced barrel of a man, trailed by a bird-delicate boy; a trio of tattooed
ladies, hair bright as petals; two gleaming horses left to gum at the seaweed. To a chorus of shouts—hoist! hoist! hoist!—the crew pulled ropes in unison, their limbs slick with saltwater.

Callanish tugged at her white gloves as she watched the circus unfold. She saw how the boat’s sails would become the striped ceiling of the big top; how the wide, flat deck would be the stage. With each billow of sail or tightening of ropes, she inched further off the dock and on to the shore. It was only when the sun dipped below the horizon that she felt the damp chill in her toes and saw how her slippers had darkened with seawater. Oh, she would be in trouble now.

She ran home doing giant steps, leaping high into the air like a circus acrobat, hoping the wind would dry her slippers before her mother saw.

The Quantified Baby

Last week, I was sitting on the couch at the end of a long day. I had an itch. I pulled out my phone. I opened my email, nothing new; Instagram, no baby photos to post; I didn’t even bother opening Twitter. “Oh right, Baby Connect,” I said to myself. I opened the app, which I have used to track Zelda’s sleeping and eating since she was just a few months old, and saw its familiar home screen. No recent entries. For three days, I had entered nothing. A new phase of life, one where my daughter’s sleep-wake cycles are quantified only our heads, had begun.

I didn’t come to obsessively tracking her with an app purposefully: It happened, almost, by accident. But I am a controlling, note-taking kind of person, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it happened. When I began consciously trying to put my daughter on a sleeping schedule, she was just four weeks old. In the first four weeks of her life, we had rolled with the punches, trying to pretend she was sleeping when we wanted to be asleep, and watching with wonder her capacity for daytime snoozing during all manner of racket. But by the time that month had passed we were exhausted, and having read a book called The Baby Whisperer in desperate moments of lucidity, I decided to try to nudge her toward a more human way of sleeping.

The Baby Whisperer (who is sadly RIP) suggested that the link between a baby’s eating and sleeping were all-important, and that, therefore, the most important thing was to know precisely when they eat and sleep. Doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary, but in the earliest days of parenting, I couldn’t have told you how many times a day my baby ate: Ten? Five hundred? When she cried, we fed her. That often seemed to work but it made for a lot of confusion. The Baby Whisperer claimed that if I knew how often she ate, I would begin to see patterns, and patterns, she went on, were the key to knowing when your baby was tired.

So I did what she suggested: I got a notebook. I began writing down every feeding, every time she went to sleep, and every time she woke up. At the earliest point, based on her age—four or five weeks—the chart in the book said she would probably need to sleep after being awake for an hour and a half. On paper, doing the math was sort of complicated: She woke at eight, needed to sleep again ninety minutes later. But she actually went to sleep seventy-five minutes later. Then she should have slept for an hour-and-a-half, but she actually slept for twenty-six minutes, so… when should she sleep again? In an hour-and-a-half? I still have these notebooks. They are horrific enough that I try not to look at them. One day often took three full pages of calculations, and at times, my husband would say, “This is insane, what are you doing? Why are you trying to force her onto a schedule like this?” And he was right—it seemed nuts. But I wasn’t REALLY forcing her. I was just observing, writing everything down.

Patterns did emerge, and her sleeping and eating started to look more like the chart in the book, until it eventually looked almost EXACTLY like the chart. I also noted that her moods seemed dramatically improved; she stopped crying so much. This was enough encouragement for me.

Feeding Yourself When You Have Two Jobs

last-holiday kitchen cookingFeeding yourself while running between multiple jobs is tricky. Convenience is key, but you also have to be at least somewhat budget-conscious because hey, you’re working two jobs for a reason.

You want a somewhat balanced meal to help you get through sometimes 13+ hour days, but you also want to have food that is actually appetizing. You want to have high-quality foods in the fridge, but you don’t want to be trashing lots of perishables if you don’t get a chance to cook them in time. It’s a constant balancing act, but an important one, because the worst sin is not eating at all.

Having worked a full time desk job and part time retail job for years now, I still am trying to master the art of making sure I am well-fed. While I don’t have it down to a science, there are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up.

Show love for the crockpot.

There is nothing like coming home to a home-cooked meal, and when I was single and living alone, the only way this would happen, unless the mice in my apartment decided to Ratatouille it up, was when I set my crockpot in the morning. I go for recipes that involve little to no prep — just throw in some precut veggies, a sauce, and a protein, and I can come home to dinner, hot and ready. The size of a crockpot also often means leftovers, which can be frozen and/or enjoyed throughout the week for lunch.