Women in Science (2016)

I am a woman.
I am in science.

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But you don’t have to be either to appreciate the women who have contributed to our collective body of scientific knowledge! And in fact, it’s important to take time to appreciate them because their work has frequently been trivialized or overshadowed by their male colleagues. I am grateful that we are finally able to give at least some women the recognition for their work.

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For example, I’m really thrilled about the new trailer for Hidden Figures (definitely watch this!), which focuses on the black women whose work allowed an American astronaut to complete an orbit around the Earth. Women in Science has a feature on Katherine Johnson (who will be portrayed by Academy nominee Taraji P. Henson) if you’re interested in her story in advance of seeing the film!

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I also liked how informative the book was about science as a whole field. Not only does the author and illustrator talk about each woman and her role in shaping our knowledge of science, but she talks about science itself. You can look at a timeline of events…Read More »

Yes, the title just keeps getting bigger...

Bagels, Brooklyn, Broadway | NYC 2016

Last time on NYC 2016, we wrapped up Friday with a lot of food adventuring with my brother before finishing out the evening dancing in Koreatown with Ben’s college friends. Saturday, I finally ventured off the island of Manhattan…


Saturday morning, Ben and I woke up bright-eyed and ready for something we had been waiting months to taste again: bagels. Bagels are one of those foods I really took for granted when I left the New York metropolitan area. I like them in general, but I have a special feeling when I eat the ones from my home metro region. (And while I’ll eat basically any bagel I see, I know a bad bagel.) Pizza and bagels in my home city can bring tears to my eyes. So we headed to the nearest bagel shop to us. Luckily, it was a block away and a traditional Jewish bagel joint! We were in luck!

JUST KIDDING it was Ess-a-Bagel, one of the most popular bagel shops in the city, especially among tourists. We wound up waiting in line for literally 2 hours. I loathe waiting in line, especially for food, but there weren’t many bagels shops nearby and I figured if I was going to wait for something while in New York, a really great bagel was worth it.

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Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?

I also decided to finally try a bialy! Yet another food item that I didn’t know I was taking for granted until I left the area and saw nary a mention of the traditional Polish pastry.

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A bialy, whitefish salad on everything, and lox with the works on whole wheat everything

After filling up on bagels… it was time for us to meet my friend Ying to leave the island (!!!) and head to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is the “Brooklyn food flea market” and has become really well-known as a spot where many innovative food vendors can set up shop on the weekends for foodies to try their wares. It is home to many Instagram-famous foods, like the Ramenburger. Now I was pretty apprehensive about Smorgasburg for a bunch of reasons, like my hesitance to leave Manhattan for food when there is food aplenty all over the island, my general side-eyed skepticism of Brooklyn and Williamsburg’s hipster scene, my extreme side-eyed skepticism about the hype of the food at Smorgasburg, to name a few. But I was still excited to finally experience this foodie haven that so many people have been urging me to try out, despite already knowing that nothing would taste as good as the Instagram hype was big.Read More »

NYC Part 2

Baos & Bros| NYC 2016

Last time on NYC 2016, Ben and I came up to my home city to eat and catch up with an old friend. And we had more eating and catching up to do!


After getting some much-needed rest, it was time for me to meet up with my brother! He’s been staying in the East Village for his summer internship, so we headed over to check out his place and take him out for dinner. (I actually bumped into one of my friends on the subway trip over there! Ben teases me relentlessly for how many people I know and run into unexpectedly. This chance meeting marked unplanned encounter #1 – keep track of these, there are more coming.)

My brother was sharing the apartment of an art director for Marc Jacobs with one of his college roommates, who was working crazy long hours but still had a smile on his face when we saw him. It was a pretty nice place, and within walking distance of The Bao, where we went for dinner. I really loved the xiaolongbao (soup dumplings, aka XLB) at Joe’s Shanghai last year and wanted to compare this spot on St. Mark’s. My brother and boyfriend were both very surprised when I thought we had been a little ambitious with 6 orders of XLB and a vegetable. As it turns out, they were right; we left with plenty of room for more food.

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SO off for more food! Read More »

NYC Part 1

Rockin’ Round Rockefeller| NYC 2016

Sparing you my cheesy “Big Apple Recap-ple” titles this year. You’re welcome, and not safe in the coming years.

Just a note that I didn’t take very many photos this past trip, as I was really just trying to… take it all in. In fact, Ben and I didn’t even think to take my photos of ourselves or of each other. We’ve come to the point where we’ve visited so many times that we aren’t taking as many photographs. We’re trying to enjoy each other’s company, the company of our friends and family, and this amazing city that I have loved for so many years.

Apologies for the massive blocks of text!

Thursday

Ben and I went up to New York the weekend after Independence Day (aka a few days after returning from the wedding in Roanoke) in what has become an annual trip back to my home city, to The City. We headed up Thursday evening after work, grabbed some McNuggets at Union Station to stave off hunger, and eagerly awaited getting some of that Halal Guys combo with rice at 53rd and 6th. (We were told that the Halal Guys would open franchise locations by the summer of 2015. As you may have noticed, it is now the summer of 2016 and the locations have yet to open…) (STILLMADABOUTIT)

This was the first time that Ben and I really took advantage of good ol’ New York City yellow cabs for getting around, starting with getting from our bus stop to our hotel, which was about 2 miles away. I’ve always preferred traveling by cab over ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, and the advertising in the cabs confirmed a lot of the reasons I had. Drivers are vetted, you know exactly where your fare charge comes from, there isn’t surge charging, and you are able to hail a cab without dealing with an app that maybe doesn’t work or picks up the wrong person or something. The reason I think those apps succeeded is because they were great apps that allowed you to summon cars when you weren’t able to wait on the road and hail a cab in a lower-traffic area. But now that New York has apps that allows you to do that with cabs, I honestly don’t see a need for Uber or Lyft. Some people are under the impression that taxis have a harder time accepting credit cards, but that’s just not true. Legally, all taxis must accept credit cards, and you can also use the app to pay for your ride as well, just like you can with other ride-sharing services. Long story short, I take yellow cabs when I’m in the city because it is really convenient and I don’t think that Uber or Lyft have changed that. (Note: Big Taxi did not pay me to say any of this.😛)

We arrived at our hotel, totally pooped, but I managed to peel myself off the bed so we could get what we came to New York for – that chicken and rice from Halal Guys. I was maybe too exhausted to really make that trip, but dang it if it wasn’t maddeningly delicious. (Maddening because… we can’t have it at home yet. We have to make this pilgrimage to eat this simple meal.)

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Dat combo doe!

After a small mishap with the super dangerous red sauce (it is spicier than you think, I am pleading you not to underestimate it) and me wandering around the floor to find the ice machine to mollify that situation, it was time to sleep and get ready for our first full day.Read More »

Goodbye Maryland

Ten years ago today, I moved from New Jersey to Maryland.
A few days ago, I walked out of my house in Maryland for the last time.
I’ve never been good at saying goodbye.

It’s strange to reflect on this move. I haven’t really lived in my house in Maryland in a long time. When I left home for college, I only lived in that house in Maryland for weeks or months at a time between semesters. I lived back home for a year after graduating before getting my own apartment, but even then it didn’t feel like my home anymore.

Did I ever let myself think of that Maryland house as home? I really fought it. When my parents told me in high school that we’d be leaving the Garden State, I was devastated. I had finally started feeling comfortable with myself socially, was making good friends, and was visualizing a future with those friends. The first time I saw my house was weeks after the rest of my family had seen it — because I was studying, typical — and I was not particularly comforted pulling up the driveway and seeing drought-induced yellowed grasses and shrubbery. Everything was dying. It was hard not to interpret the poetic meaning of that.

One of my college roommates who I attended high school with recalls seeing me on my first day at my new school. She was intimidated of me, both because I seemed very close to another girl (the first friend I made when I moved to Maryland who I had met at new student orientation; the three of us wound up living together in college) and because I just… looked… so scary. I don’t remember consciously trying to ward away friendly people on my first day, but I do remember feeling so much anger and sadness. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to make friends with anyone at my new school, I had my old friends!
I’ve never  been good at saying goodbye.

Despite my best efforts to be curmudgeonly and not set roots down in Maryland, the people are aggressively kind and warm. My friends were generous with their friendship, even when I was not receptive to it, and I remain so grateful to them for it. I didn’t think I had much of an affinity for Ellicott City, but the recent flood reminded me that I do.

I always thought of my time in Maryland as very temporary, that it would be a small blip when my life flashed before my eyes. And yet, the longest I attended any single school was in Maryland. (The 4 years I spent in college.) And the longest I lived in any single dwelling was in that house, for 10 years.

The move still hasn’t really sunk in yet. My parents told me they were planning on moving to an empty nest house last year, so my brother and I have had all of our belongings at their house packed into boxes since last July. So mentally, I feel like I’m still in this limbo of thinking of that house as my home in Maryland.

It’s not anymore.

I went through a lot in that house. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe what memories took place in that house because I still have a hard time believing I spent so many years in that house. Regardless, I won’t spend any more time in that house. When I go home this weekend to help finish with unpacking, I won’t be going home to that house. It’s funny because I hated moving to that house so much. I really did. I didn’t want to like it. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to ever think of that house as my home.

But as I drove away on Sunday for the last time, I realized I was crying.
I’ve never been good at saying goodbye.