Sunday, October 27, 2013

24 hours in NYC


I've kinda been a ball of stress lately.  A very quick trip to NYC should be compounding the stress, but it will be good to get out of this the city - and I'll get to catch up with one of my oldest friends, Jason, who I haven't seen face-to-face since my move out of Portland.

I'm attending a meeting on human rights defenders.  My packing list is small - Mars boots, tights, a silk dress, my Olympe coat.

I'm hoping to come back to the District less grumpy and more clear-eyed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn colors and 38 hours in Wisconsin!

We came back from our weekend trip to Wisconsin to visit Ethan's family.  It felt so good to get out of the city, if only for 38 hours!  It was a weekend of several firsts: my first time in Wisconsin, my first view of the mighty Mississippi River, my first time dipping into Minnesota (just across the river from town), my first time seeing an Amish buggy, and my first taste of a pumpkin shake at Michael's Frozen Custard, in Madison.  And one other first: meeting the community with whom Ethan grew up.  His mom - who helped plan so much of our wedding - held a little "meet the bride" dinner, and I was all smiles and red lips.

In any case, it's back to work.  This week, I feel like I'm herding cats - and not in a good way.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another post on Istanbul, human rights work, and my need for sleep.

Twice a year, diplomats, government officials, civil society, and human rights defenders from all over the world descend on this city for an international institution's annual and spring meetings. Those weeks are nuts for me.  This time around, it was six days straight of meetings upon meetings, side events, conversations, working lunches, dinners, endless cups of coffee, and just a touch of sleep.  It's mostly tiring, but some moments (particularly, I find, when you meet communities who have been working on human rights issues related to these international development projects) it's inspiring and a little rad.  There were a few of those moments last week.

With that week behind me, I took two days off to rest. Time off was needed.  Time off was great - except that when I have free time, I start to plot. And invariably, that plotting involves places I want to visit. 

And today, I thought:  What I wouldn't give to be back in Istanbul right now . . .

Did you know that the mosques in Istanbul were often (always?) built with an attached market, where the rents of the shops went to the upkeep of the mosque?  One day, as we walked around the tourist-laden district of Sultanahmet, we came across a small mosque. It had an adjoining garden and a strip of shops.  I asked the shopkeeper how long his shop had been in business.  He looked at his wife, and they laughed.  He shrugged his shoulders and said, "always."  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Last weekend

Within a matter of days, the temperatures went from humid and high 90s to rainy and low 60s, from summer dresses to autumn layers.  I spent one of my last warm days visiting the District Flea, sitting at Peregrine Espresso, one of my favorite coffee shops in this city, and soaking in the sun.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ship & Shape

images via

Have you heard of Ship & Shape?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Let's go camping.

The last few days, I have had the strongest urge to go camping, to drive out of this city and to wake up to open spaces, green trees, crisp air, quiet.  The funny thing is I'm not much of a camper (Ethan is), and the last time and place I camped was in a dinosaur park in Mongolia, surreptitiously, under the autumn sky, several years and a lifetime ago.

District Flea

images via

Apparently, the creators of Brooklyn Flea have started a similar operation in the District - at least for a six-week trial run.  While no Chatuchak Market in Bangkok or Black Market in Ulaanbaatar, this flea market should be a fun Saturday outing.  And what is this I hear about a kimchi grilled cheese sandwich?  An investigation is warranted.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The leaves are changing color, the sun is out, the federal government is shutdown, and it's October.

Fall list, continued.

I'm desperate for a decent pair of flats.  My old flats (i.e., pre-Asia) don't fit as well anymore.  

On my way home the other day, I walked past Madewell and, for once, browsed the store.  I am not quite sold on either of these flats, but they were comfortable enough. 

I did, however, purchase and break in a pair of Rachel Comey Mars boots.  Let's hope they work out.
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