SL 855

Had a busy weekend with lots of adventures in the New York City area. I took the train to Hoboken to meet up with a buddy for a nice meal and an outdoor band. (Pictures on Instagram). And Steve and I took Ian into the city to see Dune on the big screen and had a nice meal at the bar at one of our favorite little restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen. (Pictures on Instagram). Ian might not have friends, a job, college, or much of anything else in his life, but we’s got us and, together, we have lots of fun.

We cut our heating bill by 50% with the new siding and insulation wrap. Here’s the house with the mums in the ground for fall.

For the first time in months, I’m in the mood to go back to research and writing, but schools are too sad and boring right now, so I have a couple of other pitches floating around with editors. I’m planning a new long term project for the newsletter. More later.

After I finish jotting down this blog post, I’m going to hit the running trail in town. I’m determined to get stronger. Here’s what I’m wearing lately: running tights with side pockets (I’m a fan of DSG brand, because it iss affordable and cute. These pocket-tights on Amazon are good, too.), Brooks running shoes, and Goodr sunglasses.

So sad for Alex Baldwin and the family of the cinematographer. The gossip blogs are saying that things were pretty chaotic on the set. Lots of drugs.

I’m a huge fan of alternative housing.

Watching: Succession is back, and it’s awesome. Dune.

Cooking: The Insta-Pot is Steve’s baby. I don’t deal with it. But I do tell Steve what to do with it. This afternoon, he’s going to turn a bag of beans into cooked beans. It takes an hour. Soaking beans doing the old school method takes 24 hours; our hard water makes the process even more difficult. After he finishes the beans, I’ll turn them into a huge pot of soup. It’s rainy and cold today, so it’s a bean soup sort of day.

Picture: On the walk to the restaurant after the movie this weekend, we paused to take some pictures in front of Lincoln Center.

10 thoughts on “SL 855

  1. I am also intrigued by alternate living arrangements, but also fairly cynical about them as anything operating on a larger scale. Most of them fall apart, certainly required common finances. Maybe better design and facilitated support can make a difference?

    The bottom line is how much people are willing to share and with whom. There’s an Onion piece circulating:

    “BOULDER, CO—Expressing frustration over the dearth of options that met her high standards, local mother Shannon Gail confirmed Monday that she was still looking for a preschool that would focus exclusively on her son”

    People like that break communities. Maybe vetting can help avoid them, but, honestly, they can be difficult to detect before they are agitating for their resources. And, the drive to get ones “fair” share is often skewed towards oneself (say, swimming pool or tennis court, how do you decide?).


  2. I know someone who lives in a co housing community in California. They have a one bedroom condo in a complex with one, two and 3 bedroom condos. It’s over 30 years old so it’s pretty solid. I think people also have an incentive there to make it work since the units are all below market rate and thus affordable in an expensive part of the country. (There’s an income cap and I think most of the occupants work in education, the arts, or other lower paid professions. (They are a writer: their spouse is a teacher ).
    My impression is that unlike a lot of the more loose communal living setups in the past, modern co housing is pretty organized and there are a lot of legal structures in place to protect the organization. My friends had to sign contracts committing to certain rules and obligations along with buying their unit. They have been pretty happy there.


    1. I’ve heard that CA has some cool housing/work set ups for special Ed adults. But I don’t have details. I should look into it.


    2. My cynicism only applies to the scaling up and wondering what percent of people such environments might work for, and for how long. I would love to see experimentation, including with inclusive special needs. I wasn’t impressed by the article, which didn’t explore those issues (there are good comments, both of people who abandoned their co-housing, and also those who made it in more traditional family-based intentional communities).

      Shulevitz ends with what she most missed out on, which is an active inter-generational contribution. I realized that I have been fortunate to have that, and thus, had a lot of what she missed. My parents dropped off lunch for my teen yesterday, for example (and they watched my children when they were young, and gave me company and support when my spouse traveled).


  3. I like the Instant Pot in theory, but I’m kind of scared of it.

    It’s more like a piece of lab equipment than an appliance.


    1. Agree. And the Melissa Clark’s wisdom in the NY Times did not convince me otherwise. She drew me in with “chickpeas from scratch taste about a million times better than canned”, but then lost me with make sure you lock that lid, dealing with the dreaded “burn”, and cleaning the smelly seal.

      But, I guess we have to rely on Steve to teach us this one, since the lab equipment has been delegated to him :-).


      1. I have mixed feelings about ours. The chicken and rice is good and a bit faster than without. But it’s not easier to clean up after than the regular way and you do have to watch it closely during the saute part.


      2. I think that’s part of the “work with its strengths”, which I think, substantially, is cooking beans from dried.


    2. bj wrote, “She drew me in with “chickpeas from scratch taste about a million times better than canned”, but then lost me with make sure you lock that lid, dealing with the dreaded “burn”, and cleaning the smelly seal.”

      My last Instant Pot project was probably the time I tried to make chili.

      Midway, the Instant Pot got unhappy and was refusing to keep cooking (probably the dreaded “BURN” message). I had to pour the chili into a big glass bowl and microwave it.

      I really loved it for making curried lentils, though!


  4. Laura retweeted Helaine Olen who wrote:

    “I’m sorry but a lot of suburban school districts are once again dealing with a problem of their own making. If you call parents things like “partners in education” it’s hard to tell them they don’t really have a say after all. ”

    Right. Partnership is a two-way street and implies that both parties have input. If one party (school) gets to tell the other party (the parent) what to do and the parent has to do it, that’s not a partnership at all.

    The pandemic complicates things because (in a lot of the country) this is a partnership where one partner bailed when the going got difficult and left the other partner holding the bag, and now that things are better, they’re back and they want to be in charge again and they want to pretend that they never went AWOL.


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