Goodwill finds!

I got a purple corduroy jacket/overshirt from Goodwill ($10) over the holidays!

Definitely in fashion now, but the similar jackets I see others wearing aren’t normally so bright. The jacket is currently in a trial period. If I decide not to keep it, sibling C is highly interested. She originally found it at the thrift store but it’s too big on her. It’s also big on me, but we’ll call it stylishly large.

I also found a nicely-patterned kid’s shirt. It fits in the shoulders but everything in the torso is a little too short. I spent too much time compared to the cost of the shirt ($5!) letting out the hem by 1/4 inch.


Cleaning out highlights

In the process of decluttering childhood items (toys, art, clothes, etc), I saw these two unique pieces by my little sister A:

A collage at the intersection of the love of dogs and of cars.

And one by me (I think).

A multimedia poliwhirl.

A trip to the Cloisters

My parents visited us in New York around Christmas last year. For one of our outings, we went to the Cloisters in Washington Heights.

Fort Tryon park is a little hilly.

The museum is an assortment of old European art and architecture that some guy imported. At that time (late 1800s through the 19-aughts), there were a bunch of old abandoned and half fallen-down monasteries and churches that no one was using. I assume people would be more interested in them now, but maybe there are just soooo many old religious buildings in Europe that these would still be considered dregs.

The collector assembled all of the partial monasteries into one eclectic building.

They had an amazing collection of Medieval tapestries. Besides being dyed entirely with natural dyes (!!) and being handmade, this style and era of tapestry is particularly known for portraying real plants with a lot of detail.
From a series about hunting a unicorn. Lots of flower species depicted.
Good view of the Hudson River.
European-style herb garden in the courtyard of one of the monasteries.

It’s a good place to take your parents 🙂

Last year’s birthday dinner!

For my (N’s) birthday last year, we ate at Claro, a Oaxacan restaurant in Brooklyn. I was originally interested in them because they make their own masa (and downstream products, like tortillas) from specially-sourced heirloom corn and use some amount of local produce and meat. They aren’t fully vegetarian (unlike For All Things Good) but do have a good selection and a fair amount of seafood.

J liked the idea of going to Claro because they have a Michelin star.

I don’t really remember what we got. One salad offered that we didn’t get had ground grasshoppers in the dressing.

Claro has custom handmade ceramics.
Mushroom memela (
Rice pudding — really good!
Mole cake (spiced chocolate cake) — really really good!

Everything was really good! We also got to sit in the restaurant’s nice backyard garden.

Mooncakes for the fall equinox

Friend A who I went to grad school with (also likes cheap/free food, has been climbing with us recently) gave us some mooncakes she made! :’) They were presumably for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which happens around the autumn equinox and is coming up! The days are definitely getting shorter.

The mookcakes are actually the “snow skin” version (recipe that Friend A used), which uses a mochi-esque wrapper. Apparently snow skin mooncakes are easier to make than the traditional baked kind, so a better choice for at-home creation.

The inside is coconut milk , sugar, cheese, and salted egg yolk, the middle layer is coconut milk, sugar, butter, flour, egg, and salted egg yolk, and the outside is rice flour with milk.

Garden update!

I got a melon!!! I didn’t even see it until the other day.

Really tiny melon, maybe because the plant is dying (unknown cause). I’m not sure if it’s ripe — we will see!
The sweet potatoes are super vigorous. The bushiness is convenient for keeping wind-blown trash out. Unclear if I’ll be able to leave them in the ground over the winter. The mint, broccoli, and carrots are hanging on. The remaining kajari melon (care info) is doing well, but I’m not sure if it’s set fruit yet. The tatume squash is just starting to send out vines. I hope there’s enough warm weather left for it to make some squash.

I started the garden pretty late this year, so the plants didn’t have a super long growing season and had to deal with hot weather early on in their lives.

The late start might have also made bug threats worse. The radishes mostly succumbed to some small gray bugs. I was able to harvest three bottoms but the leaves had been sucked dry.

The fence needs some shoring up, especially at the curb. Cars aren’t very careful with their doors and the fence isn’t incredibly sturdy…