Thrift store shirts

While Jimmy was at an internet café, I went to the nice Goodwill on 6th Ave. They have a section at the front with sorted-out fancier items (nice for a quick browse), but even the non-curated items are quite nice.

Prana. Intending to use this as more of a work/outdoors shirt. It fits pretty well, but the pattern’s just okay. The fabric is pretty loosely woven, so it may not last well.

“Flanders Linen”, although I couldn’t find out much about them. They claim to have been around since 1350. The shirt is only 30% linen, though. It is crisp and light — should be good for summer. I just washed everything, hence the wrinkles.

Corduroy shirt from Uniqlo. Really this is too big, but we’ll try it out.

My first Muji shirt!! I like their clothes. They have interesting construction, but are still simple. I like the low collar on this. Overall it looks like monk clothing.

Cuff detail. The cuff pleat is formed when you button it! Might use this on future shirts I make. Color is more accurate in the previous photo.

I also found this nice mixing/serving bowl on the sidewalk on the way back!

Hudson Gateway tunnel construction site-to-be

J and I checked out a spot in the Hudson Yards LIRR train yard, near the convention center, that is going to hopefully have some visible construction work towards the new Hudson river train tunnels.

As part of the Gateway Program (construction info) to spiff up Northeast Corridor infrastructure between NYC and New Jersey, a new tunnel under the Hudson (map) is going to be built so that the existing tunnels can be fixed up and to eventually provide more rail capacity. The tunnels were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as were many of the other tunnels into New York.

There’s supposed to eventually be a cut-and-cover section of the tunnel built right by the LIRR train yard. I wanted to see if work had started yet. J and I didn’t see anything, but there is a lot of equipment getting set up. We will check back soon!

Hudson river and New Jersey in the background.

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.


Weekend trip to Philadelphia: Urban design highlight

We took a trip to Philadelphia (via Amtrak — woo!) over the summer. There were a lot of cool things in Philadelphia, like Amish pretzels, but I wanted to highlight the charming alleys. They’re residential streets with historic row houses.

The highlight is how narrow the alleys are. Technically, they’re wide enough to drive a car down but they’re so narrow that drivers have to go just about walking speed and there is nowhere to park. They are through streets, but the width keeps drivers from wanting to use them so they remain useful (and safe) for pedestrians and cyclists.

These old streets are really nice to use and the old houses give them extra charm.

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Sadly, streets like these can’t be built under modern road design requirements. (Perhaps private streets with this design would be allowed.)

Philly also has lots of street art. In an effort to reduce graffiti, the city funds murals and mosaics.

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…

Disposing of old drugs

I’ve been struggling to “properly” throw away some old medications recently. You’re not supposed to put them down the drain because they aren’t removed in the water treatment process and can end up contaminating your or downstream areas’ water supply. The landfill seems fine to me (they are pretty good at keeping things contained), but drug disposal programs apparently incinerate everything, which is better.

I figured that most pharmacies would have take-back programs, but I guess not! I visited a handful of places, chosen for their convenient location or because an (out-of-date) city website listed them. Some of the pharmacies I tried to go to didn’t even exist at that location any more!

I finally had luck with a DEA drop-off finder tool (thanks for finding it, J!). The drop-off I went to only took pills, though, no liquids.

Another ‘nother rag rug

I just finished another requested rag rug from sibling C. The first request was finished around this time last year, and a non-requested rug + instructions a few years ago.

This rug is meant to replace a solid-color rug that shows hair and dirt too easily 🙂 The rug uses a new-to-me construction method.

You lay out strips side to side as a warp — I initially had this on a makeshift cardboard loom. The length should be the length you want your rug. Then you take strips of fabric and twine them around each other while doing plain weave. The warp ends up completely hidden.
Used part of a sheet, several pairs of underwear (the elastic was worn out), 3+ tshirts (including one I pulled out of the trash when I realized I was running out of white), and one button-up (stained).

The final rug looks nice but it was sloooow to make and pretty difficult to keep the tension even.

Compost pickup options

If you’re not able to go to your normal compost drop-off location, you may be able to get compost picked up! A lot of the services are bicycle-powered and pick up every 1 or 2 weeks. Cost seems to be around $20/5 gallon bucket or $30-50/month.

Here’s a map of US and Canadian compost pickup services.

Another rag rug

I made a custom-request rag rug for Sibling C! This is going to go beside a bed, so you don’t step on the cold floor in the winter.

Made from 1 sheet, 8 shirts, 3 of those cloth bags sheet sets come in, and about 10 pairs of underwear (the elastic was all stretched out).

This one is also braided, but in a zig-zag instead of a circle.

White wine mushroom cream sauce

Another way to use up lingering wine. Eat with pasta, omelette, crepes, toast, etc.


  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Parsley to taste
  1. Cook onion and garlic in butter until translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook until they release liquid. Add salt and spices.
  3. Add white wine and cream, and reduce by half.

We didn’t have cream on hand, so we substituted macadamia nut butter mixed with water, which worked quite well! Macadamia nuts are super oily, so the richness was a good replacement for the cream.