Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cranberry, Pear, Walnut and Arugula Salad

My siblings and I are all pretty good cooks. My sister makes a mean roasted fennel salad and my Brother in Law makes incredible pies (and just about everything else). For Thanksgiving we were assigned different parts of the meal and I was assigned the salad. Okay, I don't do a lot of salads or very interesting salads but I accepted my assignment gracefully, meaning with little whining on the phone and began to plot out what to serve.

It had to be big and bold with a surprise twist of something insanely creative. In reality, I promptly forgot about my assignment until the day before Thanksgiving and had to do a scramble at the Co-Op to find some ingredients. Which strategy to choose- random grab stuff that looks good or compose in brain and purposefully move through the store? I used a relatively new strategy, let's just call it choose your own adventure shall we?

Choose your own adventure means that you go into the store with a few ideas and let the ingredients guide you. I started at the greens: good looking arugula meant a relatively sweet salad, good looking spinach meant a bacony and savory salad, and just plain old romaine meant a veggie heavy salad. Unfortunately the spinach looked pretty bad but luckily there was a lot of arugula. (In November, no one wants a tomato heavy salad since they're not in season).

Okay, we have Arugula. From here I wandered over to the dry good section since I already had a plan in mind. On my way I went past the cheese section and noticed that they had a lovely Shaker Farm Blue Cheese who's description read "Wow!". Now the salad adventure was closing in. Blue Cheese and Arugula meant pears and a hint of something startlingly sweet to balance out the cheese. I grabbed some cranberries, walnuts for crunch, and some pears on the way to the register. I didn't worry too much about the dressing since I usually just whip something together at the last minute.

So my "choose you own adventure" strategy led bring a classic fall salad to the Thanksgiving table that was almost all local (Except the arugula) and all organic.

Cranberry, Pear, Walnut, and Arugula Salad with a Cider vinegar vinegrette
Serves 6-8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5-8 minutes

4 cups baby arugula
1 cup romaine
1/2 cup parsley, rough chopped
2 large pears, cored, sliced into 1/4 inch slivers
1.5 cups shelled almonds, broken into smaller pieces, roasted
1.5 cups dried cranberries with sugar
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (get the good stuff)

Preheat the over to 350F.

Wash and dry the arugula, romaine, and parsley. Wash and core the pears and slice into 1/4 inch slices. If they are large pears, meaning a slice would be unwieldy on the fork, cut the slices in half. Place the walnuts in a ziploc bag and crush into dime sized pieces. Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil and lay the walnuts out in a single layer. Roast in the over until they start to smell toasted. Crumble the blue cheese.

If I'm bringing this somewhere I put each of the ingredients in a separate container. When I arrive I toss the salad greens, then add each ingredient one at a time, tossing gently in between.

Cider Vinegar Vinegrette

I make my salad dressings with a 2:1 vinegar to oil recipe. Play with the proportions if you like yours a bit less tangy.

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 table spoon freshly minced herbs (I used parsley, thyme, and sage)
1.5 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1.5 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1 tablespoon mustard
1 dash cayenne pepper.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine in a container, shake well before dressing. I don't make an emulsion so you want to shake this up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You get the family, the food, the merriment, and good cheer without worrying about presents and who doesn't love pumpkin without presents. This year, despite what a crappy hand we were dealt, I actually have a lot to be thankful for.

1) When my dad was first diagnosed, our family drew even closer together and my step-sister put it we "shoveled" each other along. Now six months after his death, I'm very thankful for them and their shoveling technique. I'm thankful for the people that they are and perhaps most of all, their sense of humor in getting through this. I'm sure we'll have other crappy hands, I hope they don't hurt too much, but I can't imagine a better group to have on my side.

2) I'm thankful for my friends. You've done a lot of hand holding, tissue ringing out, and provided very nice shoulders to cry on. I would be a total wreck without you. I look forward to a year of good times and pestering you less about my photographs, garden, and "cooking".

3) Our house. We love our house and its environs. It is wonderful to have a place to hang our hat, store our stuff, and bask in the sunlight.

4) My dad's camera equipment. I had grown away from photography over the past few years as digital eclipsed film but my dad's equipment has brought it back to life for me. Aside from my constant pestering of my family, friends, and a number of brooklyn blogs, the introduction of a new hobby has brought me great joy. Doing something new is always good for the soul and after years of career focus it is wonderful to be doing something creative. Now if I can only learn how to take the thing off of "auto".

5) Obama. The next few months will reveal the depths of W's bastardization of the White House. It's so inspiring to elect someone of my generation who shares my worldview and speaks in coherent sentences. Our expectations have been lowered but this guy appears to be a once in a lifetime leader.

I'm sure there is more but for now, this is a lot to be thankful for. I guess most of all I'm thankful for my dad, who sometimes I can't believe is gone, but who gave me and our family so much.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A More Complete Photo Tour- Gowanus

I wrote a bit about my adventures in Gowanus last week but wanted to do something a bit more narrative. Gowanus is an industrial area that surround the Gowanus Canal. It's got a long and storied history but at this point more businesses and residential concerns are moving into the area. We had some friends look to buy a house in the flood plain and were told their basement would regualrily flood with raw sewage from the City's storm runoff. I'm not sure why you would want to live there, especially if you wanted to have kids, but it is a huge chunk of Brooklyn surrounded by very valuable land. For those of you from NJ, think of it as the Brooklyn version of the Meadowlands.

I took the F train two stops to the Smith and 9th stop. I had shot before from the other side but had noticed a hold in the fence that was just large enough to get my camera through. I was shooting with a rediculously long 200mm lens. This lens seems to have no real purpose other than making you feel like a professional photographer.

It was really windy, a bit rainy, and cold but I went out around 10 am just for kicks.

The first thing that happened was I lost my beloved Cyclones hat. It almost immediately blew off my head and landed on the tracks. I loved that hat, despite the fact that everyone always thought it was a Boston hat. But it was gross and I guess time to go. RIP little buddy.

This is a view from the Manhattan-bound side of the Subway stop. You can see the Manhattan skyline on the left and downtown Brooklyn to the right.

I left the subway platform and walked east on 9th street. This is sort of a no man's land. It is the main thoroughfair between the BQE, Red Hook, and Park Slope. A Lowes opened up down there and there is a shopping center. It was a big shock to me when I first moved in that there was a place in the city where there was a parking lot. In Brooklyn there are a lot of them. There are almost always lots of people walking down here and it is how you walk between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. There are only a few places to walk or drive across the Canal.

I turned north onto 3rd Ave. This is where the dogs tried their hardest to scare me, but given that they were 15 feet in the air, they were just pretty adorable. Every day I look for the dogs and have spotted three of them, their dog houses, and often see them patrolling or just basking in the sun. They seem to cover about a square block of connected roof space. There also appears to be less graffiti up there so they are probably pretty good at their job.

As you walk down 3rd you get a sense of how desolate, grey, and depressed this area is. Many of the buildings have "For Rent" signs on them but some of them have things like music and artist's studios in them with a mix of old school manufacturing. I can upon some pigeons happily munching away and then they (and I) got scared by a big dog. The pigeons took off, circled around and then banked right at me. It was like "The Birds" and luckily I escaped without any bird poop.

I got out of there pretty quickly. The smell was pretty bad, I had just been chased by a dog, and blitzed by pigeons. There are also a lot of buses down there and many of them were running, filling the air with exhaust. I came across a bizarre set of buildings, one school, one storage building, and one set of artists studios.

Across the street is another inlet of the Canal and what is supposed to be the site of the Brooklyn Whole Foods. From what I understand this is quite a saga and looking at the marshy, industrial wasteland that is meant to be a bright new store, I can see why. You get a good sense of the land from this vantage point and can see that its polluted, in a desolate location with little parking, and well, marshland. Its neighbors would be a bus depot, junk yard, and abandoned industrial sites.

Apparently, a lot of demolition has already happened on the site but this building remains. I heard that it was on a historic landmark list somewhere because it was an example of the use of cement in buildings. I really have no clue. It is currently rotting under the care of Whole Foods. It ironically has an advertisement for a demolition company on its side.

I, and I alone, thought that this was a cool shot. I took it through a roll-down fence into an industrial area on 3rd Street.

This shot may give you a good lay of the land. This is looking south towards the Kentile Floor sign and the subway stop, I am basically directly north from where I started. If I went west I would be at Smith Street, east, Park Slope. From here, I headed east to 4th Ave and took a bunch of pictures as I walked home. Those are for another post.

This is me, taking a self-portrait in the security mirror of the "No Corporate Bullshit" aka Verizon truck storage building on 3rd. The guy at the booth asked me to keep on moving.

Photo Tour of Green- Wood Cemetery

If I had only known! As I was leaving a tour of the cemetery was starting. There were lots of people getting on the trolleys and all I was thinking about was getting inside. It was in the high 30's this morning and very windy! Here are the trolleys and the entrance gate. This was the best shot that I got of the gates since it was heavily guarded and I wasn't sure what their policy was towards wayward photographers.

This is one of the chapels on the site. It is small but quite lovely with beautiful stained glass windows. There was a service going on while I was there so I didn't do too much poking around. I felt like I was trespassing in this place. It is a sacred place for many people and I was just there to take some photographs. Luckily there weren't too many antics of hiding from people though I did duck behind some trees once and drop to the ground when a patrol went by.

I think it is pretty normal to see angels without heads or hands, probably vandals? The memorial in this picture had lost its head and hands but they were in the little grave, so they were taken off by a conscientious vandal or a maintenance person who wanted to try to keep things tidy?

Green-Wood Cemetery was site of a iconic Revolutionary War battle (called not very creatively Battle Hill) during the Battle for Long Island. This statue of Minerva was placed at the highest point in Brooklyn and was designed to make eye contact with the Statue of Liberty. There was a recent uproar when developers tried to build some condos that would block her view. After the community protest, the building's plans were changed. There are also memorials to the Revolutionary War at this point. The history combined with the view of Lower Manhattan make it a very meaningful place.

This is Minerva's view of the Statue of Liberty.

This was probably the best funereal shot I got all morning. This statue looked like it was melting and given the amount of acid rain, it kind of is. I love the shroud of green and the other statue in the background.

View of Downtown Manhattan's skyline from within the cemetery. Residential and Industrial Brooklyn surrounds the cemetery and while it is very quiet, areas like this one with houses and large buildings in the distance are common. I happen to like the fringes where the different parts of Brooklyn collide.

This is a rather large hill that you encounter when you enter from the Hamilton Parkway entrance. It was very green and one of the few places in the cemetery that they had already moved all of leaves. I was happy for the uphill walk given how cold it was. We've had 5 days under 40 degrees. While that is totally normal for January it's rather abnormal for November. Once I got walking though I warmed right up.

I wasn't sure what the policies were towards random photographers so I skirted the security guard at the entrance and stuck to the walking amongst the headstones. In some areas there were a lot of people and other areas were very quite. While it is a historical cemetery, it is still a working cemetery so there were fresh graves, grave digging equipment, and maintenance equipment around.

It was also not a very good place to shoot. The light was weird (it was between noon and 1 pm) and the ground was mostly covered with brown leaves giving a monochromatic feel to the place. You don't get the naturalistic park-like (read English country side) feel from my pictures. I also only walked about 1/4 of it. I look forward to exploring the place when the leaves are gone.

I sometimes forget the historical significance of our area, there is a lot of history here. We live just north of Green-Wood Cemetery, the site of Battle Hill during the revolutionary war. In some ways it's a typical old cemetery with Gothic angles, large ornate mausoleums, and large sprawling trees. In other ways, its historical significance during the revolutionary war, the number of famous people buried there, the architectural history, it is not. Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the place is an area called the plateau where you have an unobstructed view of lower Manhattan.

It's hard to convey the way that 9/11 peppers everyday life in NYC, partially because you see monuments and partially because the skyline is missing something. Being in places like Green-Wood Cemetery bring that hurtling back.

After I walked through about a quarter of the place, I exited through the main entrance and walked home down 5th Ave. I had never been on that stretch of 5th, it was dirty but filled with shops, old restaurants and new trendy things like wine bars and modern, out of place buildings.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Roasted Root Vegetable Pizza

Sounds crazy right? Well that's what you get when you combine competitive pizza making, a hatred of tomatoes, and a need to use seasonal ingredients. I'll take a step back. We have some friends who have a group called something like the Brooklyn BBQ Society. Every month or so they get together and have a cook off, hamburgers, ribs, etc. This being winter and all they decided to have a make your own pizza party.

Here's how you have a make your own pizza party. Invite about 12 friends over. Tell them to bring ingredients to make their own pizza and a bottle of wine. Go to the local pizza shop and buy about 8 rounds of pizza dough. Supply pizza stones, rolling pins etc. It was great great fun and we ended up eating about 7 different distinct and all very yummy pizzas.

I was inspired by a roasted squash soup I had last week. It was rich, sweet, and very appropriate for winter. I figured that as long as I got the consistency of the sauce right and pre-cooked everything it would go well. And it did. It was very rich and could probably have used something to brighten it up but it was delicious all the same.

You could very easily adapt the "sauce" to make pasta sauce and I made left over soup the next morning but pureeing it with some boxed roasted squash soup.

Roasted Root Veggie Pizza
Makes 2 10" round pizzas

Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes, 10 minutes

4 pounds squash, peeled, cored, and quartered (I used acorn and delicata)
.5 pounds parsnips
.5 pounds carrots
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, reserve 1 tbs of pine nuts
Olive Oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper to taste
2 tbs curry powder
1/8 tps coriander seeds, onion powder, nutmeg, cumin

Pizza dough can be homemade or just bought at the pizzeria. Making your own dough is very easy but I'm not going to cover it here.

Preheat the over for 400 degrees F. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the outside of the delicata squash. Cut them in half, take out the seeds with a spoon, and cut them into 1/4 inch cubes. You could do the same with the acorn squash but I halved it, put a tablespoon of butter in the center, salt and pepper and put those straight into the over. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. Toss the squash in olive oil and half the spices to coat. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet or two. Those go in the over for 35-40 minutes or until they are fork tender. Peel and quarter the carrots and parsnips. Toss those in the spices and olive oil, spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet (or two) and roast those in the over for 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender.

Toast the pine nuts in the toaster or in a nonstick saute pan until they brown slightly and become very fragrant. This happens quickly and should only take 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Once the roasted veggies have cooled. Do a chunky puree of the squash with the pine nuts and butter from the acorn squash. It should hold it shape but still spread thinly. Salt and pepper to taste and add the other spices to taste as well. This is your sauce.

Roll out your dough and use about 1/2 cup of "sauce". Spread it around the pizza. All of this is fully cooked so you can make it as thick or as think as you want.

Grate your cheese and add 1/4 cup (or as much as you want) on top of the sauce. Sprinkle on your tablespoon of pine nuts as well. Sprinkle veggies on top to cover the cheese and the other 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is brown.

Repeat for pizza #2.

While this recipe is simple the preparation of the squash is labor intensive. I made extra, pureed it and plan to turn it into soup and sauce.

I didn't win the competition. It is very tough to beat our a pancetta and truffle oil pizza!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Old Signs

Gowanus has a few old, iconic signs. The two that stick out the most for me are the Kentile Tile and the Eagle Clothes. The Kentile sign is visible from almost the entire Gowanus Plain and it was in many of my shots this morning. The Eagle Clothes sign is less visible but just as incredible. I have no idea if either still represents a company.

Gowanus- A Photo Tour

Today was not a good day to take pictures. There was bad light, it was cold, and I managed to get a lens stuck on the D200. We also had a lunch date with some friends but I was determined to take some pictures.

I've been shooting a lot of nice, happy Park Slopey scenes lately but my favorite thing to shoot is run down industrial areas and we happen to have one right down the block from us. The Gowanus canal is a rather infamous waterway. It was created as a commercial waterway and general open sewer and has a long and sordid history. It is surrounded by old, well established Brooklyn neighborhoods but manages, through a combination of sewage, industrial waste, and the m..o..b.. to remain an industrial wasteland.

Below are some highlights of the canal. I should also mention that it was a day of photo first: first time trespassing to get a shot, getting chased by dogs, mobbed by pigeons, climbing a fence, and almost passing out from the smell.

Turkey Chili

Nothing says "Bring it on winter" like chili. But nothing say gastrointestinal inflation like chili. So a year ago when I first attempted to make chili, I needed to adapt it to be both hearty and not require a night on the couch. This recipe is originally adapted from a Rachel Ray chili but it is one of those things that is easily adapted to suit your taste, ingredients, and requirements. I also chose to make it with ground turkey because its healthier than beef and you don't get that gross ring of grease on the top. Ground turkey can be tough so I included some tips to keep it from turning to rubber. I usually make a pot of this every other week and I always bring it for lunch and Peter enjoys it for dinner.

A word on beans. I use kidney beans because they don't upset my stomach. If I use black beans they make me really sick. Use what type work for you.

Turkey Chili
Served 8-10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Cook Time: 15 minutes
Simmer Time: 30-45 minutes

30 oz frozen veggies (I like peas, carrots, and corn but what ever you like)
2 lbs Ground Turkey
1 tbs tomato paste
1 small onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, through a garlic press or finely diced
2 tbs olive oil
43 oz crushed tomatoes (1 large can, 1 small)
15 oz diced tomatoes
47 oz kidney beans (3 small cans)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs granulated garlic powder
1 tbs ground cumin
1/4 tbs Cayenne pepper
1/4 tbs red pepper flakes
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper

In a large dutch over or stew pot, heat the olive oil and brown the onion. We like to use our 8 oz oval Emile Henry ceramic dutch over because it can go right in the fridge. When soft, add the garlic and the tomato paste. Add the ground and diligently break up the meat until it is light grey in color and looks like ground beef. It will have a tendency to clump so you need to work it to keep it the right texture.

Once it is browned, added the diced and crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and chili powder. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add spices to taste, it will take some playing around to get it how you like it.

If you want non-spicy chili, eliminate the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. If you want a smokier flavor, add some bacon or chilpotle peppers. You can also add a cup or two of beer for flavor.

This is a very easy, pantry recipe that can stretch all week. Once you make it using this ingredient list, you'll see how easy it is to improvise!

Nice Doggie

I'm someone who is scared of my own shadow. I am also someone who is pretty observant. In my daily existence on the F train I have noticed a pair of dogs that appears to roam the Gowanus rooftops. On a photo jaunt this morning, I noticed the dogs and remarked to a pair of romantically involved hipsters that they were guard dogs (What they asked!). I got a few shots of the dogs with the 200mm lens and didn't think much else about them.

As I was walking down 3rd street I heard barking, looked up, and saw the dogs trying their best to scare the pants off of me. Look at the picture, even I wasn't scared by their fierce barks. I was terrified by another guard dog that surprised me as I was trespassing and I respected it by running the hell away from it. I've only seen it in the movies but in Brooklyn, they really do keep junkyard dogs on chains!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Uglies

A friend of mine has a couple of puppies. She's been warning me for weeks that they are going to go through their uglies and that time has come to pass. They have dropped all of their hair and look unlike adorable puppies and like ugly rats.

I went through that period. Luckily, it wasn't when I was a teenager it was when I was born. My mom likes to say, affectionately of course, that I looked like Charles Bronson until I was two. Going through my dad's pictures last night, I found some photographic evidence of this. Trust me, these are the good pictures. In almost every one I look like I'm going to eat someone's face off.


My sister on the other hand, always looks adorable, even when she's covered in food or has just fallen down. These are the ugliest pictures I could find of her and she still looks better dressed with great hair.

I found a ton of pictures of us when we're 1,2,3 years old and I have to say, we're totally and completely adorable. My dad took so many pictures of us it feels like we must have had a camera trained on us all the time. Even though we're so close in age, you can see that my sister is almost always acting like the big sister, keeping me safe, and trying to stop me from eating her arm.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It's very officially fall in Brooklyn. It's been an exciting few weeks with the election, economic collapse, pregnant friends, etc and I haven't done too much aside from worry, work, socialize, curl up with a good book, and take an afro-Caribbean dance class. I haven't had too much time to take pictures.

This weekend we had a surprise visitor. A close friend of my husband who got bumped from his flight. He called us and headed in and we got to have a lovely lunch with him. I wanted to take him to one of Park Slope's famous brunch places but all of those had really long waits and we were hungry. We ended up at the diner but it was great just to hang out, talk about Aikido, and revel in the election.

I took a bunch of shots and these are just a sample. I took these all within a 2 block radius of our house and a bunch from our roof. We also drove our friend out to NJ and the leaves and sunset put on quite a show for him.

Just a weather note: It was beautiful yesterday but today it's freezing and the temperature is heading even farther south. I fear we may take a direct route to winter. I really miss our old fireplace but will just have to take comfort in a big bowl of homemade chicken soup. Try roasting some garlic and adding it to your chicken soup, it adds a really extra layer of favor.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Used To Be An Academic

I used to be an academic and I have a few extra initials, publications, and presentations under my belt to prove it. I soundly rejected academia after I graduated because I found that I don't have the temperment for it. I'm a bit too big picture focused to hunker down and circle around one main idea until I get tenure and turn into a vulture circling around the endless grantmanship corpse.

What I do have is a real love of the research and the play of ideas. I'm never as happy as when I'm applying my framework to a situation and thinking about how the small details fit into the larger sceme of the system. I'm never as unhappy as when I'm forced to write it up. See, I'm not an academic and I'm not a writer. I'm a talker and a "thinker out loud"er and often joked with the researchers that I worked with that I should just get a tape recorder and transcribe what I had just said.

I just had a paper accepted at a conference. Well, actually, I just had an abstract accepted at a conference, the paper needs to come next and that's its own mess.

What the acceptance inspired in me was what I wanted to research next. I have an opportunity to do some research on a new program where kids take some very specialized science classes that lead to internship the following year. One interesting aspect is that the research scientists teach the kids and then the kids work in their labs. This is actually a pretty new idea at this grade level but not one that particularily interests me.

The interesting aspect of this research project is the way the students process their experiences. Recent research demonstrated that it is important to give kids and opportunity to share their experiences with their peers, compare notes in a way, and to discuss what their learning and adjusting in a professional scientific research lab. What we have set up is a duel system for that: an in person moderated discussion group and an online version. Why is this interesting to me?

Well, I'll have to take you back a step. The most interesting piece of research that I did was about how kids participate in the classroom. There is an idea called "gatekeeping" in which someone or something controls the flow of participation, favoring or blocking participation based on their own sense of how participation should happen. A classic example of this is how teachers will only call the kid with her hand raised and scold the kid who just shouts out. The teacher is priviledging on form of participation over another. In terms of classroom management this is a totally legit thing to do but research has shown that this is also about the teacher's notions of student's abilities and a whole slew of other thing.

I took this idea and applied it to how students gatekeep one another. Classic example, a girl is called on by the teacher, gives her answer and is then mocked or shot down by another classmate. If the teacher then shuts down the other student she is the gatekeeper, if not, the student is the gatekeeper. In the world of middle school, that dominant and aggressive student is sending all sorts of signals that shape participation regardless of the teachers response. There is a wide variety of ways to apply this framework.

For this current project I would like to apply this framework by comparing gatekeeping in the in person class and the online environment. Once you change the participation methods, raising ones hand vs an asyncronous reply online, you may change the way that students gatekeep. Give that we can observe this type of stuff in both settings it strikes me as a good opportunity.

The first thing I have to do is publish the initial paper and the second is to do some research into online participation. After months of essential brain death, it is nice to finally get the juices flowing again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Historic Day

I'm writing this post right before the election results start to come in. I'm nervous as hell. We voted this morning at our new precinct in Brooklyn and were surprised to find such a mess inside the polling place. The line, which stretched around the corner, down the block, and down the next street moved very quickly. Since we're new to the neighborhood it was great to meet some new people and to see the diversity of our district. Unlike my last lily white suburban district, ours is a relatively diverse in age and race. It was a beautiful day and we dutifully waited for our turn. When we got inside it was pretty chaotic.

We were done in about an hour and a half so I've had all day to sit around and freak out. I've been reading people's stories from the day and have choked up many times. I also really miss my dad. He was a political junkie and would have been very excited about this race. I talked with my sister this morning about his quirky sense of humor and predicted some of the jokes he would have told.

So I'm heading out to a party to watch the polls close. When I get back, we'll either have the first black president or the first female VP. Historic in deed.