Capturing Sentiments: Photos Taken After September 11

I have always loved to take photos. I like to document experiences, places, and the faces of loved ones. On any given day, I will take aim at sunsets, seascapes, flowers, and the cat looking cute, but I especially love when a photo can tell a story or express a sentiment. These days, when my eyes linger on an image, I love that I can reach for my smartphone and capture a moment with ease.

I did not take any photos on September 11, 2001, or during the immediate days that followed. This was the pre-iPhone era and I used a camera with film to take photos during that time. After standing on the roof of my building and seeing that the towers had fallen, I packed a bag to temporarily flee my downtown apartment. I did not pack my camera. Even if I had, I’m not sure if I would have taken images of those first few days. Then, like so many others living in New York, I walked around feeling shocked, saddened, fearful, and uncertain.

But after several days, when I was back in my apartment, I started noticing signs of solidarity and patriotism everywhere I looked. I started to see American flags hanging where they had not been before. There were stars and stripes in shop windows, too—along with red, white, and blue fashions on mannequins. Walking the streets, I saw windows filled with patriotic displays that were thoughtfully and artfully arranged. My favorite is a miniature brass sculpture of a woman sewing (or repairing?) the American flag. With a smartphone, I certainly would have photographed more, but I’m glad I captured the images I did. They remind me of the hopeful days that followed.

MORE: Photos of NY Windows After September 11

Inside the Art of Cuisine




Here’s another vintage cookbook for my collection: The Art of Cuisine by Henri de Toulouse-Laurec and Maurice Joyant. The 1966 collection has recipes with some imprecise directions (“take a large handful of onions…”), along with illustrations from Laurec. From the intro: “He imagined a dish as an artistic creation, like writing a poem or dancing a ballet.” Love.

Roger Ebert’s Quote About Kindness Gets an Awesome Cartoon Treatment

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Near the end, film critic Roger Ebert wrote a heartbreakingly beautiful blog post about what he had learned about life and death, in which he emphasized the value of kindness and contributing joy to the world. His beautiful and wise words are given an artistic treatment in this “Zen Pencils” narrative comic. (Bonus: sales of prints of this comic will be donated to the Sundance Film Festival’s Roger Ebert Scholarship For Film Criticism).

Recipe: Chicken Soup with Rice

Maurice Sendak gave me joy when I was a child. I loved the adventures on the pages of those magical books. I’m not alone in wanting to escape with Max in “Where the Wild Things Are” and make some noise with those bakers from “In The Night Kitchen.” Just last month, I attended a baby shower for which guests were asked to bring a beloved children’s book for the baby-to-be and I gave “In The Night Kitchen.” What tremendous gifts Sendak gave us with his books.

After I heard of his passing this morning, I knew we had to make chicken soup with rice for dinner —  a nod to his delightful “Chicken Soup With Rice.” When it came to making the soup, I knew it had to be made with wild rice. (Let the wild rumpus begin!) While we chopped veggies, I played the Carole King song version of the story.

Chicken Soup with Wild Rice

4 cups chicken stock

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

4 carrots

1 fennel bulb

1 onion

4 heads of bok choy

1 tsp. Herbs de Provence




Roughly chop the carrots, fennel, and onion and set aside. (This recipe replaces the traditional celery in the mirepoix with fennel, simply because we didn’t have any celery on hand… and we love fennel.)

Chop bok choy, keeping it separate from the mirepoix.

Prepare wild rice with vegetable stock in a large pot. When rice is a few minutes from being done, add 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil.

Add the mirepoix and simmer until vegetables are tender but firm.

Season with Herbs de Provence and salt and pepper (we used black salt and white pepper — wild!).

Add pulled pieces of meat from a roasted chicken (except for the pieces you eat while preparing the soup…) and reduce heat to low.

Stir in the bok choy a few minutes before serving.

Top each bowl of soup with a squirt or two of fresh squeezed lemon juice.


I Love NY Street Shots: Photos of NY Windows After September 11

I remember walking around New York in the days following September 11, 2001. Those who were there can attest to the sense of comaraderie. Storefronts in my neighborhood showed their love of NY and America with displays. A few of these are above; this was before we all had digital cameras and smartphone cameras and I took shots with my pocket camera using film, not sure what I would get.

Eyes Everywhere

JR, the artist awarded the TED prize for his photographic murals, left his mark in my neighborhood last week with a close-up of a man’s piercing eyes. Yesterday, I saw a guy wearing a shirt with a print of the classic cover of “The Great Gatsby.” This morning, NY magazine’s “The Cut” blog posted a fashion week shot of a runway model with a Man Ray eye hat. Just purchased from Etsy: this milagro eye charm, said to offer protection from the evil eye. I’ll attach it to a necklace or bracelet.

Crafty: Book and T-Shirt Holiday Wreath

After crafting a recycled Christmas tree using pages from “Vogue” magazine, I decided to make a paper wreath for the front door. I used pages from an old paperback that was falling apart (“Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh), and simply taped the cut leaves to a cardboard base. The idea for this was borrowed (and I cannot locate the blog I landed on that showed a wreath like this); my own personal detail was to add a bow made from an old T-shirt. Voila.