Dispatches from Berkeley

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Today marks eight weeks in California. When I look back on the madcap weeks before we left New York City, it all seems like a blur of stress and sleepless nights. And then you realize that the knots that tie you to one city will unravel quite easily in the end. Quite suddenly, without even trying, we were here, in a completely new place.

We had the good fortune to find a house very quickly in Berkeley and it came with a garden and a view of the Golden Gate so clear that I sometimes find it hard to leave the house. I wish I could describe to you how the air smells in Berkeley, or how the same bird comes to sing outside our window every morning and evening, or how the amount and breadth of produce at the markets feels like a religious experience each and every time. Our house is slowly coming together, and I want to share photos of the interior and the garden as it grows. 

That's not to say I don't think about New York City either, though, it hits me at the oddest moments like when I'm lost in the winding Berkeley hills, or on a Friday night when we don't have the usual dinner plans with old friends. 

This house makes it all better, but I have to educate myself in house living faster than I thought possible. We have a magnificent succulent garden in the front, but the back is completely empty so I've been furnishing it quickly and happily with herbs, aloes, and even a lemon tree and a baby fig tree gifted from a friend. I only hope the doe and her fawn who sleep in the backyard every night don't find those things too tasty. 

This West Coast/Berkeley life is shaping up to be something spectacular. I still can't believe we did it. 

We're moving!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I've let this site lie fallow for more than six months, and I've stopped and started this post so many times that it has almost lost its meaning. But how do you decide how to broach the subject that has consumed your family for the last few months? It's all we talk about, all we can think about, and all we can plan for. We are moving away from this terribly beautiful city, and when we step off the airplane, we'll be in San Francisco. 

San Francisco feels like a dream location for us. It's the one other city in this country that we could see our family thriving in. And after this year's endless winter, I'm only too happy to run from the east coast to the west coast. A bittersweet move, to be sure; we're leaving behind a lot on this side of the country, and New York has been my city for 13 years. Thankfully nothing will change professionally as I will still be able to do my job as a cookbook editor from the west coast. 

The actual move is happening in a few months, but we've been working feverishly behind the scenes for months to decide things like where to live, where to send our oldest to school, and what to even do with our stuff. Thoughts of the move sneak up on me unawares when I'm doing something mundane like buying shampoo or getting my morning coffee. I can't wait to explore a new city and fall in love with where I live all over again.

We have an awful lot to figure out over the next few months (who’s going to drive the car cross country? how do we get the dog out to California?), but underneath the stress runs a current of excitement at the possibilities. For the first time we’re thinking about having a house with a garden and I’m practically giddy thinking about the vegetables I can grow (keeping in mind the ones that will survive the drought, of course). The SF lifestyle blogs are constantly open on my computer, and I’m compiling a list of the best foodie havens in the area. I'll be checking in here a lot more often to share details now that the move is public. Thanks for traveling along with us for our adventure!


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