Amazon Eats the World
How was your week? Thanksgiving, are you for real? How did you get here so fast! J and I don't have much in the way of family commitments. We get to just be us, maybe have some friends over for dinner one night, but otherwise, we get to write and be with each other. A tiny and complete universe.
A friend shared this with me after last week's note:
"When the water in Flint, Michigan was orange from lead contamination the kids from our afterschool program were asked to donate a case of bottled water for the people suffering in Flint. Two kids blurted out 'why should we, they wouldn't do it for us.' That seemed to be the consensus of the class. These were public school kids in another economically impoverished district. The boss told the students he had never heard of anything like their reaction before. "
Such stark contrast with the reaction of the wealthy kids from the private school where I gave a presentation. HOLY SHIT!
It's too easy to say that this is an economic issue, especially when middle and lower income families donate a larger percentage of their income to charity than the wealthiest Americans.*
What drives giving, compassion and the desire to help? I'd love to know your take on this.
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, with or without family,
PS. I am so grateful for you, your friendship and you being here with me every week.
IDEAS YOU CAN STEAL
How about an edible idea this week instead?
KALE AND ROASTED SQUASH/SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH HAZELNUT, SAGE AND BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE.
Roast the squash or sweet potato, both work equally well.
A giant bunch of your favorite kale, de-stem, massage and get them ready to be part of a salad.
Fresh sage leaves, 8-10. Gently fry them in a little olive oil, once they are cool enough to handle, crumble them into the salad.
Hazelnut. Chop them a little and add to the mix.
Now for the best part of this salad, brown butter vinaigrette! Brown the butter in a small saucepan, then add either balsamic vinegar or a combo of balsamic and apple cider vinegar to the fat. Whisk and salt to taste. If you use 4tbs of butter, then you will add 2 tbs of vinegar and etc.
This is so yummy, brown butter makes everything more delicious, so easy, your guest will swoon!
I borrowed this from Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat. A pretty awesome cookbook for cooks of all levels.
WORTH A READ
Amazon is coming to town...NY and DC that is. Like many, I fear this will not end well for average New Yorkers and DC-ians (what is the collective noun for those who live in DC?). We already have a weak infrastructure system, our housing is laughably unaffordable, failing public schools, a Grand Canyon size income divide, and a tough dating scene. None of this will be improved by the arrival of Amazon and more computer engineers.
What makes NYC so appealing to all who live here and those who dream of being here is the character, energy, diversity, and permissiveness. Except the forces of gentrification have been flattening out our lady's character bit by bit since 1980s. "Gentrification is about class—and the places where class intersects with race and other factors, like education and sexual orientation—but it is always about an imbalance of power. And in every scenario, the gentrifiers have more power.” Amazon is raw power with their $1T market cap.
Jeremiah Moss's “Vanishing New York" is a love letter to the city, this city, a city that is so potent, we will give up job and love to be here. Matthew Desmond, "Evicted" is one of the best books I read last year (!). He masterfully gives you a look at the housing crisis in the US. "The Life and Death of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacob will make you think deeply about how to build community and what makes for a great neighborhood (hint: it's not Starbucks or cafes with Edison bulbs).
Patagonia is happening! I am so excited.
Need advice on 4 season tents, please.
Bryan Cranston on Broadway in Network. It's....amazing.
Ever wonder if we can replenish the wild with pandas raised in captivity? The Chinese are trying and it's tough. To start, it involves humans in panda suits that are sprayed with panda urine and feces.
All the tiny things we overlook is listed beautifully in Carrie Newcomer's Three Gratitudes.