AT THE WAY STATION

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A Conversation with Elisa Flynn Prior to moving from the suburbs to New York City in the spring of 2000, seeing bands in the city meant schlepping all the way in through massive traffic, driving home during the wee hours of dawn, and aching the next work day. We were fortunate to have a great roster of local bands that played routinely, but the city was always the draw. So moving to New York felt like I had hit the jackpot. The ability to see any band and be tucked back in bed in time for the next work day…

PLANNING THE UNEXPECTED

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Tibetan prayer flags decorated my couch for weeks. Each was created by a friend to encourage me through labor and to welcome my son home. Between preparing playlists for all stages of labor, reading childbirth books, and drinking daily raspberry tea, I had become obsessed with when and how I would give birth. How did I get here? Ambition and desire plays a part in everyone’s life. Since I was a teenager I had envisioned the exact Ritu Kumar red and gold dress I wanted to wear for my grand Indian wedding. I dreamed about living in New York after…

THE MOTHER’S DAY MINDFIELD

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In my first few years as a mother, I totally fell for the Mother’s Day hype. It’s very name, and the Kay jewelers commercials that run constantly, led one to believe that it’s a day in which those who constantly cater to the needs of others finally have their needs catered to, the one day among the other 364 in which mothers are given their due, honored for the terrific martyrs they are. Awesome idea. Stellar. Too bad it’s a load of malarkey. I should clarify here that I’m a holiday person. I make homemade costumes for Halloween and throw…

THERE WILL BE DRAMA

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When I was 12, I attended a summer drama camp at our local community college. Under the guidance of the instructor, my friends and I penned original scripts and scavenged costumes from our parents’ closets. I was a ferociously bossy child, with a big imagination and an even bigger perm, and I threw myself into my production like it was already shortlisted for an Obie. After several days of rehearsals, all of our parents were invited to a one night only performance of our original work. My opus, entitled Cinderella II, was a sequel to the beloved fairy tale, and…

I AM YOGA

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The word “yoga” means union. Yoga is the connection between mind and body. My own yoga practice is a way to handle stress, find calm in my mind and strength in my body, and be present as an educator, a parent, a kid’s yoga teacher, and a person in a busy world. Kids are yoga. Their practice begins naturally as part of their development when they are just infants. Tummy time is Cobra pose. When they are on their backs grabbing for their toes, it is Happy Baby pose. As they grow, children, like adults, encounter stress on many levels,…

The Case for Restraint

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“John, Table 10 doesn’t like the half bottle of Burgundy.” Argh. For the second time this month and the third time this year, a customer isn’t thrilled with this bottle that we love so well. Wines like these from the Burgundian appellation of Mercurey are often not as easy to drink as Pinot Noir from California or Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Compared to a West Coast pinot, this bottle from Domaine Meix-Foulot is lean and dry and lacks the richness and intensely sweet fruit of many of its New World cousins. What it does have in spades is restraint—an Old…

The Finds / Dining in the Hood

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Local Restaurants Bring Smorgasbord of Tastes Stroll through Park Slope on a sunny day, and your eyes will usually find a restaurant you’ve never noticed. There are so many places to eat, it can be impossible to choose one. Here’s a rundown of a few unique spots we’ve found in the past year that tickled our taste buds. Have a spring adventure and check one out for yourself! Carnem — 318 5th Avenue Carnem, which opened last May, offers up classic steaks, sauces, and seafood with a side of whimsical delights like pork belly cotton candy lollipops. Yes, it’s…

EAST, MEET WEST

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My first foray into Eastern Medicine and alternative healing therapies was at the age of twenty-eight. My body was shutting down, plagued with chronic fatigue and autoimmune disorder, I was desperate. I had been laughed at by gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, and various other -ologists, shipped from office to office as soon as I reached the edge of that particular doctor’s particular scope of knowledge. A vegetarian at the time, I was smugly told that a cheeseburger was “probably the answer to my issue.” Or worse, I was told that my “issue” didn’t really exist at all. But, intuitively I knew something…

You Can Do This!

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Dear Hypocrite, I know you’re not a therapist—you’ve been saying that for years—but I’m struggling with some real issues and looking for help or insight everywhere I can think of. You might just be the one to tell me something useful or perhaps make me feel not so alone. Besides, you’re free. My mom has Alzheimer’s. It was obvious after several events (her walking out in traffic and setting her kitchen on fire) that she was no longer able to live at home by herself. I hired a part-time aide for a while, but she needed even more care, so…

Playing House

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For Christmas last year, my daughters got a dollhouse. By New York City standards, it’s really more of a doll mansion than a house. Four stories, massive terrace on the second floor, private garage, and a charming two-person swing hanging from an attached archway. Every time I look at the dollhouse, I imagine what the doll version of our real apartment would be, an exercise that only depresses and demoralizes me. No parent would buy that doll-apartment—except maybe for New York City parents, because, after all, it would be a space-saver. My girls love their dollhouse. I love their dollhouse. It…

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