Come On In, The Water’s Fine – at cityWell

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Of all the apartment compromises we make in this city, our poor excuses for bathrooms may be the most egregious. I mean, honestly, where are all of the claw foot tubs? Thankfully, a needed respite from the too-cramped bathroom blues lies off the R train in Gowanus, where Liz Tortolani welcomes you into her boutique bathhouse, cityWell, with open arms and extra fluffy towels.  There was still snow on the ground on the Sunday afternoon scheduled for my hydrotherapy session, two hours set aside for full use of the townhouse-turned-bathhouse’s wet and dry saunas, hot tub, and showers. I…

The Winter Solstice: Blessings of the Returning Light

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The days and hours leading up to the Winter Solstice are the darkest of the year. True, the days following the solstice are just as dark, but the energy is different. After the solstice, the dark gets a tiny bit lighter each day as the world as we know it on the Northern Hemisphere turns toward spring. But now, pre-solstice, we are spinning further and further into the dark. And it’s damn dark out there. The days have shriveled to a skeleton flicker of light. The frozen nights are endless. These are dim, drab times. No flowers, no foliage. No…

Slope Survey: Diana Kane English

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The Slope Survey returns for its 6th installment with Diana Kane English, owner of the Diana Kane Boutique on Fifth Avenue. Among many other things, Diana is the creator of the ubiquitous “feminist” t-shirt that you may have noticed around the neighborhood. What brought you to Park Slope?  Park Slope  was my landing spot in NYC in 1993 because I got to stay in a friend’s apartment while he was away.. then I moved to (gasp!) Manhattan, but I was back in1996 when I met my now husband (his place was bigger than mine). What is your most…

Selfish Dreams

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There’s pivotal moment in every mom’s life after the birth or adoption of her child when she decides she has the space, desire, and need for self-care. This can come in the form of returning to the book by the bedside that’s been there since 36 weeks, or returning to her favorite yoga class.  Unfortunately, for working moms, this moment sometimes comes later, and for me, it came a year after my child was born and I went on my first retreat. From there, I was inspired to head back (reluctantly) to the gym.  And that’s where I met Natasha…

Olivia’s Kitchen: Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna

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I have no memory of where I got this recipe in the first place but I scribbled it on a piece of Japanese stationary at least 12 years ago and have tweaked it over the years to work perfectly for sweet shortcakes. Every time I look at that greasy beat up piece of paper I think “I gotta write that down somewhere where it can’t get lost”. So, now I am… Recipe- Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna Toss 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces with a coating of olive oil and spread in…

EAT LOCAL: MIRIAM – CONTEMPORARY ISRAELI CUISINE

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Chef Rafael Hasid opened Miriam in 2005, naming the contemporary Israeli restaurant after his dear mother. A native of Tel Aviv, his vision was to share his perspectives on what his country’s food really represents: various cultures coming together to create one strong community. Or in this case, taste. When you step into the quaint corner restaurant, the first thing you notice is the colorful, ornate lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the hand painted plates on the walls. The bar is a sort of focal point and displays the extensive wine collection offered to patrons. With mellow music wafting…

Sweeping the Floors of a Yoga Studio or How I Learned to Touch My Toes and Stand on My Head

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Once I was allowed to work at a Yoga Studio in Brooklyn. I say, “allowed” because at the time I was a mess (and that’s putting it lightly). I was trying to stop drinking, trying to stop being sad, trying to stop being in love with every tattooed beauty I met in Prospect Park, trying. I was trying to stop trying. A generous studio owner in Windsor Terrace gave me the opportunity to run the front desk at her Yoga studio a few days a week in exchange for free classes. I could check everyone into the class and then…

#GetOrganizedBK

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“Here’s the first of many flyers you’ll get tonight,” smiles a bookish white man, extending a sheet of paper as I approach Congregation Beth Elohim’s Temple House, located across the street from their majestic but under-repair sanctuary in Park Slope. It’s a humid, mid-September evening, and, as I pass through the open doors, an older woman hands me another page. “Unrelated,” she explains. A Progressive Movement Grows Strong in Brooklyn  In the time it takes to climb the stairs and claim a folding chair in the steadily filling ballroom, I have, indeed, run a gauntlet of progressive politics. I…

The True Progressive

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On September 12, New York City’s incumbent Mayor, Bill de Blasio, sailed through the mayoral primary with 74.6% of the vote. The next day, Park Slope resident Libby Edois-Alb, one of the mayor’s longtime advisers and friend of the family, announced she was running a write-in campaign against him as the “true” progressive candidate. I sat down with her ahead of the November 7 general election to discuss what made her decide to run, whether the decision has created a rift between her and the mayor, and what she means when she says “true” progressive. Roberto Paul: So you…

Park Slope Reader Fall Reading Recommendations

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“With the arrival of chillier weather comes a new batch of books with which to curl up. Here, a list of 11  titles to enjoy this fall.” Sing, Unburied, Sing — by Jesmyn Ward — In her first novel since 2011’s National Book Award-winning Salvage The Bones, Ward tracks a mixed-race family through rural Mississippi. Jojo is a lonely 13-year-old who helps his grandparents raise his baby sister, while his mother, Leonie, struggles with drug addiction, visions of her dead brother and an obsessive love for Jojo’s white father, recently released from prison. Combining allusions to The Odyssey and…

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