Empire State of Stomach: New York Edition

Over Easter break I was lucky enough to go on an adventure with a wonderful accomplice to the Big Apple.  This was my first time in the big city even though I am from nearby Boston.  As a beantown native, my family has an obvious disdain for New York, which deterred me from visiting during the first twenty years of my life.  And while the city is large and busy, the sights and food make it a great place to visit!

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This post has quick analysis on the food we ate.  We averaged around three desserts and multiple attractions a day.  But the desserts are what truly kept us going.

At South Station before we boarded our train we fueled up on the “healthy” dessert option, Pinkberry.  I ordered pomegranate with tons of fruit and a shot of sprinkles on the side.  I hadn’t been in a while and forgot that fro yo actually does act as a fulfilling dessert.  The fresh fruit adds satisfying sweetness and the yogurt adds a tart bite.  The sprinkles just were for cuteness.

My friend’s lovely mother had cupcakes waiting for us at the apartment we crashed at.  She had bought a red velvet and chocolate vanilla cupcake at City Cakes.  The frosting was really thick and rich, and piled high, which I approved of.  I prefer a high frosting to cake ratio.  The red velvet was my favorite of the two because the cake was really moist and the cream cheese frosting was not too sweet.

My friend’s parents took us to lunch on our first day in NYC to Cookshop. My friend and I both ordered the Breakfast Bowl, which consisted of kale, spinach, falafel, feta, farro, sesame seeds, hazelnut, walnut oil, nigella seeds, and a sunny side egg.  It was the perfect fuel for a long day of walking around. The farro added some hearty substance, the feta had a salty bite, and the runny egg broke acting almost as a rich dressing for the salad.

My favorite meal was at a small place called Beyond Sushi, which serves vegetarian sushi.  We both got a combo of some sorts, which included a roll and a wrap.  My wrap was called the Nutty Buddy which had Baby greens, Buckwheat noodles, Cashews, Carrots, Cilantro, Jalapenõ, peanut butter, Avocado, Sesame oil, and Tofu.  My roll was the Sweet Tree which had Six-grain rice, Avocado, Sweet potato, Alfafa sprouts, and a Toasted Cayenne sauce.  This was hands down one of the best things I have ever eaten, and I wish we had a location up in Boston.

At Momofuku Milk Bar, I ordered the Compost Cookie which is packed with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips, this cookie strikes the perfect balance between salty & sweet. BUT the best items were ordered my companion.  The Birthday Cake truffles and cereal milk ice cream were heavenly.  So order those when you visit!

Also pictured, vanilla caramel filled cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes, Acai parfait from Liquiteria, and a salad from Roast Kitchen.

Run, Sarah, Run: Peace Edition

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When people first think of the word peace, images of worldly topics such as ending war, religion, and other justice related issues come to mind.  When peace takes on this association it seems impossible.  How can we find peace in a world where so many suffer, the hustle and bustle of life consumes us, and and everything in our mind is exaggerated to be of great importance.  In this context, peace is a relationship between groups of people, where there is no violence or conflict.  I think over this year, I’ve been leaning towards a different definition of peace, which is more individualistic in nature and obtainable.

Peace is first defined in the dictionary as “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility,” which is a definition I can relate much more to.

Peace has come to be the moments in life where I am able to detach myself from worries surrounding my families members’ health,  stressing out about the open-endedness of my future, and my own self criticisms.

Peace is when I am taking a long run down Comm. Ave.  When the run is no longer judged on how long it took or how many miles I went, but merely just so I can lose myself in the sound of my breath, feet, and wind moving past me.

Peace is when I wake up early and the sun is barely rising over the Heights, and I walk down to the Plex to go to sunrise yoga where I move in solitude next to several others.

Peace is when I take a meandering walk along the beach with no real purpose or aim besides taking in my surroundings and appreciating the beauty of nature before me.

Peace is when I hammered shingles on top of a roof over spring break, alongside one of my participants, not talking, but methodically moving together, losing ourselves in our work.

Peace is when I bake my family brownies from a tried and true recipe that I have memorized, which allows me to glide from one step to the next without thinking.

These moments of peace are what ground and save me in life.  These moments are what remind me to keep going and to keep bettering my self no matter what life throws at me.  Perhaps if people focused on these little moments of peace, and incorporated more of them into their lives, overtime the amount of peace in the world too would also be greater.  In no shape or form is this the ultimate way to create world peace, but I think we have to first start by finding the peace within ourselves before we can try and spread it to others.