Author: Heather

I love travel, ballet, cats and my hometown of NYC.

Writing and Eating

chopstick pencils

Last week,В NY MagВ ran a fun piece highlighting the best answers they received to a series of questions they asked various showrunners (i.e. TV industry people who oversee the creative visions of shows). Questions ranged from “Pick a character from your show; which reality show would (s)he be most suited for?” to “What was the biggest creative misstep you ever saw made by a show you love?” (My favorite answer to the latter was from Lena Dunham, creator of Girls: “Obviously, Felicity cutting her hair–I get it now, but it was rough at the time.”)

But the answers that made me laugh outloud were to the question: “The hardest thing to pull off on a TV show is…”В They all revolved around eating!

From Carter Bays, of How I Met Your Mother:

Writing and producing it without constantly eating.

From David Caspe, of Happy Endings:

Everything. And staying thin (the room is full of really great snacks).

From Graham Yost, of Justified:

Convincing your wife that it’s actually a job and not just some fun thing you get to do each day where they provide lunch and a snack room.

As someone who makes a living with words, I can definitely relate. It’s hard not to nosh all day while you’re working! Everything about writing makes me want to eat:В When I’ve completed a paragraph that’s given me trouble, I need to refrain from rewarding myself with a piece of chocolate.В When I’m stumped on a lede or transition, I have to stop myself from reaching for a snack. When I’m procrastinating from starting an assignment, it’s hard not to extend my food break just a few more minutes. And I’m not going to get into all the free snacks that are floating around at work.

If I had no self control, I really would eat my way through every day. But I’ve found that just as much as writing makes me want to eat, it eventually has the opposite effect. Every writer knows how draining the process is–and how hours can fly by when you’re bent over a desk. When I’ve completed an assignment or finished my work for the day, I want nothing more than to stretch and move. And by then, ballet class or a good run feels way more refreshing than yet another brownie.

Fellow writers, do you feel the same? Are you always stopping yourself from snacking as you work?

(Photo via Pinterest)

Assateague Island

assateague island

How nutty is this photo? I don’t know about you, but I don’t often see wild animals on the beaches I visit. But this is the norm at Assateague Island, which is just a few minutes from Mal and Peter’s place. The 37-mile national seashore runs from Maryland to Virginia and is known for its wild horses. On the Virginia side, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department owns the animals and keeps them fenced in designated areas. But on the Maryland side, they’re free to roam as they please–even among beachgoers.

Mal said that when she, Peter and Paul went to Assateague last week, the small herd in the photo above just milled around for hours. They went into the water and ambled along the sand, sometimes causing sunbathers to scramble to get their blankets out of their way. Then, at the end of day, the horses sprinted away as if they had somewhere to be.

Even though it’s on my Maryland bucket list, I haven’t made it to Assateague and probably won’t, at this point. I’m severely allergic to horses–which I discovered on a disastrous 8th grade trip to a dude ranch–and probably couldn’t be in such close proximity to them. Plus, while the horses are gorgeous to look at, the beach has some not-so-appealing equine-related issues: namely horse droppings and horseflies. But I’m glad to visit it vicariously through Mal, Peter and Paul’s photos!

(Photo via Peter Burger)

Off to MD!

beach

Surprise, right? I’m sure you knew I’d be heading to the beachВ this weekend. How could I not? I spent July 4th in the city and realized that it was my first time doing so in years. I had a very nice NYC holiday. I went to ballet and brunch and even managed to catch some fireworks–I just walked across the street to the Hudson. Though I was too far north to see the Macy’s show, I saw a few displays from different NJ towns. (One perk of living way uptown.) But now I’m craving a quick escape from the city, so I’m taking an early morning train to Mal and Peter’s. (I think we’ll skip Seacrets, this time.)

Stay cool this weekend–it’s supposed to be 100 degrees on the east coast! And enjoy these links:

Yiiiiiiiiiikes! All of San Diego’s fireworks went off at once!

Do you live in a city? Hmm, let’s find out.

Awesome: an ode to Cooper Nielson (really ABT’s Ethan Stiefel) and Center Stage (the best worst movie, ever)–at NewYorker.com

10 cool, small kitchens (I actually think my kitchen is even smaller than all of them)

Seacrets

seacrets

If I were to put Seacrets on NY Mag‘s Approval Matrix, it would be all the way in bottom right corner: It’s extremely lowbrow. But also brilliant.

Seacrets is a “Jamaican”-style beach bar in Ocean City, MD. It reminds me a bit of Rick’s Cafe in Negril, plus Rehab in Vegas–but way higher on the ridiculous and skeevy scales. The main draw is that it’s spring break for adults. You can sit and drink in giant, multi-person floats or semi-submerged tables and stools, or just dance right in the middle of the bay. On a hot summer day, that’s a pretty enticing option. And that’s why the place is always hopping, mostlyВ with 20- and 30-somethings downing cheap drinks, but also with older folks who just want to cool off–and quaff cheap drinks, too. (The margaritas are just $4.50, if you can believe. And yes, you kind of need a drink or two before going into the water so you’re not thinking about how gross it must be.)

seacrets

Since it was sibling/ridiculousness weekend, Mal, Peter, Paul and I spent, um, a good chunk of Saturday there, chillin’ on the dock, then the floats. It was super hot, so it was the perfect way to spend the day–and check off another item on my MD bucket list!

heather and mal

peter, heather, mal, paul

В What’s you favorite summer beach bar?

Video Love: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Man on Fire”

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link and said, “You might like this video.” That was a total understatement because I absolutely love, love, love it. I’m a big fan of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic ZerosВ and I’ve been listening to their new album, “Here.” But I didn’t know they’d created such a brilliant video to go along with their gorgeous song, “Man on Fire.”

The lyrics are about the desire to dance, and the video, filmed in NYC, celebrates movement in various forms: dance, stepping, cheerleading, tumbling. I love how they’re mostly everyday New Yorkers doing their thing in school gyms, small studios and local sports fields. And (spoiler alert) I really loved the end where a dressed down City Ballet dances in a vacant lot.

Check it out (and watch it over and over–I already have):

Premature Nostalgia

Do you ever get nostalgic for things before they’re even over? When you’re having a great time but know that the moment is fleeting and you have to squeeze out every last bit of enjoyment from it? That’s how I felt this weekend.

Mal and Peter just have a few weeks left in Maryland. They’re beyond excited to move back to New York, as am I–it was quite an adjustment (and not always easy) to have them so far away. But I’m also a little sad to say goodbye to the area that’s been so much fun to visit on summer weekends. Mal and Peter are the best hosts and always up for taking guests around the little towns on Maryland and Delaware’s coasts. I’ve had so much fun spending time with them there that I’ve come to think of the place as my second summer home.

I’m especially going to miss the beaches. They’re much nicer than any near NYC. Despite the long rides to and from Maryland, I loved getting out of the city and spending lazy days at…

fenwick island
Fenwick Island, a Delaware state park with a pretty beach…

bethany beach

Bethany Beach, Delaware, a tiny, quintessential shore town where you can walk or bike down the street barefoot and in your bathing suit without anyone giving you a weird look. The beach is also has nice, white sand, and there’s a little boardwalk. Plus, our favorite blue crab joint is there.

Ocean City, MDAnd, of course, the Ocean City beach. The sand is a little coarser and there are usually more people than at Bethany or Fenwick (though not at 8 a.m., when I took this photo). But it’s less than 10 minutes from Mal and Peter’s place.

This weekend, Mal, Peter, Paul and I decided that we need to rent a beach house around Bethany for a few days next year. We all know we’ll need an annual MD/DE beach/crab fix going forward!

Are you having any premature summer nostalgia?