Spring Equinox & New RSS Feed

There's something in the air - Oh, Spring! We feel you. Birds are actually chirping and even the subway smells a little good.

Thank GOD.

One of the things we're doing right now is gearing up to spend a lot more time outdoors with our Sunday Routiners, and since we'll be leaving the apartment a lot more, we'll also get to update the site more frequently. 

Sunshine = encouragement.

Also, we think that the site is due for some Spring Cleaning. Before today, there was no way to subscribe to Sunday Routine via RSS. Now, you should be able to read us on your Feedly or other blog-reading apps by clicking on the "Blog RSS" and copying and pasting the URL into your app.

We'll see you soon with some more updates. Til then, get outside and take in the first sun-speckled day of Spring.

xo

Peter Nguyen

Who are you? What do you do for a living?

My name's Peter Nguyen, I design and make leather jackets under my brand LÉON. I also run and write a men's journal called The Essential Man and sometimes do fine art. 

Does Sunday begin with a precursor?

No. my days are almost all the same. I don't live for the weekends. 

Laura Burhenn

Who are you? What do you do for a living? 

I'm Laura Burhenn and I have a band called The Mynabirds. I do that for a living, and I sometimes play in other people's bands. I toured with the Postal Service last year and Bright Eyes in 2011. These days I'm kind of a professional gypsy, having driven across America twice in the process of writing my latest Mynabirds record. Right now I'm en route to Nashville from Los Angeles. Go where the wild road leads, you know?

Jeff Johnson

Who are you? What do you do?

I am an artist, paintings conservator, decorative painter, gilder, paint analyst, designer and sometimes furniture maker and set designer.Johnson & Griffiths Studio is where it all happens.

The Work Week:

I really have no “typical” weekday morning. On any given weekday over the past year I could have woken up in a hotel in Washington, DC, Philly or State College, PA, or Middleburg, VA just as easily as my own bed here in Harrisburg. On any given weekday over that period I could have been conserving a mural on the ceiling of the PA State Finance Building, restoring a decorative plaster ceiling in the lobby of a historic art deco building in Philly, replicating trompe l`oeil wall fresco paintings in the U.S. Treasury Building in DC, recreating the historic decorative painting in the office of the President of Penn State University, making furniture for a local restaurant here in Harrisburg or painting the theater sets for a grade school play in Virginia. When I wake up away from home I have to first remember where I am, what project I am working on and where I will be able to get coffee and breakfast that morning.

Chioke Nassor

Who are you? What do you do for a living?

I work as a writer/director for film and tv.  Currently writing and directing for Late Night with Seth Meyers (premiering February 24th on NBC!) and I have a feature I wrote and directed called How to Follow Strangers which is being distributed by Film Buff on March 25th.

Waking Up

I live in Fort Greene and most Sundays if I can, I wake up in my room which I'm trying to turn into a botanical garden.

Run, Run, Run

When I wake up I either go for a long run first, ideally into the city to 9th Street Espresso for coffee. Otherwise, i head over to Martha's, a great restaurant in my neighborhood.  Then I post up, and read the entire Sunday Times at the bar, before getting breakfast with my girlfriend or friends.

Cast Iron Pancake

If I eat at Martha's I'm a sucker for the cast iron pancake.  I can't even come close to finishing it, but it's some real comfort food.

Alone Time

I try to keep a certain amount of time designated for myself.  I see a lot of people over the course of the week, so in order to not go crazy I block aside time to just chill out alone.  Part of the reason I run is that when I go on a long run, I'm all by myself.  It's one of the only times I'll leave my phone for several hours and have no pre-existing commitments.

Leave Your Filter At The Door

If I can, I read the entire paper and run, but I also love going to the bathhouse in the East Village on a Sunday.  It's sort of like riding the train during a heat wave surrounded by sweaty New Yorkers in their underwear, but somehow it's one of the best things in life.  

People who go there have a tendency to leave their filters at the door, so it's an amazing place to overhear great conversations.  Plus no matter how you feel when you walk in there it's pretty much guaranteed you'll feel better walking out. 

Getting Naked with Friends

I've taken a lot of my friends to the bathhouse and there is always this palpable moment of pure fear that washes over their faces if they've never been before.  And it takes a minute to convince them to just try it, but after the first trip it's kind of a drug.

My sound designer, a lovely young woman, came with our whole crew once for the wrap party of our film, and she almost refused to go inside.  And then halfway through the visit an old fat Russian man offered to beat her with eucalyptus branches and she, for reasons unknown to me, was open to that.  So I asked her how it was when she was done, and she leans over, and whispers in her silly Spanish lisp, Cheee-o, it was the most sensual thing I've ever done.

So, I'm pretty sure she'll go back.

Priorities

I try to, if possible, not work on the weekends.  I used to keep a very unorthodox schedule, and as I've gotten older, have found having routines really helps me get a lot of stuff done.  People not wanting to be a "9-5" type, I understand, but I've personally found if I can make time to not always be "on" my creative output feels less forced and I enjoy it more.  Also, I've basically stolen every good piece of lifestyle advice from Haruki Marakami.

Ideal Week-Ender

A trip to the bath house and a home cooked meal.

Rachel Lauginiger

Who are you? What do you do for a living? 

Rachel Lauginiger. I work as a private chef. You can find me at Kitchen Surfing under the title "Butcher, Baker, Cassoulet Maker."

Sunday Duties

Sundays, like most other days, involve at least a bit of frenzied work. I cook Sunday morning for a couple in Murray Hill. In the past this worked out well, since my husband is usually DJing Saturday night, and will sleep late. Sunday is my reset day for the week. I need to make sure my regular clients have approved the menus I sent them, and then I make my grocery and prep lists. It always feels a bit like finishing homework before going back to school.

Suzanne Adams

My grandmother, Suzanne Adams, 86, used to work for the Kaplan Kirch & Rockwell law firm as a legal secretary back in the day. She's a knockout bridge player, and she loves Old Fashioneds, ("when they're made the right way," she says.) - Cass

Waking Up

On a Sunday morning when I am at home, I generally waken at 6 or 6:30 a.m., grab a Carnation breakfast and go to Mass at 8 a.m. Then I stop at the grocery store and head home.    

When my very ill sister was living, I then would visit her in her weekend respite care home about 25 miles away.  I spent considerable time with her, probably the entire afternoon.  In good weather, I would take her outside in her wheelchair and we would enjoy the beauty of nature which we both loved since we were raised in a quiet little town in the country.  I would then follow my routine and stop at the store on my way home. Since she is gone, I sometimes have plans to meet a friend for brunch, or, if I have no specific plans, eat breakfast out, stop at the grocery store and watch golf or a football game on TV, depending on the season.

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner for me is a modified Thanksgiving dinner - roast chicken, stuffing, if possible, mashed potatoes and gravy, plus some veggies.  When I'm eating alone, which is more common now, I stop at Boston Chicken and take out a small meal to eat at home.

Ideal Weekender

An ideal weekend would be sharing time with someone, family or friends, and to  spend time out - a weekend away anywhere, or doing something special - such as I had this past weekend when my niece and I flew to Louisville to see my brother and family - it was a whirlwind tiring - a one-day trip, but very gratifying and enjoyable.

Atossa Abrahamian

Atossa — born in Canada, raised in Switzerland, schooled in NYC — is a journalist and writer, penning essays for The New Inquiry and Op-Eds for Al Jazeera. She was living in Paris when she gave this interview, where she wrote speeches and worked as a freelance translator.

Blankness and Blankets

I find sleeping in to be a Sisyphean task. So on weekends I usually wake up at six or seven (regardless of when i went to sleep) and force myself to go back to sleep for an hour. Then I’ll go back to sleep again, learn that it’s barely eight, and concentrate very hard on blankness and blankets. I keep my eyes very much shut because seeing things makes me think, and thinking stops me from sleeping.Sunday mornings are, more often than not, an exercise in getting my brain to shut up.

 

Blankness and Blankets

I find sleeping in to be a Sisyphean task. So on weekends I usually wake up at six or seven (regardless of when i went to sleep) and force myself to go back to sleep for an hour. Then I’ll go back to sleep again, learn that it’s barely eight, and concentrate very hard on blankness and blankets. I keep my eyes very much shut because seeing things makes me think, and thinking stops me from sleeping.Sunday mornings are, more often than not, an exercise in getting my brain to shut up.

Dinner related

No, I’m not recovering on Sunday morning, unless I got a little too adventurous with the dinner menu the night before (this has happened more than once).

For instance? 

There was one incident with bone marrow that was particularly scarring. Then another time we got shirred eggs with cream and foie gras. Come to think of it, foie gras is a repeat offender.

Bear Food 

Since I wake up super early with the appetite of a small bear, I always eat breakfast in even if I’m going out for brunch later. It’s always some combination of fruits and nuts — bananas and nut butter, apples and almonds, you know, bear food. When I go out in France, I order an omelette, in America I get French toast.

Cafe? 

I ended a long and abusive relationship with coffee about a year ago. Now I drink green tea by the bucket.

Stay in and Skype 

There’s an organic market on Boulevard Raspail that I like to go to on Sundays. Most other shops here are closed. Since moving to France, I’ve also spent several hours talking on Skype with my boyfriend (he’s in New York) while I cook or bake. It’s a really nice way to spend an afternoon.

Hitting the Books 

I make a dent in whatever I happen to be reading that week. I save magazines for my commute, though, so it’s always a book.

I’ve also had a lot of visitors, so many of my Sundays are spent walking around the city or looking at art. I go to lots of movies, too. There are over a dozen theatres within walking distance of my flat.

Some of Atossa's reporting on the "Mom" value here.

 

Jim and Julie Babb

Who are you?

My name is Julie Babb. I am an Entrepreneur and Product Manager. 

Hi there. I’m Jim. I help organizations think through and solve problems with digital media and technology. I also make games.

Describe your weekend "rituals"

Jim: Julie likes to go out on adventures, but I’m happiest if I never have to leave the apartment. I like to have projects. They usually involve cooking, fermentation or baking, so the weekend is the best time to get dirty and mess up the kitchen. My wife forgives the mess because she likes the outputs. I always have something fermenting whether it’s wine, hot sauce, sauerkraut, kimchi or some brown goo that slowly bubbles. 

Julie: I drive us to Fairway where I wander around eating samples while Jim makes the healthy and responsible grocery shopping decisions that I am ill-equipped to make.

In the summer we hold “Office Hours” in Prospect Park - which is kind of like an urban version of an “Open House.” We bring a cooler of Bud Light Lime, a grill, and lawn games to the park and invite our friends and family to stop by. In the winter we occasionally host smaller dinner parties for our friends.

Read More

Melissa Gorman

Who are you? What do you do for a living? 

I'm Melissa Gorman. Currently co-owner of Martha, a restaurant in Ft Greene. I like to think I still have one toe in the design world, which is what I called myself a year ago.

The M-F Morning

First thing, coffee. Then feed the cats. Then usually make a list of what I need to do that day. I always think I have way more to do than I actually do and panic a little before I make the list. Then I'm generally running around finding something we need for service that night, paying bills, getting repairs done,... all the fun stuff owning a restaurant entails.

The Extra Time Tendencies

When I have free time, I love cooking, eating at off-the-map restaurants, and going to ethnic grocery stores to find strangely packaged items. Usually this happens within the course of the week, especially if my errands include Chinatown.

Sounds of the Weekday

A lot of mainstream rap plays in the kitchen at Martha during the day. Generally that's my soundtrack. At night it varies: more rap, indie rock, classic rock, reggae. The guests in the restaurant at any given time usually indicate what music we play. I  can be a control freak about music (among other things)... I used to DJ a lot in my 20s, and setting the vibe through music is important to me. Having employees with equally controlling tendencies is an exercise in patience, but I've been turned on to a lot of great stuff by letting go and letting them control the playlists sometimes.


At home it's usually quiet except for the dogs next door barking occasionally. It's nice to have a place that can be peaceful when you need it. I end up watching a lot of Hulu or Netflix at night after work: I've been into Netflix's series lately, I like bingeing on a show and watching like, 5 episodes in a row. I just finished the entire 8 seasons of Weeds over the last month. Does that sound pathetic? Loved Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and of course I mourn the end of Breaking Bad. I don't read as much as I'd like to. Recently I finished The True Deceiver by a Finnish author named Tove Jansson. I also adore reading cookbooks, especially old community cookbooks with lots of funny recipes and antidotes. I fantasize about having a dinner party made entirely from these outdated recipes like molded salads and recipes that require ingredients I would never normally use.

"My real weekend is Monday"

Weekend mornings I'm at Martha for brunch, which can be very busy and you've got to be on all the time. My real weekend is Monday. I sleep as much as I can. Then usually do some laundry, try to pick up the house a bit, and then go eat something delicious that someone else prepared. I try to have some kind of adventure on Mondays. Recently we went to Jackson Heights to walk around and eat Tibetan food. We can't get out of the city often, so we use Mondays to have little mini-vacations to neighborhoods we never go to otherwise. 

Weekend Breakfast

Usually I eat either nothing except coffee, or I sneak a biscuit that just came out of the oven before we open. If weekends mean Monday, then breakfast is usually lunch or an early dinner. Sometimes we go and check out the new hotspots, but honestly we are happier at a really good ethnic place with no ambiance, but amazing, comforting food.

Weekend Specialties Include...

Seeing friends! I used to be so much more social, but now my social energy is taken up by guests at Martha and our employees. Not that I don't love them all, but it's nice to be able to catch up with people you've known forever and can just chill out with. I try to see a friend or two at least a couple times a week. It keeps me grounded and gives a much-needed outside perspective.


Week-Ender

Ideally, my weekend ends with me feeling refreshed and well-rested and on top of my to-do list. I'd rather kill myself to get things organized and completed on Sundays so I can really take off from everything on Monday. It happens rarely, but when I can manage to make that happen it's wonderful.

JK Keller

Who are you? What do you do for a living?

JK Keller ⇉ Jonathan Keller Keller. I suffer from RAS Syndrome, like an ATM machine or the HIV virus. I live in I ♥ NY with my wife, Keetra Dean Dixon, and our pups, Frankie & Tilda. I make most of my $$$$$ as a web developer/designer at a large foundation. A small portion of my ¢¢ comes from artworks & commissions completed in my off-hours, commonly referred to as “free time,” though I’ve always thought it most precious.

Adina Grigore

Who are you and what do you do for a living?!

I am the CEO and founder of an all-natural skincare line I created/formulated/live for, called S.W. Basics.

sw-basics-products.png

Weekday routines involve….

I always wake up later than I want to, in a total panic. Every day I decide I’m going to cut this out, but I still haven’t. So around 9 or 10 am, I check my phone first thing, and realize there are already a trillion things I have to do or fix, and then I’m stressed and awake. Then I have iced coffee to wake my brain up. I do a morning round of email, then usually some calls, then try to work out and have lunch, then back to work (emails, writing, R&D), then dinner, then back to work. That’s what messes up the morning, that I’m up until basically the morning doing work!

Eggs in different ways, or something else like it

Most days I eat breakfast. Usually eggs in different ways. Like a boiled egg today, the other day scrambled with avocado, greek yogurt, and turkey. But yesterday morning I had two whole grain fig newton bars. Sometimes just the coffee. Depends on meetings, calls, and how late it is by the time I remember I’ve been doing work but haven’t eaten!

 

“We’re slight junkies…”

Weekday reading/information ingestion is accidentally about research. I say accidentally because I never noticed until just now. We listen to WNYC a lot, I read a ton of blogs, articles, and sections of new wellness books. Everything relates to skincare, wellness, food, new science in all of these areas. Right now I’m doubling up on The Virgin Diet and The Beauty Detox Solution. At night we usually binge out on some show, we’re slight junkies. We just finished the first season of Orange is the New Black. Epic.

 

We reminisce about stress…constantly

Right when we wake up on the weekend Adam (my fiance and business partner) and I talk about how stressed out we are for like two hours.

A little of this, a little of that

Then we do laundry. Maybe brunch? Go lay out in park until we get too hot. Come home and do work.

We eat all of it

We’re much fancier with breakfast on the weekends. We’ll make fried eggs and grits, or omelets, give in and go out because we live in The Brunch Mecca of the world. There’s Manhattan Inn, Enid’s, Five Leaves, The Bedford, Sweet Chick, all within a 10 minute walk! Impossible to resist.

 

What we listen to/read/watch while we cook up our product (this is vegan skincare, not Breaking Bad!)

We often have to make product on weekends so we’ll fill that time with RadioLab or This American Life. On weekends I read non-work related stuff. Right now I’m reading 2012′s Best American Short Stories. Weekends are when we’ll really binge on shows (weeknights we limit ourselves to one or two episodes of something, weekends if Adam doesn’t stop us I could seriously watch a full season of something). Our current obsessions are Bob’s Burgers, Archer, I’m re-watching Dawson’s Creek for who knows what reason, Louie, Veep. We feel a very large void in our lives waiting on Mad Men, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, The League, New Girl and now Orange is the New Black. Wait. Do we have a problem? Whatever, don’t care. Plus we don’t have cable so we only stream things. That seems better somehow?

What’s freedom?

Seriously I don’t even know what it feels like anymore to think of the weekend as a ‘free” time. If we do not leave town, then we do work. I never ever let a whole day pass without doing something for the business. In my mind the trade off is that someday I will have done this enough to earn more free time. BUT. Let’s say I’m on vacation for real. Then I’d be at a beach. And eating a lot. Like a lot a lot.

The Ideal Week-ender

On my best Sundays I get enough work done for Monday to not be insane. Does this interview sound so depressing? I’m driven by my lifestyle, I swear. But really I like when Adam and I have time to read before bed, or I’ve gotten to talk to my sister. And had a really good dinner. And watched some crazy awesome show. It’s all very predictable.