Day 39: Reunion, Brooklyn & the Queen of Soul

This morning, I spent nearly thirty minutes finding a new parking space for my car because of street sweeping. Ugh.

During my last year of college, I met a girl named Elyse, who wound up being my roommate in Oakland for five years. It was one of those friendships that you feel like you’ve known each other your whole lives, and you do everything together (even though you live together and should probably spend more time apart…but you just don’t want to do that).

We were obsessed with disposable cameras for a while there. The novelty, I guess?

She decided to pursue a pre-med post-bacc, and we had to go our separate ways for a while. I moved to San Francisco; she moved to LA for USC; we fell out of touch.

Over the years, we turned into the kind of friends who really only text on birthdays. Yes, I know. It’s very sad. But it has a happy ending.

Elyse is doing a rotation for med school here in Manhattan, and she happened to have a day off (very rare for a med student)! So we met up! And it was amazing!


Pardon our expressions. Tako couldn’t stop kissing Elyse long enough for a good photo.

As Elyse put it, it felt like no time at all had passed, let alone five years. We grabbed pizza at Artichoke (the one on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn), and walked to Prospect Park. I meant to take her on a jaunt through the park, but we collapsed in the grass to eat and then talked for a couple of hours instead.

And then she had to go. Cue: tears & an agreement not to let five more years pass before we met up again.

On our way back to the apartment, Tako and I walked back through the park. I tried to take a new route and ran into four separate waterfalls.

I love that park so much.

Have I mentioned the secret gardens all over Brooklyn? They aren’t really secret, but they’re behind big fences that have usually been overgrown with ivy or other crawling plants. So you don’t see them from the sidewalk.


This one had a bare patch at the corner of the metal fence and just happened to not be full of people at that moment, so I was able to snap a photo.

And it had the greatest weepy tree.


I had some work to do, and Tako was dehydrated and overheated, so we went back to the apartment and worked until we left for dinner.

We met Molly and Sean’s friends Ariel and Boris for their birthdays at a restaurant called Kittery.


They’re known for their dollar oysters at happy hour, according to Sean and Molly. They were pretty delicious, though I’m still in love with Hog Island’s. (San Francisco friends, you can find them in the Ferry Building.)

Regardless, I think we all had a pretty good time.

On our way home, Sean said, “You know…Milk Bar is still open…” So we stopped in because I am officially addicted. Sean made popcorn, which I followed up with half a compost cookie and a whole slice of crack pie. All by myself.


I didn’t open the bday truffles. I’m pretending that means I have some self-control.

And we finished out the night with beer and Westworld.


I’m sure you heard that Aretha Franklin died. Even if you aren’t familiar with her life, you must be familiar with her work.

And you should give one of the biographies about her a chance. She worked with a ghostwriter on a couple of them, so it’s closest you can get to her own words. She was a fascinating, talented, and brave person.

I’m not saying any of this well because it’s hard to talk about her death at the moment; she is a hero of mine, and I’ve lost of a few of those musical heroes in the last two years. As my mother said when Tom Petty died, “How is it possible that he wasn’t going to live forever?”

So I’m going to borrow a couple of posts that expressed how I feel better than I can write right now.

Rest in peace, Ms. Franklin.



Driven: 7161mi

Hiked: 54mi

Written: 13k

Listening to: “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You)” Aretha Franklin


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