Monday, November 30, 2009

Valerie Squared (or quadrupled!)

I had dinner this evening at a little Manhattan bistro called Bar Six in the West Village. This is not extraordinary, since eating out in Manhattan is a fairly regular event for most NYC residents. But at this table on this night sat four, count 'em, four Valeries - Valerie Block (that's me) Valerie Smaldone, Valerie Geller and Valerie Romanoff. Each of us career women in creative fields just sharing a meal and a name. Valerie Smaldone and I have been friends for years, and well, she thought it would fun to bring together all the Valeries in her life. I couldn't have agreed more. I'm always tickled when I meet another Valerie - maybe that's because when I was growing up I never ran into any Valeries. There were none in my schools, my family or among my friends. In fact I was in my 20s when I first met another Valerie. When I was in my 30s, a Valerie moved into my building on the West Side. And not just any other Valerie, but another Valerie Block! She's written novels, and people often think I wrote those books. I have to admit that I did not.
Anyway, I found it very amusing to break bread with four Valeries. I think we will do this again - and I'm hoping to bring more of my namesake into the, if you know any cool Valeries in NYC, send them my way...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Another year, another full belly, another night with family for Thanksgiving, that all-American tradition. The feast, with turkey, cranberry, stuffing, green beans, sweet potato caserole and lots of pie - choclate cream, pecan, apple...My sister-in-law Phyllis did the cooking and made everyone feel at home. Bravo!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Food for thought

We finally got to see Food Inc. this weekend, and as expected, it gave me yet another reason to eat fresh food, grown locally and sustainably. Food Inc. held no real surprises - I'd seen King Corn (another great documentary) and read many articles on the subject of our flawed factory farm system. Still, it was a grim reminder of how dystopian our food production has become.
As I wait for the spring planting season so I can get back to growing my own, I visit the Union Square Green Market just about every Saturday to drop off my compost and pick up fresh lettuce, veggies, bread and cheese.
I buy Murray's chicken from our Associated grocery store now, but I fear that even Murray's is too commercial. After watching Food Inc.'s footage of Purdue chickens wallowing in their own feces, I am even more motivated to buy local meats from the market. I believe spending a little more to buy from local producers is worth it, from both a health and political pespective. To change the system, we have to support a different system, one that is sustainable, fair and life affirming. The food we get from supermarkets is cheap - but more than ever these days, we get what we pay for....