32 Candles

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Every year, I stare at the flames as they dance like tender leaves in the wind. “Make a wish!” my family and friends instruct. I stare again at the candles. A Tesla seems like the right wish, but what are the odds the birthday fairy gets it equipped like I want?

At the robust age of 32 I wanted something a bit different for this year’s celebration. I am done with the bar parties that produced their unique set of fuzzy memories. Last year’s fête was a backyard BBQ with picture-perfect weather. This year I aimed for less of a celebration of me and the ceaseless wheels of time and more an acknowledgement of the important people in my life. Continue reading 32 Candles

Lunch at 65

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I meant to share this photo earlier.

It won’t win any awards, but the sight of this restaurant sparked a chain of memories from nearly a decade ago.

Marcel, my former journalism professor, told me of this spot (not this exact location). Eight years ago I was interning downtown for a major group of radio stations. Still on a student budget, I rarely ate out. But for some reason, likely I didn’t have time to pack a lunch or I ran out of bread, I had received the advice to lunch at 65. As I think back, I only ate there once and, prior to my moonlighting as a food critic on Yelp, penned the feedback “not bad” to Marcel.

I barely knew my way around the city. I looked up the location in Google and ventured into the sultry concrete jungle. I walked in the wrong direction, then right and wrong again before eventually finding it. The sequence of streets between my office and the train is something I know. I can navigate based on address and point tourists in the right direction 74% of the time. Now, eight years and many city adventures later, I don’t ask for directions, but I still pack a sandwich.

What are restaurant sightings that spark your memories?