Weekend Reading
June 26, 2022

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Thanks for the supportive messages and comments about the upcoming move! That move will involve not only a change of apartment units, but also a change of neighborhoods.

For nearly my whole life, I’ve lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and it’s still a wonderful place to live. I feel so fortunate to be so deeply connected to it.

At the same time, my current surroundings are very residential and family-oriented. I love the community, but I often feel as though I’m being constantly reminded of a life that I’m not living. I have friends uptown, but their circumstances are very different than mine are.

No neighborhood in any city is homogenous, and there are different energies present in all parts of New York. By and large, though, downtown neighborhoods tend to offer more in terms of nightlife and dining. They’re busier, more urban, and a little more hip than uptown Manhattan is.

Downtown is also where my yoga studio is, along with many of the social connections I’ve made through it. It’s usually where I go when I eat out or meet friends.

I’ve always wanted to live in downtown, but each time I moved, the Upper West Side held onto me. Circumstances aligned so that I always ended up here.

I didn’t mind. I love the quiet and steadiness of this part of the city, and I love the proximity to my mother.

During the pandemic, I gave thanks every single day that mom was within walking distance from me, so that we could stay connected through our walks. I had the sense that I could look after her, and it gave me profound peace of mind.

Things are different now. I don’t worry about my ability to get to my mom without having to take public transportation, which was a precautionary reality of early Covid.

I’m in a different place, too. I’ve spent most of the last five years waiting for my life to become something other than what it is.

I still yearn for transformation, honestly. But these days I’m also learning to accept where I am and make the most of it. I’m trying to enjoy myself and my life.

Living downtown will give me more opportunities to meet people and experience new things in the city. It’ll be fresh and, most importantly, fun.

Speaking of fun, this has been an unusually social and busy weekend for me. Yesterday, I went to a friend’s baby shower in the morning, then to the anniversary party for another friend who opened a little wine shop last year.

Between those two things, I made a point of strolling around Greenwich Village, which will be the heart of today’s New York City Pride March.

Even though the parade was 24 hours away, I could feel the buzz and excitement surrounding it in the air. It was a beautiful summer day, and people were already outside, drinking and eating and strolling around.

I can’t remember the last time I felt energy around this event so potently. After a week that brought grief, anger, and distress to so many in this country, I was touched to see that the spirit of celebrating the LGTBQ community was as indomitable as ever.

In spite of everything—maybe because of everything—the city was alive. The will to be spirited and proud, happy and free, hadn’t been dampened.

Later, as the afternoon gave way to evening, I made a point of strolling by the building where I’ll be living later this summer.

I stood in front of it and felt grateful for my own will to be happy and free. I felt glad to be living this life, which looks nothing like the life I imagined for myself but is the one that I’ve created, somehow.

Happy pride, friends. I’m celebrating your lives, exactly as they are. Here are some recipes and reads.


I’d love to try out homemade horchata this summer, with Isabel’s recipe to guide me.

I love farro salads so much—this one, with white beans and radishes, looks great.

Carrot cake + cinnamon rolls, what could be better?

A great looking, cold soba noodle salad, for those summery lunches.

These chocolate chia pudding cups would be an excellent form of chocolate-for-breakfast. Yum!


1. I thought that this article was a fun peek into how OXO gadgets have made their way into so many of our kitchen cabinets and drawers.

2. An epigenetic perspective on the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

3. Fungus-based charcuterie might be the next innovation in the world of plant meats, and I’ll be here for it.

4. There’s not enough written about how difficult it can be to feed yourself well when you’re in the grips of a bout of depression. I’m really glad that Everyday Health published this article with some simple, reasonable strategies.

5. Finally, in light of pride, and in light of the work I do, which causes me to celebrate and believe in the power of recovery every single day, I loved reading Emma Specter’s essay about the intersection of queer love and learning to eat without fear.

I’ll be back soon. Have a restful Sunday.


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  1. Hi Gena,
    Good luck with your move this summer. I know you’ll love your new apartment!

    I wanted to ask you, how did you cope when you lost your sense of taste when you had Covid? I was diagnosed with Covid last week and lost my sense of taste right away. I can’t stand it! The worst part is not being able to taste my delicious smoothies! How long did it take for your taste to come back, and did you do anything to help it come back? I would appreciate any advice you have. Thank you.

    • Hi Lori! My taste and smell took a full 14 days to return entirely, and about 10 days to return by about 70%. I didn’t do anything while I waited—I’ve had post infectious anosmia and ageusia before, so I did feel sure that they’d return eventually, having had that experience. Just be patient. I know it’s really tough and disorienting, but it won’t last forever. I just focused on getting solid nutrition in spite of the loss of taste, which wasn’t fun but was important and felt like self-care.

      I wish you speedy, full healing soon!

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