We’d be lying if we said American Chinese Food was on our top five list of ethnic cuisines. (It would be Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Korean, Italian, then Chinese) Cooper’s palate for “Chinese food” changed sometime after he traveled to southern China. He found that traditional Chinese food was less sugared and salted but had much more fat. It was refreshing to discover the differences in taste, this was not what he grew up eating in America. Family style sharing and giant lazy susans were also novel as many of the Chinese restaurants he grew up on served buffet style fried food.
What was so impressive about the CHOW exhibit in the Museum of Food and Drink‘s pop-up space was the way that the Chinese restaurant in America was contextualized as an important expression of the immigrant experience. It powerfully demonstrated how a rich immigrant culture combined exclusionary tactics of the dominant society can create a thriving sub-culture.
Last Saturday we visited the Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery which is the oldest church cemetery in Brooklyn. It interns the remains of some of the first families in Brooklyn who lived here in the 17th century. I was surprised to learn that Juliette and I are related to some of the interned: The Hooglandts, the Newkirks, the Bergens, the Schnecks, the Rapaljes. When they immigrated many of them were political and religious refugees of their homeland. Yet we tend to only think of them as settlers.
On our fourth day in Iceland we visited the Laxnes Horse Farm just outside of Reykjavik for a two-hour horse riding adventure. Laxnes Farm is own and operated by the Jónasson family and they are dedicated to maintaining a good quality of life for these horses.
In celebration of our eighth wedding anniversary we traveled to Iceland for six days in August 2016 and because we had a limited amount of time I conducted a large amount of research on the area prior to choosing our daily activities. To say that Iceland is otherworldly is an understatement. Iceland has a unique and dramatic landscape that features hot springs, geysers, volcanoes and most noteworthy, waterfalls!
Each day was an epic adventure, and I’m so happy to have spent so much time exploring and experiencing new things with Cooper.