Bekka Palmer

Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn

Made by Hand, New York CityBekka Palmer

You may or may not know that I will be participating in Renegade Craft Fair on December 10th and 11th in Industry City.

I have been working hard to make nearly 100 necklaces like the ones in my online shop, plus a few new colors and some one-of-a-kind items, too.

I would love to see you there in a few weeks.

When: December 10th & 11th 11am - 6pm
Where: Industry City 233 37th Street Brooklyn, NY 11232
Visit the Renegade website for more information!

Election 2016 Part I: Tuesday

Writing, PoliticsBekka Palmer

I walked down Clinton Street in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, confident that we would be making history that day. "This is a day I will never forget," I thought.

I spent the day answering questions from voters and reporting polling place incidents. The messages began to feel like a chant:

"Where do I vote?" 
"What should I bring?"
"Can I get a ride?" 

All of them answered with glee. "At least I am helping," I thought. Knowing that if she lost and I sat idly by, my guilt would be too much to handle.

There were hundreds of us there supporting the cause. Our day was punctuated by the tap tap of keyboards and the ding ding of the phones. 

I stayed until my vision became blurred. It was dark when I walked out of the campaign office. As I walked down the hall someone yelled, "You are a hero!" and I felt like it. It was still early and few states had reported. I walked back the way I came. Feeling a sense of pride and confidence that we had put in the work and now it was time to reap the rewards.

We went to dinner, my eyes were glued to my phone. Refresh, refresh, refresh. A large knot was forming in my stomach. By 11pm I knew our chances were slim, and I knew when it was over I didn't want to be at the bar. I crawled into bed with my laptop on my stomach and my phone in my hand. Refresh, refresh, refresh.

I woke up to darkness at 3am and looked at my phone. The race had been called. I sobbed for hours, Brian telling me, "It's going to be okay."  "It's not," I thought. I didn't sleep again that night, the knot in my stomach grew tighter.

As I rode my bike to work Wednesday morning, I looked at the children walking to school. I saw a Muslim girl. I felt as though we failed her. I failed her. "This is a day I will never forget," I thought. 

// Part II coming tomorrow plus a long list of things you can and should do now

What to eat in Chinatown, NYC

New York CityBekka Palmer

Chinatown is by far one of my favorite food destinations in New York City. It is packed with amazing food in the tiniest hole-in-the-wall places. While this list is in no way comprehensive, these are the places I find myself going back to time-and-time again. Several of these restaurants are cash only, so plan for that if you head there.

Nyona
Address: 199 Grand Street
Specialty: Malaysian
Not to miss dish: Roti Canai or Roti Prata

Pho Grand
Address: 277C Grand Street
Specialty: Vietnamese
Not to miss dish: Pho, duh! 

Jing Fong
Address: 20 Elizabeth Street
Specialty: Dim Sum
Good-to-know: $3 dim sum plates on weekdays.

69 Bayard WK Restaurant (aka 69)
Address: 69 Bayard Street
Specialty: Chinese
What to order: Noodle anything

Shanghai Asian Manor
Address: 21 Mott Street
Specialty: Shanghai style
Not to miss dish: Soup dumplings and rice cakes

Wo Hop
Address: 17 Mott Street
Specialty: Cantonese
What to order: Fish Kew

Golden Unicorn
Address: 18 E Broadway
Specialty: Dim sum
What to order: All dim sum is amazing, but my favorite dish is a shrimp noodle roll

Lam Zhou
Address: 144 E Broadway
Specialty: Hand-pulled noodles
Not to miss dishes: Beef noodle soup, minced pork noodle and pork chive dumplings
Good-to-know: They sell frozen dumplings in bags of 50, get a bag and boil them at home for a quick dinner.

Forward

Getaways, Writing, PhotographyBekka Palmer

It's only Monday and Saturday already feels like a distant dream.

We took another trip upstate. The trees were even more vivid than before. 

We slipped past the gate and walked for hours along a tree lined path. It was magical, like we walked through the wardrobe and into Narnia. I was seeing the world through new eyes.

I could feel the trees preparing for winter. I pulled on an extra layer and wool socks. "We are preparing too," I thought.

We stopped, we listened. The rain hit the carpet of leaves on the ground. I looked up enchanted by the rain falling on my face.

I looked at the trees still holding onto their leaves and I yelled at them, "It's time to let go. Let go of summer, it's time to move forward. Summer will be back next year." A message more for myself than for them.

I talked about what happens to trees now. On the outside they look barren, but on the inside, they are preparing. Getting ready, saving up for spring. They need time to recharge, they can't live forever in summer. 

We talked about our impending birthdays, a sure sign that life is moving along. I asked Brian what he wanted. He said, "You don't have to get me anything or do anything, you are enough."

We walked back the way we came. Retracing our steps and climbing back out of the wardrobe, out of Narnia, and into the real world. We walked out different people than when we entered.

But there was no wardrobe and no magic. We are just moving forward, and that is enough.

Beep Boop

ArtBekka Palmer

Looks like beeps and boops to me.

Head north for fall

Getaways, Photography, WritingBekka Palmer

Driving north felt like we were driving right into fall. In the city, most of the trees are still holding onto their green leaves.

As we slowly ascended the state, things started to turn yellow, then orange, then red. The temperature dropped, the sun dipped behind the clouds. It finally felt like fall.

We set up camp at Magic Forest Farm Camp near Albany. We built a huge fire in the fire pit and roasted hot dogs. Trying to keep it simple, those hot dogs and their buns were the only food we brought. We found a grill fork for $1 at a junk shop along the way and used it to cook them.

As the fire grew bigger, we thought out loud, it's not even that cold out here. Not realizing theit was the fire keeping us warm.

After burning through our allotment of wood, we watched the fire turn to coal. Mesmerized by the glow of the coals, we poked at the with sticks for the better part of an hour, still basking in its warmth.

We crawled in the tent and fell fast asleep. At some point in the night Brian finally felt the chill in the air. "Let me in," he said, referring to my sleeping bag. For the remaining hours we shared one sleeping bag. Without the fire to keep us warm, we only had each other, but it was enough.

We woke up to the glow of dawn. We emerged from the tent, each of us with camera in hand and started our day doing what we were meant to do.

We explored the property, met the horses, goats and the property owner. The property contains a small farm, she mentioned it's hard to make a living selling vegetables.

Leaving the property we pursued breakfast. We drove south for a while, stopping at a diner to eat classic eggs and bacon. We explored a creek nearby and soon realized we were going to be late dropping off the car.

As we sped home, it was like going back in time, back through the red, the orange, the yellow and finally back to green. New York City was as we left it. As we entered the city, the grey sky peeled away to reveal blue, and just like that we were exactly where we started.

// I found the campsite via HipCamp, you too can camp at the Magic Forest Farm Camp. See some video clips on Brian's instagram.