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Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

I’d been contemplating parenthood for a while. I was never the type of person that always knew they wanted kids. As a child I only played with baby dolls because I liked changing their outfits. A classic self-centered hedonism characterized my early to mid-20s; I was occupied by career, love and squeezing the most out of whatever time was left over. But suddenly, around my 27th birthday in 2018, the idea of growing a human inside of me started to just… make sense. From then on I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I waxed philosophical with the guidance of a virtual therapist (I was living abroad at the time with no access to in-person therapy), read books about others’ experiences, weighed the moral pros and cons of choosing to become a biological mother. Suffice to say I became fascinated with the subject. I learned about the power of mothering as a radical act; the meaningful generational change it could spur. I was deeply moved by the many stories (both real and fictional) I came across, detailing beautiful and complex relationships between parents, the humans they were raising and the world around them. …


Graffiti outside of a construction site saying “No justice no peace X”
Graffiti outside of a construction site saying “No justice no peace X”

I awoke on my day off determined to write something. Anything. Over a cup of burnt coffee I wracked my brain trying to think of what I had to contribute to our societal discourse in this moment. Every day we face fresh tragedies, injustices, sources of collective pain. In my mind, frustration, anger, sadness, helplessness and fear layer into an unsavory cake. It can be difficult to think clearly.

I decided to spend time reading others’ words before putting my own metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper. I got to work browsing Twitter and Medium for essays to read, opening each in a new browser tab as I went along. By two in the afternoon I had finally closed out enough tabs to arrive back at the empty draft I had created in the morning. …


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Photo by Brad Helmink on Unsplash

I have always been immensely, cruelly tough on myself. Not in a cute Sad Girl way. And certainly not in an ambitious, I-just-know-I’m-destined-for-success kind of way either. Think more irrational, messy, anxiety-fueled.

I begin almost every single day filled with dread. I chip away at it gradually, hour by hour — through distractions, bouts of productivity, a hint of exercise and quality time with my husband — until I feel some semblance of normalcy and contentedness. …


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There is certainly no shortage of ambitious, passionate and energized New Yorkers, but it’s rare to encounter someone who directs as much of their time and energy toward making a positive impact as Bronx native Noel Quiñones. Equal parts award-winning spoken word artist and local activist, Noel’s work is fueled by a connection to his home borough and an exploration of his Afro-Boricua heritage.

When I say Puerto Rico I mean an opening in the skin
where gold turns green under my scalp. …


We first wrote about the shop when it was preparing to open. Now, it’s a thriving local business offering eco-friendly goods to an enthusiastic community. We revisited the store and founder Katerina Bogatireva to learn how things are going and what’s coming up.

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What has the Bushwick community’s response been to the store?

It’s been very warm and welcoming — it feels like a very tight knit community. Every person that walks through the door has been an inspiration to me and I constantly learn from my customers. It’s been tremendous fun getting to know them.


The annual NY Design Week exhibit challenges industry conventions by melding art, design, craft and comedy

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JONALDDUDD 2018

New York Design Week is an annual city-wide gathering of brands, designers, engineers, craftspeople, and artists across industries. It’s a massive meeting of the minds that encompasses panel discussions and lectures, exhibits and trade shows, parties and workshops, held everywhere from independent galleries to the Javits Center. While it is a fertile ground for interdisciplinary discussion, however, Design Week is primarily catered to entities that design commercially viable products. JONALDDUDD, launched in 2015 by artists Lydia Cambron and Chris Held, sprouted from a desire to create space for a wider representation of independent creative perspectives within Design Week.

Each year JONALDDUDD operates out of different spaces and showcases a spectrum of work made by people both within and on the fringes of the industry. Their style is unique; rather than dividing exhibits into sections dedicated to an individual artist, Lydia and Chris layer pieces together to create a multifaceted display of fresh voices. …


Through an organic, interdisciplinary approach, Maya’s work comments on gender and racial inequalities that pervade Indian society. She employs tangible real-world materials to convey thoroughly researched ideas that poke holes in unquestioned, but question-worthy, notions.

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Photo by Nicole Stoddard

About fifty miles from the famed Taj Mahal lies the lesser known North Indian city of Firozabad. Romanticized as the “City of Glass”, it’s the largest producer of women’s glass bangles in the country. It also happens to be located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest incidence of crimes against women in India. When artist Maya Jay Varadaraj discovered these two seemingly disparate facts, she set out to connect the dots.

In her project Khandayati (in Sanskrit, “to break”), Maya holds a microscope to the custom of Indian brides wearing glass bangles to preserve their husbands’ health and prosperity, a practice she views as a symbol of oppression. These bangles are thought to represent a groom’s well-being, and wives are expected to keep them on and intact to ward off bad omens. …


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Photo: Jason Wong

Not because I can’t have them.

Things, they stress me out.

They create decisions and distractions I don’t think I need. Even the things that hold sentimental value burden me daily. Books are not things, but even those I lend and give and swap and share, because I can’t own knowing nor do I want to try.

I have little interest in the magic of tidying up, I just don’t want to be weighed down.

Thinking about things —wanting them, acquiring them, having them, storing them, tossing them— can dampen a good day and turn an okay day bad. I’m no minimalist; my existence is filled with indulgences of all kinds. …


For J.P. Dimalanta, pizza is more than just grab-and-go sustenance — it’s a connection to his roots

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Once in a while I come across a food influencer’s painstakingly curated, hyper-edited, calculated caption-filled Instagram feed, and I just have to turn up my nose. It irks me to see such an emphasis on how food looks over its origins and cultural context and the chefs who make it. (If I see a towering milkshake topped with an inedible quantity of rainbow-colored confections on your feed, I may assume you don’t actually enjoy eating.) It’s rare to encounter someone who has such a genuine love of food that they build their entire lifestyle around the pursuit of a deeper understanding of and appreciation for it. Brooklyn-born foodie J.P. …


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If you’re anything like me, every so often you wake up with an irrepressible craving for an indulgent beverage from that trendy café down the block. It’s eye-roll inducing, but you can’t help it. You might play mind games with yourself, thinking, sure, I *could* use my roommate’s hand-me-down drip machine and Chock Full O’ Nuts, or… I could splurge on a $6 elixir of the rich, energizing goodness that I truly deserve.

Clearly, your decision is already made. You are going to buy that fancy cup of coffee and you will file away your guilt and enjoy it thoroughly. But what if you could recreate the café experience at home, saving a bit of cash and becoming something of a coffee connoisseur in the process? With this in mind I met with Sean English, co-founder of Unity Sourcing & Roasting, to walk through a few simple ways to up my coffee-brewing game. …

About

Lyka Sethi

Tired in Los Angeles. (Previously: Berkeley, NYC and Mainz, Germany)

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