Out for the summer

Since May I’ve been traveling across the U.S. with Brenden, Nola and our car. So far we’ve hiked a canyon, camped on a river in the desert and slept on a Pacific Cliff in Big Sur. I recommend all. Brenden and I have been writing some thoughts about the trip and such in a blog: richmondersbyroot.wordpress.

That’s where I’ll be blogging until our return. Hope to see you there.


Mondays and Bouviers

“Kyuh-mun!” A childish shriek from a grownass woman sporting a mullet and mom jeans encouraging her dog to move along. She’s got a bouvier and it’s her pride and joy. She refers to the poor beast, which looks like a small shaggy bear hunched into domestic subservience, not by its name or species, but by it’s breed. “My bouvier.” All other bouviers of her past and present encounters are also mentioned at the puppy kindergarten class of Upper Suncoast Dog Club. We decided to take Nola (sorry – “our shorkie”) here because their puppy kindergarten class is the cheapest in the area and the place got reasonable, albeit few, reviews. Unbeknownst to us, the Upper Suncoast Dog Club is the hogwan of dog schools. It’s the kind of place with mullets, purebreeds and the same t-shirts that hipsters wear “ironically” only here it’s in sincerity. And that’s Monday.

B and Nola at Puppy Kindergarten

“Puppy Kindergarten” at the dogwan. Here Nola and  Brenden face off over a bag of freeze dried chicken.


Ess-A-Bagel, Lower East Side

Dear kids,

I’ve lived here for awhile now and in that time I’ve consumed many a bagel. Yet until I went to this place, Ess-A-Bagel, I didn’t really get the hype. Maybe my spot in RVA was that awesome (yeah, it really was that awesome). The coffee shop that served as my second kitchen for five years, Harrison St Coffee Shop, sold RVA-local Cupertino’s bagels that were always so freshhh. So I started off my journey here with already high standards. BUT ALAS! After almost nine months, I have enjoyed the most epic, delicious, mouth-watering, crave-inducing, can’t sleep until I have another BAGEL. Auntie Katrina and I went last week. Read more about it here –> yaybagel yaybagel yaybagel yaybagel yaybagel

Image credit: Jennifer Feuchter via Melissa Stanger @ Business Insider

Image credit: Jennifer Feuchter via Melissa Stanger @ Business Insider

Virginia, July 2014

Hi guys!!

At the beginning of this month we went back home to Virginia for a Fourth of July visit. Brenden and I departed for VA on Thursday, July 3 at 4pm (on the 3pm bus…) and arrived in RVA around 11:30-midnight. Unfortunately our stint in Richmond lasted a grand total of 12 hours, but we made sure to get in as much chill time as possible.

We met up with as many friends as we could get our hands on in such a small window of time. We visited one of our favorite bars, The Camel, and stayed until closing time (which wasn’t hard given we got there at 12:30 and last call’s at 1:45). The next morning we went with Aunt Katrina and Uncle Jake to 821, the world’s greatest brunch spot. Although it does not offer the “bottomless brunch” deal that many NYC restaurants boast (you’ll appreciate those things greatly when you’re 21 if you end up growing into your Modlin drinking genes) it has the best damn food for the best damn prices, and cheap mimosas – the mandatory brunch beverage. They make perhaps the best biscuit and gravy I’ve ever had. They also have this thing, the Big Meaty, which is just a mound of breakfast meats on top of potatoes or grits with cheese poured on top. We have yet to find anything similar here and if nothing else made us homesick, that thing sure would. So, we loaded up on biscuits and meaties at 821 and headed to Gloucester, VA to see Aunt Net.

Never before have I appreciated Gloucester’s slow silence so fully. As soon as we arrived I felt soothed by the southern summer air. Aunt Net fixed me a cup of coffee and the three of us sat on her porch chatting. This in essence is how we spent the entire long weekend there, and it was wonderful. That night, the night of the 4th, we went to the beach by the Coleman Bridge to watch fireworks. I got some really nice pictures that I will let speak for themselves. I’ve not yet altered the photos, but I’ve been wanting to write you guys before I leave for San Antonio (which is today).


The Coleman Bridge

The Coleman Bridge

Dancing Pier Lights

Dancing Pier Lights

The next day we went to Bethel Beach Nature Area Preserve. It was beautiful and quite uncrowded, which has become a welcome interruption to the constantly crowded life we’ve moved ourselves into. We spent the day sunning, chatting and playing. It was a perfect day. High 80’s, slight breeze, total sun. The water was a little weird because the bottom was muddy instead of sandy, so we didn’t swim very much, but we waded a little and just had a lovely afternoon.

Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) / it's always ourselves we find in the sea."

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) / it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”

Leaving with the Virginia sun

Leaving with the Virginia sun

This trip was an eye opener. For as Ladybug put it, “sometimes Dorothy must leave home before she realized how good she had it in her own backyard.”

I love you kids.

UP NEXT: Summer Digest (World’s Fair, Times Square, Mermaids, and more!), San Antone, and AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE APOLLOOO!!

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors Please: A guest feature with Uncle Brenden!

Following is Brenden’s account of his adventure on the subway platform today.

Trains don’t always stop when the door closes on some one.  

Today I was getting in the train when it closed on my arm.  I was expecting to have to apply a little pressure, and then the door would open. I was wrong. I could not get the door open then I heard the “phhssssssstt” of the breaks unlocking and feel the train start to lurch (my arm has not been removed).  I start jogging next to the train, slightly panicked screaming “stop the train” then adding “asshole.”  Luckily i managed to rip my arm loose leaving my newspaper flapping in the wind still clutched in the doors grasp.  oy vey
I’m glad that I am currently at work, and not at the ER or the morgue with my impaled husband.
Love always,
Aunt Cat (& Uncle B)

End of January Recap

Dear kids,

A lot has happened in the past few weeks! I’ve combed the city: from northern Manhattan, which is where I live, to southern Manhattan, which is where Wall Street and the World Trade Center are located. There’s so much that it’s difficult for me to write in depth about each place, SO- I want each of you to pick one spot and I will write more about it. Here are some highlights. By the way, this list is in no particular order.
  • Greenwich Village: Thrift shops, coffee shops, bars- oh my! This home of the show, Friends, is the epitome of fabulous.
  • Riverside Library, near the Lincoln Center (see below), where I did yoga on a Saturday morning and made a new friend 🙂 Let me tell you something- as a yoga lover and a word nerd, doing yoga in a library was pretty much heaven.
  • Bagels!!! NYC is the motherland of bagels. Hot & Crusty in Greenwich Village & Mike’s Bagels in WaHi (=Washington Heights, where I live).
  • Chinatown, where we paid only $1(!) for yummy dumplings at Prosperity Dumpling. And they said this city was expensive… When in Chinatown we also saw the Dragon Fighter Fire Squad. No, seriously. That happened.

    Displaying IMG_20140117_191852805.jpg

    “Chinatown Dragon Fighters”

  • One World Trade Center, which is supposedly the tallest building in the U.S., but in my opinion it’s not because they cheated by adding this giant antenna that’s not actually usable space. Kind of insulting, actually…
  • Nancy Whiskey Bar, where Uncle B and I stopped in for a drink when we came back from a long voyage to VA to visit Cody and family.
  • Times Square– went again one day after work because it was snowing. And by snowing, I mean blizzarding. We got a foot! The most snow I’ve ever seen in my life, and it was absolutely beautiful.

    A foot of snow, and it kept on coming! It was wonderful.

    Me & B 1.21.14

  • New job, which is right next to Radio City music hall, and very close to Fifth Ave. And by very close, I mean one block away. (sidenote: more on this new job business later)

    En route to work

  • Wall Street where I had to do some stuffy boring business, but I did see it for a few minutes.
  • The METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART!! I’ve dreamt of going here since I was very young. Younger than most of you. I was not disappointed. I visited this Islamic arts collection, the Impressionists collection (where I saw many Van Goghs), and the Modern Art collection. Faaaabulous!
  • The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is where Cher and “Nick Cage” hang out in the epic classic, Moonstruck (ask Auntnet or Becca about that one).

    That’s me in the background, with the pink yoga mat.

Well kids, now it’s up to you. Tell me what you want to know more about! If you don’t, I’ll harass you like I did last time. 😉

In the next few days I’m going to start posting a map of all this. I would’ve done it in this entry, but I’m having technical issues. Thanks so much to your Uncle Tim/dad for the awesome idea!

Love you all.

Welcome to RVA.

Dear nephews and niece:

I love you all so very much, but I never get to talk to any of you little bastards. I’m writing this blog for you all, so that one day in the future you guys can look back and see just how awesome your aunt Cat(ie, whichever you prefer) really is. This is especially important in our family given that so many of them are embarrassing crazypeople.

Since I was younger than all of you are now (except for Henry, because, well, let’s face it Henry- you’re 2) my goal in life has been to travel and see the world. As of today I’ve barely covered a smidgen of good mother Earth, but soon amigos, soon… Insh’Allah (as they say in Arabic) I will go to Dubai next year to teach, and after I will go to many other places. Mark my words. In the meanwhile, I currently live in my home of four years, Richmond VA. Good ol’ RVA.

Anywho, I hope you all will enjoy this whenever you may read it. In the meanwhile I’m just going to keep it on the interweb, in the event that someone would like to plagiarize my inexcusably good writing.

Much love to you all. Kick your parents for me the next time you see them.
-aunt Catie