Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.
This post is coming a day late because I spent most of the day yesterday hiking around Defiance and Augusta, MO. I’m finally almost all the way better from my sports injury and as a result, I can add activities back into my weekend that I’ve missed. Hiking around the country is at the very top of my list.
There’s something so peaceful about taking a long walk through the country. I started the hike with my earphones in, but after a few minutes, I took them out. I didn’t need them to drown out city noise. I realized that I hardly ever get moments of pure silence in my day to day life. I wanted to take in all the sights and sounds.
There were times throughout the walk when I wanted to turn around. It’s been a while since I’ve walked seven miles at once so the temptation was strong. I even had a voice telling me, turn around, you’re going to hurt yourself again or aggravate your injury.
I chose to ignore the voice and take it slow instead. When I got thirsty, I stopped and took a drink. When my hiking boots annoyed me, I paused to readjust. I stopped for a minute when I heard the sound of a bubbling creek and I watched it pass from on top of a bridge. By going slower, I protected myself from getting hurt and I was able to more fully enjoy my surroundings.
I know long seven mile hikes aren’t for everyone but for me, they’re one of the best ways to relax. I felt all the stress and pressure of the past few weeks literally melt off me and focused on the present moment. It was exactly what I needed.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
I went to the Great Balloon Race in Forest Park this weekend and it was beautiful. Friday night was the balloon glow when they lit up all the hot air balloons, and then Saturday, they took off pretty much all at once. I’m glad I got to see both events. I haven’t gone since I was in undergrad and even though it was more crowded than I remembered, it was worth it.
I’m loving this food graphic from The Washington Post. The newspaper’s food critic Tom Sietsema annotated a menu and then the paper published his notes as red scribblings. It’s a clever way of doing a review and more entertaining than reading a long one start to finish. Check out the full graphic in The Washington Post.
I think we could all use a good guide to French pastries. This one from Frenchly is pretty thorough. It also leads to some good pastry-oriented Instagram accounts that you might want to follow if you’re also obsessed with French pastries.
Speaking of good pastries… I had the best cinnamon roll of my life last week and it was VEGAN. I can barely believe it, but that’s the magic Reine Bayoc works at SweetArt in Shaw. I’d highly recommend stopping by for breakfast soon.
I wanted to stay out of the whole Cynthia Nixon bagel fiasco last week but I found myself deeply affected by it. I ended up weighing in with a couple tweets. I’m all for crazy food combinations but smoked salmon and a cinnamon raisin bagel seems like a step too far. I enjoyed this article in The Atlantic about the political repercussions of eating weird food. It put things in perspective…somewhat.
If you like Greek food, head to The Greek Kitchen. The restaurant recently reopened in Kirkood after shuttering its storefront in Ellisville, a suburb of St. Louis. The new location still has the same delicious food and a couple new items including baklava cheesecake. I’d highly recommend the spanikopita (pictured below). Read more about it in one of my recent stories for St. Louis Magazine.
A lot of people think French cooking is difficult but it doesn’t need to be. So goes this first-person account of French cooking. The writer’s husband is French and she learned some secrets from her mother-in-law, who took a no-nonsense approach to cooking. I liked what she had to say about simplicity. I think it’s true that French people prize simplicity in most things, even though they have a reputation for being superfluous. Read more in The Washington Post.
My boy Drake is at it again. The rapper invited a bartender in D.C. to one of his shows after experiencing excellent service. Oh, to be that bartender. Get more on Drake’s invite in this Washington Post story.
Last but certainly not least, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery got a well-deserved shout out in Eater. The ice cream shop is one of my favorites in St. Louis and it specializes in booze-infused flavors including maple bourbon pecan. Apparently Clementine’s has plans for national expansion. It’s not surprising given the quality of their product. Read more about the shop in this Eater story.
Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started.