chow here now: bread, new york city

Nearly five years ago I sat in a dark corner of BREAD and lamented over my ballooning waistline. I was flummoxed, baffled, perplexed, and other such similar adjectives. I went to yoga four days of work and my diet hadn’t changed all that much — how could this be??! As I sank further into my lamentation, my friend asked me what I eat every day.

Then the stuttering and the shame commenced. Well, I have a blueberry muffin…, to which my friend responded, EVERY DAY?, to which I retorted, Of course not! I have a bagel or croissant on weekends! And after much research I learned that I was hoovering a six-hundred calorie muffin and I was deep in a muffin addiction. My friend staged a successful intervention, and the strange this is this — I’ve never been back to BREAD since.

Until last weekend.

Before the grand Muffin Intervention of 2007, Bread Soho was my favorite chow spot. Although the service was sometimes lackluster, one could consistently rely on a tasty panini and a bowl of warm, delicious tomato soup. Rarely did I ever deviate from the basics, however, I was equally pleased by the tasty meatballs, grilled chicken and tasty salads. And who can beat a sandwich soup combo for $10?!

So last weekend I met an old colleague and we spoke of life in media res. We spoke of making dramatic life-altering changes in our 30s, when our career was supposedly defined and we were on the fast track to something, although we weren’t certain we wanted the journey. We dined outside — me and my trusted panini stuffed with salami, taleggio and olive tapenade, while she savored her favorite shrimp salad — and talked about taking risks. Talked about how we were a programmed generation living amongst another generation that was so free-spirited and ebullient we were flummoxed, perplexed, etc. We were programmed to create a very clear path and follow it without stepping outside the lines.

But as the years press on, I find myself wanting very much to leap outside the lines. Create a whole new shape.

Because, we said out loud, what’s the worse that could happen?


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