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Inspiration for the Week Ahead

I love random street signs and street art. Fortunately, NYC has no shortage of eye candy.
I love finding little tidbits and photos to jazz up my Mondays and get a good vibe going for the week ahead. There is always so much to share in the food & travel world. Happy Monday!

First, the Washington Post ran a wonderful story last month about a woman in Egypt who started her own cooking show after the uprising. Until recently, Ghalia Alia Mahmoud was a cook for wealthy families; she started working as a teenager to help support her family, and it wasn't until the uprisings that she got her big break, when the founder of a new television station asked her to host a cooking show focused on teaching Egyptians how to make affordable, delicious meals. The article includes a video of one of her shows (unfortunately, there is no translation - the only word I could understand was "supermarket"), and it's equal parts heartwarming and humbling: her kitchen is a far cry from the shiny, gleaming productions we see on Food Network, and she works with the simplest pots, pans and utensils, yet her enthusiasm and energy are infectious. Her show - and the story of her rise from household cook to national food icon - is a tremendous inspiration, and a reminder that good food and good times can be had on even the smallest of budgets (her meals cost a meager $4.00 each, which won't get you very far in Egypt). 

Food is political in so many ways, but this isn't just about the politics (and economics) of empowering people to cook well on a tiny budget. It's about empowering an entire nation to dream bigger for themselves, to see beyond the years of economic and social stagnation, and to celebrate life more fully.

I'd also like to share a fantastic website I just discovered, www.themakersproject.com. Jennifer Causey started the project out of her passion for handmade and artisanal products, and it has grown into an impressive - and inspiring - photographic documentary of Brooklyn "makers," or people who work wonders with their hands. For each local business she selects, Jennifer includes a slew of beautiful photos and a brief interview with the artisans. I am especially keen to visit Clair Catillaz's Clam Lab; her designs are so simple and elegant.

 
Jennifer Causey, www.themakersproject.com, The Clam Lab
If you live anywhere near Brooklyn - or even if you're just visiting New York - check out some of the artisans Jennifer features and stop by their stores. As a tourist, there's no better gift to bring home than something unique from the city you visited - and you can feel good for supporting the local economy. 

Jennifer Causey, www.themakersproject.com, The Clam Lab
And with that, I wish you a happy week ahead and a good night.

Yours truly, one bite at a time,

Radina

2 comments:

Милена Фучеджиева said...

i love stories like the story of the egyptian woman!
thank you for the inspiration!!! everything is possible.
dream BIG:)

Radina Valova said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it!