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The Good Press

June 10 · Issue #8 · View online

A newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind


Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Good Press.
As always, I hope you find this and every issue to be worth your time.

Home
Last week, I spoke about how my partner and I have recently begun poking our heads out and going out for walks around our Manhattan neighborhood again for the first time in quite some time. With the pandemic still on our minds, it was something akin to our first baby steps back toward normalcy.
Thankfully, we are very fortunate that her parents have a country home out in a secluded area in the Poconos, so this past weekend we drove out there to spend time with them, our first time doing so since the start of the pandemic.
Both of her parents have recovered from COVID-19 after contracting it back in March. We had all suspected their scary bout of illness could be the novel coronavirus, a suspicion since confirmed by the presence of antibodies in recent tests. It was a terrifying couple of weeks, and without any hard science on what the presence of antibodies means for a person’s chances of potential future infections or ability to spread it, we’ve all been very careful.
Social distancing measures are a lot easier when you’re in a place that seemingly has more deer than people. The past few days we’ve been enjoying the sunshine on the back deck, slathered in bug spray instead of disinfectant. It’s very refreshing to have more than just a metaphorical breath of fresh air.
One thing that’s struck me in the few days since I’ve been out here in the sticks is how little I’ve missed New York City. Maybe that’ll change if we end up spending the majority of the summer out here, and maybe I’m not the type of person who’s a good barometer for missing the big city life. I’ve always enjoyed the peace and quiet of the suburbs more than the hustle and bustle.
New York City is a place that will always be near and dear to my heart, but lately, I’ve been wondering about whether it will still be a part of our future.
My partner wrote a piece a few months ago about the potential future of work, after seeing the way many industries have responded to the first wave of the virus. Many companies have been bolstering their remote working protocols, or quickly implementing them if they didn’t already have them.
What Isolation Has Taught Me About What I Thought Was 'Normal' – Scenarios of Drea
New York City has always been an innovative place, a place where so many industries have come to set up shop, where millions of people live and work.
But what happens if millions of jobs transition towards more remote work? What happens if all those amazing restaurants we love are never the same?
What will happen to the idea of New York City as the industrial hub that everyone wants to work and live in? Someday the virus will be a thing of the past, but once it does, do you imagine all these industries will cease their remote working protocols in favor of packing everyone back into an office?
It’d be like going back to carrier pigeons after the invention of email.
Certainly, not all industries and jobs will go to full-time remote work. I’m sure many people in the education field can vouch for that. Keeping elementary school students’ attention is difficult enough in a classroom, much less online.
I enjoy what I do for a living, but I’m not naive enough to think that I can stay in the same job for decades and retire without ever considering potential career changes. I have a responsibility to provide for myself, my partner, and our future children. That may require thinking long and hard about new professional challenges. I will always prioritize my family over my career.
Someday, I may find myself in a career that allows, or even encourages, remote work. Maybe she will, too. We’ve already gotten familiar with how to divvy up our apartment for respective virtual Zoom meetings. Should we both end up working remotely, do we really need to live in New York City?
It’s a question we’ve had on our minds ever since the pandemic began. It’s a question that I think millions of other New Yorkers have been pondering as well. I love New York and always will. But I don’t love the cost of living there.
New York City and the surrounding area has been my home nearly all my life. But, as I’ve written about before, it’s not as if I’ve never moved before.
Moving Forward - The Good Press
Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. It’s the warmth you feel in the presence of the people you care about. It’s a universal feeling that transcends any setting.
New York has been such a big part of my past and present, and there was a time that I couldn’t imagine it not being a part of my future. But that’s been beginning to change now. It doesn’t mean that we’re dead set on leaving, but so many previously-held notions have been challenged by the virus and the worldwide response to it. If where I call home doesn’t have to be inseparably linked to where I’m working? There’s something rather freeing in that, I think.
Recommendations
My first recommendation this week is inspired by my time out here in the Pennsylvania countryside: Get some sun and fresh air, if you’re able to.
I’ve crunched the data and it tells me that most of my subscribers live in the U.S., where the weather is getting really nice this time of year. Apologies to any southern hemisphere readers who are bundling up for winter weather.
Since it’s getting nicer out, find some outdoor activities that you can engage in safely, for yourself and for others. Take a walk around the block. Ride a bike. Go for a jog. If you have a backyard you can even sunbathe and lounge with a cold drink and catch some rays that way. Don’t forget that sunscreen.
It’s good for your health and well-being to get sun on your face, for a few minutes, for an hour, for as much time as you can find. It helps us maintain balance and improves our mood, and research shows that, in moderation, the rays of sunlight can strengthen your immune system, too. So if you can, try to get some sun, safely and mindfully. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
When you get back inside, my second recommendation this week is to treat yourself with this delicious homemade banana bread recipe I found online.
The full recipe can be found at TheSaltyMarshmallow.com, I followed it mostly to a tee and it came out great. My partner and I have baked this recipe multiple times already, and it only requires three ripe bananas. I gifted one to my parents when I went to visit them a few weeks ago and they approve.
Here’s how to make this simple banana bread recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1 Stick (½ Cup) butter
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter and set aside
  2. Add the stick of butter to a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until the butter is melted
  3. Add the bananas to the same bowl and mash with a fork
  4. Add the vanilla extract and eggs *[see note below] to the bowl and use the same fork to mash and stir until no yellow streaks of egg remain
  5. In a second large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula just until combined
  7. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean
The finished product, shortly before we devoured it
The finished product, shortly before we devoured it
*Note: We made this recipe with aquafaba/bean water instead of eggs, a baking tip I mentioned back in the fourth issue. The ratio is 3 tbsps per egg, so add 6 tbsps of aquafaba in the step where the recipe says to add the eggs.
We also use low-glycemic sugar replacement sweetener made of monk fruit instead of regular sugar, and we usually use almond flour instead of regular flour, though the one we baked (pictured above) was with whole wheat flour.
It’s a pretty easy recipe, and that’s coming from an amateur baker who’s learning that there’s no beginner’s luck. Let me know how yours comes out.
Parting Thoughts
Forgive the weight of the words that follow. Hopefully, you can bake the banana bread afterward to take the edge off. The following is for everyone whose heart has felt heavy recently from the weight of the world we live in.
Every time I step out into the sunshine and take a big, deep breath of fresh air out here, my mind goes back to Eric Garner, Javier Ambler, and George Floyd. They are all people who can’t breathe because their lives were extinguished.
I can’t breathe should never have become a recurring phrase, and yet it did.
The movement is called Black Lives Matter because for unacceptably long, America has been making the case that they do not. That is a shameful truth.
No human being, with a name, with a soul, with dignity, should ever be denied their right to exist. I am an American. I am a human being. We cannot, must not, allow the destructive culture of our past dictate the course of our future.
We have to do better. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone. For all of the young people who will grow up trying to live their own American dreams.
We owe it to the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, John Crawford III, Laquan McDonald, Akai Gurley, Freddie Gray, Ezell Ford, Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Walter Scott, Bettie Jones, Botham Jean, Javier Ambler, Oscar Grant, and the countless others. They are names. They are people. People who deserved better than their final breaths.
It’s why Colin Kaepernick peacefully took a knee. Because of that ever-growing list of names. The names of people who deserved better. Black lives matter. Their lives matter. Our country cannot be a place that disagrees.
It’s hard to find black-and-white solutions to issues that are varying shades of gray. More divisiveness and fingerpointing is certainly not a solution. Ignoring these problems has gone on for far too long. Ignorance is no excuse.
You can’t find solutions unless you look for them. Campaign Zero has put together a comprehensive collection of police reform campaign proposals that offer some potential solutions. It can’t solve everything, but it’s a start.
Campaign Zero
Lastly, a subscriber of mine recently emailed to say that she appreciated that I “tell it like it is, with kindness and compassion.” It’s a humbling sentiment, a philosophy that I will always try to follow as best as I can for as long as I can.
As long as I can breathe, I will speak out against intolerance and hate, and I will try to spread love. I will not stick my head in the sand and avoid the hard truths. Love is the strongest force we have in this world. I truly believe that.
Appreciate each breath. No matter who you see when you look in the mirror, know that your life matters, your thoughts matter, and your feelings matter.
Don’t ever let anybody or anything make you feel otherwise.
Spend every day doing your best to spread love and reject hate. The world will be a better place when love, inclusivity, and acceptance outweigh all the negativity that divides us and makes us feel like we have to choose sides.
I know we can get there to the place that we deserve, where we respect and accept one another wholeheartedly. We will get there, arm in arm, together.
Until we arrive there, be kind to yourselves and be kind to others.
Stay safe, stay positive, and keep taking steps forward. It’s worth it.
-Jon
Previously at The Good Press
The Good Press - Issue #7
The Good Press - Issue #6
The Good Press - Issue #5
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