Something that I was terrified to write here was that, the day after I moved into my new apartment, I witnessed a crime that is so unfortunately common that many of you have probably fallen victim to something very similar.
Two Sundays ago, I was walking down Q Street NW after a Mad Men session with an old roommate (and now neighbor). I stopped by CVS to pick up some housing essentials, and started making my way home. When I was about halfway down my block, I saw someone across the street, being robbed with a gun pointed to his head.
My immediate thought was “Shit. Please don’t take my laptop, because my entire year of design is on it.” Aside from the fact that I should probably have been thinking about other priorities, I saw exactly what was going on, and stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn’t decide what to do — keep walking? Turn around? What if he follows me?
Anyway, the robber ran away with a phone, a wallet, and a gun, and I called 911 as the victim ran towards me asking for help. I stayed with him for an hour or so to report the crime, and gave him my information in case he needed anything.
The point of this whole story being that these moments, when you fear for your life or for your belongings because you realize that you’re not safe — these moments are hopefully few and far between.
This week, we’ve felt this feeling too much. The bombings in Boston not only break my heart, but make me angry. Who are these people who think they are so entitled to things that don’t belong to them? Wallets, phones, and lives. What makes a criminal think its okay to snatch something away — something that clearly has no value to them, but obviously means the world to someone else?
I hate it. And I know you do too.
I considered canceling my trip to New York this weekend in light of the events in Boston, partially in fear that the terrorism attacks would somehow find itself back in New York. But we can’t hold onto the anger or the bitterness. You cannot live your life in constant fear. We, as humans, seek comfort and resolution.
I’m coming to terms with a fear that I’ve had my entire life — that there is no such thing as a “safe place.” It’s a depressing thought, but in the end, the chances of being wounded or killed by a gunshot are just as terrifying as the thought of being wounded or killed in a terrorist attack, and equally as terrifying as losing someone that we know or care about to any sort of circumstance. Each circumstance leaves us with a similar result: fear, and pain.
In the end, we all want the same thing: to live fulfilling lives surrounded by the people we love. In remembering that simple goal, I kept my itinerary to the city intact. I visited family, snuggled with friends, and spent too much money on handmade jewelry.
In the end, there’s no time for fear. We have lives to live. I hope you are all recovering from last week’s intense news cycle, and I hope you are making the most out of each and every day — because sometimes, it’s too easy to forget how important that is.
Portobello and Goat Cheese Crostini
Old Bay seasoning
8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
1 medium onion
2-3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
Fresh thyme, 2-3 sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice your baguette into 1-inch disks, diagonally. Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides, then dust lightly with Old Bay seasoning. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Heat a cast iron skillet. Slice your onion as you please — I just cut it in half and sliced it into thin half-circles. Cook over medium heat with olive oil until translucent. Then, add in mushrooms and thyme sprigs, cooking until onions are dark and the mushrooms are soft.
Broil the baguette slices until toasted — then flip and toast the other sides. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.
In a small bowl, use a hand blender or mixer to whip your goat cheese, mixing in the creme fraiche (or cream) until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, spread a dollop of goat cheese on each toast. Top with a few fresh thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and Old Bay.