Where I Go: Stress Baking

When It All Becomes Too Much, I Remind Myself to Be Patient and Wait for My Next Loaf to Rise

It’s July 2020, and San Diego is in a heat wave, but I don’t care; I’m baking bread. I can’t force fools on the street to wear masks, or stop the president from calling COVID-19 the “kung flu,” or protect Asian Americans from being assaulted for bringing in the “China virus,” but in my kitchen, I call the shots.

As I punch the risen dough, the phone rings. I turn my headset volume up, toss the dough on the counter, and answer.

In my nearly two decades as a telephonic Tagalog interpreter, I’ve learned to …

Where I Go: L.A.’s Arboretum, Where the Peafowl Hunt You in Packs | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: L.A.’s Arboretum, Where the Peafowl Hunt You in Packs

Butt-Dancing Birds Have Become My Pandemic Icons

When the pandemic fell upon the earth, my husband Andrew and I went to the L.A. Arboretum. Few other Southern California locations remained open after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued our …

Our Favorite Essays of 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Essays of 2020

This Year, While We Were Stuck at Home, Our Contributors Brought the World to Us

2020 was not a year that went as anyone expected. Amid a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a defining presidential election—not to mention the murder hornets—it’s been an unprecedented …

Where I Go: Foraging for Wild Mushrooms  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Foraging for Wild Mushrooms 

Chanterelles in the Market? $24.99 Per Pound. In the Forest? Priceless 

Sandwiched between shitakes and oyster mushrooms, I spot them: the golden treasures of the forest. Piled indecorously in a standard box that fits a standard shelf, they’re selling at a …

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly

In Praise of TV-Watching, the Pinnacle of Evening Entertainment

I wish I was watching TV right now. When I’m not watching TV, I like to reflect on all the previous times I’ve watched TV or look forward to the …

Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming

When the Ocean Temperature Plunges in the Winter, There’s Nowhere to Hide

I’m alone in my Brooklyn apartment on a Friday night, and I’ve decided I don’t want to live anymore. It’s November 2019, and it’s the third time this year I’ve …