Finding Home: Eat Local Food

[ 2 Minute Read ]

Food has an inimitable sensory power to connect us to place. - Melody Warnick

New York City. Two years. That's how long I've lived here.

Even so, I still thirst for a sense of home.

I think a lot about what home looks and feels like. When one feels at home, there isn't a lot of cerebral game-playing that has to happen in order to reach that conclusion.

It's a simple, deep knowing. I am home. This place is where I belong.

However, that type of knowing comes at a different rate for different people. We mesh with cities like we mesh (or don't mesh) with other people. People can grow on us. So can cities.

Cities, like people, can also send us running in the other direction. 

Last month, I moved to a new borough and neighborhood - swapping Manhattan for Brooklyn; East Harlem for Crown Heights. On top of that, I started a new job and got new roommates. 

Anticipating all of these changes, I found a book by Melody Warnick called This Is Where I Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are. Her explorations center around a field of study called Place Attachment - a concept in environmental psychology, focused on the emotional bond between person and place.

One of Warnick's tips is to Eat Local Food (chapter eight in the book). Not only in the organic farmer's market sort of way - although that has value. It's eating near and within the place you live. Becoming a "regular" is how most of us would describe it.

In the past, I favored variety over regularity. Meaning I'd explore so many places in the neighborhood that I lived, but rarely went to one place again and again. This year I'm trying a different strategy. 

It's tough because my sense of exploration is butting up against my desire to find belonging. While I don't necessarily need to choose one over the other, it's time to veer toward places I go to again and again.

I'm excited to say I found one of my places to be a regular - Colina Cuervo - a rustic, Latin-American cafe and coffeehouse in Crown Heights. It's super adorable and welcoming. The food is enticing to the eyes and taste buds. The service is kind and neighborly.

This morning, I went for a simple pumpkin pastry and decaf Americano. Along with these delicious delicacies, I also made a new friend, who happened to be reading Brené Brown - one of my absolute favorite authors (and humans).

Perhaps there's something to the act of becoming a regular. I definitely want to find out.