Melisa & Alex Orley

Melisa & Alex Orley

What is your name and where are you currently?

Alex: Alex Orley, currently quarantining in Snowmass, Colorado.

Melisa: Melisa Denizeri Orley, currently in Snowmass Colorado.

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Are you where you normally live?

Alex: Brooklyn, New York

Melisa: No, we live in Brooklyn NY but fled to Colorado to quarantine for the month.

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What are you currently reading?

Alex: Disney Wars by James Stewart, about Disney in the 1980's and 1990's under Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg. It was recommended to me by Matthew Orley.

Melisa: My life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.

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What are you currently watching?

Alex: Mrs. America

Melisa: Mrs. America, Normal People. 90s Dramas.

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What are you currently listening to?

Alex: Suddenly by Caribou. My favorite new album of 2020.  

Melisa: Dua Lipa, Sade.

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What have you been eating the most? Do you have a recipe to share?

Alex: My wife Melisa is an amazing chef. We tend to eat and cook vegan, although we don't hold ourselves to it so aggressively. I love when Melisa makes Turkish food. Otherwise it would be veggie tacos, soba, different curries.

Melisa: Vegetable roasts with miso dressing. Slow cooked red lentils. Leftovers for a salad the next day...

I had to take a break on baking!
Simple Miso Dressing: 1 OZ Sesame Oil, 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TBS Miso, 2 TBS Tahini. Add water for desired consistency. I use this on soba with steamed vegetables, tacos and also salmon.

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How are you moving your body/exercising?

Alex: Lots of running. It's always been my preferred way to get my heart rate up. Walking my dog, Scout.

Melisa: I have been doing a lot of yoga, self practice and teaching. Kyle Miller, Sian Fujikawa, Elizabeth Flint and Sky Ting a few times a week. Just started running and now hiking here in Colorado.

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If you’re buying anything, what is it?

Alex: Constantly stocking and restocking my pantry. My essentials are hemp, chia, bee pollen, sun warrior vegan protein powder, frozen pineapple, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, bananas.

Melisa: Mostly food. And breathable, comfortable clothing items like biker shorts from Gil Rodriguez.

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What’s one new thing you started doing big or small since this all happened? (Like a new skill/a hobby or even habit).

Alex: I stopped doing a lot of things, but haven't started anything new other than drinking a lot more wine than I used to.

Melisa: Writing every morning and reading a few pages of my book every morning.

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Tell me about your evening routine! And your morning one too!

Alex: I try to run most mornings before work. Ideally getting four or five miles in. At night, Melisa cooks, I clean.

Melisa: In the evening I cook with a glass of wine and then we eat together. Alex cleans and I just hang out with him! We run our dog out for the last time and then head to bed and watch a show in bed (!) or read.

In the morning I wake up, a few days I'll medidate in the morning but always after coffee. Write a few pages, read a few pages, listen to Upfirst on NPR and then do some movement.

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What’s one way big or small that you’ve been helping others?

Alex: I work for rag & bone, and we recently launched masks with proceeds going to City Harvest. Every 5 dollars donated helps feed a hot meal to 18 New Yorkers in need.

Melisa: I have been donating to food banks in NYC as well as sending donations to my local businesses and animal shelters. It's easy to feel helpless when you just click to donate money. Change can start small in your community so I try to offer any help to neighbors for runs and also drop some baked goods.

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Do you know of any good charities or causes people could donate to?

Alex: The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund is a great cause. Also ActBlue.

Melisa: Yes: @serviceworkerscoalition, @foodbank4nyc, @lunchonme, @hitlivingfoundation, @aspca, @nyacc

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What keeps you sane?

Alex: Running

Melisa: Nature and animals. My pup Scout. If I feel tight with thought and worry I have to stop and hug him.

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What one thing can’t you wait to do?

Alex: Order a martini. Take an international flight. Swim in the ocean. Have dinner at June Wine Bar or Cafe Altro Paradiso.

Melisa: So hard to cut down to one. I guess seeing my family comes first- I wish I could sail with them this summer...

And I just want to dance in a club with a lot of people.

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Who has been the most interesting/unexpected person you’ve spoken with since this started?

Alex: I talk to my dog Scout pretty much all day.

Melisa: I have made new friends through this time online! It's quite funny how I have eased into just sharing more online and just connected to beautiful people. When you do what naturally brings you joy, you end up with the ones you are meant to be connected with.

Also, my Aunt Nilgun in Turkey- we see each other about 2x a year and when I'm in NYC we speak on special occasions and occasionally on the phone. But we have been connecting weekly and it has been great. She is everything to me as I did not grow up with grandparents.

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What’s one thing you’re grateful for?

Alex: Health, family, outdoors, my dog scout who is my best friend.

Melisa: Health and always health. Health of my family and my loved ones. And Nature and Sunshine. AND Animals.

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Anything else to share?

Thank you Dana <3