What is your name and where are you currently?
Mike Karam, I’m currently in Haddam, Connecticut at my weekend home.
Are you where you normally live?
Normally you could find me at my apartment in Brooklyn Heights, but during the quarantine my partner and I are staying at our house in the country.
What are you currently reading?
Bunny Williams, On Garden Style
What are you currently watching?
Just finished Ozark and Homeland. About to start watching Hollywood. I’m also re-watching the Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts on PBS.
What are you currently listening to?
My meditation playlist on Spotify, Lou Doillon, Natalie Merchant and The Cranberries
What have you been eating the most? Do you have a recipe to share?
Luckily my partner Nick loves to cook, so he’s been cooking a lot of pasta, soups, baking breads and grilling. He made this incredible spiced chickpea with coconut and turmeric soup. I think it’s called “The Soup” from the NYT.
Here’s the recipe:
How are you moving your body/exercising?
I’ve been doing a lot of gardening and landscaping projects. I built a stone wall, a little boardwalk path to the stream, laid a bluestone patio, and now I’m onto spreading an enormous pile of mulch to make the plants happy.
If you’re buying anything, what is it?
We got a new golden retriever puppy, Willow, in early April. She’s been keeping me busy and my Amazon cart full. Other than dog supplies, I’ve purchased some plants for the garden and a Japanese Stewartia tree that will someday grow 40 feet. I guess it will always remind me of the quarantine.
What’s one new thing you started doing big or small since this all happened?
I’ve started to zoom like everyone else, and housepartying with my family.
Tell me about your evening routine! And your morning one too!
Willow has been getting us up around 6:30 so my morning consists of taking her out with my morning coffee then throwing the ball to get some of that puppy energy out so I can get some work done. In the evenings, I find myself pouring a drink a little earlier than normal, lighting incense and trying to relax with all of the uncertainty.
What’s one way big or small that you’ve been helping others?
In my little rural town, we have some elderly neighbors, so Nick and I have been checking on them and dropping off cookies.
Do you know of any good charities or causes people could donate to?
I’ve donated to my barber back in the city. We’ve also donated to a Bon Appétit fundraiser for World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org).
What keeps you sane?
Puppy hugs from Willow, my partner Nick, and doing yard work.
What one thing can’t you wait to do?
Hug my mom.
Who has been the most interesting/unexpected person you’ve spoken with since this started?
Spending a lot more time in my rural Connecticut town has allowed me to spend more time talking to my neighbors, six feet apart. One is a farmer with a pick your own daffodil field, so I’ve been talking to her about her daffodils. And my other neighbor is a 93-year-old ex Wesleyan professor full of amazing stories, so we’ve been sharing a distanced drink and walks with him.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
My health, my partner, my dog, and my job.
Anything else to share?
We’re in it together. xx