What is your name and where are you currently?
Scott Meriam, New York City, Upper West Side
Are you where you normally live?
New York City, Upper West Side
What are you currently reading?
I'm an audible user so I’m being read to by Lindy Meck and her funny series of essays in “The Witches Are Coming”. I’m also listening to “My Life In France” by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme.
The Torah; I’m started my exploration of converting to Judaism with online classes hosted by The JCC. In that vein I’ve been reading The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York: A Cookbook by Leah Koenig, Julia Turshen.
What are you currently watching?
Unorthodox was great. lots of cozy older movies that I’ve seen a million times.
I’m a closted gaymer so I just beat Last of Us on Ps4, fingers crossed that the sequel comes out at the end of May.
The BA Test Kitchen team videos are also great so I’ve been watching them evolve and create new content at home which I love seeing.
What are you currently listening to?
Lots of playlists from friends and people on the internet that I know would be my friend if we ever met in person. Including but not limited to Deer Dana, Carlos Rodriguez, Benito Skinner, Ryan Heffington (love his dance classes), Anthony DiCap, Chandelier Creative and Greta Titelman. My own team at WSJ have also (pre covid) been making monthly playlists and keeping that tradition going. I also listen to “Mother Earth's” Plantasia a lot....for my plants. Pre-covid I had a ritual of listening to the same playlist every day for like 4-6 months but that started feeling VERY groundhog day so I mixed it up. I also listen to NPR religiously as well as The Wall Street journals’ podcast. Samin Nosrat has a great podcast about cooking at home that I love and I’ve also gotten into Dolly Parton’s America.
What have you been eating the most? Do you have a recipe to share?
I’ve been eating a lot more vegetables than I typically do and have to pat myself on the back for not wasting all the produce that normally would end up in the trash. I’ve been making a fair amount of roast chickens that morph into soups which evolve into pasta. Pasta water has become my new best friend and is going to be the name of a boat or a vacation home if I ever have either of those.
How are you moving your body/exercising?
I’ve been jogging with little consistency. My dog keeps me out and and about on small walks and my 5 story walk up proves to be the stairmaster I know I need. I like Ryan Heffington’s dance classes as well as Damon Bell’s free body weight workouts on Instagram. Greta Titelman’s Matcha dances are also super fun and make you sweat. I also have been using a lot of bands to keep my arms from turning into jelly. I do most of this with little to no consistency but I’m trying.
If you’re buying anything, what is it?
Initially I kept a consistent and random string of amazon items but that has leveled out. The orders included strange mixes of ladles, soup strainers, nitrile gloves and swiss navy. Obviously spending on groceries and getting creative about where to get decent produce.
What’s one new thing you started doing big or small since this all happened? (Like a new skill/a hobby or even habit)
Not wasting food, I’ve really made a dent in being clever about what I can cook with what I have. I intend to keep that and do more of that moving forward. I’ve also dusted off my drawing muscles.
Tell me about your evening routine! And your morning one too!
I’m grateful to still be working so my weekdays are still a traditional 9-5. I get up earlier every day and walk my dog around 6:30/7:00am, I feed her then we have coffee together, shower, get dressed, make my bed etc. The morning is pretty rigorous. An average work day is stacked with calls but around 3pm I tend to get a little whacky so I try to work out around that time but I generally spend that time aimlessly moving objects around my apartment.
Evening is another walk with Edie (my dog) followed by dinner prep and the 7pm applause for our essential workers and health heroes. I’ll eat and scroll aimlessly through streaming services until I realize I just want to fight off some zombies on PS4 but then get scared because it’s night time so I turn that off after about 15 minutes and repeat the shuffling of objects until I decide to listen to some music and get cozy and ready for bed. The night is capped off by a final night walk with the dog which is always super calm and quiet then it’s off to bed.
What’s one way big or small that you’ve been helping others?
I’ve been donating to restaurants I care about and sharing posts for gofundme or other donations efforts for friends or family that need it.
Do you know of any good charities or causes people could donate to?
ROAR, relief opportunities for All Restaurants
What keeps you sane?
Consistency to some form when of routine works for me, also personally I have a therapist I love and it helps me a lot even if she and I are chatting about nothing. I think having the dog and looking after her day to day also helps. I make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family as much as possible.
What one thing can’t you wait to do?
Three things: Eat in a restaurant with my friends, hug/kiss my boyfriend, dance outside Nowadays in the summer.
Who has been the most interesting/unexpected person you’ve spoken with since this started?
Through work I’ve had some pretty crazy conversations with leaders in entertainment, media and tech about the future of events and it’s been a little wild. Also the community I’ve met through the JCC and my new jewish adventure has been really special.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
Everything, generally my family, friends and I have been dealt in this situation has been mild and I wake up and go to sleep feeling very very grateful.
Anything else to share?
“Anyone who can give you a timestamp on this thing is not someone you can rely on” is the best advice I’ve gotten during this time.
Also wear a fucking mask when you go outside, it’s not hard and it’s really dick if you don’t.