What’s your favorite daily ritual?
I always have a few letters to faraway friends in the works. I like to come home from work, grab a bowl of cereal, and add a few lines to my letters. Some of them take weeks to actually make it off of my desk and into the world, but I’ve learned to be patient with myself. Somehow letters always find their way back to me.
Where do you go when you want to relax or get inspired in your city?
I go to the water, I suppose. Standing on the edge of the continent, where the beach becomes the Atlantic, makes me feel on the edge of something bigger. Sometimes I need to get outside of the middle and walk around the periphery.
How has technology influenced you?
It’s mostly made me frustrated with myself. I like technology of course, and appreciate how it keeps me connected with people, but I don’t think it makes me a better person.
What’s your best travel memory?
I’ve had some wonderful trips in Europe in recent years, but the happiest trips in my memory are with my family. My dad took my brother and I to Las Vegas when we were in high school. We stayed in this dive hotel at the far end of the Strip. We drank pineapple-fizz drinks at the dirty pool and talked about what we would do if we won $500,000 at the Bellagio. Dad bought me a Swatch watch and I thought I hit the Jackpot.
Your latest artistic discovery?
I just moved my old childhood piano into my Charleston apartment. It took four people to get it up the stairs! My friend Ross comes over in the afternoons to play and lately, we’ve been singing together. When I was a child, my mom put me in the theater and boy, my little pipes could belt Broadway songs loud and proud. It’s been fun (and terrifying) to hear my grown-up voice. Maybe it’s kind of good?
What current global or local topics are you currently fascinated with?
I teach a 12th grade English class that focuses on contemporary non-fiction essays. We’ve been reading about women’s issues from an international perspective for the last two weeks. It’s fascinating to hear my students’ responses to things like arranged marriage, income gaps, and human trafficking. These are issues that, as adults, we have heard of before in the news. But for a room full of relatively sheltered 17 year olds, these injustices are shocking, outrageous, and absurd. Their reactions and commentary, along with the issues themselves, are fascinating to me.
What was the last great meal you ate and where?
The Charleston Kinfolk dinner at Deux Puces Farm in Awendaw, SC, a rural sea-island community slightly North of our city. We ate pork burgers, homemade chips and giant chunks of local cheese served on a long table overlooking the marsh at sunset.
Your favorite three websites?
WindMap: trippy, soothing windmap of the United States.
Kayak: daily deal scrounging
Arte: interesting clips, keeps my French sharp
Who would you like to see featured?
I love the profiles of French and Mexican women. Those are the ones that keep me scrolling.
What’s your favorite place in your neighborhood?
My favorite place in my neighborhood is Blue Bicycle Books, the second-hand bookstore where I worked through college. The store front is tiny, only 10 ft. across, but the shop goes back two blocks. It’s the only independent bookstore downtown Charleston and for me, it’s like a sanctuary. The steady inpouring of new books makes it the kind of place that changes all the time, but still, it stays the same. I’ve spent hundreds of Sundays there, pouring over rare books, tending to the ancient shop cat, and figuring out my life.
Thank you, Kristen! To read more from this talented young lady, check out the FvF portraits she did so far and her personal blog.
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