Have a Great Weekend.

Flatiron building

What are you up to this weekend? My dad is visiting, and our tradition is to steal away from everyone, take a walk together and have a drink at this neighborhood spot. Hope you have a good one — and happy holidays to those who celebrate Passover or Easter — and here are a few fun links from around the web…

How cool are these midcentury modern playgrounds?

I’ve been wearing this pretty silk blouse for work and life.

The perfect baked potato for dinner. (Also love the laid-back dinner party invitation: “Come over! 7pmish. Steak and baked potatoes… and martinis.”)

Big Little Lies Season 2 trailer!

To save time, ask these four questions about the stuff on your to-do list.

Everyday photos of childhood. (Awww, the spaghetti high-chair after dinner.)

A love letter to train travel.

You have to watch this show.” Haha, busted. (New Yorker)

So inspired by Herriott Grace’s beautiful shop.

Marinated mozzarella looks delicious.

Figure Skating in Harlem: “When I skate, it just feels free.” (NYTimes)

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Kelly on how often do you have sex: “The advice I’ll always remember is Nicole Cliffe on Twitter basically saying ‘the secret is to react like a cartoon wolf whenever your partner disrobes even slightly’ or something to that effect. Sounds corny, but expressing desire for each other throughout the day without any pressure to perform is great for our confidence.”

Says RR on the best conversation starter: “I recently asked at dinner, ‘What’s one non-resume expertise you have?’ The answers were hilarious (Whiskey! The Office quotes! Specific baseball knowledge!). I’ve been asking everyone ever since.”

Says Olivia on 12 reader comments on love: “My five-year-old son has autism. It’s been a big struggle to get him to understand the back and forth of conversations. A few months ago, I was tucking him into bed and I said, ‘I love you, buddy,’ like I do every night. He has never responded to it, and it’s never bothered me. That night, he turned to me, brought his hand delicately to his chest, looked me in the eye (!) and said, ‘THANK you!’ in this genuinely delighted tone of voice, like he’d never heard me say it before. It was the best and truest response I could’ve hoped for.”

(Photo by Nicki Sebastian. Childhood photos via Hither & Thither.)

  1. Heather says...

    My children have yet to fly (7 &9) but we’ve taken a longish train trip–and it was so relaxing and lovely. As soon as we boarded we felt we were on vacation. There was lots of leg room for all of us (we sat in a four-top, facing one another). The kids could get up and walk around. The conductors in both directions were delightful. And on arrival we were already downtown, just a few minutes by taxi from our destination. Now my kids complain when we have to take a long drive somewhere: “Isn’t there a train we could take?”

  2. Lisa C. says...

    When I read this part, “expressing desire for each other throughout the day without any pressure to perform is great for our confidence.”

    That lack of pressure to perform when desire is expressed has never been my experience. I have found that when my partner expresses desire it is a call to act if not then, then definitely later. There has not been any expressed desire without the explicit or implicit task to act on it later. Perhaps my experience is unique? But I am wondering, do other women get expressions of desire or even affection without any expectation of the act culminating in sex to completion with their partner? If you do have those expressions without expectation…what is your secret?

  3. Maggie says...

    Catching up. Long Island Bar was my favorite before we moved from BK three years ago. We rang in New Years there a few years. Best burgers. Best vibe.

  4. janine says...

    OMG that bar! I used to live on that block and it was closed for years. I seem to remember there being some crazy story behind the reason it was shuttered for so long… a family feud of some sort, if I recall correctly?

  5. Alexandra says...

    YES to train travel – a few years back, we took the California Zephyr as a family from the SF Bay Area to Chicago (51 hours). It was a wonderful adventure to cross the country the slow way. Would do it again any time. We had a family compartment with fold-out sleepers. There was a friendly attendant, a shower and clean bathrooms, and yes, meals are included. I can highly recommend it. And: don’t hide in your compartment; the most fun part for me was to hang out in the observation car, and there were folks from all walks of life, from Chinese tourists to a big Amish family. And at times, there were volunteers that explained where we were traveling.

  6. Kim says...

    I always love Cup of Jo and the positive comments. Gorgeous playgrounds! Baked Potatoes! Figure Skating! But I have to politely and respectfully call out the crazy of a $250 wooden spoon. Of course, they are beautiful and everything is relative, but this feels really entitled and elitist…and that is pretty unusual coming from COJ.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i hear you — but the story is really beautiful — of an older father who was always a woodworker.
      https://herriottgrace.com/pages/about-us
      that makes me feel differently about it (versus if it were a big company marking things way up.) xoxo

  7. Meg says...

    Oh that last one by Olivia choked me up <3. What a sweet memory. My not-so-little-anymore little brother has autism. When he was young he had a difficult time communicating his feelings in a direct way but one morning said to me, "You make my eyes go heart." I'll never ever ever forget that moment.

  8. jeannie says...

    Can’t wait for season two of Big Little Lies!

  9. Libbynan says...

    Love the New Yorker article……waaayyy back in the 70s when my littles were preschool and I was stay-at-home, I started explaining my one and only “soap” to a neighbor. About 5 or 10 minutes in I started actually listening to what I was saying. Needless to say, that was the end of the conversation and I never watched another soap opera….not even Dallas! And now we have, “same story, second verse.”

  10. Wendy says...

    That train ride link sent me down a wonderful rabbit hole on artists keeping journals and it was quite inspiring. Thanks!

  11. Rachel says...

    SO excited to see you feature Figure Skating in Harlem! I’ve been involved in the organization for years and can attest to how special and meaningful it is. It truly speaks to the power of small, local organizations in enacting meaningful change. I encourage everyone reading this to learn more about FSH via their website: https://figureskatinginharlem.org/

  12. I LOVE Long Island bar so much! And yes….marinated mozzarella will change your life. I bring it to the park with a baguette all summer long.

  13. Anonymous says...

    I have to respectfully disagree with the comment about expressing desire for your partner like a “cartoon wolf” throughout the day. My husband does this to me and I find it really jarring and invasive. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t feel comfortable disrobing even slightly in front of him unless I know I am in a place to be receptive to that kind of attention. We have a 6 month old baby and I can’t even breastfeed in front of him without getting sexual comments, though I have asked him to stop. I do think his intentions are mostly positive, but it is still frustrating. I get the point behind the comment you highlighted but it is absolutely not my experience.

    • Also Anonymous says...

      Thank you for this. While I was not married, I lived with my ex-boyfriend and I also found it invasive when he did this. Often times it would happen when I was changing into my pajamas at the end of the day, when I just wanted a few moments of privacy and alone time.

      Honestly, it would have improved my relationship hugely from my perspective to have been able to disrobe, cuddle, or bathe without it turning overtly sexual. I often feared I was just a prude, but your comment helps put things into perspective.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are really helpful to read. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here.

    • Sherry says...

      Agree. It doesn’t feel good to be on the defensive.

    • Tori says...

      The comment says “expressing desire for each other without any pressure to perform”, and I think the last part is key. To me there’s a big difference between oogling your partner in a fun, flirty way without pressure, and doing the same in a way that is constantly begging for some action.

    • Jane says...

      I relate to these. Mostly having a calm moment to myself when I am decompressing after a long day and changing into comfortable clothes – I don’t always want to be sexualized. I appreciate the intention of the original commenter to be attentive and responsive to their partner throughout the day, but I would maybe ask people to consider in what way a partner might best appreciate that attention.

    • Anonymous says...

      This, 100%. My husband used to wolf-whistle at me while I was pumping breast milk. I hated it. I know his intentions were good — I was having a hard time with anxiety, and he was doing everything he could think of to make me feel loved, supported, and desired — but unfortunately it had the opposite effect.

  14. Lisa says...

    After graduating high school in Germany, I worked in Florida for a gap year. When I was done, I went on a 4-week-train trip with stops for exploring in Washington, DC., Chicago (got there during the biggest snowstorm and was amazed by the amount of snow and how there was next to no traffic on a weekday), San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto. It was an amazing experience to cross the Rocky Mountains in February and I’d love to go to Colorado someday, it was just so beautiful. The leg across Canada took 4 days and I hope to repeat it with my husband someday.
    I was also by myself apart from the drive from Chicago to San Francisco, and I enjoyed how open and talkative people were. These train rides are among the most memorable experiences I got to make up to now. I’m eternaly grateful to my parents for letting me do this – they must have been pretty worried.
    So, long story short: Yes!! to train travel.

  15. Annon says...

    Thank you so much for giving a shout out to train travel. Its very important and under-rated solution in reducing emissions.

  16. Natasha says...

    Beautiful, Olivia!
    We work on reciprocal conversation here too. My son tells me “I know that” when I tell him I love him. When I get that acknowledgment, my heart is happy.

    • Stephanie says...

      ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Oh my heart, Olivia! 😢

  18. Amanda says...

    I recently took the Coast Starlight with my 6-year-old daughter from Seattle to LA, and it was the best experience! Riding the train was mesmerizing and had a way of slowing time without that feel of forced relaxation. Because we had to share a table with two others at every meal, she got to practice manners and conversation skills while we met interesting people and saw parts of the coast we’d never seen from a car or plane. I loved it so much that I’m planning for the trip to be a family rite of passage for my younger two children when they each turn six.

    • Laura says...

      Amanda- can you get off and on the Starlight? Like can you get off in Portland for a few days? San Francisco for a few days? Or is it 35 hours straight and you just pass through the stops?

    • Amanda says...

      Laura – The train goes straight through with brief (10-min to 2-hour) stops in Portland, Oakland, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo and lots of 2-minute stops with people starting and ending their rides. I don’t see why you couldn’t buy separate tickets to spend longer at destinations along the way, though I’d imagine it’s pricey.

  19. Julia says...

    Oh, Olivia’s comment – how beautiful and heart wrenching!

  20. Madie says...

    Yes to baked potatoes! Forever and always. But rub the skins with butter, not olive oil, before popping them in the oven (yes directly on the rack). Now I want one!

  21. Joanna Goddard says...

    sorry that the comments were turned off for the first couple hours of this post! they’re back on now! xoxo