Flashback Friday/Makeup Monday

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Photo retrieved from Google Photos

With all the rain, I have found myself looking forward to the release of Christopher Robin even more. And now that I have a slow minute, I wanted to catch up on Flashback Friday. So, we will call this one, Makeup Monday.

Need a rainy day trip? I would definitely recommend visiting Midtown in Harrisburg. Beautiful walkways, scenic views of the river, and Strawberry Square. Check out below for specific recommendations.  

Broad Street Market For all of my local readers, if you haven’t made it to Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market, definitely make the trek. My husband and I happened upon it this past weekend and were not disappointed. There is a free parking lot (it fills up quickly) and also free 2-hour parking on the streets. Located in Midtown right next to The Millworks and Midtown Scholar, Broad Street Market along with The Millworks and Midtown Scholar is easily a couple hour adventure. At Broad Street, I would recommend ordering the Curried Goat from Porter’s House. Though, beware of bones. And, if you have time, and the emotional capacity, head to the Civil War Museum.

Part of my blog mission includes supporting local artists and entrepreneurs, particularly those from marginalized communities. And, because I enjoy international food and Afrocentrism, I wanted to include a few shout outs to some local restaurants and businesses.

Awash Lancaster. Love Ethiopian cuisine? Awash is one of my favorite spots to eat. Tucked in to a small strip mall by Franklin and Marshall College, I would recommend ordering their honey wine and spicy Dora Wat. So, so yum!

Etown Noodle. Local Vietnamese Cuisine in Elizabethtown. Ian recommends the Vermicelli Salad and pork rolls I would recommend the Chicken Pad Thai.

PAVAA Gallery. Beautiful and moving Afrocentric art. I had the pleasure of visiting PAVAA for a Loving Event in June, but will definitely go back to check out the art. If you are local and haven’t had a chance to stop by, they are located at 632 N Christian Street Lancaster, PA 17602

La Costena Restaurant in Lancaster serves authentic, delicious Peruvian cuisine. My husband and I visited this restaurant in early Summer/late Spring and really enjoyed the food and the quiet ambience.

What about you? Any restaurants or local day trip itineraries you would recommend? As always, I would be interested in your thoughts.

Shalom always,

Flashback Friday

Reading Time: 4 minutes
If your week has been going anything like mine, then perhaps you’ve already found yourself a bucket of ice water and started Googling where to find a beach that is within driving distance and won’t be crowded. 
This past weekend, my husband and I went on a quick mini-vacation to Colonial Williamsburg and while it was almost unbearably hot, it was also very empty. If you are local to the east coast and haven’t been, I would definitely recommend going to visit (and stopping at The Lazy Pig BBQ and/or Buz and Ned’s for BBQ because you know that we definitely went to both…)
Anyways, here were my top five from the week. As always, I’m interested in what you noticed this past week. 
1.      True Crime Podcasts.Whenever I travel, I like to listen to either a book on tape or I read aloud to my husband. While recent read-aloud favorites have included The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Program by Suzanna Young. We have also listened to Serial and  S-Town. But, on our most recent adventure, we listened to Dirty John, an Award winning drama following the true story of Debra Newell, “a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.” About 4-5hrs long, this story was riveting, disturbing and enthralling.
On the way home, we found ourselves listening to In the Dark Season 1, an award winning investigative report by APM Reports which follows the child abduction of Jacob Wetterling. An important and enlightening investigative documentary, this podcast has trigger warnings and reveals “how enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raise questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.
2.      Old Spiritual Favorites. Do you ever have a song come back to you at exactly the right time and speak to you? Okay, melodramatic, sure, but I heard this old song, “We are Soldiers in the Army” this past weekend, and I was struck again by the phrase “holding up the blood stained banner.” While the linked out version of the song uses “hold up the freedom banner,” another version goes like this: we are soldiers in the army/we have to fight although we have to cry/ we have to hold up the blood stained banner/ we have to hold it up until we die. I was reminded yet again how bloody the banner is as I reflected on the march to end family separation.
3.      The recent police tazing in Lancaster City has left me with a multitude of emotions, but not one of shock. If you haven’t seen the video, you can click hereto access. The Lancaster Police statement regarding the incident can be accessed here.
4.    Fete en Blanc. Okay. So, time to unload my unpopular opinion. Fete en blanc & white privilege. I know, I know it’s just a party, right? And, it’s inclusive, right? And, what right do I have to comment because I’ve never attended, right? Sure, while all of those are, perhaps, valid arguments, I think it’s important to investigate the illusionary façade of inclusiveness. While some critics have donned the worldwide Dinner en Blanc sensation as pretentious snobbery and defenders of the event quoted oh, you know, the Poet Laureate Taylor Swift with some version of haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate….I think one of the more problematic elements of Dinner en Blanc is that it remains exclusive vis a vis the process of becoming ‘in the know’ about the event. Fete en Blanc and, arguably, most Dinner en Blanc’s remain exclusive because it’s an elitist event buoyed by timed entrances, high prices and bring your own white everything.
While the timing of this year’s Fete en Blanc was perhaps unfortunate in regard to the March to End Family Seperation and the tazing event in Lancaster, I also think it is important to consider socio-economic factors like gentrification, increased poverty and police brutality and juxtapose them with a very public, very white party.
Perhaps, I’m bitter. Perhaps other people are bitter which is why the Ce Soir Noir was created. Or perhaps it is important to question the let them eat cake parties. With a 29% poverty level, Lancaster City has a higher poverty level than Philadelphia (25% as reported 9/2017), and New York City (19.5% as reported 4/2018). And sure, whom are these parties hurting? Everyone’s going to have an opinion about everything, right? And, after all – maybe I would change my mind if I went…right? But, while parties are fun, and partying in large public spaces invites public commentary, I think it is also important to consider the very real power and privilege structures required to have access to such parties and what it would mean to consider rethinking whom has access.
What if instead of putting the event online with timed ticket slots, the event was publicly announced and scholarships were offered? What if ticket slots honored a varied work schedule? (ie – instead of only having ticket times at 9AM, 10AM, 11AM, 12PM and 1PM, ticket times were also offered in the evening and at a specific physical location?).Part of the “fun” of Fete en Blanc is not knowing when or where the event will be held until the day of, but this “totally fetch” piece of fun is, in itself, a function of privilege.
Consider: If you have a job that requires asking off ahead of time and if you have kids that would require a babysitter, etc., then the event is no longer inclusive but exclusive. If you require public transportation, then most likely – unless your bus driver allows a table, chairs, etc., on the bus, this event is exclusive.
And, the framework of the event is built on an exclusive model: limited capacity; timed entrances; public spectacle; grandeur for grandeur; and inaccessibility. 
But that’s what makes it fun. Right? Okay, so that was all for #boniruinseverything. But really, Lancaster. Let’s get it together.   
5.      Home Fires (2015) by PBS Masterpiece has quickly become one of my favorite TV Shows. And, believe me – I loved Downton! Unfortunately, the series was cut after the second season so much of the plot remains unresolved. But quick, witty, heartbreaking and hilarious, Home Fires follows the “story of a rural English Village on the verge of WWII.” The show is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

The Friday Top 5

Reading Time: 2 minutes


It’s that time of the week again. Here are my Top 5. 
1.Have you ever heard of the website titled Pastors in Exile? I stumbled across it a few months ago, and have found it riveting. A movement of Anabaptist pastors in the Waterloo area, Pastors in Exile claims the following: 
“We are community pastors outside of church walls, who are seeking God’s blessings for the city and surrounding area of Kitchener-Waterloo. We partner and collaborate with all those who also seek the wellness of this place we call home.
We believe that church is evolving into something beyond just a specific community in a specific place at a specific time. PiE is a network of people that constantly evolves and changes; a network of people who are exploring what it means to love God and love their neighbours in unique, creative and powerful ways. Everyone who seeks to join God’s loving and transforming work in the world is invited to be a pastor in exile with us”   
I stumbled across the following blog post entitled: I am Mennonite and We are Racist and found the words challenging and raw and courageous. 
2. Are you a podcast person? Check out the Liturgists. 
***Disclaimer – there is a bit of language in their podcasts, and some podcasts begin with a trigger warning.***
 Last year, a friend sent me the link for Episode 40: Woman. And, I have been re-listening to this as the first time I pretty much bawled through its entirety. This episode features: Lisa Gungor, Austin Channing Brown, Emily Capshaw, Reverand Sarah Heath, Caroline Lee and Christine Chester. If you have a few hours and a stash of tissues, grab a spot on the couch and settle in. 
3. Do you ever have a quote that just sits with you? One that has been sitting with me is the following: 
Photo obtained through Google Photos via the Hunt Institute

4. Need another worship group to listen to? One of my favorites is Forever Jones, and this song has been on my heart this week: Every Moment  Enjoy 🙂 

5. The Office. Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time that I watched this show, but every now and then I see a meme and it reminds me exactly of the week that I have had. 

Photo obtained through Google Images