Our family is generally an ardent farmer’s market family, but we missed out on much of June and July as the crowds got heavier and lines at the Williamsburg Greenmarket ballooned. (For pandemic safety reasons, you can’t touch the produce yourself, which means every customer gets a personal shopper—a nice touch, but not great for throughput.) Opting out of early summer produce, though, meant missing out on the height of strawberry season, which was a huge bummer in the midst of a much larger bummer. It was a pleasant surprise last week, then, to find at the Union Square Greenmarket exactly one vendor with dozens of pints of sweet little Tristar strawberries. Kina noshed on a few tiny berries at the playground, eating through the rest over the next couple of days. We’d find her watching Octonauts with strawberry juice on her chin, blissfully unaware of the aftermath of her feast. Laurea found some more at the market this weekend—a late-season double-header!—and served up a few for breakfast today as a rare seasonal treat in the midst of an otherwise undifferentiated lump of days. Kina’s subsequent reflection on her preferred berry size is forgivable, but only because I take the blame for plying her for three years with flavorless, apple-sized, off-season Californian beastberries. I feel like there’s a moment in your development as a mature human being at which you discover that small berries are good berries and learn to leave the bland giants as traps for philistine babies. Kina’s not there yet, but we are working with her, so long as this languorous season holds. I am patient and will enjoy the little berries for myself in the meantime.
As the other headlines suggest, we went to the ocean again yesterday, which may or may not be the last time we go for the season. Kina avoided crabs, played with larvae and her friend Toma, and complained about sunscreen. I won’t pretend that I didn’t wish we owned a house outside the city, can’t say that working remotely from the beach for the last three months wouldn’t have been peaceful and nourishing, but we feel an incredible loyalty to Jacob Riis and the beach park that bears his name. I’m fiercely proud that we stayed in this city over the last five months, but can’t say we could have weathered it without the ocean. It has been our constant friend and salve. Avoid the atrocious clam strips.