Happy Birthday Jasper!

Dear Liza,

Cousin Jasper turned 12 last Saturday!

Auntie Katie, Uncle Dave and the Cousins all met us down at Pastini Pastoria on Division Street. Our waiter, Austin, took good care of us. He took our picture. He made sure we had wine and pasta. He made sure we had a knife for the birthday cake I made and brought in. He was funny and efficient and made Auntie Bridgett a tasty Lemondrop cocktail.

We chatted and laughed, playing with words and being silly, like we always do.

Since all of us, including the kids, are vaccinated and boosted, we felt comfortable enough to be in a room that was pretty full of folks. Then this morning, I read that a new virus variant may cause more lockdowns. Well, poop.

So, life is unpredictable. We knew this. The greatest intelligence, said Darwin, is the ability to adapt. So we will adapt and see you at the other end of whatever is coming up.
Stay happy!


Grandma Judy

The Hob Nob Returns

Dear Liza,

Our neighborhood has dozens of eateries, pubs, bars, pizzerias and taquerias. That’s one of the reasons we bought this house…. Walkability to all sorts of goodies!

But the pandemic shuttered many of them. Some, like The Nerd Out, closed up shop for good. Others, like the Taqueria Los Punales, opened amidst the craziness and have done well with take out and outdoor seating.

But The HobNob was special. It served good casual food and drinks. It is super close (our Real Estate agent called it “staggering distance”). But mostly, the people were friendly, funny, and welcoming. It was Our Place.

With the pandemic it shut down, then tried to open again. The owner, Jason, got sick. The doors were closed and locked for months. We were worried.

And now, da Nob is back! Sunday evening, dozens of our neighbors collected at the outdoor tables (some under a newly-built patio on SE 34th) to eat, drink, and socialize.

Jason greeted everyone like old friends, Megan brought us drinks and food, and the world felt better.

I know the city is still messed up. Crazy people, both the powerful and the powerless, make things complicated and scary. But having a place to meet with friends, and seeing small businesses succeeding, gives me hope.


Grandma Judy