I-Tri, And I Did

Part of why I began writing a fitness and wellness column is the community surrounding it — those who are actively focused on improving mind, body, and soul share a commonality; bettering themselves, and oftentimes those around them. On October 5, I rode alongside dozens of men and women who were all on a mission to inspire young middle school girls through the sport.

We gathered at Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton and prepared for Ride & Wine, a fall fundraiser benefiting i-tri, a nonprofit empowering girls through the completion of a triathlon that has grown significantly since its inception in 2010.

The initial event was a bike ride of choice, either 10, 30, or 60 miles. Originally, I intended on going 30 to push my own personal boundaries, but circumstances beyond my control bumped me into the 10-mile group. Thanks to Sag Harbor Cycle Company I was on my way down Lumber Lane, over to Ocean Road, turning onto Bridge Lane, and over to Gibson Beach on the scenic route. On the way back my group rode up Sagg Main Road, passed the Wölffer Estate, through Narrow Lane, up Lumber again, and back to the winery. The weather was beautiful, and two men made the day more interesting, sporting a tandem bike in matching green and beige outfits.

i-tri began with coaching eight middle school girls at Springs School in East Hampton, and as of 2019, has worked with over 700 across 10 school districts. The organization’s founder, Theresa Roden, has her sights set on national expansion.

During a presentation following the ride I listened to four middle-schoolers in the program with low self-esteem talk about how the preparation for and completion of a triathlon helped them create a better sense of self — that overcoming new challenges makes them prideful. It brings a sense of camaraderie and confidence that no one can take away from them.

It reminded me of my youth, and how each day of middle school was like stepping onto an emotional battlefield. It made me think of my niece, who is 11 years old, and what she must be going through right now. Women everywhere can relate to these young girls, because we all used to be them.

What Roden has created is beyond each individual in the program — she’s building a stronger wave of female empowerment for now and for the future.


This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper here

A Multi-Sensory Artistic World

This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here

Envision a world where artwork is edible. A place where the photographs or paintings hanging on a wall could not only be something for your eyes to consume, but jump onto a plate and become a delicious masterpiece for your stomach. This is the Palette to Palate series, curated by Kara Hoblin of North Fork Art Collective, and held at Bruce and Son’s in Greenport on spontaneously chosen dates.

On Thursday, August 22, I experienced one of the art dinners in the series, titled “Hypnagogia: Weird Dreams.” Hypnagogia is defined as the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, adding another sense of creative mystery to what was ahead. There were seven paintings on the wall curated by Hoblin. Once the pieces are displayed, chefs Scott Bollman and Brian Russell curate a menu of their own to literally, or symbolically, emulate the art. The final piece in this pyramid of imagination is the wine pairing, done by Channing Daughters Winery.

“The idea is to allow people to connect through their passions,” Hoblin said. “We all put our piece of the puzzle together to create the whole experience: art, wine, food, and people.”

DSC_0027The first of seven pieces was Hoblin’s “Out of Water” acrylic on wood, that was paired with a sashimi dish of watermelon, tuna, and cornabria blossoms. The course was the most literal artistic interpretation of all the dishes, in the shape of a whale, with a bright, floral touch. The ones to follow were more abstract takes, such as with Dennis Chalkin’s “at 33,000 ft,” archival legacy fiber paper photograph.

“It’s strange for me to talk about one image when I’ve taken hundreds of thousands,” said Chalkin. “I’m inspired by life. I always take my camera with me.” A display of thinly sliced peaches graced the plate with whipped goat cheese, symbolizing the clouds in the photograph, along with watercress, and dukkah — an Egyptian condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices. Elizabeth Karsch “Sea Robin” acrylic, pastel, oil pastel, and color pencil on wood panel followed and was paired with squash, tomato, and vegetable ash. These three dishes were accompanied by a white, Tocai Friulano wine.

Sarah Satory’s “No Direction, But Not Lost” charcoal and conte on BFK paper piece was complimented by a twist on traditional clam chowder — vegetable, chervil, and truffle, paired with a rose cabernet sauvignon 2018. Carl Timpone’s “Emptiness is Form Metal Print,” was represented with short ribs, depicting rocks, with mushroom, seaweed, potato, and horseradish. Dessert was a cheesecake with blueberry, blue cheese, and yka leaves to emulate the butterflies of Vu’s painting “Letting Go,” acrylic on wood.DSC_0039

“It was about a girl, about a breakup, and letting go,” Vu said. “Facing the reality that identity is completely different. Letting go of a certain identity to create another one.”

Sylvia Channing of Channing Daughters Winery, “7,” was paired with a CBD latte.

Chefs Bollman and Russell mastered the art of turning culinary dreams into a reality in this unique collaboration among likeminded individuals. At the dinner, conversation flowed: discussions of love, passion, invention, and community. Through art, Hoblin has opened up a multi-sensory world where palette and palate intertwine.