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Aisle Seat: Finding Your Bliss Can Be Delish!

By Naomi Serviss / New York City


Small Batch Jam
Small Batch Jam

Simple pleasures


have been buoying


my hunkered-down spirits


these past two years:


A hearty chunk


of warm sourdough


sesame-seed bread,


Small Batch Meyer Lemon Marmalade


spread on top.


Whole-milk White Moustache yogurt


aswirl with sour cherries.


Creamy goodness.


White Moustache yogurt
White Moustache Yogurt

Sugarless fruit scones


sweetened by cran and blueberries.


Sesame noodles


from our favorite Chinese restaurant.


Magnum Ice Cream, any flavor.


Magnum Ice Cream
Magnum Ice Cream

It’s not just


about sating raw physical hunger.


It’s also about


nurturing emotional well-being


with critical self-care.


Easier said.



It’s okay to be happy


even though the world is a mess.


I listen to show tunes


on my early morning


Central Park walk


with our new-ish rescue pup Janis.


We soak in the splendor


of our surroundings.


senses attuned


to the sunrise and aroma


of newly mown grass.


Playing “Bébé Fetch”


with our two-year-old


Humane Society pup


tops all.


Bébé is a tattered


comfort squeaky toy


bearing a slight resemblance


to a teensy white lamb.


Once pristine,


Bébé is now

A paler shade of white,


lovingly gnawed to its nubs.


 Janis and Bébé
Janis and Bébé

Janis zooms


around the apartment,


daring us to wrest it


from her mouth.


It’s a joyous


never-ending frolic


up and down our hallway.



We have three dog beds


(I know, I know)


so she can nestle


into a soft spot anywhere


in our three-room apartment.


Her plushest bed


sits at the foot of our bed.


She’s fond of it,


but prefers nestling


between us, her warmth, radiant.


Janis soothes me


when the near-constant construction cacophony


crushes quiet and threatens


my concentration.


I rise at 5 a.m.


to savor two precious quiet hours,

only birdsong in the background.


Her feather-duster tail quivers


when Lew awakens


late in the morning.


Every day after entrance is granted,


Janis bounds up


our quilted turquoise and white,


polka-dotted makeshift pathway


to Lew’s face,


which she christens enthusiastically


with nonstop tongue-licking.


That makes me crave


(I don’t know why)


killer sugarless fruit scones


from a homey Eastside bagel café,


creatively named:

Bagel Shop.


Bagel Shop offering with a schmear
Bagel Shop offering with a schmear

It’s a spacious bakery


where magic happens,


crosstown.


The air is bagel-y


with everything seasoning,


toasted sesame seeds, cinnamon and coffee.


Their best-in-show is pumpernickel.


I’m a gluten for pumpernickel.



We workout pals


pre-Covid, if memory serves),


hung out


to nosh, caffeinate and applaud


each other’s stamina.


I miss those days.


One universe-cracking-open fact


learned over these past Covid years:


Carbs are not the enemy.


Good carbs, that is.


Organic, hand-crafted


artisanal bread


is healthier,


better for the environment


and tastes worlds apart


from supermarket loaves.


I recently discovered


the motherload


of tastebud-heaven sourdough bread.


Sourdough Gambit


(cute, right?)


is a fledging, limited-supply


pandemic-inspired bakery


that delivers to


our Upper West Side abode.


Adam Simon


founder, baker and former finance pro


ditched Goldman Sachs


after two decades

to find his bliss


in a Queens commercial kitchen.


Adam Simon, baker extraordinaire
Adam Simon, baker extraordinaire

Using the best organic flour


on the market,


this Wizard of Wheat


crafts off-the-beaten-


taste-bud track


with imaginative manna.


Sourdough Gambit’s Array of Goodies
Sourdough Gambit’s array of goodies

The sesame is seeded within;


a country loaf


has just three ingredients.


Olive lovers will celebrate


the Moroccan loaf,


plump with North African-inspired flavor.


I’m partial


to the walnut cranberry,


the apple-pie cookies


and the cinnamon buns.



My nonfood-related blissful moments:


Practicing mindful meditation


followed by yoga stretches


powers most days.


Meditation inspiration Allan Lokos
Meditation inspiration Allan Lokos

I miss Sunday’s


in-person community meditation services


led by Buddhist guide Allan Lokos.


His uplifting


dharma teachings,


delivered in


a resonant baritone voice,


hint at his former Broadway career.


Occasionally tuning into


the weekly Zoom sessions


doesn’t ring my bell.


Still, our small white pup


warms my lap as I write,


her piercing Keane-eyes


shattering a gloomy mood.


My heart fills


as I stroke her soft form,


her head propped


against my writing arm.



Life is good.


 






Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including BroadwayWorld.com

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