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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,


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

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

1 comment



Food and pets are comfort for the body and soul. bff 👯‍♀️

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