a quiet sunday at the Cloisters + more about blogging

September 1, 2015 |  Category:   life nyc outings rambling

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Is anyone here? I believe this is the longest stretch I’ve gone without posting in 8 1/2 years. But unlike the past, the absence feels ok and there’s less guilt involved. Guilt about not blogging? Yes, it does happen sometimes, but if we were all wondering about the slow death of blogging before, I think we can now say with certainty that it’s not the same as it once was and hasn’t been for a long time. Personally, for me, it wasn’t just the collective slow-down that triggered less frequent updates, but I confess that my heart wasn’t into blogging anymore once my brother died. It’s like my desire to write died with him – partly out self preservation, but also because I’ve been dealing with something personal that may turn out to be one of the more difficult things I have had to deal with. I worried that I was phoning it in this past year and I apologize if it seemed that way. For those of you who have stuck around all these years – you deserve better, and while I’m not throwing in the towel, I’m admitting that I don’t have the capacity to blog like I once did. This start up job (which has now turned into full time), our business, freelancing, my family…this is life right now. It’s so full (arguably TOO full), but also brimming with challenges and possibilities.
 
I have so many photos from our 2 week trip to Hawaii to share, but I’m not quite ready yet. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve seen some photos. I also did a fair amount of live streaming while on the islands and you can see the replays here. We’re fighting jetlag, but slowly beating it and took the weekend to ease back in. On Sunday, we took a rather spontaneous trip up to the Cloisters. It’s such a great place to sit and think quietly, and a rather nice way to transition back to the city.
 
Today was back to work – the kitchen for Mark, the office for me. Next week…school.
 
Happy first day of September.

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  • Gretchen September 1, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Hello there–I’ve been reading your blog for years and never commented…perhaps I’ve never commented on anyone’s blog before? 🙂 Possibly. No need to apologize for not writing so often. I enjoy reading what you are your family are up to and always get good ideas for places to visit if/when I am ever in NY, how to raise my girl, how to navigate working as a mom, coping with loss. Your photos are also tremendously beautiful. Keep on, keeping on! You’re doing a fine job. You reach me! Thank you.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you for commenting today, Gretchen! Appreciate your kinds words.

      • Giorgia September 2, 2015 at 2:02 am

        Much like many of the commenters above, I’ve been reading your blog for years, although rarely – if ever – commented. I truly enjoy your writing and photography, and yours is one of a very small handful of blogs I still look up on a weekly basis. Just wanted to let you know your words and photos don’t go unnoticed and are a source of inspiration!

  • Roos September 1, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Hello Jenna from Amsterdam!
    Yes, after five and something years of reading your blog, I’m still here 🙂 and actually dealing with the same blogging/not-blogging issues.
    Sometimes life takes turnes you don’t feel like sharing online, or, the things you do open up about, start to lead a life of their own. In my case, I noticed how people don’t actually talk to me anymore but depend on my blog for information – and, obviously, the online life is only a tiny part of reality. Conclusions are drawn based on what’s revealed on a blog and whereas many find social media stimulating, somehow comforting, since they use it as a way to feel better about themselves, I’ve found it to be the opposite.
    I’m glad you were so courageous to still write here after your brother passed away. You don’t owe your audience anything, and even if you weren’t going to say anything: your pictures always tell beautiful stories!
    Happy first day of September to you all too,
    Roos

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Hello Roos. Always good to hear from you. Happy September to you too. Hope you and your family are doing well.

  • Betty M September 1, 2015 at 3:47 am

    I’m here ( not sure I’ve commented before). I enjoy your blog a lot so I’ll keep coming back regardless of the length of time between posts.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you Betty.

  • neta September 1, 2015 at 4:25 am

    My daughter is in NY this week, and I sent to some of the places you mention in your blog, she had a great time. so thanks ! 🙂
    she loved the smorgasburg market !!

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Hope she’s having a great time!

  • Katie September 1, 2015 at 7:37 am

    I will read for as long as you write, but I have never understood the feeling of owing your readers anything. It must feel burdensome to feel you are letting people down, or somehow not fulfilling your obligations.

    As a long-time reader and a couple-of-times commenter I will just say I hope you feel free to write as much or as little as you like. This is your blog, your space, your rules.

    Be well! x

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      I admit it is strange and complicated to feel a bit guilty. I hope I didn’t make it sound like keeping up the blog is a burden, because it’s absolutely not, but It’s rather hard to explain. The blog, even though it’s personal, is also a blog for our business, so I think the feelings of obligation are tied to that aspect of it. Maybe that might help explain it a bit?

  • Sarah September 1, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Jenna – I’ve been following your blog for more years than I can remember. It’s funny you should mention that blogging seems to have fallen out for you because as a blog reader I’ve also found that I’m not interested in following along with nearly as many writers as I once was. That said – yours is still the blog that I get excited to read whenever I see a new post regardless of how often they pop up in my feed! I thoroughly enjoy seeing New York through your lens and words. I wish you plenty of balance as we all head into the busy fall/winter season 🙂

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I’ve found too that many blogs that I used to follow are no longer. I just think this is the way it is. New forms of social sharing take over – nothing, especially when it’s tied to technology is ever static. Thank you so much for reading all these years.

  • Ronnie September 1, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Just want to say that I’m still here and love reading your posts when I see an update from you.
    Take care,
    Ronnie xo

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Hello Ronnie! So nice to hear from you. Hope you and the boys are well. xo

  • Jillian September 1, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Love reading your blog and absolutely no need to apologize. Self care is so important and often hard to ‘schedule’ these days.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      So true, Jillian. Thank you.

  • Katie September 1, 2015 at 9:37 am

    hi! I’m here and I love it when you post.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you for reading, Katie.

  • enuwy September 1, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Hi Jenna, I’m also a long time reader who has seldom commented (though I did send a mail once!). I have enjoyed following your blog all these years, and it has been a source of information, inspiration and comfort in many ways to me. Blogging has its ebbs and flows, and I have always been prepared that you may possibly wish to take a step back from it, or even stop it altogether. Whichever way, I continue to look forward to and enjoy your posts, no matter how infrequent, and if you choose to stop, I completely respect that as well (as I’m sure many others will). It’s your blog, and you should only continue to write as long as you feel up to it – it shouldn’t be a burden or obligation.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much. Appreciate your kind and supportive words, and for reaching out today.

  • Joann September 1, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Oh man. Yeah. I’ve been blogging since 2003 (back then was xanga!) and lately it feels different. It used to be that it was solely for me to identify feelings I’d been stifling, and then putting out something that was cryptic or inspiring or a poem or… anything. But it was all for me, and if people read it, great, who cares.

    Now I find that I have to be careful about the way social media’s approval affects me. I would so rather there were no ‘like’ options or ‘heart’ options, and everything was back to just putting words and art out there. These days when I write about life or where we’ve been lately, I’m so stoked to have written and to have shared, but the moment after, of “how may ppl read this? should I hashtag better?” is so draining.

    the internet is weird and wonderful both.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      yes, I’ve been blogging longer than this blog – back since about 2001. Social approval and likes is a weird thing indeed. We never used to have to deal with validation from strangers before.

  • angie September 1, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    i feel the same way about blogging, too. it doesnt seem to have the same luster as it did before. although many others still keep it up regularly, i’ve found myself quite inconsistent in maintaining my blog and giving more time to quicker turnarounds like twitter or instagram, where it doesn’t consume so much time for every post or update, but still allows me to connect and express myself to the rest of the world.

    your life seems full and blogging isn’t one of the top priority to-do things anymore, and thats perfectly fine. 🙂 as long as we still get to see your photos!

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      It used to be the only way to express ourselves! But I do agree, with my business schedule, it’s just much quicker to connect with people on IG or even now on Periscope. Writing takes A LOT of time and thought.

  • Lulu September 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Hi from Sacramento. I always check and when there is no new post I just scroll and look at old pictures. I am very loyal to my old bloggers : )

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      aww, thanks 🙂

  • RebeccaNYC September 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I still read many blogs that continue their daily posts with enthusiasm, and I am in awe of their ability to do so! You seem ready to move on, however, and I am curious to know why you have not. Your beautiful photos on IG tell stories of their own, and if you are ready to leave blogging you should do so with pride in what you have achieved here. I, for one, am very grateful to you, and wish you well, no matter what you decide to do.

    • Jenna September 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      It’s a good question Rebecca. I guess I’m not closing the door in case I do feel like writing again. I didn’t know if it was temporary due to the loss. There are also other things that are happening right now that makes me hesitate from writing and sharing about my life that I can’t talk about, but that will pass hopefully at some point. It’s also as much about the lack of time as it is a lack of desire to write – I am trying to manage this impossible work schedule. As I wrote in a previous comment, this blog (though it may no longer seem like it) is a blog that supports our business. It still feeds traffic to our shop, so there are tangible reasons why I feed the need to keep it up. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s always nice to see familiar names here!

  • Jen September 2, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I think some of blogging’s lost shine is due to over-saturation. To stay ahead of the game you have to be on all of the social media platforms, and there ends up being a lot of repetition. As you mentioned, with everyone so busy it’s easier to read a quickie caption on Instagram than a story on a blog. I’ve been a huge luddite when it comes to social media, but did recently join Instagram, and I’ve honestly been surprised how much it’s impacted my desire to read blogs. It sort of makes me sad, because generally I like longer form writing. I still have a handful of blogs I read on the regular, including your blog, but I totally get how as attention spans filter off to other forms of social media, it’s hard to maintain a sense of community that inspires the desire to share. And if you’re actually finding that sense of community elsewhere on social media, then it’s even harder to commit to blogging. Anyways, I’ll keep reading as long as you write, and if you decide to stop, at least there’s Instagram so I won’t be deprived of your beautiful photos!

    • Jenna September 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Absolutely. I try to vary our photos and content across all of our social channels, but sometimes it still feels redundant. IG has made a huge impact on blogs. And with our attention spans changing, it’s so much easier to post a photo and a caption – for the creators and the readers.

  • Uljana September 2, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years but also never commented before. I very much enjoy reading your blog and I enjoy seeing New York through your eyes (as someone who lives in Germany and is always thrilled to visit the city).
    Maybe blogging is slowing down with everyone turning to Instagram or Snapchat. I also stopped reading a lot of blogs that I used to like but that is mainly due to the ever increasing amount of sponsored posts and posts filled with affiliated links that I’ve just grown tired of. That is also one reason why I always look forward to reading your new posts and keep checking in. I applaud you on your stand on not adding ads or doing sponsored posts despite the costs of running your blog.

    • Jenna September 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks for commenting today. I’m starting to see sponsored content on live streams, so it’s just beginning on those platforms. Technology comes in waves, things trend and die. It’s interesting to take part in it though!

  • Angela September 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    Your breadwinner post was what brought me here back in 2011 and I’ve been following ever since. I realize 4 years might not be a very long time, but I was a fresh college grad when I first came across your blog, and since then I’ve worked overseas in two career paths and have just moved back to the States to start another, so it feels longer!

    Many times, your posts have offered insights and thoughts that have really resonated with me and I am very grateful that your blog accompanied me through my first few (admittedly tumultuous) years of adulthood. I love the way you put beautiful words and images together with so much candor – it hasn’t ever felt phoned in.

    Thank you for taking the time to put some truly genuine content on the internet.

    Happy September to you too and all the best!
    Angela

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      4 years in college years is indeed a long time! And wow, that breadwinner post. Seems like forever ago when I wrote that. And thank you Angela for reading and commenting on this post.

  • Janet September 2, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Jenna, still here and enjoying your blog. Thank you for continuing this, though I know it may sometimes feel like another thing to keep up. I started reading your blog when after i graduated college. I like to think I’ve learned a lot and matured since then (5 years ago!), and you definitely gave me great insight about life that I didn’t find anywhere else. All I can say is, thank you!

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      So nice to hear from so many long time readers here. Thank you Janet.

  • Jhope September 3, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Still here. I appreciate that you are too! Way back when your images helped me leave Brooklyn, now they just make me happy.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Hello from Brooklyn! Always nice to see a comment from you, thank you.

  • Caddy September 3, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Still here. Still loving what you share. 🙂

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you for sticking with me, Caddy.

  • red September 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    still here, still love sweet fine day….but would totally understand if you decided to step away. xx

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you Red. Nice to hear from you again.

  • rr September 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for years and years. You are an amazing writer and photographer. I follow 10ish blogs and yours is the only one where I read every word. You write about meaningful things and are always honest. And as others have mentioned, the length of time between posts matters not! I just feel lucky for the glimpses whenever they come.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, rr. Appreciate them.

  • Vanessa September 4, 2015 at 1:11 am

    I think the feeling that blogging has changed might have to do with the arc of the writer’s interest, not so much the blogging scene. Right along with the concept that “music was better back then” and it always coincides with your age. Back then was when you were a teen/young adult. Life changes a tiny bit day by day, and a lot decade by decade. Parenting, marriage, work, home ownership all rewarding and yet hard. Those are the things we write about.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      That is all very true Vanessa, but I do think blogging has changed as an “industry”. I don’t think we can expect it not to, not with how fast social media is evolving. I don’t think long form writing will ever go away, but platforms like Medium have also impacted blogging. Appreciate your input and a different perspective.

  • L September 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and for me it has always been connected to your business; one led me to the other but I can’t remember which I found first.

    I think I have noticed a difference recently but as a reader it felt like evolution rather than deterioration. You wrote some time ago about giving your daughters more privacy and I felt this was a year when you needed to do the same for yourself.

    Joining a start up must have been a huge change, one where the story isn’t always yours to tell.

    I can’t imagine what you have experienced since your brother died. I don’t want to imagine it. I hope never to experience it. But I hope I can empathise. The grief I have experienced has knocked me over and made me feel like I’m outside the world and my life. I’ve found it hard not to be both bewildered by and angry at a world that carried on as if nothing had changed.

    I hope you find the right option for you. I admire writers who have the honesty to write and the honesty not to write. If you write, I’ll read. If you don’t, it will be the right decision.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you L for this thoughtful comment. I read it over three times, and it’s a wonderful reflection. Your words have helped.

  • blandine September 6, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Hi Jenna, I totally disagree with the “you deserve better” part. I don’t feel you owe readers anything, and I still enjoy your blog very much. I hope you’ll continue to write from time to time!

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you Blandine for your support.

  • ltg September 6, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I have started reading your blog when C was 2ish (I think…it’s been a long time:). At one point -when I had ample time- I went back and read all the archives. Over the years, you wrote about so many subjects for me to ponder, always with beautiful photography. I can imagine how much time you put into these posts. I appreciate it.

    I follow you in other social media and enjoy them a lot too, but your blog is more special. No matter how frequent or infrequent your posts are, to me it will always be one of the best. I hope you achieve a balance in your life (as regards work or emotional) and continue to post from time to time.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Oh, that is a long time. I think C was about 14 months when I started this blog. Thank you so much for sticking around all these years!

  • Karin September 7, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Jenna,

    Like Angela, I started following you back in 2010 or 2011, as a fresh grad. I had gone to school in Seattle, I lived in Korea for awhile, I have a background in design—many commonalities to you, and I’ve so appreciated your thoughtful words and perspectives.

    Just listened to an interview with the CEO of Evernote who described the recent progression of technology as the “snackification” of everything, everything in bite-size pieces, from blogs to productivity to interactions with the people we love.

    In comparison, *this* blog has been delivering FEASTS for years. We’ve been spoiled! I am so grateful but certainly don’t feel that you owe your readers those feasts forever or even at all.

    • Jenna September 7, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I love this comment, thank you Karin. And yes, “snackification” of content is exactly what is happening. On one hand it’s interesting how much our attention spans have changed because of the internet and social media. On the other hand, of course, begs the question…how far can it go?

    • Melissa September 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      I’ve been reading for years and I think Karin said everything I would want to say, and so much more. Thank you for the feasts!

  • Dee September 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a few years now and have recommended it time and again to friends looking for something beyond fluff to read. It doesn’t seem like you’ve “phoned it in” at all. I’m sure all of your readers are understanding of the changes in your life that led you to slow down. We’ll be here.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 11, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Still with you Jenna, whenever you have anything you want to post. XOXO

  • Jen September 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Your blog is one of the few blogs I read, and the only blog I read that feels genuine and real, like your friend “talking story” with you rather than someone simply posting something for “likes.” It looks like many of us share the same sentiment that we’re just happy to read your thoughtful words and your beautiful photos as they flow naturally and when you have time. By the way, your Hawaii photos made my husband and I miss our home, and adzuki bean bowl shave ice.

  • Mary Anne Pangilinan November 6, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I have read your blog on and off for probably at least 5 + years . I’ve commented a few times over and over the years . Things change so much over the years. I first started reading your blog when I had my children who are now 9 and 6, but now like you work full time. So really it’s no biggie that you don’t post regularly. It’s nice to see what you’ve been doing and how big the girls are getting. What I’ve loved the most about your blog is your realness and honesty. Do what you need to do… Do what makes you happy about the blog.

    Lots of positive vibes

    Mary Anne ??

  • Karen Collins December 8, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Jenna…

    I also continue to follow your journey and admire your honesty, realism, strength and quiet determination. You may not feel like you have the will to keep moving forward, but here you are…moving forward. I am so sorry about your brother. I’m Jewish, and there’s one thing my Rabbi says regarding the loss of a loved one that I think of often: ‘May you find peace in the blessing of memories.’ It doesn’t remove the pain, but for me, it helped soothe the sadness and alleviate some of that raw pain. I wish you and your family well… xoxo Karen

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