http://instatbt.com/Place/japan/271456804JapanHi everyone. I'm still flat on my back and feeling very defeated but I did want to share my new Japan maps, just added to the shop. This collab, like the others, is with ellafsanders. We picked a combo of delicate and assertive fonts, lovingly placed around the shape of Japan. While I love all of the countries we've done so far, this one is my favourite. There's something even more elegant and pristine about it, fitting for a country that takes such deep care with its food. Link is in my profile, or head to shop.legalnomads.com. Available in posters (with or without title) and tees in black and white, as well as a bull woven canvas tote bag. I hope you like them as much as I do. 🍙🍣🍥🍜🍵
http://instatbt.com/Place/greater-montreal/260452459Greater MontrealIt's about time for another update. Sadly nothing too positive. I'm still flat on my back and still leaking; the headaches I get when I'm standing are brutal, and accompanied by hot tingling atop my scalp and intense pain and tightness in my neck and shoulders. I've learned this is due to sagging of the brain because of the low pressure from the leak. It's good to understand but more than slightly 😱 to think of.
It's been a month since the procedure. I was told by doctors then that it's impossible not to heal from a lumbar puncture - but I've of course since found plenty of people who haven't. Thanks to a friend, I've joined a group for CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leakers, and their stories are quite similar. Several have leaks from lumbar punctures or epidurals, and many have spontaneous leaks and found out they've got EDS or other connective tissue disorders that caused them to spring the leak.
To my knowledge, I don't have any of those connective tissue issues, but after years of chronic pain my body certainly isn't healing like it used to. And as I was with police the night of the lumbar puncture, it definitely affects the issues around that area.
Those who have been asking about a blood patch: I was refused one in NYC for valid reasons (will get into those eventually), but if this still isn't healed in another few weeks I'll need to seek additional medical intervention. CSF experts are mostly in USA, but there is a hospital in Toronto that is familiar with them. I'm hoping to avoid that if I can self heal. Unfortunately, once sealed or healed, leaks can "spring" in the same place with heavy lifting or twisting or strain.
I've had to cancel my return to Oaxaca on 4 October, but who knows what this means for my life and work going forward. My parents have been wonderful and thankfully I am able to stay with them while trying to heal.
I'm not really sure what else to say right now. I'm feeling scared, and I'm feeling bleak. Please send over your healing thoughts for my dura and spine. I wish I had some better news.
Much love from Montreal,
http://instatbt.com/Place/island-of-montreal/261357439Island of MontrealHey guys. No real update over here. Progress on the whole "walking properly" thing is way slower than I had hoped.
Friends with spinal taps have said it took them a month or so to feel remotely normal, and that was without the whole running around the night of problem I had going for me. So I'm just trying to be patient, enjoying all my time with my mum and stepdad the best I can, and trying to rest.
I hope to get up my Japan maps soon, as I love them so much. Once I'm able to sit up for longer periods, that will be my first priority.
I'm missing this gorgeous Moshi face and her morning cuddles, but so grateful for family.
Hope everyone is having a good week!
http://instatbt.com/Place/island-of-montreal/261357439Island of MontrealHi everyone. An update from Montreal. Not much to report, but things are slowly improving. For starters, I'm able to stand long enough to make my favourite comforting 🍜: chicken stock, mung bean noodles, kale, and eggs, flavoured with sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Sriracha, and tamari.
I'm trying to move as I can each day, but man is progress slow. I can only listen to my body and be grateful for my family who are helping with what they can.
I've responded to the messages I can, though I have yet to crack open a computer (I had to get a new one after the burglary and it's not fully set up). Hopefully in the next few days I'll be strong enough to sit long enough to get back to work, but for now it's a no go. And getting back to work is for me, as much as anything. I feel quite useless lying here, though I know it's necessary in order to heal.
Thank you for the messages and food map purchases and love from near and far. It's been a rocky summer and it's actually worse than I've shared -- will get into the rest in due time -- but your well wishes are reliable bright spots. Very much trying to focus on gratitude and you make it easier 🙏🏻💙
http://instatbt.com/Place/new-york-new-york/212988663New York, New YorkHi everyone, an update from Moshi and me. After over a week of lying on my back with my friends taking care of me and feeding me, I'm finally a bit more mobile. I was refused for a blood patch - I'll get into that story a bit later - but I do feel the pain lessening slightly the last few days. The spinal tap headache is still there, but that too is slowly easing as the leak in my spine finally heals.
Team "rescue the Jodi" also arrived in the form of my mum and stepdad, who relieved the load from my amazing friends. They are now driving me back to Montreal as there's no way I can fly in this state. -----
I'm not sure what's next, to be honest. First priority is walking properly again, and getting healthy. I've got a lot of thinking to do about what's best for my health going forward.
Thank you to my incredible friends, especially Taylor, Cheryl, André and Farley who stayed over at night to make sure I wasn't alone after the burglary. And of course to my parents who drove a long way to get me. And to you guys, who sent me well wishes and cat memes and lots of love from around the world. Hopefully it'll just be a few more days till I can move around fluidly. ♥️
Jodi EttenbergJodi Ettenberg2017-09-01Hi guys. Not much to update. This is pretty much my default position still. While my back is healing slowly pain-wise, I have a horrible post spinal tap headache - the pressure difference from head to spine causes unbelievably painful headaches the minute I sit up or stand. Google spinal tap headaches and you'll see more, if it interests you.
Most people do recover faster but given that I returned from two spinal taps to then run around the house to assess what was taken in the burglary, my back started spasming and it's a long long road. And you already know my immune system is shot, so really I need way more time than usual.
Thankfully with the business I've built I can take this time, as the cards and maps are there and don't need much upkeep. I'm not sure how long it will take - it's already been a week - but it's not getting worse, and hope my spine stops leaking soon.
Thank you again for all the well wishes. Hope to be back and writing soon enough. I'm basically reading, watching the Great British Baking Show and trying to will my body to heal day by day. https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/21294983_346990555724891_50066528258752512_n.jpg2017-09-01
Jodi EttenbergJodi Ettenberg2017-08-29My life for the last week. Thanks so much for all the messages and notes, and outpouring of support. Many of you are asking about a Go Fund Me - that's not something I'm going to be doing, though I really appreciate the sentiment. Thankfully the most important part - my data, my photos, and my words - were all backed up.
If you want to help / support, then you can buy a map from the shop for an early Xmas gift or a celiac card for a traveling celiac. Thanks to the readers who have done so already and sent over notes of 🙏🏻💙! I won't be doing any fundraising or the like. Focus for me is on getting better.
So far, still can't walk around other than to and from the washroom, or sit up, but living off of a steady diet of shrimp fried rice and the deep abiding love of friends and family. Thanks again for all the 💛 https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/21107861_1924836134506170_8938006859156029440_n.jpg2017-08-29
http://instatbt.com/Place/new-york-new-york/212988663New York, New YorkHi everyone. I will be offline for the next while. Please see the Legal Nomads fan page for the long and SUPER CRAZY update, but it involves two spinal taps and a burglary. For the foreseeable future, it's just me and kitty, and the wonderful friends who are caring for me since I cannot. 💙
http://instatbt.com/Place/katha-sagaing-burma/580726825Katha, Sagaing, BurmaOne of the crazier parts of that ferry ride in Myanmar, the subject of my last few days of Instagram pictures, was meeting up with our mirror ferry. The other ferry was heading from Mandalay to Bhamo, and both vessels pulled up super close to the other to trade packages, food, and some family greetings. I took picture from above looking down, as the two boats were almost touching. Bird's eye perspective of two large ferry boats "kissing" in the middle of the Irrawaddy.
http://instatbt.com/Place/bhamo-kachin-state-burma/494361365Bhamo, Kachin State, BurmaAnnular eclipse from Myanmar in 2010. The difference between this and a total solar eclipse is the "ring of fire" because the moon is not as close to the earth as in a total solar eclipse like the one today. Took this picture by putting point & shoot camera on manual and adjusting through my eclipse glasses. More in the post in my profile!
http://instatbt.com/Place/bhamo-kachin-state-burma/494361365Bhamo, Kachin State, BurmaWaiting for the annular solar eclipse in Myanmar! This pic is from the story in my profile, where I took a slow ferry from Bhamo to Mandalay in Kachin state. I'll be watching today's total solareclipse in NYC, but wanted to share my memories of solar eclipses past. 😉
http://instatbt.com/Place/bhamo-kachin-state-burma/494361365Bhamo, Kachin State, BurmaWith the total solar eclipse upon us in North America, I wanted to share what remains one of the more incredible transportation adventures from my years of travel. In 2010, there was an annular solar eclipse, and the solar maximum hit over Northern Myanmar. Which just happened to be where I was visiting. Annular eclipses are where the moon is further from the sun, not eclipsing it completely. Instead, a "ring of fire" shows through between moon and sun -- as you can see from my post in my profile.
Not only was this 2-day slow ferry not quite 2-days -- spoiler alert, we got stuck in the sandbar a few times. But it also included visits from other ferries, karaoke with the captain, and yet another nickname to add to my roster.
Due to sectarian violence, this part of Myanmar cannot be visited via slow boat any longer.
This picture is of our trusty steed, the slow (sloooooow) boat that took us down the Irrawaddy. I'll be sharing more pictures in the coming days! And yes, that is the Mountain Dew-esque color of the river. I did NOT go swimming.
http://instatbt.com/Place/madame-vo/1234858166585715Madame VoPho 2017 crawl continues, this time with the critic's darling Madame Vo. Of all the broths I've had in NYC this was the best. I still need to try Hanoi House but so far this slow simmered, spiced soup is my fave! Long lines so get there early and put your name down if you can.
http://instatbt.com/Place/keste-pizza---vino/84370Kesté Pizza & VinoKesté was highly recommended for gluten free pies, and they didn't disappoint. We ordered four to choose from and I can't wait to have the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow! Celiacs: they not only have a separate kitchen to prepare the gluten free pies, but they even have a separate oven to cook them in. Absolutely delicious!
http://instatbt.com/Place/pig-beach-nyc/829840505Pig Beach NYCWandering around New York with my new celiac tote bags! I'm enjoying the questions I get - and how fun that I get to say "yes I designed these!" Since the image is a bit washed out, they say "I'm not being trendy; I have the disease". Thanks to ellafsanders, the talented artist who inked this bag and my food maps.
Today is my birthday and it's great to spend it in a city I love so much. Thanks for all the birthday greetings and hope everyone had a great week!
Tote link is in my profile.
http://instatbt.com/Place/new-york-new-york/212988663New York, New YorkWhen you look at the bird’s eye view of this chaotic city, what do you see? The lungs of central park in the middle, the dizzying layers of skyscrapers moving outward toward the water? Possibilities and hope; rejection and survival - New York has it all. I first came here in 1996, overwhelmed at the noise and assertiveness and spirit. When I returned to work here as a lawyer, I knew what I was getting into. While I didn’t have as much time to enjoy as I would have hoped, I did manage to explore what I could in the hours I had available, trying to move every few years to get to know a new area of town. Now, I come back every summer. It’s a city that gives me energy and hope, full of artistry and entrepreneurialism. On the flip side, it’s a place that can intimidate with how hard it is to eke out a living and still make it out unscathed. If you don’t know who you are, or have a solid core of beliefs and values before you move here, it can pull you under with its currents. But if you are sturdy in your sense of self, New York opens up infinite possibilities.
Sometimes, looking at photos like these, it’s hard to imagine the micro level. The vastness and scale of huge metropolises are difficult to digest, or personalize. That’s the beauty of feeds like Humans of New York - giving stories and relatable experiences to a space that can easily feel amorphous.
It's also why I'm so grateful for readers who share their own experiences in places they've visited or called home. To personalize further and learn about different viewpoints only provides additional empathy and understanding in a time that feels horrifyingly unhinged.
http://instatbt.com/Place/celebrate-brooklynprospect-park-bandshell/152186468643109Celebrate Brooklyn!/Prospect Park BandshellOne of the best reasons to be in Brooklyn during the summer months: all of the amazing free concerts at Prospect Park Bandshell. This year I was able to see a few different artists, including the amazing Béla Fleck - who I last saw at Bonnaroo music festival over a decade ago, when friends and I drove 29 hours from Montreal to see them.
With food on hand, outdoor seating and a hill to plonk down on with a blanket if that's your fancy, it's a relaxing and lovely venue for a concert. Every year they release a schedule for the summer and if you're visiting you should definitely check a out at least one show! Maybe picnic in the park or see the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens first.
http://instatbt.com/Place/south-slope-brooklyn/1743231South Slope, BrooklynOne of the best parts about being in NY during the summer months: a ton of oyster happy hours, most of them 1$ east coast oysters. With many spots in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and friends who are similarly bivalve-obsessed, I've enjoyed a lot of great oysters these last few months. So good!
http://instatbt.com/Place/brooklyn-bridge-park-pier-6/80645Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6My friend Sarah organized an impromptu picnic at Brooklyn Bridge park, and I have to say the sky rewarded us AND THEN SOME. Before I quit my lawyering job, I lived close to what is now the park. Then it was empty piers and zero greenery. The changes are immense and it was lovely to see just how much people are taking advantage of the new space - family picnics, dogs aplenty, baseball, jogging along the dirt path, and much more. Cities change constantly, sometimes good and sometimes bad. But I'll chalk this park up to a win, at least based on how joyful people seem wandering through it!
http://instatbt.com/Place/flatiron-building-nyc/294447513Flatiron Building, NYCI love the Flatiron building, and I know I’m not the only one! During construction, however, opinion was less positive. The distinctive triangular shape of the building led critics to suggest it would topple over. Newspapers referred to it as “Burnham’s Folly,” a reference to Chicago architect Daniel Burnham who designed it. He had the last laugh, of course, as the building still stands today.
The Flatiron Building was constructed in 1902 at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, and was meant to be the offices of for George A. Fuller (known as “the father of the skyscraper”) – so it was initially known as The Fuller Building. Its original elevators were powered by water (bumpy rides for all!), and the top (22nd) floor was only added a few years after initial construction. Also, due to an “oversight” (uh huh 🙄) in the original design, there were no bathrooms for ladies when the building first opened, so the men's and women's bathrooms are now on alternating floors.
Today’s tenants are publishing houses and real estate agencies, though an Italian real estate company bought a stake in the building in the last years and rumours of it turning into a luxury hotel abound.
The Flatiron Building was named a NYC landmark in 1966, and was designated as a national historic landmark in 1989. 💙🙏🏻🏙
http://instatbt.com/Place/wtc-oculus/292416368Wtc OculusThe Oculus has already seen its share of controversy, from racking up a bill of 3.9billion (making it the most expensive transportation hub), to reports of leaks this rainy spring, and more. Say what you will, but from inside the structure it sure is a trippy experience. Built with 11,500 tons of structural steel and white marble, it is designed to let in natural light and play with reflections as the sun moves across the sky. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava built it as a dove in flight. To me, it feels inside like being inside the belly of a whale - all those long thin "rib" bones perhaps! From the outside, it makes me think of childhood Transformers toys. But no matter, a visit to NYC is incomplete without standing inside and watching the light play on the floors as time passes. It's a beautiful structure in person and this picture doesn't do it justice.
http://instatbt.com/Place/national-september-11-memorial---museum/34648National September 11 Memorial & MuseumFirst time visiting the 9/11 memorial and the WTC Oculus, including the waterfalls where the twin towers used to stand.
These pools of water, a design called Reflecting Absence, are recessed in the footprints of the old world trade buildings. The names of 2,983 victims are inscribed on 76 bronze plates attached to the parapets of the walls of the memorial pools: the 2,977 killed in the September 11 attacks, and the 6 killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The names are arranged according to a software-generated algorithm, creating "meaningful adjacencies" based on relationships and proximity at the time of the attacks, instead of listing the names alphabetically.
While the Oculus (see my next picture) is an intricate system of arches and space, the final result of these pools (though I know it took awhile to build) was a simple space with a lot of meaning. I am glad to see it in person.
http://instatbt.com/Place/hanoi/21369461HanoiAfter visiting the WTC Oculus for the first time, I went back to Brooklyn for happy hour oysters and then a bun bowl. This is bun tom nuong, grilled shrimp with room temperature rice noodles and fresh lettuce and herbs, as well as pickled vegetables and scallions - a light and summery meal. Hanoi House in the East Village has been getting lots of press recently, but this is a different Hanoi Vietnamese Kitchen in Brooklyn (unaffiliated), with pho and canh chua soups, as well as really tasty bun. If you're celiac, they don't marinate their meat in any soy sauce or hoisin and most of their bun bowls are safe.
http://instatbt.com/Place/new-york-new-york/212988663New York, New YorkLooping around New York City for the descent into LGA. Loved this view of the Verrazano bridge and the ships dotting the water on the approach. Delays were frustrating, but at least these clear views were my reward!
http://instatbt.com/Place/portland-maine/10099015Portland, MaineSo long Maine!! Thanks for a wonderful introduction to your beaches and seafood and fun. Sadly it seems my body has rejected lobster, since every time I eat it I get crazy stomach cramps a few hours later. Tragedy!! At least scallops are still ok, as are oysters and mussels. No more lobster for me for the foreseeable future, I guess!
http://instatbt.com/Place/portland-maine/10099015Portland, MaineOne last pic from cong.tu.bot in Maine, this photogenic dish their spicy hu tieu noodles - fiery and fine! ❤️🌶 As I mentioned, their plates are prepared with tamari instead of soy sauce so they're gluten free, a rarity! I left a little peak of susan_shain's iPhone for contrast - it was her plate I stole from, after all.
http://instatbt.com/Place/cong-tử-bột/1839852399567891CÔNG TỬ BỘTBeautiful bun cha at Hanoi the grand opening of cong.tu.bot here in Portland, Maine! Lucky for me, I was in town during their first big night and friends and I tried this dish (a sour tamarind broth accompanying the pork patties instead of the usual sweet fish sauce, great grilled pork, fresh herbs including perilla, and bun rice noodles), their chicken pho (wonderful broth) and a spicy hu tieu xao (stir fried hu tieu noodles with veggies). Happily for me, they use tamari where soy sauce is called for - meaning much of the menu is safe for celiacs! Really great meal, and rats to them for their new opening.
http://instatbt.com/Place/fort-williams-park-foundation/331863526Fort Williams Park FoundationBeautiful day at Fort Williams yesterday, south of Portland's downtown centre. Construction began on the fort in 1873, but it was officially named Fort Williams in 1899, in time for the Spanish-American war -- though it was never used, and guns from the fort were never fired in combat. It served as a training and housing military base through the 1960s, when it was decommissioned and closed. These days, it is a popular tourist destination, with a cliff walk, picnic tables, rocky beach, and lots of outdoor weddings. And - as those watching my stories know - a lobster roll food truck! Admission is free and it's open year round. Really lovely place for a visit.
http://instatbt.com/Place/portland-maine/10099015Portland, MaineLOOK AT THIS LEMON MERINGUE TART. JUST LOOK AT IT. Gluten free, made in a dedicated bakery, amazingly rich and tasty and the first lemon meringue I've had in decades. So good. 💛