I love my new office because it’s located in a great neighborhood in the city. I’m right near Union Square, the Flatiron, and Gramercy. Of course that means that there is good food all over the place, but more importantly, it’s a fantastic walking neighborhood. This is the first place I’ve worked where I didn’t have to request permission to go out to lunch (usually I just ate at my desk and didn’t leave), so I’m loving the opportunity to be able to get outside for even just 20 minutes, especially when it’s nice outside…and even when it’s not. On my first day, my new boss even took the time to come to my desk around lunch and say that I should really leave, that it’s good to get out of the office, etc. I was surprised and couldn’t believe that she was encouraging me to go outside of the office for a break. I’m realizing how important it is to step away from your desk for a bit, now that I actually have the option. At my last company, I once asked my two bosses if I could go out to lunch with my husband for an hour on a slow day. I was told that I could go, but the next day I got called into each office separately to be reprimanded for it. Now, granted, it was a job in finance, and like so many jobs in that industry in New York, lunches were paid for by the company. It was great to be able to order food from anywhere I could possibly want, but I soon came to understand how a big plate of sushi or fancy pizza is not worth being shackled to a cubicle. Some people like it, though, so you know, whatever floats your boat.
It’s interesting to see how different companies operate in that sense. What’s okay, what’s not okay, how people interact with management, how important it is to stay late and be the last one there so that you look like you’re working the hardest…I think that is becoming the norm everywhere. I know from experience and from stories of friends that New Yorkers certainly have grueling work weeks, especially in finance. Now that I work for a website on the operations side of things, my quality of life has improved greatly, even in the two weeks that I’ve been here so far, but that’s not the same for everyone else and it’s sad to see. I know some people love their work and couldn’t imagine being in the office less than 80 hours a week, and if that’s the case, that’s great! I’m really lucky in that I feel like I’ve finally found a company where I feel like I belong. People have a similar sense of humor, and that’s probably due to the youth of the place. As you would imagine, a website has a younger staff that a financial firm would have, and I’m loving it. Ideas move fast and there’s no politics. It’s refreshing.
So, in the spirit of new things, how about a new take on banana bread? I know that the good old strawberry and banana combination is nothing new, but I rarely see the two mixed together in a bread. Believe me, I’ve done every variation of banan bread humanly possible, and when I see those ripening bananas on my counter, I honestly try to think of something different to do with them, but they usually get thrown away because really, how much banana bread can you eat? Well, with the addition of strawberries, I’ll tell you: quite a lot. The bread itself is moist and tender, thanks to the water and sugar content from both the bananas and the strawberries, while the crust is nicely caramelized and just slightly crispy, the way I like my quick breads to be. There’s nothing fancy about this; just put it all together, bake, cool, and slice. I sliced this into individual portions and kept it in the fridge for a week, nibbling on it here and having it for breakfast there. If you make it, I can’t even begin to tell you how good a slice of the stuff is with some creamy peanut butter spread on top. It makes for quite the indulgent Friday morning breakfast, and hey, it’s Friday, so I think you deserve to indulge!