+
san francisco pancake party,

Friendship is a dish best served sweet.

Nothing breaks down the hard walls we’ve built up during this pandemic quite like soft, buttery pancakes.

Curtis Kimball had been feeling one of COVID-19’s more insidious symptoms: loneliness. Friends had moved away and no new connections were presenting themselves. But still, the craving for connection persisted.

Kimball could tell his entire city was feeling the same. “San Francisco is in a bad way. The vibes here are all effed up," he tweeted.

Figuring that everybody likes pancakes, or “at least the idea of pancakes,” Kimball decided to host his own flapjacks and friendship party (he didn’t actually call it that, but I wish he did) and he invited the entire neighborhood to join him.

Going for an old-school approach, Kimball posted whimsically odd fliers that read: “My wife said I’m getting weird. She says I need to make friends. So I’m making pancakes.”



Who could say no to that?


Kimball already has experience drawing in a crowd with his delicious food. His now closed Creme Brulee Cart was the sweet stuff of San Francisco eatery legend, having people lining the streets for his super decadent combinations. I mean, he served something called SF Gold, which was creamy custard topped with dark chocolate shortbread crumble and sea salt caramel. So when this guy offers you free pancakes, you take them.

Despite his former food fame, Kimball felt very vulnerable putting himself out there. He admitted to the TODAY show about being “nervous and self conscious,” telling himself that “this could be a really dumb idea and everyone might hate it.” But as soon as the party started, Kimball’s neighbors who lived two doors down came, and “were very excited.”

That was only the beginning. The party totaled out to more than 75 people, of all generations and backgrounds, a “mix of wonder and joy and people hungry to connect,” Kimball told TODAY.

The more people came, the more joy Kimball felt.

He tells San Francisco Eater that serving food in a nonprofessional atmosphere was even more rewarding than owning his business. “The vibes were so good that going back to foodie vibes feels bad. Customers come with expectation of themselves as critics rather than just enjoyers.” He even reflected that rather than cooking, maybe bringing people together was his real calling. He’s certainly a natural at it.

By the way, round 2 was even better.

On Feb 12, Kimball followed the same winning strategy: fliers + pancakes. This time, 300 people showed up, thanks in part to Kimball’s previous pancake party going viral and making several headlines.

“The joy, the laughter, the gratitude, the kindness was all overwhelming (as was the smell of pancakes),” he tweeted. “Not to be a softy, but I got a little misty a few times as every person thanked me for what to them felt like the perfect antidote at the perfect time after a rough 2 years.”

Now Kimball dreams of “people all across the country hosting Saturday morning pancake parties for their friends and neighbors.”

For Kimball, this fun, creative thing he discovered is actually vital. “I think it’s important because most of our public spaces are dominated by the big arguments over our differences as people,” he told TODAY. “And those things are important. But what feels lost and might be equally important is celebrating each other and our commonalities. We need more chances, as people, to root for each other and to believe in each other as humans.”

Perhaps he is onto something here. Our souls have been left unnourished and starving. Because of the pandemic, political division, technology … the new normal. But all it takes is one one thing, one simple thing, to shift perspectives and feed that innermost part of ourselves.

Feeling good and connecting with others is the sweet stuff of life. And we should savor every bite of it.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom's praise of audiobooks 'post-baby' has parents sharing how it changed their lives

'Audiobooks have helped me regain a part of myself I worried was lost. Let people read however they can.'

Canva/Twitter

Let people read however they can.

Not too long ago, it seemed like you could only be loyal to one team—team “physical books” or team “e-readers.” There was no neutral territory.

That debate might have dwindled, but it echoes on as people take a stand on physical books versus audiobooks, which have become increasingly popular—nearly half of all Americans currently pay for an audio content subscription, and the average adult in the U.S. listens to digital audio for a little over an hour and a half each day, 28% of that being spoken word. Audiobooks had a particularly big surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, as listeners found the activity more comforting and satisfying than a regular book while under quarantine.

You’d think that the general mindset would be “reading in any form has great benefits, so do whatever you want!” But alas, humans do find odd hills to die on.

Keep ReadingShow less