1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with!
My name is Kai, I am a New York native. I would say I am creative and also a facilitator. I like to create community experiences for and through that community. My career title I guess would be owner of Sincerely Tommy, a lifestyle and concept store based in Brooklyn. I am also a mom.
2. Do you have a summer ritual?
Over the last two years, I bought a house upstate, so that has definitely become my ritual. It’s very peaceful, in the forest. Very isolated. There is a river in front of the house. I spend a lot of the time feeling very present and grounded, taking walks, and sitting by the river.
3. What does that place mean to you?
It represents a lot for me. The timing in which it came into my world was exactly when it was supposed to. I was going through something emotionally intense and being in the city was chaotic. It feels like a healing space. It’s in nature and I feel very humbled while I’m there.
4. What’s a new summer escape you embarked on this summer?
We’ve been venturing out to other little towns either nearby or an hour or so nearby. Upstate is vast. You can go eight hours north, or just an hour north and you are surrounded by nature.
5. Do you have an anecdote or unforgettable memory to share?
Just be present. That’s really what life is all about. Being fully present in the moment, getting out of your head and leading with your heart. I try to put myself in situations that force me to be really present. So upstate you have to be really still.
6. What about the best to: do, see, stay, eat and drink at this particular escape?
In Barryville, one stop I do love to frequent is the Barryville general store. There’s a great Wadlidi Jerk pop up which is a seasonal style cooking from the Caribbean, and a movie night which is a great duo.
7. Who are your favorite summer escape travel partners and why?
My son, who is definitely my best bud. I love seeing him be in nature. In between the city and here upstate. And just friends. I love spending time with my close circle of friends.
8. What’s your ultimate escape soundtrack?
I’ve been listening to a lot of The War on Drugs, old Kings of Leon, and Mr Fingers (house).
I like to mix it up and feel the mood versus go for a genre.
9. What about this summer’s read?
I am reading The Power of Now very slowly, as it’s all about being present, and trying to actively apply what I read.I’m also reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler who is an oracle and phenomenon in her own right.
10. And what film do you return to for the ultimate summer cinema experience?
I don’t watch as much in the summertime as I do when I’m indoors in the wintertime. I love In the Mood For Love.
11. What does escape mean to you?
I instantly thought of this quote:
If you have to escape from the place that you live then you probably shouldn’t be living there.
And that just stuck with me as I navigate staying in the city or going upstate. I try not to approach it from the escape point of view but from being present.
12. Where are you hoping to head next?
I really want to go to Turkmenistan. I like going to places that aren’t really visited. Not the stereotypical places but something off the track. I’m fascinated by its history and its vastness.