Shepherd and his beaded hoopoe in Melville, the best antidote to the Trumpacolypse

Melville: The Trumpocalypse Antidote

Perhaps it’s the combination of jet lag and grief, but I am not recovering well from Trumpocalypse. I tried to put on a brave face with my gratitude list, but the truth is I’m horrified and I’ve lost a piece of my identity.

I often remark upon the fact that when living in South Africa, the first thing everyone notices about me is my American-ness. This has never really bothered me. I’ve always been more or less proud of my country. I’ve been happy to be known as an American in Quirky Johannesburg.

But now, suddenly, my relationship with America feels like a relationship with a spouse who I just discovered has been cheating. Who is this country I thought I knew so well? How could you humiliate me like this, America? What did I do wrong? How did I miss the signs that we were growing apart? How could you leave me, and how will I cope without you? Worst of all, what will happen to the millions of other betrayed spouses who are still living with you? What will happen to the entire world? We trusted you, America, and you’ve let us down.

Fortunately, I live in Melville.

Sign at Junkie Charity Store in MelvilleA sign outside Junkie Charity Store, one of my favorite hangouts in Melville.

I’ve spent most of the past five days lying prone on the couch, sleeping several hours a day, waking only to commiserate with friends and compulsively read the infinite stream of Facebook posts about everything Trump.

But today, Ray convinced my friend Michelle and me to drag ourselves up to Melville’s 7th Street for lunch and a stroll. It was a good plan. Melville is so freaking pleasant on sunny Sunday afternoons, it’s impossible to panic about Trumpacolypse while there.

We started with lunch at Melville’s newest restaurant, the Federal.

Inside the FederalI love the bar area in the Federal. I will definitely organize my next happy hour here.

Lunch at the FederalLunch at the Federal. Here’s a quick review: The fried macaroni balls with homemade ketchup (bottom left) were the best thing on the table — I wish I’d ordered three more. My cobb salad (bottom center) was just okay in my opinion, but Ray loved it. Ray liked his New York hot dog (top right) but wished it came on a simpler bun because it was hard to eat. He loved the fries and onion rings. Michelle wasn’t blown away by her falafel burger (top left), but also loved the fries. There’s a great selection of beer and wine and an extensive milkshake menu. I love the atmosphere, especially the tables that open right onto the street.

 After lunch we crossed the street and said hello to my friend Michelle at Junkie Charity Shop.

Michelle in JunkieA visit to Michelle creates instant good mood.

Then we walked to Snow Lion, a quirky Afro-Asian gift shop, to buy lotion and soy candles.

Buddhas in Snow LionZen-inducing Buddhas at Snow Lion.

Finally we chatted with Shepherd, my favorite bead-animal guy on 7th Street. I planned just to exchange pleasantries with Shepherd, as I normally do, but he managed to make a sale with a new bead-animal design that I’ve never seen before.

Shepherd and his beaded hoopoe in Melville, the best antidote to the TrumpacolypseShepherd makes beaded orange hoopoes now. Obviously I bought one. You can find Shepherd at the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue.

I went home feeling much better, and I’ve only read about half a dozen Trumpacolypse posts this evening. I’m taking baby steps…Thanks, Melville.

Donating some money to Planned Parenthood was another thing that made me feel slightly less despairing about Trumpocalypse this weekend. It’s not much but at least I’m doing something for a cause I believe in, which is threatened by Trumpocalypse. Obviously this won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a difference there are many organizations like Planned Parenthood that stand up for the rights of immigrants, women, and minorities. (Thanks for the suggestion, Tekla. I thought I’d pay it forward.)

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  • Reply FiiNix November 13, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Love your therapy!

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply autumnashbough November 13, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    I got dragged out of the house, also, this weekend. It does help. I forget to eat sometimes.

    That’s for putting up your lovely pictures. It was like a virtual escape from FB.

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I’ve also lost my appetite off and on. Which is how you know that I’m reaaaaaallllly unhappy.

      • Reply autumnashbough November 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        Exactly. I’m only eating bean and cheese burritos. My subconscious must be worried my favorite Mexican places are going to disappear. 🙁

  • Reply Jannik November 13, 2016 at 11:26 pm


    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm


  • Reply Debbie ann November 14, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Love the hoopoe! Now living in Australia and also feeling stunned and shocked and betrayed and depressed about the election, can’t read fb or listen to the news. My favorite bead guy was at 7th and 4th, hope he is doing ok. Someday we will get back there. Love reading about the neighbourhood.

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Oh yes, the 7th and 4th guy is still there, same as ever. I can’t remember his name. Those guys never move! Anyway, current circumstances excluded I hope you’re enjoying Australia.

  • Reply thirdeyemom November 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Excellent post Heather! At first I was so envious that you were away from all this but now I wonder if in a sense it would be harder. I felt horrendous for a few days but the anger and despair moved to something more
    Powerful: empowerment. I have been reading a ton, getting more informed and have talked to tons of friends about it all without end. I have found new ways to advocate and get involved and will never give up the fight. Yes America has greatly changed and I have been in a liberal bubble. I wasn’t shocked though as for the past year I have watched the news here and saw the rise in trump and his message. I had a feeling he would win. I will never give up !

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Glad to hear you’re moving ahead, Nicole. I’m sure you will do amazing things in response to this tragedy. And I’ll keep trying to effect small amounts of change from across the ocean 🙂

  • Reply catsfighting November 14, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Dear dear one: I love your post (as always). For those of us *stuck* here in Trumpville we might wish for an escape hatch. That said, I am reminded of one of the most compelling lessons I learned in law school. I was in law school in the U.S., taking a class on apartheid in South Africa (this would have been 1987-88, you get the time frame….)) taught by a progressive anti-apartheid white South African lawyer. A student asked, at one point, as to why the lawyer/law professor didn’t just leave South Africa. The lawyer/law prof said: because it is my country. That is what I feel, this week – now –, about the U.S. It is not okay to escape (not that you are doing that, dear one!! I know that you are not!). It is my mission, my task, my job, my obligation, to stay and do what I can do to fight what is happening here. <3 xxx

    • Reply Jonnie Marks November 14, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Good for you! With you all the way. I am not surprised by this election, but I am devastated nonetheless. My husband and I split our time between Joburg and the US due to his job and we are going back to the US (CT) in about three weeks. I’m trying to figure out how best to resist while we’re there and then find a way to continue resisting when we’re here.. I will protest the inauguration in DC and march with, hopefully, hundreds of thousands of others again the next day, but vigilance and action must go on. Current plans are to continue to donate to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the ACLU, and I will continue to volunteer in various organizations. Just not sure of the best way yet. All ideas are welcome!

      • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Thanks for the comment, Jonnie. Fight the Power!

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      I have no doubt that you’ll make a huge difference, Quince. Thanks so much for the uplifting comment. Hope to see you again someday! xxx

  • Reply violetonlineisonline November 14, 2016 at 6:38 am

    excellent blog, thank you.
    and i am here to help you grieve if you need coffee. or wine.

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you. I’ve been needing both.

  • Reply Kate November 14, 2016 at 7:41 am

    So awesome that you donated to Planned Parenthood. Basically the main reason I voted for Clinton is that I knew she would maintain women’s rights, whereas the raging misogynist probably will not. 🙁 Catsfighting, I love your comment.

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks Kate. Safe travels tomorrow!

  • Reply Liza November 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Great post. I feel much the same way as you do. I think I need a trip to Melville or Diepsloot or somewhere away from Facebook and the reality.

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      You’re welcome in Melville any time, Liza 🙂

  • Reply Jaina November 14, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Sometimes you just gotta get out to shake away those feelings. Even if it’s just fleetingly.

    Loved reading the headlines this morning of people donating to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name. Keep on, keeping on!

    • Reply 2summers November 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Yeah, I forgot to do that with my donation. Next time 🙂

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