Stories of 100 Days
As I reflect on the meals I’ve had with What’s Cooking, I can’t help but be astonished at how much my perspective has shifted on how eating should be done. With each meal, a feeling of community and well-being arises; I meet new people, connect with people I know, and feel a part of something larger than myself.
My name is Alex TenBarge and I am one of the three founders of What’s Cooking! I attend Fordham University in the Bronx. Throughout my freshman year I fell in love with my school and the area it’s in. In January of this year my friend Joe came to me with this idea of What’s cooking. As he talked about a platform where people can connect and bond over home-cooked meals, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I offered my help to him and he accepted. Pursuing this idea to build a meal-sharing platform for all has been one of the most special experiences of my life (I am currently writing a story about how all of this came to be so if you’d be interested in reading that it should be posted within a week or two.)
Our mission statement is Nurturing and connecting communities by increasing the availability and affordability of sustainable home-cooked meals.
We’ve realized that we need a way to keep our community connected even when we’re away from the table. We created Shared Stories. Any interesting stories or messages that you want to post, any photos or videos with meaning behind them, feel free to do so! Short or long, sweet or sad, know that you’re in a welcoming and loving environment.
Today (June 3rd, 2018), I moved into an apartment I’ll be staying at for the majority of the summer. It is located on Hoffman Street which is two blocks away from Fordham. Once I was settled in, I took a walk around the area just to see what the Bronx was like in the summer. As I was walking down Arthur Ave, I heard the the bell from Keating tower echo through the streets. In this moment I became overcome with real emotions for the place that I was in and the people who occupied it. People were walking all about...families, students, kids, everyone. The sounds from the city bounced off from wall to wall. The sun was shining accompanied with what seemed to be a perfect breeze. The energy of diversity and culture was all around me and I felt a new sense of community. Even though I did not know the latino group sitting on their porch across the street, I could feel their sense of enjoyment from being with one another. As I walked past a mosque several blocks away, I observed people chatting outside of it under the shade of a tree. I stopped by a nearby community garden and was introduced to a couple who grows food there. The experience was beautiful.
As I walked around I realized this summer will be a transformative experience me. This is the first time I’ve lived truly independently. It’s the first summer I’ve had while attending University. And it it the first summer for What’s Cooking. I knew I needed to optimize on this incredible opportunity.
So, I am deciding to create a new series on our Shared Stories page called “Stories of 100 Days”. Each day over the next 100 days, I plan on writing a story to share with you. I intend to have a diverse set of experiences with messages that will vary at large I am going to explore the Bronx (and NYC), challenge my mind and perceptions, meet interesting people, and discover new communities. I’m excited to go on this journey and I hope you will come along with me. I’m going to add a picture or two with each story. Feel free to contact me if you want to connect. Day #1 down!