In today’s “Cabin Fever Diaries,” we check in with designer, Peter Som, who is riding out quarantine Out East. He tells us how he’s been honing his cooking skills, helping others, and what’s surprised him about the experience we’re all in.
Where are you right now and who are you with?
I’m in Sag Harbor with my boyfriend [interior designer Timothy Brown].
Have you learned anything new about yourself or the person you are with since social distancing?
I’ve learned that I can make a mean turkey meatball. And that Timothy likes turkey meatballs.
What has been the biggest change to your routine?
Everything having to do with sheltering in place basically! Not seeing friends or family, not being able to go out of the house except for essentials. But listen, at the end of the day if all I’m asked to do is not go outside, I’m not gonna complain.
What do you miss most about life before the quarantine?
Seeing friends and family is number one. Thank god for FaceTime and Zoom! But a close second is going to restaurants. I miss the experience and hustle and bustle restaurants like my regular spots like Cafe Cluny and Via Carota. I also worry about how they are doing.
What are you doing to decompress?
For me, getting a good nights sleep and drinking lots of water is the best, along with my Nue Co supplements for Immunity and Mood. Also, a good bath with Epsom Salts can do wonders.
How are you staying active?
I’ve taken up jogging! Between that and my Peloton workouts and a bit of yoga I’m feeling pretty good.
How’s your sleep?
I have to admit in the beginning of quarantine my stress level was high and I had to dip into the Zzquil a handful of times. But thankfully sleeping is historically one thing I’m really good at—so since then my slumber has been solid. I did buy new sheets from Snowe Home—I have to say fresh new sheets can do wonders.
What are you doing to help others?
I’ve been supporting some of my favorite charities that do so much good in the city including God’s Love We Deliver —they are doing a phenomenal job during this time doing what they do best, getting nutritious meals to those in need. I’ve been donating also to lots of small businesses in NYC, like Casa News in the West Village and Haar and Co Barber Shop—these small business are an essential part of the life blood of the city and they are struggling.
If you could be in self-isolation with anyone, who would it be?
Can I pick two? Wanda Sykes because she would constantly crack me up and Jake Gyllenhaal cause it looks like his sourdough game is on point and I appreciate that.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing since isolating?
Well, the funniest thing is that we’ve run the dishwasher so much that we broke it. We are down a top rack-yet we are still running it lord knows how.
What are you most anxious about?
I’m definitely anxious about what’s ahead and what the ’new normal’ will look like, not only for business and work, but for general social interaction. The lack of visibility is super stressful—and its even more surreal that its not just the state or the country but the world.
What have you been watching on TV?
Um…everything? Ha! Actually we have been all over the map with movies, from Disney to sci-fi to action to old movies. Oh, and I’m very happy that Top Chef is back on.
What have you been eating?
We have been eating lots! My love of cooking has really served us well so I’ve been playing around with new recipes. We try to eat as healthy and seasonally as possible with a good balance of protein, veg and grains. My saute pans from Made-In are being used overtime. I have to admit for the first few weeks of quarantine my stress-level was quite high and quite a number of Entenmann’s Donuts and Cool Ranch Doritos were eaten. I went with it. Now that it’s gotten warmer —rosé has started. Whispering Angel has made its appearance.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Mostly chill vibey mixes like Hotel Costes. I, of course, when alone blast my Spotify Broadway mix.
Have you accomplished anything since self-isolating?
I’ve been recipe testing (aka making dinner!), the kitchen is totally organized and I’ve planted an herb garden-I do not have a green thumb so fingers crossed. Though in truth I’ve been quite busy working on several upcoming projects that I’m quite excited about.
How has the experience changed your outlook?
It hasn’t changed my outlook per se, but YOLO has taken on new meaning. Savoring every moment and taking advantage of every moment is vital to living life.
What has been the most surprising thing about this whole experience for you?
I’ll be honest it still feels super surreal —almost out of a movie—yet its pretty damn real. So I guess what I would say is that is most surprising is the kindness and ingenuity and heart that people reveal in times of turmoil. Friends with restaurants making meals for health care workers. Friends with fashion companies making masks for hospital workers. The list goes on. We are all in this together.