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Welcome to our latest series, Behind the Heat with Casa Picosa, where we dive into the routines of our community and explore how they find balance and inspiration in their daily lives.

Today, we’re excited to share an intimate look into the world of Rachel Schwartzmann. Rachel, the author of the upcoming book “Slowing,” shares her favorite summertime traditions, the charm of her Brooklyn neighborhood, and how she creates a cozy, inspiring home. Join us as we uncover the details that make Rachel’s approach to life both thoughtful and stylish.

Question 01

What is your favorite summertime tradition?

Walks during golden hour!

Question 02

Tell us a bit about your neighborhood/city. What does an ideal day look like for you?

I’ve been in Park Slope, Brooklyn since 2018, and it remains my favorite neighborhood in New York. It’s the perfect balance of energy and calm. I also happen to live down the street from Prospect Park, which is a bonus! My ideal day in the neighborhood includes a sourdough croissant and cappuccino from Winner, a visit to Community Bookstore or Troubled Sleep, followed by a stroll through the park before heading home or out to dinner at Provini.

Question 03

What is your favorite part of your home? How do you make your house feel like a home?

My apartment is a true gem. It’s interesting to have lived through so much here (pre and post-pandemic), but through it all, it’s remained a place of gathering and love. Technically speaking, I love the historical details (read: the moldings!), but I think my favorite aspect is the light. It changes throughout the seasons, and it’s so beautiful and grounding.

Tangibly speaking, I make my house feel like home by filling it with inspiring books, art, and design-forward objects. But those things aside, just being in the presence of my husband, John, and rabbit, Pepper, makes it the best place in the world.

Question 04

Tell us about your upcoming book, “Slowing.” What are ways in which you craft intentional conversations with others?

Slowing (out 9/17/24 – you can pre-order it here!) is a collection of personal essays, interviews, and prompts about time, pace, and creativity. The book’s origins stem from my project Slow Stories, and my experiences of navigating an age that prized productivity, speed, and external validation. Combining evocative—and slow—storytelling, guided prompts, and inspiring design, Slowing offers a distinct lens on time and attention.

I’ve learned the best way to cultivate intentional conversations is to listen. We’re living in an age where volume—in every sense of the word—is prioritized. Paring back, slowing down, and celebrating quieter moments allows us to truly hear what others are saying. When we create that space, we can also hear ourselves a little bit more clearly, too.

Question 05

What is your favorite Casa Picosa flavor? How will you be cooking with it this summer?

I love Sweet Hally P—I’m a big breakfast/brunch person, so I’ll definitely be incorporating it in egg dishes!

Question 06

What are five things from the Casa de Suna shop that you’d love to add to your tablescape this season?

I’d love to elevate my tablescape with the Il Buco Vita Dinner Plates. To add a warm, inviting glow, the Il Buco Twisted Beeswax Candles are a must-have. The Ferm Living Ripple Glasses and Still Carafe are both stylish and practical, perfect for keeping guests refreshed. Lastly, the Ferm Living Tinta Bowls would add a charming, versatile element to the tablescape – ideal for serving everything from appetizers to snacks.

Question 07

What is inspiring you these days? An ingredient, an artist, a destination, something you’ve recently learned, anything…

I’m an avid reader and have felt particularly nourished by recent reads like Coco Mellors’s Blue Sisters (out this September), Swimming in Paris by Colombe Schneck, We Were the Universe by Kimberly King Parsons, Here After by Amy Lin, With My Back to the World: Poems by Victoria Chang, Practice by Rosalind Brown, All Fours by Miranda July, and Worry by Alexandra Tanner.

Question 08

What’s your go-to summer dish that always impresses your guests?

I’m honestly not that big of a cook… but my cheese boards and snack plates always seem to delight!

Question 09

Which book, movie, or song best encapsulates the spirit of summer for you?

I tend to get more nostalgic in the summer—maybe that’s why Regina Spektor’s song “Summer in the City” popped into my mind!

Question 10

Favorite flowers for a tablescape?

Depends on the mood, season, and occasion, but I generally love tulips.

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