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Solace in the City: Jens + Kristen
In the first of a new series, New Yorkers explain how they unwind + destress.
To celebrate the launch of our new stress-busting formula, Functional Fragrance, we asked local New Yorkers to break down how they maintain peace of mind in the city.
Name: Kristen + Jens Alsterklint
Location: Queens, NY
Profession: Kristen is the founder of Flock Comms, and Jens heads up FATED.
Where in the city do you feel the most relaxed?
K: I’m a California girl originally, so I find peace in nature + the outdoors. In the summer, I find solace on the terrace of our apartment in Long Island City. It is hands down, my ‘happy place.’ It’s a 500-square foot concrete box—a far cry from the Redwood forests I grew up in—but we feel blessed to have our own little outdoor sanctuary.
J: I’ve had a passion for cooking since I was a kid, but in recent years it’s also become a source of relaxation for me. During the summer, most of my evenings are spent barbecuing on our terrace, pulling inspiration from a recipe I found somewhere to varying degrees of success!
K: Our apartment is where we can both switch off. Just sitting on the couch with Jens, half-watching a movie we’ve seen a million times, while making fun of our dog, Snail, is one of my favorite activities.
How do you alleviate stress?
J: We’ve made a little tradition out of drawing postcards for our friends and family who are scattered all over the world. It started as a game called, Postcards for Mormor, where I’d get all of our friends who were over to draft a postcard for their mormor (grandma in Swedish). Then I’d put stamps on each card, and we’d walk down the block to drop them in the mailbox.
K: Running my own business is simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging thing I’ve ever done. I have a high threshold for stress, which is both a blessing and a curse: While I naturally remain cool, calm, and collected under the most chaotic of conditions, I don’t know when to tap out. I find working out to be a great stress reliever overall, but, to be honest, just the thought of working out stresses me out. So it’s more of a necessary, preventative measure than a go-to antidote for stress.
J: I find release in exercise too, particularly Mixed Martial Arts. Right now, I do Jeet Kune Do. It’s a great workout, but the most interesting impact is the mindset it instils. The aim is to continually improve in constant progression, rather than achieve a set goal.
K: My number one NYC recommendation is to look up. Quite literally, just look up and take in all of the Big Apple’s brilliant details—the things that are easily overlooked when we’re staring down at our phones, or focused on zig-zagging between tourists in a self-inflicted rush to get from one place to the next. Some of my favorites spots include the tree-lined rooftop at 419 Lafayette Street and the architecture of the Fisher Building. I know it’s passé, but the Space Invader pieces still get me every time. I’ve lived here for about 6.5 years now and I still discover new sights to see all the time.
J: Lil Frankies in the Lower East Side. The atmosphere is amazing, their pizzas + pastas are incredible, it's in a fun area buzzing with great energy—and it’s where me and Kristen went on our first date. We’ve order delivery from it at least once a week ever since.
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Photographs Moran Dankner for The Nue Co.