circle back vol. 1

Fancy seeing you here.

Welcome friends, secret admirers & strangers:

We’re overwhelmed, excited, endlessly-appreciative, and unnecessarily nervous to have you here with us. Each volume will bring a new thrill, and we hope you’ll stick around to see us through. 

circle back is 50% Sylvie, 50% Ilana, so we’ll go ahead and assume that at least a handful of you have no idea who or what you’ve signed on for. We’ll start there: introductions. 

(SF) Hey, hi, hello! I’m Sylvie, half of this letter.1 Most of the time you can find me in Brooklyn where I live with my boyfriend,2 and spend most of my days either staring at my computer screen, toggling between tabs, refreshing my email, instagram, and NYT Cooking; or pressing my face against the window dreaming of the outside world.3 I’m usually eating, and am irritatingly interested in knowing about the best new restaurant, chef, or food trend while watching Sex and The City reruns on my couch. I’m notorious for influencing and encouraging questionable purchases amongst friends,4 and I’ll spend hours answering your very simple question about where to find the best bread in my (or your) neighborhood, deliberating over natural wine selections, or helping you justify a spontaneous long weekend trip upstate.

I’ve worked in and around media and PR since graduating from a college in the middle of nowhere Ohio, but now I’m trying to hustle and juggle and live my best life. Expect lots of recipes and thoughts on food, silly articles, serious suggestions based on disturbingly accurate instagram ads, ridiculous reels, and a decent amount of sass.5

(IC) Welcome/Willkommen.6 I’m Ilana7 the other half of this newsletter. Physically, you can find me between Cambridge, my current home, and Pittsburgh, my former home, where Noah8 currently lives. Mentally, I’m reliably somewhere between here and Hawaii, let’s say hiking Runyon Canyon noshing on Gjusta sourdough.9 To balance the push and pull of east vs. west coast, a somewhat constant theme in my life, I regularly scroll and update meticulously organized saved-insta folders for each city. These folders, like the many lists on my phone notes, are a gold mine of bars, cafes, designers, outdoor activities, small bizs, and general cool places to be.  I love making guides,10 print and digital, so expect more than a few, curated by yours truly in future circle backs.11 

I’ve worked alongside architects, curators, designers, and writers of all sorts and similar to Sylvie, I’m entering a new phase of ‘hustling’ to figure out what makes me, and those I strive to work with, tick. I’m often motivated by this website, spicy, umami-packed condiments, sweaty workouts, and not-so-secret crushes on practices–and people–all things I will circle back on, guaranteed! 

For months, nay years, it feels like we’ve pondered, pined, schemed, and agonized over a way to collaborate on something creative; something that would allow us to get cheeky, fun, juicy, random, and serious, too. It feels particularly fitting that after a few iterations, we finally decided to launch circle back now, 365 days into the-event-that-shall-not-be-named, because while many friendships have just recently become long-distance, or remote, we’ve successfully sustained an intimate, magical, long-distance friendship for six years and counting. This letter invites you into the strange little [circular] space, which we now cohabitate. We’re glad you’re here, and at the risk of sounding desperate, please stay, and at the risk of sounding risqué, please share us with a dear friend12 ;) 

Here are a few things to keep your mind spinning until next time: 

From the long distance desk of Ilana and Sylvie, see you next time!13


0% of its graphics


his name is Matt. He’ll come up every now and then, but don’t worry, I’ll try not to be one of those girls.  


this serves as a disclaimer that I’ll probably suggest many vetted (and unvetted) things here and can’t be held emotionally or fiscally responsible for what you do with said suggestions. 


my sister proclaimed this as my theme song at a young age, and I’ve only grown into it from there.


sorry in advance for the deutsch-lish


 also available here:


 another very important long-distance person in my life


 I am, undeniably, a cliché 


 for cities! social media! dinner parties! 


 not your jam? Let me know!


how many footnotes is too many footnotes? ALSO, please note: this will be the most “house-keep-y” newsletter you’ll ever receive, and is not indicative of future volumes.