Friday, April 23, 2010

Sultry backyard, the Norwood

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

adopt a dog! new friends, fava beans, lame dudes, marry me robbie cano!

watch this whole thing. please. 

went to my favorite brunch spot, a place i always go to alone because it's easier to get a seat and also because they all know me there now and have a decently chatty rapport with me. i started talking to a young couple a few seats down. they were friends with my favorite bartender there. we ended up spending the rest of the day together, napping on the pier, getting cookies from birdbath bakery and then heading to fat cat for shuffleboard. i am actually sort of good at shuffleboard! we played girls against boys and kicked some ass. it was one of those new york kind of days. my new friends actually didn't live in nyc, one was in boston and the other in the navy in DC (soon to be shipped off to afghanistan). he spent the day teaching us words from a language that wasn't farsi, but was similar to it. totally random but really lovely people that i hope to see again soon.
spring veggies are back in restaurants. locanda's fava bean crostini is back. HOORAY. i just love LOVE the fava bean crostini. and ramps are with peas and speck and spaghetti in something that resembles carbonara but really is not anything close to a carbonara because carbonara does not have peas or cream. i'm very serious about this. i'm a carbonara originalist. some small dirty-looking girl walked past me. she was very olsen-girlesque. but it was drew barrymore! who knew she was so tiny!! and she was with justin long and jimmy fallon. then governor paterson's advance person walked in and it was URGENT that the GOVERNOR get a table. the GOVERNOR is standing right there! and then she pointed at him. as if you could miss him. it was all so strange. i mean, i don't know. maybe i'd have been more impressed if he weren't such a lame duck and hadn't screwed shit up so much for himself.
i'm out to brunch with al. we went to extra virgin, home of the dreamy gorgonzola fondue (and the prettiest boy EVER was sitting to us and he rides a motorcycle so i'm fenced about whether he was gay or not). and al is like, "i went out with my friend mike. he wants to date you and told me to mention it to you." did you hear that? that was the sound of my head exploding. because, this was IMPROPER FORM. clearly he meant to write a note about it, fold it into a little football and give it to alex who then was supposed to hand it to me in sixth period social studies. RIGHT?
what mature adult sends a message like that through a friend? i KNOW this guy. he has my e-mail and probably my phone number. in short, it was a pussified move, if i've ever seen one. and people wonder why i don't date. *banging head on desk*
oh my god, you guys, martha stewart tweeted the yankees home opener. these tweets are amazing and i want them framed so i can read them over and over again. i sometimes can't decide whether i'm obsessed with martha stewart or hate her. today's tweets, while hysterical, also sent me into a jealous rage. i'm really super ragey still. and, AND there are no pictures of my baby robinson cano. WHERE IS CANO?! I WANT SOME CANO!
i'm nuts in my head today. have some writing to do. an essay on race to finish that i've started over so many times i really have no idea what i want anymore. disaster. thank god i'm not a real writer as that shit would STRESS me out. i have quaint little e-mail conversations with a new yorker writer who refuses to join twitter, facebook, et. al. says he doesn't need any more nonsense distracting him from his already prone-to-wandering brain and that it's a miracle he gets anything done. i think i'm probably 10 times more wandery. i'm sorry. i can't stop making up words. it's so lazy. gah.

Friday, April 09, 2010

lame follow up

deciding rightly to forego the afterparty for the F&W event at kenmare  
(of course), i made it to my 7am pilates. it was still dark out when i  
left but the birds were busily chirping. when i get a dog, i wonder  
how i'll find one that likes to sleep in. none of that 6am walk shit.

something i forgot to mention about the food and wine party: sarah  
jessica parker was there and she's stunning in person. she's wee and  
looks about 45 pounds and was walking around with that dude that hosts  
the real housewives aftershows or whatever which seemed weird but i'm  
sure he was feeling pretty lucky to have her on his arm. oh, and there  
was FOOD there. the sliders from locanda, sturgeon sabayon from daniel  
humm at eleven madison, a chic'ed up buffalo chicken with blue cheese  
from that hottie voltaggio (the last top chef winner), fois gras with  
some green jelly business from paul liebrandt, pork belly from gabe kreuther and hamachi tartare from dan silverman. rock on. 

I'm loving the bird and the bee hall and oates tribute album.  it's just completely unironic and unabashedly doting an album. it's hall and oates with catchier hooks and a beat underneath that could have been done by pharrell. 

should be a quiet weekend. pilates and a brunch or two and i think some serious writing to do. an essay on race for an anthology (which i'll submit but doubt will be accepted) and a piece on vancouver that i'm going to edit to make it suitable for submission for the ny times, which sounds kind of crazy, but it's short and the short stuff doesn't pay so nobody much matters whether it's really that good and the professor suggested i try to edit it and re-submit so he'll let me know whether it ends up in a state good enough to send out to anyone. 

we were talking about research in class and colin suggested going to bars and meeting locals and the teacher balked. he was just like, "oh, i can't do that. maybe if i had a pad of paper and pen with me to prove i was a journalist." and colin and i were both thinking, "oh my god! i'd never walk up to someone with a pad and pencil in a bar!" it made me stop to think just how different my life would be if i weren't so outgoing/social/generally fearless around people i don't know. i mean, i know thousands of people in this city and i'm not even the most "popular" of my friends. which got me to thinking that this is why i get along with women and gays so well. because we're more likely to be naturally outgoing. straight men generally don't prefer intimacy and certainly aren't all that chatty (which, tangentially, is probably why they like watching sports so much, they don't have to talk to people for hours at a time). i know i'm making some pretty general assumptions but of the people i know (and i know plenty) i would say that straight men are not typically silly nor do they enjoy just sitting around talking endlessly. when i go home and stay with kate and her husband anthony he'll sometimes just holler out things like, "don't you guys ever get tired of talking!" and you can see that his head is about to explode. 

but i digress. writing, blah blah. at any rate, it's nice to have a new hobby. if my stuff gets good i'll think about posting it here. i'm not sure what people would do if things with capital letters that look like they'd been proofread started ending up in this space. it might freak them out too much. 

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

food and wine best new chefs, mangosteens, babies

oh my god, you guys. food & wine held their annual "best new chef" party at the four seasons tonight and i got to go! i'm still dying inside that i went. dana cowin (editor in chief of the magazine) held this little twitter contest where she'd dole out clues and the tweeps would try to guess who the chefs were. i mostly googled insanely and when i'd get it i'd find out that like 4 other people had it first. some of the clues were easy, some i still don't understand. regardless, some chick from chicago won! and she fucking flew out for this damn party! and i commented something to the effect of, "damn. i spent a LOT of time doing this and it sucks that i lost." and then i found out that i didn't lose at all! tickets were waiting for me at will call. HOLY SHIT. YES. it was at the four seasons which looks pretty much eleven madison park BEFORE it was eleven madison park. high ceilings, lots of 5 foot high flower arrangements (also like del posto, so i'll probably mention it to robert who does the del posto and esca floral arrangements to get his take), 3 staff members per guest and just decadent beyond belief. because i'm the fangirl i am, i recognized every damn person there. i finally met andrew carmellini from locanda verde. i had to say, "yeah, i'm that blogger. sorry." but he was as nice as could be and we had short, lovely little chat. he'd made meatball sliders. i was happy to report that my last dinner there was fantastic and that my friend brought a large work party there afterwards as well and they LOVED it too. "so you're friends with ahiram," he said, which was true. but he didn't know that we were only friends at all BECAUSE i was going to his damn restaurant so often. but anyway, yes, cheers to ahiram who is endlessly charming and a total superstar. 

lockhart steele was there. we discussed faustina's review in the nytimes, out tomorrow (but posted tonight) and hinted at by jeffrey tascarella's twitter feed. "but while his kitchen is exciting, faustina is not." is a killer of a sentence. sifton was right that the portions are described as small and then are bigger in person. sometimes much bigger. and i'm a prime example of someone who thought they weren't ordering enough but then ended up with WAY TOO MUCH. (and it's totally better to have more than less but the dishes aren't particularly cheap so some people might not want to over-order.) but his main issue was with the space, which is something that feels unfair to judge a restaurant by when they didn't build it and it's part of a hotel. so, yeah, the bathroom is outside the restaurant and down some stairs. and YES, the place is chic to the point of frigidity. it ends with, "all this would be depressing if the food weren't so good." which is kind of shitty. if the food is that good, it should get two stars, period. this is MANHATTAN. he knows how fucking hard it is to find good space on this island. 

but i digress. lockhart introduced us to his good friend sarah simmons, food and wine home cook superstar. she's amazing. she blogs here and she's pretty much just what i need. i'm a single girl who doesn't know how to cook for 1. she does. also, she loves dogs so we're totally going to be friends. sarah then brought us over to dana, the EIC of F&W who is so tiny and lovely. sarah and dana then turned me over to alessandra, a F&W assistant editor and she was also bubbly and charming and wearing a stunning green jewel-toned dress. and the F&W travel editor was wearing a stunning orange dress that (sadness!) was from india so i'll never own anything like it. otherwise, it was super star studded. the gorgeous seamus mullen was there. he has an asian girlfriend! which means, in my head, i have a chance with him in another life. todd english was there, the man famous for his asian fetish. marcus samuelsson looking sooo beautiful in a bright orange scarf. wyle dufresne, tom colicchio, anne burrell, danny meyer, drew nieporent, ad infinitum. we were there to honor the best new chefs and met roy choi who is cool as shit. he called out my half-asian-ness ("it's workin' for you") and told me i had to come visit the restaurant next time i was in L.A. we met an owner of blackbird in chicago who, of course, knew our friend pam. everyone knows pam. and for dessert, just as i was leaving some girl runs up to me and says, "i'm sorry, who makes your dress?" my answer: "h&m" "NO! you look like a million bucks!" she wailed. yes. yes indeed. i mean, i threw on a theory belt and some moderately expensive heels but the dress was a whole $25.00. she was flabbergasted. i was flattered beyond belief. we both win since h&m will likely make the dress again this summer so she knows to keep an eye out for it. but i'll seriously live on that compliment for the next two weeks, at least. 

but the best, BEST part? i'm kind of hating work. actually, i'm really hating work. my job sucks and i'm not cut out for it. and lockhart and sarah and alessandra all said, "quit the damn job and start doing something with food because you obviously love it." and it was just such a relief to have real people tell me to do what is floating around in my head as just a whim. and they offered to send my writing (you know, the food/travel stuff i do) to real editors. and my writing teacher has been super supportive and really thinks that i could write about food if i wanted (i do! i do!) so, well, maybe i'll start pitching the shit out of people to see if anything comes of it. colin is a prime example of someone who throws himself into stuff and gets rewarded tenfold. he takes risks, unabashedly, and they pay off. it's inspiring and i think i need to start trying it myself. virgo-risk-averseness be damned. 

congrats to the folks at locanda verde. a much deserved best chef and best new restaurant from time out. voted on by people who eat and, collectively, have pretty damn good taste in food. i'm proud to call myself a regular and a groupie. kate krader may be one of the few people to eat there more often than myself and she delivers the news that the fava bean crostini has returned! huzzah!!
also congrats to joseph leonard, another place that i might stop by weekly and totally adore, even though my beloved brussels sprouts are out of season and off the menu. harumph. but, like, they make a fucking KILLER bloody mary so i will continue to send them my business and wait for fall to hit again before the brussels come back into my life. 

other exciting food news that i keep forgetting to mention: i finally tried a mangosteen. i've been wanting to stumble across them in chinatown but for all my visits through, haven't seen the thing. it's illegal to import them to the US but not, apparently, to canada, which is where i found them all over the damn place. the skin is easily peelable and they're so much smaller than i'd imagined. i'd thought they'd be the size of an orange. they were the size of a clementine. so tiny! and a lot of work for the small amount of fruit that you actually end up with which tastes like a lychee but then there's this annoying pit in the middle. totally disappointing. 

chicago was sleepy and not sleepy at the same time. lots of napping but otherwise MUCH attention to be paid on the eensy baby. i just 100% fell in love with that thing. i didn't expect that. i didn't think i'd ever be one to just want to stare at a baby endlessly, take hundreds of photos and then, later, pull out my phone constantly to show off said pictures. but i've turned into that person. that person who shows off baby pictures. i took a few videos with my phone and have watched them too many times to count. i fed, burped, changed diapers. i could carry her around in my forearm and she loved sleeping on my chest. kate thought the lack of sleep and constant feeding/changing diapers was going to prove to me once and for all that i didn't want children. a few days in and she saw how damn doting i was and thought she'd proved that it meant i DID want to have babies of my own. she was wrong, mostly. i still don't think i'm ever going to do that myself but holy hell do i love the shit out of her little blob. and i'm excited that i can go home to see her but then get to come back to my own mostly carefree and responsibility-free life. 

anyway, it's past midnight and i have a 7am pilates class that i really want to make but doubt my body will move when my alarm goes off at 5:30am (the perils of living so far uptown). 

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Juicy Lucy's: hug a stranger!