Monday, June 27, 2011

My Vegan Mondays

In honor of Vegan Mondays—that is, each of us doing our own little things to try to preserve this gorgeous planet we live on—I present the most brilliant “mockumentary” ever made:

Green tea
Green juice

Salad with avocado, cannellini beans, roasted tomato and zucchini and pumpkin seeds
Pecan roll
Mixed fruit

Falafel sandwich
Roasted broccoli and cauliflower

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Farming and flappers on Governors Island

It was a lovely weekend. Dinner in Darien with my dear college roommate. Brunch at ABC Kitchen with Connie and Alex. A meeting with fellow sweet freak Kathy Chan. But today was just a great day.

I had signed up to do some volunteer farming at the Added Value Farm on Governors Island, giving me the opportunity to not only get earthy and earnest for a few hours, but also to see this island, which used to be a military base, for the first time.

It was a priceless view leaving the city. I still miss those towers, but at least have my memories of them.

And once on the island, it was a great juxtaposition to see greens and sculptures with the city skyline as a backdrop.

In fact, there are sculptures and views all over the island.

Added Value works in conjunction with the three-acre Red Hook Community Farm to support a CSA, weekly farmer’s market and four local restaurants. We were tasked with tilling some new plots, weeding some old plots and transplanting flowers between the two.

I know it sounds dorky but it was really rewarding to see the nice, fresh rows we left behind.

As luck would have it, it was one of the two jazz age summer weekend lawn parties on Governors Island. For years, I’ve seen the amazing photos coming out of this event and finally got to see it up close (sort of; I was filthy and felt chagrined to even be near all this loveliness).

Sorta makes you want to get all dolled up and dance, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jonathan Richman

Do you know Jonathan Richman? Seeing him perform live is something everyone should do in their lifetime. He's goofy as all hell, but charming and smart and a legend to boot. Probably best known for I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar, French Style is one of my favorite songs...

French style, French style is so fussy
French style, French style is so proud
French style, French style is creamy color
More often quiet than loud.

French style, French style what is it?
Something sort of delicate
French style, French style, French Style.

It's not as foxy as Italian
Nor as dramatic as in Spain
But what they do is so hard to copy
It's something that they can do with something plain.

French style, French style what is it?
Something sort of delicate
French style, French style, French Style.

It's not as foxy as Italian
Nor as dramatic as in Spain
But what they do is so hard to copy
It's something that they can do with something plain.

French style, French style what is it?
Something sort of delicate
French style, French style, French Style.

Monday, June 20, 2011

French word of the day: le plaisir

"Le plaisir… is something so much more definite and more evocative than what we mean when we speak of pleasure… To the French it is part of the general fearless and joyful contact with life."
—Edith Wharton

Page 22 of Elaine Sciolino’s book La Seduction, and I am already hooked. I am reminded why I love the French. Why I and gazillions of people like me go to Paris once and are hooked for life. It’s that je ne sais quoi that oozes from every Parisian’s gesture and glance. It permeates the air, making the whole city a moving, breathing, seductive creature. Elegance, sensuality, pleasure, beauty—things that are certainly missing in New York City. Things that are reminding me to get back to Paris, tout de suite. In the meantime, I’ll have to keep studying everything inside the book whose subtitle is “How the French Play the Game of Life”.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'd rather be...

...playing along the canal.

Picnicking in science's shadow...

...drinking with all the bobos...

...waiting for pizza delivery—miam!

Early morning velib rides were always bliss.

And don't forget the indie movies at mk2.

Maybe next time, I'll strap it on and do some sculling.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Vegan Mondays

Thank you, friends and readers for keeping me going with these Vegan Mondays. Admittedly, I lapse some weeks when a good occasion calls for it (I'm talking to you, Balthazar). But I keep going with them because of the feedback and encouragement I've gotten from you, so thank you! Merci!

Green tea
Green juice (this has become one of my favorite things in the world!)
Half a grapefruit

Soba noodles with edamame and peanuts and spicy tofu with spinach and red pepper (both made by yours truly; my first time cooking with tofu, believe it or not)
Chips (Ugh! Disgusting. But I was in a meeting and I was starving so I ate chips)
And almonds

Asparagus, potatoes and sweet and sour eggplant
Too much prosecco

There’s nothing like this in Paris

Burgers as big as your head. Literally.

When I saw the $42 cheeseburger on the menu of M. Wells, the much ballyhooed restaurant in Queens that’s set in an old diner, I couldn’t imagine why it cost so much. Until I saw Chef Hugue Dufour spearing the patty that could feed four with a steak knife and adding a stack of onion rings to it. This place is no ordinary restaurant.

But there are French touches. The chef is from Montreal and has imported some Gallic ways and ingredients.
Oysters with a coffee sabayon, tuna tartare covered in mustard seed, and escargots and bone marrow. I tried them all and now add oysters to my list of “didn’t know I liked it” list. Bone marrow? Non.

Alas, we didn’t order the burger, but my gentleman friends, Bennie and Kev, did order the ribs for two and there was nothing subtle about that dish either. I think I was so mesmerized by the platter of meat and frites delivered to our table that I forgot to take a “before” photo, but caught the impressive “after” evidence.

And after my relatively modest meal of crab bread pudding, it was time for “my” course: dessert. Bennie insisted on the banana cream pie.

I rallied for the $16 Paris Brest.

Was it as good as Philippe Conticini’s masterpiece, the best brest in Paris?

No. But it was a beautiful taste of Paris. In a crazy New York setting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekend dreaming

What I'm excited for this summer...

Bike riding along the Hudson... New York Philharmonic in Central Park... outdoor movies... beach time... reading... ICE CREAM (Amorino just opened here in New York!)... rooftop cocktails... dating... PS 1 SUNDAYS... Alexander McQueen at The Met... picnics, picnics, picnics... Governors Island... lazy mornings spent reading at home or in a cafe... FRECKLES... sundresses... spontaneous road trips... the Union Square GREENMARKET and cheffing up my loot... feeling grass between my toes... a new chapter... Connecticut... GIN & TONICS... crossword puzzle success... urban strolls... lobster rolls... YOGA... Sandy Hook... wedges... breakfast club... more green juices... the ever-elusive flat abs... fresh berries... bright colors... nostalgic music... RED SOX... more reading... planning trips to San Francisco and PARIS...

Et toi??

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things Matter in Paris

The way things look…

The way they taste…

They way they’re presented…

All the little details…

Just being in Paris is luxury.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Manhattan and Midnight in Paris

I’ve been feeling the pull and split of New York and Paris a lot again lately. How is it possible to love two so radically different cities so much? To want to be in both cities, and not give either up?

But since I am in New York, I’ve been dying to get a hit of Paris through Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris—I just haven’t had the time yet. Hopefully this week. In the meantime, I watched Manhattan on DVD. Somehow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. And, wow, what a love letter to New York. Just what I needed to see right now. Reassurance that this city is amazing and I am so lucky to be here and that, oui, I am still in love. And I don't care what anyone says, Woody Allen just cracks me up.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Empty cafe terraces

There's something so lovely...



...and romantic about them.

N'est-ce pas?