Friday, July 29, 2011

French invasion

We have Anne Fontaine and agnès b. Comptoir des Cotonniers and Cotelac. Isabel Marant and Zadig et Voltaire.

When I saw this sign that Maje is coming to Bleecker Street, NYC’s Frenchie Ghetto, I thought, the only store we’re missing now is Sandro.

Then I rounded the corner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You guys are awesome

Yeah, you. I was just thinking how amazing it is that we’ve never met and yet we have this relationship. I love hearing from you. I love seeing your face here over and over. I love the stories and insights you share. It’s a giant boost knowing that you keep coming back. So thank you. Thanks for being so awesome.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snippets from the weekend… and Vegan Monday

Is it totally counterproductive if I cram tons of dairy in my maw on the weekends in anticipation of Vegan Monday? Like I did this past weekend? Some of the highlights, food-related and otherwise…

The discovery of tete de moine, or monk’s head, cheese—oh la la, dee-licious!... spontaneous late-night dancing with the kids at Bunker Club…QT with best friends… a dip in the pool… phone calls from California and Paris… Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Bun ice cream… lots of sweating… grilled peaches… my first encounter with the amazing West Village bookstore, Three Lives & Company… yoga… the Sunday paper… near completion on my book!

Green tea
Green juice
Slice of seven-grain toast with peanut butter

A mish-mosh salad: grilled fennel, quinoa, greens and tofu
An apple

The most delicious salad, as introduced by superstar chef, Julie this past weekend: romaine lettuce, granny smith apple, golden raisins, peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. I’ve had it three nights in a row now! (Which is better than eating ice cream three nights in a row. But I did that, anyway, last week…)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


A long, long time ago, I was young and in love. I had moved out to San Francisco after college and started my career in advertising. I had dorky New England style, an earnest passion for writing poetry and untamed eyebrows.

Then I met Zack. He was older, he was a writer, and he was a genius. He was funny, stylish, sweet, cool, and so different from anyone I knew. He introduced me to writers like Italo Calvino and poets like T.S. Eliot. He bought me books about Paris in the ’20s and California cuisine. He introduced me to Teuscher champagne truffles. He always supported my ideas and dreams and opened my world like nobody else. In short, he played a big role in who and where I am today.

For the past several years, as I’ve been putting everything I’ve got towards this book, he’s been putting everything into making movies. He has a couple screenwriting credits but finally finished his first feature film, Will. I read the script many moons ago and have seen some outtakes and it’s brilliant. Like Zack, it’s funny, sad and beautiful.

It’s going to be released this fall in the UK, where it was mostly shot, produced and edited. But, like Jay Weston wrote for the Huffington Post, the American movie houses are out to lunch. While it’s on Weston’s Academy Award Winner list, no one here has bought the rights yet. Let’s hope the U.S. companies get their act together so we can all see this brilliance on the big screen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Le book

Many of you have (graciously) asked what’s going on with my book. Here’s the latest update:

I submitted my manuscript on June 1. Except that I had to turn in the Town + Country article on the alkaline diet two days later, it was perhaps the biggest sigh of relief that’s ever escaped my lips.

I spent June recovering. My poor brain and eyeballs were beyond fatigued, and I had permanent indents on my forearms from where they rest against my desk as I type. And after eating so many greens for the article/diet, I began binging on Ben & Jerry’s—sweet, sweet Ben & Jerry’s.

So recover I did (sort of), and then my editor got back to me with edits right before the Fourth of July holiday. Now I’m back it: revising, editing, strengthening and polishing. I wonder if I’ll ever feel it’s “ready”, but it’s coming together nicely. I have to submit the manuscript again by the end of this month, and then there may be one more round of edits.

Then it gets turned over to design and layout. My editor and I were debating about including photos for each of the chapters. On one hand, pictures of food are always a good thing. But they’ll be black and white. Maybe not worth it? Too junky? What do you think?

Also in August, I have to produce a little sales video for Sourcebook’s sales conference. If anyone has any self-promotion, or hair or makeup tips, speak up!

At some point, I’m hoping to see a couple of design options for the cover. This, I await with bated breath. I sent my “brief” for what I was looking for (bold, graphic, playful; not too girly or cutesy) along with some references. Fingers crossed.

The advance reader copies should be ready in October. These get sent to anyone who expresses interest in reviewing the book. I’ll also start working with publicity then, planning readings, demos, smackdowns, sponsorships, promotions and articles and reaching out to anyone who might want to support the book. (Have any ideas??)

Then in March, we execute all those readings, demos, smackdowns, sponsorships, promotions and articles. For March is when it finally hits the shelf! Oh la la… so close, yet so far away.

And finally, the working title…

Paris, My Sweet
A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

Whaddaya think??

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Vegan Mondays

C'est vrai. I had more than my fair share of non plant-based food this weekend. Back in the saddle with Vegan Monday today.

Black tea

Chopped salad with avocado, walnuts, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers
A sweet Fuji apple
A Cliff Bar

Cucumber and tomato salad
Carrots and hummus

Real quick, Martha’s Vineyard

Did you know there’s a ferry that leaves from midtown Manhattan and delivers you all the way over in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard? Amazing and true.

It’s the perfect weekend getaway, especially when the weather is perfect and the crew is fun.

Alison invited a small group of us to her family’s gorgeous home and we had to make good use of our 36 hours on the island.

We started with breakfast at Art Cliff Diner.

Crab cakes benedict (delicious) and this beautiful blackberry-walnut scone, sliced down the middle, toasted ever-so lightly and served with whipped butter.

That was followed by cocktails…

And lobster rolls for lunch…

…and Mad Martha’s ice cream for dessert.

Dinner was a gourmet feast, cheapened only by our sweet tea cocktails and ensuing juvenile behavior. But man, was it fun to dance until we were sweaty messes and the lights came on, sending us home.

But it wasn’t all gluttony and hedonism. There were quiet moments and spectacular views…

Hours reading on the beach and playing lawn games in the backyard.

And then, just like that, we were back in New York again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What a great week

I started out in a dark and gloomy place but then I changed my attitude. Things are going swimmingly now.

I’ve been working on my book edits, which came through right before the July 4 holiday. I have to say, I’m getting excited. Excited that the book’s a wee bit stronger now and especially excited that the end of writing and editing is in sight.

I had lunch with my agent—our first face-to-face meeting, in fact. Not only did we share a pretzel croissant and peanut butter cookies at City Bakery (my god, so delicious), but talking about the future of my book and thinking about my writing future in general was a fantastic jolt.

I had drinks with the girls on the Lower East Side. Cute new spot, Casa Mezcal, followed by a fun but unnecessary nightcap at Schiller’s.

Spin class—my new yoga.

After weeks of intense work at the office, things are coming together and I’m sort of loving my all-girl teams. Advertising is filled with dudes and it’s so rare to work with so many women. I’m enjoying the girl power. Feeling more connected at work. And ever received hugs for work well done. (It was like being in second grade again, but in the best way.)

My friend Mitchell got a new job.

I have articles coming out in the September issues of Town + Country, Every Day with Rachel Ray and National Geographic Traveler. Now I have to pitch some new ideas.

I tried two new flavors of Ben & Jerry’s: Maple Blondie and Peach Cobbler. Hurt me.

AJ and I cracked brewskis on the High Line at dusk. It’s magical to have had one best friend for 27 years. We even bought each other friendship bracelets, the kind we used to make ourselves, from two adorable girls who were pawning them there on the High Line.

And last night ended with an omelet and frites at Pastis with a fun group of friends at midnight.

Speaking of going swimmingly, I’m off to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. My beach hat and beach umbrella are packed, but after all this eating, my beach body will not be coming. Just as well… I have a huge appetite for lobster rolls and ice cream.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Bastille Day

I hope everyone is sipping Pastis and savoring fromage on this special French day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pieces of Paris

Every so often, friends send me snapshots and such from Paris. It's always a bittersweet pang.

There was my street sign that Mel sent. Sigh. My other home.

The Technicolor macarons Jo sent. Apparently macaron boutiques are springing up around Paris as much as they are in New York.

Candice sent me this lovely photo that conjures all the sweetness of the city.

Speaking of sweetness, an old colleague passed along this split screen love story.

And, a lovely surprise, Easy Jet added me to their list of "Ultimate Paris Bloggers". I'm honored to be with other such great bloggers. Merci, Easy Jet!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Vegan Mondays

I’ve been obsessed with ice cream lately. Specifically Ben & Jerry’s. Eaten by the pint. In one sitting. Oatmeal cookie. Clusterfluff. Mission to Mars. Willie Nelson’s Peach Cobbler. Such good stuff. And did you hear, Ben & Jerry’s is coming out with a Schweddy Balls flavor? Swear to god. With stuff like rum and malt balls. Should be good.

I am dying for more ice cream tonight but I’m trying instead to focus on the beautiful egg and Manchego croissant sandwich I had for brunch at Joseph Leonard yesterday. It was enough dairy amazingness to last me a few days, I should think. Besides, it's going to be in the 90s tomorrow. The perfect kind of ice cream day.

Green tea
(I had an early client meeting and didn't have time to make my green juice or anything else.)

A giant falafel sandwich with fries (This was a monster of a lunch. Maybe vegan, but not so healthy. But delicious.)
Carrot sticks

Tomato, cucumber and artichoke salad

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer lull

Funny how cyclical life is. Just yesterday morning, I caught myself saying, "I'm bored." This, despite living in the craziest, busiest city in the country. This, despite being stressed at work. This, despite having all kinds of plans and agendas. I'm never bored. Who has time to be bored??

Apparently me. Exactly a year ago, I was saying the same thing about Paris. But, like those new discoveries last summer in Paris (Inner tubes on the Seine! Tango dancers at dark!), I'm excited to see what New York will reveal to me this week. Something unexpected, something enlightening, and something wonderful is what I hope.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Women who think

"France is a country that thinks. There is hardly an ideology that we haven't turned into a theory. In our libraries we have enough to talk about for centuries to come. That is why I would like to say: Enough thinking already!"
—Christine Lagarde (if you ask me, she's one smart cookie)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“What you focus on expands”

Someone shared this thought with me recently. Her words were in relation to diet and taking care of yourself physically, but they apply to every facet of life; the emotional and intellectual maybe even more so than the physical.

Since I’ve been home in New York, it’s been one giant, not-always-comfortable transition. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want from my life and what I can do, with my own faculties, to achieve certain things. I’m definitely in a massive transition phase, which, unfortunately, has had me focusing more on the negative than the positive. It happens. My Germanic tendencies rear their ugly heads and send me spinning into dour territory. I need to shake free of the negativity and embrace the possibility—allllll the possibilities!

And so I keep coming back to the words this woman, who’s much younger than me. They’re incredibly wise, insightful and precocious. Here was her full message: “Make sure you're giving yourself plenty of credit for the things you ARE doing. We all tend to focus on what we aren't doing or feel we are doing wrong or don't do enough, but the universal principle is that ‘what you focus on expands’. The more you do those great works, and the more you acknowledge yourself for them, the more those things will show up in your life.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, white and blue in CT

It’s no secret. I love New York. But sometime an escape is essential. Especially when it means escaping to Connecticut. With family. Best friends from high school. Trees and flowers. Ice cream and lobster rolls. Leisurely mornings and lazy evenings. Sand and grass. And the constant visual massage of a cute small town.

I hope you all saw (or felt!) fireworks this weekend!