Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Approaching midnight

It’s here! As of midnight, my baby, Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate), will officially be born!

The past few weeks have been mind-blowingly hectic and I haven’t had proper time to think about this; to anticipate and relish and hold onto the excitement. But today I felt more and more giddy with every hour that passed. There were well wishes and plans coming together and everyone’s pre-ordered copies of the book have shipped. Some of my favorite quotes of the day:

“…If I may be so bold to say if eating sweets has you looking so young, then I will be indulging in desserts every night!” (My super sweet Sourcebooks publicist.)

“Tomorrow is the big day!!! Please wake up and pour yourself a big glass of champagne!” (My ever supportive, boozy and wise friend, Connie.)

It’s definitely going to be an interesting few months. Last week, I read a not so great review, which made me realize I better brace myself for criticism, both fair and bitchy. It just comes with the territory. But mostly, the support and enthusiasm so far has just been so exciting and rewarding that I’m already dying to do all of this again. I'm ready for Book #2!

But, for now, I’m going to try that relishing bit. To stop running around and just absorb and enjoy this moment and accomplishment. In just a couple of hours, my dream will be a proper reality. Amazing. Thank you for being part of this. Merci, mes amis. Bis! Bis! Bis!

Heavenly views

Look out the window…

… peek off the balcony…

… There’s nothing like sneaking a view in Paris.

(Even Milo agrees.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Vegan Mondays

Boy, do I have a lot to atone for this Monday. About four chocolate chip cookies, four cupcakes, five slices of cake and 80 handfuls of Swedish fish, malt balls, Haribo raspberries and other ridiculous penny candies in 36 hours. What can I say? It was my nephew's sixth birthday this weekend and we all were riding sugar highs. Why stop when you've sunk so low??

Granola with almond milk


Steamed veggies and fried potatoes
Granola bar

Udon soup with kimchi
Licorice (just a little left over from the weekend's festivities...)

Happy Monday

Here's to a bright, cheeky, fun and unexpected week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The cutest restaurant in New York CIty

It may be rare that I fall head over heels, but when I fall, I fall hard. Like with Buvette.

I've been lamenting the fact that I never go out for dinner the way I used to. For whatever reason(s), since returning from Paris I just don't have the opportunity, occasion or companions the way I once did. I fell for Buvette late last spring and had only had one repeat visit. But this morning, I had the lucky opportunity to have breakfast there. And my love is for real.

Nutella crepes...

They call these tartines, but never have I seen such fluffy-thick-soft bread. And the butter and marmalade on top?! Heaven.

Waffles buried under a cloud of whipped cream and fresh berries.

Et voila... tarte tatine. Sweet-savory, caramel-y tarte tatin. For breakfast. Pourquoi pas??

Not that there weren't other amazing little baked bits to choose from...

But I guess I need something new to try the next time I go back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The brute had some softness

"There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris."
–Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let’s hear it for books!

I obviously have books on the brain as of late. Paris, My Sweet (Sourcebooks) comes out in a mere 10 days. I’ve also been eating up Adam Gopnik’s The Table Comes First, am getting ready to dive into Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot, have been delighting in the U.S. printed version of Paris Versus New York and am anxiously awaiting some upcoming releases including The Little Paris Kitchen, Paris in Color, Apron Anxiety and Mastering the Art of French Eating. What can I say? I’m a book girl.

Naturally, I fell for this video when I discovered it (while reading a nice review of Paris, My Sweet on The Novel World). I just love the idea that books are alive. And that they have the power to make us feel alive.

What was the last book you read that made you feel alive?

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Vegan Mondays

I'm still swooning over The Artist. And feeling plump and happy from my Manhattans at Monkey Bar, spaghetti puttanesca at Mario's Ballato, strawberry cupcake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and chai latte that went perfectly an apple bran muffin at Think Coffee. Indulging is what weekends are for, n'est-ce pas?? Just as Vegan Mondays are for rebooting.

Coffee with soy milk
Oatmeal with goji berries
An organic Fuji apple

Lentil soup
Some strawberry suckers


Ahhh... one of my favorite things about winter: the carrot-ginger soup I make. Miraculously rich and creamy without a lick of dairy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some nights are just… perfect

It can happen. When you go to one of your favorite places in the city (the balcony of the Paris Theater).

And see the best movie you’ve seen all year (The Artist—go now).

And then go somewhere you’ve always wanted (Monkey Bar), with someone whom you adore (Mr. B) and it’s even better than you hoped.

Cool, clubby and old-school New York. But not a drip of attitude or pretension.

Gorgeous cocktails. Friendly bartenders. Corn fritters with thyme honey.

Catching up with a good friend and looking forward to a whole new year…

It was the perfect night in New York City.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Still a sucker for Louis

I had an excuse to go to midtown last weekend (actually, two excuses: a visiting bff and the makeup counters at bg).

I popped into Bendel’s and taunted myself at Smythson. And naturally, I had to cruise the windows at Louis Vuitton.

Trop amusant!

Wouldn’t it be fun to be a window dresser?

What do you say, Simon?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Number 9!

Back in the summer of 2008, I was astonished when the New York Times accepted my pitch for a Velib spree through Paris that targeted the city's best chocolatiers. Then the Tour du Chocolat went on to become a Top 10 travel story for the year.

This morning I found out it happened again: A Paris Farewell came in at Number 9 on the list of top travel articles for 2011. Hooray!

I couldn't be happier—not only for the insane honor, but because that piece was indeed a love letter to Paris. I loved researching and writing it, I loved sharing it and hearing all the wonderful responses, and I still love all the memories I carry with me as a result. Especially since I've been missing Paris like mad lately. (Paris, je t'aime. Encore et toujours.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Long live the king!

If it pained me to miss the Christmas lights in Paris last month, it’s killing me to miss the galettes des rois this month.

Friday was the Day of Epiphany, a religious celebration of Christ being visited by the Three Kings on the Twelfth Night. The French, appropriately, celebrate with pastry.

The galette des rois is a relatively simple cake of two golden, flaky puff pastry shells filled with frangipane (almond paste). Maybe a little egg and sugar brushed on, maybe some crème fraiche or Grand Marnier mixed in. It depends on the recipe, and the baker.

But I’m quite certain all versions are delicious.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Vegan Mondays

I'm not gonna lie. I've been horrible with Vegan Mondays lately. It's not that I haven't had the occasional day of veganism. But with the holidays, I never knew what day it was. And, admittedly, a couple times I just didn't want to not eat cheese or cake.

But I'm back on track. I refrained from cookies and macarons at the office today. I had a Vegan Sunday yesterday. And maybe I'll even do a Vegan Tuesday tomorrow. Pourquoi pas? Sometimes penance can actually be delicious.


Coffee with soy milk
Oaty granola bar

One of those funky soy sandwiches you get from the health food store—strange... and strangely satisfying
Chewy granola bar

Whole Foods salad bar including a kale waldorf mix, a barley salad and vegan tortellinis

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Simon Doonan, the new David Sedaris

"The macaron craze is the ne plus ultra of gay fooderie. I can't believe any red-blooded straight guy can even walk into a macaron shop. If you wanted to ruin a politician's career, just publish a picture of him shopping for macarons."
-Simon Doonan

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Blanking on resolutions

I'm normally really good at channeling my Oprah/hippie/new agey side. I love some serious introspection. I delight in self-help. I dig "sharing."

But for some reason, as 2011 slid into 2012, I wasn't coming up with any good resolutions like I normally would have. And now that we're five days into the New Year, instead of puzzling over what I should resolve to do, I've decided to ponder something else; something more optimistic and imaginative. And I want you to do the same...

What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Music, cha cha cha

It’s been some time since I shared a playlist, mostly because it’s been a long time since I’ve been inspired by music in general or a new band in particular. But over the holidays, I’ve been listening more closely, paying attention to band names (The War on Drugs, love), talking to people about songs (Murder on the Dance Floor, awesome) and shows (Nada Surf, taking on Europe bientot), and sort of loving my iTunes library again.

Dog Days Are Over
– Florence and the Machine
Brothers – The War on Drugs
Nova Heart – The Spoons
Murder on the Dance Floor – Sophie Ellis Bexter
Urgent – Foreigner
This Must Be the Place – Talking Heads
Folds in Your Hands – Passion Pit
Soft Shock – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Love Like a Sunset – Phoenix (God, I love Phoenix)
Submarine – The Drums
Repatriated – Handsome Furs
Ten-Twenty-Ten – Generationals
Say It Isn’t So – Hall & Oates
L.E.S. Artists – Santogold
Time Stands Still – Cut Copy
Swept Inside – Future Islands