Saturday, September 29, 2012

An amusing interlude

Everyone's going to Paris. Two good friends, two current colleagues, plus a couple of ex-colleagues, have all in recent weeks asked for pointers and recommendations as they plan trips, for work or pleasure, to the great City of Light and Dark Chocolate. It's fun to imagine their adventures.

One of my friends, the fun and fabulous Melody, was just there for a photo shoot and relayed a classic story. She went to Brasserie Lipp with her client. The client asked for a menu in English. The waiter looks at the woman, pauses, and says "never" and walks away and literally never returns. 

Such ridiculous behavior, but so deliciously French!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The week in food

Family. And food.

Family and food.

Food and family.

And, of course, Family Feud.

What a week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Survey says!

Most people love their families. Of course they do. There are shared memories, traditions and holidays; the goofy dispositions, long-running rivalries and hysterical revelries—family ties. Everyone thinks their family is the greatest.

But mine really is.

Last spring, one of my cousins called on all of us to try out for Family Feud, which was hosting auditions at the Foxwood casino, in our home state of Connecticut. I couldn’t make the trip and really didn’t think anything of it. Until five of my cousins aced the auditions and made it to the taping. They were going on national TV!
A lot has happened since then. The TV recording was down in Atlanta, where one of my cousins happens to live. So a couple dozen cousins and their spouses, aunts and uncles and second cousins descended on Betsy’s home and it was an impromptu family reunion (with Steve Harvey, honorary Lathrop member). Reportedly, they kicked some ass.

One month after that, my dear Aunt BJ, who was at the taping and caused a ruckus in the live audience as she was never one who could stay quiet, passed away from pulmonary fibrosis. We were all so happy that much of the family had been there together in Atlanta.

Now, this weekend, we’re gathering again. The (promised Emmy-winning) episode of Family Feud premieres today. Team Lathrop, in color-coordinated finery, are bringing their sass, their smarts, their color-coordinated style into your living room. But just in case you’re at work and miss it, and just in case you’re going to be in Connecticut this weekend, join us at the Lyme Tavern at 3pm on Saturday for a party.

My cousins are also donating a portion of their winnings to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in honor of Aunt BJ. And if you’re so moved, you can too.

Read more about it all here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Vegan Mondays

Coffee with soy milk
Granola with almond milk

Veggie stew and green salad from LifeThyme
Gala apple

Couscous salad with roasted broccoli, pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes

It was one of those Mondays, neither here nor there. I look back on my photos and blog entries of Paris and almost can't believe that was my life. Every day was an adventure. I did something new, saw something inspiring, thought and felt more than I realized was possible. It was a dream. 

I think about Paris all the time. And while I miss it deeply, I am so content here in New York. And I wonder if my chapter in Paris was so magical for the very reason that it was not forever. I'm grateful for my time there, and grateful to be here at home. But every once in awhile, on a dull Monday like today, I can't help but wish I could go back and relive it all....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The week in food

As I type, I am digesting cake truffles from Momofuku Milk Bar(two pineapple upside down cake and one chocolate chip). Needless to say, it’s been a naughty week.

It included obscene meals at Acme and L’Artusi. Cocktails at Employees Only and Hotel Delmano.

And the capper was going to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, with the lovely views of our most amazing city.

Where, from the gorgeous bruschetta options at Sunday Gravy, we chose walnut chicken with a beautiful pesto.

It went well with the Bamberg sandwich from Schnitz...

parsley and panko breadcrumbed chicken with pickled cucumbers and daikon and spicy dijon mustard on a pretzel roll. Delicious.
Brown Butter Salty and Oat Chocolate Chunk cookies from The Good Batch…
Just didn’t stand a chance against the hibiscus and café au lait doughnuts from Dough.

Heaven. But I have some serious repenting to do this week.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More than a woman

“It’s all about life. And it’s all about being the woman you want to be.”
My first plum assignment as a writer was interviewing Diane von Furstenberg for CITY Magazine. I’ve been in love with her ever since.

Smart, independent, confident, sexy—she’s one of those women really does seem to have it all: a fulfilling, successful career; the love of her life; children and grandchildren whom she adores; and an exciting life of travel, filled with friends and inspiration.

And now she’s breaking ground on the technology front: this past NY Fashion Week, she was the first fashion designer to use Google Glass to show the runway from the models’ pov. Brilliant.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Va va vroom

I haven't added to my car collection in a while. 
This vintage SL would do just fine.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The week in food

Yes, I’ve been having my misgivings about summer’s end, la rentrée and that general meh feeling at the turn of the seasons. Nevertheless, the beautiful weather is hanging on, and there is always delicious food this time of the year to make it all better.

Like heirloom tomato toast, doused in olive oil, salt and pepper, and the roasted carrot and avocado salad at ABC Kitchen.
Pitch-perfect bluefish cakes with poached eggs and celery remoulade at Stone Park Café in Park Slope (and yes, finally getting my Instagram savviness...)
That was after a glorious blueberry muffin at Du Jour Bakery and a romp through Sugar and Plumm’s candy kingdom on the Upper West Side.

And to bring the weekend to a close, a Sunday morning bagel in Central Park. 

 Have I mentioned that I love New York?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Haute Chocolaterie: La Maison du Chocolat

La Maison du Chocolat, 225, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, hit Paris in 1981, and it didn't take long to become an institution. Something like three weeks. Faces staring into the windows are studies in anticipation. The chocolates are made below the shop in what used to be a wine cellar. Owner Robert Linxe is less interested in chew than in flavor and melt. Marriages made in heaven are his forte: chocolate an coffee, chocolate and rum, chocolate and orange. An occasional flirtation with kirsch is permissible. For the more indissoluble union of chocolate with the well-defined personality of coffee, Linxe frequently has his coffee and cocoa beans ground together.

"Good chocolate won't make you sick," he said as he urged us to taste a Romeo, a Bohème, and a Rigoletto. "It won't even make you fat. Look at me, and I eat it all day long." True, he was as svelte and active as a live wire and as persuasive as a faith healer.

"Bitter chocolate is full of potassium and magnesium."

Convinced that it was so good for me, I could hardly refuse a Bacchus.

—Originally from Gourmet Magazine, 1987

A) I want to write this well

B) I want a job where I get to write like this,  about chocolate all the time

C) I miss Paris

D) Why, oh why, did Gourmet fold??

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

La rentrée: Inspiring or dreadful?

“La rentrée—a time of magical new beginnings in Paris that’s like “back to school” in the states, only bigger and more profound. More than just kids getting new pencil boxes and corduroys after a summer of catching fireflies and building campfires, it’s the season of renewal. Change is embraced and celebrated by every proud citizen; it’s a feted homecoming for the entire city that is returning to work after spending August frolicking à la plage—unless, of course, they were like me and the Louis Vuitton team, who toiled not only the entire sacred heat-filled month, but every weekend of it, too.”
—from Paris, My Sweet

Change is in the air in New York City. After three months of glorious summer weather—four if you include May, which was actually pretty spectacular, too—Labor Day weekend rolled around with overcast skies and cool weather. Aside from buzzing and bumbling NYU students, the city’s energy has been as deflated as a balloon three days after the party.

Personally I’ve been listless. Not blue, but not inspired either. C’est la vie, I thought. Until I searched through the past three years of this blog and realized I just don’t do so well with this “magical” time of the year. In 2009, I was in a classic meh mood. In 2010, I took an objective point of view. Last year—even while I was in Paris (oh, how I miss it)—I felt an inexplicable weight.

Maybe I’m grieving for summer. Maybe I feel the impending doom of eight months of progressively crummier weather. Maybe it’s an internal thing. I don’t know. I do know it’s time to shake the cobwebs and embrace this season of change, believing it will all be good change.

Et toi? How are you faring with la rentrée?

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Vegan Mondays

Even if it’s boring, it’s still important (at least to me) to keep tabs on Meatless Mondays.

A long walk along the Hudson River Park
Kashi with banana and flax seeds

Green juice (kale, cucumber, celery, banana, lemon juice)
Celery and carrots with hummus
Mixed nuts

Spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, olives and basil
Red wine

Hope you had a good eating weekend!