Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new

It’s been a long haul. Ten months after our search began, two months after renovations started, we are in our new place. Even though it’s hard to see the actual apartment with the piles of crap everywhere, it’s going to be pretty awesome. It warranted some Manhattans on our first night in.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Charleston Jaunt

Believe the hype, people! Charleston, South Carolina has been declared the Best and Friendliest City in the Country by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. It’s the ultimate foodie destination outside of Copenhagen. Everyone oohs and ahs over that genteel hospitality. And this is one place that lives up to the fanfare.

We had planned to make a road trip from Nashville to Charleston this past spring. The south has been seeping into my soul lately. Realizing a pricey stay at Blackberry Farm was out of the question, a road trip with friends, from Nashville to Charleston via Asheville, seemed a pretty cool alternative. But with the big apartment hunt and subsequent renovations, vacation kept getting pushed. Finally, Andrew and I decided to just book a weekend to Charleston, knowing the road trip, never mind Blackberry Farms, wasn’t going to happen.

It was pretty much love at first sight. Walking around Charleston is like having all of Martha’s Vineyard beauty compressed into one walkable area. It has the magic of Essex, but is 100x the size. At certain turns, I felt like I was in San Francisco. Or Disneyworld. There is just enchanting beauty everywhere, especially in the streets South of Broad. It all reeks of civility and history.

Obviously, we saw but a slice of the city. The touristy slice. There are hundreds of thousands of people living on islands and in suburbs surrounding the actual downtown peninsula. Eastern Charleston feels sadly like the segregated past. No place is perfect, but this came pretty close.

And the food. From the silly (fried pimento cheese fritters, anyone?) to the sublime (oyster sliders at The Ordinary are a must), it was an eating extravaganza.

Hominy Grill has a crazy brunch scene, with people lining up for Bloody Marys and Dark & Stormys while waiting for their table. You can put your name on the inevitable waiting list and then walk up two blocks to Wildflour bakery for a sticky bun. Just the smell is heavenly.

Husk was lovely - super homey, charming and fantastic food.

Halls Chophouse has the friendliest welcome in town. 

Butcher & Bee has a fried chicken sandwich you don’t want to miss. While you’re up that far north on King, be sure to swing over to New Yorker-owned Sugar Bakeshop for a cupcake.

And it’s good to mix the low with the high. We ate fried green tomatoes, fried catfish po boys, fried crab cakes, hush puppies and sweet potato fries at Hymans, and sat on the porch of Poogan’s Porch, watching the world go by.
 Did I mention there's a certain kind of charm in Charleston?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Modern Love

Throughout my life, I’ve had periods when I thought about getting married and having babies. When I was a kid, I played a game when you named the girls who would be your bridesmaids along with the color of their dresses. When I was in my early twenties, I decided I wanted to have five kids. But the wedding and the babies never went further than fantasy and game play. I had a wonderful relationship in my twenties that just never moved toward marriage. And I had a wonderful time in my thirties being a solo traveler, cultivating amazing friendships, finding success as a writer and… moving to Paris.

Then a couple years ago, less than a year after returning to New York, I met Andrew. I won’t say it was a lightening bolt and I knew right away. But I will say there were enough auspicious moments and signs early on to know he and “it” was the real deal. It was a slow, steady, intriguing relationship that both challenged and comforted me. There was chemistry and camaraderie, respect and appreciation, we had fun together and learned from one another. He’s kind, patient, thoughtful, fun, sweet, surprising and sexy. He’s as game to go karaoke as he is to watch the Red Sox as he is to hang out with my family. We’ve been to Paris and Buenos Aires, Kansas City and Connecticut. We’ve eaten lobster rolls, almond croissants and carrot tartare. We’ve clocked about a million miles, walking around New York and Brooklyn, many of those miles on the hunt for a new apartment, which—finally!—we’ll move into together by month’s end. And last weekend, as we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, Andrew proposed.

Aside from those childhood daydreams, I’ve never been big into weddings. I’m not that girly-girl, big dress dreaming type. But I’m thrilled to be engaged. At 40. To Andrew. There’s nothing better than having waited for the right time, for the right guy. For waiting for your moment. For waiting for love.

I love you, Andrew.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


It never gets old.

I absolutely adore these pictures from my trip to Paris last spring.