Monthly Archives: January 2012

Winter Beaches

One of my favorite things about Boston is its proximity to the ocean.  One of the greatest tragedies of Boston is that it doesn’t do nearly enough with its ocean-front real estate.  They’re getting it right in the Seaport district- with the way the new restaurants have large, sliding glass windows that open onto the boardwalk overlooking the ocean.  But in Boston proper, they’ve done a poor job of utilizing the stretch of ocean that would make a beautiful back-drop to small cafes and restaurants (granted, if restaurants were to open right on the water in the city, they would undoubtedly be large chains or sports bars and I don’t think we need another Sel de la Terre or Jerry Remy’s, if you know what I mean).

When it comes to New England beaches, I much prefer them in the colder months rather than the summer.  I love the smooth sand, stretching like a secret along the hungry water.  I like the cold wind whipping through my hair and the stillness.  I love taking the ferry to the Vineyard in the off-season, drinking in pubs with the locals who caught the seafood on the table early that morning, and watching the sun set over the water while snuggled tight in a blanket. 

I don’t know if I’ll make it out to the ocean again before I leave for the UK- my weekends for the next month are already pretty booked- but I’d like to.  I’d really really like to. 

Breakfast in Bed

At least once a week, and usually on Sundays or Mondays when I have the day off and all the muscles in my body turn to jelly, I sit in bed and drink coffee all morning long.  When I get hungry, usually around 11:00 or 12:00,  I yell down the hall*, “David, doesn’t a ______ sound really good right now?”  That’s his cue to make breakfast (lunch?).  Yesterday, I was lying in bed being totally useless when I developed an insatiable craving for a grilled cheese sandwich.  15 minutes later, David delivered this to my bed:

Friends, I cannot even tell you the magnitude of deliciousness that is a broiled, cheesy, mustard and Worcestershire Sauce open-faced sandwich.   When you wake  up feeling the tiniest bit jaded, there is nothing better than one of these, hot out of the oven, to make you feel just right (along with multiple cups of coffee, of course!). 

This is how you make this breakfast of champions:

1. Lightly toast a piece of hearty bread (it is especially good to use an artisan multi-grain loaf)
2. Butter one side of the toast
3. Put a layer of English mustard over the butter
4. Generously layer on some grated cheddar (you can also use thin-cut slices of cheddar)
5. Put the cheesy toast under the broiler until the cheese is melted and delicious looking
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle Worcestershire Sauce over the cheese
7. Consume.  Enjoy.  Feel fat and happy for the rest of the afternoon.

*David is much more of a morning person than I am.  He wakes early and is productive while I doze in bed, blog surf, and drink hundreds of cups of coffee. 

Post Work

Saturday is my Friday- I’m fortunate in my industry to work Tuesday through Saturday.  This allows me the luxury of going shopping and to matinee movies on Monday afternoons, when the shops and theaters are less crowded. 

 Here are some snapshots from my “Friday” night (really, Saturday is my Friday.  I live in a time warp):

I’m a big fan of decompression.  It has always taken me a while to acclimate to the weekend, and today was no exception.  My dear friend Tony introduced me to his boyfriend, Chad, today after work, and I was incredibly honored to meet him.  I worked until six and then the four of us had a wonderful snackish-dinner at Casa Romero, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Boston (if you are from somewhere south of Boston, you will likely find fault with Casa Romero, though the food is quite good based on its geographic locale).  We feasted on chips and salsa, cheesy chorizo tacos, and margaritas whilst sharing the latest weekend gossip (which is equally, if not more, delicious than the food!).  I adore Tony and am so pleased to have him [and Chad] in my life!  It’s ridiculous how often we take our friends for granted; I’m trying to be extra vigilant about being a cheerleader for all my favorite friends this year.  Lord knows I owe them a lot for supporting me throughout all I’ve been through!    

Now that I’m curled up at home, I must say that I’ve had a wonderful evening and I hope you’re having a great time as well! XXOO and I hope to see you back here soon!

Days Like This

On days like this when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and nostalgic for a world without facebook likes and email, I like to close my eyes and pretend I’m back in Tuscany.

On days like this when it’s raining and I can’t put an outfit together because I want to be cozy but know I have to go straight from work to the opera, I think back to Montespertoli and the way the clouds rolled in over the hills as we stood on the balcony and watched a sheet of rain sweep through the vineyards before us.  When it hit us, we gripped the railing tight, our clothes and hair whipping in the wind around us, our wine glasses filling up with rain. 

On days like this when I feel like time is moving too fast, I think back to those afternoons that stretched like years and remember the dirt that clung to my feet when I ran down to the clothesline, the sound of laughter echoing through the valley, and the way a glass of water shined in the afternoon sun. 

I hope you, dear reader, have a fabulous Friday.  If you’re feeling as I am, rest assured that the weekend is almost upon us.  xx

Joseph Leonard

When I find a good thing, I grasp it tightly and never let go.  For instance: I still have (and regularly wear) clothes from high school, I’ve been using the same face soap and makeup for years, I refuse to write with anything other than a Pilot G-2 0.38 pens in black (though I cheat and use a Mont Blanc when I’m feeling fancy), etc.  Similarly, when I come across a restaurant or bar I like, I’m happy to frequent it all too regularly, sometimes without ever varying the dish I order.  When I lived in Brussels, that restaurant was Via Roma (I went often and had the same thing every time: salmon ravioli, the house wine and tiramisu for dessert, which I would share with my mother), in Boston it varies between Franklin Southie, Marliave, and Backbar, and if I lived in New York’s West Village, that restaurant would definitely be Joseph Leonard

What all these restaurants have in common is that they cater to a neighborhood and have a comfortable vibe that immediately makes you feel at home.  What sets these places apart from other restaurants is the delicious food, the staff that remembers your name and the way you like your Manhattan, and the artistic detailing that makes their ambiance extra-special. 

We went to Joseph Leonard on Sunday night.  Our friend Oscar swears by it- says he goes every time he’s back in NYC.  When we walked into the tiny corner restaurant, I immediately knew I’d love it.  I was charmed by everything from the chalk-board message to the open kitchen and soft light, and for the entire time we were crowded around our table, the world outside ceased to exist. 

It’s been four days since our dinner at Joseph Leonard and I’m still dreaming about the skate with potato puree, onion jam, arugula and lemon-caper brown butter sauce.  Not to mention the side of roasted brussels sprouts topped with sriracha and the caramel mousse pudding (and I don’t even like dessert, generally).  Everyone at the table was supremely pleased with their meals as well as the overall dining experience, and we’re not incredibly easy people to please.  If you’re in New York, be sure to stop in.  I know I’m already looking forward to going again (and again and again!) when I’m next in the city.  

Meet & Greet

Guys, it’s high time you met David. 

David is my best friend and we’re getting married in March, but we’re basically married already.  I’ll be writing about him a lot and will sometimes refer to  him as the following: English Gentleman, The Red Coat, The British, English, and Coxy.  Because he’s an important part of my life and I love him dearly, I thought it would be nice to officially introduce you to him.  Now, let him tell you a little about himself. 

For those of you who can’t read his handwriting, I’ve translated:

Name: David
Favorite Cocktail: 1930′s Manhattan, a little on the dark side, with an orange twist and bitters (orange) 
Editor’s Note: He didn’t drink Manhattans until I met him.  He drank the Cox Cocktail.  More on that in a later post.

5 Things You Believe: 
-Be where you are
-Qualifications are not a substitute for being educated
-True commitment is freeing
-Being independent nurtures fulfilling relationships
-Don’t take yourself too seriously
Favorite Book: ‘House of Sleep’ by Jonathan Coe  Editor’s Note: It’s really good.  For real.

5 Things About You: 
-Born in Nigeria
-I have two wonderful sons
-6′ 3.5″ tall (that 1/2 inch is important)
-I love movies that move me to tears
-I enjoy long walks (with Kate), we don’t need to speak

Last Words: Be curious and creative with your life.  Retirement should never be a goal.  xx

 

Fast & Furious: NYC

@ Fatty Crab in the West Village

We’ve just returned from a fast and furious two days in New York City.  We ate too much, enjoyed a great number of delicious beverages, bought clothes for our nuptial cocktail soiree, and had a really really really good time.  New York is a beautiful beast and I would like to spend a significant amount of time there, rather than quickly passing through as I usually do.  I’d like to know first hand which vintage clothing store is most likely to have an Elizabethan (like Liz Taylor) gown, where to buy the tastiest bagels, and which neighborhood is best for window-gazing on cool autumn nights.  At some point I want to take some time and be a New Yorker, even if it’s only for a little bit.

Due to the weather (mashed potato slush the first day and rain the second) I didn’t break out my camera as much as I would have liked.  This is unfortunate because New York is really beautiful with a backdrop of grey sky and also because this trip will likely be my last for quite a while, seeing as I’m moving to London.  I’ll miss being so close to the center of the universe, but then again I’ll be living mere hours away from Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, etc. and will have a whole new world to explore on long weekends.  OMGSOEXCITED!

Though the trip completely exhausted me, I still have a pile of work that I must tend to immediately.  Kisses!

Whiskey & Chess

Today seems like a great day for a glass of Jameson and a game of chess.  The flurries are swarming and my toes are itching for a pair of wool socks.  I hope you have a cozy Saturday and a great weekend.  I’ll be in New York City this weekend, galavanting around the city in search of a fabulous vintage gown for my wedding party (wish me luck!).  I will be back in blog-land Tuesday night. 

XOXO

Backbar

Had a late night at Backbar last night (accidentally, of course).  Oh, you haven’t heard of Backbar?  Well, it’s only the best cocktail bar in all of Boston.  If you’re into finely crafted cocktails, intelligent conversation and a speak-easy feel, then you should definitely stop in for a visit.  Bonus: it’s one of the few bars in Boston (well, it’s technically in Somerville) that doesn’t have a television, i.e. there aren’t any sports fanatics drinking Bud Lite and loitering at the bar.

Perhaps I’ll see you there some time. 

Things I Love on Thursday

2012 has been a time-warp.  I go to bed each night, wake up the next morning and magically a week seems to have passed.  I cannot believe how many wonderful things I have already done in the past couple weeks, and I am excited to continue the trend with a trip to NYC this weekend to hunt for the perfect wedding party dress*. 

Because I was feeling a little overwhelmed this morning (so much to do, always!), I decided to take five minutes to focus my breathing and make a list of things that I am loving this Thursday morning:

Things I Love on Thursday (and everyday, really): 

  1.  Murray River Gourmet Salt Flakes from Australia (pictured above).  My mother brought this for us from Australia and I’ve been putting it on everything from popcorn to chocolate covered bacon.
  2. Prada’s Fall 2012 Menswear Collection.  Willem Dafoe walking a runway?  Yes please! 
  3. Ironing out wedding party details.  Lots of work, but lots of fun.
  4. The Australian open has begun.  Team Federer, always and forever!
  5. Planning for our upcoming Burns Supper.  We had our first Burns party last year, complete with tartan kilts, haggis and lots of Scotch whiskey.  We are very much looking forward to our second one.

Life is good, and today is going to be a great day.  KISSES!

*If you know of any amazing vintage dress/gown stores in New York City or stunning boutiques that will have dresses with a lot of beautiful detailing and drama, please share.  And no, I am not looking for anything white…