Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shopping Drought Has Broken

Feeling a little blue today, somewhere between being homesick and not quite happy with current surroundings. Stumbling across this gorgeous number in Bloomingdale's, $195 later I was feeling much happier.

Whoever said the best things in life are free, was clearly lying ...

The Great Burger Cook Off

Last Sunday to celebrate the first day of Autumn, and the spectacularly warm weather New York City continues to be blessed with, we gathered on a Manhattan rooftop for the Great Burger Cook off.

Three amateur chefs ...

... all dedicated and willing to partly divulge family secret recipes for the perfect, juiciest burger. There was the usual banter and attempts of sabotage, but the result were three delicious, juicy yet different burgers.

Along with the laughter and gossip in the balmy air, the perfect way to welcome the Fall ... but secretly I am hoping the sun continues to shine for weeks to come.

Monday, September 24, 2007

On My Way Home at Dusk

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Week of Excess

A week of excesses ... catching up with friends ... new shoes ... cocktails ... the beautiful jersey shirt dress ... sushi ... summer heat ... beer garden ...all complete different ... impossible hangover on Saturday ...

Monday night with M, the analysis, delicious food and not wanting the cocktails to stop ... some things never change.

Wednesday, seeing MM for the first time in months, the laughing and memories, wondering why we didn't hang out more in London.

Friday, crossing over to the dark side aka Astoria for a night with K. Riding with the windows wound down, gangsta rap blasting. I couldn't believe it either. It was pricelessly cringe worthy! The highlight, two brothers who could not be different from one another. One serious tickets on himself, walked around in the buff and pretty set on scoring. The other quiet but sarcastically funny. The latter much better value, but as a team I wouldn't say no to hang out with them again.

Waking up at noon the next day ... with a smile ... and that horrific hangover

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Facing your inner fears

It turns out lately I have been having a few dreams, all pointing to one thing. I seem to be finally, at age 'nearly 30', facing some long harboured fears. There have been endless nights of waking up with a start, now thankfully I have moved on waking up calmly. The former meaning that I am facing my fears, while the latter that I am accepting them.

Very insightful indeed. The truth is the dreams were so real that I always concentrated on the detail. It was only after sharing the last dream with a good friend, that she pointed out I was missing what is important. It is the overall themes that count and in my case, point straight to what is going on in my subconscious mind.

Not to bore you with the detail, in a nutshell:
  • I get frightened when I meet someone I actually like
  • Despite my long history of involvement with players, that tune no longer interests me
  • My family's unconditional love is my security blanket

Seems all very simple. Why could I not just see it?

How will knowing this make me at better person? I guess we just wait and see.

NB. Caught up with M last night. We have known each other for about 5 years and have carried on a kind of a distant, sporadic friendship. According to him I seem to be somewhat 'less obnoxious' these days.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lazy Weekend

Waking up at noon. Not leaving the house until early afternoon. Bliss ...

An early dinner at Union Square with S, followed a movie. The Brave One - quite a raw portrayal of taking justice into your own hands. It was shot in New York City and shows a side of life here which I had chosen to ignore so far. It is not a safe place... That night walking home I stuck to the crowded Sixth Ave, keeping out of the shadows and quickly ducking into my building entrance.

Speaking of S, the baby is coming any day now. I find myself getting uncharacteristically excited! How else would you explain trekking all the way to the Upper East Side just to make a few small purchases at the cutest baby boutique.

The Essential List

This was the first week since being in NYC that my life took a turn toward routine. I started paying attention, and appreciating ordinary things.

I'm making progress in finding a good cup of coffee. Unlike my original assumption that Americans are clueless when it comes to coffee, I am quickly realising there is an almost underground anti-Starbucks movement. The number of people who over the last four weeks have in hushed tones stated 'I hate Starbucks coffee!'. If only they could be a little louder maybe the rest of the world would catch on before the green and black branding takes over every decent local espresso bar in the developed world. My two finds so far are Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea and Sicaffe on the Upper East Side. Both are serve rich and uncompromising brew, with perfect full-fat froth. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across such a good place on my route to work. Have settled into making my own, and skipping the afternoon fix. I say if you can't have quality, it is better to go without! I apply this reasoning to many things ... sex and food included ...

The other great finds have been beauty related. I am now walking around with perfect eyebrows, my skin glowing and not a single stray unwanted hair on my body. All down to separate specialists. It seems so much easier to find them in NYC than anywhere else I have lived. Feel free to email me if you need recommendations. Always happy to share the love ...

My hair is beginning to look unruly and the search for a hairdresser up to the challenge is on.

Dry cleaner - check! I have been issued a red laundry sack. Once its full I make a call with instructions (wash & fold or dry clean), leave the bag with doorman, the following day clothes magically appear clean and neatly folded. Hasn't been fully road tested. Expect an angry entry when the first sock goes missing ;-)

Yoga Studio - check! Second floor airy studio with never more than 5 students. Sure beats the 50+ people stuffed into a City of London basement. Plus the instructors are on average pretty hot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What are the Odds?

For the last three weeks I have procrastinated getting in touch with a few acquaintances in the city. Tonight walking into the Campbell Apartment one of them materialised in front of me. It has been more than six years and I recognised him instantly. Talk about a chance meeting!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bob in New York

After two nights away I rushed back to a hot and sticky New York City for what was to be Mum and Dad's last weekend. Bob was in town, which made it all much more interesting. We wondered around the West Village in the afternoon heat, shopping for essentials and chatting over impromptu Bloody Marys and omelettes.

Later into the humid evening we dined on the pavement at Pastis. All dishes delicious, pity I was served the wrong one at each course. Taking it into my stride I didn't complain and enjoyed it all nevertheless.

Then followed delicious cocktails at Death & Co. More cocktails and a hot dog at the secret bar. Indeed we took it for an urban myth, but for a laugh we went to check it out. You walk into an inconspicuous hot dog shop, find the phone booth, pick up the phone and the wall swings open revealing a smartly decorated bar, serving killer daiquiri and of course hot dogs.

The grand finale of the evening at the Pegu Club, after negotiating a dug up Houston St. The latter, from where I was standing in spiked heels, looked and felt like a war zone. Pleased at both me and the blue suede peep toes surviving, we moved on to more cocktails and deviled eggs. (Yes, like my winning party food!) After a neurotic moment on my side I had to admit that I did indeed 'like him' !! After that same to light we ready to call it a night. With no cabs we practically walked home. In bed by 3 am and Bob was up again and en route to the the airport at 5.30am.

Feeling a little tender the next day I joined Mum and Dad for an elaborate send off brunch. It felt a bit unreal that they would fly back that evening.


Staying in a beautiful hotel room this week, complete with a huge oval mirror ... I couldn't help myself ...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Labour Day Weekend

Waking up on a Saturday with no firm plans is the best feeling. In the words of JB ... the world, or at least the city, is my oyster! And this morning I really felt it. I did all the things I wanted to ... exercise, my nails and eyebrows look positive better, picked up a fruit loaf at Balthazar Bakery, french butter at the local deli and enjoyed a great latte.

Waiting for a good coffee is never a bother. Or so I told the cute overworked barista at Cafe Gitane. This was the refuge I had been seeking for the last two weeks. Recommended by a colleague, who by the sounds of it is an equal coffee snob, Cafe Gitane is nestled in the relative peacefulness of narrow Nolita streets. It is two blocks away from the mayhem that is Soho. Gitane serves superb classic coffee and delicious looking food (I shall sample next visit), with the usual crisp and uptight NY style service (except the easy going barista). Having just consumed my first delicious coffee since landing in NYC the mood was positively on an even steeper upswing. Walking back toward Spring St, I took in a stretch of Mulberry St which I had never seen in daylight. I chuckled to myself remembering that eventful evening at Eight Mile Creek last July. In my walk I wondered when I'll cease to wonder at this place. The city where the American Apparel and Armani Exchange stores have resident DJs. There is always something new to surprise, or raise a newly coiffed eyebrow at.

On my way home I picked up The New York Observer and The New York Times, to compliment my new addiction to ... If I am going to be serious about being a local I should work on my dependacy on the British press.

Tomorrow I go out to Long Island, for two days of beach and banter with the family. Only fitting as this weekend unofficially marks the end of summer. I just hope this mild, mid-20s weather will stick around for a little longer.