Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Notes from the Mansfield

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More winter essentials

  • Cute pink 'Blonde with Benefits' T-shirt ... I may not be blonde but do come with benefits.
  • Glittery tights - wearing with dresses and dainty heels
  • Kenneth Cole casual poncho, a gift from W

Monday, November 26, 2007

Canadian Bacon?

I woke up as the airplane clumsily touched down at Toronto's Pearson Airport. Later as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes I realised there was a snow storm outside, accounting for the earlier 'clumsiness'. It was beautiful, scary yet stunning. I could hardly make out the terminal building through the thickness of the falling snow.

A rush through customs and into the arrivals lounge. There is he. Casually leaning against a pillar. It could have been yesterday that we said goodbye in the cold winter's air, and not 15 years earlier. He battled the snowy roads and a little while later we settled to a comforting breakfast of Eggs Benedict, with both Canadian and 'regular' bacon. The bacon debate aside, we laughed and tried to catch up on lost time. Major achievements, notable relationships and everything else in between.

That afternoon I settled into the Cosmopolitan Hotel. A nap in the thick 300 thread count sheets and then down to the Spa. I was really treating this as 'time out'. The room was spacious and airy. The music zen-like and the yoga mat in the closet a pleasant surprise. (Being one who endeavours to travel with a yoga mat, but never do). Definitely deservant of its Conde Nast Hot List 2006 status.

In the evening, and the next day, there was more catching up. Two friends I have not seen for 1.5 decades and another for a few years. It will never cease to amaze me how some people you do not see or talk to for years, and when they are standing in front of you, it is like no time has passed. You slot right back into it. Times and lives may have changed but the bond is there, and will always be.

The next night we celebrated D's success. I listened to his friends rave about the adventures and his clients about his talent. Left me with a smile on face. Fantastic to see my friends happy in their lives. When you think about it, it is really all that matters.

I jumped in a taxi in the early hours, waking up as we touched down at LaGuardia. The sun was out and my aviators were nowhere to be found. Still wearing my red party dress as I waved past the doorman, rushing upstairs for a few hours sleep before W's arrival, and doing it all over again ...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Return to Toronto

It has been nearly 15 years in the making. And now on the eve I am ... nervous

P.S. Yep, definitely nerves ... I need to leave for the airport in 4 hours and I'm still up watching SATS reruns.

Catching up

Catching up with an old friend is always exciting. I just never imagined it would be so ... My second visit to Public ... being Friday and tired, I polished off a lentil salad, the tender lamb main and the chocolate plate ... accompanied by a white, a red, then a glass of dessert and a macchiato. The sensible one would have called it a night then ... but it was much more fun to move on to a nearby bar ... laugh and catch up some more ... drink pomegranate mojitos ... one and then another ... Should have really headed home at that point ... instead we were summoned to a nearby VIP room ... champagne, more conversation, G&T ...

The finale will always stay with me ... 3am, cab ... we are both babbling, not sure anyone could understand what the other was saying ... I think one of us was talking on the phone ... Ahh, 'til next time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Long Island Autumn

* The first and last two shots courtesy of K

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This week's notable quotes

Wednesday night with K on the Upper West Side, driving south along Broadway discussing where exactly Central Park starts.
Me: It starts at 59th St
K: Oh 59th is the one that does the ... (K goes a hand squiggle) ... right by the park?
Me: (dubious) Yeah, that's the one
K: (very unimpressed) Oh yeah, I don't like driving on that one
The previous (hilarious) 3 hours we had Popovers (fancy Yorkshire puddings), loudly discussed sex in CVS (drug store), spent 1 hour looking for a parking spot (unsuccessful). Not a single drop of alcohol for either of us!

During the CVS episode, K recounting early experiences
So I was laughing and making jokes as we were doing it ... He was not happy ... apparently 'we did not know each other well enough to joke during sex' Phuff! Whatever!
Sunday afternoon en route to Long Island vineyards
Me: (pointing to a nearby field) Look a flock of ducks
K: They are gees
Me: Aren't gees white?
K: No, these are Canadian gees
Me: You are making this up*
*need to Google this

A little later, after having visited a few vinyards, discussing how we both have 'the best vegetarian chili' recipe
K: I am going to try and make it less spicy
Me: What spices do you use?
K: cayenne pepper, chili powder ...
Me: (confused) Oh, mine isn't spicy ... (realising dumb mistake) oh yeah, it's vegetarian nachos, not chili ...
K: (laughing) This is so going on your blog ....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I think I was drunk last night ...

Recollections of being loud and obnoxious, running in the rain, tuning out in the taxi to random thoughts about work. What did I order at the sex toy party? Finally making it home, cooking bacon and eggs, I must have eaten them as no evidence to the contrary. Somewhere between 2 and 4am I ordered a pay-per-view movie, Knocked Up. I woke up during the childbirth scene. It was 4.09am. Remember being on Facebook, must check for any inappropriate comments. Weird dreams about being cold.

Woke up at 10am, and was 5 minutes late for Pilates lesson. Seemed so much harder this morning. Walking down Seventh Avenue in the fresh air and Saturday sunshine wearing aviators, wrapped in a scarf and donning Uggs boots, feeling very much like a local, I got chatted up. Somehow I don't think I looked my best. Must be those pheromones.

Much deserved latte at Cafe Grumpy and a quick skim of the NY Times real estate section. Property prices in Manhattan continue to rise despite bourgeoning sub-prime mortgage crisis. Home for a quick shower. Check Facebook ... no excessive comments made in drunken stupor. Early for facial appointment. Feeling relaxed I pop into New York Burger Company for a quick lunch. Delicious medium rare burger with a side salad and a water, while devouring the November issue of Vogue.

What it is to be young (relatively), free and single!

It's only 2pm ... I need a nap

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Last night saw me head out with 'The NYC Girls'. I did first write 'The Girls' but that felt a little strange. I think having a posse in each city is the way to go ;-)

Satsko was recently listed in NY TimeOut's Tony 100 aka the New York Foodie Bible, which E devours religiously. In her words ... 'this place jumped out at me'. So there we were, five friends - some have known each other for years and others relatively new to the group. None of that mattered last night. We all share the passion for good food, quality sake and not letting the drafty door distract us from our evening.

Our cute waiter was full of suggestions and the hot bartender kept the sake flights coming, in an attempt to satisfy K's discerning palate. Rice varieties, regions and fermentation methods were discussed opening my eyes to an unknown world. I listened intently, took a taste of each small glass and tried to remember what I should look for when confronted with a comprehensive sake list. After many tasters we settled on the "Demon Slayer” Wakatake Onigoroshi junmai daiginjo (Dry).

The food came, with slightly lenghty delays between courses. To start we sampled the tender Hamachi tuna, grease-less Calamari, Sesame Tofu Salad and Mango Salad. All came in perfect tiny bite size bits. It took even the most motivated (me!!) a long time to get through them. What followed was even more divine ... Ill tempered Bass accompanied by Pumpkin mash which in words of cute waiter 'makes out with your tongue' ... Pistachio Crusted Yellowfin Tuna, over sweet potato daulphoinoise ... and a Risotto like I have never tasted before. Instead of chicken stock they used a kelp stock, the base of most Japanese dishes ... Yum. At that point as I am ready to give up sex for a month if it means eating like this every night, our waiter appears and surprises us further. Dessert ... homemade ice-cream, including the 'best green tea ever' and 'aged sake' flavours ... warm ginger cake, which was just like sticky toffee pudding only ginger. By now you are probably wondering about the chef ... Sean Bath, a Kiwi!! Why is it the chefs that impress me the most lately are from Australia or New Zealand? Something about the unmatched quality of Asian fusion they have mastered.

While we were immersed in the wondrous flavours and textures presented before us, the restaurant around us was a constant moving space. People coming and going, a lot of locals greeted by name as they passed the threshold of the tiny restaurant. They would gather around the bar for impromptu sake bomb competitions. Come midnight, the music volume went up five notches and the steady stream of sake bomb lovers continued.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Finally it's the weekend

Last night K and I tried a famed vegetarian restaurant, the Candle Cafe ... dare I say the first time I bravely sampled macrobiotic fare. And it was delicious, and freshness that Minky would approve of. A fair attempt at a healthy evening, we quickly moved on to drinking beer at less flashy establishments nearby ... including a gorgeous Belgian beer garden ... if only I could remember the name of it or what street it was on ...

This morning waking up in time to barely make a noon Bikram class. Felling dizzy and realising the class is taught by one of these teachers who can't be bothered to ask you why you can't do a pose, but keep pushing you. "F*ck off, my blood pressure is low, I'm hung over and can you not see I keep losing my balance and almost passing out!" Halfway through the class I resolve to take up real yoga again. The Birkam studio I go to smells anyway! The problem is, I get bored easily so I book a private pilates lesson instead... the kind you do on the funny looking machines.

Today is not all about gloom ... toys ordered at a recent sex toy party have arrived. Ooooh yeah! Among them is a bottle of body wash which claims to contain pheromones ... I am out with the girls tonight so it could be a very interesting evening ...

Thursday, November 01, 2007 ... I'm addicted

Just some essentials ...

... and this dress in red ... second red dress in a week!