Top 10 White Wines Under $20, Summer 2013 Edition. I love the Albarino, Moscato and the Riesling.
8 different guidebooks to Paris. Including books for movie lovers, people who want to see a quieter side of the City of Lights, and public transportation fans (that's me!).
Bruce Lee on getting your life into shape.
How to Piss Off Every New Yorker in 36 seconds, including upstreaming a cab, standing on the escalator and stealing newspapers.
This is amazing: Texts I'd Send Boys If I Was Always Honest.
100 Inspirational Quotes. Everyone from Ann Landers to Cheryl Strayed, and Woody Allen to Michael Jordan.
I love these plates.
I am having a lot of fun arranging flowers for the photo shoots I'm working on, and now that it's spring-almost-summer, there are so many flowers to choose from. Here's a few flower arranging goods that I love:
1. The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis. Beautiful and informative–my favorite combination. If you want to up your flower game, start here.
2. These floral pruning shears are super cute, and super functional.
3. I like vases that are multipurpose, these beakers fit the bill.
And, since a few people asked, here's my favorite flowers I've been working with lately.
1. Peonies. Only in season for a short time, these are gorgeous and open up over a time period of a few days. Lovely.
2. Ranunculuses. These are so pretty and come in a wide variety of colors. I'm partial to the darker purple ones. They also come on "droopy" stems, which I love to work with.
3. Roses. Not my traditional favorite, but the bodegas sell these guys $10 for two dozen, and it's so easy to create 3 or 4 arrangements out of these that it's become one of my favorites.
My very first apartment in NYC was in Nolita, which stands for "North of Little Italy" and it was a great place to start exploring the food scene in Manhattan. There are so many great restaurants packed into that little neighborhood. Here's a list of my top 10 spots to eat at in Nolita.
1. Cafe Gitane. Cute, cash only, and usually packed to the gills, Cafe Gitane is a great place for breakfast and brunch. Go for the baked eggs, and whatever you do, don't skip the avocado toast. *There is also a location in the West Village if you'd rather.
2. Cafe Habana. Cuban sandwiches, margaritas and the best corn you've ever had (really). It too is generally packed, unless you go at an odd hour.
3. Ruby's Cafe. This tiny little Aussie spot has "family style" seating, and one of the best burgers I've had (the Bronte).
4. Ed's Lobster Bar. I love lobster rolls. LOVE. And this is my favorite lobster roll spot in the whole of the city (and Brooklyn too). Add in some shoestring fries and a glass of Sancerre, and it's my favorite meal.
5. La Esquina. The sit-down restaurant is good, but here I'm just talking about the walk up taqueria–get the Cochinita Pibil and the Papa Nopales Y Chorizo tacos and you won't be sorry.
6. Tacombi. Speaking of tacos, Tacombi is my favorite in the city as well. I wrote about it here. Cliff notes version: get the Crispy Fish Taco and the Breakfast Taco (with chorizo), and if you're into Micheladas, get that too.
7. Ceci-Cela Patisserie. Hands down, the best croissant I've had in Manhattan (there is a close contender in the West Village, more on that later). The shop is super tiny and often packed in the mornings. You can also get some of their croissants pre-baked (frozen) and make them yourself at home (you have to ask, it's not on the menu). Yum.
8. Cocoron. This is the second outpost of Cocoron (the first is in the LES), and it is top notch for noodles. I love the Dip Soba (it comes with its own little fire-warmed bowl).
9. Eileens Special Cheesecake. This is the real deal. You can get 10inch, 6inch, and mini cheesecakes here. I love the blueberry, the original, and the dulce de leche. The cakes themselves are light and fluffy and I love that you can get a few of the mini ones to try out the flavors.
10. Public. This is a really fun brunch spot. I love the Turkish eggs and the buttered mushrooms.
As a kid, one of my very favorite things was the summer reading list. I would read all the recommended books, and my father would do be the favor of finding out the latest books on the "banned" list and getting me that stack too. The promise of an endless summer, a treehouse (Dad made me a two-story treehouse, being the architect that he is), and a pile of books is still my idea of heaven (see #1 on my life list). I've started a summer reading list here, please please add to it! *Note, I'll read just about anything as long as it's good.
1. World War Z: I'm reading this in anticipation of the film.
2. East of Eden: On recommendation from my friend Christina.
3. Lonesome Dove: Time for a re-read.
4. The Surrendered: On my list for a while.
5. The Omnivore's Dilema: On my bedside table for a while.
6. Start With Why: On recommendation from my friend Danielle.
7. Dead Ever After: The latest Sookie Stackhouse novel (True Blood).
8. The Power of Habit: On recommendation from my friend Nicole.
9. Who Speaks For Islam: Interesting topic.
10. People Who Eat Darkness: On recommendation from my friend Guy.
This round up is dedicated to all things Game of Thrones. I've read all the books and faithfully watch every Sunday for the latest episode. My favorites include: the Lannisters Tyrian, Jamie + Ceresi (she is delightfully evil), Margaery Tyrell (and her sassy Grandmother), the Hound, the Khalessi Daenerys Targaryen and Ygritte.
I'll start with my favorite recap site of all time, Television Without Pity. If you are a fan of a show they recap, you're in for a treat. It's like reliving the episode all over again with smart, funny commentary. Sidenote: If you are a Friday Night Lights fan, those recaps are just as good as the real thing. Oh man.
Next up, If Game of Thrones Happened Entirely on Facebook. Hilarious.
Game of Thrones houses as high fashion houses. The Night's Watch + Rick Owens? House Lannister + Valentino? Yep.
The men of GOT, ranked by hotness. Not sure I agree with Jaqen H'ghar or Petyr Baelish's rankings, but it's a good list.
The houses as corporations. Air Targaryen is brilliant.
And finally, my recent find, Flula has been recapping GOT and it is the best thing ever. Let's just say he calls Jamie Lannister the "King Playah" and that is just gets better from there.
This summer I'd like to add some skills to my repertoire that are in the "fun" category.
1. I'd love to dig a little deeper into typography and hand lettering. I'm working on a project this fall that will deal with some lovely lettering and I'm thrilled about it. This book looks like a good place to start.
2. Tarot cards. Fun party trick, and sometimes a wonderful rudder for life. Even the card readings themselves aren't your thing–just noticing how you feel about what the cards "say" can tell you something. These cards feature magical animals. I mean.
3. Take better photos with the Lensbaby Composer.
Spring is winding down (hip hip for summer!), and it's been a rather gloomy, rainy spring thus far in NYC. To that end, here's a few of my favorite May things.
1. This hoodie has been the workhorse of my wardrobe these days. It's the perfect weight for 63-and-drizzly-but-still-humid days we've been having. Mine is worn in (the string has been lost for ages) and is the first thing I reach for in the AM when Spanky and I go for his morning constitutional.
2. I've also been breaking out my colorful jeans (I resisted for so long). I've got an orange pair, a waxed fuschia pair, and a crazy floral pair, that I've been wearing out. JBrand is one of the brands that fits me perfectly (see also: Paige Premium Denim).
3. Berries. It's almost high berry season, and I'm in berry heaven. I'll take all the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries please and thank you.
4. Almond milk. The coffee shop on my street started offering almond milk lattes and they're so tasty. Love.
5. This new publication, called Short Stack. 50 pages all about one ingredient, by a cool chef. Sold! The first three are about eggs, strawberries and tomatoes. Yum. They're holding a Kickstarter now, if you want to chime in.
A riff off of Danielle's post: here's my list of things I've stopped doing in order to live the life I want.
1. Flying the red-eye. Unless there is no other feasible option, I opt out of the overnight flight, it leaves me feeling hollow and bewildered and so grumpy. Do not like.
2. Finishing books I'm not into. I'll give a book 20-50 pages and if I'm not ready to read under the covers with a flashlight, I put it away and think about it no longer. Begone unfinished book guilt.
3. Keeping underwear beyond their prime. It gives me great pleasure to throw underwear (and socks) in the trash if they're no longer of service.
4. Reaching out over and over to unresponsive friends. I've got a lot of buddies on the west coast, and several of them have dropped off the map. I mostly go by the "mirror" rule aka "monkey see, monkey do." They call, I call. I write, they write. If that dance feels one-sided for too long, I gracefully bow out and move on. I still love them, and think of them, and I don't take it personally that we are no longer stars in each others lives, but rather background or bit characters.
5. Skimping on walks with the dog. He loves it, I love it. The end.