Let me start with a recommendation of what NOT to do when you are in New York. Don’t go to Vu Hair at the Peninsula Hotel. DON’T!!!!  Do. Fucking. Not!!! Getting my hair cut in New York has always been a treat for me. I try to go somewhere special. It’s a little way I like to spoil myself. This time I was trying a lovely sounding salon on the 22nd floor of a grand hotel. It got great Yelp reviews. I was excited. Well… Moi was in for a nasty surprise. ScissorHands did not listen to me when I told him what I wanted: three to four inches off the bottom and layering on the side.  Instead, my almost waist long hair (when straightened) was hacked to little more than shoulder length (a good 8 inches off). I was devastated. Into the lobby bathroom I went, where I cried for about twenty minutes — well, if you are going to cry like a big baby, it might as well be in some fancy bathroom. It heightens the drama. Am I right?

I always thought my hair was the most special part of me, the thing that made me pretty. My hair has always been long. From childhood, I have associated long hair with beauty. So to have it chopped so significantly… it was both shocking and somewhat devastating. It’s just hair, I know, but somehow the end result felt so brutal. Yeah, yeah, “it will grow back,” they tell me, like this is going to make things better. IN A FUCKING YEAR!!!! I now feel as attractive as a sack of potatoes.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so vain. I am more than what I look like. I know that. But even now as I write, I’m still upset about it. Traumatic.

Fuck that though. I’m still gonna roll like a gangsta. Shitty hair be damned. I shall move from the worst part of my vacation to the best. I saw my first ever concert. Going to see Florence + The Machine was the main reason for my trip. I didn’t know what to expect. Yeah, I could have seen her closer to home, but why would I do that when I could see her in Brooklyn? Makes no sense. Was it weird that I was going alone? Maybe a little, huh? I was nervous. Dealing with the unknown is always a little scary for me, but at the same time, I try to be brave. I don’t want life to pass me by. Was I going to stick out like a sore thumb? Was it going to be just completely and utterly awkward? 

Actually my dears, it was awesome. Ah Florence… could I possibly be more in love? Words don’t describe it. Her angelic aura, her super powerful voice, the way she danced in her diaphanous gown and bare feet, her beautiful bright spirit that lit up the Barclay Center. She is just so utterly lovely. Mostly she sang songs from her newest release, “High as Hope,” but there were some of her beloved classics too. Magical my lovelies, magical. I sang (yes, me!) … I even danced (if you could call it that). It was so special, a memory I will cherish forever.

Florence-the-Machine-barclays-oct-2018-billboard-1548

Of course there was plenty of eating. You know how I do, dollies. But I mostly stuck with my old favorites, so I am not going to bore you with stuff I’ve already written about previously. Suffice it to say, weight was surely gained. Need a fat ass to balance my awkward coiffure, methinks. And then there was the street art.

I found five Invader pieces to add to Moi collection. That always thrills me to bits.

And then I have some other beauties to share…

IMG_6516
Random fabulous
IMG_6481
Gumshoe Art, aka Angela China
IMG_5980
Public art installation by Derek Fordjour
IMG_6462
Vandal Gummy
IMG_6058
Piece by Buff Monster, Brooklyn
IMG_6486
Not Bad For a Girl, Indie184
IMG_6508
D*Face — somewhere of off Lafayette and Broome Street

Okay, so yeah, I have written about visiting NYC maaaaaany many times. Maybe you even got your barf bag ready, cause here Caroline goes again. But whateva, cause the place is just so beyond fabulous, dollies. I will never get sick of it, I will never stop going, and I’ll never stop writing about it. It is a constantly evolving city, and there are always new and wonderful things to eat, see, explore, and do. Still, I’m going to be easy on you and just share the highlights.

Pancakes. As per usual, I gorged myself on all manner of goodies, from my Levain cookies, to Grom gelato,  to the deservedly infamous lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar, and I finally managed to try the incredible pineapple linzer cookies at Te Company. But what completely blew my mind (or belly) into the cosmos was two delicious types of pancakes I discovered for the first time.

  • Exhibit A: The blubbery calfoutis at Le Coucou. Le Coucou is a very fancy French restaurant in the downtown area. I’d love to have dinner there but I’d feel a little self conscious going on my own for a larger meal — I’ll get over that, but CrazyKat, we have a date, okay? That, and Lobster Rumble,  girlie. The restaurant itself is stunning and sumptuous. It requires you to get a bit dressed up (but I imagine breakfast is more casual than dinner, and also you don’t have to make a reservation then). I sat my fat ass down on a velvet tuffet as the most beautiful pancake ever was set before my beady little eyes.  Oh, and do you know dollies, it was just as delicious as it looked. I loved the added touches of the cream quenelle dusted in lime zest.

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 12.45.14 PM

  • Exhibit B: The pancakes at Chez Ma Tante were completely the opposite. The didn’t win the pancake beauty contest like the one at Le Coucou, as they were much more rustic looking, but ooooooooh. And oooooooooooh. Okay so these had the most incredible texture for a pancake that I have yet to encounter (and yes, I did try the ones at Cinton Street Baking Company… good, but meh in comparison). These were crunchy on the outsides, fluffy on the inside, with the faintest hint of lemon, covered in maple syrup and a healthy pat of buttah (it’s good for the skin dont’cha know). And it happened to be just DEVINE. Yep, totally freaking swoon-worthy. Okay, so I should mention that technically these are in Williamsburg, not NYC, but go. Gooooooooooooo!

chez-ma-tante-6.w710.h473

Seeing an artist at work. As you know I love street art. I happened to be in Williamsburg while the Moniker Art Fair was in progress (which I went to). In conjunction with the fair, a very famous street artist known as D*Face was finishing up a piece, and I happened to see him action, which was very special for me.

IMG_3677

IMG_3679

Speaking of art, another highlight of my trip was taking part in an exhibit by Candy Chang. I am a huge fan of hers, I have been ever since I saw her Ted Talk. I always wanted to write on one of her “Before I Die” walls, but I have never encountered one in my travels thus far. This, however, was just as cool, if not cooler. The exhibit was at a lesser known NYC museum, The Rubin Museum of Art. The exhibit was called “A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful.” There were two walls. On one wall people were invited to write  one of their hopes and include it with the other contributors. On the other wall, visitors wrote their anxieties. What people wrote ran the gamut from funny to very deep and real. It struck a very personal cord with me. I loved being able to share my own and be a tiny part of this beautiful collective.

IMG_3756

IMG_3754
I love knowing that somewhere in this picture, is one of my own.

Treating myself. Well, the truth is, all of my vacations are about indulgence in some way. Food, art, and sometimes (but not always) there are goodies involved. I’m not really one to collect souvenirs, but I did see something quite special at Bergdorf Goodman that I could not resist. It was a bit of an extravagance, but you only live once. I am a great believer in treating oneself to the finer things, when and if it is possible, because we are the only one we can truly count on at the end of the day.  My mom always says, “I buy myself flowers, because if I have to wait for a man to do it, I might grow a beard.” Yeah well, I bought myself the moon, and strung it along my neck. I have always wanted a pretty moon necklace. I’m a Cancer, so it’s my sign. The moon is also supposed to be a representation of feminine energy/power. Who would have guessed? Me, Caroline, that’s who.

Untitled.jpg

IMG_0714
Slightly ominous, no?

Rather than discussing all about what I got up to in NYC and recount everything I stuffed into my belly (I’ve done that before), I thought I’d write about a very cool excursion I made into Bushwick (Brooklyn). It ain’t Manhattan, that’s for sure. But what it is, is a street art hotspot. I booked a tour, and I was super excited to see what artists I would find there. It was so worth the trek! I also learned quite a bit in the process. And yeah, there was a little somethin’ for da belly too … you know how I roll.

Here’s an interesting fact I learned: did you know that street art all started because a guy was trying to get a girl’s attention? He went by Cornbread (though his real name was Darryl McCray). Sometime in the 60’s he started “tagging” the words “Cornbread loves Cynthia” all over Philadelphia. This started a trend that would spread far and wide. Others followed his example, and by the 70s, graffiti became a big deal in New York. By the 80s, it was a global phenomenon (not to mention a public nuisance). And yeah, Cornbread did win the heart of his beloved Cynthia. Graffiti was born.
In my eyes, street art is just as high an art as anything you would find at the Louvre. To prove it, I give you Exhibit A.
IMG_0723
It’s so fantastic, I almost die looking at it.
I went a couple hours early to scope the place out. I’m so glad I did, because otherwise I would not have seen what is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece of street art that I have ever personally encountered. It is a mash up of Rafael’s Madonna dell Granduca and Kieth Haring’s Radiant Baby. While Rafael did his work on a canvas with oils and paint brushes, Owen Dippie created a work on a much grander scale using spray cans. In my opinion, “stunning” doesn’t even come close to describing the results. So I ask you, who has the greater skill? The renaissance master painter, or the street artist? Food for thought my lovelies.
Nothing I saw wowed me in this same way, but I did get so see plenty of other cool pieces, including a couple by my beloved Invader…
IMG_0713.jpeg
Isn’t this the coolest? I love this Joey Ramone invader!
IMG_0737

 

… but there was plenty of other stuff too. Eye candy galore! Mostly the tour concentrated on what is called the “Bushwick Collective.” This is basically sanctioned street art, where the neighborhood business owners allow the artists to beautify the space, simply for art’s sake. There is no money exchanging hands. In return, Bushwick gets to look freaking awesome. I love that. Some really famous street artists from far and wide have come to help decorate the space.

Here are a few of my favorites:

IMG_0745
D*Face, from the UK

IMG_0703
The notorious Vandal Gummy Bear by Whisbie.

IMG_0748
A mural of my best girl, my beloved Frida.
I took loads of pictures, but I think you are ready to eat. Non, mon amours? I think if there is one special place to eat in Bushwick, it’s the legendary Roberta’s. In fact, Bushwick and Roberta’s are quite synonymous. This uber hipster hangout is not just a place for guys with pretty beards and well manicured mustachios! Oh no! This place makes some fine and  fatty pizzas. Moi had the “white guy pizza” (though I have to say, I think I am partial to Cubans *wink*).

No my dears, I’m not going to waste my time convincing you. A picture will tell you all you need to know.

IMG_0764

Yeah, that hunting in the Bush(wick) is no easy task, but someone’s got to do it *burp.*

its-still-a-5999f0.jpg

The past two weeks have had its share of ups and downs. The big downer was a very ugly text conversation between Birdy and I.  Suffice it to say, it was nasty, and I doubt there will ever be any further communication between us, which is sad because I really loved him *le sigh.* Unfortunately that’s not mutual. I guess it’s his loss. I don’t know what his problem is. I’m a fucking delight. When the time is right, I’m just going to put myself back on Match.com and try dating again. Till then, I’m just going to be awesome on my own.

Despite this, life has been pretty freaking good to me lately. Here are five things which are making me mightily amused at the moment.

  1. My car. Oh my goodness, it is so fabulous having a car of my own. I’m still getting used to it. I’m a bit of a nervous driver. My car just feels so big (because I’m used to driving my mother’s tiny one). I haven’t been very adventurous… yet. I’ve just been taking myself to work and back, and there was one trip to the mall. That will change as I get more comfortable. It was a little scary for me to spend that much money (I paid in full).  My friend MJ said that the expense was the price of freedom. So right! I really think a lot more doors will be open to me as a result.
  2. My 1 year anniversary at my job came around. I feel blessed beyond measure to have the job I have. The company I work for has excellent ethics, and the people I work with make my job something that I’m happy to wake up early in the morning for. My boss is lovely. Sometimes I feel like my job is one of the best things I got going for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have days that are utterly craptastic, but on the whole, I can honestly say that I love my job. I can’t wait to get promoted!
  3. Free stuff: I’ve been able to get some lovely free goodies lately.
  • I got a $200 gas gift card that I redeemed from credit card points I didn’t even know I had (and truthfully I don’t understand why I have them, but whatevaaaaa LOL).
  • There was also enough to get a free $15 Panera card. I’m always at Panera.
  • I got a $10 credit from Godiva  (sign up for their rewards card … so worth it). 
  • Best of all, a dear friend helped me to access some airline credit which allows me a free round trip ride to NYC. I’m going in early October. I’m doing it on the cheap, but I know it will get expensive once I get there … that’s how I roll dollies.Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 4.28.55 PM.png4. I reached my goal weight. My goal was to get to below 120 pounds. I weighed myself on Saturday and the scale registered 118.8. How freaking cool is that? I’m officially thin (kind of). I’m super pleased with myself. If I’m being completely real though, I think I look exactly the same.796adf08508c65a67477248656f6ad7b--brownie-batter-cake-batter.jpg5. Tei Shi’s “Basically”:  I love browsing YouTube and finding artists that I never heard of before. Tei Shi is kind of a gem. My favorite song of hers is called Basically. It’s a great song with an almost 80s appeal and a totally upbeat vibe. It just plain old makes makes me feel good, and isn’t that what life is all about?

1gi4se.jpg

Sometimes the head knows something, but the heart needs to catch up. Such is the case with me. During the day I’m so busy with work that there is little time to be sad about Birdy, but when I do have a few moments alone to think, sorrow seeps in through the cracks. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I was one of those strong women who just immediately recognizes her worth and never looks back. The way things went down, I can only extrapolate that despite my feelings for him, Birdy neither respected or valued me. That’s what hurts the most, coming to grips with the realization that I meant nothing to him.

Despite this, I am handling this somewhat better than  I would have expected. Because Birdy was quite distant in the first place, I am not feeling his loss that traumatically. I was always profoundly aware that I never “had” him in the first place. He would take hours to return my texts (if at all), and he would often keep me hanging about if he would spend time with me on the weekend. I’d have to drop my plans at a moments notice if and when he decided to grace me with is presence– not cool … but I always jumped when he requested, and I have only myself to blame for that. That’s something I have to work on. Rationally, I know what I’m supposed to do here. I’m supposed to be thankful for the fun times we had (and I felt that there were many), and take what I learned about myself and how I deal with the opposite sex, and move on to something more fulfilling. There are seven million people in the world. Surely amongst them, someone is a match for me.

Perhaps I have to redefine Prince Charming. Maybe Prince Charming is just some shiny asshole in tinfoil. Who would want a knight in shining armor? All pristine and bright but never tested in battle. Maybe what I am looking for is a man who is as tarnished and battle worn as myself.

I wanted to take some kind of action. What could I do to get my head into a happier space while my heart could catch up with reality? I know one place where sadness has a tough time reaching me: New York City. Just like Superman retreats to his Fortress of Solitude, Caroline too feels recharged when she is back in the The City (it’s something of a spiritual homeland for me). What will I find there? Well actually I won’t be looking for anything. I just want to eat a bagel at Murray’s, walk through Central Park with a Levain cookie in my hand, and get lost in one of the world’s most amazing cities as I immerse myself in art and culture. So that’s exactly what I did. I booked myself a very last minute holiday.

It’s very unlike me to make travel decisions without great forethought, but the weekend following New Years, I’m off to New York for five days. I got a fab deal! I think it might be exactly what I need. I need to treat myself the way I want to be treated: with love, kindness, and dignity. This is what a woman who loves herself would do, so that’s exactly what I did.

I want to thank all of you for your very kind words and sweet comments on my previous post. Although I have only “met” a couple of you, I genuinely feel like you are my friends. It means so much to me the way that you have been my support system. I adore you ladies!

Thank you ❤ and happy holidays to you all!

When I left for New York City I was feeling low. Really low. I had just been fired. When I got to the airport the next morning, my eyes were still swollen from all the tears. It was awful, but it was also perfect timing. Why? Because I can’t be sad in New York, it’s impossible for me. I don’t know any other place in the US where one can immerse themselves so deeply in art, beauty, and good food. NY is nothing short of Paradise for me.

My first day was spent browsing the Whitney (which I wasn’t terribly impressed by), but on my second day I had planned a little afternoon tea with the dear Adele. No, I had never met her before, but I knew we were going to be great friends. By the time we met, I felt like we already had a bit of history together.

But first, I got my hair done at Warren Tricomi on Madison Avenue (after stuffing a sinfully delicious Levain cookie in into my belly). I got an awesome hair cut from a guy called Anthony, and I left the salon feeling like a million dollars. I was ready for my visit with Adele at the Neue Galerie, only a few steps away.

The Neue Galerie is much more my thing than the Whitney. In fact, it’s exactly my thing. The focus is on early twentieth-century German and Austrian art. They have a lot of paintings by Gustav Klimt, one of my favorites. The painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer (aka Woman in Gold) is probably it’s most famous inhabitant. At $135 million, she is the most expensive painting ever to be purchased. Back in 2006, there was great controversy  and a lengthy legal battle surrounding her move to America. She was stolen from a wealthy Jewish family by the Germans in Nazi occupied Austria.There is an absolutely wonderful movie about this painting called Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren. It was a real tear jerker for me. Maybe it got me so deeply because not so long ago I thought I would end up moving to Vienna, or maybe  it’s because my grandmother’s grandmother was an Austrian Jew herself. She came to this country when she was already an old woman, but she was the first of our family to make the journey. While aesthetically this is not my favorite of Klimt’s paintings, the story behind it gives it great meaning and beauty to me, and so it was a great pleasure when I was finally able to meet Adele in person.

03NEUE1-blog427

As with any painting, the images you see in books or on the computer screen never come close to standing right in front of the real thing. You loose the sense of scale and texture. You loose the feeling of luxury conveyed by the heavy usage of gold leaf. I like Adele. She is a true woman. While her body is painted in a very two dimensional format, her expression is definitely complex. Although surrounded by opulence her face has a kind of disquiet about it. She looks unsure of herself, questioning, slightly tired … hmmm, maybe we are related LOL.

Adele was surrounded by some other beautiful examples of Klimt’s work:

klimt-painting-portrait-494475-o
Pale Face, by Gustave Klimt –Who knows this could be one of Adele’s friends. Many of Klimt’s subjects new each other. I think I shall invite her along for tea and cake too. I like her face.
1480

12081
Forester’s House – a little cottage where the artist was known to stay. I think I should like to live there, it’s tres charmant!
iphone_processed_image
Girl in the Foliage, by Gustav Klimt: this one looks like she is going to go mental if we don’t invite her for cake too… better reserve another seat at the table.
Alright, it’s tea time. Housed in the Neue Galerie is Cafe Sabarsky. I have been to Vienna twice, and I can tell you, this cafe would not be amiss there with it’s discreet and unrushed service, the dark wood paneling, and the glow of the chandelier above. Sitting there I was flooded with so many memories. Thank goodness I was armed with my fab new haircut and these beautiful ladies by my side or it would have been quite likely that I would have teared up a little. Nope, instead I focused on the tempting cakes on display. Let’s do this proper and order the Sacher Torte, shall we?

FullSizeRender

Now to the nitty gritty, the cake! When you look at this slice of cake, or any slice of Sacher Torte for that matter, I have found that they always look a lot more chocolatey than they are. Except for the slick layer chocolate ganache on top, in the actual cake part, the prominent flavor is apricot believe it or not. There is a layer of almost invisible apricot jam in the middle of the cake that is meant to keep this very dense cake moist. The chocolate flavor pretty much all rests in that glossy coating. While it would be lovely if this cake offered an intense chocolate hit, I wasn’t disappointed, because I’ve had this cake in Austria, and I knew what to expect.  I just wanted to relive a memory … food is awesome like that. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this cake as a NYC must eat, I would most certainly recommend a visit to the bijoux beauty that is the Neue Galerie, and of course, some tea and cake at Cafe Sabarsky… just maybe a different cake LOL. I’m sure Adele would appreciate a chance to shoot the breeze. She has an amazing story to tell.

Untitled

As you read this, I am in New York City, hopefully having an awesome time hunting Space Invaders in the freezing cold while eating my weights worth of Levain cookies and Murray’s Bagels. A girl needs to insulate herself with a smidge of blubber when she is exploring the frozen tundra after all. There are museums to visit, department stores to browse, and cakes to eat (yep, cakes with an “s”). This requires plenty of fuel dontcha know. Horrific posts of gluttony are soon to follow, I’m sure. For the next few days, I want to ignore the fact that I am unemployed. I will do my upmost not to let it ruin my time here. I prefer to think about that later. I’ve got plenty of time for that.

I do actually have some news, so here goes….

Valentine’s Day is not my favorite day of the year. While I do love limited edition pink and red boxes of shockingly overpriced chocolates, not to mention flowers, I kind of hate this holiday. I don’t need some glaringly obviously reminder that I am alone. But… I’m not so alone this year. I’ve actually met someone, and I am kind of excited about it. Part of me is really freaked about by even writing about him. Part of me thinks that as soon as I put it in black and white, he is going to be gone in a puff of deliciously scented smoke, but I am ready to air my dirty laundry. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him my boyfriend, I think it would be more accurate to say that we are “seeing each other.” While nobody is perfect, he is pretty freaking close.

I shall state my case:

  • He wears Bond No 9’s Sandalwood … it is dead sexy.
  • He is very handsome. He has the most awesome smile, and I love his dark hair and dark eyes.
  • He is smart – I will never fall for a stupid man. What’s the point of beautiful eyes if there is nothing worthwhile in between them? I have to be able to have an intelligent conversation with a person.
  • He is successful in what he does, but unlike a lot of men, he doesn’t define himself by his profession. I love that. Most doctors define themselves by their title, and they tend to have huge egos. He doesn’t.
  • He is very passionate about certain political issues. He has something of a man crush on Bernie Sanders actually LOL. What I think is great is he doesn’t just talk a lot of s*it, he actually is very politically involved and has even taken part in protests where he risked being arrested for speaking out about his beliefs.
  • We share the same birthday, and his first name is the same as my dad’s name. I don’t know why exactly, but that is significant to me… almost as if someone is trying to give me a sign.
  • What I like best about him is that he has never made me feel as anything less than special. Let’s face facts, I am a 4o year old woman who is living with her mother (text book “old maid” material). I don’t have a car. As of Thursday, we can add the fact that I’m unemployed now too.  Though I think I have some wonderful qualities, sadly, I don’t think any man describe me as a catch. Never once, however, did he ever make me feel  shitty or embarrassed about my situation. He has only treated me with kindness and respect … and that my dears, is priceless.

For the sake of this blog, I shall call him Birdy. Why? Because of he reminds me of this poem.

How much does he like me? Honestly I don’t know. He likes me I’m sure, but I have the feeling that I probably have stronger feelings for him than he has for me. I have pre written this post, and I honestly don’t know if he will even be around when this entry gets published. Why? Because I’m afraid I’m a bit of a train wreck. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to men, and I no longer have the confidence in myself to believe that he will stick around (or why he is there in first place). All I can tell you is that since I’ve been living in America, nobody man has come close to this one. He is something rare and wonderful. I kind of know that I am not the only woman who has thought the same of him. What makes me any better than them? Is it possible that some kind of late Christmas miracle is going to happen where he will be able to see the real me that lives behind all this tarnish? What makes me think I have a snowball’s chance in hell? Hope.

Happy Valentine’s day dollies. I love you.

 

Bl3SkUtCEAAq2nt

First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to the kind comments you left me on my last post. I was really feeling low. There are times when this world seems like a very cruel and dark place, but you helped to remind me of the good things.

In less than a month, it will be Valentine’s Day … again. Last year, I thought for sure that by the next time this holiday rolled around, I would have rediscovered love. That didn’t happen. That’s the bad news.

My dad taught me something cool when I was a little girl. When I had a problem, and I would cry, he would let me cry about it for a while, and then he would ask me, “okay, so what are you going to do about it?” It taught me that there was a time for tears, and a time to take matters into your own hands.

So now, this good news part is about me telling you how, in my own small way, I have decided to do that. Because as much as I don’t mind being 100% real and telling you when I feel low, I sure as hell don’t want to be the type of woman that people feel sorry about (or to spend loads of time feeling sorry for myself, for that matter). Yes, it’s natural for a girl to go through low points, but I believe that truly good women do not stay down. I believe they make the effort to pick themselves up.

In my own frivolous way, this is how I have chosen to do that: I am going to spend Valentine’s Day in New York. For four days and three nights, I am going to give myself the best ever Valentine’s alone that a person can have. I am going to the museums, I am going to hunt street art, I am going to browse around Barneys, Bendels, and Bergdorfs, I am going to eat burgers and stuff my belly with fancy cake, I am going to get my hair done at a chic salon, and I am going to the MET for the first time to see an opera. It’s going to be F’ing freezing, but I don’t care. Some overpriced gloves and some new boots will take care of that. What I will not be doing is sitting around at home crying about being alone. I’m going to be bad ass with a fat ass LOL. I am so looking forward it.

9ed91577688323944e02b0921cb2ac53

One only needs to have a gander at this post, and the one I wrote about cookies, in order to see how I put on tons of weight when I am on vacation. I have no regrets. Fat ass be damned. Moi is a piggy, of that you can be certain. Being that I have an unhealthy affection for burgers, I thought I would taste some of what New York has on offer. Below were my findings:

Spotted Pig Burger

Have a look at April Bloomfield’s burger at The Spotted Pig. She is a beauty no? I was really looking forward to this one. It is lauded by many as one of NYC’s best. Despite it’s beauty queen worthy appearance, this chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries was not a winner for me, not by a long shot. I may be the only person in the world who doesn’t love this burger, and so I feel almost blasphemous in giving my review, but I pride myself on my honesty, so here goes. Let me start by saying, that if you are to like this burger, you must love Roquefort cheese, and I mean reaaaaaaaaly love it, because the taste is so overpowering that that may be the only flavor your tastebuds decipher. While I enjoyed the first couple of bites of my very juicy and perfectly cooked offering, the pungent nature of the cheese completely took over. I could not taste the meat, which was absolutely heavenly (just indiscernible). It got completely overwhelmed, and it totally ruined the experience for me. As for the fries, I love what the chef did by adding the spiky green rosemary and flecks of sliced garlic, but I am not a fan of shoestring fries. They get cold in about two minutes. To the credit of the chef, these did not become all soggy like most fries of this type do, but the fries loose their heat way before you finish the rest of your meal. I kind of hate that. They were heavily salted. I don’t know if it was the Roquefort from the burger, or the salt from the fries, but my mouth was really dry, even a couple of hours later.

I have to give this $22 burger a disappointing 5/10. While I do like Roquefort, it knocked me out (and not in a good way). It was such a shame. I was completely ready to fall in love with this stunning creature. Well, we all know I am not lucky in love!

IMG_8398

This next burger I tried on a bit of a whim. I was uptown and my feet were tired, they were positively pulsating actually. I did so much walking! Plus I was having a fabulous time browsing the wares at Barneys. Unless you are mega rich, Barneys is more of a place to window shop than to buy, but that’s totally okay by me. Upstairs, they have a restaurant called Fred’s which is like an oasis of calm and gentility. It is the perfect place for “ladies who lunch, ” and in fact, I was not the only woman dining alone there. There were several others, which was kind of awesome. The linen table cloths and napkins, the stunning views from the 9th floor, and the discreet French style table service is probably how they justify the $25 for the burger and fries.  The grass-fed Angus burger was good, but just good, not great or anything. I give it a 7/10.  It was ever so slightly over cooked. The fries? They were phenomenal. Maybe the best fries I ever tasted (10/10!). I would absolutely go back to Fred’s, but next time I think I’d try the crab cakes.

By the way, I totally made a mess of my table cloth. The beef drippings just spurted all over the place. The waiter was so nice about it… but really, I should probably be locked in a cage LOL.

Minetta Tavern Black Label BurgerI saved my best for last: Minetta Tavern‘s Black Label Burger. This was the most expensive of the bunch at $28. This burger is made of dry aged beef, topped with caramelized onions and pomme frites . This was a very nice burger indeed, faultless. What I really appreciate about this burger, it is a purist’s burger. There isn’t even any cheese on it. That’s because they put a tremendous amount of confidence in the quality of the meat, enough to let the beefy flavor shine on it’s own. A lot of agonizing was done to get the meat to hit such a high level of quality, and you can taste that, without a doubt. The fries? Good, but nothing remarkable.

This one gets a 9/10 for me. I couldn’t give it a ten, because for $28 I want to be blown away. I should have the kind of burgergasm I get when I’m eating an Emperor Burger at Charm City. Alas, that did not happen, but it was damned good anyway. Will I rush back to get another? In all honesty, no, but I am super glad I tried it.

So that is my story daaaahlings, my burger adventure. I have still not gotten on the scale yet. All I know is that I’m having to shoehorn myself into my jeans (which feels decidedly unglamorous). I’m told men like women with a little meat on their bones… watch this space dollies!

It’s funny because I got lost all over Manhattan, but what I was really worried about was getting lost somewhere in the Bronx. My navigation skills suck, and that’s putting it mildly–even with GPS. Somehow, however, I made it to and back from The New York Botanical Gardens without incident. I felt so proud of myself! The things I will do to see my dear Frida, though I have to say, Ft Lauderdale was far more yucky than the Bronx (I don’t know what I was so worried about)! The exhibition I saw was called Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life and it will be on until November of this year. The focus of the exhibit was to highlight Frida’s love of nature and it’s reflection in her art. They recreated portions of her garden in the Casa Azul in Mexico City which she shared with Diego Rivera. Below are some pictures of the exhibition… and also a little something from the Donut Plant *cough*. Well it’s called Donut “Plant,” so it is highly appropriate. Um… (Caroline looks shiftily sideways) … just shut up okay?!? Did anyone ever tell you you are far cuter when you just pretend to follow my logic? That’s how it works around here.

IMG_8718

IMG_8674

Marigolds: I shall have marigolds too when I have a home.  They are simple but lovely and cheerful.
Marigolds: I shall have marigolds too when I have a home. They are simple but lovely and cheerful. Who would have known that these are native to Mexico?
My favorite piece from the exhibit: Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace
My favorite piece from the exhibit: Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace. Frida did a lot of self portraits… “I paint self portraits because I am often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Speak the gospel my soul sister! I know exactly what she means.
I adore this one too. It makes me smile. Cut open fruits in Frida's paintings are sexually symbolic by the way.
I adore this one too. It makes me smile. Cut open fruits in Frida’s paintings are sexually symbolic by the way.
A recreation of  Frida's  work space: this is where the magic happened!
A recreation of Frida’s work space: this is where the magic happened! Frida’s studio overlooked her garden, which provided her which much inspiration.
A pyramid of cacti
A pyramid of cacti

So in honor of Frida, today you will watch me partake in some of the seasonal “fruits” (of a less than botanical nature) from the NYC’s famed donut establishment, The Donut Plant. Aren’t you the lucky thing? In honor of summer, there is an exceptionally lovely lavender cake donut which I just know Frida would adore. Oooh it was good. It was slightly floral, but more herby than floral (see, we are keeping in line with the garden theme). The thin glaze was exceptional, and the product was very fresh and true to flavor. There are no cheap synthetic flavorings here, this is the real deal. Atop of that, you will see that I also ate a mini donut: a Mexican wedding cake donut. Yes, Frida is pleased. Highly delicious! And do you see what I have done my lovelies? I have recreated Frida’s Mexican pyramid in donut form. I can’t believe I’m not famous, because this sh*t is inspired!

IMG_8648