As you may have noticed, street art has become a great love of mine, so I guess it must come as no surprise that I planned to hunt some down in Manhattan during my recent trip. Let me start by saying that it’s not like Wynwood. In New York, you really have to hunt these pieces down. They don’t tend to be in areas of heavy tourist traffic, they are mostly off to the side streets in places like Soho and the Meatpacking District. Mostly I’d run into something when I got lost… which was often. GPS did not prove to be my friend. I had a few instances where I tried to position myself on Google Maps and according to my iPhone, I was swimming in the Hudson. I ended up finding a lot of lovely surprises, however when trying to find my way (just like we do in life, huh?). Here is a selection of some of the beauties I captured. I hope you like them.

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London artist Phlegm
London artist Phlegm
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Goldloxe: She has a lot of these stencils pasted up all over NYC in different colors. I find this whimsical creature very charming. She reminds me of Shirley Temple, and I can’t help but smile when I come across one. There are a couple of more examples of hers on my Instagram page.
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A recreation of a very famous image by Kobra

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A piece by Shepard Fairey which I found while lost somewhere around Chinatown.
A piece by Shepard Fairey which I found while lost somewhere around Chinatown.

More information on Shepard Fairey can found here on Artsy.

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My first ever Banksy, I was super excited! It was right off the High Line.
My first ever Banksy, I was super excited! It was right off the High Line.

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The bleeding hearts love wall by James Goldcrown. He and Goldloxe very friendly on IG, I love it when artists are cool like that :)!

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And so my lovelies, today I complete my first week of work at my new job. Everyone seems really nice. I’m making friends, and I’m hoping I’ll fit in okay. Basically, my job will be that of a junior underwriter. I can’t tell you much about my work as of yet, because I haven’t actually started it yet. What I can tell you is I am thrilled to be rid of my bitchy old boss, the crap hours, and the disrespect. I think this job will be an amazing opportunity for me, and the salary increase certainly doesn’t hurt. What’s also cool is I work right next to a library. I spend my lunch browsing through books and magazines. I can’t possibly imagine a better “break room.”

This new job is most definitely a step up, another stepping stone, until one day I feel confident enough that I will be able to do things on my own. I sometimes wonder if that will ever happen. I have come a really long way since I came back to the US, but I still have moments when I feel absolutely crippled. It was just the other day that I was in a pool of tears because I felt like everyone ended up with their “happily ever after” while I was left behind. There are times when I look in the mirror and see someone who is alone and getting older and less desirable by the day. Let’s be real, a good heart will only get a woman so far. Then I stop myself, “It will be okay” I say to the person looking back at me, “I didn’t come this far to turn back now. Somewhere I will find love and happiness again… or if that fails, perhaps some cookies.”

In what seems likes another lifetime, Moi was a food blogger. I wrote about cool restaurants, recipes, and some highly glamorous adventures whose main goal was procuring sensational eats. Food was my life. Looking back, I think I turned to food for the love that I wasn’t getting. It is a wonder I didn’t turn into a contender for My 600 Pound Life. Food is still a great passion of mine, but it is not the full blown obsession it was back in my food blogging days.

These days I spend most of my life on a diet, but when I travel? F that sh*t! Eating decadent, crazy treats is kind of like my crack. It thrills me.  Food is most definitely my drug of choice, and when I am on vacation, I indulge. I indulge like a Martha Falker!

Shall we go on a little cookie adventure my lovelies? Get out those elastic waist pants. You are going to need them! You see, I know how most women are always so worried about their weight. So as a public service to the sisterhood, I taste tested five different ubercookies. This way, you don’t have to waste calories on the crap. You can go straight to the good stuff. Yes, I know, I should win the Nobel Prize or something.  I am like a very beautiful Cookie Monster. Nom Nom Nom.

Jacques Torres, $3, Score: 8/10

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The first chocolate chip cookie I ate was from Jacques Torres at Rockefeller Center. It is served nice and warm, but not necessarily fresh. They have cookies that are sitting on a warming plate, and for all I know, they could have been sitting there a very long time. It does have some excellent quality chocolate and a good mix of crispy and soft textures; but, when I lifted my cookie from it’s plate, it started to fall apart. I was not amused. That being said, it did have some truly excellent caramel-y flavors. The melty chocolate was quite divine (not to mention messy, but that’s totally okay by me). If this cookie was actually fresh, it would have been fabulous. I’d describe it very good but not extraordinary. I give it an 8. I have to score tough daaaahlings, this is NYC you know, and competition here is fiercer than me when I’m in a Dr ManWhore induced rage.

Petrossian Chocolate and Pecan Cookie $3.75, Score 9/10

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This cookie is a colossus that could quiet the most fearsome Cookie Monster. It used to be my absolute favorite cookie in the city.  It is not warm like the one from Jacques Torres, but its freshness is undeniable. It is nice and crispy on the outside with a bit of give in the middle. Of all the cookies I reviewed, this one is the most chock full of goodies. In fact, I’d say there was a higher goodie to cookie ratio… yes, that is scientific terminology okay?! Go sit down.

Upon biting into the cookie, there are deep chocolate pools housed in the bottom. It makes for a most decadent and special cookie which I didn’t think I could be beat (until I found my 10/10 which blows absolutely everything out of the water). Nevertheless, it is a truly fantastic cookie with beautiful deep, rich flavors.  I adore it.

And by the way, the Petrossian building is a thing to behold. It is absolutely stunning!

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Really though, I could have done without the looks of abject horror on the faces of those
Really though, I could have done without the looks of abject horror on the faces of those “sweet” cherubs. Totally unnecessary!

Maman, $3.75 (or $13.75 if you count the taxi), 6.5/10

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According to my research Maman has NYC’s new “it” cookie. Quite honestly, I beg to differ. Maybe it is just my frustration talking, but tracking this cookie down was one hell of an unpleasant mission. I walked for ages to find it, got lost, then spent $10 on a taxi driver who drove me somewhere that was not Maman. I got lost again… ugh! By the time I got there I was in a real mood. For all the trouble I went through, this cookie needed to deliver an orgasm to make up for my troubles. It did not. Moi was not impressed at all. To be fair, it was a decent all around good cookie with good flavor. There were some great pieces of chocolate in there. There was a soft center, but no discernible crispy edges. It was fresh, but not warm. It was slightly salty, and completely unremarkable. It was, shall we say, an anticlimax. Total waste of calories.

The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie from The Smile, $3, Score 7/10

IMG_8478Of all the cookies I ate, this one at The Smile wins the beauty contest. Look at those giant chocolate chips and the lovely flecks of sea salt (which were not unpleasant, just unusual). It was good, and they were certainly not cheap on the chocolate, there was lots inside. But it was not great, not in my opinion at least. Like the cookie at Maman, it was not terribly remarkable.

Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookie, $4, Score 10/10

I saved the best for last. The cookies from Levain Bakery, are without a doubt, the Holy Grail of cookies. If God baked, this is the one that he would make. This cookie is worth all the crazy hype it gets. Like all the cookies I tried, it was a big one, but this differed in that it was much more puffy. It looks something like a biscuit or a British scone. These are so freaking good, it will make you want to slap your sidekick…

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These are so good, that I am almost at a loss for words… almost. These cookies are served as fresh as can be. They are still warm, which allows for their trademark texture that makes them so extraordinary. The insides of these things are simply Heaven, slightly doughy, but not to the extent of being cloying or “raw” tasting. It just melts in your mouth. Do not leave NYC without a Levain cookie, you will die unfulfilled. I am so serious.

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