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Every year it is my goal to visit one place I’ve never been. This year it was Mexico City. I’ll start by saying that Mexico is a very poor country. It has beautiful areas for sure, and amazing art, food, and history, but the life of a tourist in Mexico and the life of an actual Mexican is markedly different I believe. The good life is relatively cheap for a visitor, but not necessarily for the people who call Mexico home. This was my impression. Whenever I went somewhere upscale, it was mostly English that I heard. Moi does not go on vacation to rough it, so I want to say that I don’t think I had a proper Mexican experience by any means… but I did have a good one.

Lots of things in Mexico City are very inexpensive compared to the states. For one, Uber is SUUUUUUPER cheap. From the airport to my hotel it cost about $5! The same was true of almost every other ride I took. I didn’t have to worry about public transportation, because at those prices, getting around Mexico City was very hassle free and inexpensive.

Also cheap: Churros. I think out of the 5 days I was in Mexico City, I went to Chuerria El Moro three times. As far as sweet things go, that was my favorite thing I ate. I ordered mine “con canelle“ (with cinnamon). The portion is muy grande. What can I tell you dears? I need the super size portion to match my increasingly fat ass. It’s all about balance. I went to the one closest to my hotel, which is the original, dating back to 1935. Supposedly they are open 24 hours. I tested this, as any intrepid traveller would. Moi tried to get her fix around 6 one morning before hunting for street art, but the doors were locked. Piggy snout pressed against the cold glass, I was forced to return a couple hours later … but return I did. Kind of like a crack addict. Did you know studies show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine? I shit you not.

My hotel was completely fabulous. I stayed in the Historic District at a place called Downtown. It’s a lovely boutique hotel with several restaurants and fancy gift shops centered around a gorgeous open courtyard. My room was minimal with double height ceilings and old world features that went back to the 17th century from when it was originally known as the Palace of the Miravalle. I can’t recommend Downtown enough. The location was great, the rooms and the hotel are stunning, and the free breakfast … like I said, I’m looking very meaty at the moment.

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Frida Kahlo Museum: This was the main reason I wanted to come to Mexico (aside from churros). I wanted to see where my favorite human lived, painted, loved, and died. It was the highlight of my adventure. I loved walking through the same gardens that Frida was photographed in time and time again, but it’s more than that. There is something so intimate about walking through her home, seeing the studio she painted in, the bed that she lay in (it had a mirror affixed to the top so that she could paint self portraits), and her final resting place: an urn in her bedroom. The Casa Azul is a beautiful, colorful, yet elegant home in a lovely region of the city known as Coyocan. Being in her home, imagining her moving through it, entertaining in her dining room, and playing with her animals in her garden… it was just so special to me. I can see why she loved Mexico so much. If I lived at Casa Azul I’d be hard pressed to leave it too. It’s clear why she found New York so dreary coming from a place like this (although she obviously had not had the clafoutis at Le Coucou). There were some beautiful art works of hers on display too, some of which I have not seen before. The experience of being where Frida walked, of touching the structures that she may have touched, it was kind of magical for me.

Later I would go to the Mexican Museum of Modern art just to see what I consider one of her most poignant works: The Two Fridas. Standing right in front of it, I felt so much emotion, I almost cried. That work says so much to me. It’s the Frida who is her true soul’s self (holding a locket of her husband Diego) trying to comfort her second self, the wife, as her heart hemorrhages. Every woman who has ever loved a man, I think, even if she couldn’t put the words to paper, would look at that painting and totally get it. It’s amazing how I’ve seen so many photos of it, yet standing in front of the real thing was such a different experience. It had the power to move me like no photograph could.

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Ballet Folklorico: In the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes, every Wednesday and Saturday there is a wonderful performance by the Ballet Folklorico. It typifies what you imagine when you think of Mexico: lots of color, fun, and tons of good energy.  Watching the traditional singing and dancing will definitely make you smile. If you are visiting Mexico City, especially if this is your first time, you must go. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was pretty freaking spectacular!

But you guys know the main reason I travel. It’s really all about the food for me. I didn’t ONLY eat churros. No, one only needs to see the way my jeans are bursting at the seams to figure that one out. There was much eating going on. MUCH.

Of all my foodie excursions, I was most excited about dining at Pujol after seeing it on NetFlix’s Chef’s Table. I just HAD to go. Even a month in advance, however, I could not get a table. There were no reservations available online, but after writing them an email, they kindly made room for little piggy Caroline. This was my first experience with a tasting menu. It was wonderful to enjoy so many little bits of deliciousness, and so many layers upon layers of coordinating flavors. It was quite a production, almost theatrical, and surprisingly lengthy, but I enjoyed every bit. This was undoubtedly the biggest extravagance of my trip. I think it cost about $160 USD, but as Pujol is considered one of the highest ranking restaurants in the world,  I feel I got a bargain — well, that’s how I justify it anyway. Let’s just face it, I don’t do dollar menus. Life is too short. Next thing you know I’ll be eating Chef Boyardee out of can — quelle horreur!!

By the way, I want to mention that I was not the only woman eating alone here. I spied at least two other female solo diners. I thought this was so cool. Nod to my sistahs who aren’t afraid to get their chow on all by themselves (I absolutely hate how women eating alone in fine restaurants is so stigmatized! Dismember the patriarchy dollies, one taco at a time!!!).

The highlights of my meal included the “street corn”  –presented in a smoke filled pumpkin– which actually had crushed ants on it (!), and the 1,874 day old Madre mole sauce. If you want to know more about the extravaganza, because it’s honestly quite fascinating and complex, check out Season 2 Episode 4 of Chef’s Table. Otherwise, here are some pictures:

Contramar was another fabulous restaurant I visited. This trendy and upscale seafood restaurant is the place to go for a  fishy feast. I had their house special, Pescado Contramar, which is basically grilled snapper with red and green sauces. It was so spectacularly fresh! This was followed a fabulous fig tart. But the thing I loved most were the tuna tostadas. They may have been my favorite thing I ate while in Mexico.

Another thing I’d totally recommend is the street food tour given by Club Tengo Hombre. Street food is very popular in Mexico City, but as a tourist only familiar with our American verision of Mexican food, I’d walk past the stalls and have no idea what I was looking at. It was actually quite intimidating. It was wonderful going with someone who took us to the best of the best, guiding us through the labyrinth. We made lots of stops which included two markets. My favorite morsel was our last stop at Taqueria Los Cocuyos where I tried a tongue taco. Simply awesome!

Well, I now have my first Latin American stamp in my passport, and I’m looking forward to more. Mexico was a wonderful adventure. I want to end this by mentioning that before going I had people warn me I’d get sick from the food/ water (no such thing happened).  I was also warned that Mexico City is dangerous (I experienced nothing of the sort). If you have any of those fears, put them aside. The only thing I can remember is some guy telling me that our president was an asshole. “Yeah, I’m sorry, I know,” I replied. He asked me for money. I gave him some change. We are lucky they don’t build a wall to keep US out.

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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.
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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…
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Isn’t this the coolest? I love this Joey Ramone invader!
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… 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:

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D*Face, from the UK

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The notorious Vandal Gummy Bear by Whisbie.

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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.

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

Although I spent most of my time in Scottsdale, I did venture out a little. There were a few things I had pinned on Pinterest that I definitely wanted to check out in Phoenix. Foodwise I had my heart set on eating the famed Pizza Rosa at Pizzeria Bianco. Not only is the chef a James Beard Award winner, but many claim that he has created the best pizza in America. My favorite pizza will always be the NY style white pizza at at Lombardi’s in New York—not only is it ridiculously decadent, but I also associate that pizza with some wonderful memories, and memories are an ingredient that no master pizzaiolo has in his spice rack. Nevertheless, the pizza bases at Pizzeria Bianco are truly phenomenal and technically excellent; I can totally see what all the fuss is about. The Pizza Rosa is a white pizza topped with Parmiagiano-Reggiano, red onion, rosemary, and Arizona pistachios. I wouldn’t describe this pizza as decadent, but it is definitely flavorful. I really loved how you could discern every single flavor that was present. Nothing was overpowered, every ingredient got it’s chance to shine. And like I said, the crust is truly awesome. The pizza was pretty damned faultless – but what can I say, Lombardi’s will always have my heart.  Plus Lombardi’s do Italian sodas… so…

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With pizza in my belly, it was now time to see the sites. Did I mention that Arizona is hot as fuck?!?! “Dry heat,” my ass!  I felt like I was going to get heat stroke on my way to Phoenix’s art district, Roosevelt Row. It was 105 degrees, but honestly it felt I was walking on the surface of the sun (I only exaggerate a teeny).

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El Mac (aka Miles MacGregor ) is one of my favorite street artists. It was such a pleasure to see this beautiful lady all the way in burning hot Phoenix. It made my trek worth it. Roosevelt Row has lots of great street art, along with plenty of art galleries and little specialty shops. Here are a few other pictures I took:

After a bit of walking, this ice cream at Melt was definitely a necessity. I had the lavender-honey, totally fab. I think most places would shy away from the boldness of the herby/floral nature of the lavender, but I think its great that they didn’t dumb it down by making it overly sweet. Totally worth a pit stop.

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By now, I had had enough of the heat. It got too intense for me, so I made my way to the Phoenix Museum of Art. It surpassed my expectations. There were a few things there that kind of blew me away. There was this piece by  Yayoi Kusama called You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies. I’m not sure how to describe it. It was a room with a lot of mirrors. It made sort of an “infinity room.” The room was dark except for some LED lights that hung from different lengths, mimicking multi-colored fireflies. Watch this video, because photos don’t exactly capture it. The feelings evoked from me were feelings of romance, whimsy, wonder, and beauty. I couldn’t help but wish I was standing there in that room holding hands with someone I loved as the fireflies “danced” around me.  It was nothing short of magical. I could feel something stir deep in my heart.

I also loved this surrealist botanical painting by Joseph Stella called “Flowers” with it’s psychedelic colors and incredible symmetry. Total eye-catcher.

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But best of all, and most unexpected, was that I encountered a Frida Kahlo. In case I haven’t mentioned it, Frida is my soul sister. This particular work is considered to be one of her most shocking and controversial paintings. The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, tells the story of a Ziegfeld showgirl as she jumped from her luxury apartment in her favorite black dress. I felt honored to look at it, behind its glass, just as I remember looking at it as a little girl, as a photograph in a book.

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The museum was about to close, and I decided to treat myself to my one semi-fancy restaurant of my trip at Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend. Most of my life is spent on a perpetual diet. When I am on vacation, however,  there are no rules. It’s like Fight Club but with burgers. Despite being on my own, I’ve learned not to be coy about ordering a four course dinner all for moi-self (I have superpowers that you know nothing about). And that, my dears, is exactly what I did.  I had an appetizer, “bacon” and eggs on toast, a yummy bouillabaisse, and sticky toffee pudding. It was all great, but I think the star of the show was that toast.  The “bacon” was actually cured sturgeon.

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Positively joyous!
The next day I went to see the Grand Canyon. I went as part of a Pink Jeep Tour. It was a four hour drive each way with an itsy bitsy stop in Sedona where I saw the famous Bell Rock. And the canyon? What can I tell you of the canyon that hasn’t been said? It is crazy and surreal. I remember looking out at its vastness, and even though it was right in front of me, it did not look real. It felt like I was on some science fiction movie set. Here’s the thing, I know how to talk about food and art, but I don’t really have the words to describe what this was like. If you’ve not been there yourself, you won’t understand exactly how majestic this place is. All I can say is that I am so glad that I went. I almost didn’t. It’s one of those things that are on people’s bucket lists as something they want to see before they die. I understand why that is now. But, you know, ice cream is good too. Just sayin’

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Orange is the New Black is my favorite thing on TV these days. I just binge watched all of Season 4 in two days. I paced myself LOL. In the past I wrote about the character of Lorna, but she is less likable these days. Her particular brand of crazy went from charming to somewhat batshit in the newest season. My new OITNB girl crush is Blanca Flores. Why? Let me count the ways…

  1. She bares an uncanny resemblance to my favorite woman of all time: Frida Kahlo. Damn, I love a girl who rocks a unibrow! It almost makes me want to grow mine out. Almost.image1
  2. The woman is fearless. There is a point in Season 4 where one of the guards, in a nasty power trip, tries to  make an example of Flores by making her stand on top of the table in the cafeteria as a form of torture (this is actually much worse than it sounds, in real life, they do this to prisoners of war). Flores takes it up like a challenge rather than a punishment. She stands on that table for days! She even pees herself on the table, and she does it with a certain sort of je ne sais quoi that will make you smirk mirthlessly. Nobody else could have pulled it off like that. She was something of a Joan of Ark. Instead of becoming humbled and ridiculed, the fact that she never wavered, actually gave her a sort of grandeur that the guard could not have anticipated. Eventually she is forced off the table when the prison goes into lockdown due to an incident, but it was never because she gave up.
  3.  She doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of her. tumblr_mr5uoh9dZo1s46h7vo1_500The guards in the facility are constantly patting the women down in a very inappropriate way. Flores comes up with the idea of perfuming herself with the juice from oyster and sardine cans so that she smells positively rancid. With her matted hair and her “Eau de Mer” the guards are completely repulsed by getting too close to her. Even her friends can’t stand it, but Flores doesn’t care. She is more interested in not being groped. Fish over fucktards LOL. The woman has standards.

Other assorted stuff I want to talk about:

Well, let’s see, my birthday is in a couple of days. I have no real plans except going to Ruby Tuesdays with my grandmother on Saturday. I’m totally okay with that. My family isn’t big on birthdays. We usually just use it as an excuse to eat a lot.

And… hmmm… how do I say this…

Remember my Birthday Challenge? That thing where I wasn’t supposed to talk to any guys for 40 days? It kind of got fucked up on day 30. I will get into that more in depth in another post. To make a long story short though, I am seeing Birdy again. I am approaching it with a different mindset this time. I have the best time when we are together. I am just going to focus on that and release any expectations. I just want to focus on one thing: fun. And OMG, last night I had tons of fun.

It was totally gay. Gay with a bit of grilled cheese. It was …

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WTF?!? Okay, so we went to this gay pride thing at a place called Wilton Manors. That was a first for me. Another first? I had my first visit to a gay club. It was called The Manor. Another first? I saw a lewd sex act. OMG, for real I swear I did. Plus there were drag queens, and flashing lights and it was like the most fun I had in ages. And I danced… sort of. I don’t know how to dance. Let’s define it as “interpretive dance” that way at least I get to sound somewhat arty. I am sure I looked like the biggest dork ever, but it was so much fun and if I could, I’d go back tonight.

Afterwards we had grilled cheese sandwiches at New York Grilled Cheese. They take forever to serve you, but I didn’t mind. It was worth it. It was so gooooood. Plus I got to ogle Birdy a bit, and that’s always fun. I love looking at him: total man candy.

The meat packing district sandwich at New York Grilled Cheese.
Grilled cheese with brisket, doesn’t that look divine?

It was a night I’m going to remember forever.

Oh, and an update on my friend T: since I last wrote about her, I spoke to her on two occasions. One time she sounded kind of good and upbeat, the second time she didn’t. I am just happy when I get to hear her voice. Although I don’t always know what the right thing to say is, I am happy just to listen.

My new job starts next Monday. I am both nervous and excited, as to be expected I suppose.

I’m about to press “publish.” It has come to my attention that this may be the most disjointed post I ever wrote. I’m quite the nut job methinks, but today I am a happy one.

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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.

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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.
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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!

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It's Moi birthday, I hope you didn't come over empty handed daaahling!
It’s Moi birthday, I hope you didn’t come over empty handed daaahling!
Today is my birthday. That, along with the Liebster Award granted to me by the incredibly lovely Kat from Try Not to Cry on My Rainbow, means that today is the perfect opportunity to talk about my favorite subject: ME! Below are the questions I am supposed to answer, so here goes:

What is the last best meal you ate?

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The Emperor Burger at Charm City Burger Company was the last best thing I ate… sublime. It was deliciousness personified. It verged on the pornographic. It could almost make me forget that I ever wanted a man.

Where is your favorite place to relax, and what is your favorite relaxation activity?

Ah, this is an easy one. My favorite place to relax is on my mother’s porch. It is what I do every day after work. I take my iPad, sit in my special chair, and I get lost in reading, listening to music, looking at art, and browsing my favorite sites. It is the quietest place in my universe.

What is your favorite all time love story (can be a novel, a movie, a real life story, whatever) and why?

I hope, at the end of my life, that I can say that my favorite love story of all time was my own. I have to say, I have had a couple of wild romances, I just haven’t had one that stood the test of time. My story is not over though.

The only David Bowie song I ever really loved is called Let’s Dance. I have always found it very romantic and sweet. I remember seeing the video for the first time on MTV when I was a little girl. It showed this young couple who were very poor and hard-working, but their love made them rich. It made a deep impression upon me. Fast forward to 2002. I was watching a Mira Nair film called Monsoon Wedding. The movie had a subplot about awkward looking wedding planner and a house maid. Their story reminded me so much of that music video I saw when I was a child, and I have to say, it touched me as the most romantic thing I had ever seen. There was just something so tender and enchanting about it. The way he looked her. I don’t know how to put it into words really. I will never forget the scene when the wedding planner marries his love on a fairy tale bridge that looked like something out of a Monet painting, amid a monsoon under an umbrella made of marigolds. It just touched me so powerfully. I don’t know if that kind of magic happens in real life, I only hope it does, and I hope that one day I get to remember what it feels like to be in love. That is my birthday wish for myself (and also cake…. Lots of cake).

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List all the places in the world you have lived and which you enjoyed the most, and why.

I lived in Connecticut when I was growing up. At the age of 12 my family moved to Florida. After university, I moved to the UK to be with my husband. We moved around from London, to Wales, to Staffordshire where we bought our home, and then I moved back to London on my own after our split. A year later I returned  to Florida. Without question, I loved London the most. What an exciting city! How I miss it. Samuel Johnson (a famous diarist and writer) was so right when he said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

What are your three greatest joys?

Food: Food is my passion.

A great story. Something I can get myself totally immersed in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, TV, a movie, poetry, or art (sometimes pictures tell a story, and I can imagine myself into them—I have a crazy imagination).

I never feel as happy as when I feel loved by someone who I respect and admire. And that beginning part of a relationship, that romance/courting part? When you are deep into it, I am sure there is no drug on earth that potent. That crazy love feeling? I don’t know if there’s a name for it, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I’ve never felt more joy than in those moments of my life.

What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?

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I have been blessed to visit some amazing cities around the world, some of them quite glamorous. But glamorous does not exactly equate to “interesting” in my book. The most “interesting” place I think I ever visited is about an hour’s drive from where I live. It’s a place I have been writing quite a bit about recently: Wynwood (more posts to follow plus additional pictures on my Instagram). I read that there is no place in the world that has a higher concentration of street art, and after visiting there on several occasions now, I can well believe it. Street art is an absolute fascination of mine. It is so vibrant and culturally rich. It is also temporary, and for some reason, to me, that makes it all the more beautiful. It is there, and then one day it’s not. It is, at the end of the day, vandalism. So for that reason, it usually ends up being defaced or covered up. That makes me so frustrated when I see that, but it’s the nature of the beast. It reminds me of how you feel when you are watching National Geographic and you see a cute little animal being eaten by another. It’s the law of the jungle. In this case, it’s the law of the concrete jungle. It fascinates me, horrifies me, and inspires me all at the same time.

Wynwood to me is an example of how beauty can be found and created in the midst of ugliness. It is kind of a metaphor for life. It is most definitely “interesting.”

What are your three greatest fears?

Living the rest of my life without love

Forgetting what it feels like to be truly happy

Not being able to make it on my own

Name something about yourself that most people don’t know.

I am the strangest person I know. It used to make me feel isolated, but now I realize that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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What last made you laugh out loud?

I’m sure there are lots of things, but this is what comes to my head.

What is the one thing you would purchase right now if money was no object?

If money was no object, I’d like a tiny but beautifully appointed flat in Knightsbridge or Green Park in London.

Thanks again to Kat for nominating me. I know I’m supposed to pick some other bloggers and ask them the some questions, but I wouldn’t know where to begin. I don’t have many readers. Those I do read and follow, I follow because I genuinely enjoy visiting your blog. I don’t do it out of any feelings of obligation. Though I haven’t met any of you, I feel like you are my friends, and so I would have such a hard time choosing only a couple to nominate. Instead I give you all big birthday kisses and lots of love. If you remembered to bring me a present, I might also give you some cake… maybe.

Ever since I knew about it, I wanted to go to Wynwood (in Miami) to see the street art, but without a car, that proved near impossible. I figured how how to make the journey using public transportation, and it would have taken me about 3 hours (each way!), so I had to file that one away… until I bribed someone into it. Please, don’t ask LOL! I do not regret it though.

Wynwood is freaking awesome! You would not believe the intense concentration of eye candy. I was in Heaven snapping pictures and enjoying all the colors and imagery. It is an absolute feast for the eyes. And of course there was food for the belly too… this is Caroline we are talking about after all—and in my book, fun without food thrown into the mix is kind of unheard of. A stop at the famed Joey’s was most definitely in order. Well, if it’s good enough for Beyonce and Jay-Z, I suppose I can slum it too, eh? Please, who am I kidding, these days I am no stranger to Walmart. Do you know the cool thing about street art though? It’s completely free, so splurging on a gourmet pizza wasn’t too much of an expense. What a great day out! I can’t wait to go back. Wynwood is my new favorite hangout.

I took so many cool pictures, but my camera ran out of battery way before I was done. I wonder what kind of bribe I’ll have to offer for my next visit *shudder*.

Below is just some of the awesomeness available:

Let's start with a rendering of my soul sister, Frida Kahlo.
Let’s start with a rendering of my soul sister, Frida Kahlo.

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An artist at work
An artist at work

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My favorite piece, by  305 Kid. And you know what is way cool? I Instagramed this, and he actually "liked" my photo!
I will end with my favorite piece. The artist is called  305 Kid. And you know what is way cool? I Instagramed this, and he actually “liked” my photo! If you haven’t added me on Instagram, please do, I am remarkably friendless LOL.
Gorgonzola Tartufata pizza at Joey's (my picture came out crap, so I am
Gorgonzola Tartufata pizza at Joey’s (my picture came out crap, so I am “borrowing” this one from miaminewtimes.com

I had the Gorgonzola Tartufata pizza. It had a nice amount of strong but delicious gorgonzola cheese, walnuts (which were a surprising but lovely addition), truffle oil,  topped off with arugala. The ingredients were top notch, and they were not stingy with the toppings. The base was ultra thin and very crispy around the edges. The flavors were excellent, but being the notorious complainer that I am, if I had to mark it down, the base could be a bit more substantial to deal with the heft of the toppings which are apt to make a pizza soggy in a most swift and unfortunate manner ;). I’d surely have it again, but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it. I would, however, love to try some of the other goodies that Joey’s has to offer. Well, okay, so I actually I had desert too. It was a homemade pear upside down tart. There was a very strong honey flavor to it, which I adored, but aside from that, it did not have the wow factor for me.

More photos are available on my Instagram page if you want to check them out.

I love art, from fine art to street art, so I couldn’t help taking a few pictures on my recent visit to Ft Lauderdale. Here are a few snapshots I took after visiting with my friend Frida.

Outside of the NSU Museum
Outside of the NSU Museum

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I’ll never forget the last time I saw Frida. It was in Paris, at the Musée de l’Orangerie. It was a rainy day, and I ducked into a Laduree to eat a truffle omelette. It was pure luxury. I remember this song from Pulp Fiction playing in the background, and I remember feeling that all was right with the world. I was newly separated and scared, but in that brief moment, I was feeling pretty damned okay.

Well, Ft Lauderdale ain’t Paris, but I’ll be okay here too. What choice is there? There are burgers here. I’ll be fine. I went to a place called ROK:BRGR, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a burger with my name on it “Sweet Caroline.” It must be a sign, no? I must be headed in the right direction.

This time, in the background it was 80’s “hair” metal. There was Ozzy Osbourne, The Scorpions, Van Halen… old friends. I was sitting outside, the sun was shining. It’s moments like these where I remember that I may be down, but I’m far from out. “Nope, I’m definitely not out,” I thought to myself, as some skinny bitch turned to stare at my behemoth of a burger with longing LOL. “Don’t hate chicky, cause yeah, I’m going to eat the whole thing, and you can freaking bite me.” Plus, thanks to the grief diet, I can look good while doing it! Hmmm… yes, karma does have it’s rewards.

Mmmm... juicy, sweet, messy and bloody. I can see why it  was a champion at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Aged cheddar, BBQ short rib, creamy coleslaw, fried onions,  on a brioche bun. It was pretty fab. I'd give it a 9. The fries were a bit crap though.
Mmmm… juicy, sweet, messy and bloody. I can see why it was a champion at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Aged cheddar, sweet and tender BBQ short rib, cool and creamy coleslaw, fried onions, on a brioche bun. It was pretty fab. I’d give it a 9. The fries were a bit crap though.

You know, I’m learning something as time goes on. My life is totally different than the one I used to live, but although my  environment has changed, nobody can take away what makes me special. I don’t live in a city where I have access to great art or fancy food. I don’t have tons of spending money, but I can make do. A queen without a king is a still a queen, even if she is dressed in rags (but carries a Bottega Veneta). It makes me feel kind of proud.

Frida, my hero and my fearless friend. I love her.
Frida, my hero and my fearless friend. I love her.

So today let me tell you about one of my favorite people who ever lived: Frida Kahlo. I’ve talked about her on my old blog. There is not  one woman in history that I feel a greater connection with than her. She is my favorite artist of all time. Why? Well, here’s the thing: her art isn’t particularly beautiful, in fact, sometimes It can be downright hideous, BUT, more than any artist to come before or after, I have never witnessed a person who was able to paint with their soul as she did. In her work, I see her pain, her sadness, her love, her happiness…. I can see it all. Her willingness to share her life so beautifully through her art, makes her very special. So I think she is the most amazing artist who ever lived, but more than that, to me, she is almost like the sister I never met.

Let’s start with the obvious: the unfortunate unibrow. Yep, I’ve got that. I tweeze mine to an inch of its life, but I can not deny that I have one.  I can thank my dear old daddy for that one. It’s the Mediterranean blood.  It makes a girl furry LOL. Thanks daddy! I love how Frida is not shy about painting that in, or her faint beginnings of her mustache. She wears them like a badge of honor, and though I can’t put my finger on why, it makes me proud. I just adore unapologetic women. I love women who are not afraid to say, “this is me, take me as I am.”

I couldn't have said it better daaaahling, this could be me talking to Dr ManWhore.
I couldn’t have said it better daaaahling, this could be me talking to Dr ManWhore.

Mostly, I identify with Frida because of her relationship with her husband, artist Diego Rivera. Like my husband, Diego was a fat ugly bastard, but he had talent, charisma, and the ladies loved him. Diego, like Dr ManWhore, was a vile philanderer.  He didn’t understand how blessed he was to have the love of such a unique woman until it was too late. Is it the nature of men to chase glitter when they have a diamond?

Yeah, I love a woman who calls em like it is!
Yeah, I love a woman who calls em like it is!

It is both a pain and a pleasure to be able to love so much and so deeply. But I kind of imagine, that like me, Frida wouldn’t have been able to live any other way. This is the way it is when you live with passion, and this is what makes us what we are. Perhaps we are not everyone’s cup of tea, but not every A-hole knows how to appreciate a fine vintage.

Frida was Madonna before the 80s ever happened. She was fierce, unapologetic, a feminist, political, and sexually liberated. She was leaps and bounds ahead of her time. I have a major girl crush on her! When I lived in London, I went to see her exhibit in Paris. And now, while living in south Florida, there was no doubt I would revisit my favorite lady of all time.

Eeww, let me start by saying that taking the bus to Ft Lauderdale is highly unpleasant. I have got to get a car asap! The people who ride the bus in Broward County… I’m not sure how to put it kindly… let me just say that they are not a classy bunch. Geez, I’ve come a long way from being a doctor’s wife being driven around in a luxury Mercedes. It’s slightly disheartening to be honest. It was scorching hot, and it was more than an hour’s drive each way to the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibit at the NSU Art Museum. When the doors opened for me to get off the bus, I was assaulted by the scents of homelessness and pee. Yeah, I really love Frida. I wouldn’t do this for just anyone.

The exhibit was comprised of works by Frida, Diego, and some of their Mexican contemporaries. I have selected some of my favorites to share with you today.

Self portrait with monkeys: I love these colorful whimsical paintings, they have such charm to them.
Self portrait with monkeys: I love this colorful whimsical painting. It has such charm to it.
A very glamorous portrait of Natasha Gelman with calla lilies painted by Diego
A very glamorous portrait of Natasha Gelman with calla lilies painted by Diego. I think the guy was a bastard, but I can not deny his talent. Yes, this is fatty loved the female form. It is obvious.
Diego's portrait of Frida's sister Cristina--one of the many women he slept with. This one was a dagger in the heart for Frida. It was the one affair she couldn't turn a blind eye to.
Diego’s portrait of Frida’s sister Cristina–one of the many women he slept with. Though she got used to his cheating ways, this one relationship was a dagger in the heart for her. It was the one affair she couldn’t turn a blind eye to.
The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened, by Frida Kahlo The open fruit are supposed to have a sexual connotation.  Supposedly this is about a bride being nervous about loosing her virginity. Eat that watermelon LOL.
The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened, by Frida Kahlo
The open fruit are supposed to have a sexual connotation. Supposedly this is about a bride being nervous about loosing her virginity. Eat that watermelon girl LOL.
Diego on My Mind, by Frida Kahlo No matter how much pain she caused her, she was never able to escape her love for Diego.
Diego on My Mind, by Frida Kahlo
No matter how much pain he caused her, she was never able to escape her love for Diego. This was my favorite painting at the exhibit. It is a very raw and private account of love. You can feel the longing in her expression. Ironically, she is wearing a traditional Mexican wedding veil.

My favorite part of the exhibit was a documentary they were showing in one of the exhibition rooms on the life of Frida Kahlo. It left me very touched. It left me thinking of my Napoleon actually. While there is no love left in my heart for my ex husband, the truth is that there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of Napoleon. He is the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and the last person I think of at night. I try so hard to be strong, to convince myself that I don’t need him– I don’t NEED him, but oh how I want him. Watching that documentary, that dull ache in my heart started to burn. When I got home, I did something that maybe I shouldn’t have done. I wrote to Napoleon and told him how much I loved him and missed him. He has not replied. Perhaps it is the destiny of women who love so much and so deeply. I don’t know. It hurts. You know, I know that writing to him was probably not a wise decision for someone who is trying so hard to rediscover her independence. Strangely I don’t regret it. I love him. I tried. It probably wont be the last time.

If I have to experience this sadness, I couldn’t be in better company than with my dear Frida. I don’t want to live a life without passion. And Frida? That woman knew passion. The pains and the trials of her life, which were supposed to be private, she painted them in full color. It was scandalous to be sure, but it was a life lived with honesty. That is something I really respect. As Frida wrote on her very last piece of art “viva la vida.” I concur whole heartedly.

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