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.

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  • 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I’m back from NYC. Somebody please remind me to stop booking holidays in the dead of winter. I freaking hate the cold! If you are going to brave the tundra,  a word of advice: $3 gloves from Target are NOT going to cut it. Why must I learn everything the hard way? Damn it!

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On day one, my first stop was to get one of my favorite NYC treats, something I’ve talked about on my blog time and time again: the divine morsel known as the chocolate chip and walnut cookie from Levain. I walked 20 min in the snow for this thing. It was worth it.

Following that, I had a browse around the Met Breuer, and I walked up and down Madison Avenue where all the luxury boutiques are. I can’t really afford to buy anything there, but I do enjoy a bit of window shopping. This penniless extravaganza culminated at Barney’s — just another in the line of many stores I went to where normal people can’t buy stuff. This is where I treated myself to a delicious robiola and truffle “pizza” and met a very unusual woman who started a random conversation with me. To say she was odd, would be an understatement. She had a giant feather in her fluffy white/blonde hair. She claimed to be Danish royalty (not like I asked LOL). For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out if she was on crack or she really was some brain addled royal–only in New York! I love it!

Day two was all about hunting Invader’s Space Invaders in downtown NYC- it’s street art of a very interactive sort. I’m sure most of you won’t be familiar with it, but it’s kind of like Pokemon Go, except these pixelated mosaics scattered through the city really do exist. When you find them, you snap a picture, and you get points. So, not to intimidate you guys, but I am the 3,169th best Invader hunter in the world according to the app. I have the frost bitten fingers to show for it.  During this trip I found a total of 10. And guess what my lovelies?!?! I just read that Invader is going to be doing an exhibit in Paris soon. I am so tempted to book a ticket. I happen to have 36 vacation hours stored away at the moment, and I desperately want to revisit what I think is one of the most amazing cities in the world, so watch this space. Adventure calls! Anyone up for it?

Aside from the above beauties (you can click on the image for a larger version), I also found some other cool street art. Here are some of my favorite pictures:

All the walking I did that day was fueled by the most gloriously ginormous wedge of French toast at the Landmarc. At $26 for tea and toast, it’s not exactly a cheap eat, but this is a Caroline must! And trust me, when it comes to food, I’ll never steer you wrong. Don’t come to NYC without putting one of these in your belly. And that leads me to my next cold weather tip: don’t be afraid to blubber up.
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So day two was spent downtown. I explored Soho a bit, snapped street art, ate some good food, and I totally wore myself out. By the end of the day I was absolutely exhausted.

Day three, however, was all about pampering myself. Really, that is the main reason I wanted to go to New York in the first place. Life had been wearing me down. I was nursing my wounds about Birdy ending things with me. Actually, I’m still sad about.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and miss his company. Instead of time making things better, it actually feels worse now. NYC was supposed to be a “pick me up.” I had my yearly hair cut, this time at Oscar Blandi — and I have to say, my stylist (her name was Ingrid) did a really awesome job.  A week later and I’m still admiring it. I had a gorgeous meal at Benoit, and then I went on to browse my favorite 5th Avenue shops: Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman. I made a nuisance of myself  at the cosmetics counter and sampled all the fab new perfumes. That’s always fun for me.

The most special part of that day, however, was my visit to Tiffnay & Co. You see, there was this necklace

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And while I didn’t get breakfast at Tiffany’s, I was served some lovely green tea on a bitterly cold day. 

I planned to buy it for by birthday, but then I decided why wait? Wouldn’t it be more special to buy it at Audrey Hepburn’s Tiffany? Um … yes. It would. This necklace has a significance to me. It’s a gift from me to me. It’s a reminder that even if no one else recognizes my worth, I do. It is a reminder that I am deserving and good, no matter anyone’s opinion.  I am tired of waiting for a man to treat me well. I’m going to do it myself where and when I can. Life is too fucking short for anything else.

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Henri Rousseau’s The Dream at the MoMA. It almost made me cry.

Day four was spent in my favorite NYC museum: the MoMA, where I got to feast on eyes on the most beautiful treasures from Rousseau to Van Gogh, and there were plenty of Andy Warhols thrown in for good measure. I don’t know about you guys,  but for me, food feeds my belly and art feeds my soul. This is the kind of stuff I live for.

My final day was a quiet one. I went to my favorite NYC happy place: Murray’s bagels, and filled my belly with my quintessential NYC eat:

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This was followed by a peaceful morning at  the Strand bookstore, before making my way to the airport (where I was practically molested as I was going through security by the way).
… and that’s it dollies. There’s so much more to show you. If you want to check it out, come visit me over on Instagram. I took plenty of pictures.

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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.

 

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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