Well, I've once again survived the journey back to the west coast, and have begun to move into my routine here. Menus are being planned, soft-boiled eggs consumed, and many friends have been hugged. As I slowly shed my jet lag and make up all of the sleep I lost in my last few days in New York, I have been listing mentally all of the wonderful discoveries I've made in this first year living there:
1) Some brilliant late-at-night eateries, including (but certainly not limited to) L'Express for 24-hour French food on Park Ave. at 20th Street, Cosmic Cantina (3rd Ave. at 13th) for organic, vegetarian, and raw food burritos, Chickpea (14th Street) for falafel, and 71 Irving (Irving near Gramercy Park), which isn't open too late, but makes great sandwiches, coffee, and pastries.
2) The antiques garage on 21st or so between 6th and 7th Avenues, I think, though I will need to double-check this one. Two levels of the garage rich with vendors or vintage clothing, artwork, jewelry, and such. The Mister and I have spent way too much time here agonizing over whether or not to buy the table lamp that needs all the glass plates in its shade replaced. Only place I know with a vendor that sells almost nothing more that antique corkscrews and bottle openers.
3) New York shows are cheaper than California shows! Go see concerts in New York!
4) Dog-watching: better than anywhere but Paris.
5) Harlem. If nothing else, it is so worth just wandering around this neighborhood on a warm afternoon. It has a more vibrant street culture than elsewhere in the city: there are rowns and rows of vendors selling incense, books, reggae music, ice cream, perfume, and thick spears of fresh fruit on skewers. People are friendly here, also! And, you are bound to see at least one good-looking man dressed in a suit that seems plucked out of the '20's. Sundays are the best: you can here the singing in the churches from the street, and all of the older ladies come out in their brilliant hats!
6) Thursday night Chelsea gallery walk. Largest concentration of pretentious conceptual art and free wine in NYC. No matter how cold it is outside, don't bring a jacket because the body heat in the galleries is sweltering and you'll end up carrying it around more frequently than wearing it.
Well, there may be more later, but for now these are the most memorable bits.
Today, I am trying a new muffin recipe--I'm trying to replicate the Morning Glory muffin at the Grey Dog's on west 16th Street--as well as a quick raw food recipe from Jónsi and Alex's cookbook, a pdf of which can be found here. The Mister is coming into town tonight, so we'll taste-test and update with results tomorrow...