And so commences the third day of the first week on a new coast. As can be easily noted by my blogging inactivity, the Valley was no place to do any sort of thinking that exceeded figuring out how to pay for gas (extremely difficult when stuck driving the '96 family Suburban) and wondering, privately, how my parents managed to raise four such exquisite children while stricken with twenty-three years of Hand, Foot, and SFV Disesase, a frequently occurring degenerative illness commonly attributed to living in 113 degree weather sans air conditioning in neighborhoods with quickly rising numbers of TGIFriday's and Macaroni Grills. I'd also credit the tap water which anyone visiting the area usually has something to say about and certainly must be a contributing factor to illness, but truth be told I think the stuff is delicious (though not at all refreshing) and well worth the risk. Perhaps it's the particularly high levels of Chlorate that keeps me pouring glass after un-iced glass.
I've read a mountain of enthusiastic reviews of New York tap water which is said by many to be some of the most Alpine Spring like stuff around. Sir Jeffrey Steingarten himself has lauded it extensively. About three minutes ago, I smacked my wrist against my ceramic mug of cold and low-calcium NY tap water and spilt it all over this laptop, my wood table, and my thigh. I didn't mind because I was over-heating. Anyway, I agree with the masses, this water is good; though without the brassy residue my tongue feels half-way naked.
This morning I poured some New York tap water into a Fuji bottle (I love the transportative backdropped picture of a waterfall and hibiscus) hesitantly chose an outfit, and walked with Brown Cow yogurt in hand from Prospect Ave. and 8th to 7th and 9th St. Brown Cow yogurt is from the Bay Area and is my absolute favorite and I was thrilled to find it easily in Brooklyn (though Fareway Grocery was missing Cream Top Vanilla Bean and I had to settle for Strawberry). I was walking to my first day at Patisserie Colson, the Euro-trend bakery where I will begin employment as a pastry chef on Tuesday. Having worked at a collectively-owned, sustainable, vegan-wheat free-organic-pseudo-bohemian hippie dream bakery in Berkeley for a year, I came in expecting a whole lot of something that wasn't there. The kitchen in my new apartment is easily as large. My estimate is that 4.75 Patisserie Colsons can fit into 1 Nabolom. After a quick tour of the place, however, I found a few pleasantries including a large vat of still-warm, salted caramel to be poured over a chocolate mousse and topped with a button-sized dollop of whipped cream and a snowy-colored coconut sorbet that I was desperate to try . The chocolate chip cookie I had for breakfast had that perfect Parisian outer layer crisp to bite and almost brulee like with jumbo, bittersweet chocolate chunks, always preferable to any cookie flaunting mini-chips. * I'll save more Colson details for next week when I'll be able to make a more comprehensive judgment call.
For now, check out the fancy website!
Rewind to last night:
My first day in New York was spent hobbling through and around Rockefeller Center in too-tight, brand-new Cole Haan heels in search of an impossible Kinko's, sobbing to Mom on the Subway after a miserable experience at what I thought was going to be my new work place, and sitting legs akimbo in my "bedroom" playing the "let's see who's wider, my wingspan or the wall" game. My wingspan always won.
This unfortunate day 1 led set quickly and a much more pleasant day 2 came in its wake. I woke up late and stayed in the house until 5pm when I put on my favorite, rugged cowboy boots and a new dress and met a familiar group of faces at MOMA. My dear friend Will Ma treated me to a one dollar hot dog the size of my pinky finger that I smothered with ketcup and ate with my eyes closed and toes curled...if only I had seven of them. What girth was missing from the hot dog was made up for by Richard Serra's towering steel sculpture maze which caused me a sinking, shrinking feeling much like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.**
After a brief but cut-throat debate over Duchamp's shovel and bicycle wheel, we found Vnyl, a trendy, late-night joint on 9th in Hell's Kitchen. From the light fixtures with flamboyant personality to the dressing room inspired individual toilets all featuring decor and music to match stars like Cher, Dolly Parton, and Nelly, this place was a perfect welcome to New York. I picked off Kyra's butternut squash wantons with miso dipping sauce and guzzled down a fruity, hot pink Watermelon Bellini. Surrounded by four of my favorite Berkeley faces, I felt, for a moment, at home in New York.
* I wrote this sentence prior to pausing and reminding myself that I've never actually been to Paris, nor France. I have, however, always been a fan of eating and baking flatter chocolate chip cookies with crispy, over- white sugared outsides and softer insides which one friend partaking in my fresh baked cookie consumption once enthusiastically noted was exactly like the French variety he was so fond of.
** Note to myself: Reveiw "that vs. which" rules. Ugh.
In the crime-ridden streets of the Big Apple, an industrial rolling pin and well-maintained muscle mass may save your life.