Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Corporate Hangover

I've spent the morning devising clever configurations of masking tape and cotton balls in the insoles of my shoes so that they are minorly less abrasive... I would hate to bloody another new pair of heels.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Poem

above a windowed department store.

a canopy of gulls in swoop nets,
patterned turgid, blackly lined with corrugated
feet and legs

skate the frozen over
river. the ankles of the smallest children
fold like paper, frost in bittered leather.

shards of vanished wingtip, hoping
to linger hurled in the R’s of Furniture
signs, meeting valleys of dander and salt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I prefer open faced sandwiches eaten with fork and knife to two-bread slice sandwiches.

I don't like to fold my pizza.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Damn, Sam

Getting myself to keep this thing up requires a whole lot more effort than I thought it would...maybe more than I can even afford to give. But today is a day off, and days off are tricky. Especially when they're on Mondays. Today I'm going to get my computer fixed...and probably have a slice of pizza. The rest, though, is so unknown. When there is this little to do on a Monday, it's harder for me to make excuses.

Kyra left yesterday, which means the last five days have been a long and drawn-out non-stop good-bye party. Which is why last night I broke a personal record and slept for 16 hours.

The week went somethin' like:

Tuesday: Split a fancy cucumber martini with Kyra at Simone's in the East Village. Talked about recent bad decisions and then accidentally found ourselves exchanging wedding plans. Oh, Kyra. Stopped by to say hello to a friend of Kyra's at 10 Degrees on St. Mark's at 1st. This place was so poshy I wanted to throw up in my Forever 21 $15.00 hand bag. Met up with Scott, Julio, Jeff and Brett at the Belgian Beer House because it looked dive-y. But, dive-y in the East Village means you pay $11 for a beer instead of $18 for a cocktail.

Wednesday: Was supposed to meet up with Will Ma and K. Davis, and Al to wish Mr. William a bon voyage back to La-La-Las Vegas. Instead, got stuck on the F train for almost two hours because someone went and had a heart attack. Come on! Ended up at Ms. Jenny Wendell's three-story mansion in TriBeCa watching Sex in the City in a king size postra-pedic bed (she was just house-sitting).

Thursday: Facials and eye-brow waxing with the Davis for like $2 a pop cuz I got some promotional thing. They facials were mediocre, but were certainly too much of a bargain to complain about. Feeling fresh and clean, we headed over to Otto, Mario Battalli's place on 8th St and 5th to celebrate Jenny's 23rd. Any time spent with Jenny Wendell and her entourages is a good time. The bar was jam-packed and blaring techno-dancey music that made it feel like a party. Their blood-orange "bellini" was tart, smooth and the perfect coral color. However, there was nothing bellini like about it, so I was a little unsure of their name choice. I ended up getting yelled at by the bartender for bringing a salted-caramel tart into the restaurant. I cried a lot in front of everyone. I complained to management, crying. I kept crying all the way to 7th and St. Christopher where I found Lu, Zu and their puppy Guru (?) on the corner. I finally stopped crying after buying myself two Papaya Dogs and an large side of fries. I think it cost me a little under $4.00. Drinking a light, Belgian beer at some place I don't know the name of, I fell asleep mid-sip and decided it was time to got home.

Friday: Free concert by the sea-side! Met up with Kyra, Francis and K's cousin Lindsey (who is quite a doll) for The National. I brought along some frangipane, croissants, and extra ganached brownies in a little white paper bag to snack on but they were quickly soaked by the thunderstorm that blessed us and got soggy. Got home just in time to find Kim and her buds from Santa Cruz feasting on greasy Chinese and Sierra Nevada. Yummm. The night ended perfectly with some quality YouTube viewing:


Saturday: Left early for work to get hair cuts with K-Dawg to be prepped for a long night out in Brooklyn. Started at Commonwealth on 5th Ave and 11th...Commonwealth has decently priced cocktails, a rad female bartender named Charlene who has a crazy crazy blond mane, and easily the best juke-box in town. Went to the Tavern (which is actually called "_____'s Tavern" but they haven't paid for new neon lights just yet) also on 5th...the home of $1.50 mugs of Bud Light! Fratty Brooklyn local boys and stupidly cheep Budweiser make the Tavern my favorite place for when I'm feeling trashy, which, embarrassingly, is decently often. Finally stumbled into Excelsior which turned out to be the 40 year old gay male hangout. They had X-Rated Vodka! My mom and I tried X-Rated at Nick's Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills this past June and I've been searching for it ever since. It is the very best bottle of booze ever made. I got home at 5:00 and made a delicious drunk meal of broccoli, peas, and brown rice sauteed in teriyaki sauce.

Sunday: Woke up feeling much less hungover than expected and made brunch with Gael. Eggs with chicken pesto sausages, extra-ripe tomatoes, grilled onions, goat cheese and fresh basil from our back-yard. Little Kyra was a tired puppy, but she sipped her mango juice with a smile and savored her last morning in New York. It was sad.

Gael, Me and our Sunday Feast

The Last Supper of New York Summer

I'm gonna have a hard time being a food writer if my diet continues the way it's been going. This weeke I've eaten: pastries, the open-face sandwich I make everyday for myself at work with kalmata olive bread, olive tapenade, white onion, ham, and two slices of gruyere in the toaster, and pizza. I love pizza. My favorite pizza joints tend to be the places that have 8 year olds working the counter at 3:30 am; though I probably shouldn't be giving those people my patronage.

Monday (today):

Not having a toaster means you have to soak your bread in butter and then fry it on the stove. I haven't struck the perfect balance between heat and butter quite yet so for breakfast this morning I ate butter with a side of soggy toast. It was a bad start. An hour and a half later, I had lunch. Lunch was a brownie and an oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie. For dinner, perhaps, I'll have a heart attack.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Shoot the Freak, I say

The weeks are slipping. I got a new job as a paralegal at a top 10 law firm. This will be a big change from being a pastry chef for a number of reasons. It will not be nearly as sweaty, I am much less likely to come home from work covered in chocolate and pastry cream, I will get paid more money, have weekends off, and get health care. Does this mean I'm growing up?

Scott, Julio, Jeff and Brett drove in from Los Angeles on Saturday...perfect timing as I was starting to get more than a little bit homesick. We went to Coney Island, rode the Wonder Wheel, and ate original Nathan's hot dog! My hot dog was covered with sauteed onions and made me feel sick to my stomach, so I got a pistachio ice cream cone for $3.00 at Denny's (not the diner) to help make it feel better. It tasted a little like kool-whip...which means to say...delicious.

Today we're going to Chinatown. I'm not going to buy any living sea creatures this time. But maybe I'll buy a knock-off Fendi hand bag.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jobs, Please

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Adventures with Shellfish and Bluegrass Tuesdays

Today marks my seventh day as a Brooklyn resident, which by my standards means I'm all in the family now. I had my first real day of training at the bakery yesterday but won't be going back in for round two until Friday. Though I'm sure that any working New Yorker would commit arson for three straight weekdays with absolutely nothing to do, my dwindling bank account presents a spicy setback. Today my plan was to find the perfect cafe, order one very large iced coffee, and write for as long as I possibly could. My laptop never made it open because I was distracted on Union and 7th by a pretty little storefront displaying cream and meringue topped cupcakes and bouquets of wild flowers in bright blue glass bottles. I noticed a "Now Hiring" sign, smelled some of the more unfamiliar looking cheeses, asked for a job, and got one. I'll be starting as counter-person at Blue Apron Foods on Friday at 3pm, exactly when I get off work at the Bakery. I need a glass of wine.

What a week! I now have two food service jobs, neither of which, even when combined, will provide me with the income apparently needed to live even the tail end of the New York high life. Being twenty-one is tough work.

More interestingly, I had enough time this week to get some serious cooking done. On Monday, still suited up after a three hour interview at a hoity-toity top-ten law firm (I'm not expecting a Yes from this job) I met my friend Zu in Chinatown for some speed seafood shopping. With only a half hour time slot, we didn't bother making absolute sure our scallops were chemical free, and trusted the fish monger when he said they were from Maine. When buying scallops you really have to be careful about phosphates (particularly sodium tripolyphosphate) which help the scallop retain water and appear much larger and tastier then it actually is. Our scallops had a much nastier problem...even after gently searing them in butter and dousing them with a healthy helping of lemon juice, they tasted like lemony-buttery-ajax. Yuck.

Zu, Kyra and I agreed the soft-shell crabs were much more successful. It was my very first time preparing soft-shells and was sad that no one was there to witness my triumphant conquests over their wriggling little exoskeletons. I'll admit, I was surprisingly more timid than I expected myself to be when cutting their faces off. I had a particularly hard time with putting the now face-less, still moving crabs in the same bowl as their more put-together comrades. When their decapitated bodies finally stopped spasming, I soaked them in milk, dredged them, and fried them in a generous pot of clarified butter. Though they could have used some cayenne pepper in the flour mixture, I would say they were great! I served them with a rock shrimp risotto with leeks and white corn and Kyra and Zu supplied two bottles of sweet and fruity Riesling and Prosecco. Mmm.


Me and my Bestie frying crabs in butter.

My stomach was still sore from the three sticks of butter split three ways that went into our Monday night meal when I woke up late for my first day at the bakery. After sprinting nine blocks and arriving drenched in sweat and last night's make-up, the rest of the day was smooth sailing. I rolled out sucree for lemon meringue or salted caramel tarts, made chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, ice cream, lemon curd, quiche, and put a whole lot of crusts in flat-bottomed pans. My coworkers were fun and just sarcastic enough and absolutely everything tasted good. It's no hippy co-op, but Patisserie Colson might not be so bad.

The best part of working at a bakery is bringing home leftovers. I stopped at Barbes on 6th and 9th after work and met up with Polly and Kim for some live blue-grass and beers. The Five-Deadly Venoms played some of my favorite Carter Family classics and kept our toes-tapping. We met some of Polly and Kim's college pals there and moved the party back to our place shortly after. New York is a lot easier when you're surrounded by incredible, giving people who have boat loads of interesting and creative friends! Our night came to a close with Port, fresh-made cappuccino gelato (from my bakery!), and a riotous session of looking at pictures of adorable puppies in mini-casts, complements of http://www.cuteoverload.com. Perfect.

Also, don't fear. I made a promise to myself to start writing more often and avoid these long, summary-style entries. They bore me.