I'm not sure why but I remember being so excited when I found out that Douglas Coupland was a huge Simpsons fan. I'm not even really a fan of him (though I know nothing of the man so I guess I don't like or dislike him), but whenever someone talented and known loves The Simpsons, it makes me almost giddy. Just really, really happy. (I've heard that Daniel Radcliffe even watches the commentaries!)
Are you aware that North Americans don't know a damn thing about how to properly make real hot chocolate? I've never really given it a lot of thought, but it is kind of strange that we're so comfortable using mysterious powdered substances to mix into water or milk. What the hell is in that powder? And why did I not ask that question sooner?
Look at how these Irish geniuses are doing things.
Full Disclosure: I treated half of these Butlers chocolates like regular chocolates and just ate them whole since they were so decadent - but the other ones that I used for actual hot chocolate? My fuck. I don't know how to accurately describe how insanely good it tasted.
I got these as a birthday gift from my friend Andrew who lives in Ireland (thankyouthankyouthankyou, Andrew!) and Butlers has even open chocolate cafes that sell their products exclusively. So if you're ever in and around Dublin (or Cork, Galway, New Zealand, Karachi, Lahore, Pakistan or London), you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to go and try them out for yourself.
Sidenote: Happy Birthday, Mom! There's no one in the world I love more than you. You do everything for everyone and I hope today was lovely as hell. Love you a stupid amount.
There's a restaurant hidden in Bloomingdale's (on the sixth floor, to be exact) and it RESEMBLES AN OLD-FASHIONED TRAIN CAR!
There's even an overhead compartment for your purse! Is it just me or is this place adorable? I'm a little shocked that I've lived in New York for as long as I have without knowing about it.
To be quite honest, the food was just okay. But honestly, the fact that it wasn't terrible is the reason that I'd want to come back here. Does that make sense? The really great part about the whole place is, obviously, the surroundings. I was also struck by how quiet it was - in a good way. It's kind of nice to know that this little tucked away spot is still a bit of a secret in this city. Definitely the kind of restaurant I'd want to take my parents to if they came to visit me. The next time you're near Bloomingdale's, you should definitely check it out.
Di Palo's is an Italian specialty foods store located just east of Soho and Little Italy in NYC. And if you've ever been overly (or even slightly) into meats and/or cheeses, this is the only place in this city that you have to visit.
I'm kind of thankful that I only discovered this place recently since, well, I have gluttonous tendencies at times. I've tried a few of their cheeses (if you've got a nice face, they'll offer you samples of whatever they're slicing for other customers) and they're insane tasting. And the pepperoni? My god.
But the biggest winner here? Their burrata. It's better than any burrata I've had at any restaurant in this city. (Do you know what a big statement that is to make?)
How do they get it so creamy on the inside but so sturdy on the outside? I can only assume it's magic. And it's under $10, which is madness. If you visit me in the next few years, this will be the first stop we make together whether you like it or not.
Best cheese OF LIFE.
I know it's a Saturday and I don't post on the weekends, but I just wanted to quickly share some of the photos from today.
Tomorrow I turn 30.
I know, I know - how could this youthful, ageless beauty be turning a fully functioning adult age? Beats me, but it's happening. And I think I'm kind of pumped about it. Why, you ask? 'Cause these past 29 years have been some of the most fortunate ones that any human could have asked for. Really. And I want to list some of the greatest things that I've experienced thus far.
(If you judge me for making this list and/or being proud of it, then I think you might be missing my point here. In which case, skip the list altogether and proceed to the final two paragraphs.)
Highlights Of The Past 29 Years
- I was a co-lead in my fifth grade musical production of Newsies (or the more accurately titled "Extra! Extra! Read All About It!")
- I've learned to play the piano, alto saxophone and bass guitar.
- I've never smoked a cigarette.
- I'm bendy.
- In London, I ate the worst fish and chips known to man.
- In Portugal, I discovered Steak Diane in the Algarve and listened to Fado music in Lisbon.
- A stuffed poodle has slept atop my bed for over 25 years.
- In Spain, my mother and I were chased by gypsies. (Is that a racial slur? I Googled it and opinions are mixed. I don't mean to be derogatory.)
- In North Carolina, I saw a crab bite my dad and as a result - I stayed out of the ocean for the following 15 years.
- In New Brunswick, I saw the tides change.
- In California, I didn't trust how perfect it all seemed.
- In New Hampshire, I flew a glider plane as a teenager.
- I went to a performing arts high school for vocal music.
- I had the perfect childhood dog experience.
- In Grenada, I witnessed some baby turtles hatch in the sand in the early morning sun.
- In Belize, I innertubed through the jungle rivers.
- I've been to Disney Land and to Disney World. (World's better.)
- I've road-tripped to Detroit solely for a concert.
- In The Cayman Islands, I went down into the sea in a submarine.
- In The Bahamas, I was eaten alive by bugs and first saw a pink sand beach.
- In Trinidad, I slept in my mom's childhood home.
- In Tobago, I understood why someone would want to come to Trinidad & Tobago.
- In Barbados, I watched my brother get married on a beach.
- I've hitchhiked in Lake George.
- One time I ate a mustard so spicy that my contact lens popped right out of my face and landed on the sidewalk.
- I interned with my favourite childhood band The Strokes.
- I've seen Bob Dylan in concert.
- I lost my virginity because of the outcome of a World Cup final soccer match.
- I've skydived.
- I've seen a baby's birth firsthand.
- I've undergone a successful cornea transplant surgery.
- I've learned never to take my brothers for granted.
- I met Mike Myers once and he was very nice.
- I met someone who lives in Ireland in a Foo Fighters chatroom about 15 years ago and we still mail letters to keep in touch.
- In Amsterdam, I fell hard for a Frenchman and followed him to Paris.
- In Paris, I celebrated New Year's, ate crepes outside the Eiffel Tower, learned cooking techniques from a master French chef, walked to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, sailed across the river Seine and kissed Oscar Wilde's grave.
- In Venice, I stole wine, rode in a gondola and had a brief (but memorable) Italian romance.
- In New York City, I've had many midnight rooftop picnics on the Lower East Side, bench-side champagne dalliances in the rain under an umbrella in Central Park, met one of my best friends by picking her up at a bar, had a short play produced and performed in Hell's Kitchen, swam in freezing temperatures in a rooftop hotel pool, saw Woody Allen in his jazz band at The Carlyle, attended Derek Jeter's last Yankee home game and I've been inside the Statue of Liberty's crown.
- In Terrytown, I've had the most luxurious meal of my life at Blue Hill Stone Barns.
- In Cape Cod, I exclusively ate red meat for five straight days.
- In Chicago, I saw great art.
- In Miami, I ate the finest steak of my life at (the now closed) Emeril's.
- In St. Maarten, I went to a nude beach with my parents.
- In Niagara Falls, I stayed in a vice presidential suite and won a ton at the casino.
- I've seen The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway over 10 times and will see it again.
- I have buried time capsules with loved ones.
- In Aruba, I experienced my first all-inclusive vacation and vowed to never go all-inclusive again.
- I have broken both of my feet on separate occasions.
- I've become proficient in pilates.
- In Atlantic City, I saw Lady Gaga perform and roamed the gorgeous boardwalk.
- In Montreal, I listened to more jazz than ever before.
- I have dined and dashed.
- I have never dyed my hair.
- In Ontario, I've made out with strangers on dance floors, had hundreds of sleepovers at my brother's apartment, ate an abnormal amount of poutine, blown bubbles off balconies, learned how to play poker and swam in an infinity pool overlooking the city.
- In Jamaica, I parasailed, helped Nathan learn how to swim and experienced the clearest sea water in the history of mankind.
- I've maintained a daily blog for two full years with some degree of success.
- I'm a (magazine) published writer.
- I became the type of person who enters a dog in a costume contest.
- I've found work as an editor, greeting card store cashier, HMV seasonal employee, video store clerk, management assistant, daycare worker and part time nanny.
- In Florida, I had numerous memorable family vacations.
- I became a godmother.
- For almost six years, I've been in love with a man who treats me so well and happens to be handsome as hell.
If this post seems boastful, I sincerely don't mean it to. I'm so proud of what's happened thus far - and don't think that I don't know for a goddam minute how lucky I am. Everything on this list was possible because of my family and friends. I know how fortunate I am. So what reason is there not to be excited about whatever happens after 30?
If you're to take anything away from this post, I hope that you start to compile your own list, at whatever age you currently are. The bullet points won't all come to you at once, but they'll trickle in over weeks and you'll slowly start to see how fortunate you are in your own life, if you don't already know. It's important to look back on these things and realize we're all immensely lucky in more ways than we realize, I think.
I swear to God I’m not the type of person to love all bloopers of just any television show. Not at ALL. But Seinfeld bloopers? C’mon, man. Each season has a 22-23 minute long blooper reel and if you ever gave a shit about the show, then I know you'll be into seeing these.
I'm not sure how long they've been available on YouTube, but for years you could only watch them as extras on the DVDs so this is kind of amazing.