Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Dinner in Zurich, Zurich West

August 11, 2011

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Went to Zurich for work, and kinda fell in love with the city. I wasn’t very excited to visit, but the food was yummy, I got to hike the hills around Lake Zurich, and I just loved the old world charm meets modernity and contemporary design. It was a pleasant surprise. Though I often have to eat by myself when I travel for work (super bummer), I enjoyed sitting outside at Josef and watching the bustle of Zurich West (an old industrial district that reminded me of the Meatpacking District a decade ago, or Williamsburg a few years back).

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Margaritas and Mojitos in Tulum, Mexico

May 6, 2011

In January, J and I went to Tulum, Mexico — a 30th birthday present from me to my man. It was lovely, laid back, and low-key, unlike lots of our vacations where we run ourselves ragged. Though the food wasn’t exactly mind-blowing in Tulum, there a few recommendations I have. One, our favorite dinner was at a little place called Casa Violeta. We got a giant platter of grilled seafood that was amazing and great margaritas (J had 5!). It’s a bit pricier than most of the restaurants we saw in Mexico, but well worth it. Also, La Zebra has a dance party on Sunday nights that we attended with a fun hour-long salsa lesson before the night starts and Mojitos made with fresh sugar cane juice.

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Eating, Drinking, and Driving Stick in Italy

May 6, 2011


I haven’t written in a while, so I’m going to do a few catch up posts today. In October, J and I went to Italy — to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and then all over Tuscany to be exact. It was 2 full weeks of wine, pasta, and total gluttony, and it was amazing. We started in Rome, where we did the sightseeing extravaganza, from the Colosseum to the Pantheon to the Vatican. We rented a great, little apartment right in the center of the city, and spent all day walking from one end to the other. Our first few nights in Rome were a culinary miss, and we quickly learned that yes, you can have a bad meal in Italy. But J kicked it into gear and did some serious blog searching to get proper recommendations. We loved walking around Trastevere, and one of our best meals was near the Colosseum at La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. If you ever go to Rome, check out this very useful map that J made. Also, note that you will need reservations for ALL dinners in Italy. You may walk up to a place that has 10 open tables, but if you don’t have a reservation, they won’t seat you. It’s against everything capitalist that we know and understand. And, last tip — eat gelato every day. We did.

From Rome, we went to Florence. Number one tip here: book a reservation at the Uffizi Gallery. All this reservation-making goes against my travel senses, but you’ll wait on line for HOURS if you don’t reserve. We loved Florence, and again rented an apartment that was on the other side of the river from the Uffizi. Our best meal here (and maybe in Italy) was at Trattoria Quattro Leoni (4 Lions). We had a pear ravioli that was to-die-for, and then ordered a hunk of “steak florentine.” I was a little nervous about the concept of eating basically rare meat… until I ate it. Oh man. That dinner haunts me in my dreams. If you are visiting Florence, J made another map… he’s so helpful, right?

From Florence, we took a train up to Cinque Terre. Although we didn’t have great food here, this was by far my favorite stop on our trip. Every minute, every step was a beautiful view. If you’re not familiar with this part of Italy, it’s basically 5 different towns on cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea (just below the Italian Riviera). We hiked all five towns (though one pass was closed and we had to take a train). And, the day we arrived it was warm enough for bathing suits and a quick dip in the sea.

From Cinque Terre, we trained to Pisa where we quickly ran to take photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (it’s really leaning) and then picked up our rental car. We got a stick shift — all I’ll say is we will never make that decision again. We hit up Pisa in the morning, and then stopped at Lucca in the afternoon. Lucca was one of our favorite Tuscan towns, with a gorgeous park around the walls of the city. We saw a great sunset here before heading to the place we were staying… which was here:

On the middle of vineyard. Nuts, right? In Tuscany, we went wine tasting at the Castello di Verrazzano (yep, like the bridge). It’s a beautiful old castle nestled high on the hills of Tuscany, and we tried lots of yummy things.

One of our favorite finds in Tuscany was a dessert wine called vin santo. It’s made by hanging grapes for more than 3 years!

While we stayed each night in the Chianti region, we visited many other towns during the day, including Volterra, Greve in Chianti, and Siena where we saw the beautiful “duomo.” In Siena, we had lunch at a restaurant just around the corner from the Piazza del Campo called Trattoria La Torre. There’s no menu — and you basically have to pick your pasta and your sauce, but everything was so homemade and fresh. So yummy. 

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Happy Birthday to Me!

June 16, 2010

Yesterday was my birthday…27. Nuts. I’m feeling old and cranky about this birthday, but J did his best to raise my spirits with a fancy meal.

We went to Mas (farmhouse), a farmhouse style menu with lots of fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. We opted for the menu option: “bring us a bunch of food.” They brought 6 different courses, of varying levels of yummy. There was a vichyssoise that I could’ve done without, and I experienced the first pork belly I didn’t love. There were two dishes of the 6 that I loved: a duck breast with pickled cherries and faro and a halibut that I think was cooked in duck fat… a trend. Dessert — what you see above — was also delicious with a really clever take on a s’more: some crumbled chocolate (kind of like a fancier crumbles from Carvel ice cream cake), a marshmallow, and an intensely good salted carmel ice cream. We enjoyed, and felt a bit too full at the end. But… it was no Blue Hill.

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Off to Berlin… Auf Wiedersehen

August 17, 2009

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J and I are (rather spontaneously) taking a trip to Berlin/Prague the first week of September. I have to attend a conference in Berlin, and then J is coming to meet me for a week afterwards. We’ve already booked 2 nights at this really cool, brand-new budget hotel, Michelberger hotel, and I think we’ll play the rest by ear. We’re hoping to do a train out to Prague for at least 2 full days and 1 night, but more if we really love it. So any suggestions on Berlin and/or Prague? Places to stay, things to eat, drinks to drink, stuff to see… ??

Photo via.

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Open Shop on Ebay

August 4, 2009

I moved last weekend, and during the move I found a few items that I decided to part with via ebay. I’ve got a few COACH items, and some shoes/clothes that I’ve either never worn or only worn a few times. Please check it out! (More will go up this weekend.)

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This Marc Jacobs bag is for sale (sorry, the photo got wonky in translation, but the ebay image is better quality). My mom bought this bag for me ages ago, maybe even when I was still in college, thinking it’d be a cute to-school-and-back bag for my laptop. But my laptop didn’t fit and I never wanted to get rid of such a cute bag, until now. If I haven’t used it in 4 years, I probably won’t start now!

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Free Treats for Voting

October 30, 2008

Ben & Jerry’s is giving out free scoops on Election Day from 5pm-8pm.

And Krispy Kreme is giving out free star-shaped donuts as well! Yay… voting! I’m excited that it’s my first time voting in NY – I’m officially a resident now. Apparently there’s some sort of big level to pull, and all!

UPDATE: Starbucks is giving free coffe out too — just picked up my cup.

UPDATE AGAIN: Apparently there’s also free Sangria at Boqueria!