gosh sometimes I get so inspired

Caesar Salad


When I was 16 years old, I saw the movie An Education, and it changed my life. I over-identified with the heroine, played by Carey Mulligan, to the point that it almost scared me. Because the character had this longing to really LIVE in the world. And in all of my adolescent angst I completely understood. 



In the very last scene of the film, she’s riding a bicycle through the streets of Paris. And she’s happy. She’s not longing to live her life, not wishing things were otherwise, but actually present in the moment, actually living.



I have been riding my bike a lot lately. With friends and alone. 
And there have been moments, silent, except for the sound of peddling and my own breath-- when I’ve sped under orange street lights late in summer night-- and I have thought to myself-- appreciate this. Because in those rare fractions of seconds-- 
I was so present that I didn't want to be Carey Mulligan. 
I didn't want anyone's life but mine. 

I wonder if everything can be this way. That the life you dream about can be yours always. That everything, from the clothes you wear to the food you eat, if it can all be of a piece. 
That all the tiny things can add up to a beautiful life, a present so wonderful that sometimes you can only recognize how fucking glorious it is in retrospect. 

I think so. 
I hope so. 



So I am quietly building a life. Or trying to.
I’m eating caesar salads with homemade dressing and attempting to delight in bike rides, lunches, conversations, swimming pools, coffee shops and dancing in the grocery store. 
Because right now, I am so young, and so much feels so possible. 





I think so. 
I hope so. 

XOXO

m

Caesar Salad Dressing 
from foodnetwork.com

Note: The recipe asks for six cloves of garlic. Which seemed just illogical to me. So I used four. Do as you like. And of course, I am a big proponent of anchovies. They really make it that much better. Also, this recipe is unusual in that it doesn't call for a raw egg, which is typical of many dressings.  

6 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil 
salt
pepper
lemon juice 
minced anchovy fillets (optional) 

2-3 heads Romaine lettuce
Parmesan cheese

Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar and two pinches of salt in a blender and mix thoroughly. Add mayonnaise and blend together to form a thick base. In a slow stream add olive oil through hole in lid. Scrape dressing with spatula into a bowl and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. If desired, add anchovy to dressing to create a deeper, saltier taste.

Wash and dry lettuce. Chop leaves if desired. Combine dressing with lettuce and toss gently. Top with parmesan. Salt and pepper again as desired. 


New York City, I want to hold your hand.


New York City. I love you. 

If I could be your lover I would. 
I would take your hands in my hands. 
And I just wouldn't let go. 

Because only in precious Queens will perfect boys take you to eat Indian/Chinese food in restaurants with disco balls. And to eat Thai food in gardens. The train to get there is so long. 


And only in Brooklyn will you go to random Hawaiian themed parties, and talk to boys with sad eyes, while eating sugary frozen pie from the Momofuku Milk Bar at 3am. Or go to Roberta's pizza with Olivia, 



and eat green covered pizzas, and poppy seeded gelato that tastes like sparkles. 



Or make your way through a cheese plate with a kind stranger/friend who tells you that she has "never fallen in love slowly." And get drunk on nice beer and brazilian music in your friend's basement kitchen. 



Because only in Manhattan will you eat dollar slices of pizza, and cheeseburgers and drink stella and talk about where it is you are/aren't, and get lost in plates of cold spicy noodles, and soup dumplings, and puerto rican ham sandwiches and perogies and cups of coffee and mango lassi, and drink more beer and eat two kinds of cheesecake in one sitting, and just love it all. 



However, there are no breakfast tacos in New York. 
So I'm back in Texas. 
So full, and also so hungry. 
A friend once told me, that maybe it's love when "you want to hold someone's hands, but they are already holding yours." 



New York City, you held my hand before I even tried to reach out. 

So blessed and so grateful. 




*****

Artichoke Basille's Pizza
328 E 14th St
New York, NY
(212) 228-2004

Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard St  New York, NY 10002
(212) 529-8800

La Taza de Oro
96 8th Ave  New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-9946


Roberta's
261 Moore St  Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 417-1118

Xian Foods
67 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013 


SriPraPhai 
64-13 39th Ave
Woodside, NY
(718) 899-9599

The Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St  New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-9502

Veniero's Italian Bakery
342 E 11th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-7070

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314

Diner
85 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11249

Smourgasburg

East River State Park
(90 Kent Ave at N. 7 St)

Blue Ribbon Sushi
119 Sullivan St
New York
(212) 343-0404

Madman Espresso
319 

E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-2233

Velselka
144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682

BaoHaus
238 E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(646) 669-8889

The Gray Dog90 University Pl
New York, NY
(212) 414-4739


Station166 N 7th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211(718) 599-1596


new york city finds me.

Beloveds, 

I am in New York City. 




And I am eating bagels and arepas and pastries and so much coffee. 
I've breakfasted, brunched, lunched and suppered. 
I ate sea urchin that tasted like the ocean was giving me a kiss and I drank sangria that tasted what nectar must taste like and I ate biscuits and pickled beets and fried chicken all in the same meal. 
I ate a croissant that came in an actual puddle of butter. 
I ate pizza with crust that was more of a crisp than a crust. 
I ate scrapple. I still don't really even know what scrapple is. 
Margaritas with fresh squeezed orange juice. Campari and prosecco with lime. 
Bread and butter. 
And I ate macaroni and cheese from a box one day when I was too tired to go out and feeling childlike and lonesome. 



What is this life. 



I think I am very happy for the first time in what feels like a very long time. 

I don't feel like looking back and discussing what has been.
And I don't feel like looking forward and asking what's next. 
I just want to be

I read this quote a while ago, from one of my favorite musicians, a man who goes by the moniker Shakey Graves. 
He said, 

"I am what I am, and with this old knowledge of new places I stand on the verge of wandering the earth until I am found. 
I am soon to be found."



I love this.
I believe it. 
I have believed it for so long. 
That you can be found. 

You are never so lost that you cannot be found. 

Whether it is by New York City, or a person to hold you, even just sharing a meal. 

You can always be found. 




And right now, I feel found. 


Places to Eat in New York City and Brooklyn 

Marea
240 Central Park S  New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-5100

Egg Restaurant 
135 N 5th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-5151

Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway  Brooklyn, NY 11249

(718) 384-1441

Jacob's Pickle
509 Amsterdam Ave  New York, NY 10024
(212) 470-5566

Momofuku Milk Bar 
561 Columbus Ave
New York
(347) 577-9504


Ost Cafe
441 E 12th St  New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-5600


Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314Epicerie Boulud 
1900 Broadway  New York, NY 10023

(212) 595-0303
Petrossian Boutique and Cafe
911 Seventh Ave
New York, NY

(212) 245-2217

Coconut Macaroons.


This is a painting I love very much called Christina's World: 



When I saw it in person I gasped. 
That is how much I loved it. 

I found a postcard of it in an old journal I'd kept last year. 
It struck me as particularly relevant now. 
So much yearning. 

I read that the girl, Christina, had polio and the lower half of her body was paralyzed. 
And one day the painter, Wyeth, saw her crawling through the grass to get to the barn. 
And he painted what he saw: 
So much yearning. 

That's how I feel right now. 
Like I'm crawling into a future that I can't quite reach. 
My own barn. 

I'm trying so hard to begin the process of creating a life for myself. 
I don't know how to do this. 

My dad likes to tell me, one day at a time, one step at a time, one bite at a time. 
Slowly crawl to the barn. 

I'm surrounded by so many beautiful people right now. 
People like my friend Margaret, who dreams her own gutsy dreams, and has started to realize some of them. 
I want to be like that. I want to realize dreams.  

But right now I'm still figuring out what the dream is. 






I don't know. 


So I go swimming with Murphy, and I call my brother. 
I go dancing when I am sad sometimes. 
I write my name in chalk in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night. 
I try and reason these mistakes and misunderstandings, make them into digestible lists and lessons. 
And I try to be inspired and I try to enjoy this sun and these days and these people, for what they are. 
I stumble. 
I make coconut macaroons that melt in the mouth. 
And I eat every single fucking coconut macaroon because they are so so good and I am so so hungry. 

I don't know. 

So much yearning. 

I am Christina. 
But I am building the barn and trying to get to the barn all at once. 

At least, on the way, there are coconut macaroons. 

XOXO


Coconut Macaroons


via JoyofBaking.com

4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour (I used regular flour) 
3 cups shredded or flaked coconut

You can do what I did, which is completely forget to follow directions, hastily combine all ingredients, and just bake them until brown. I was happy. Please note that these are quite sweet, decrease sugar if you don't like desserts that are borderline saccharine. 


OR YOU CAN ACTUALLY FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: 


In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt. When this mixture is warm to the touch, and nice and creamy, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, flour and coconut. Cover and refrigerate for about two hours, until firm. 
Preheat oven to 325 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Place small mounds (heaping teaspoons) of the batter onto the parchment lined baking sheets, spaced several inches apart. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool. 
Makes about 2 dozen.