this is home

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

Blueberry Boy Bait


Now is the time for staring out of windows at gray skies, or lying on your bed and looking at the ceiling. 
Is it wrong that sometimes, when terrible things happen in the world, I can't quite summon the energy to feel rage or even sadness? 
I just feel numb. 
It is winter now, and I am methodically eating my way through a box of clementines and wishing that someone would cuddle me, while we both drank wine and got silly. 
This is not happening. 
To comfort myself, I baked a cake for the first time in months and months and months. 

I forgot about the calming power of baking: You measure everything, neatly arrange your ingredients on the countertop. The mixer hums, and the measuring spoons clink, and for a while, your mind can just rest from thinking about everyone and everything. The world dissolves in favor of blueberries and brown sugar. This is what I like about making things. This is why I like kitchens and washing dishes. It's real. Tactile. You can feel it. Hear it. Smell it. Taste it. 



There is a line from the T.S. Eliot poem "The Wasteland" that I will never forget, it goes:

“What shall I do now? What shall I do?
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
What shall we ever do?”


What shall we ever do when babies cry or your parents cry or people get sick or death happens or people forget your name or the grocery store is unbearable? As my dear friend Zoe said, "And I want to save everyone and I don't know where to even begin to fix so very many broken things." How do you fix the broken things? 

I don't know. 


I don't know if walking the streets with your hair down is the answer. 



I think you should bake this cake. Not only because it's called Blueberry Boy Bait, (the idea being that it's so delicious you'll have to beat your suitors away with a stick)  and the alliterative possibilities are endless. 
You should bake this cake because it is simple. You should bake this, because in a world where nothing is certain, to know that you can measure things and combine them in such a way, that when you are finished there will be cake to eat, that's special. That's something. 



Now is the time for staring out of windows at gray skies, or lying on your bed and looking at the ceiling. 
But is also the time to hold the ones you love close, despite all our imperfections and collective weirdness. 

All I feel is love. 


xoxo

Blueberry Boy Bait
via SmittenKitchen.com who adapted from 
Cook’s Country, which adapted it from the original

Serves 12, generously
2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

Topping
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)





Tomato Sauce

I like it when songs perfectly fit into the rhythm of your life. 

I like it when the lyrics are what you would have written, if only you had known how to say it. Like this one

I like this time of year, because things are wrapping up. 

I like this time of year, because suddenly it's all about conclusions and twinkle lights and endings.

I like this time of year, because people make a lot of top ten lists, and a lot of top twenty lists, and a lot of top fifty lists. 

I might make a top ten list.  

I don't know. 


I want to make a top ten list of moments that I do not want to forget. 
There are too many. 
I don't want to forget all the doughnuts and the one drink too manys and the 3ams and the kisses and the hands out of windows in fast cars and the learning how to write songs and the clouds and the walks in the morning and the being bored and the being busy. 
Mostly though, I do not want to forget how beautiful everyone is. 
Everyone is so beautiful. 

My roommmates stood around me and ate this pasta. 



They are so beautiful. 

It was a top ten moment. 

I don't want to forget. 

xoxo

mary 

Tomato Sauce

This is no work. 

Take 3 cans of nice canned tomatoes. Add a hunk of butter. How much depends on how nice and rich you like your sauce. Chop an onion. And combine it all. Let it simmer for a while. Until the onions are soft. Ideally for about an hour or more. If the sauce starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, simply add water. When the onions are soft your can add cream if you're feeling luxurious. Salt and pepper liberally. 
Combine with cooked pasta and crumbled goat cheese.