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Meet & Greets with NYC Bloggers

12 Jun

Park, ave, nyc, photography

Thanks to the power of Twitter, I became a little busy social bee last week! I had the pleasure of meeting up with two lovely New York City bloggers, Lauren & Caroline, whose blogs I follow and love to read. While I have a handful of hilarious, sweet friends in the city, I am always looking for new interesting people to chat with.

The great thing about meeting bloggers via Twitter is that you get a better sense of who they are. Blogging is such a one-sided street and sometime, meeting a blogger can be a letdown because who YOU thought they were is not who THEY really are. However, the great social media gods remedied this problem with the invention of Twitter. Reading these ladies tweets and seeing their personality in 140 characters (or less) made sack up and see if they would be open to meeting up. And luckily, they were!

If you are looking for two new blogs to add to your expanding Google Reader (seriously, mine is crazy!), I highly recommend these two. During last week’s crazy apocalyptic weather, Lauren and I shared a drink and chatted about everything. Normally I’m pretty nervous about meeting people via the webs but she has been so kind and sweet, I didn’t feel awkward at all.

hotel, new, york, city, photograpy

On Friday, I visited the ever-so regal Plaza Hotel where I met with Caroline, who recently moved to NYC from Texas. Over delicious cocktails, we talked about celebrities, the perils of NYC, and the crazy world of blogging. I can’t wait to meet up with her again in the future and gab some more!

Hopefully, you all visit these two ladies. I think you will be definitely impressed!

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Hester Street Fair

23 May

Last weekend I wandered with my pal Gen and her boyfriend to check out the Hester Street Fair. Small and cozy, there were lots of interesting vendors and good food. I tried the macarons because how can a girl resist? Next time I will definitely try the lobster rolls and pulled pork sammies. I met and chatted with Wink and Flip, a local jewelry maker. Her designs were very colorful and summer-appropriate. I picked one up for a friend and plan on going back for more Anthropologie-esque designs (without the price tag).

Gray gloomy skies are here to stay this week in NYC. We had one glimpse of sun on Saturday and I soaked it up completely. Of course, because NYC likes to keep you on your toes, it started to downpour. Cue my run to the closest taxi.

While the weather is not pleasant, I am happy that this coming Thursday I will be jetting off to California for a quick trip. There will be lots of smiles, laughter, and FOOD. I am literally going to soak up the California sun and hopefully bring it back to New York. A little dose of home is just what this girl needs!

Go big, or go home

15 May

New York

This weekend, after spending the past two weeks digging myself out of boxes and cleaning products, I ventured out in to my beloved NYC and actually explored.

With my camera.

Ground-breaking, right?

However, it felt… Amazing. Like I was back in business. After a really lonely winter and struggle with the blues, I’d like to think that I’m waking up again, which, coincidentally, matches the coming of summer. I’m not gonna sugarcoat things; the past few months have been rough. Real rough. I lose all enthusiasm for school and dealt with a copious amount of stress and dissatisfaction at work. Ask any of my friends and I was one negative nancy.

coffee

But, this weekend I felt like the old Amanda, er the new Amanda… The more lively Amanda, I guess.

What better way to celebrate the gorgeous weekend than a little excursion to get monster donuts. Donuts that have a loyal (albeit cultish) following. My friends and I made the trek to the Doughnut Plant, a Lower East Side doughnut shop that has a damn good reputation for delivering fatty, sweet doughnuts. The line was long, but not as bad as expected for a Saturday morning. However, I should warn you that the shop is teeny tiny. One man working the register, and at least a dozen customers excited to nosh their brains out.

While I love a good cake donut, this time I was all about the yeast kind. They had a range of flavors including Vanilla Bean, Coconut Cream, Valhrona Chocolate, Cashew, Fresh Mango, Creme Brulee, and so many more. Resisting the urge to get them all, I settled on a true winner: the Peanut Butter-glazed doughnut with Blackberry jam filling.

donut

Oh. my. god.

It was heavenly. No, seriously. I heard angels sing. The salty crunchy peanut butter glaze combined with the sweet blackberry jam was exactly what I wanted. Not to mention, the actual monster-sized donut was pretty stellar. Soft, with a fried outside, but moist inside. It is sad to see a donut fall flat and thankfully, the Doughnut Plant’s did the exact opposite.

Next time, I plan on trying the fresh mango flavor because I just can’t imagine what mango + donut actually tastes like.

Till then, I will dream about the epic donut I had.

Going Gluten-Free at BabyCakes NYC

27 Mar

donuts, sweets, babycakes, bakery, breakfast

When I think of gluten-free pastries, I think of dry baked goods, stiff to the touch. Thankfully, going gluten-free isn’t my lifestyle however, after trying Babycakes NYC, I might change my tune. In the midst of the gritty Lower East Side lies this little bakery. The minute I walked in , I knew it was my kind of place. While it was tiny, the attitude was cheerful and contagious, with some 90s rap playing in the background and cute, retro girls serving up some pastries. I don’t know what made me laugh more, the guy behind the counter trying to dance to “Back That Thang Up” or the girls rapping along to the song…

I had my heart set on donuts so that was my obvious choice. Looking at their display case, I felt indecisive and overwhelmed, as if I was shoe-shopping. Which one do I get? What if it isn’t as good as I had hoped? Why are there so many options?

donuts, babycakes, sweets, bakery, nyc, vanilla, breakfast

donuts, bakery, breakfast, nyc, babycakes

After my quick nervous meltdown, I went with my gut: vanilla doughnut with pink sprinkles. My friend went with the Lemon Coconut, which, by her guttural response, was delicious. Soft inside with a crunchy sugary outside, my donut was the best I had eaten in a while. I can’t remember eating a donut that didn’t knock me over the head with sugar, but somehow Babycakes delivers a sweet but not coma-inducing baked good. As for the rest of the products, I plan on coming back if I am back in that neighborhood. I hear they deliver too which is awfully tempting.

Life Goes On

21 Mar

Last week was not a good one. In fact, it might go down as the worst week of 2011. Granted we are only 1/4 of the way though 2011 so I guess there is room for growth? What was the reason behind this ? Without getting too specific, I experienced a pretty powerful professional disappointment. A blow that touched all my insecurities and fears, making me want to curl up in a ball with a sappy movie and a box of tissues. Combine that with a major pang of homesickness and a quiet home ( goodbye Tania, my recent home guest), let’s just say that I wasn’t a ball of sunshine.

However, life goes on. Right? That’s what everyone says. Tsunamis hit, the earth quakes, wars start, and yet life goes on. It may not be as bright or as hopeful as it used to be but the world keeps spinning.

Sometimes it just takes a little comfort to get you back on your feet. For me, that is a Cookies’ n ‘Cream cupcake, Skype dates with my mom, and a weekend spent lounging in bed with the sun streaming in.

Clinton St. Baking Company

16 Mar

I had the pleasure of eating at Clinton St. Baking Company.

Folks, I waited 2 hours for these pancakes. TWO HOURS. For someone who never waits for anything, I was quite proud of myself.

Good NYC Eats

10 Mar

I had a rush of things to say, but apparently the gloomy weather made my brain go fuzzy. Oh well. I have an awesome friend coming in to town on Sunday and I couldn’t be more excited… Now, the questions is, where should we go to eat our hearts out??!!

New York City is a foodlovers dream. On every corner in every neighborhood, one can try a wide array of cuisines. Nigerian, malaysian, soul, traditional chinese, fresh sushi, hearty italian, and the classic american diner. There are so many choices that it leaves me feeling overwhelmed. While I have tried some superb places in my seven months here (wow already?!), my list of must-try places is growing. Here is my running tally:

Perilla

The Smith

Clinton St. Baking Company

Cafe Habana

Scarpetta

Peels

The Doughnut Plant

Many loves for today

14 Feb

My current loves:
Cinnamon-spiced coffee with a touch of cream
the new Kings of Leon cd
My leopard-print ballet flats
Pink donuts with white sprinkles from the local donut shop
Nearby friends
Faraway friends
Pretzel M&M’s
My new gorgeous necklaces from this magical shop
Never Let Me Go
Romantic dresses from the Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture show
This, always and forever

I don’t care if you are married, pregnant, single, divorced, dating, desperately single, or none of the above. I hope you take a minute on this overly pink/red holiday and know that you are loved.

Happy Valentines Day! Go eat some cake :)

The First Day

3 Jan

When planning my trip home, I decided to stay in town to ring in the new year. I couldn’t imagine a better way to start of 2011 than with my friends and family.

2011 started in the best way possible:

  • Tiramisu Cake & coffee with my loveliest friend at a Sacramento hotspot
  • A thrilling movie that had the best costumes and acting I’ve seen in a while
  • The sweet taste of a Champagne Cocktail in a dark bar
  • Some light shopping from my favorite jewelry store
  • A quick cuddle from my furry boyfriend

I leave for NYC in 4 days and while I’m sad to leave, I am ready to get back to my NYC routine. The cafes, bars, museums, parks.

Weekend plans

5 Nov

This weekend, some will be working. Others will be running the hard 26.2 miles in the NYC marathon. And I?


I will be writing non-stop for a couple of papers. In between paper sessions, I will be making frequent visits to City Bakery where I will eat my weight in their Hot Pretzel Croissant.

Amen.

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