Friday night, celebrating my birthday with some of the moms from the beans’ class, moms who’ve become my friends. I truly enjoy each of them and like them all as women, yes, but also as mothers. There. I’ve said it; I like the way they parent. And shouldn’t we surround ourselves with the best examples? I want to enrich my life by having friends who can mentor me, people to whom I can look to emulate, as mothers, as wives, as whole people. Plus, they make me laugh. We ate at Toku in Manhasset, passing plates of Peking Duck salad over dishes of Miso Cod, picking over sushi rolls, and plucking for rock shrimp tempura, all whilst keeping at our cocktails. It was a delicious night.
On Saturday morning, after waving goodbye to our invisible witches at home, we made wicked time and met friends and family at an apple orchard in Riverhead, NY, complete with a dozen varieties of apples, pony rides, kettle corn and caramel apples, a petting zoo, and a hardcore corn maze, where I managed NOT to lose Abigail for once.
I squealed more than once, turning to Phil to tell him how happy I was, how we were making such scrumptious memories. It’s my idea of everything Autumn should be. Except it wasn’t cold enough for hot cider, and the leaves haven’t really changed, haven’t fallen, enough to call it Fall. You know what that means: Pumpkin Picking Part Deux.
Yesterday, I showed up to brunch with wet hair, meeting Dulce, Smelly, and Amy for a birthday brunch at David Burke Kitchen, where tears were shed. Food tears over how joyous it all was, friend tears, thankful tears, not a one baby tear.
A pumpkin muffin stuffed with cranberry cream cheese. Grapefruit brulee (I taught my Girl Scouts to make this at home with my blow torch!). And a red velvet cake with cherry compote. We loved the presentation of the simple syrups for our wind-down iced teas, following our proper brunch boozing.
Onward, Dulce and I window-shopped and made a mad dash to MiN New York, a perfume atelier with niche fragrance brands and a ridiculously knowledgeable staff. Oh, how we loved Alejandro, and all the samples he insisted we take. “You have to live with it for at least a few hours. Try, try, try.” I love niche perfume houses, for the most part, because it means I won’t be wearing what everyone else is… even though, sometimes the big league LVMH scents aren’t given a fair chance because of exactly that reason. So, martyr that I am, I try them all.
Above, the store window at MiN New York. After MiN, we hotfooted it to Aedes de Venustas, where comparatively, the staff sucked. Sorry, sucked isn’t fair. Unlike Alejandro at MiN, who could recite all the notes in every single scent, who would race across the room, almost a skip, excited to show us just one more. And ooh, one more. Okay, promise last one… We’d mention that we liked rose scents, and he rounded up his favorites, clearly labeled, so we wouldn’t confuse the swatches, then he offered to make us sample vials of each. I’d mention Vanilla, and off he’d go. Then peach, a few more. In contrast, at Aedes, the woman working there was tight lipped, showing us only the most expensive scents upwards of $250. She didn’t bother to make a lineup, and we had to ask for samples. Even the gentlemen there, when I asked for a Vanilla Rose, curious if he’d show me ones similar to those Alejandro showed me, he gave up before he began saying, “It doesn’t exist because vanilla always overpowers rose.” Lie. There are rose scents with vanilla base notes. In short, we didn’t trust their recommendations. Once nose fatigue set in, we walked the city streets before hugging our goodbyes… until this coming Sunday, when we head to Hill Country BBQ for Live Band Karaoke to celebrate her mid-year birthday (her real birthday falls on December 31st).
At MiN New York, Left to Right: Attar De Roses by Keiko Mecheri, Mogador by Keiko Mecheri, Rose Opulente by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Whips and Roses by Kerosene, 3 Fleurs by Parfum D’Empire, Attar by Montale
I couldn’t resist a stop at Chobani SoHo Cafe on my way home. Pistachio + Chocolate. Fig + Walnut + Clover Honey. Smoked Salmon, Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flake Salt, Dill and Bagel Chips!
Above, the line outside a coffee shop. And people say it’s a cliche that New Yorkers dress in black.
Come, Go, Leave. It’s what I thought, as I walked the street shown above. A welcoming red door, enticing you to come. The red stop sign. The red Vespa to get on with it. More photos from my day here»