I couldn't be more thrilled for the weekend - my brother, Max, and sister-in-law, Margaux (that's us in the photo below), are in the city for a visit.
This means lots of eating (last year, we embarked on a culinary whirlwind that included hibiscus doughnuts, chai tea sticky buns, duck rillettes, pork sandwiches, wild mushroom risotto, and banana cream pie - all in the course of a single afternoon). I'm also hoping to persuade Margaux to join me on an adventure for my new series - the only question is, what to do?
Until next time, a few dreamy links to start the weekend:
Argentinian musicians Hernan and Faca - perhaps better known to their fans as the band Polaco Sunshine - rehearse in a dilapidated Buenos Aires mansion under a curtain of shimmering gold, before a spellbound audience of tiny toy animals.
These photos of the duo, taken by Siobhan Frost, caught my attention immediately. They're featured on Frost's website, Slanted Mansion, which documents creative homes and workspaces.
"Garden space, random empty rooms and crumbling balconies are perfect for inspiring creativity," Frost writes of the mansion.
Can't think of anything cooler. I'd love to have a music space like this in my future home.
Rop van Mierlo's self-published book, Wild Animals, is, he says, "a wild book for civilized people." (Or, among other possibilities, he writes, it's a "sophisticated book for wild people.") Whichever it is, it's pretty darn sweet. And now, you can buy it here.
Side note: I've realized, after several months of blogging, that I could easily author a blog solely about animals. In fact, it's a bit of a struggle for me to refrain from posting cute photos of animals all the time on Sho & Tell. Maybe I should just give in...
Recent vintage finds on Etsy include a mild-mannered feline with emerald green eyes, a cream-colored silk dress bedecked in gold sequins, a nearly century-old guide to Jiu Jitsu, and a dictionary twenty-thousand words strong. Who says antiquing has to be a snooze?
The first time I tried Big Gay Ice Cream, I'd just moved to New York and was midway through an afternoon of ice-cream tasting around the city (just another day in the life of this dessert fanatic).
Back then, the ice cream was being served from a truck by charismatic co-founder - and bassoonist! - Doug Quint. (Pictured above is the vanilla ice cream with curry powder and ginger syrup that I ordered that day, per Quint's suggestion.) Now, two years later, Big Gay Ice Cream is a bricks-and-mortar shop on East 7th Street, one of my favorite food destinations in the city. The shop is tiny - but not so tiny that there isn't room for a bedazzled unicorn mural on the main wall (and yes, that's a portrait of Bea Arthur she's sporting around her neck).
Spurred on by NYC's recent abundance of springtime sunshine, I've already visited twice this week. Yesterday afternoon, I tucked into this spectacular creation, the Monday Sundae: chocolate and vanilla soft serve heaped inside a Nutella-smeared waffle cone, enrobed in whipped cream and dulce de leche, and flecked with sea salt.
Since Big Gay Ice Cream is known for unusual toppings - cayenne pepper, wasabi pea dust, sriracha, elderflower - this delectable treat was relatively tame; next time, I'm looking forward to trying something a little more adventurous. The Mexican Affo-gay-to? The Gobbler? The Cococone? I'm ready. Viva spring!
These photos, from Holland's Nationaal Archief, depict wacky doodads of years past: bathing suits made of wood, a "one wheel motor cycle," bicycle tire flotation devices, and a pram with a radio attached ("to keep the baby quiet"). I don't know about you, but I'd be curious to see what a wooden bathing suit feels like - those one-shouldered versions pictured below look pretty hip to me. See more, here.
Any exciting plans for the weekend? I'll be doing some spring cleaning, meeting a few friends for brunch, and, of course, enjoying my homemade cheese. See you back here Monday!
How do I love cheese? Let me count the ways - or, rather, the varieties. Soft, hard, old, young, mild, wild, stinky, raw; you name it, chances are I've tried it and loved it. But, as I realized recently, even though my passion for cheese borders on obsession, I really don't know much about it. So I decided to learn more and share the experience here. What better way to kick off my brand-new adventure series, I figured, than an exploration into all things cheese?
First step: with the help of a brilliant new website called Course Horse, I enrolled in Cheese 101, an introductory course held at Manhattan's famed Murray's Cheese Shop (New Yorkers, I highly recommend Course Horse - it makes signing up for classes in the city so easy and convenient. You can search by interest, location, price, age - it's really fantastic).
I recruited my friends, Stephania and Davey, (pictured below) as partners-in-crime, and on a brisk Sunday afternoon, we joined a handful of fellow dairy connoisseurs for ninety minutes of cheese-filled fun.
Upstairs at Murray's West Village headquarters, each student was given a board loaded with an eclectic array of of cheeses, a pamphlet for note-taking, and a seemingly bottomless wine glass. Under the guidance of our very knowledgeable teacher, Sydney, we tasted, touched, and sniffed our way through the basics of cheese. It was a lovely way to spend an evening - and I can't wait to try this class next.
A few days later, inspired by my newfound knowledge, I decided to take a stab at making cheese from scratch, and chose this ricotta recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I assumed the process would be complicated. In reality, it was nearly foolproof. What's more, I splurged on top-quality milk and cream, and still, the ingredients set me back less than $10 (the cheesecloth was given to me for free by my local butcher).
The process was a quick one, too. I put the ingredients on to boil at noon, and by two o'clock, I had a warm, gorgeous-smelling bowl of fluffy, decadent ricotta.
Cheese lover that I am, I wondered, what's taken me so long to try this?
Voila! Success. Looking forward to the next adventure...
First photo via Brooklyn Brewery. (Know who took it? Please let me know so I can give proper credit!) The rest by me.
A team of talented designers are challenged to create original work inspired by one word relating to optimism. The result? Citizens for Optimism. Below, a few of my favorites. (Oh, and while we're on the subject, a few things that have made me happy lately: going coatless on deliriously warm March days, this movie, squinting in the sunshine at a McCarren Park picnic. What about you?)
First off, a big thank you for your support and enthusiasm for my new adventure series! I'm so glad you're excited, and I can't wait to share the first post a little later this week. In the meantime, here's another installment of Monday morning daydreaming.
Today, I'm loving Ann Wood's extraordinary creations, including a stately cardboard castle and an elegant shipwreck,
On my eighteenth birthday, I jumped out of a plane. It was the first in a series of decisions I made just before college to try as many new things as possible. And after taking that first leap, I was addicted. I joined a choir (despite not being able to carry a tune). I learned to knit. I attempted French. I rode an elephant in India and searched for tigers in the jungles of Cambodia. I took a flying lesson,
lived on a farm,
and learned about the sweet (and scary) world of beekeeping.
Then, something happened. Work happened. Bills happened. My adventurous experiments slowed, and eventually stopped altogether. It's been a while since I've pushed myself to try something new - and I miss it. I'm dying to start again.
So here's my idea: I figure, being adventurous doesn't have to occur on a grand scale - no airplanes, elephants, or international travel required. Trying something new can be as simple as attending a workshop, whipping up a new recipe, riding a bike instead of taking the bus. Starting next week, and continuing on a semi-regular basis, I'd love to share my return to the adventurous here on my blog. I can't wait. I hope it'll be inspiring - for me and for you, too.
In the meantime, have a very happy weekend! I'll see you Monday.
Last night, it was still light out at quarter past six. I left my coat at home (it was 70 degrees in New York City yesterday), and took a walk to the cheese shop. Along the way, I spotted a man playing violin on a crowded street corner. People sat on their fire escapes and watched, legs dangling. It made me happy. Then I came home and stumbled upon a photo of a broccoli treehouse, and that made me happy, too.
There's little I like more about the weekend than a long, luxurious brunch. Saturday morning found me at the Rabbithole with Stephania (who took this beautiful shot of our scrumptious spread).
Come Sunday, I was being whisked away to Tribeca's Plein Sud in this show-stopping ride, courtesy of Bravo. (Little known fact about me: I'm addicted to all things Bravo. From Queer Eye to Top Chef, Project Runway to Rachel Zoe, I've watched - and loved - it all.)
In honor of the Wednesday premiere of "Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis," ten NYC taxis were revamped to fit five fabulous themes - mine, as you can see, was fashioned to resemble a ski lodge in Aspen, complete with digital fireplace and John Denver-laced soundtrack. (The cabs will be circling the city through Wednesday, so if you're in New York, keep your eye out!)
After being dropped off at the restaurant, I was lucky enough to preview the new show over pancakes and mimosas, in the company of a lovely group of bloggers and editors - quite a big thrill for this self-professed Bravo addict. A big thank you to everyone involved for such an exciting afternoon.