Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Mission

Before I head home to New Jersey today, I had to go on a mission, a holiday mission.

My mission: CUPCAKES!

My mother would probably disown me if I didn't show up today with Crumbs cupcakes. Over the summer, my mom came into the city to see a show with me. I made the mistake of taking her to Crumbs for a vanilla cupcake. She hasn't been the same since. Every time I visit her, I must come baring cupcakes. And I must only bring Crumbs.

I'm an equal opportunity cupcake eater and I've tried my hardest to turn my mom onto Magnolia, Buttercup and Billy's. She wont have any of it. It's only Crumbs for her.

This time my mom asked for a cake from Crumbs cake for Christmas Eve dessert but I just could not resist the cute Christmas cupcakes.

A holiday assortment.


Crumbs also has great coffee. And by great coffee I mean, it's good but they have the best lids! I never spill on myself like I usually do with Starbucks.

Isn't my hat adorable? I'm so proud of it. I never look cute in hats and I found this one yesterday (paid more than I should have) and it just worked.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's Christmas Time in the City

It's busy in the city.
It's cold in the city.
It's crowded in the city.


It's been snowing in the city.
It's festive in the city.
It's fun in the city.

It's almost Christmas. And I promise to be back in action with this blog after the holiday.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Goodbye Weekend

This weekend, my friends and I had a going away extravaganza for our dear friend Alex. In exactly one week, she will be moving from Hoboken, NJ back hometown of Chicago, IL.

To celebrate, 10 of us went to Jane in the West Village. We sat at a large square table in the downstairs dining room. It was the perfect table for a celebratory dinner. I could easily talk to the girls sitting next to me and speak just as easily to my friends sitting across the table. After ordering four bottles of wine for the table, I made a short toast to Alex and the group began telling their favorite stories about Alex. Any by favorite, I mean most embarrassing.

For appetizers we ordered goat cheese flat bread (I'll eat anything with goat cheese), crispy sesame calamari and toasted ricotta gnocchi. The gnocchi was, hands down, one of the most amazing dishes I have ever eaten. Each piece of pasta was toasted, giving it a texture that isn't usually experienced with gnocchi and the white truffle cream that it was served with was beyond decadent. Because there were 10 of us, I only ate two pieces of gnocchi but I certainly plan on returning for the dish.

I ordered the steak frites for dinner. Around the table were also orders of the steak salad, roasted Scottish salmon, seared ahi tuna and more. The steak frites was fantastic but for the entire meal, I was craving more of the gnocchi.

We polished off several more bottles of wine. Told more stories. Ordered dessert. Had a great last supper as a group with Alex.

Laura with the guest of honor Alex.


Megan and Molly toasting.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Lately, in an effort to save money, my boyfriend, Ben, and I have been trying not to go out much. This basically translates to me cooking pasta and a salad or breakfast for dinner. The last time we went to a restaurant was a few weeks ago when I was visiting Ben in his stomping ground. The beautiful Trenton, New Jersey.

We had a lovely lunch at this place called T.G.I.Friday's. Never heard of it? I suggest you try it. We each had an entree and a soda for $22!

However, this weekend marked our 2-year anniversary. To celebrate, we decided to splurge a little bit and go out for a nice dinner. Alex suggested a fairly new restaurant in Nolita called Elizabeth. Once I spotted pumpkin ravioli on the menu, I was sold. There was still a pesky burger on the menu, though. In my restaurant search, I was trying desperately to find a restaurant without a burger on the menu. Ben always orders a burger. Always.

We ended up going to Elizabeth. Located on Elizabeth Street, the restaurant was somewhat hard to spot. There wasn't a sign or a number to be found so I awkwardly asked "Is this Elizabeth?" before we walked in.

I sometimes feel too young to be at a nice restaurant without my parents or my Uncle Don. My Uncle Don is usually the one introducing me to the fancy restaurants of Manhattan. I've been spoiled by his restaurant choices and his pressure to try new food. The last time I went out with him, I tried caviar for the first time.

Ben and I arrived early enough to be seated in the back room. The bar in the entrance was very comfy feeling and the lounge room on the way to the back room felt, well like a lounge. There were fire places with big comfy chairs for a unique dining experience and bottles of wine covering the walls. But I was glad we were in the back because, after seeing pumpkin ravioli on the menu, I loved the picture on the restaurant's website.

The ambiance created by the candles and plants was romantic and fun. Ben had the Crispy Cheese Burger with Garlicky Garlic Fries. The fries were thick fries served with a ketchup, mustard and mayo sauce that I just wanted to keep licking off my fork. The pumpkin ravioli was served on a smaller a plate and, at first, I was disappointed with the portion. It ended up being the perfect serving size for me. I ate every late bite.

At the end of dinner, I told Ben that I definitely want to come back. *hint hint*

I <3 NY

I fell in love with New York in 2006. It was the summer before my senior year of college. I was interning in Midtown and living in Chinatown. For 10 weeks, my best friend and I lived in an NYU dorm with 4 other girls. Two from North Carolina and 2 from Missouri. Together we all discovered our love for Manhattan.

Me, Anna (NC Girl), Alex (Best Friend), Catherine (NC Girl)

As a child, I hated New York. But with family all over the tri-state area, I made the trip to the city often. Mostly during the holidays. I was terrified of the loud noises, bright lights and crowds of New Yorkers, tourists and homeless people.

I vividly remember boarding the Metro North train to Connecticut with my Mom and Dad when I was about 5 or 6. I battered woman boarded the train. Her clothes were torn and she had scratches on her face. She explained to the passengers that she'd been mugged on her way to Grand Central and needed train fare to get home. She scared me so much. We later learned from a family friend that this woman was regular beggar on the train. Telling the same story every weekend to a new set of train passengers. Little did I know that this would the first of many beggars I'd experience on the train.

That experience could explain why, even after using public transportation in Italy, France, Budapest, and Germany, I was still scared of the subway at the age of 21. But there is nothing like living in Chinatown and needing to get to Columbus Circle by 9am to force a girl onto the subway.

That summer, I made some mistakes, like walking four blocks to the subway in 3 1/2 inch heels. And I had some small triumphs, like kissing a sailor during Fleet Week (I thought I was soooo Sex and The City). I fell in love and knew I had to come back one day.

Finally, a little over 2 years later, I'm back...