Le Foot

Les Bleus are currently playing a soccer match against Sweden. If France wins, they have a chance at the final 8 in the UEFA Euro 2012 championship…VIVE LA FRANCE!

I am literally watching the game live on my work computer. I know, I’m bad. I just wish I was at the game! Or the next best thing, watching the game at a crowded bar, as I did this past weekend.

My friend and I spent Sunday afternoon walking around Chelsea Market and after some yummy Taco Truck, we decided it was time for a beer. As we strolled down through The West Village, we heard loud cheering and remembered that there was a soccer game on. The bar with the noise seemed all wrong (let’s just say that the crowd was dressed for a polo match or golf tournament, not a soccer game).  Luckily, I had another place in mind.  

During a different soccer game a few weeks (or months) back, I had passed a very crowded bar in The East Village where the sound of excited screaming and clinking of beer mugs poured from the inside.  If I had been with friends, I would have joined the party, but instead I made a mental note of the place for next time.  Here was my “next time!” 

The only problem was I didn’t exactly remember the street.  I pride myself on having a keen sense of direction but I didn’t want to miss the game due to a wild goose chase moment.  I got us to the area around St Mark’s place and hoped for the best.  Before we knew it, we heard the cheers and saw people seeping from the bar onto the sidewalk to watch the game from outside.  This was the place!

As we shuffled in, the first thing I noticed was the amount of kids lining the benches, eyes glued to the TV.  At that moment I knew this place would be fun.  It just felt so European to be packed in like sardines with a bunch of crazy Portuguese fans who brought their entire families out to watch the match on a Sunday afternoon.  To a bar no less!  When something good happened, everyone cheered and when it was a bad call, unidentifiable Portuguese insults were made. A true community effort.

Soccer, or more appropriately for this blog, football, has always been a sport I love. Almost every kid in my town grew up playing soccer for our township. It was just something that you did; you swam for the local swim team in the summer and played soccer in the fall. Then in college, many of my close friends played on the soccer teams (men’s and women’s) and going to their games was always something I prioritized. So when I lived in France last year, I was happy to be in a very soccer fanatic culture. There is nothing necessarily wrong with “American football” or baseball, but it’s safe to say that I am less enthusiastic about them compared to soccer. It must be my international heart that has created this soft spot for the sport since one thing I love about it is the very international appeal it has. Even when I traveled to Ethiopia, soccer was the link that allowed us to connect with the kids. Soccer to me is community and globalism. 

My friend and I spent the rest of Sunday afternoon drinking and jumping with joy as Portugal defeated the Netherlands. It was the perfect way to watch a sports game.  The perfect atmosphere for soccer in my opinion; since I couldn’t be at the game that is 🙂

MDCV

Happy Friday everyone.  It has been a gorgeous afternoon.  I hope the weather cooperates all weekend because I have a baseball game to attend and some major Vitamin D to soak up 🙂 

Here are some random (if not very food-related) notes from my week on the web.

I really love this story about a Prussian baroness and her car.  Lifestyles like hers always seem unreal to me.  Credibility was created when I read that they found a cigarette with a lipstick stain in the car.  Like she just vanished…facinating!

Remember my post about fruit cakes?  Well, I was reading some David Lebovitz the other night and whattaya know…he made a fruit cake. Of course he called it Tu bi’Shvat, a Hebrew word, but it was a fruit cake for sure.  I enjoy David but I’m still not on board with the cake of fruit.  Lets just enjoy some dried fruit and stop putting it in cakes.

Alone time is so great and often overlooked in life.  Make sure to take time for you this weekend.

New restaurant Rosemary’s opens this coming week.  I love that the food from the rooftop garden “gets dropped down to the dining room in a basket on a block and tackle.”  Adding this spot to my list. 

Summer and popsicle. Who doesn’t have a memory involving these two delights? For me, I remember desserts of Dole fruit popsicle as a kid.  My sisters and I would grab a popsicle and run to the swing set in our backyard where we would swing for hours as liquid juice dripped down our hands.  After reading this article I may just have to find a swing set to go with my “adult popsicle” 🙂

Summertime fruit make me so happy

Stepping In

Last Friday I left you with a photo of a building in NYC.  I said that I had fulfilled a dream by having a meeting inside said building.  So what was this building/dream you might ask?

The Condé Nast building! 

I had a meeting at 4 Times Square last week and it was truly a “New York moment” for me. 

Since my move to this metropolis, networking has been my claim to fame.  I keep joking that I should write a book on the topic but really, I should.

Long networking story short, someone I know, knows someone at The New Yorker and I quickly found myself sitting in a lobby where the walls were covered with magazine covers past.  I was shaking. No literally, I was so nervous that I was physically trembling.  This was not an interview but the blessing and curse with networking/informational meetings is that you never know what might come out of them.  So I wanted to be prepared.  I mean this was the thing I had come to NYC to pursue: magazine publishing; specifically within Condé Nast.

So after some time waiting in what should be referred to as the no-mans-land of waiting rooms (It was so quiet and nobody was around.  Not even a receptionist exisits.), I was walked back to my meeting.  It was a super helpful brainstorming, netowkring and advice taking rendez-vous.  I left with a handful of New Yorker magazines and a new pep in my step/an enthusiasm to continue on my job search.  I finally got my foot in the door at Condé Nast and that was always going to be the first step (Oh me and my puns).

Je cherche un croissant

I have been stressing over money, jobs and my trip to France in two weeks!  I am so excited to go back to Europe and visit all of my dear friends, but I am also broke like no joke. 

My stress level along with the reality that I didn’t have any food in the apartment led me to satisfy a craving for something special.  A buttery croissant obviously (I realize it’s really not that obvious to most–just go with it).  The problem: I have never had an authentically delicious, crispy, lick-your-fingers buttery croissant outside of France.  I thought that perhaps NYC, with its many cultural riches, would be the place to find one, but so far no luck.  I must preface that statement by noting that since I have moved here, I have not eaten a whole lot of croissants; hell, I havent been eating much of anything exciting (oatmeal is my budget-friendly meal).  Still, I know just by looking at a croissant if it is worthy.  Most are not.  

My croissant must be crispy on the outside, buttery on the inside and flaky enough to fall apart as I break off the ends and dunk them into my coffee.   

With my craving growing, my mind suddenly remembered a little place I had once stumbled upon in SoHo.  I had been walking home in the rain and took a random dip inside a pâtisserie to eat a fruit tarte I saw in the window.  I was blown away by the feeling I got when I walked into Ceci Cela.  Maybe it was the smell, or the fact that the man waiting on me had a strong French accent, but the place had a European flair I have not yet found in America.  

So this morning I took the detour on the way to work and ordered two croissants. With the butter visibly soaking spots on the bag, I realized I couldn’t wait for the office to dig in (I sort of knew this would happen–my reason for ordering two).  I never thought food could change my mood so quickly but it did.  Right there, walking up Lexington Avenue, I was transported back to France, back to a place that I cherish.  Sitting at my favorite café, dipping my flaky croissant into un café and making small talk with the cute waiter…then I hear the New York accented cat-calls from the construction workers and realize I was indeed still in this crazy city. 

Long story not so short, need a croissant? A truly delicious taste of France?  Head to Ceci Cela mes amis! Laurent Dupal really knows how to do it right.  And when you’re a girl in NYC, not really sure what you are doing with your life, a croissant can take the edge off…if only for un moment.

MDCV

It’s been one of those weeks kids! Insanity at its finest and it doesn’t end with this post.  Work is continuing all weekend long for cette fille!  Ugh.  I hope to find time in between work and sleep to catch up on some of these posts lingering on my dash.  They were neglected this week but I am so excited to share them with you once they are ready! 

I did get a chance to surf the web (tid bits below) and I even saw another French film this week (indoors this time).  The movie, La Piscine, which features the beautiful Romy Schneider, was a bit twisted and very circa 1960s.  I havent quite figured out what I thought yet, but it did successfully make me want to be on a lazy summer vacation.  Guess I’ll just have to dream about that one…

Here are my bits of randomness:

//A nice interview from the blogger at one of my daily reads.  She talks about something I hope to stumble into one day…blogging as my job.

//I feel I find the best videos on Vimeo.  Is it the platform itself or just that really awesome people use Vimeo?  Well, I found one that was super cute this week.  The idea of putting things behind a curtain and having it be…well, just watch to find out 🙂

//This is fun stuff to know!  And even more fun (for me) is that I have actually locked lips at two of the places on the list. 😉

//Funny how trends pop up on very different blogs at the same exact time: Garance and Miss James are both talking about Hasbeens.

//I want to capture a moment in action like this.  Photo project for my weekend??

I will see you all early next week and I promise to have some great stuff to share!  Enjoy the weekend.  Relax, eat good food, spend time with good people and soak in that Vitamin D!

//P.S.// How could I forget to tell you guys: I had a meeting inside my dream building.  Do you recognize it?

I will fill you in Monday…

A Movie under the stars

Have you ever been on a date in Central Park?  Isn’t it a typical dream date destination?  Like the Eiffel Tower….ok I might have taken that too far.

There is, none the less, this fantastical feeling about New York and Central Park.  The horse and buggy rides (is carriage ride more romantic?), a lazy hot summer day picnicking in the lawn or just sitting by the Alice and Wonderland statue.  It’s like a dream.  I imagine that these feelings manifest themselves in my mind because of Hollywood’s influence.  So many movies use Central Park in a pivotal movie moment.

Speaking of movies, how about a drive-in movie?  Dream date destination? Romantic?  I think it is!  Again, the movies and TV come into play here.  I think of Sandy and Danny (Grease reference) smouching in the backseat when I hear drive-in theater.  It’s that element of bad-ass winning me over here.  The park has charm but a drive-in movie has sex appeal.

So what happens when we eliminate the car, add French people and place it all in Central Park?  Well folks, let’s just say my Friday night involved just that.  Don’t get any ideas…I was not on a romantic date.  I was however watching a French movie under the stars, on a blanket in Central Park.  It was just like the movies 😉

Friday night the popular summer attraction, Films on the Green, kicked-off in Central Park.  The series of free outdoor French movies (with english subtitles bien sûre) has been successful for the past five years.  Organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and NYC Parks, it is a fun event for anyone passing through the city during June and July.

I made my way to Central Park as dusk began to fall.  Unfortunately, the rain clouds were also falling.  Although the weather was “up in the air” people still made it to the lawn with blankets, wine, sweatshirts and umbrellas (just in case).

After a brief word from the coordinator (who gave a valiant effort at a few French phrases), the film began promptly at 8:30pm.  The movie, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: le Caire Nid d’Espions), was a James Bond meets The Pink Panther style comedy by Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius.  It was very French; Duh!  No, but seriously, French movies are a lot different from American flicks.  For one, story lines are a bit disorganized and jokes are more slap-stick in French movies.  French movies almost feel indie in a way because the mega Hollywood movie houses are not crafting specific outcomes to achieve desired ratings.  That is not to say French directors have no interest in good press.  It just doesn’t seem to drive such cookie-cutter creations as I tend to notice in America.

The James Bond satire was funny (I definitely laughed out loud) and clever.  The characters’  personalities were the driving factors keeping me interested (oh and Jean Dujardin himself of course) rather than an intensely twisted plot.  There were no crazy surprises and everything was rather elementary but I enjoyed my evening.  Good film or not, going to these outdoor screenings is a treat and fun summer experience that I recommend.  It brings you back to the days of drive-ins and dating, and who doesn’t like to feel a bit French every once in a while.

MDCV

I am excited for a weekend of not-much-to-do!  I work tomorrow night (productive move) and will spend the rest of the weekend on me (essential move)!  I plan on lounging, reading, cleaning and maybe making some yummy food.  To kick off the weekend, tonight I’m going to go to Central Park for an outdoor screening of the French film OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES.  This is the fifth year that the French Embassy and NYC Parks have come together to put on this event.  There will be five total screenings throughout June and July and ce soir is the kick-off.  J’ai hâte de les regarder!

This weekend I might even make time to decorate my room; something I’ve been putting off.  I love this collage idea for my bare walls. I did a similar design when I redecorated my room at my parents’ house post-France.  The photos were from my travels abroad.  When I moved to NYC, I decided to start fresh so I guess I should get to step 1 and decide what to hang.

Of course besides my rendez-vous au parc, these weekend activities are all indoors.  With the nice weather we have (of course it may rain this weekend), I will need to take a stroll around with my camera.  Love snapping photos in the city.  I do sort of wish I was at the beach again this weekend (I’m such a beach bum).   Bike riding in beach towns on a lazy weekend..that woudl be ideal!  Soon I guess I could find myself joy riding around Manhattan with the rent-a-bike system.  Speaking of bikes (why do I continue to do this?) I found some fun for fellow biking enthusiasts.  You must check out these fun accessories.  From Nantucket style baskets to wine holders and wooden handlebars, there may be no limit for your bike!

I leave you with a beautiful song from some young talent.

Bon weekend mes amis!