Perfect shopping break: Half Avocado sandwich with jalapeño pepper, red onion, tomato, lettuce and parsley on whole wheat ($4.40); Latte with mini chocolate ($3.20) — just don’t forget to move the chocolate away from your hot cup o’ coffee, lest you experience the milky goodness in melted form as I did.
Restaurant Info: Aroma Espresso Bar
145 Greene Street
(corner of Houston)
New York, NY 10012
And trust me, sunscreens have come a long way from feeling heavy and gross. I have a couple favorites, starting with Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock SPF 70 (below, left, $10.40) (they actually have a 90+ one out now too!). It’s oil-free and non-greasy which I adore since I can get both oily and greasy come summertime. If your skin is extra oily, I’d suggest to just do a once over with a light, loose powder.
A few of my friends and I used to do a monthly cuisine-themed potluck at their apartment in the East Village. We’re all scattered now, but at our last Italian potluck, we finished off with these scrumptious desserts from Eileen’s Special Cheesecake in Nolita. They pretty much covered everything — pecan, hazelnut, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, cappuccinno, carrot cake, oreo, and fruit tarts. The cheesecakes were so soft and delicious; they definitely hit the spot. I think everyone should end their meals this way, don’t you?
Thanks to our hosts Archana, Summar, and Samar, we have some fun potluck memories — and really happy tummies.
Restaurant Info: Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
17 Cleveland Pl
corner of Kenmare and Centre St.
New York, NY 10012
Bret and Jemaine's new attitude post-hair gel discovery
HBO’s Flight of the Conchords is my favorite comedy series to date. It follows two struggling musicians, Bret and Jemaine, from New Zealand who live in NYC’s Lower East Side and run into hilarious predicaments, whether it’s from dealing with their inept manager, Murray, whose day job is working as New Zealand’s Cultural Attache, or avoiding their #1 fan/stalker/borderline-psychotic follower, Mel.
SO one of their ridiculously funny episodes this season had to do with Murray suggesting the reason people aren’t coming to their shows is because they’re not hip enough. To remedy that, he offers them a tub of hair gel, which after experimenting with, Bret and Jemaine decide they look really cool. The gel magically transforms the way they see themselves — they begin dressing slicker and change their demeanor to resemble a more mysterious, laidback attitude. HILARIOUS.
One thing I love in life is weekend brunch. I just love the idea of rolling out of bed and having the first outing of the day consisting of good food and catching up with friends. I’ve always heard of Sarabeth’s south of Central Park in midtown, but finally went for the first time only a few months ago when my friend Rahela invited me to join her and some of her friends from out of town for brunch.
Their dapper interior includes walls lined with zebra-print booths and spacious round tables for big parties, like our 10-person strong crew, that gave us ample room to enjoy our orders of omelettes and French toast. Prices are comparable to other midtown restaurant locales for brunch, ranging from $7-$16. Sidenote: make sure your whole group arrives on time – they don’t seat you unless you’re all there!
I went to Dubai last October for a week and OMG. I can’t say I had even one bad meal there. Eating time was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Let’s start with Shakespeare and Co. café.
It’s a chain of restaurants that has also expanded itself into a pâtisserie and flower shop. The décor is very cool-granny chic – it has elegant chaises and embroidered upholstered fabric sofas for seating and crystal chandelier lighting throughout, but even more inviting is its laidback fare of paninis, pastas, pizza, coffee blends, and juice cocktails.