In about 6 hours, I will hate the snow.
But right now, nothing is more beautiful.
I’m worried. Some dangerously delicious places are popping up along my path to work. The new Donut Plant looks to be opening any day now, and Financier just set up shop about 50 feet from the Van Leeuwen coffee truck that I’ve been known to spend $6 at, for a 12 oz. double latte (partially due to the adorable barista). I cringe.
This morning I bypassed the truck and popped into Financier. I was in the mood for something indulgent. Maybe a pain au chocolat. Or maybe.. almond brioche? I’d never seen this before…a thick slice of bread, smattered with almond slices and dusted with powdered sugar. Yet still seemingly light, somehow.
Well, I was smitten with my choice. It was like an unbattered slice of french toast. The crust was sugar-crystallized and crunchy, while the bread itself had a very subtle custard-like consistency that still retained the characteristic open, airy texture of brioche. The almonds were perceptibly toasted, and really added an elegance to the flavor.
I nibbled on this thing for over an hour, alternating with sips of coffee. It was all quite lovely, and perhaps enhanced by the fact that I was also wearing my favorite Lanvin scarf today– watery blues, soft corals and silvery grays.
Ah, the French…they really know how to elevate a cold winter Tuesday.
The online shopping has gotten a bit out of control, lately. I think it started last Fall, when I started to offset my holiday gift purchases with investment-piece purchases for myself. But it’s January now, and after some serious number-crunching, I’ve decided that I need to draw the line. It’s going to be all about window-shopping now, and I can at least make it count by working with what I already have in the closet.
My first encounter with Emilio de la Morena’s designs was when I saw a picture of Leighton Meester at last year’s VMA Awards. Her dress reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movie characters– Leeloo from The Fifth Element, who spent 2 hours running around in an amazing creation designed by none other than Jean Paul Gaultier. White bandages never looked so chic and strategically placed– until they were dyed black and mixed with delicate chiffon by a man named Emilio de la Morena.
Since then, I have obsessively stalked photos of his collections, and I am really loving what I see. Emilio de la Morena is a Spanish designer who was originally a sculptor, which explains the intriguing shapes and architectural qualities to his designs. They’re edgy, bold and futuristic, and in many cases (though not all) he steers clear of costume territory through a brilliant use of soft layering for a very smartly-sexy look. I’m crazy for his mix of details – intricate origami pleats, sculpted ruffles, twisted bodices framed by broad, simple panels of fabric – it’s an incredibly sane expression of crazy.
In the spirit of preserving the remainder of the season, I’d like to tell you about a sexy little summer pie I had back in June that made me want to kick off my platform boots, vacuum pack my sweaters, grab my Ray-Bans and slither into a bikini, New York Times tucked under arm. The key lime pie from Billy’s Bakery is an edible sliver of sunshine that makes me wonder why I ever overlook citrus based desserts.
The custard is a gleaming shade of butter-blond, adorned with a punchy green slice of lime. It has a satiny mouth feel that coats your tongue with a tart bite and melts into a smooth finish. I like to start by gliding a fork straight down the tip of the pie, leaving a slick track that leads straight to the cookie crust. This is not your traditional graham cracker crust – it’s made with peppery gingersnaps that give the pie an attitude more akin to Alexader Wang than Ralph Lauren. It starts out firm and then crumbles into a sweet, spicy sand in your mouth.
And after that, it’s really all just cookie sand, lime silk and eventually, an empty box. Get it while you can – as you may have guessed, it’s a seasonal item.
It’s August now, and so palpably not July. It’s not quite the end of summer, but I wistfully sense the dwindling of those carefree, floaty, distinctly-summer celebrations. The big music festivals are over, Hamptons share houses are down to their last few weekends, and drinking wine out of colored plastic cups in Central Park is starting to feel like an endangered pastime… no longer are we safely cushioned between two seasons. Okay, maybe it’s a bit early to be feeling nostalgic, but I tend to get ahead of myself. My old boss would call it “managing expectations.”
Suitably, on this lovely second day of August, I am feeling a blend of late-summer-lazy and crisp-autumn-academia: