A Summery Day in the Skies of NYC

view from les roof

Here in New York City, no matter how relentlessly hot, devoid of green space, or loud traffic is, sidewalk tables and rooftop decks are sacred. Every year, I sit with friends, sweat rolling down ticklish spots of the body and ice cubes disintegrating into drinks, swearing I’m having the best time of my life. And I mean it with all my heart.

It’s a particular brand of madness we cultivate in this city, and it’s begun again (cicadas be damned). As if a switch were flipped, almost everyone I knew was either hosting or attending a rooftop party this past weekend. Honestly, the only person I knew who didn’t go to one was busy learning how to steer a brand new sailboat (she’s a very fancy friend).

I managed to finagle my way onto three rooftops around Manhattan on Saturday, and I won’t lie: it was one of my proudest accomplishments as a New Yorker.

pool

The day began with prosecco and music poolside atop a luxury building on the lower east side. The deck was, umm, decked out with large round loungers and cushioned armchairs, and everyone looked like a successful actor or model. In the visible distance, we spied the golden roof of the Met Life, the Empire State, and the Chrysler buildings. My friends and I sunned ourselves silly for a few hours, taking turns napping or dipping into the pool to cool off. When we got hungry, sushi was delivered directly to our beach towels, as was a large patio umbrella to ensure we dined in comfort.

In the late afternoon, I reluctantly gathered my things to leave this lap of luxury in the sky, meet up with another friend, and move on to rooftop party #2 (I know, it’s a hard life). It was a quick commute up to Chelsea (although I’d gotten so spoiled at this point that I wondered why no one was fanning me as I traveled).

chelsea view

Once there, we pushed open the door to find a more typical urban rooftop, flat, covered in blacktop and framed with a concrete ledge and railing. The view was quintessentially New York: leafy green treetops filtering golden sunlight in a way that made it sparkle, pre-war buildings with intricate stonework facades, and streets filled with yellow taxicabs and blissfully sweltering pedestrians (they would be complaining by August but for now, they welcomed the heat).

In one corner, the host had set up an oasis of large umbrellas, a sisal rug, a full living room set of chairs and coffee tables, and a buffet of food, wine, and gin punch. We generously helped him finish all of it before traipsing (somewhat unsteadily) onward to rooftop party #3 in Chinatown.

chinatown view

The sun had set on our way to the last party, and the air was more gently warm. We clambered up six or seven flights of stairs to a blacktop roof in the dark, this time with no railing (but outlined in colorful Christmas lights).

It was a luau theme, as evidenced by tiki torches tied to curved metal pipes and an inflatable palm tree that cradled icy cans of beer and a bucket of tropical pink punch. Logic dictated that I drink water at this point, but I decided more alcohol and climbing up on a railing-less ledge to get a picture against the lit-up skyline was a better idea. Hey, it was a day of living large, what can I say!

Image

Some experiences can make you stop and pay attention to things that are usually just in the background of your life. I live in a city where we’ve stacked ourselves in little cubes reaching high into the sky, in order to all fit onto a concrete island floating between different lands. And yet, when summer emerged, we found our ways up and out into open air to greet the sun eagerly.

Spending the day above New York, yet thoroughly immersed in its limitless energy, made my heart swell with love for this great city. At last, summer is here!

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Foodie Freebie Freeeeakout! Bacon, Part One

Omg, you guys! I just got my first foodie freebie today, and it is perfect in every way. A package with thick slabs of slow hickory-smoked, peppery bacon. To be honest, I’m not sure the food vendor wanted to give me anything. He started looking desperate when I wouldn’t let him leave, tossed the meat in the opposite direction of his exit route and took off once I was distracted. I think that’s the same tactic campers use to escape bear attacks.

Whatever the reason, I was united with my lovely bacon (I literally got to bring home the bacon!). I whispered sweet nothings into its ear all the way home, about all the dishes we were going to experience together. I had planned on being virtuously veggie this week, but forget that. This is now Bacon Week.

Tonight I went back to a classic: potato, onion and bacon frittata. I used:

1/2 Spanish onion
1 potato (Idaho) (no, YOU da ho!)
4 thick slabs of artisanal bacon that a kindly stranger hands to you (ask no questions)
6 eggs
milk
salt
pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Save 1/2 onion (to be featured in future Bacon Week recipe). Dice 1/2 onion and caramelize over med-high heat (in an oven-safe pan) with a tiny bit of oil, salt & pepper.

Slice up the potato however you like (I did lil strips this time). Toss potato into a roasting pan, mix in the caramelized onions and put a couple small pats of butter on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 mins.

While that’s baking, cut the beautiful, luscious bacon into small pieces. Crisp on med heat in the same pan that had been used for the onions. Set bacon aside, but leave a little bit of grease in the pan (wipe the outside if any dripped to prevent flames creeping up).

Mix eggs with milk (no need to measure, just whisk some in and see if it looks fluffy enough for you). Toss in a bit of salt and pepper.

Take potato/onion roasting pan out. Take foil off (save the foil) and let cool for 10 mins. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Once cooled enough, pour potato/onion yumminess back into the oven-safe pan that was used to cook the onion and bacon earlier (at this point, I could lick the pan and be happy, it has so much amazing flavor). Pour egg/milk mix on top. Sprinkle bacon everywhere (wow, I might just repeat that phrase everyday like a mantra). Cover with foil (aren’t you glad you saved that foil?) and bake for 30 mins.

Take out, remove foil and let it cool for 10-15 mins. Kill some time by taking pictures of everything and drafting a blog post. Oops, I mean. Kill some time by inviting me over for dinner!

Drool. Eat. Repeat.

Well, That Was Fast and Fab!

This week’s post is about me. Yes yes, I know everybody wants to read more about the mama and the papa. Geez. They’re not even online and they’ve taken over my blog!

Anyhoo, new year, new job! I just started at Fab.com as a copywriter, and it really is as amazing as it seems. If you don’t know the site yet, sign up for a free account. We have a constantly updated roster of artists and cool brands who offer special sales on our site. I’m really debating if I should just ask for my salary to come in the form of store credit.

Funny enough, I was hellbent on staying independent at the end of last year. In a few short weeks, I built a ton of momentum for freelance writing and branding work. It was exciting to indulge in being a workaholic and know that all of my efforts were entirely for myself.

But you know what they say. Love finds you when you’re not looking. Apparently, that applies to jobs as well as relationships. During my daily Fab break (I was serious about the store credit for salary), I did a quick check of their job postings and fell over. After 6 months of hardcore obsessing over this company (have you signed up yet?), they listed a description that was exactly what I wanted as the next step in my career. I can’t even remember writing my cover letter. I think it was basically heavy panting over how much I adored them. It might have counted as sexual harassment if they didn’t like it, but fate was on my side. They reciprocated my feelings, wrote back in 5 minutes flat and allowed me to gush all over them.

My first week has only strengthened my feeling that this is magically right. I am surrounded by smart, driven people who achieve great things in and out of the office. We treat the designers and artists with a ton of respect because we love what they create for the world. That generosity of spirit extends to the way customers and employees are treated, too. I’m just so excited to be part of a company that is out to spread beauty and smiles through the land. This is love.

And to All a Good Morning!

Merry Christmas and Happy CHANukah!!

I’m spending a glorious week with Mama and Papa Channypants to revert to a gurgling, pampered baby. Expect loads of food pics and maybe recipes (sometimes, what Mama does just seems like magic and I don’t want to break the spell) when I’m back.

In the meantime, I wish you and yours the very best. Stay warm, smile a lot, and take naps. You now know the secrets to my happiness.