Category Archives: New York

5 Napkin Burger

I’m not a huge fan of burgers. But I know a damn good one when I eat one.

My friend was interning in New York over the summer and her office would send her out to pick up burgers for lunch. Finally, Katie tried it and understood why it was worth the car they sent for her, and she took me to the hell’s kitchen location of 5 Napkin Burger for dinner.

I decided to try this burger of 5 napkins, assuming that surely the namesake of the restaurant would be at least remotely satisfying. It was so much more than that. It oozed. It dripped. I felt the sensation of the taste of this burger throughout my entire body and as I chewed each bite was more rich and delectable than the first. This is the best burger I’ve ever had.

I don’t even like half the ingredients, but together they do something WILD. There’s one in the Prudential Center, and Katie and I frequent it more than the average post-freshman-fifteen college student should. Some things, like anything with a rosemary aioli, are just worth it.

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helLA

Los Angeles, California is the worst. L.A. BLOWS. L.A. SUCKS. L.A. is helL.A. L.A., dear L.A.-obsessed Los Angelians, is NOT a spectacular microcosm of glory, as you clearly have been misled to believe. L.A. is an infested black hole of environmentally-friendly SMOGFESTS.

A born and bred East Coaster, I first really came across the L.A.-obsessed Los Angelians when I arrived at college. Boston University prides itself in diversity, and I found this bizarre species of L.A.-bred West Coaster around every turn. Recycling, avocado-loving, drinking tea not coffee, going to yoga, driving, these SoCalies were everywhere.

I don’t care for avocado. Accordingly, I don’t care for guacamole. Tell someone from California that you don’t like avocado and they look at you like you’ve murdered their first-born. They don’t understand it. They can’t comprehend it. “But… huh?” It’s a texture thing. I just don’t like it. #CALMDOWN.

It’s not that I HATE Los Angeles. It’s just that people from there LOVE IT. Stop. It’s not New York. It’s not Manhattan, the center of the universe. It’s not that I HATE Los Angeles. It’s just that New York is just so much better.

Chill. Chill Cali Brah, L.A. is awful. There’s smog and pollution, and you can’t even see the crystal clear blue skies for a solid 200 feet because there’s a layer of blech before the blue. The people are vacuous and women wear high heels too much. Not every occasion is a high-heel-appropriate occasion. Yet, why not rock pumps, when you all drive everywhere.

I take huge, huge, issue with this huge issue and cannot begin to express the convulsing disgust I have with the driving in L.A. If the Nail Salon is building number 4820, to arrive at the Coffee Bean at 4824, biddies would gas up the white beamer to pick up an Ice Blended?! Well, you have to. The “city” is not conducive for walkers.

(okay, so LA music: +1)

I love walking. I love the time with my iPod. I love the exercise. I love the time with my thoughts and the people watching and the moseying and the browsing and the sudden adventure of “ooop! I’ll pop into this shop” and “ooop! I’ll run into this old chum of mine!” In L.A.: never. happens. I don’t see familiar faces in 20 minutes of stop and go traffic. I don’t have time to pop into shops when I’m late on account of traffic. I have to spend 50 minutes at a pre-party debating with the room about who is driving and who is calling a cab. Whole conversations like this never need to be had in real cities with socially acceptable forms of public transportation.

Considering L.A. a city in itself is the most outrageous of the falLAcies. How is L.A. a “city” by any definition of the term? Cultural landmarks? A sign, some hotels, and some theaters. Historic landmarks? A sign, some hotels, and some theaters. Tourist attractions? A sign, some hotels, and some theaters. There’s no culture in L.A., aside from the culture of LOVING L.A. What Kool-Aid is in the L.A. water that no one drinks because everyone sips bottled water out of their environmentally-conscious SIGGS?

The only redeeming quality of L.A. is the damn weather. Sweet sunshine, the weather is good. Really good. So you can’t be in a bad mood because of the happy sun-shining sunshine. But the smiling sunshine benefits are all negated by Los Angelians’ irrational decision that nice weather is all that matters in a life. When one L.A.ian meets another, the first and only thing they talk and bond about is their own irrational infatuations with the climatic differences between the coasts. Anything about L.A. is validated to the species of SoCal-obsessed SoCallies by the nice weather. “Well yea we don’t have seasons cause we kept the best ones,” “Well in a matter of minutes I can get to any climate I want.” Since when are these traits we all desperately had been seeking in a city? Los Angelians tout the weather as though all any other city dwellers do is gripe about how miserable the weather is and aspire to have weather like that of Los Angeles. Why do I need to be an hours’ drive from various climates? Why don’t I want all four seasons? I can visit your sh!tty c!ty.

bret easton ellis ref.

I’m not saying the city should disappear here or anything, but I do think it’s about darned time that the folks from Southern California take their own chill pills and acknowledge that there’s more to being an amazing town than warm weather and abundant weed. So please, stop pushing your laid-back Cali-ness on the rest of us and if you hate it so much here on the East Coast as you integrate into every conversation from “chilly” October to “too-humid” July, then GO. HOME. #hrumph.

Touched by Alyssa

Fellow NYC-interning-ADPi, Vanessa Misciagna, for some bizarre reason thought of me when she needed “models” for a segment on the PIX11 morning news broadcast.

Alyssa Milano was on the show to chat about her new clothing line, “touch,” which is sportswear for women that can be purchased online or in major ballparks, stadiums, etc. I’m not necessarily a Mets fan, but I am a fan of supporting Vanessa and Who’s the Boss Alyssa, and the very attractive morning co-anchor, John Muller.

It was lots of fun! We dressed up in the clothing (which we got to keep- thanks Alyssa!), and did a quick mock-modeling on the green screen stadium.

Alyssa’s really sweet, and SHE TWEETED US! Which is a huge honor, since this all came immediately after this summer’s Wieden + Kennedy Old Spice hullaballoo. Active tweep? She wins in my book.

 

C’est Ca Va.

In early August I dined at the only-opened-for-lunch new midtown Todd English restaurant, Ca Va. It has since opened fully, though it has yet to be reviewed by NYMag. (The New York Times, however, did compose an extraordinarily accurate review.)

The restaurant was a LITTLE squeaky clean/ chain restaurant- feeling, but the food was pretty good. MAJOR COMPLAINT: THEIR FUNKY MODERN PLATES! A fork could NOT stay propped on the sides of the dinnerware. Very inconvenient to attempt eating with a sauce-drenched fork. This was not “ca va.”  The chicken was REAL GOOD. Yumminess below!

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

Bryant Park, one of my favorite New York time-killing spots (when I have time to kill) offers the (HBO) Summer Film Festival every Monday night June-August.

It’s a GREAT and magical time, where movies start at sundown on the lawn, and people line up, blankets and picnics in hand, by 4pm. Suggestions so you’re not jealous of others’ perfect picnics: wine. brie. hummus. grapes.

I went to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail with my boyfauxriend Greggy, and subsequently made a quick run to snag food, so as to not be overcome with jealousy at the look of everyone’s bags of Trader Joe’s organic glory.

The movie started with a Looney Tunes Pepe Le Peu short, which was probably my favorite thing of all time, and of course I loved watching Python with a crowd of people all anxiously waiting the same epic lines. “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”

The whole experience is delightfully “summer in Manhattan,” and there’s always a cultured selection of films playing week-to-week. I highly recommend.

 

This Tea Party’s Gone Mad

I know, I know: the whole “going MAD,” “mad” world, “mad about Mad Men!” concept has been incredibly overdone, especially lately, but I couldn’t help but draw the Mad Hatter/ Mad Men comparison. As a student majoring in advertising, Mad Men is to the department as Samantha Jones was to PR, or Elle Woods to law schools. Everyone suddenly finds the field sexy and wonderful now that Don Draper lights up a Lucky Strike and makes it so. (and MY GOD does he make it so.) Mad Men has become uncomfortably integrated into my studies, and I know my peers can say much the same. My personal Intro to Advertising notes are riddled with references to the show. Surely I passed the class because rather than “account management” I wrote “Pete Campbell,” and where “art director” would be, my notes instead say “Salvatore Romano,” while the entire “copywriter” portion of the course is entitled “Peggy Olson.” I’m not completely naive, and obviously don’t expect that all agencies in this day and age down Maker’s Mark between meetings. Still, I’ve seen the offices at Y&R, and though there is no “secretarial pool,” there were certainly the ping-pong tables and Rock Band setups to prove that advertising is at least crazy fun, if it isn’t oozing sex.

After a grueling eight months, with only New York Magazine coverage to ease the longing for Roger Sterling’s silver locks, Mad Men is FINALLY BACK this Sunday! AMC is pulling out all the stops, including an updated MadMenYourself, Monday night “Best of” Marathons, the genius Banana Republic Casting Call Contest, and a Times Square Premiere Party that would delight the pants off any secretary. The PR and planning leading up to this season has been so brilliantly crafted, you’d thing only Don Draper himself could concoct this stuff. To honor Mad Men’s return to television, and America’s return to time-traveling, disbelief-suspending bliss (CAUSE I’M SORRY- NO WIFE WOULD EVER LEAVE A HUSBAND AT THIS TIME. I JUST DON”T BUY IT. ESPECIALLY NOT GUTLESS AND MINDLESS BETTY DRAPER, I DON’T CARE HOW CHARMING THIS HENRY FRANCIS MAY BE…), enjoy some of my favorite bits, spoofs, and aspects of arguably the smartest show on television that can appeal to a college student!

BEST SCENE.

God– I mean Don Draper

Cooking & Laundry for Dummies Women

Mad Men in 60 Seconds

Betty Draper, Mother of the Year

Vanity Fair Explains Mad Men

Parenting

Great Scene

Epitome of Why Don is An Epic Ad Man Scene: The Kodak Carousel

Another great Don pitch: Lipstick

and Roger.

Rawther Enchanting

Eloise has always been my favorite New Yorker.

Eloise is quintessential New York epic, running around The Plaza and participating in general awesomeness all the livelong day.

I got the original children’s book as a gift when I was leeeedle, and have idolized her ever since. The reasons why are pretty self-explanatory. The girl has a Nanny, orders room service, and attends custom fittings with Christian Dior.

Strolling through the newly renovated Plaza to grab some quick air conditioning exposure, I had some time and thought I should finally check out the Eloise shop I’d heard about. As it turns out, this shop is JUST LIKE that time when the first American Girl Place opened in Chicago in 1998, and didn’t come to New York until 2003 when my Samantha doll and Bitty Baby were already in a box beneath my bed. THIS MAGICAL SHOP IS ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS TOO LATE.

Where was this glory when I needed someplace for the greatest seventh birthday party of all time?! I was quivering. It was a bit too pink for my personal preference, but they did such a wonderful job of bringing to life the world of Eloise!

All the paraphernalia was too much to take, and I will most certainly have my next birthday party here, and I suggest you do too. We owe it to our seven-year-old selves.