Monday, April 11, 2011


This winter has been particularly tough on me.

While I didn't entirely go into complete shut down mode (I just can't), every outings required a lot of preparation and willpower in order to face sub-zero celsius temperatures, gail force winds and/or mounds of snow for 5 excruciatingly long months.

I still managed to experience new places around the City.

Most notable amongst them were the amazing food at ABC Kitchen. The cozy atmosphere at Smith & Mills in Tribeca - an old coach-house converted into a diminutive bar. The Ace Hotel bar which is great for pre-dinner drinks and impromptu silly picture-taking sessions in their retro photo booths before grabbing dinner at the Breslin. Oh and of course the live jazz brunch at Fig & Olive in the Meat Packing district.

I also went to a lot of Knicks games and wildly cheered for my beloved boys through the course of them securing a spot in the play-offs for the first time in 7 years. My obsession with the game is now at an all time high and shows no sign of abating. I even paid a lot a money to see them play the Lakers at MSG and even though I was supporting my home team, I literally swooned at how amazing and talented Kobe Bryant is.

I even took a trip out of the island (as I lovingly, yet ironically, call Manhattan) that didn't involve flying when ES, CS, SM and I rented a car and drove up to the Hudson valley for a spot of wine tasting at the Brotherhood Winery, which I highly recommend for the rather eccentric but endearing tour guide, rather than the wine as such.

But regardless of the above, it took no less than 4 trips to sunnier climes in as many months to help me stay somewhat sane - a record, even for me!

I first went to Phoenix AZ for work at the end of January where I was stranded for an extra couple of days because of the crazy snow storms in NYC at the time ... days I of course spent by the pool while working on my laptop.

Followed shortly by a weekend in Miami in February for LJ's annual birthday celebrations where I once again reveled yet laughed at the parallel universe that South Beach is - I still maintain that it is like walking into a "Pimps & Hos" party at any time of the day or night.

In March, the girls and I went to Barbados for 5 days to live it up Caribbean style - it made for an unforgettable trip and tales far too outlandish to publicly share.  I have pretty much been planning my permanent move over there since I got back - something to do with compulsory day time Rum Punch consumption and perhaps also because someone made me appreciate jet skiing more than I ever did before :)

Concluding with my latest escape this past weekend to Treasure Island in Florida to stay with my dear friend FM who lives there. I only booked the flight the week before, on a whim, after spending yet another night at home with my portable heater aimed directly at me in order to stay warm (for context - I have to have an additional heating source because the central heating in my apartment is not enough to keep it above 18C in winter!).

I only spent 48 short hours there but it was worth it. Lying on the beach. Listening to the gentle sounds of waves crashing. Alfresco brunches. Alfresco dinners. Catching up with FM and putting the world to right until the early hours of the morning while sipping wine on her outdoor patio and petting her beautiful Dalmatian dog Bridie.

My next trip, in a week and a half, is not an escape to sunnier climes (although the weather will be pretty nice there by then) but more of an emotional recharge - I am going to my parents for a week to catch up with my family and finally get to meet my adorable niece who was born in January but that I have only seen on Skype. My brother, despite being the youngest one, is the most settled and mature and is now the proud father of a gorgeous baby girl. I thought that I would be fairly blase about the whole thing (as did all my friends and family who know I am not a "baby person") but it turns out that when the brother you utterly adore has an offspring, you fall head over heels in love with his baby too! I really can't wait until the moment I hold her into my arms and see my beloved brother in her, although my entire family tells me that she has my eyes which will no doubt freak me out. And then I want to get 8 hours full sleep for a week. I still have my priorities straight!

The quote that "New York is a great city to live in if you can afford to get out of it" has never felt more true to me until this particularly long and dreary winter, which still feels like it will never end. I know full well how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to travel as much as I do - a luxury that is not available to everyone although my inaptitude for financial planning and desire to live in the present are entirely to blame for it!

But upon my return from France, when the weather should have definitely turned to Spring here too, I should be back to my usual self and hopefully have more to share on this great City than my constant need to escape it!