I wasn’t really excited about summer (too hot, too soon) until I finished my run this weekend and stopped by the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket on my way home. Seeing some chives in full bloom, I asked the vendor how they could be used. Holding on to the stem, he gently twisted off the light purple puff at the top and presented me with a handful of blossoms – suddenly I could see weeks mint tea, ripe berries, fat peaches and green tomatoes spreading out before me and couldn’t wait to get started. But, before I get lost in the corn fields, I wanted to catch-up on some articles that popped up in May. Read more
There are so many stories around the mojito but the one I hope is true is that its name comes from the African word for “mojo” or casting spells. This makes perfect sense because, as a friend pointed out, mojitos make everyone happy. Assuming all other conditions are equal and in moderation, a strong mixed drink can make someone pensive or low key, exhilerated or stupefied, wild or reckless, but a mojito – happy. It’s even hard to think of a mojito without smiling, it’s a charming little cocktail. Read more
Some days, Chinatown could pass for Miami’s Little Havana. I have better luck finding tropical produce there than some of the smaller bodegas or upscale markets where a few tiny specimens are overpriced and undersold. A couple of weeks ago, I took the long way home, working my way through the East Village going along the Bowery to Canal St. where the fruit carts are piled high with pitayas, sapotes, and fresh guavas. Coming across a stack of carambola, I heard music. Read more
I hope I’m never too old to play in my mother’s room. Stocked like a beauty counter at Saks and filled with back issues of ¡Hola! (similar to the UK’s Hello! magazine but with fewer Windsors and more Grimaldis), my sister and I treat it like a duty free shop where everything is actually free. Searching through her neat drawers and tables, we call dibs on new masks and eye creams, bracelets and rings we’re sure our grandmother would’ve wanted us to have, charms and trinkets that we casually discarded like the wicked stepsisters when we were younger but now want to reclaim for sentiment, or irony, or both. Overcome with the mami-can-I-haves from the moment we land, we can be pretty tough to take, though in our defense, she gets pretty spoiled when she comes to visit us. Read more
On May 19th, the International Culinary Center is starting a new session of Food Blogging with Steven Shaw, their Director of New Media Studies and founder of e-Gullet. I was talking with a friend interested in starting her own blog the other day and found myself gushing about how much support, encouragement and invaluable information Steven packs into the six-week course (and beyond). If you ever considered starting up your own site or just want help developing the one you have, this is a great way to go about it. This year, they’re also offering one full and one half scholarship to enrolled student. The deadline for submissions is coming up (May 9th) so I hope you’ll click here for more information.