An Anniversary Story

October 6th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations, Rituals

There are other benefits to keeping a dinner diary besides the fact that it offers daily meal inspiration as well as tangible, Pilot-Pen-V5 documented evidence of my obsessive-compulsive behavior. And that added benefit is this: It tells a story. It tells the story of how much my cooking has changed from the pre-Michael Pollan days of the 90s (asparagus is constantly showing up in the winter and butternut squash in the spring) and the pre-kid days (Andy and I would spend entire afternoons tracking down obscure ingredients so we could experiment with, say, a lamb kibbeh. Can you imagine having that kind of time?) But, I realized this week as we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary, the diary also tells a short story of New York. By now it’s probably clear how much we like to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries in our house in a big way, and to that end, we almost always try to snag a restaurant reservation somewhere special. And special can be defined in a few ways: It can be personally sentimental (like our first one, with the view you see above, was); it can be trendy (as our 8th in 2005 was) or it can just be classically, insanely awesome (as Le Bernardin at 9 months pregnant was). No matter where we went, though, the dining room always seems be charged with the energy that only a special night out in New York seems to offer. Here’s the list…

First Anniversary (1998) River Café, Brooklyn (shown above)

We had our rehearsal dinner here (and got married right down the street), so it was the obvious first choice for our first anniversary. After our wedding, TRC would subsequently become the go-to spot for our extended family for celebrating big occasions like engagements and important birthdays. But the tables for two that seat both people on the same side  (so no one gets cheated of the view of Downtown Manhattan) was always my favorite way to eat there. (more…)

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Let’s Have Coffee is the New Girls Night Out

August 3rd, 2010 · 9 Comments · Rituals

When I first became a mother, there was a lot riding on a cup of coffee. As my husband once said of new parenthood, “We no longer get tired. We are tired.” For that first year, I was exhausted all the time. I was breastfeeding two or three times through the night, had little time to exercise (always key for keeping my energy level up), and was dealing with the emotional and physical exhaustion of being a working mother. (What am I doing? Why am I leaving her for eight hours a day? God, when will Monday be here? I need to get out of this house.) That first cup of coffee in the morning was my lifeline. I didn’t care at all about the roast or the blend or if it was fair-trade, organic, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts. All I cared about was that it was caffeinated. After just a few small sips, the day before me would suddenly become all rainbows and sunshine. (more…)

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