Monday, September 12, 2016

EATING AND DRINKING MY WAY THROUGH SUMMER MEMORIES...


Initially, and by that I mean literally like five years ago, I scoffed at the people who took pictures of their food and posted it on social media. "Who cares?" I thought. "Be present!" I continued. "Get it while it's hot!" and all that. But then you see all the likes your peers are getting, you feel the pull to document, and soon enough you're whipping out your phone to commemorate a meal just like everyone else.

Sigh. I don't feel great about this, but I also don't feel that bad. It's like taking selfies (sort of)—they were once so maligned, but are now just as ubiquitous as a sunset snap. (Remember when selfie was the word of the year? That was three years ago!) I'd rather see someone taking a picture of their meal or themselves, as opposed to wandering around a park, transfixed by their screen, searching for Pokemon Go, to be honest.

Anyway! I say all this to say that yes, I've given in to the digital gratification of snapping my most delicious-looking and well-lit meals and drinks. I've realized something though, which makes me feel a bit more justified in such tacky behavior: Looking at these photos helps me recall all kinds of sensory memories from the places and people that inspired each pink cocktail glass perspiring in the sun or lobster roll on a painted picnic table on a breezy evening in Maine.

When I look at the above fish tacos from The Blue Parrot in East Hampton, I remember exactly how tangy that sauce was, how the breading crunched in my mouth and how refreshing it was to wash the whole meal down with a cold Montauk Brewery Summer Ale. And, I remember that I was sitting across from my friend Sue, chatting about life at Workville and swapping Hamptons memories from earlier in the summer. It was our last getaway out East for the season, and that bittersweet realization rings fresh when I see this image in my Instagram feed.

// CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE MEMORIES AND PHOTOS THAT WILL MAKE YOU HUNGRY, THIRSTY OR BOTH //




MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ABOARD THE HONORABLE WILLIAM WALL

Let's kick things off at the very start of summer, a Memorial Day weekend spent in the city. My girlfriends and I took my own advice and booked an afternoon aboard The Honorable William Wall, a floating clubhouse in New York Harbor. We packed a decadent picnic of cheese, charcuterie, a baguette, cornichons and other delightful little snacks. To drink? A riff on what is basically a poor man's Paloma: tequila, soda and a splash of grapefruit juice. Once back on dry land, we walked along the river to Pier A Harbor House for more drinks and food, and concluded our night much, much later at Tortilla Flats.


RACHEL'S BACHELORETTE WEEKEND IN PALM SPRINGS, CA

In mid-June I went out to California to celebrate our friend Rachel's bachelorette weekend. We started the weekend in Newport Beach (where both the bride and my roommate are from) and drove out to Palm Springs from there. On a grocery run shortly before we took off for the desert, I stumbled across Boulevard Brewing's Ginger Lemon Radler, a shandy I absolutely love. It was introduced to me via that ex from Philadelphia—so as I sipped from those joyful yellow cans by the pool in Palm Springs, I poured out exactly none of it in his honor. It was a blissful weekend spent basking in the sun with great friends to celebrate great love.


AN EXTENDED FOURTH OF JULY GETAWAY IN SUN VALLEY

After celebrating our friend Gina's wedding just outside Salt Lake City, my friend Katie and my roommate and I road-tripped up to visit my parents and celebrate the Fourth of July in Sun Valley. On our nation's birthday, we sipped rosé and paddleboarded on the serenely beautiful Redfish Lake, outside Stanley, Idaho. This lake is one of my very favorite places in the world, and it was a really special moment to be able to share that spot with two of my dearest friends.


Another highlight of that trip was a vigorous and gorgeous hike up Baldy with Katie and my mom. It was about four miles of straight incline—roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain in just two hours. We arrived at The Roundhouse restaurant, more than half-way up the mountain, breathless, proud and thirsty! To reward our efforts and make the view that much sweeter, Katie and I toasted with oversized cans of Pacifico, which tasted like the nectar of the gods in that moment.


Both of my parents are phenomenal cooks, and my mom has a really sharp eye for decorating and therefore, tablescaping. I snapped this photo just as the three of us were about to sit down to a dinner of ribs, corn and grilled zucchini on the deck of our condo. As I look at it now, I'm reminded that this might have been one of the last times we would enjoy a meal in this exact spot, as my parents recently started renovating a new house in the area where they'll shortly be living full time. No, you can't see the view of the swaying Aspen trees or our friend Heather's cats sunning themselves on her deck next door, but all I have to do is pull up this photo to be reminded of the smoky smell of the grill, the kids playing in the grass below and the leaves ruffled by a mid-summer breeze.


A LINGERING HAPPY HOUR AT TARALLUCCI E VINO IN THE FLATIRON DISTRICT

Another name for this summer might as well be, "Taylor's Tour de Aperol Spritz." I drank them anywhere and everywhere, and this one, which was the first of uhm, a few, was particularly memorable. I met with Tully and Rachel to catch up shortly after returning from Sun Valley. I was slightly out of sorts that evening after having done something a little out of character. I ended a dating thing entirely via text message, which felt impersonal and unfinished and totally necessary at the same time. I was relieved and sad, and nothing goes better with mixed emotions than a champagne cocktail, let me tell you.


HOMEMADE SUMMER SALAD IN OUR NEW GREENWICH VILLAGE APARTMENT

The biggest change of 2016 (so far) came when Tully and I moved from our home of four years in Alphabet City to a new place in Greenwich Village. The move-in process is ongoing, but I haven't wasted any time breaking in our new kitchen. For my first dinner in the new place, I riffed on a summer salad by halving an avocado and topping it with a mix of cooked shrimp, fresh corn, grapefruit chunks and cucumber, all tossed in lemon juice, salt and pepper. There's no recipe and it was so good I've made it again and again in the weeks since. 


LUNCH AT THE C/O MAIDSTONE HOTEL IN EAST HAMPTON

This was the first of two delightful meals I had at The Maidstone this summer. (See what I wore, here.) On a Monday morning, Meghan, Bekka and I escaped the city humidity for a date out East, which began with a tour and lunch at the lovely, quiet and eclectic Maidstone. Between the three of us we shared two fresh, heaping salads and a decadent steak sandwich and french fries. It was an epic day that only got better from there...


"DINNER" AT RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND IN MONTAUK

See what I mean about that singular day only getting better? After swimming in the chilly Atlantic and basking in the warm sand like Ariel, we dried off and headed over to Red Hook Lobster Pound for a bit of sustenance before making the long drive back to the city. I love all the colors in this photo, and it reminds me of how warm and saturated with color the summer season really is—which trickles down into everything from the food we eat (lush, lemon-drenched lobster) to the places we eat it (picnic tables painted in the happiest shade of blue).


MIXOLOGY CLASS AT APOTHÉKE WITH MY COWORKER FROM INSTYLE

As you might have already read or seen on Instagram, I spent a huge chunk of my summer working a full-time freelance gig at InStyle magazine. While I never snapped the veritable pounds of delicious tuna poke I ate for lunch from the Blue Ribbon Sushi at Hudson Eats, I did take a few photos during my first out-of-office adventure with one of my InStyle friends, Andrea. We went to a press event together at the swanky Chinatown cocktail bar Apothéke, and had a chance to chit chat and hang out while we shook jiggers of bourbon and ice with fellow fashion editors from around the interwebs. My stint at InStyle was a defining part of the season, and I'm so happy to come out on the other side of it with new friends and some new cocktail recipes up my sleeve.


THE BEST BAGEL I'VE EVER HAD, IN PORTLAND, MAINE

If you want to read about my adventures in lobster-feating in Maine, I'll defer you to my post from last year. Today, I want to talk about these bagels, from Scratch Bakery in South Portland, and the amazing mornings they inspired. These are no ordinary bagels—they're fresh and warm out of the oven, spongey, sourdough-like rings from heaven. We ended up bringing them home all three mornings of our trip, gathering around the light-flooded kitchen table to make our plans for the day and wondering if it was cheating on New York to love these pastries this much. The night we arrived we had found a record player in the basement so we brought it up to the kitchen. Along with the taste of those bagels and that gorgeous light, I'll always remember the sound of those vintage, scratchy records from James Taylor, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan we played before starting our adventures in Maine—partly thanks to this photo.

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