Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 So I said I would post from NY and I didn't. Nicole, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on my trip, was right to be surprised about my intentions to post on vacation. I smiled and assured her I would at some point or another. I mean, I did the last time we were in New York, so why would it be different this time?

Chelsea Market
Well, for a variety of reasons. First of all, the last time I was in NY it was winter, snowing and freezing. This time the weather was beautiful and quite cool so we were outdoors most of the day. Also, at the beach house I didn't always have an Internet connection and to be honest we were just too darn busy having a great time with friends and family to sit in front of a computer for even a handful of minutes. Not to mention there was so much going on that I rarely cooked. The meals, however, were plenty and delicious and I did photograph many unforgettable moments with our little compact camera and my phone.

Oh, and then the camera thing happened. I still cringe and feel my insides turning as I write this: I accidentally left my beloved camera in the cab that took us into Manhattan from the airport. I never do that kind of stuff, I still don't know how it happened. Probably a mix of exhaustion after a two-hour delayed take off, flying with young children, a 5:00a.m. wake up, our driver dumping our luggage onto one of the busiest sidewalks of NY, our kids running around said sidewalk in a jet-lag-induced hyperactivity. Or the fact that I don't usually travel overseas with that camera because it is bulky hand luggage and I already have the kids and their backpacks to deal with but was pressured into bringing it by my other half. Whatever the reason, it took me until I was unpacking a few hours later to notice the camera bag with the beautiful SLR Canon F gave me last birthday, an important one, was gone. And my iPod nano, that he gave me a couple of years ago for another birthday, and the recharger for my Kindle (yet another present from my husband - by the way, do you notice a recurrent pattern in his gifts?).

I also immediately realized I had no way of tracing the driver. We should have had a credit card receipt on us but unfortunately his swipe did not work, so we ended up  having to pay cash, and he did not have his meter running because it is a flat fare from the airport. I will not go into my endless phone calls and emails to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission and the Police precincts in all the boroughs with a lost and found office. The camera never turned up, so I did my best to focus on what is really important, my family, our health, our friends, not material posessions, and was able to let it go although I did feel sad and frustrated everytime I saw a beautiful shot.

 Now we are home and getting back into a routine after 3 weeks of vacation is tough. I will not pretend that I didn't already start waking up with a lump in my throat four days before leaving. I will not deny that when my son woke me in the middle of the first night back from a deep, dreamless sleep, I did not have the slightest idea where I was and that when I realized I was not in my light and noise-filled room in NY I literally felt like I had been punched in the stomach and proceeded to sob for a few minutes when I crawled back into bed.
They were wet and racking sobs, brief and intense and stopped as suddenly as they began, the way adults cry, not those easy rolling big tears of our childhood or the prolonged dramatic sobbing of young adulthood. It was unexpected, liberating and did me a world of good. I immediately felt better, like that cloud of heavy, black somberness had finally lifted after 36 hours. I was ready to fall back into the swing of things.

On top of the Freedom Tower
With  the passing of years it gets harder to leave places and people we love, does it not? It must be a result of our awareness of how fleeting life is, how special moments with those you love are, how quickly children grow up and we in turn get older. How having to wait months, sometimes years, to feel so much at home and loved, is sometimes just too long. True, I have always been a nostalgic girl, the kind that gets melancholy about the good old days or listening to songs from my teenage years. I always feel that way at the end of something special like a family week end, a wedding, the summer. But when I leave NY, it is more accentuated. There is something about that city that touches my core: I feel great when I am there, I feel alive, I feel free, I feel like I could do anything. I love falling asleep cradled by the sound of cars, the loud sirens, people shouting. It always was that way, even when I was a child. Running in Central Park with throngs of people exercising around me gives me a hit of adrenaline that I do not feel running anywhere else in the world. Walking out in clothes I would not be caught dead in over here at 11:00pm to pick up stuff at Trader Joe's makes me happy. I don't agree that walking in the crowded streets of NY is lonely. People talk to me, people smile and yeah, sometimes they even yell at me, because it is New York after all, but I feel like I am part of something, a beating heart, when I walk around that city.


What remains of this vacation is a bunch of great memories and pictures. Watching my daughter learn how to dive, listening to my son formulate his first real sentences in English, seeing them delight in the same things I loved as a child. Roasting marshmallows (although they enjoyed the process much more than the marshmallow itself), taking them on their first swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Walking down the High Line, eating my first Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie, walking through Chelsea Market, grilling anything from lobsters to kobe beef dogs, chomping on Long Island butter and sugar corn, eating at our favorite spots, going to the MOMA. And just being with  my many families: my true family, my family through marriage, my adopted families, my step family. Watching a member of this extended family at the  NYC Fringe Festival, meeting a new "niece" and a brand new "nephew". A cousin offering us a once in a lifetime experience visiting the Freedom Tower, standing on the 104th floor overlooking the whole city only separated by mesh.
Here is a little look at my NY.

The High Line

Hand-pulled noodles with roasted duck in Chinatown



Red wine and bitter sweet chocolate ganache

Chai ganache

Toasted hazelnut filling

White chocolate and lime ganache


  1. Lovely lovely snaps - looking through this has made me so incredibly hungry! Off to find some cookies to eat now...

  2. You packed a lot of life into those three weeks: It's hard to return to the everyday when you have had such an adventure. And I'm so sorry to hear about your camera bag -- my husband is notorious for leaving things in cabs (it's a real problem), and so I'm intimately familiar with that particular sinking feeling. Just dreadful.

    So sorry we couldn't grab a coffee while you were here, but perhaps when I'm back in your booted country...

    1. So sorry to have missed you, things just got really busy and we spent a lot of time at the beach. Also, it probably would not have been a very relaxing coffee with my two kids in tow, I thought I would spare you since I didn't have anyone to leave them with! ;O) Really would have loved meeting you.

  3. I'm so glad to read that you were too busy having fun because that's what a vacation is all about! :D Sorry to hear about your camera and your iPod and charger but as you wisely say, you have everyone with you and you had a great vacation! :D

  4. Am so sad to hear about your camera- what a hideous, hideous way to start a trip. I know exactly what you mean about those midnight sobs when leaving things that you love...

    1. It seems to get harder as you get older, to live torn between two worlds you love.

  5. I'm so sorry about your camera. Yuck. I had my wallet stolen 10 minutes after arriving in Spain. No fun. But I loved seeing all these pictures of one of my favorite places in the world. Thank you for sharing!

  6. It was such a treat to meet the woman behind this blog, her husband and sweet children (Roman was obviously smitten!) I'm so glad we made it happen.
    What a strong reaction you had in the middle of the night! At least you let it come. It's a big thing to lead a global life, living in one fantastic city that is "home" but still feeling the full attachment and love for another place. It certainly adds a richness to you, but it can be hard too.
    I am making it a goal for this week to make it to Jacques Torres to try one of those chocolate cookies!! Wow.

    1. Likewise! Yes, the kids are sweet when not throwing crayons onto the sidewalk hehe. Roman was adorable, such a little man!
      Reactions like that are not really like me at all, I tend to be pretty balanced in my emotions... but it did help accelerate the healing process. It is tough to feel like a part of you is missing, wherever you are.
      Let me know what you think about the cookie!

  7. Sorry about your camera! For a blogger I can imagine it would be a fate worse than death. On the other hand, it's a reason to be a new one while you were in NY?

    By the way, I had no idea you could visit the Freedom Tower. Will have to do so next time I'm in NYC.


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