Fifteen Finds – The Year That Was 2013

The year that was 2013 – it was a wild, winding and wonderful adventure. Thank you to all of my remarkable family and friends – without you this particular ship cannot sail. So in taking inventory and feeling grateful, I had to stop and think about what really did float my boat (yes, I kept the metaphor alive folks). And thus I got to my 15 finds…

This list runs the range – people, places, philanthropy and – of course delicacies…

Judge me not, this is my lens, ya’ll -

If you prefer another view, take a pass!

 

1.         Greenhook Gin – Why yes, I know I am being forced to choose sides here – I will take the Brooklyn side (sorry Green Cat people)…maybe it was the passion with which August served it to me at Union Square Cafe, maybe it was just my mood the first time I sipped this amazingly herbaceous elixir – bottom line – I am in!

Greenhook Gin

2.         Chinatown Coffee, Washington DC – You had me at a shot of seltzer with my cortado – you love me, you really love me!

3.         Le Marquis de Riscal – Again, I know that timing is everything – and my arrival at this remarkable Starwood property in the luscious Rijoa region of Spain was about as needed and as well timed as they come. Did I mention the wine? The Caudlie spa? The super –swank accommodations (than you Badr)? The neighboring town La Guardia where you can Tapas out while watching the whole of the small, remote town do the same after their Sunday morning in church – yes that was good!

4.         NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names – Lyrical, powerful and compact – the way I like my books. She tells a stunning narrative of the immigrant story – colorful and complex in Zimbabwe perhaps more muted and dark in Detroit. Still, I was rapt! What an impressive debut novel – impossible to put down – to be savored not guzzled. Looking forward to what comes next from this talented literary find.

5.         Bedford Cheese Shop – My Cheesemonger has my heart – I cannot stray. A remarkable and well-edited shop, Bedford is ideal for both novice and seasoned cheesy people alike. I am a fan for life of Charlotte’s descriptions (think down dirty, clever and no holds barred), her great eye for hiring (really there is a contagious a passion and a vibe in the shop like no other) and the sum of every exchange we share!

6.         RMHC – As the year progressed I spent more and more time visiting Ronald McDonald Houses around the US  (with another favorite and one of the few people who can really move me off my mark, Rachel Mennell) and affiliated hospital NICUs. I attended their bi-annual conference in July and yes- took a big gulp of the Kool-Aide. What a remarkable, caring approach for whole family care. Now, to help them grow…off we go…

7.     The Dry Bar – Yes we took it up a notch this year – you joined me in Bethesda in addition to our usual meeting spot in the Flatiron. I credit you for making my life as easy and as beautiful as I ever could imagine, at least in the hair department!

The Dry Bar

 

8.         The Moth – It is true – I am diehard on this one. And this year I spent more live time with the Moth only adding to my addiction and conviction. Don’t tell me you listen to their podcast but never donate – we will have a problem.

9.         Red Hen –Oh this is my kind of place. It is from the Gramercy Tavern (front room) school of “welcome home” dining out. We have been cozy and never disappointed. I adore the simple brilliance of the kitchen, the clever wine list and the mood, baby, the mood…

Red Hen – Washington, DC

10. Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask - I am not sure full body coverage is really an option – if it were, I would take it! This is the good stuff, at once rich and emollient, luxurious and decadent. It is about as great a weapon against winter’s dry, mean cold as I have tried. And have I mentioned the amazing scent of this miracle mask?  Thank you Fresh for another wonderful addition to my favorite line.

11. 100 Proof Treatment Oil by The Dry Bar – Related to my love of The Dry Bar – this is the one product that gets me through the week and from blow to blow – I consider it to be  a most critical product, especially when I am on the road.

100 Proof Treatment Oil

 

12.  New Yorker Magazine Digital Copy – Bring on the short stories for travel – just the perfect stockpile of fiction for my time OTR or cozy at home!

13. Scandal – Yes I am a cliché – but as a fixer how can I NOT bow to the high priestess of fixers?

14.  Bon Appetit – Not only did you reinvent both the print and digital copies – you amused me and ticked my fancy with your spine mosaic. I still smile thinking about my finally seeing the picture!

15. True Blue Friends and Family – There are not enough words to say how incredibly grateful I am – and while you are not new “finds” your devotion and care helped me find my way!

Good Friends – Julia and Jennifer, laughing off the rain, as it should be! Photo Credit to Amy!