Sunday, March 31, 2013

my new favorite word: "hygge"

so, it's a danish word, with varying definitions, but wikipedia states that it refers to "relaxing with good friends or loved ones, often while enjoying good food and something to drink or creating a more friendly atmosphere by lighting a few candles. " those dudes in denmark know wassup.

i guess the closest equivalent would be "coziness," but hygge seems to encompass more than that. i'm kind of obsessed.

i'd have to say that one of my ideal moments of hygge would probably be sitting on the deck with friends and family on a warm summer night, glass of wine in hand and a delicious steak on the grill. though that also competes heavily with sitting in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and watching "home alone" at christmastime, fo' sho'.

what would your perfect "hygge" moment entail?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

i talk to elvis in my sleep

loving what i'm hearing so far from the upcoming LP from one of my favorite kinda-one-man-bands, bass drum of death. i already have a feeling it'll be a big part of my spring/summer soundtrack.

also, you may have heard this ditty from his last album on the new h&m commercial. THAT RIFF THO!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

place i love: st. augustine, florida

if it's a place that's quaint, old, and can be described as "magical" or "whimsical," i'll probably love it. such was the case with st. augustine, florida, a little city just under two hours from me in orlando and the oldest continuously-occupied city in the country. the spanish influence in the historic district almost felt california-esque and other parts also reminded me of the old town in nice, france, with its narrow alleyways and small boutiques & cafes. i spent a few days there, but already can't wait to go back! 

highlights (shocker: almost all of these things are food-related):
  1. staying at my first b&b! i think. it was a really quaint little place, the st. george inn, that was spread out throughout the old town area. super cute.
  2. realizing that i probably should have gone to school at the most gorgeous campus i've ever seen, flagler college (check out the pictures below and you'll see what i mean)
  3. enjoying dinner & happy hour not once, but twice at pizzalley's. it appears from the main street to be just a quick service, mom-and-pop pizza joint, but you walk back past the counter and through two sets of doors and find yourself in a bustling, full-service italian restaurant. their happy hour includes A FREE SLICE OF PIZZA. are you serious, pizzalley's? all. over. it. the best was that the second night when my mom & i returned, we had the same waitress and she's all "hi ladies, welcome back! chardonnay & a riesling?" bahaha. we chowed down on our slices and sipped wine to the sounds of a snowbird covering "i am the walrus." so pleased.
  4. trying for like an hour to get a good picture at the fountain of youth and failing miserably...though the water was actually deece and i feel a good month younger already
  5. having lunch at cafe alcazar, which is housed in the former swimming pool of an old hotel. no joke! it was definitely the most unique place i've ever eaten and the food was top-notch gourmet grub for a surprisingly reasonable price.
  6. GILMORE GIRLS MOMENT! i went on a mission to find this cafe called crucial coffee (mainly because of its badass name) and it was so legit. first of all, it's in a complete sea shanty shack-type place - pics below. they had all sorts of tempting potables on the menu, which seems to change daily, and i went with the snickers cappuccino. "you're in for a treat!" the charming barista told me in a southern accent as he placed a chocolate-dipped-pretzel (no idea how that was snickers-related but omg) on top of my drink. i then wandered outside to the little courtyard seating area and was serenaded by a folky busker in a big hat. i swear to god i had been transported to stars hollow. and then he started singing...yep, TOM PETTY. i couldn't handle it.
  7. a bearded and dreadlocked homeless hottie smiled and nodded at me as i was leaving another awesomely-named bakery, the bunnery. my mom: ::rolls eyes::"he's right up your alley." me: "well, he's homeless, but yes. he's definitely one of the most attractive homeless men i've ever seen."

the old senator, a live oak tree that's over 600 years old!

absolutely terrifying

coolest wells fargo building ever
building at flagler college. omg.

he keeps me young!

hey lil' guy
CRUCIAL COFFEE! but seriously.


the fort castillo de san marcos



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

i want a place where i can smoke meats.

just got back from nashville with my college friend and partner in southern-traveling crime, gleni, who flew down from brooklyn to meet me in music city for a fun-filled weekend. we had a couple of fabulous tour guides- gleni's friend who is originally from the area, and her friend from knoxville. after some minor flight delays, here's what happened (with bonus pictures!):

  • breakfast for lunch at the loveless cafe: 
we waited for over an hour, but it was so worth it! eggs and sausage and biscuits and something called "tennessee sipping cream" which was like a gross bailey's...but that was my fault for not ordering it with coffee. still dreaming about the homemade jams.

  • first saturday art crawl:
this was really cool. on the first saturday of every month, the galleries of downtown nashville (there are a bunch, surprisingly) open their doors to the public, and visitors are welcome to stroll and admire the art while enjoying complimentary wine and drinks like warm root beer toddies (an exciting prospect for about like...4 sips). it was a great way to get a sense of the local people & culture.

  • dinner at puckett's:
the stars aligned, man! i had read about this grocery & restaurant prior to the trip, but wasn't banking on getting a table without a reservation on a saturday night. we strolled in just before 8:30pm, and snagged the last table in the place just as the band, raven cliff, started to perform. i'm not a country fan, but they converted me--especially after they launched into "won't back down" by tom petty.

  • whiskey kitchen:
we topped off the night at a trendy little bar/restaurant where apparently jack white and kings of leon hang out? all we saw were yuppies, but they had WHISKEY SOUR PITCHERS so i was really excited about it. i also dougied and gleni toasted to a photo of tom petty. at this point we decided he was watching over us during this entire trip.

  • burger brunch:
we nursed our semi-hangovers with the best remedy EVER: huge-ass cheeseburgers & chocolate milkshakes at a so-called "burger parlor & beer garden" in the hipster-filled neighborhood of east nashville. delicious! 

  • opryland hotel & convention center:
i was told by more than one person that i needed to visit the opryland hotel's indoor gardens and i'm so glad that we did. the place was like a friggin' rainforest inside! we kept getting lost but it was fine, and then we took an awesome boat ride around the little moat-thing. it had ducks and fish in it. ridiculous.

  • hillsboro village:
loved this place! a little neighborhood near vanderbilt, hillsboro village has a bunch of shops and restaurants and just a really cool vibe. we grabbed artsy-looking lattes at the '90s-esque coffee shop of my dreams, fido, which was decorated with paintings of psychedelic space cats (below) and checked out a couple of the cute boutiques before heading over to grimey's, a cool record store.  

  • honky tonks
I LOVE ROBERT'S WESTERN WORLD! if you go to nashville, you must go here. after getting our fortune told by elvis at the cheesy gift shop on broadway, we took some seats at the bar and began admiring all the weird decor which included silly bumper stickers and a wall of cowboy boots. as i sipped my jack and coke, we began discussing the longhair that was flipping burgers behind the bar. he was definitely my type, but we questioned the hygiene of his untamed locks during food preparation. all of a sudden, the band who had been playing is all "hide ya daughters, hide ya wives" and burger dude is onstage, wailing on the harmonica and covering muddy waters. he does a few more numbers, hops off of the stage, and greases some more rolls. at this point i was obviously grinning at him like a freak. best and most nashville moment of the trip, i'd say.

we moved on to tootsie's (the famous purple place) which was packed. there was some pretty boy country guy singing, and these spring break sorority chicks soon joined him onstage and embarrassing merriment ensued. we took a picture of us looking uncomfortable and awkward. ALSO I SWEAR ZAC BROWN (of the zac brown band) was there. the guy onstage even said it! but no one else thinks it was him. i really don't care. but...whatever.

then we ate more bbq at some place called "rippy's" where our 19 year-old waiter could not wait to finish his shift. we ended the evening at the "paradise park trailer resort," a total dive where we drank beers and another attractive man was singing. the ceilings had not been dusted since the place opened. and they had a food menu with fried spam sandwiches. we took terrible pictures in a teeny-tiny photobooth and devoured our free doubletree cookies when we got back to the hotel.

  • pancake pantry:
we went back to hillsboro village, because we had to visit this place. such good pancakes. we split the good ol' buttermilk and also got an order of pecan. the 'cakes came with cinnamon-creme syrup which was tasty, but the regular syrup was out of this world awesome. it had a vanilla flavor and was perfect. apparently p!nk showed up right after we left. bah!

  • getting lost on the bus:
we thought we were going back towards downtown, but we ended up in the middle of nowhere in suburban nashville and decided we might as well just head to the airport. so just as i was about to call a cab, one pulls up beside us. THANK YOU TOM PETTY! i'm just going to pretend that it was also tom that creepily complimented me on my "beautiful smile."

in sum: i love biscuits, meat, whiskey, line cooks, space cats, and latte art. oh, and nashville was pretty sweet, too.