Friday, July 30, 2010

French Flavor in Harlem

If there's any city that supplies international flair on every corner, it's New York. We arrived at our Harlem brownstone starved so we walked to the local cafe on the corner. We passed  African women wrapped in vibrant Senegalese dresses,  Mexican men selling tacos from a truck and Jamaicans peddling rasta hats and jewelry, only to arrive at a French bistro.  Cafe Lucienne offers the perfect sidewalk views for bustling New York life as well as an inventive mix of French and American fare.

Okay, so gazpacho isn't so French but I love it and there's nothing better on a hot summer day. Cafe Lucienne's was bursting with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

My husband is the one who gets into French food and he wasted no time ordering the requisite escargot. I don't eat creepy crawlies no matter how they're served but he insisted that they were excellent.

He also dove into a pile of mussells, which is also something I don't go near. But they're pretty. The shells would make a great necklace.

I ordered these heaping turkey burger that I couldn't finish in one sitting. It came with hand cut fries that inspired both of us to munch non-stop.

Cafe Lucienne also features live singers on the weekends, which we listened to whenever we walked by.  While we were there, we toasted our anniversary with German beer, Perrier and cranberry juice!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Next Stop: New York

I'm headed to the Big Apple and will be exploring as much as I can for the rest of the week.  I'll be celebrating our anniversary with my hubby, topped off with a Broadway visit to attend Fela! The Musical. (I have to stuff my dancing shoes into my carry on.)  We'll also stop by the Statue of Liberty, catch Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre at Summerstage in Central Park, make our way to Brooklyn and indulge in the decadent Taste Harlem food tour one more time.  Stay tuned for posts at the end of next week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Avoiding Airport Nightmares and Nastiness

I'm not a neat freak on any level but I have a thing against nasty airport floors.  You know, the ones that thousands of people slap with their sweaty feet while they're shuffling through security?  I always, always, wear socks or stockings because I just can't bear to think about  my feet connecting with what's on those floors.  Now that it's summer, I'm amazed by the throngs of flip flop-clad flyers who think nothing about bare feet and frosty, dirty airports.  I usually suffer though stockings with my ballet flats but I've discovered a much cuter solution. The folks at Kushyfoot sent me free samples of their extensive line of reflexology-infused travel foot wear and I'm happy to say that the foot covers are the solution to my airport fears. Thin, soft, nylon with heel guards and foot cushions cover the bottom of your foot without peeking out of your shoes.  I slip through security without having to suffer thick socks, hose or who knows what kind of fungi. 

Another travel aid that I appreciate that was sent my way for a tryout was MyTagalongs disposable underwear. Yes, that's right.  I'm loving these throw away panties and keep them in my carry on at all times. Even though I always carry on my luggage, I've been in many tiny jets that are too small for carry ons and my luggage along with my change of clothes, gets separated from me.  Yes, you can always wash out your underwear but it's just not as fresh as when they're machine laundered. For me, MyTagalongs provide me with some piece of mind whenever I'm going through typical airport-luggage nightmares. What are some of the things that help you make it through the airport process?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shrimp Sense

Amelia Island may be famous for its shrimp but I spotted a form of the pink delicacies that I was not expecting at all. I was strolling down the sunny, cobblestone streets on a historical tour when my guide stopped and plucked a curving, pink branch from the flowering bush above.  "What does that look like to you?" My guide asked, showing me the blossoms close up.  It looks like a shrimp!  Hence the name shrimp plant.  They grow all over the island and my guide insisted that they will grow just about anywhere. Well, not in Chicago, I informed him.  Not enough sun. Two weeks ago, guess what I spied for sale in front of my local grocery store? It was a vividly blooming, potted shrimp plant. In Chicago. I've never seen them here before and don't know how long they'll last but it just goes to show that sometimes things don't always make sense but it doesn't mean they can't happen.