Last week, I brought home an unwanted souvenir from a recent trip to New York City: My first case of Covid. Everything about my trip was fun and fabulous, but Covid has left me wobbly with breathing problems and taste buds that have fled for parts unknown. Thank goodness I have lots of NYC meal memories to tide me over like the tasty fried artichokes Harry King and I had at Pastis in Soho; the warm, decadent Comté & Onion Bread with Crème Fraiche I shared with friends at Monterey, plus their Castelfranco Salad with radicchio, figs, Asian pear, pumpkin seeds, and aged sherry vinaigrette.
The restaurant Monterey on 37 E. 50th St is one of the popular new post-Covid gifts to the city.
Then there was the great meal and private corner table I shared with old and new friends at what’s been called the “ultimate insiders’ club,” Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn on Bank Street in the West Village. Carter, former editor of Vanity Fair magazine and now editor of AirMail online subscription magazine knows everyone, and if you’re lucky enough to get a table, don’t start looking around because your eyes will jump back and forth from business moguls to celebrities, and you won’t be able to stop yourself. On my last night in NY, I enjoyed the savory grilled shrimp at one of Avra’s stellar Greek restaurants with a woman I met “walking down the street in NYC years ago” who’s become a dear friend.
I also spent time with Sandy Linter, who did my makeup; I went to a private trunk show in one of the suites at Leona Helmsley’s old hotel, and Lauren Ezersky took me shopping for vintage jewelry. What a hoot! No. Neither one of us bought anything, but there was lots of drooling don’t you know.
DESPERATE FOR SOMETHING THAT TASTES GOOD
In an attempt to lure my taste buds back, yesterday I made this 30-minute Saucy Ginger Sesame Noodles with Caramelized Mushrooms. I substituted gluten free noodles, and the result was a warm, rich silky brew that filled me with the energy I needed to get on the treadmill and move beyond the Covid blahs.
HEAVENLY HAIR MIST
Until recently, scents of any kind have given me a headache, but I’ve become a fan of two beautifully scented products, and no one is more surprised than me.
One is Gabrielle, Chanel’s delicate, floral Hair Mist created from the luminous floral notes of jasmine, bright ylang-ylang, sparkling orange blossom, and the feminine Grasse tuberose. Since I only spray a tiny bit of the fine mist in my hair, the bottle will last me a long time.
POTTERY BARN’S DIFFUSER SCENT COLLECTION
The other scented product I’ve fallen in love with is Cassis Rose from Pottery Barn’s signature diffuser scent collection. It’s made from Damask rose, cassis, Egyptian jasmine, neroli, tonka bean, and sandalwood and smells heavenly in my bedroom. I’ve placed it in a small silver-footed tray. It will make a lovely gift for you or someone you know.
THINGS WE NEED TO SAY TO OURSELVES
Most of us are good at reaching out to loved ones with words of support and affirmation, but how many times do we think of saying the same things to ourselves? Whether we realize it or not, how we think about and treat ourselves has a huge impact on how we go about our day and the way we manifest the things we want to see in our lives. At the start of every day, what if we remember to tell ourselves:
This has been one of the most heartbreaking holiday seasons we’ve had in a while, and it’s not just taking place in the big-picture state of the world. In the last week, three people I’m close to have experienced tragedies in their family: a suicide, a fatal car accident, and the unexpected death of a father. Many of us feel inadequate when it comes to comforting those who’ve experienced loss, so we say nothing. But it’s not what we say that’s important. It’s that we reach out and remember them with our love.
It only takes a moment, a text or a handwritten note and you only need to say, “Thinking of you. I’m sorry.”
And finally, my thanks to all of you who’ve reached out with prayers and good wishes this year when I was so sick in Italy and then for much of the summer, and now with Covid. We are wired for connection, but there have been times this year when I’ve been too sick to do anything but turn within, and your sweet and kind generosity has meant the world to me. I love you all.