Only 10 more days of 2011. Amazing, isn’t it?
When I think back to a year ago, well, I think I was still nursing a hangover from the Ogilvy/Paris holiday party. And getting ready to tear open gifts with my niece and nephew in London. I was starting to pack up nearly two years’ worth of memories and novelties of living in my Parisian treehouse. I was teary (probably about as much as I am writing this, remembering that amazing time in my life. Oh, bittersweetness). But so, so excited about moving home.
So 2011 was the year of my return. The first bitter, blustery months were cruel. New York didn’t welcome me with a warm embrace. I kept getting sick and felt more than a little bit adrift. Still, I was happy to be here.
And then things got better. And better. I spent so much time with my parents and friends. I got reacquainted with the city. I dated, saw movies, shopped at Whole Foods and enjoyed all the American pleasures I dreamed about in Paris.
Then summer brought great weather. More time with friends and family. Better health, and more comfort. Best of all, I was done with my book and had time to breathe and relax. Until I started my new job in September and life got crazy again.
All that is to say: 2011 was a pretty great year. Not an easy one, but really introspective, unique and rewarding. From amazing meals to major goals, here are some of the standouts and highlights.
Bill Cunningham New York (doc)
It was a crap year for movies as far as I’m concerned, but these little gems made me happy and believe in movie magic again. And Bill Cunningham? Only the most amazing person to take NYC—in a blue windbreaker, on two wheels—by storm…
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Unlike movies, it was a super fulfilling year of reading. These three—with their language, characters and stories—made me simultaneously excited, jealous and content.
Taking the new job
Trying spin classes
The best decisions aren’t always the easiest. Of course I miss Paris. I’m also exhausted by the long days of my job. And about 22 minutes into a spin class, I want to do nothing more than dismount the bike and return to bed tout de suite. But that's what life is: succeeding at challenges, both epic and tiny. No regrets.
Lola’s ridiculously fudgy brownies
Cowgirl Bakery’s vegan brownies (RIP, snif)
I’ve obviously done my fair share of binging this year. It’s not easy to come up with what stood out the most. But, then again, it sort of is. The Lola’s brownies that I brought to a dinner party in Paris were nothing short of mind-blowing.
My mega LV bag. What can I say? It had to happen. I needed a memento of my time working on Vuitton, so I splurged on one of those ugly monogram satchels. And I love it.
Both trips to Paris were awesome. I had a great time in Brussels and loved my weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Going to London for a week of work was bonus. But my trip to San Francisco was pretty perfect.
Finishing my book
Doing the alkaline diet
Acclimating at this new job
Finding time and balance in life
Sigh… Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It was the food, the service, the presentation and fulfilling the dream of going there. And it was with my very best friends on my birthday. It was heaven.
I also loved my meals at Buvette, Vinegar Hill and Sfoglia—while the food in Paris was untouchable, I’ve had many euphoric meals back here, stateside.
Et toi? What were your 2011 standouts??