Thursday, November 10, 2011

That's right. Another post about hot dogs.

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." - Steve Jobs

I like to think that I follow Steve Jobs's advice every time I travel. The first thing I plan whenever I'm travelling to any given city is where I need to eat. If I'm lucky, my travelling companion will be interested in museums, boat cruises, and walks in famous parks, and our two lists will come together like magic. If that's not the case...well, I can't be held responsible. Now open up!

In Chicago, this food-centric tour took the form of donuts, hot dogs, and other such healthy, hip-loving delights. The Doughnut Vault being no exception. Everyone warned about the lines that stretch around the block and also how they close as soon as they sell out, but I got lucky--arriving at eleven, I was able to walk straight up to that tiny, tiny counter in that tiny, tiny hallway and load up. I can only assume there was nobody waiting because they all thought the Vault would be sold out and closed by that time. But there were four whole donuts left! A chocolate AND a gingerbread stack, all of which I bought and promptly devoured. That's right. I closed the place DOWN.

(This is what bliss looks like.)

This is also what bliss looks like: pig face at The Girl and the Goat. Imagine a maple breakfast sausage covered in shoestring fries and a perfectly fried egg: basically, all you could ever want in a meal. Also, GOAT CARPACCIO. I know! There was SOMUCHDELICIOUSGOAT on that menu. And not ONE was a curry, thank you very much. It was like I died and went to bleating heaven. 

The next day I took my classy, ever-expanding self across town to wait in line for what was to become the best hot dog experience of my life: Hot Doug's. And I actually MET Hot Doug because he WORKS there and I made him take a PICTURE with me. And waiting 45 minutes was ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. We went on Duck-Fat-Fries Saturday and while they were fantastic, the real star of the show was The Dog--I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger Dog with Coca Cola BBQ sauce and maple-smoked cheddar cheese and I kid you not, IT REALLY TASTED LIKE A BACON CHEESEBURGER. IN A DOG. There was bacon and cheese INSIDE the sausage. INSIDE THE SAUSAGE! With every bite, cheese gooed out. SERIOUSLY. And if that doesn't make you realize you haven't lived, nothing will. It was, hands-down, the best hot dog I've ever had in my life. That is, until I tried my friend's Chicago Dog. Then THAT became the best hot dog I've ever had in my life. Which makes me think they're ALL the best hot dog I've ever had in my life. EVER.

I actually want to try every single item on this menu. Don't judge me.

And lest you think all I did was eat (uh), check out this architectural boat cruise! It went through the rivers/canals/allthosewaterways and a lovely old lady told us who designed all those gorgeous buildings and I learned a LOT.* 

Like did you know one of the Batman movies was filmed here? I know! I remember all the good stuff. It is SO Gotham City. Look at that fog over the top of the tower. I didn't even photoshop that in.

I'll release you all from my Chicago tour now--two posts on it far surpasses how I usually cover a city. But I couldn't resist storing my food memories somewhere, and here is a much safer place than my head.*

Until we meet again,

Big hugs and lots of love,

*Mostly that I have zero capacity for remembering names. Which you may have already suspected if you've ever met me at a party.

Monday, November 7, 2011

On Highgate Wood, a new friend, the pleasures of fall, and the difficulties of self-pimping

Remember back when I used to blog post all the time? Yeah. That was awesome. I was amazing.  Don't spend too much time on that link; I think I used to be mildly illiterate if those posts are anything to go by.

In other tidings, I've made a new friend! She is GREAT. We met for the first time after corresponding through our blogs and it was like a blind date and I was all nervous that she wouldn't like me but then she was so much fun all my nervousness went away and now I want to hang out with her all the time but I'm totally playing cool so she doesn't think I'm stalking her. We spent an afternoon in Highgate Wood and it was such a beautiful fall day, all blue blue skies and red and yellow leaves and the light was so golden like an apple that I thought maybe I was in a different place like Vermont or Maine, and I was going to go home to my farm and my chickens and my jug of maple syrup and my barrels filled with something organic from my local market and then I would turn on some Philip Glass while I made dinner. That's how nice it was.

I think fall is London's best and my new favorite season. Normally spring or summer would be neck-and-neck and fall would be somewhere down in 'yeah, when I'm moody' territory, but this year spring didn't actually lead to summer, so I'm still a bit mad at both of them. And if I know London, winter is definitely coming. So right now fall is in the lead, if for no other reason than promises delivered. Go fall!

And honestly. Look at this: 

 I know!

My new bff! If she lived in America, she would totally listen to NPR. You can tell.

And then a ram appeared in the thicket.

Did I mention I have to create a personal brochure? I do. It's difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that I'm not actually sure what I'm selling here.  It's certainly not my ability to design furniture. And apparently the capacity to spot a designer chair from a mile away isn't something marketable. I'm also having trouble making 'retentively organized' sound artistic and sexy. I'm clearly going to have to start making things up...What would Jasper Morrison say...

I hope you're doing well! I miss you.

Big hugs and lots of love,