SPAIN WEEKLY : EVERYDAY FAVORITES
Hi friends! Feels like forever since we've posted on here. Last week we detached from technology - Alicia and I took a wonderful vacation in Barcelona and we decided to literally unplug and soak up Spain. But we're back! Bringing you some favorites from Barthelona and a couple from NYC where I'm hanging out for the next week. We took loads of pictures and videos from our trip, so stayed tuned. Hope you're all enjoying what feels like the true beginning of Autumn as I crunch the crisp leaves under my boots - It's great to be back (once again) in America!
MERCAT DE LA BOQUERIA
At least 4 times during the week, this was our go-to for snacks. Next time you're in Barcelona on a sunny day, do this: Pack a backpack with water, some plates, napkins and a good knife and head to 'Mercat de la Boqueria.' Look for the crowds gathering under the stained-glass crest of Saint Josep, right off Las Ramblas in the Gothic section of the old city. Skip the vendors up front and head to the back. It's cheaper in the back. It's the most insane rainbow palette of fresh and dried fruits, nuts, cured hams (jamon), spices, fish fresh out of the water packed on ice, fresh juices, pickled artichokes and olives, bread, and cheese. Think Chelsea Market meets Morocco. And it's super cheap! Pick up some iberico ham, some bouquerones (white anchovies in vinegar), a baguette, some small batch vermouth (not like our vermouth), some garroxta and manchego cheese, marinated artichokes and head to Parc de Ciutadella or Castell de Montjuic, listen to the birds and call it a day!
A solid day trip (30 minutes from Barcelona) is to Montserrat. More than the picturesque stunning view, once you make your way into the Benedictine Basilica and abbey, it has to be one of the most spiritually connected places I've ever been. Whether you're religious or love mythology or you're deathly afraid of heights, it's quite the experience. Go and see for yourself.
CANON POWERSHOOT G7X
We brought this everywhere while in Barcelona. Recently we've been in the market for a new camera; something that can take good HD pictures as well as nice video (for vlogging). All signs (and reviews) pointed toward the Canon G7X, and you know what? They weren't lyin! This camera's great and versatile and perfectly pocket sized. Leave the big guns at home. Between the tons of light it allows in, the great image stabilization, the flip screen, and the touch focus feature, versatility wise, this baby trumps them all.
Finding good falafel in NYC can be tricky in a city dominated by smaller chains like Maoz and Taim. Generally, in midtown manhattan, your options for good food, even street food like falafel, after office hours are a rare find. You usually have to travel further south to places like Mamouns to get anything decent. My friends Lee and Julian who work in the area, found this special spot on 40th Street away from the mad theatre-going crowds of Broadway so we paid CRISP a visit. Other than having the best falafel, not just in NYC but anywhere, this spot makes you rethink how good a ball of light crispy falafel can be. You can always tell good falafel. It should be light tan in color, and tender and light green (not dry) on the inside. Order an Israeli bowl with falafel and tuck in!
HAMILTON, AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Its a hot ticket right now but I managed to snag a house seat (thanks Emmy Raver-Lampman) last night and take in what everyones been gushing about since this production started running at the Public. Everything you heard is true. It's not just good and relevant and all the other accolades its received, it's cool! Broadway pushes boundaries, sometimes way past the confines of the theatre, but Broadway is not generally cool and sitting there watching it play out, you realize this thing is COOL. When Lin Manuel Miranda wrote himself into his own show, he knew that the story of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers could not only be dramatic and intriguing but could be told through Hip Hop narrative through the lens of the people that make up and have built this country: Hispanics, Blacks...Immigrants. The best part is that Miranda's hip hop style borrows everything from early Sugarhill Gang to Reggae to Frank Ocean to Eminem to Eryka Badu. It's so good and so fresh!
If you get the chance to come to NYC, go see this show! Here's a snippet from Leslie Odom Jr. who steals the show in my opinion. Also Pippa, Betsy, and Emmy are 3 outstanding talents who I got to work with each separately over my career. It's so great to see friends doing great work.