Weekly Roundup: July 20

Another week, another check mark on my list next to something I’ve been wanting to do for ages: go to Summerstage. That and a few other things below make up this week’s roundup:



Central Park sunset

Central Park sunset

Madeline exhibit at the NY Historical Society

Madeline exhibit at the NY Historical Society

Caffe Storico at the NY Historical Society

Caffe Storico at the NY Historical Society

View from the LIRR

View from the LIRR

A festive Indian restaurant

A festive Indian restaurant

Happy sunflower

Happy sunflower

Monday Mélange: NY Architecture

If you’ve seen my Instagram lately (@maddiemonmon which is private – but I’m pretty open to accepting followers), or at least have looked at the right sidebar at my two most recent photos, you will notice that I’ve been very into taking photos of architecture in New York lately. The crisp black and white filter comes from Nigel Barker’s Instagram, which is one of my favorite odes to NYC. I took an architecture class in Paris, and ever since, I’ve been more aware of architectural beauty. Here are some of the buildings in New York that I find to be five of the most beautiful.

1. The Frick Museum – One of my friends and I have joked since high school that this is our future home. Right on 5th Avenue with Cherry Blossoms that bloom in the spring, this mansion-turned-museum is quite a beautiful view from the M1 down 5th Ave.

Frick Museum

2. St. Ignatius Loyola Church – Studying architecture in Europe means studying a lot of churches and cathedrals. That’s why I think of St. Ignatius Loyola as one of the best examples of classic architecture in NY. It is elaborate and has egg and dart and pilasters all over. You can tell it’s nestled among posh Park Avenue apartments and has parishioners like Kennedy’s by the way its beautifully kept.

3. Cooper Hewitt Museum – Formerly Carnegie’s mansion, the museum has been under construction for the past few years. But its beautiful facade and even more beautiful hardwood interiors are architectural beauty at its finest.

4. Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue – Would you believe me if I told you this building was built in 2010? Ralph Lauren mimicked his other building just across the street for his new flagship store on Madison Avenue. I’d happily give up the Frick to my friend to live in this Madison Avenue masterpiece.

5. Classic Brownstones – New York’s brownstones give it much of its personality. From Carrie Bradshaw’s rent-controlled apartment everyone in New York simply dreams of, to the cute and homey brownstone Meg Ryan called home in You’ve Got Mail (shown below), brownstones are classic New York.

Summer in the City: NYC To-Eat List

I’m a list-maker, so in order to make the most of my summer – potentially the last I have in NYC if I move come graduation – I’m going to make a number of lists that I’ll share with you via my “Summer in the City” series.

This first list is one of my favorites: my “to-eat” list. I have bookmarked and taken photos of things I need to try in NYC this summer. For those of you looking to make lists in your own cities, Serious Eats is one of my favorite sources of inspiration, but Pinterest is always a reliable one, too.

ricotta gnudiThe Spotted Pig, $18 – I think Serious Eats will make you understand if the photo below doesn’t already: “the warm, tender, sheep’s milk ricotta burst out of its paper-thin pasta shell, a drizzle of browned butter, sage, and mounted butter the only other ingredients that share the plate.” I mean… that’s all.

Ricotta Gnudi | netflix & nutella

The Fat Radish – I tried to find plates to mention in this post, but as I looked at each the brunch, lunch and dinner menus, I really couldn’t decide. All the more reason to go to The Fat Radish, a farm to table restaurant, with a group of friends so I can try more than one thing on the menu. Here’s what I THINK I’d try:

Spring pot pie, The Fat Radish | netflix & nutella
Spring pea pot pie ($16)
Asparagus Frittata, lively run goat feta, sunflower sprouts ($16)
House made donuts with seasonal jam ($9)
Charred spring garlic & sheep milk yogurt with naan and breadcrumbs, the fat radish | netflix & nutella
Charred spring garlic & sheep milk yogurt with naan and breadcrumbs ($12)
Warm roasted vegetables & quinoa salad ($12)
BLT Sandwich, avocado, farm poached egg ($15)
N.C. Shrimp & Grits, the fat radish | netflix & nutella
*Special: NC Shrimp and Grits
*Special: Poached egg & farro, charred greens, dashi broth

rigatoni with eggplant, ricotta salata and basil, Bar Primi, $16 – This new homestyle Italian food joint on Bowery is going to be the talk of the town. With homemade pastas and dishes to match its classic Italian decor, this is one I’ll stop by for a delicious taste of familiarity.

Rigatoni from Bar Primi | netflix & nutella

patty melt, Court Street Grocers, $12 – I read about this sandwich in Bon Appetit, and now that I’ve read that it’s served on Orwasher’s rye, home to one of the best baguettes in NY (which I can tell you from experience is absolutely true), this sandwich became even more necessary. The magazine described it as “one hot mess” with “tender meat with sweet caramelized onions and melty cheddar on buttery rye.”

pancakes, Clinton Street Baking, $14 – These are some of the most famous pancakes in NYC right now, and as per my sister, it’s for good reason. They’re fluffy, and with a choice of blueberry, banana walnut and chocolate chunk and served with warm maple butter, can it get any better? Oh, and did I mention the spot serves breakfast for dinner?

Blueberry pancakes from Clinton baki

Monday Mélange: NYC To-Do List

After a long, stressful last few weeks of school, I’ve made it home to NYC in one piece. I had 3 bags – each packed to the brim – and a great year of memories, new friends and experiences to accompany me. For one of the first times of my life – excluding my days in Paris – I was more sad than excited to come home. This year was my best so far at school, and I wasn’t ready for it to end. I still don’t really feel like it’s over. For that reason, I’ve decided to occupy my mind in other ways.

After walking around my neighborhood and Central Park with my dad for a total of 4 hours, I realized how many New York moments I haven’t really experienced. So after compiling a list in my planner, I’ve decided to share the top 5 things on my New York to-do list for this summer.

1) Go to Coney Island. Not only do I want to visit the famous amusement park, I need to try to the original Nathan’s hot dog. For those of you who’ve seen Uptown Girls, you know the reaction I get when people have heard I’ve never been to either.

Nathan's Hot Dogs at Coney Island | Netflix & Nutella

Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Coney Island | Netflix & Nutella

2) Go to a Yankee game. Ok – so this I’ve done, but only twice and I’ve never gone with friends. Once I turn 21 in late-July, I’m looking forward to getting some $20 seats up in the nosebleeds and enjoy a game with some friends. This is how I’m imagining it:

Sex and the City at the Yankee game | Netflix & nutella

3) Go to NY’s free concerts. I’ve never been to one of the free concerts in Central Park, and after some research, I’m excited to see Ingrid Michaelson with Summer Stage and the New York Philharmonic’s concert featuring music from my favorite classical composer, Tchaikovsky, and Strauss.

NY Philharmonic in the Park | Netflix & nutella

NY Philharmonic in the Park | Netflix & nutella

4) Eat the city’s best chicken parm. After reading this article, I’ve been wanting to try Parm and have just never had the chance. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to bond with my brother and dad, as they will be the experienced judges to see if this chicken parm sandwich is truly the best.

Parm NYC | netflix & nutella

Parm NYC | netflix & nutella

5) Go to the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Free movies in Byrant Park? You can ask how I’ve never done this before; I simply don’t have an answer. May or may not be most excited to see Blazing Saddles.

Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles

Monday Mélange: Flakes on New York

This Saturday, New York was hit with a lot of snow. It was beautiful, and I braved as much of the chilly air as I could to wander around the best city in the world. Here are some of my favorite shots, though my fingers barely made it back home to my warm homemade cocoa!

  • Central Park covered in snow

New York | netflix & nutella

  • Christmas trees for sale

New York | netflix & nutella

  • Park Avenue traffic continues

New York | netflix & nutella


  • Wreaths on a gate

New York | netflix & nutella


  • The Great Lawn…can barely see to the other side

New York | netflix & nutella


Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Beware: the ultimate winter cookie is coming your way.

I successfully flew home on Thursday evening well before the amazing snow storm that hit New York on Saturday. It made me feel like a kid again. Though the prolonged fall-like weather in North Carolina is well worth it at times, I hadn’t witnessed a true snow since high school. This certainly changed that.

Ultimate Ginger Cookies | netflix & nutella

My family has gone through some changes this past year. We’ll be spending the holidays somewhere new, which is altogether exciting and a tad bittersweet. But the white-covered trees and these ginger cookies bring me back to being a kid, comforting me and allowing me to resort to some of the forgotten pleasures. Stepping on freshly snow on the sidewalk will always provide the most perfect crunch. Like the outside of these cookies before reaching the gooey inside.

Whether with a glass of milk, a warm cup of coffee, or on its own after a long evening, these cookies will warm you up inside and out.

Ultimate Ginger Cookies | netflix & nutella

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten (I didn’t have molasses so used the same measurement of honey. They were slightly less gooey than the last time I made this recipe, but just as delicious.)

Ultimate Ginger Cookies | netflix & nutella

Monday Mélange: NY State of Mind

This Monday, it’s all about New York. I  go home on Wednesday. I haven’t been home since mid-August, so I there’s little on my mind besides what awaits me at home. Here’s a mélange of what I look forward to:

1. Sight seeing. When you’re from somewhere like New York, it’s easy to take everyday things for granted. I can’t wait to embrace the Empire State Building, the parade, and the Met Museum while I’m home.

Empire State

2. Chelsea Market is a fun outing for my whole family. It’s an old Nabisco factory, so looking for the brand’s logo while people watching always provides for an entertaining afternoon. And stopping by Lucy’s Whey is a must for fresh goat cheese.Chelsea Market

3. NYC Pizza. My favorite slice is at Patsy’s in East Harlem. The tangy sauce, the thin but doughy crust perfectly blackened. My idea of heaven.

Patsy's Pizza

4. I fly home on my mom’s birthday, so a trip to Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel is a must. It’s a classy piano bar whose walls are covered in art by the famous children’s author for whom the bar is named. It’s also nice to pay hommage to the man who created the “small but inside I’m tall” girl for whom I was named.

Bemelman's Bar

5.  Most importantly, I can’t wait to indulge in my mom’s homemade Thanksgiving dishes. From the stuffing to bacon-topped Brussels sprouts, I can’t wait.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Meals to Savor

I’m fully adjusted back to life in America. Unfortunately.

Paris feels like a distant memory, but I like to believe that I can still taste those daily croissants and glasses of wine. (Can’t wait to turn 21…in 2014.)

I’ve started my summer internship and my time has completely escaped from my grasp. When I’m not at work, I’m lying on my couch trying to resist looking at a computer screen for one more second. It’s kind of a nice change; instead of being glued to the bores of Facebook, I’m talking to my grandma about times past, looking through old photographs with my siblings, and reading a great book for food lovers and New Yorkers alike, 97 Orchard Street: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement.

I’ve also been meeting up with old friends to catch up after my 5 months abroad. It’s so great when you can sit down with a friend and truly pick up right where you left off.

To meet up with my friends for dinner, I’ve been making reservations through a site my friend showed me, Savored (sponsored by Groupon). It’s a reservation service that allows you to browse restaurants in your area by price, category of cuisine, and neighborhood.

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 7.41.45 PM

What sets it apart from other websites? All of the sites on Savored offer a discount (in my experience somewhere between 10-30% depending on the time of your meal) off the total bill including drinks. Not bad, huh? It’s available  in many larger American cities and well worth the one extra email in your inbox.

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 7.42.00 PM

Back in the New York Groove

After finals week came to a close and I enjoyed my last few days in Paris, I can’t believe that I’m now back in New York.


It’s bittersweet. The weather has been rainy and cold ever since I got here, which is making enjoying the city a bit difficult. I’m on Long Island for Memorial Day weekend, going through old clothes, old trinkets, and many memories.

It’s hard being back in New York. I missed my family and New York a lot, and it’s nice to be back in my own bed and have my whole closet of clothes to choose from as opposed to the selection of clothes I’ve been rewearing for the past 5 months.

Simple tasks like driving to the grocery store are strange. I hadn’t been behind the wheel in 5 months, and though it comes back to you like riding a bike, it definitely feels weird to be the driver instead of the passenger. At the market, I almost bumped into a few people and felt “Pardon” slipping out of my mouth, before quickly switching to “Excuse me.”


It’s little adjustments like keeping my eyes on the road and switching languages that will take a bit of time to get used to. What will take a bit longer is no longer seeing my oldest sister every day. I’ve grown accustomed to the rants and raves that she and I settled into. And the occasional cute mistakes we’d mock her boyfriend about. (My favorite is “Why are you so mean with me?” Just too cute.)

Before I left, we made homemade crepes. Though I have the essence of France with the 3 jars of mustard I brought back with me, the taste isn’t the same without Emily.

Crepe Batter    DSCF2019

DSCF2026    DSCF2021


Can’t wait for August, Em. I miss you!

Here’s a recipe for crepes, though hers is from memory.
*Update: The link above is now a link my sister suggests as a good crepe recipe.

If It Makes You Happy

Here’s a collage of things that make me smile. Happy Friday!

If It Makes You Happy