Every Picture Tells a Story.

The image in my new header is from my first meal at Eleven Madison Park in 2009.  The image in my previous header is from my meal at La Alqueria in 2007. They were two very dissimilar meals, but both were equally impactful on my eating life, so it made perfect sense to have photographs from them featured so prominently on the page.  In both cases, I chose my color scheme and then found pictures from my travels that coordinated seamlessly.  I guess I’m lucky to have eaten not just some lovely food, but colorful food.

Every Picture Tells a Story” by Rod Stewart.

Hate It or Love It.

When I started this blog, I was determined to stick to my three topics: food, books and travel.  The world is simply too full of too many topics, and I wanted to stay focused.

I’m breaking my rules here, people.

Why oh why is Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of Bon Appétit?  The magazine is supposed to be about food, not the celebrities who write books and cookbooks about it.  When I received my copy in the mail today (along with Allure and Esquire), it took me a moment to realize that the magazine I held in my hands was indeed Bon Appétit.  Where was the tantalizing photo of towering layer cakes, of burnished gold chickens, of luscious bowls of pasta?

I understand why images of celebrities and other famous folk oftentimes are emblazoned across and throughout publications — put Angelina Jolie on the cover of Vanity Fair and you’ll sell millions of copies; ditto Lady Gaga and Vogue.  The difference is that Vanity Fair is a magazine about politics and pop culture and Vogue is unabashedly about fashion and style.  Bon Appétit, on the other hand, is about — or is purportedly about — food, drink and entertaining.

Honestly, I have nothing against Ms. Paltrow; I read GOOP, I watch Glee, I liked her in the Iron Mans, I’ll probably borrow My Father’s Daughter from the library and if I like it I’ll likely buy it.  In the magazine, Ms. Paltrow is quoted as saying “Maldon sea salt, olive oil and lemon can make anything great,” something I myself have said several times before; last night’s quickie dinner even put that philosophy to work.

What upsets me is this: I can’t help but think that somehow the integrity of Bon Appétit has been compromised.  Of course Ms. Paltrow’s cover will sell magazines and in the industry’s troubling times profits are more important than ever. I understand this.

I’m still disappointed.

Hate It or Love It” by The Game.

A Place Called Home.

Here I am now, at home.  I love traveling, and I love going places, and even though I’ve been to Asia more times than I can count, each trip is still amazing and fun and exciting.  That said, I’m glad to be home, sitting on my pouf with my laptop while Bethenny Ever After… is on On-Demand.  (Don’t judge.)

I do admittedly feel that clichéd thing about time fly fly flying but that’s how the trip felt for me: it went by so fast and intense that it’s almost hard to imagine the details of it at all.  I mean, we were in Boracay a week ago, perspiring and getting absolutely gnawed to death by mosquitoes, and now it’s a bit chilly in my apartment and something like 57° outside and sunny, but in a way that makes you want to sit in it as opposed to hide from it, which is what it was certainly like in Asia, particularly for the easily-sunburned Keith.

Speaking of Keith… what a lovely man, what an outstanding individual.  I’ve been sick as a pike since Tuesday and he’s been handling it (read: me) incredibly well.  I arrived in Hong Kong on Monday with a tickle in my throat, and by the time Tuesday rolled around I had run out of medicine and was taking these Chinese herbal pills called Zomoxyl, which smelled like nothing else I have ever experienced.  It had ingredients in it such as herba androgrphitis (40%), herba taraxaci (20%), herba violae (20%), radix scutellarine (10%) and glycyrrhiza uralensis (10%).  The best part was the little English-and-Cantonese write-up that came inside.  I would have scanned it, but it was just too ridiculous and it’s much if I just tell you about it.  Let’s just say that there was a bald eagle, with a waving-in-the-wind American flag behind it, and a star-bedazzled olive branch framing the whole thing.  Here are some highlights of what Zomoxyl supposedly treats:

  • upper respiratory tract infections like otitis media;
  • lower respiratory tract infections like lung abscess, empyema and bronchiectasis;
  • dental infections;
  • skin and soft tissue infections like cellulites and impetigo;
  • genitourinary (?!) tract infections like pyelonephritis, cystitis, bacteriuria, acute prostatitis and gonorrhoea;
  • bone and joint infections like ostemyelitis;
  • and “severe systemic infections” like gynaecological infections, pureperal sepsis, septicaemia, peritonitis, intra-abdominal spesis, menigitis, typhoid and paratyphoid fever.

I kept all the spelling from Zomoxyl sheet as is.

I should never get sick again after fourteen of those capsules, instead of coughing my way across Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui and Victoria Harbour and spitting up funky chartreuse phlegm and trying to walk around in crazy heat and humidity with a congested heavy head that felt like it was slowly going to cave in.  And when I say crazy heat and humidity, I mean the kind where standing still outdoors makes sweat drip down your boobs and your back.  I can’t figure out which is worse, sweat dripping down the front or the back, when neither is preferable.

What I should do now is some laundry and make a grocery list for my empty home, but what I really want to do is take a nap.  More later, I suppose.

Oh, and the vomiting — I’ve been vomiting since Wednesday.  I stayed in bed until noon while Keith bought some tea and stocked up on table tennis gear, then vomited up my Michelin-starred lunch, my water the next morning at the hotel and at the airport, and then who-knows-what on the plane several times and then more at JFK…  Why couldn’t I have gotten sick in Manila, when I was almost always surrounded by a surgeon, a pediatrician and a med student, instead of by Chinese pharmacists with whom communication was a true adventure?  This eagle-loving, USA-emblazoned Zomoxyl better clear up everything that ever has or ever will be wrong with me medically ever.

And now, laundry!

A Place Called Home” by PJ Harvey.

Been So Long.

I’ve just gotten back to Manila from a trip to Hanoi and Siem Reap, and tomorrow morning I’m off yet again, this time to Boracay.  The thing about traveling, particularly in this part of the world, is that there is incredibly intermittent internet access.  I’ve got lots to share, I swear I do, and pictures to go along with my stories, but it will all have to wait.  I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know I’m still here, and I’m thinking of you.

Been So Long” by Saint Etienne.