Summer Reading List

There is nothing better than the beach and a good book! Where do I start?

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The Vacationers, Emma Straub: a family and their closest friends take a two-week vacation to Mallorca. Adventures, secrets, love, food and more.

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City of Lost Dreams, Magnus Flyte: I was completely entranced by The City of Dark Magic when I read it last summer. This follow-up is sure to be filled with all the same suspense, danger, time-travel and romance.

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A Hundred Summers, Beatriz Williams: Everyone friend I asked recommended this book. Apparently if you liked Rules of Civility, you will love this.

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The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt: I fell in love with Donna Tartt after reading The Secret History almost a decade ago. I hear this book is long, dark, and the end anticlimactic, but I’m going to read it anyway.

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The Matchmaker, Elin Hilderbrand: beach reading at its finest. I’m a sucker for Nantucket and Elin Hilderbrand, what can I say?

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What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty: a woman wakes up one day and her entire life has passed. Sounds absolutely terrifying, and I can’t wait to read it.

 

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Tinto de Verano

I’ve just started my summer adventure in Spain and discovered a lovely drink, Tinto de Verano. Apparently Sangria is quite “touristy,” and this is the simple, local version of the original classic. It’s equal parts chilled red wine and lemon soda (sprite or Fanta works, too) served over ice.

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The Best Burgers Around

Grilling season may be upon us (finally!), but I’m a fan of a burger all year around. Seriously, though, who isn’t?

I asked around the past couple of weeks: what’s your favorite burger of all time? I got a great variety of responses, and have since created this list of the top destinations (in no particular order).

Umami Burger – all around amazing, but the bun really sets this one apart from the rest. Umami has locations all over LA, with new locations in Miami, San Francisco and New York. Try the pickles while you’re there, too.

Umami Burger

Umami Burger

J.G. Melon’s – it’s a New York City institution. Enough said. Bring cash, they don’t take credit cards.

The Spotted Pig – this ranks top on my list for atmosphere. It’s a great place to hang on Sunday afternoon and have cocktails. I love my burger with blue cheese. The rosemary french fries are also to die for. Really, though, the entire menu is great.

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig

In-and-Out – no trip to California would be complete without a stop at In-and-Out. I’m a fan of the classic cheeseburger, but I know people go nuts for the secret menu.

Shake Shack – there is a reason people stalk the video cam to see how long the line is at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. It’s worth the wait.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Barney’s Burgers at the Brentwood Country Mart – I stumbled upon this place a few years ago. Since then I’ve sent a bunch of friends and it’s been a resounding hit! If you’re in the area, it’s worth the stop.

Wayfare Tavern – this San Francisco spot is well known for its fried chicken, but I think the burger is the best thing on the menu. Be sure to order it with bacon.

Wayfare Tavern

Wayfare Tavern

The 21 Club – another New York City institution. It’s formal (men need to wear a blazer in the bar), but it’s worth it.

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien - when I first moved to New York I would venture in here at least once a week. The entrance is tucked behind curtains in the lobby with a simple neon sign of a burger above the door.

The Burger Joint

The Burger Joint

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The Magic of New Beginnings

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Spring Inspiration

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Bon Appetit: 20 Best Restaurants in the U.S.

cover_bonap_135Have you seen the most recent issue of Bon Appetit? Andrew Knowlton ranks the “Top 20 Most Important Restaurants in the U.S.”

First and foremost, I think this ranking is an impossible feat. How on earth could you narrow down your favorites from across the country? Maybe one or two cities?

I am proud to say I’ve eaten at 8 of the 20 restaurants on Andrew’s list. Of those, my personal favorites on the list are Roberta’s in Brooklyn, Cochon in New Orleans and Animal in Los Angeles.

It’s also awesome that Bon Appetit had each of the chef’s make a list of their own favorite restaurants. i think it’s hilarious that David Chang picked the Cheesecake Factory, and I love that Sean Brock of Husk picked Blue Hill Stone Barns.

So, what would be on your list? I’m just starting to think about mine. Stay tuned…

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25 things to do while stranded at an airport…

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Last year I got stuck in the Miami airport with our photo crew. After eight hours of boredom, we made a list of the top 25 things to do when you’re stranded at an airport. Needless to say, a few cocktails definitely helped our creative ideation.

Without further ado, here’s the list (in no particular order):

  • Get drunk 
  • Set up an iPod and speakers and have a dance party
  • Host a group nap
  • Try to create a costume out of the contents of your suitcase/carry-on
  • Stand in Duty Free and pretend to be a perfume girl/guy
  • See how many phone numbers you can collect
  • Play charades
  • Wear large sunglasses and introduce yourself to people as a “celebrity”
  • Host a talent competition at your gate
  • Talk yourself into an Admirals Lounges
  • Set up a kissing booth and raise money for charity
  • Convince a stranger to switch boarding passes with you
  • Coordinate a flash mob
  • Hold a casting for your new best friend
  • Pretend to read palms
  • Ask a random stranger to ballroom dance in the hallway
  • Practice joining the mile-high club in the airport bathroom
  • Talk a bartender into allowing you to guest-bartend
  • Build a fort with coats and scarves
  • Set up a bowling alley with empty soda cans
  • Make up a fake identity and see how many people you can convince
  • Teach a step class at the gate using the chairs
  • Slip-and-slide down the airport hallway using neck pillows
  • Start a wave and try to get it to go down the entire length of the terminal
  • Learn how to say f**k you in 20 different languages

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