I Want To Be A Part Of It // #CCTakesNYC, Part I

If you've been wondering where I've been for the past week (unlikely), I've basically been half dead from a nice combination of overexcitement, overindulgence, and overexhaustion.

You see, my best friend flew into the Big Apple to visit me (or to eat, it's unclear). And life is just a little better, a little more fun, a little funnier when your best friend is within yelling distance, you know? Or hugging distance, I guess.

It's been the best having her here and getting to show her all my favorite haunts, and getting to discover places new to both of us, and even just reverting back to our ways of two hour naps in the middle of the day and watching hysterical videos as a little breather when we got too tired. I think I could have the greatest time with this girl in the middle of NowhereLand, America if need be.

The grand adventure began on Thursday. Cassandra flew red-eye into Cleveland, made her connection by a literal two or three minutes, got into LaGuardia and somehow managed to finagle her way to Grand Central Station. I don't know how she does it. She met me at 30 Rock for lunch and then went to go do her own thing for a bit.

After work, I made her walk all three miles back home with me just to show her my daily commute. Best hostess right here.
I decided that a visit to Ippudo was absolutely compulsory, especially as Cassandra has never had real Japanese ramen before. Luckily, the wait was not an outrageous four hours, but a very doable ten minutes. 

Throughout the weekend, we implemented a sharing rule. Everywhere we ate, we would order one or two things and split it evenly. That way, we could try more things and eat at more places without feeling like encased sausages.
We started off with pork buns.

This summer, I've tried both Baohaus and Momofuku pork buns, and I still think that Ippudo is the champion where these babies are concerned. Light and fluffy buns, a good ratio of lean to fatty pork, a nice crunch from the lettuce, and a sauce with a kick that isn't too much. Winner, winner, chicken pork buns dinner.
And then some spicy ramen. Mmmmm.
The verdict? Smiles all around.

Afterward, we continued our sojourn back to my apartment. We wanted something sweet and decided on boba. I remembered CoCo, a boba place around the corner for me and we ventured in for a pick-me-up:
At home, I showed her my magical rooftop and then we laid in bed and caught up until we both passed out from a taxing day. Her, of traveling. Me, of sitting.

When we reluctantly woke up, Cassandra demanded ice cream.

So we walked over to the trendy Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and tried their famous Salty Pimp - and although it was deliciously sweet and salty, I will say that I do think it's overpriced for what it is. It is quite the sparkly joint for icy treats, though, so there's that!
Girl also demanded pizza anytime we left the apartment.

What she wants, she gets:
And finally, we wandered over to Washington Square Park and chatted while sitting by the fountain - about this summer, and this upcoming school year, and our plans for Europe next summer. We talked about ten days from now and ten years from now, and I've never been so excited about what's to come.

It's really the best thing, having your best friend next to you.
More to come!

Chop Chop Choppity Chop

The unruly, heavy, tangly mop of a mane I had is gone, allllll gone!

You can't particularly tell in the 'before' photo, but my hair had gotten to be waist-length and impossible to take care of. It's been a bit of a brush-and-go situation lately. But on Sunday, I decided enough was enough, walked into a local salon, claimed a cup of Keurig coffee as my own, took a deep breath, pointed to my collarbone area and said "this short!"

The stylist gave a brisk nod, sent me off to a paradise known as the shampooing chair (eyes open or closed??), and then got to work fifteen minutes later. He took half of my hair in his hands, inspected it, and then snip, six inches of it disappeared. No going back now.

Then, before I knew it, he was cutting and cutting and cutting. In my head, there was a lot of "crap crap crap" going on and a lot of "*@#& what did I do?!"

I was 'iffy' until the very last second when he was done snipping and blowdrying and rubbing styling cream that smelled REALLY GOOD into the ends and straightening and performing magic. And then he gave me a magic mirror and I preened like a peacock, I did. 

What do you think?

I can't believe I was narcissistic enough to write an entire post about a haircut.  

Also, my hair grows back so fast, I bet it's waist length again by the time you read this.

Over and out. (Happy Tuesday!)

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Deliciousness // Washington D.C., The "Nothing But Food" Edition

First things first -

(I'm the realest) -

Have a drink on me. Might I suggest a white peach bellini? And I wouldn't advise scrolling through this post if you're even a little bit hungry - trust me on this one. When I said that our itinerary was literally "eat our way through DC," I certainly was not kidding. Here I am today with the evidence; the proof is in the pudding, folks. Or maybe ... in the cupcakes or the poptarts or the bacon. You'll see.

Lauren's been talking about Founding Farmers for close to a year, so this visit's been a long time coming. When I sent her my bus ticket to DC, she replied with an OpenTable reservation for brunch, that's how much of a priority this place was.

Man, was the wait worth it. Lauren tucked into the stuffed french toast (yeah) and let me steal bites (this is why I love her). A little crispy on the outside, ooey and gooey on the inside, not too sweet, but just sweet enough ... probably the best french toast I've ever had.
Then, I dug into my crab cake benedict. Let's see. Nick and Lauren's been singing this egg benedict's praises for what feels like eons, and I've officially joined the choir. HOLY. MOLY. I'm still salivating over this. 

Ignore the fruit, I didn't eat it. We shared bacon instead. 
At this point, there was a few hours' intermission in our eating itinerary, which we took advantage of by walking off brunch to make room for our next stop. This is when we went to go see Washington, Lincoln, and Henry the elephant.

Intermission over.

We Uber'ed ourselves (this is sad, whatever) to meet up with Dylan and his entourage at Baked & Wired, which I've been dying to visit since I can't even remember when. I kind of have this mission in life to try all of the famous cupcakes in the world, and Baked & Wired was the one glaring omission on my 'visited' list. 
Consider me in heaven. One, because Lauren and I shared four cupcakes between the two of us, which is practically begging for a heart attack. Two, because they were so gosh dang amazing that I think I really could die happy. We ordered the Dirty Chai, Red Velvet, Flapjack, and Vegan, but they misheard and gave us a Lemon instead of a Vegan. Still delicious, but the Dirty Chai and Red Velvet were the big winners IMHO.

I don't know why I documented my shame so meticulously, but whatever. There you have it.

No regrets. 
After a long nap

(oh my God, this post is so embarrassing. I should stop writing right now.)

we went over to Pizza Paradiso, conveniently right smack dab in the middle of Georgetown. It occurred to us that we never tried a 'shandy' - the British favorite - while we were in the UK and thought, hey let's try it. Won't hurt!

Won't hurt?! It hurts knowing that we missed out on so much. Although, perhaps the reason that this was so addicting was also due to the fact that apparently Pizza Paradiso has "the best lemonade" in DC. I'll have to invest in further research. Stay tuned.
Oh, and the pizza didn't suck either - not one bit. Inhaled both pies, in fact.

The next morning, we rallied on. I know that this post is supposedly 'nothing but food,' but here's a picture of a pretty lady aka one of my favorites in the history of ever:
... aaaand back to regular programming.

On Sunday, we crawled out of bed, bleary-eyed, in anticipation for another yummy meal. Overly ambitious, the two of us got on a bus (public transportation!), which dropped us off in the middle of this-isn't-where-my-food-is. So we called upon our savior the Uber man, who dropped us off at Lavagna, where we noshed on salmon omelettes (with gouda! and capers! and crispy potatoes!) and a shared another side of bacon. 
Before sending me off on my way back to NYC, Lauren insisted that we make a stop at Ted's Bulletin for their famous poptarts. Like a mother hen sending her little chickadees off into the pond for the rest time, she bought me a chocolate raspberry and a blueberry cheesecake for the ride home.

I ate them, thought they were absolutely amazing, and cried into them as I watched Amanda Seyfried being romanced by a gorgeous British fellow in Letters to Juliet.
Ooh, and lest I forget:

this was my first meal in DC - Shake Shack in Union Station with Nick and Lauren, with a side of a quality catch up conversation after a couple of months apart. It brought me right back to when the three of us made our Shake Shack runs in Covent Garden in London, and when I braved the crowds by myself for a chocolate milkshake in Times Square. Shake Shack's perfect anywhere, everywhere. (But the Union Station location is also as stately and refined as burger joints can get!) 
There we have it. A weekend in America's capital, doing what Americans do best. Overeating. Just trying to be patriotic, is all! 

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