Bodega Finds

Ah, Half Baked. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Ah, Half Baked. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Living in New York can be a pain in the ass and every one of us that lives here has a million things to bitch about, but if there’s one distinctly New York thing I’m actually thankful for it’s bodegas.

That’s right, bodegas. Convenience or corner stores for those of you that don’t live in this zoo.  You can find them on almost every block in every neighborhood in this city and if you’re ever in a pinch— be it for ice cream, dishwashing soap, condoms, or any other random thing— you can almost always just run down the street and they’ll have what you need.

Sometimes, they even surprise you with things you didn’t realize you needed but then wonder how you lived without them. That’s what’s happened to me anyway the last few times I’ve popped into one of the million bodegas in my neighborhood.

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I already love Ritters, and then they went and made a coconut macaroon type. Ah-mazing.

Take this Ritter Sport, coconut macaroon holiday edition, for example. I originally stopped in for coffee but walked out with a delicious chocolate bar that I hadn’t seen anywhere else and made my crappy, cold morning precisely a thousand times better.

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I gotta tell you, this cookie on cookie action works for me.

Then there was the time last week when I ran into a bodega to use the ATM and spotted these insane Oreos with chocolate chip cookie dough flavored creme. What?! How do you pass those? You don’t. You buy them and you take them home and you devour them with your roommate. Happiness ensues.

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I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for gimmicky M&M’s.

And then there was the recent time when said roommate and I ran to the nearest bodega for bottles of water to squash our awful hangovers, when we spotted these at the register: birthday cake M&M’s. I mean, really, it’s like each one is filled with a core of chocolaty deliciousness, happiness and sunshine.

So thank you bodegas of New York. Sometimes you’re weird, sometimes your clerks are creepy, and sometimes I’m convinced you’re just fronts for God knows what kind of illegal activity. But most of the time you just have exactly what I need exactly when I don’t even know I need it. And for that, I thank you.

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Snowed in

Snow is coming down sideways right now, swirling around in the air and making the view from my window look like I’m living in a life-sized snow globe. The sidewalks are white and the streets have turned into a gross mess of brown slush. The governor, the news tells me, has declared a state of emergency for New York.

And you know what I’m doing at this very moment, while I write this? Eating ice cream. Not slurping a bowl of chicken noodle soup or drinking hot cocoa. Nope, not this girl. When I went to the supermarket earlier today in a last-ditch effort to prepare for the storm, I picked up a cucumber, an avocado, a box of 100-calorie Oreo crisps, and a pint of Haagen-Dazs coconut macaroon ice cream.

Baby it’s cold outside

Because my Polly Pocket kitchen only has a mini fridge with no freezer, I don’t usually buy ice cream to keep at home, but today something about this dreary winter storm (stupidly named Nemo) inspired me to get some.

So while the tri-state area gets blanketed in snow and the newscasters work themselves into a tizzy of hysterics over what is really just completely normal winter weather, I’m wrapped in a throw blanket on the couch, feet propped up, computer on my lap and a pint of ice cream by my side. And you know what? It’s soooo good. Screw the snow!  This ice cream is where it’s at right now! Rich creamy coconut ice cream with chunks of chewy coconut macaroons. Nemo who?

Best of all, because the weather is so icy, once I’m ready to take a break from stuffing my face full of ice cream, I have every intention of wrapping my pint in a plastic bag and leaving it outside on the fire escape, until I feel like digging into it again. Til then, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Bakery paradise

If in New York I had Momofuku Milkbar, in San Francisco I have  Tartine Bakery. I kept reading about Tartine and hearing people talk about it, always with an almost crazed look in their eye. Like “Oh you haven’t been to Tartine?? Oh!  Well, you. Haven’t. LIIIIIIVED.”

Ok, maybe not that dramatic. But that’s how I’m going to react from now on when I speak to people who haven’t been there. I finally got around to checking it out last weekend and well, it was fantastic. It was beyond fantastic. It was the stuff dreams are made of. My dreams anyway.

Cream tarts, big and small

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