Friday, August 31, 2012

Sweet Treats from the South

With just a few days before my senior year at NYU, I decided to ditch the City for a quick trip to Middle Georgia.  I’ve been sleeping in late, spending time with my family, shopping at the local Goodwill and of course munching on sweet treats from the South. 
Macon’s absent of any true bakeries.  It’s sad to say, but our Publix serves the best iced cookies in town.  So when my mom suggested I spend my pre-football Friday down in Dublin, scouting out a local favorite became the goal.

Williamson's Bakery easily takes the cake as the cutest, home-town bakery around.  Just like Luke's diner in Gilmore Girls, cell phones are prohibted, unless of course you're taking pictures of their ample desserts.  As soon as you walk in the door, the smell of fresh desserts hits.  Whether you're in the mood for cookies, cake, or coffee, they're sure to have just the thing to ease your sweet tooth.  Petite petit fours and icing dipped cookies immediately grabbed my addition.  Along with a red velvet cookie pie and a boston creme doughnut, they all made their way in my take-out bag.  So far, I've had a bite of the doughnut and the petit four dipped in vanilla icing, and a description of "perfectly fresh" would be an understatment. 

My only qualms with Williamson's would be the fact that you have to spend $5 to use a credit card.  So, unless you bring cash, there's no way you're leaving without too many desserts. 
Eating good in the neighborhood...Williamson's Bakery serves delicious sweet treats!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thrip Through TriBeCa

It's Day 2 of Welcome Week; move-in day's done and the Resource Center isn't quite so hectic.  Basically, that means it's officially the time when I get to leave the building!  For today, it was all about touring TriBeCa.

We started off at Billy's Bakery.  Located on 75 Franklin Street between Broadway and Church, this NYC favorite features a wide range of delicious baked goods.  Of course, they've got your classic red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate, but I decided to be  bit adventurous and try the banana nutella cupcake.  A beret of think, super-rich frosting rested atop the tiny, moist cake.  At $3.50, their prices were a little steep, but well worth it.  Plus their pretty, pastel decor and diner-inspired tables create the perfect ambiance to enjoy a sweet treat.

Next, we made a unscheduled pitstop at the Mysterious Bookshop.  Sherlock Holmes titles cover the shelves, and dime novels from the '50s line the tables.

For our quick coffee break, we headed over to Kaffe 1668 for iced lattes and biscotti.  Random sheep decorate their windows, and wooden benches help create a rustic feel for the coffee shop that's right in the middle of Manhattan.  As for their prices, they compare to Starbucks.  So, if you're in the mood for a cute, new spot, try it out.

As for the rest of my day, well I'll be flipping pancakes and packing for tomorrow's trip to GA.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perfect Photo Op Is an Understatement

Notice the Lights! 
I've been in a whirl of RA training for the last few days, learning new policies and coming up with bulletin board idea.  But in the midst of the endless powerpoint presentations, our leadership team suggested we substitute the typical takeout for a picnic dinner in a different borough.

That's right; our group of 40 invaded the grass of Brooklyn Bridge Park. With the City skyline as our backdrop, we sat on quilted blankets, munching on Grimaldi's pizza and ice cream.  We played get-to-know-you games and posed for pictures with our Co-RA.

Miss Claire Franjola
always seems to take
the best pictures of me! 
And after all the random fact learning, we walked over the famous bridge, back to Chinatown and 80 Lafayette. 

The saying's true...trees really do grow in Brooklyn. And, for all those people who refuse to leave Manhattan, just take the leap.  Pre-fall has the most perfect picnic weather. And if you're just not a cook, there's still no need to worry. The food near the park's delicious!  Plus, with the skyline as your background, I'm seeing a new facebook profile picture in your future! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Queen of Cooking Turns 100

Today would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday, and even though the queen of  the kitchen died in 2004, she's far from forgotten.  There's the PBS reruns of The French Chef, and the classic Dan Aykroyd skit on SNL.  Even Meryl Streep played her in "Julie and Julia."  And, I'm sure you've seen the google doodle of the day. Julia Child once said "fat gives things flavor." So I decided what would be a better way to honor her than a huge, delicious dinner with close friends?  

Joanna will soon be moving to Boston, so the gang gathered together one last time to do a few of our favorite things…gossip and eat!  Instead of French food, we dined at Maria Pia, an authentic Italian restaurant on 51st between 8th and 9th.

As with all great meals, it began with bread dipped in olive oil.  I ordered the chicken marsala (minus the mushrooms)paired with garlic mashed potatoes and sprinkled with fresh parmesean.   Jamie and Joanna stocked up on the carbs too, each trying a pasta dish-Julia would be proud!  Even though I had more than enough food for two meals, no doggy bag was necessary. Nope; I ate the whole thing in one sitting.  Thank goodness, I did at least resist the dessert urge of Italian pastries.
So tasty and pretty affordable-I'd say their prices compare with your
regular old Olive Garden, but the food quality's much better! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Football Fan Fashion's Receiving a Reboot

Thanks to the NFL's latest collaboration with Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, stadium fashion's receiving a reboot.

Dubbed "It's My Team," the latest line features more than just game day jerseys and over sized hoods. Up for grabs are fitted blazers, backless halter tops, and distressed leather boots-all with your favorite team's logo, reports The New York Times.

"This campaign aims to communicate that if you are living and wearing football, you can do it every day, year-round," says the vice president of NFL consumer products Tracey Bleczinski.

Even though women make up 45% of football's fans, it's the league's first feminine, fashion-forward collection.

The ad campaign features 20 noteworthy NFL fans, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, sportscaster Melissa Stark, and jewelry designer Melania Trump. Even Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams is part of the team. She wears a modified, Miami Dolphins jersey, with sky-high heels and a cream a line skirt for her spread.

Thankfully, football fashionistas won't have to wait much longer for the new designs. The limited-edition line will make its debut just in time for the September 5th New York Giants/Dallas Cowboys season opener.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

London 2012: Spice Up Your Life

Forget the athletes and the gold medals, the most newsworthy aspect of the London 2012 Closing Ceremony was the Spice Girls appearance! 
The Gang's All Here 
Scary, Sporty, Baby, Posh, and Ginger spiced up an otherwise pretty pitiful Closing Ceremony with their classic medleys and usual sky high platforms. They stormed onto the stage in black dapper cabs that quickly transformed, reflecting each of the fab five's individual personalities. In their much anticipated performance, their first smash hit, "Wannabe" got the crowd's attention with an energetic dance routine, Next, the ladies climbed onto the hoods of the cars and sang my personal favorite "Spice Up Your Life" as their cabbies zoomed by.

As for their fashion,  Victoria Beckham donned a stunning black strapless gown by Giles Deaco. Emma left her signature Baby Spice pigtails behind, but kept her adorable angle up in a baby pink number.  Geri's dished her ginger hair, leaving the red to her Union Jack inspired mini dress, which she paired with a Halo & Co. tiara. Always the tomboy at heart, Mel C wore a comfortable, white jumpsuit.  But the real crowd pleaser and ultimate outfit is awarded to Mel B. She showcased her perfect curves in a revealing, sequined Zuhair Murah bodysuit.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there will be a reunion tour any time soon. It's believed tonight's performance was the last time all five will share a stage.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Mixer in the Mail

Finally, it's been a day where the Olympics aren't the only thing on my mind, and how should I spend my time? Well, unfortunately I've been locked in the Lafayette Resource Center for 12 hours, but at least I had a package from Malaysia come my way. It's nothing super crazy and exotic, just some jewelry I had shipped from etsy.

I'm sure somewhere in my future there'll be ar real, ruby red KitchenAid mixer, but on my college budget, the more than $350 price tag's a little hard to swallow. So, for now I'll have to settle for these pint-sized silver dangelies. They're one of a kind, 100% vintage, and cost less than $5 with shipping...if only they made bite-sized brownies too.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Track Events Have Just Begun And Already World Records Are Being Set

Great Britain's Jessica Ennis began her quest for the gold by setting a new world record. In her 100M hurdles heat, she clocked in at just 12.54 seconds, the quickest hurdles time ever recorded by a woman in a heptathlon. It gives her a 17-point lead over the second place finisher, Canadian Jessica Zeliknka. Ennis will also be competing in the high jump, shot-put and 200 M heats today.

And incase you've been busy this Friday, here's a few of the top headlines so far....

Three U.S. Sprinters Place First in Qualifying Heat
Three Team USA sprinters have finished the women's 400M qualifying races at the top of their heat. Francena McCoroy finished first in the women's round 1 heat 1 400M race. She clocked in at 50.78 seconds, with Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu just .02 seconds behind. This is her first Olympic appearance. Fellow U.S. sprinter DeeDee Trotter placed first in the third heat. She quickly took the lead, running the track in 50.87 seconds. At the 2004 summer Olympics, Trotter placed 5th overall in the 400 meters. She did not qualify for the '08 Beijing finals due to a major knee injury. Two-time gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross led the fourth heat with at time of 51.78 seconds. She is the reigning world champion in the 400M race. The three women will compete in the August 4 semifinals.

Federer Wins Longest Olympic Tennis Match
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer kept his gold medal dreams alive, winning the longest tennis singles match in Olympic history. After Juan Martin de Potro of Argentia won the first set and Federer the second, they battled for more than four hours to 17 games in the third set. In the end, Federer pulled it out, breaking de Potro to win 19-17 in the third. Federer won gold in doubles at the '08 Games but has never won an individual Olympic medal.

Anthony Davis Forgets His Jersey! Oops!
Anthony Davis was set to check into last night's record-breaking blowout against Nigeria in the second quarter, but the rookie basketball player was sent back to the bench because he forgot to put on his Team USA jersey. Eventually, he recovered his gear and played 15 of the second half's 20 minutes. He finished with nine points and six rebounds, assisting in the team's 156-73 win. On Saturday, the still-undefeated U.S. squares off against Lithuania.

Team USA's Women's Soccer Advances to the Semifinals
The U.S. women's soccer team advances to the Olympic semifinals with their 2-0 victory over New Zealand. In minute 27, Abby Wambach made their first goal, increasing her career total to 142. And, in the 87th minute, Sydney Leroux added to their insurance. It was her first ever Olympic goal. The top-ranked Team USA will play against France on Friday. They are seeking their third straight gold medal.

China Takes Olympic Gold in Men's Trampoline
In case you didn't know, trampolining is a real Olympic sport, and China's Dong Dong took home the gold medal in today's men's competition. Although he was the last to compete, Dong easily won with a score of 62.990, 1.222 points higher than silver medalist, Dmitry Ushakov of Russia. Chunlong Lu of China received the bronze. This was Dong's second Olympic appearance; he placed third in the '08 Beijing Games.

British Cyclist Cleared of Deliberate Crash
The International Olympic Committee will not be investigating the apparently deliberate crash by British track cycling gold medalist Philip Hindes. During the first race attempt against France, the 19-year-old wobbled and fell at the first bend but won the gold with the restart. Immediately after the race, Hindes reportedly said, "I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really." But, at the official news conference, he modified his comments saying he lost control of the the bike. The incident follows a similar case of proven dishonesty where four women's badminton pairs were disqualified for playing to lose.

India's Mystery Gatecrasher Apologizes for Appearance
When you were watching the Parade of Nations, did you notice the Indian "athlete" not in the usual uniform? Well, India's mystery Olympic gatecrasher has apologized for leading her country's confused delegates. Madhura Nagendra told India's NDTV marching alongside the flag-bearer and leading the 40 athletes around the stadium was an "error in judgment." She says it's a result of getting caught up in the chaos and excitement of the Olympics. But, the Indian officials were infuriated by her appearance and demanded an explanation of how she was permitted into the Parade of Nations. She was part of the Opening Ceremony cast and did not break security.

How do you think the latest tribute compares? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

May-Treanor and Walsh Lose First Olympic Set But Take The Match

It looks like Team USA's Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will never lose a match. Despite Kerri Walsh's pinkeye, their 17-game winning streak is still intact. The two-time gold medalists were the first to score a point, but Austrian sisters Doris and Stefai Schwaiger quickly took a commanding lead that the pair just couldn't beat. They lost their first Olympic set ever, 17-21. But in their second court appearance, Walsh and May-Treanor proved why they deserved their No. 1 ranking. The spikes added up, and they easily took the set 21-8. The third and final set was a back and forth battle, but ultimately Team USA made the final point and won the match, 15-10. The pair advances to the women's beach volleyball top 16, next playing on August 3.

USA Makes a Big Splash in the Women's 4x200M Team Relay
With a total time of 7:49.92, Team USA took home another gold medal in swimming for the women's freestyle 4x200M team relay. Australia led after the second and third changeover, but Allison Schmit, who won the individual 200 freestyle final, was the last to swim and pushed the United States in front with her impressive leg time of just 1:54.09. Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer, and Shannon Vreeland rounded up the team. Coming in nearly a second and a half later, Australia placed second, and France's team earned the bronze.

Team USA's Rebecca Soni Breaks World Record
Team USA's Rebecca Soni has qualified for the 200-meter breaststroke finals and set a new world record in the process. The gold-medal favorite finished her heat in just 2:20.00, a cool .12 seconds faster than the previous record holder. It was the fifth world record set in the pool at the London Games. The finals are scheduled for August 2 at 2:40 pm ET. If she clinches the win, Soni will become the first Olympian in history to win back-to-back gold medals in women's 200-meter breaststroke. She will also swim for Team USA in the 4 x100 medley relay. On Monday, Soni won silver for 100-meter breaststroke.

President Obama Calls the Fab Five and Tweets Phelps
After taking the gold in London, the U.S. women's gymnastics team received a congratulatory phone cal from President Barack Obama. After speaking to each one, he told the gymnastics champs "Michelle and I have watched and decided of all the Olympiads you guys amaze us the most." The gold medal winners immediately went to Twitter. Gabrielle Douglas posted "WOW such an honor," and Jordyn Wieber said "Just talked to the President…Pretty much the coolest thing ever!" But the Fab Five weren't the only ones receiving personal messages from the president. The man with the most Olympic medals in history woke up to tweet from President Barack Obama, and it looks like that's not their only contact. On Wednesday, the head of the London Games, Sebastian Coe, said he had his doubts as to whether Michael Phelps was the greatest Olympian ever, but President Obama is having none of it. The White House press secretary just tweeted: "From Mansfield, OH, POTUS just called to congratulate Michael Phelps. "The greatest Olympian ever," POTUS said. "We couldn't be prouder!"

Serena Williams Easily Advances to Quarterfinals
On Wednesday, Serena Williams won her third-round single's tennis match against Russia's Vera Zvonareva in just a mere 51 minutes. The No. 4-seeded Serena repeatedly rocketed her groundstrokes past 13-seeded Zvonareva to win 6-1,6-0. Firing 12 aces and striking 32 winners, Williams has been dominant through the first three rounds, dropping just 10 total games. The 30-year old owns 14 major singles titles and needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam." She will advance to the quarterfinals taking on the winner of the Carolinae-Wozniacki-Daniela Hantuchova match. Serena will also play in the women's doubles quarterfinals with her sister, Venus.

Hungary's Swimmer Sets New World Record
On Wednesday, Daniel Gyurta broke the previous world record and won Hungary's second gold meda in Men's 200 M Breaststroke. He took the lead from Kosuku Kitajim of Japan at the 150M mark. Gyurta's winning time was 2:07.28, four hundredths of a second better than the previous world record. Michael Jamison of Great Britain took silver, and Japan's Ryo Tateishi finished third.

U.S. Fencer Stabbed Out of Medal
In the men's fencing semifinal epee match, Team USA's Seth Kelsey was defeated by Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela. During the first three minute period, Kelsey had the first stab, but Gascon quickly came back evening the score. As the second period ended, it was still a draw at 2-2. Kelsey got a quick hit at the beginning of the third, but it was only at the expense of one from Gascon. At the end of the third, the score was tied 5-5, forcing a winner takes all overtime. Ultimately, Gascon made the final jab and will advance to the gold medal match. Kelsey competed for the bronze against South Korea's Jung Jinsun but fell in overtime, 11-12.