Tag Archives: New York

We keep this stuff in this photograph, we made these memories for ourselves

I didn’t want to do a ‘review’ of 2015 as, whilst looking back is interesting in some respects, for me over analysis is not always helpful. I am always mindful that ‘the past is a nice place to visit, but certainly not a good place to stay.’ So, I have chosen 12 photos that illustrate my 2015, there isn’t one from each month but one from each of the significant significant events that happened.

12 photos, 12 months

1.We got a Puppy


2.Lulu started school


3.I was off work and in ALL the hospitals


4.I fractured my wrist


5.I went to New York for the first time


6.I went to Suffolk (twice)


7.My Decree Nisi was granted


8.Christmas happened


9.I saw my mum, alot


10.I planted and harvested from my allotment


11.I got offered a place for my Phd at Oxford Brookes


12. I turned 41


Take another little piece of heart now, baby.

There are lots of elements of my separation from my husband that are complicated and frustrating but when it comes to arrangements regarding our daughter Lulu we have always agreed on the importance of stability for her, she sees her dad every Monday and Tuesday night and every other Saturday night. We even have a spread sheet! We are both as amenable and flexible as we can be to the other if something comes up and things need to be changed. I gave my husband two weeks notice of my long weekend to New York when I was meant to have Lu and it was no problem for him to swap weekends with me, see, Lu is our common ground. The first night she stayed with him after he left was also the first night she had slept way from home without me, it absolutely broke my heart and I sobbed all night. She was only two, still a baby, still in nappies. She needed me. She couldn’t talk properly, how could she tell me if she was sad or unhappy? She had spent the first nine weeks of her life in an hospital incubator, and now I was having to give her up again. I hated my husband so much for creating this situation but I couldn’t refuse him. I trust him implicitly with her, he is just as good and as capable a parent as I am and as time went on it became easier. I embraced the nights of uninterrupted  sleep  and Lulu enjoyed her time with her dad and his family. FaceTime is a wonderful thing. As long as she felt loved and safe she was happy wherever she was. But now it is two years later and Lulu is getting older and it is getting harder, for me,not her. She is now fully aware of who’s house she is at, who she will be spending the day with and when I Face Time her she is often far more interested in what ever game she is playing than talking to me. It makes me feel insecure, like the photo in Back to the Future that fades people out. I wonder if she is going to forget me, am I literally fading from her memory, am I not so important to her anymore? Please bear in mind that at the most she is at her dad’s house for two nights in a row and that she actually lives with me. I know that this is my issue, I want her to be independent, I’d hate for her to be pining for me. I know that she acts the way she does because she is secure in the love that her dad and I have for her. She is all the things I ever wanted her to be. Deep down I know that I am being melodramatic, that my baby loves me and misses and that I am important to her but every time she walks out the front door hand in hand with her dad that Janis Joplin song plays in my head…Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.

I ate more of The Big (gluten free) Apple

More about all the lovely gluten free food I ate in New York, the pictures don’t do all the deliciousness justice but to be truthful I was too eager to eat than take photos.

IMG_2011Risotteria www.risotteria.com – If you have ever searched for a gluten free restaurant in New York this place will pop up time and time again. I found it many moons ago when I was seeing what the rest of the world had to offer gluten free and it was at that time only doing it one night a week but now it always serves a gf menu. They don’t take reservations but there is a little bar area to have drinks (loads of gf beer) and wait. Its quite cozy so don’t arrive with a days worth of shopping bags. The wait staff were super friendly, there were big fat crunchy gf bread sticks on each table and loads of gf risottos, pizzas and pasta, and ‘proper’ puddings (#fruitisnotapudding). Again the bf ate gf, bolognese risotto for him (heavenly) and pizza for me, light crispy and very olively, it had a tapernade base which i loved. I would eat here every night of the week if I could, well, I’d alternate it with Lilli and Loos. Baked cheesecake for pudding with a proper cheesecake base and tiramisu for him, were perfect. Its not a ‘hang around and chat’ sort of place, it was very busy and clearly extremely popular. Do not miss it off your list.

IMG_2052Friedmans www.friedmanslunch.com – This was recommended by many fellow gluten freers but more importantly it was recommended by my trusted friend www.glutenfreemrsd.com, so I put it on the list. It is in the middle of Chelsea Market which is a bit of a foodie heaven. Amazing looking fresh seafood places, a great looking wine cellar and an Antroplogie to wander around. Friedmans don’t take reservations so you put your name on the list and mooch around the rest of the market. We had a reviving coffee standing at the counter of No9, great coffee, highly recommended then wandered back for our table. We both ordered the waffle with fried chicken and syrup which was very unusual but delicious. The chicken was deep fried and crispy and all the things us gluten freers are usually denied because of cross contamination in fryers. The non alcoholic special drink was fresh raspberry lemonade was superb. We also got chatting to the people on the next table and one of them was a coeliac too! By the time I finished all my chicken and half my waffle I was full up so no pudding for me, which is very unusual. There were lots of amazing things on the menu and I really wanted to go back but the trip was too short to allow that. Chelsea Market is a great spot to start the Highline walk, www.thehighline.org, which is exactly what we did after lunch, hot coffee in hand. It was beautiful, it is an old railway track that has been re purposed as a walkway across the city, there are plants growing and seating areas all along it, you get a perfect view of the busy goings on in the streets below while you feel rather serene safe on your viewing platform.

IMG_2072Lilli and Loo www.lilliandloonyc.com – I love Chinese food, love love love it because I very rarely have it, and I’m talking once every 5 years. It is virtually impossible to find a gluten free Chinese place anywhere near me. Or anywhere in England actually. The main culprit that prohibits us gluten freers is the use of soy sauce, you can get a gluten free version but it is rarely used commercially. So imagine my prolific joy at finding a Chinese restaurant with a gluten free menu, even it t was nearly 4000 miles away in New York. Four hours after our place landed I was sitting in Lilli and Loos admiring the menu. Unfortunately it was then that I hit a wall of tiredness but I soldiered on and ordered special friend rice and stir fried spinach, the boyfriend ate gluten free too so I could share, and the dumplings he ordered to start were so delicious that I ate most of them and was then too full for my main but I persevered and it was amazing. We went back for lunch two days later and again it was wonderful. I was sad to fly home after such a great break but it wasn’t New York I was going to miss, it was Lilli and Loos. If you have the chance, go go go.

The Big (gluten free) Apple

It has been many years since I flew anywhere – business or pleasure- so an impromptu invitation to New York was firstly, a complete surprise and secondly, a very welcome break from ‘life’. Being a grown up has been very trying recently – divorce, solicitors, finances – and an escape to a new destination was, literally, just the ticket.

Dont get me wrong, I have travelled quite a bit, my first plane journey was at the age of eight, all on my lonesome, visiting my father who lives very far away (I am the product of divorced parents). In those days your mum handed you over at check in, the nice air stewardess put an ID hanging from a piece of string around your neck and you amused yourself in Duty Free until they found you and put you on your flight.

But I digress. My point being that I love travelling but for some reason have never made it to New York. The only places in America I have visited are Miami – beautiful but expensive – and Las Vegas for my honeymoon (see reference above to divorce! Not that I’m blaming Vegas). I see a clear theme running through these detention choices; they are all locations for the CSI series but that really wasn’t why i chose them. (Ps. I adore CSI, Team Grissom).

So I had four nights and three days to make New York my own. My boyfriend was officially ‘working’ so I was left to my own devises on Friday and then we spent Saturday and Sunday together. For those of you who don’t know, I am a planner, not a “at 9am we are doing this and then we must be at place a. by 2pm’, I take a more ‘organised spontaneity’ approach.

Firstly, I found all the yummy restaurants and coffee places I wanted to try out and then I left the rest to chance. I marked them all very clearly on my map (goodness, am I overly organised?). The reason for this was two fold; I love love love food and I have Coeliacs disease (an intolerance to gluten – barley, wheats, oats and rye), it is a serious disease that is just miserable if you don’t adhere to a gluten free diet, and the long term consequences are grave. So I can’t just go with the flow and eat where ever the fancy takes me therefore I have to be organised.

From the research I did, and the recommendations from fellow gluten freers, New York had a great variety of paces to eat at, top of my list was Lilli and Loo on the Upper East Side, a Chinese restaurant with a gluten free menu. I tweeted with them to confirm they still catered for gluten freers and they sent me a copy of the dedicated gluten free menu which I kept drooling over. In fact, I was so excited about having Chinese food, usually impossible because of the wheat in soy sauce and wheat batter used in some dishes, (including cross contamination issues, ie frying gluten free food in a fryer in which gluten covered items were cooked renders every thing contaminated with gluten) that I planned dinner there twice.

The other big things on my list were pancakes and waffles and I was lucky enough to find two places, Blooms, an old skool diner, around the corner from my hotel, and Friedmans in Chelsea Market. They both had gluten free menus and I tortured myself for ages regarding what I’d choose and, as US portions are simply huge, I wasn’t sure i’d be able to get through more than one dish at each place. That’s where my boyfriend always comes in super handy, I get him to order something else that I’d like to try and then share his. He is a good man, he is not coeliac.