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Christina

A penchant for details. A thirst for words. A cynical dreamer. iPhone only

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Growing up, I'd never liked peaches. I was hesitant to touch its fuzzy surface, and seldom muddled with it. Later on, I learned the agent acted as an irritant to certain bugs. The beauty of a salt rub, which, after a few rinses, would deter even the most stubborn fuzz balls from mischief, revealing a delicate flash it so eagerly tried to hide. But even then, rotting can still occur. No matter how much you try to protect yourself, you can still get hurt, even to the point of getting demolished. And that, unfortunately, was simply a part of life.

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Today was worth celebrating. Regardless of the outcome, at least the first move has been made. Only a matter of time until the endgame arrives, and eventually, checkmate. There is really no better way to mark this development than with some oysters and fries. Ps. These potato raclette croquettes were delectable. Cheese in the center of a ball shaped mashed potato, with bits of chunks inside for better texture. Coats the outer layer with crumbs, and places the mixture in oil, until it achieves a golden extensor. The result is salty, crunchy, with hints of sweetness. If only it isn't $16 for 4 ($2.75. Final offer). at Flora Bar

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I'm convinced they taste 100% better in the summer. Need to revisit these soon. at Flora Bar

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My favorite part of the picture is the blue gum residue on the wall. Wringley's winterfresh, most likely. My vice was Trident's tropical twist, though it had been years since I popped one. The first time, however, was during 8th grade lunch period. A group of us chirped idly, whining about lessons and homework as usual. One of us snapped a gum as a loud as a firecracker, and we were all eager to learn. There was no chewing gum allowed in class, which made the rule breaking that much more tempting. After many weeks of practices, and a few private lessons thrown in for good measure, we became masters at the art of bubble popping. At any given class, when the teacher had his back to us, one of us would pop one, just loud enough to disrupt the sanctuary. He would swirl back immediately, and watch us like hawks for the rest of the period. I was a stealth renegade with a spotless record. Others weren't so lucky. But biding the gum inside our mouths for a period at a time had its drawbacks. There were always scrapes of gums caught between our gums that refused to leave. Going to the dentist was already terrifying, but the agitation we received from watching gum residue was even more so. Looking back, we had a blast. Our eighth grade was passing notes in the alphabets we made up ourselves, and sneaking off to different tables during lunch time. It was memorizing our best friends' phones numbers, and talking endlessly for hours about anything and everything. It was trying to be on time every day, with a bus that was vastly temperamental. It was trying so hard to fit in, and making charts of our classmate's lockers, hoping for a chance encounter. It was getting a cellphone for the first time, black and white, and texting underneath the desk. It was getting out of ESL (English as a second language), but still terrified to raise our hands in class. It was saying "yes" to everything, and "no" to ourselves. We only live once was our motto, and did we ever show the world. Eighth grade was erratic and precarious, but it was also some of the best times of our lives. at New York, New York

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My affinity with candles began almost a decade ago, when ConEdison issued one of their erratic blackouts. The batteries from our flashlight ran out, and we were forced to scavenge for another source of light. We found a tapered candle buried deep in the drawers, and a smashed box of matches lying beneath it. We searched in vain for a candle holder. No luck. Mother dripped hot wax onto our table, and stabbed the candle on top of it as a makeshift stand. Crisis, averted. I've since then looked at candles, especially pillar candles, as a source for emergency, and nothing more. Fast forward years later, I was introduced to Diptyque, and later on, Cire Trudon. Candles became therapeutic, especially the ones that smelled like figs. I've even grown to enjoy pillar candles. Their dim light managed to set the mood, for 1/10 of the price. That was why when we walked into @rollandhill , a place known for their beautiful pillar candle holders, I grinned and nodded at her. To quote a hit song from Taylor Swift, "I knew you were trouble when I walked in." Who knew candle light holders can be so elegant? 🎵So shame on me now. at Roll & Hill

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I know it's silly to be so temperamental due to the changes of weather, but I'm only human. Today is the first day in the last two weeks when I'm actually keeping calm, and carrying it on. In fact, I am so filled with joy that I am playing catch up to the song of the hour (🎵Broken by lovelytheband, on its 20th play, bless my neighbors), nodding like a bobble head, spinning in circles till I get dizzy, and smile until my cheeks hurt. In that order. I can't wait until someone invents ultra portable AC that can be tucked into our clothes. In the mean time, more singing happily along to catchy songs with ironic lyrics (looking at you, pumped up kicks).

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It's too hot to think. at Putnam & Putnam

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I'm 82% sure I'll be good with kids and cats. at Fleux

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I spent the better part of yesterday inside a mall, and enjoyed it. Perhaps not so much as getting lost at every turn I made, and there were plenty of tawdry moves, but the insouciance Cinderella must have felt before the clock turned 12. It helped that the mall wasn't crowded, and the only thing on my to do list was food. All the selections were decidedly unhealthy, but what the heck, it wasn't every day I get to pop into one of the most premiere malls in America, and all the walking I did surely cancelled 1/3 of the calories out. After getting lost for the fifth time, and unable to find the right exit to the train station, I followed a group of people who looked openly as lost as I was. We went through a corporate looking hallway, and eventually reached the exit. I snapped a quick photo, reminding myself that if I get lost again (and let's face it, there's quite a good chance of that happening), this would be my landmark. at Hudson Yards New York

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I don't know which I like more. The impossibly camp bookstore, or the cat ear headphones in their mini cinema. But one thing is for certain, in a store that is teetered with tourists and locals alike, the bookstore is The only area left untouched. at Gucci

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The outside seating was peppered with onlookers. I pointed to the seat by the window, and asked the sales associate if I could sit there. "Of course. Mi casa es su casa," he gesticulated rather excitedly. Su is "your" in Spanish, and it is also my last name. Double entendre is one of my favorite things about words. Oh, and the coffee was certifiably good too. at Café Leon Dore

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It's 10:14PM. Zaz is playing in the background. The dishes are unwashed. I'm nursing a cup of tea, and watching the candle flickering all sorts of caricatures. Some people light candles to be romantic, me, I light it to get rid off the faint mildew scent. At this rate, New York should rename itself as wetland. My cup is the perfect size for espresso. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's what it's called, espresso cups. Yet here I am, using it for tea. After all, a cup is merely a vehicle to hold liquids. This brings me back to a pretty table setting at @ellsworth.paris , and these delicate glasses that served both as water, and whiskey. I don't know how to appreciate whiskey, and its many nuances, but I do love its design. I can almost see it: tea on the rocks. Deception is such a double edged sword. Now back to those dishes.

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I watched Mr. Fantastic Fox last night. In its entirety, this time, not just the proliferating snippets over the years. It was nothing short of perfect. I had to physically stop myself from pressing the pause button, so I can admire all the details (guess what I'm doing tonight). Each scene was beautifully built, and I can only imagine the amount of work that went into this stop motion. Oh, and George Clooney sounded exactly like George Clooney. No surprises there. Then a thought occurred to me. How do they shoot a movie with the same filter throughout? How do they tweak it, so everything flows? God only knows how each and every one of my photos look different. For instance, today's gloomy weather calls for a moody pic. You can't simply slap on the same filter, without some needed adjustments. Then I spent half an hour YouTubing all the behind the scene videos. Worth every, minute. at The Noguchi Museum

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It was the beginning of summer. We were in the car with the window wide open, head bobbing to whatever that was on the radio. The wind kept blowing hair into my mouth, and I kept trying to whip my hair back and forth. That was when I saw it: @selrrose , and its iconic pink doors. We stopped by for a cup of coffee. Vanilla latte, I think it was. The syrup bottle had real vanilla bean inside. It was very satisfying. Then we went back, and had very mediocre burrata, tomato and basil on crostini. The fries were the highlight. It came in a huge bowl, and there must have been eight potatoe' worth of fries in it. We went back for happy hours recently, where oysters were $1.25 -$1.50 and more each. Good drinks, good fries, subdued oysters. Take the outside seats, if you were a natural mosquito repellent. If not, you would be stuck indoors, shouting over one another, and going "what did you say" every other sentence. Still. Good fries. // Another week, another voracious reading session, courtesy of New York Times' best sellers list. Finally got a chance to go through "The Woman In the Window," and giving myself a pat on the back for spotting the culprit 10% into the book. Coming at no. 8, Sunset Beach, a book that wasn't bad, per se, but it was also not necessarily poignant. Beach reads seldom were. "Before we were yours" has been on the list for 38 weeks straight, and it is my next read. If it is anything like the "orphan train," I think I'll be in for a treat. at Sel Rrose

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Had an epiphany this morning, and woke up with a huge grin on my face. Just think about how much easier this guy's life would be, if he could use a spiral cutter instead. Missed opportunities. at Yann Couvreur Pâtisserie, Rue des Rosiers

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At first I was fascinated by all the spiral staircases inside restaurants (deux fois plus de piment, café mericourt, Septime, to name a few), then they kind of got repetitive. But capturing this view, while walking precariously to the loo? Like a scene from a movie.

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My knowledge of tuna never preceded the chicken of the sea commercials. If I knew what I ordered was tuna @racinesparis , I probably would have had second thoughts. But who knew there was another word for tuna besides "thon?" (It was tonnato. Again, hindsight 20/20). This turned out to be the best dish of the meal, and that was against some delectable hand made garganelli. Now if only someone can manage to make radicchio taste good, that'd be a real miracle. Maybe Aziraphale can help.

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This was the meal I envisioned before I went to Paul Bert: Saint Jacques bathed in butter, French fries, a soufflé or a Paris Brest. I somehow walked away with none of the above. Saint Jacques, because it wasn't in season. The waitress practically had to spell it out for us, and the neighboring tables. According to the internet, the scallops season was between October to May 15th, and I went during early May. There must have been some confusion on my part, surely. French fries only came with a big hunk of steak, and that was simply too much for me to finish. Asperges were on every menu we'd seen, practically the white ones. After a slight hesitation, we decided to green light it, if only from a lack of vegetables in our meat/pastries driven diet. It was lukewarm asparagus topped with minced egg. If that didn't sound appetizing to you, well, you would be right. The amuse of the day (month? Year?) was gougère, and it was cold. It wasn't bad, but it was probably not worth the extra calories. I can't look at another octopus the same, not after an unctuous stint in Portugal. These were not terrible. After a brief interlude, the entrees arrived. My fish might have been the highlight of the meal. It was surprisingly not over cooked, though most certainly under seasoned. I can work with that. The lamb on the other hand, was gamey. So gamey, in fact, I could smell it from five tables away. Calling it earthly would have been too generous. Putrid, though more fitting, was perhaps too ominous. I did, however, enjoy the neighboring table's heated debate on the origin of the sausage. Team beef or team pork? Only one way to find out. I had half of a kouign amann, a goblet of blueberries, and half a cup of tea when I arrived back at the hotel. Now that, was a meal to be remembered. Ps. Pictures brightened in iPhone's photo app. For memory purpose only. at Paris, France

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