Category Archives: Places to know

You’re never alone

The hot chocolate comes in a generic white bowl. It is sweet and thick and comforting. It doesn’t give you a rush, quite the opposite. The hasty gourmand is likely to suffer a nauseating choc shock. No, this hot chocolate wants to be enjoyed in small sips—slowly, just as slowly as it reaches perfection, simmering in small cauldrons, almost turning into fudge at its edges. With its mildly frothy texture and its subtle nuances of flavor, this hot chocolate is like a warm hug.

The rest of City Bakery, of course, is a genuine New York experience: busy, with long waiting lines and deafening levels of noise. The lofty space offers 120 seats—long banquette benches in beige and olive, bar stools with heavy iron legs or steel tubing, and Mid-century modern fiberglass chairs in turquoise. Most of those seats are hotly contested for most of the day. Expect a motley jumble of Prada bags, Bugaboo strollers, Mac notebooks, and the latest suggestion of the New York Times book review. Continue reading

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Enlightening

It’s hard to believe that you don’t see shades but actual bulbs going on and off, when looking at Jim Campbell’s Scattered Light installation in Madison Square Park. Utterly beautiful. Even more so after or before a burger at Shake Shack. Life can be good. 7 points.

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Brooklyn rulez

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Händler Johann

Lo and behold! Trader Joe’s is German. It’s a subsidiary of the German discount store Aldi. Here’s what the German news magazine Spiegel has to say about it (scroll down for a translation):

Die abgestürzte US-Mittelklasse als Zielkunde

Was die meisten Amerikaner freilich nicht ahnen: Trader Joe’s hat deutsche Besitzer. Die Kette mit inzwischen 345 Filialen in 25 Bundesstaaten und der Haupstadt Washington ist nämlich eine Tochter von Aldi. Und genau wie die urdeutschen Hohepriester des spartanischen Shoppings gibt sich auch Trader Joe’s geheimnisumwölkt, wenn es darum geht, sich in die Karten sehen zu lassen. “Wir reden nicht über unsere Geschäftspraktiken”, beschied Konzernsprecherin Alison Mochizuki eine Gesprächsanfrage von SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Ich wünsche Ihnen eine wundervolle Woche.” Continue reading

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Current score

Exactly eight months ago, I moved to NYC. Some three months ago, I started my Heimweh Safari and I haven’t reached more than 28 points out of 100. Well. If I go on at that speed, I won’t reach my hundred points before finishing my graduate program and going back to Europe.

Yet, thinking of September when I sat on my unpacked suitcases and cried about where to find basic stuff such as a broom or dishwashing liquid, I have made some progress. Considerable progress, even. Let’s make it one point for that. So we’re at 29 points out f 100.

P.S.: It’s Target. Take the Brooklyn bound 2, 3, 4, 5, Q or B to Atlantic Ave and get your vacuum cleaner, detergent, toaster, bottle opener, … for a reasonable price.

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Brooklyn rulez

Katia Kelly made it from Germany to France to, finally, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. In 20 years, she has raised two real Brooklynites, seen a figue tree in her garden grow and die and, since 2006, published a blog called Pardon Me For Asking. She reports on new restaurants in her neighbourhood, shops, new real estate, the debates on Gowanus Canal, her garden and a lot more stuff that you want to know, when you (would like to) live in Carroll Gardens. Apart from all the information bits, she has a web store featuring for instance this nice little shopper. It’s all cotton, measures 15″ x 18″ x 6″ and costs $18. Loving it. One point.

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Shopaholic’s delight

My note book clearly shows that I have been working too much and enjoying to little these last months. I’m convinced that, if not less homesick, I’d be at least less miserable if I had shopped more frequently at Wiliamsburg’s most delightful thrift store Beacon’s Closet. The not-so-secret yet simple formula is: get amazing designer clothing for almost nothing. Continue reading

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