My burning desire to cook...without burning down the house

In the spirit of this devastatingly glamorous ad campaign, here are some of my latest glossy articles - yay! (You know I’m not organized enough to have all of them … I don’t even know the day of the week.)
COSMO: BABY BETRAYAL
COSMO: 12 DAYS OF SEX MOVES
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: SNOOPING
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: SEXTING
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: AYAHUASCA BOYFRIEND
ULTRATRAVEL: WINTER ISSUE and FALL ISSUE
Currently working on many more stories of karmic poetry and empty calories including, and most importantly, Book #2!!!

In the spirit of this devastatingly glamorous ad campaign, here are some of my latest glossy articles - yay! (You know I’m not organized enough to have all of them … I don’t even know the day of the week.)

COSMO: BABY BETRAYAL

COSMO: 12 DAYS OF SEX MOVES

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: SNOOPING

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: SEXTING

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: AYAHUASCA BOYFRIEND

ULTRATRAVEL: WINTER ISSUE and FALL ISSUE

Currently working on many more stories of karmic poetry and empty calories including, and most importantly, Book #2!!!

Think I forgot to post my “reel”a few months ago. It’s totally embarrassing. Please don’t watch it. Unless you’re trying to hire me for $omething; in which case…um…please consider my awkward timing and general cluelessness 2be “human” and “relatable.” And hey, there’s a serious good hair day in there. Somewhere.

Arrivederci 2013

imageOh what a year! I escaped the country, collected some love, and at 36, finally experimented with adulthood.

As 2013 winds down, I am confronting the things I normally brush off as uptight and un-fun (ambitions, motherhood, money, my future), and enjoying the process of, ya know, dealing with reality. It’s not so scary after all — not when you’re ready.

I finished - but kinda flunked - Italian class. I’m happy I did it, and will try again in a few months. Si si, the universe had some ideas of its own this year: I lost my super-skinny body to super-crispy pizza; I lost an early draft of my next book; and I lost a big job for the first time (now that felt like shit). 

But look what I found! I met someone I adore and trust and crave and respect — one day I’ll tell you the story, and you’ll believe in fate. I found a city, Rome, where beauty, power, and passion come crashing together; where tough love, bad moods and good sex are forever in the water. And the water is frizzante

Rome, where I sleep well; I eat well; I think well; where I’ve learned that being serious isn’t the same as being dark — even though a little darkness is part of any life well lived. Rome, where I’ve evolved in bidets, Berlusconi and Ramazzotti. L’amore è bello se non è litigarello. Rome, where I’m proud to be an American, a New Yorker, a masshole, a Temkin, and a Shelasky.

Rome, I love you, and the rest is between us…

Of course it’s hard being away. I’ve lived vicariously through my New York Mag articles, but who knew I’d miss Brandi Glanville, ethnic food and fucking-Starbucks so much? But hey. Here in my European (“Cal-Ital”) apartment with broken internet and beautiful music, I go to bed smiling and wake up excited - and it’s hard to argue with that. 

Last week, my dear friend Kateri sent me a quote which I scribbled down next to my bed, near the framed photo of her father, who I loved. Because she’s Irish-Catholic, I’m Jewish (with a Roman-Jewish innamorato!), and it’s the year of my cool nabe, the Pope, here are some words to live by in 2014: 

In Happy moments, praise G-d
In Difficult moments, seek G-d
In Quiet moments, worship G-d
In Painful moments, trust G-d
And in every moment, thank G-d

Wishing you a year of blessings, love and laughter. New York, I’m coming for you next week!! 

Alyssa

Photo Credit: Wendy Bevan

Class.

imageYou know that feeling where your entire body is split, torn, ripped in two between I CAN’T DO THIS and YES I FUCKING CAN?  Yeah. I started Italian classes, and that is what’s up. 

It’s hard, guys. Really hard. I’m not good with new languages, and I don’t particularly like “going to school,” and in my two lessons so far, I was lost and not found.

Even getting to class is an emotional / physical abduction. I ride my bike down two manic highways, where cars and motorbikes come at me like bullets. Roman streets are completely anarchic, and the only way to navigate them is to…pedal and pray.

(In truth, I do like my wild morning bikelife — after all, the language of confrontation, I can speak. But on the record, I am risking my life for the sake of verb conjugation.)

If and when I make it to Monti, where class is, all I do is stutter and sweat. Confidence out the window; tension in jaw. In my mind, I’m the worst Italian speaker in the world — and definitely within the paper-towel-grey room of foreigners.

I should not be complaining about anything. Roma is an incredible city, with which I have amazing chemistry.  I’m crazy for it. And life with D is the sweetest love song. Let me tell you. He is everything I wanted and everything I deserve.

Sooo why all the intensity over Italian class?

Because I’m a writer. Because I have always been able to communicate with some measure of grace. Expressing myself through language is my one and only thing. It is my identity. Everyone says to “have fun with it” and “relax,” but no one understands that without the right words, I feel weak. I hate weak.

But I have to do this. As a sign of commitment to D — whom I would do ANYTHING for — and because, frankly, it’s arrogant to make everyone in our life switch on the English language button just for me. Maybe I like the attention, but it’s not right. 

Okay. After two hours of reciting I like hip-hop and I hate mayo (KILL MEEEE) this morning, I  have make a sandwich and pass out now.

Per Favore.

 

Food Riot and Other Delights

image

Morning! A few life-is-sweet things to tell: 

1) Apron Anxiety is in such good company here on Food Riot. I love (almost) all of those books. Makes me very proud … Thanks.

2. Off to US Open with my handsome ragazzo before he leaves for Rome tomorrow. Tears! (And a dozen cupcakes and Dexter binge.) We’re going all tennis-glam with Moët & Chandon. Not normal! (Not complaining). Oh, I interviewed Serena Williams for a story recently. She told me her favorite meal was her ma’s chicken with rice and gravy, and her favorite junk food was something called Moon Pies. She was cool. 

3. Made a peach/plum cobbler 2die4. Easy as sin. Slice peaches/any luscious, over-ripe summer fruit and place in a 9 x 13 glass pan. Separately, mix equal parts flour, granola (any kind will do - get crazy!), brown sugar, and…a stick of melted butter to make the crumbs. Spread the crumbs over the peaches.Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden brown. Serve with ice cream and take a bow - and a spin class.

3. This happened. Lithuanian edition is next. ITALY, CIAO, DON’T YOU WANT ME?! Seriously though, Polish-book-translator-BFF, what a task you had; I’m going to assume you nailed it; sooo … pierogies and dziękuję to you, dear! 

Roberto Bolle and Friends

imageLiving in a foreign country, constantly trying to keep up with the language, there is nothing like the serenity of a no-talking-whatsoever dance performance.

So, a few weeks ago, just when I couldn’t take it anymore, we thankfully scored tix to THE ballet of the summer, Roberto Bolle and Friends at Caracalla, and let me tell you, it did my soul good. To quote JLo (haha): ”Goosies!!”

Roberto Bolle - the international sex symbol - is a STUNNING are-you-kidding-me  kind of creature. (My boyfriend said even the straight men in the restroom were mesmerized by Bolle’s bellissimo ass.) Not to mention his beyond-human talent. And his co-dancers? Magnifico. 

Bolle’s solo “Prototype” - a gorgeous mindf*ck of futuristic dance and video art - completely swept me away, sending me straight to another planet in a  leotard and perma-smile.

This show, sponsored by Acqua di Parma, is coming to New York on Sept 17.  Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket. Then go have Bolle’s babies. Or at least, tell his beautiful bum that I say …  ”Ciao baby.”

P.S. This photo is not Roberto Bolle and Friends; it’s a lovely image by Paul Maffi.

Two weeks back in New York and totally back in (creature-of-habit) action. Chocolate croissants at Almondine. Caffinating at Brooklyn Roasting Company. Sandwiching at Num Pang - nonstop. Grazing at The Fat Radish, The Smile, Rucola, and Cafe Cluny. Shoveling it down at 2nd Avenue Deli. (Pastrami whore 4vR.) Dragging Italian food-snob sweetheart to every pizza oven in New England. Julianna’s wins * with capers, Moroccan olives, arugula; Roberta’s is next. Taking suggestions. Shopping obsessively at all the Ina’s. Must experience Cronuts and Umami Burger. Cultishly City-Biking bridge after bridge after bridge - so nerdy, so what?! Smiling BIG / swaying to the music at Washington Square Park - my #1 most favorite place. Will return to Italy in the Fall; really happy to be home right now. We watched Rocky under the stars.  Ahhhhmazing. Yo Adrian … 
Love to all! xxAlyssa

Two weeks back in New York and totally back in (creature-of-habit) action. Chocolate croissants at Almondine. Caffinating at Brooklyn Roasting Company. Sandwiching at Num Pang - nonstop. Grazing at The Fat Radish, The Smile, Rucola, and Cafe Cluny. Shoveling it down at 2nd Avenue Deli. (Pastrami whore 4vR.) Dragging Italian food-snob sweetheart to every pizza oven in New England. Julianna’s wins * with capers, Moroccan olives, arugula; Roberta’s is next. Taking suggestions. Shopping obsessively at all the Ina’s. Must experience Cronuts and Umami Burger. Cultishly City-Biking bridge after bridge after bridge - so nerdy, so what?! Smiling BIG / swaying to the music at Washington Square Park - my #1 most favorite place. Will return to Italy in the Fall; really happy to be home right now. We watched Rocky under the stars.  Ahhhhmazing. Yo Adrian … 

Love to all! xxAlyssa

Naughty Bits.

imageWhat’s a pleasant July afternoon without a few bite-marks and straps-ons … my contribution to New York Magazine’s Sex Issue: The One Paragraph Memoirs. Also out now is my much more ladylike story w/ literary legend, and room service opponent, Prosper Assouline.

Check out my interview with Drew Barrymore in this month’s Bon Appetit. She was SO rad…kind, light-hearted, totally comfortable with herself ~ and best of all, now she has a copy of Apron Anxiety (which she swore she’d read/I blv her!). Future role?!?! Wink. Oh, her outfit was from H&M and she cooks to N.W.A. I mean, cool women don’t just happen. By the way, I also did a Q/A with Giada De Laurentiis in that issue. Super-sweet. Mi piace. 

Check out my interview with Drew Barrymore in this month’s Bon Appetit. She was SO rad…kind, light-hearted, totally comfortable with herself ~ and best of all, now she has a copy of Apron Anxiety (which she swore she’d read/I blv her!). Future role?!?! Wink. Oh, her outfit was from H&M and she cooks to N.W.A. I mean, cool women don’t just happen. By the way, I also did a Q/A with Giada De Laurentiis in that issue. Super-sweet. Mi piace. 

Afternoon packing.
In a few days, I go home to Brooklyn, after almost three months in Rome. I’m not sure how I feel about it. 
On one hand, I miss New York deeply. I could KILL for a coffee to-go, a facial where they don’t feel you up (& down …yeah, tell you later!), and of course, my family and friends.
On the other hand. I am truly happy here. I love my noisy-quiet Italian life and the person I’ve been spending it with. I’m nervous to turn everything on its head. Again. 
But I have nothing left to read; and sometimes I smoke. I haven’t exercised since springtime; and I’m ready to throw these five f*ng dresses, that I’ve worn down to threads, out my huge, whimsy windowsill.
Still. 
I write all day long by a big balcony, stopping only to eat and cook the food that fantasies are made of. I’m living inside a love story unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Or imagined. My weekends are the sea, Prosecco, ballerinas, and motorbikes. My jeans are tight and I like it. 
I had no idea how much my life would change when I came here. And I now, as I wrap my Capri Kaftan around my trashy Trastavere ashtray, I only hope and pray everything stays the same.

Afternoon packing.

In a few days, I go home to Brooklyn, after almost three months in Rome. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

On one hand, I miss New York deeply. I could KILL for a coffee to-go, a facial where they don’t feel you up (& down …yeah, tell you later!), and of course, my family and friends.

On the other hand. I am truly happy here. I love my noisy-quiet Italian life and the person I’ve been spending it with. I’m nervous to turn everything on its head. Again. 

But I have nothing left to read; and sometimes I smoke. I haven’t exercised since springtime; and I’m ready to throw these five f*ng dresses, that I’ve worn down to threads, out my huge, whimsy windowsill.

Still.

I write all day long by a big balcony, stopping only to eat and cook the food that fantasies are made of. I’m living inside a love story unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Or imagined. My weekends are the sea, Prosecco, ballerinas, and motorbikes. My jeans are tight and I like it. 

I had no idea how much my life would change when I came here. And I now, as I wrap my Capri Kaftan around my trashy Trastavere ashtray, I only hope and pray everything stays the same.