Monday, August 30, 2010

A Belle's Seal of Approval

Morning, friends! I'm starting this much-needed day off with 3 cups of coffee and blogging. It's going to be a great day. I've been dog-earring and making notes in my phone about items/food/beverages/restaurants I'm becoming just plain giddy over, and thought I'd take the time to share. Some are obscure, some are not. But after all, it's the simple things in life, right?! Be sure to click on the links below and check it out!

1) Artisan anything. Cheese, Beer, Cider (welcome to the Northeast...cider is big up here). But I found this Southern gent, and his work, supremely interesting. His name: Matt Jamie. His business: Bourbon Barrel Foods. His specialty: Soy Sauce. He got the idea from small-batch olive oils and coffee, and now makes the country's only microbrewed soy sauce using the same wheat and limestone-filtered Kentucky spring water used in small-batch bourbons. The soy sauce ferments and ages for one year in wood barrels from Kentucky's Old Crow Distillery. How cool is that?! Plus the labels are lovely, with the batch and bottle number handwritten. For only $5 for 5oz. check it out at

2) RICK'S PICKS. I'm obsessed. Pickles are super popular right now, and these local goodies are my fav. I love love LOVE 'The Hotties' (sriracha-habanero) and the Curried Green Tomato Pickles. Honestly, they are all divine. I'm guilty of sampling any and all of them at the farmer's market on more than one occasion. These guys are based out of Manhattan. All picks are hand-packed and made in-season with produce from local farmers! Good news: For those of you aren't in the area, they do ship! And they have awesome gift packs.

3) Abita Brewing Company's SOS. For each bottle sold of this pilsner, 75 cents goes to support the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. For us belles, those are our homewaters, man! So buy a 6-pack of SOS today. Enjoy a tasty brew and give-back.

4) ABC Carpet and Home. I can spend hours in here...really. I'll let the website speak for itself.

5) Current Cocktail Obsessions: Gramercy Tavern's Mezcaliente (Jalapeno-infused tequila, Sombra Mezcal, Lime, and Cucumbers), Taco Chula's Grapefruit and Mint Margarita, Dumont's Dill Fresca (Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, muddled cucmber and dill, lime, and soda)

6) Brooklyn Salsa Co.--There salsa's are named after neighborhoods and are evocative of the local flavor. I'm currently snacking on 'The Bronx: Burnt'. Has a delightful middle eastern taste and is super spicy!

And that's all I have time for right now. Meeting Dave at the farmer's market! Cooking dinner with my main squeeze tonight!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Friends,

Well, to say that I've been too tired to blog would be an understatement! So much has happened since my last post. Here's a brief shake-down:

I'm in my 3rd week of rehearsal for Freckleface Strawberry. Things are going great. I'm exhausted. I'm anxious. I'm thrilled. I'm exhausted. I can honestly say that I have a "Holy Crap, you're really a part of this' moment at some point every day. I was totally weirded-out to see ads for the show EVERYWHERE! Online, on billboards, posters, et al...It's really exciting to be a part of a brand new piece that's getting so much attention.

I met Ms. Julianne Moore on Tuesday! She watched our run-thru that night. Best part: I was on for one of the principal characters. Performing for her was certainly an incredible moment in my career, something I will never forget. She's gorgeous, by the way. Her style was impeccable, and she was beyond gracious. She was so complimentary of our work and made a point to speak to each one of us before we left. When she introduced herself to me by saying, "Morgan, I'm Julianne.." it was all I could do not to blurt out, "I know!!!!" and gush about her work. I was totally starstruck...

DAVE HAS BEEN PROMOTED AGAIN! He is now managing one of the best restaurants in the country!! I have to brag; he never would. If you haven't ever had the privilege of dining at Gramercy Tavern then add it to your 'Bucket List'. It's an incredible place and he is so happy there. Between his new position and his upcoming Vintage/Craft Beer class, he'll be a busy fella! I'm so proud of him. He's well on his way to doing something remarkable in the NYC culinary world.

My wonderful Mommy visited 2 weeks ago. I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to have her here with me for an entire week! We laughed, we cried, we noshed on fabulous fare, and sipped plenty-o-cocktails. Just good for the soul! As I had previously mentioned, her visit overlapped with Marsha's by a day. To celebrate this happy coincidence we headed to The Rooftop Bar at the Standard Hotel (formerly known as 'The Boom Boom Room'). Fantastic cocktails, breathtaking views, floor to ceiling windows, and the craziest bathrooms you've ever seen (the entire back wall is glass, so you're literally looking out over the city when 'nature calls'). Dave and I took her to all of our favorite restaurants and a few that we had been wanting to try-out. I was so sad to see her leave. I miss her so so much!

Got my new issue of Food & Wine. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the entire issue was dedicated to Southern Fare!!! I've already flagged some recipes for us Belles to whip-up in the coming weeks. Look for those in a later post. At the top of my list: Roasted Indian-Spiced Okra with a Yogurt Dressing. I'm treating myself to this little snack after a long day of rehearsal. I'll let you know how it goes.

Until then,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

quick update...

Not much time but wanted to chat about a few exciting things...

I had my first rehearsal yesterday! It was an excellent first day. I had roughly 33 'pinch me' moments. The cast is great. It was cool meeting them and hearing about their journey to this experience. I'm the only one who hasn't been on B'way or a major B'way Nat'l Tour so needless to say, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been included in this stellar original cast. They catered breakfast for us (better than the usual coffee/tea table) and we started the day with the 'Meet & Greet'. The room was PACKED. Met our team of lawyers, our PR team, the ad exec., the team who will be producing/mixing the Original Cast Album, our band, our costume designers, our lighting designers, our set designers, individual financial contributers to the project. The whole thing was just incredible. For me, this is my first time working at this caliber in the theatre world and I was just beaming! It's the kind of 'first rehearsal' that I've always seen on documentaries on my major B'way/off-B'way shows. FELT BLESSED TO EXPERIENCE IT!

Next up: Suse is coming to visit!!!! That's my mommy, for those of you who don't know. She'll be here Friday. We've got to juggle my rehearsal schedule with our excursions, but I could care less about that. I'm just so so so happy to have her in the city with me for a week!!! Putting our itinerary together now. I'll fill you in on the juicy details later...I will let you know, that my mom's visit is overlapping with Meghan's mom's visit. Naturally, we'll be celebrating this happy coincidence with delicious cocktails at The Rooftop at The Standard Hotel. An experience equally as fabulous as these two wonderful women.

Alright. Gotta scoot. Rehearsal.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

A day with Dave...

Happy Thursday, everyone! Well, since sharing our good news, we've experienced a flood of well-wishers both on the blog and via Facebook. I cannot tell you how blessed we are to have such loving, supportive, and thoughtful friends! If you're reading this, thank you for being such wonderfully positive forces in our lives. It means the world to these two Southern girls, so far from home!

Dave has had the last two days off, so we've been celebrating the good news and the fact that we have the greatest friends in the world. Here are some of our recent follies:

An afternoon in Madison Square Park (one of my fav parks, smaller and super lush) noshing on, you guessed it, the always incredible SHAKE SHACK! Click on the link and read about it. You'll be glad you did. If you've never been, then you must. We pigged out...big time. Don't judge.

THE SPREAD: 3 Shack-ago Dogs, Shackburger, Cheese fries, and beer

Let me tell you about my favorite hot dog, the Shack-ago Dog: poppy seed bun, all-beef frank, mystard, Rick's Picks, onions, tomato, homemade relish, sport pepper, and celery salt.

Then off to The Frying Pan, a salvaged boat turned dive bar on the Hudson River. Also, it's awesome. I recently celebrated my friend, Mearsie's, birthday there and just had to go back. Cheap beer, Sangria, good eats and water!!!!!! Feels like being at the lake...or beach...only there's the Jersey City skyline and Ellis Island in the distance...

Such a cool bar.

Stage in the back for live music

We took a stroll down to Chelsea Piers. We knew some basic history surrounding it, but learned some pretty awesome facts from the photos/literature. The piers served as docks for the famed White Star and Cunard lines. The Titanic was supposed to arrive there. Instead, the Carpathia brought the survivors to it's piers. The Lusitania set out on it's final voyage from Chelsea Piers before being torpedoed. CRAZY! There's a display of amazing photographs from these events: masses of people waiting at the pier for Titanic survivors, send-offs for the U.S. Olympic teams (when they had to travel by boat), and the creepiest one is the bon-voyage for the Lusitania. Everyone's so happy, the crowd is HUGE; it's eerie. It was a fascinating impromptu History lesson. Dave was so moved, he decided to actually be a part of the photos...

"What do you mean, 'They hit an iceberg?!'"

'Here's to you, boat...'

Then we stumpled across this...I think it speaks for itself.

As we walked home, I saw this easel outside a pub. I adore this quote so I snapped a shot to share with you. Enjoy!

Okay, off to hit up some of my favorite vintage shops...later, kids!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dreams Realized

(in excited sing-song voice) Good Morning!!!! As I sit here typing, I'm literally shaking with excitement, anticipation, etc. etc. etc. Probably should put down the coffee. he he. Anywho, as you know, Meghan and I started this blog to chronicle our experiences in the city trying to 'make it', while still staying true to our southern heritage, charm, blah blah blah. Well, I'm proud to report 2 major successes in our respective careers:

1)As many of you may already know, Meghan was working at Harpers Bazaar magazine, as well as doing free-lance fashion work. She's incredible at what she does and this did not go unnoticed. My dear friend has been given the opportunity to take a different position with VOGUE! She starts in a few weeks and I could not be more thrilled for this amazing opportunity. Selfishly, I look forward to all the goodies she'll be bringing home :) These offices get 'swag' sent to them all the time. Meghan's always got some sort of goody-bag by the end of the week. While we are on the topic, I would just like to take a moment to thank my dear friend for the countless treats she has bestowed upon me. Meghan, I love how generous you are with all your fabulous goodies. I would certainly be tempted to hoard them all...MWAHAHAHHAHAH! So please send positive energy and love Meghan's way as she starts this new chapter in her life. Kick Butt and Take Names, Lady!

2) I've been cast in Julianne Moore's 'Freckleface Strawberry'!
AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! The show itself is based on the actresses children's book. HOWEVER, it's not a piece of children's theatre. If I had to draw parallels I would say it's like a more contemporary 'You're A Good Man , Charlie Brown', but with a female protagonist. I can't believe it. I start rehearsals on Tuesday. I'm covering the lead role and all the other women principal characters. I'm a little overwhelmed. That's a lot of material that I have to know and be ready to step-in at any given moment. 6 roles, people. 6!!!!! I really didn't think I would be considered heavily, since I have no Broadway or big Off-Broadway credits to my name. When they are putting together an original cast, I feel like experience really weighs heavily...maybe I'm wrong. Regardless, they think I'm the best fit for the position and I couldn't be happier! Not only am I getting my NYC Debut, but I'm an original cast member!?!?!?!?!?!? We'll be playing New World Stages. For those of you who aren't familiar, this theatre housed Altar Boyz before it closed this past year and currently houses Avenue Q. And now we're taking over!!!
I apologize for how poorly-written this is and for the excessive use of exclamation points. I'm just so. freaking. pumped. This is what we work for. This is why we attend countless auditions, endure sometimes-(very) harsh feedback, and make ourselves entirely too vulnerable on a daily basis. For the opportunity to create on this level. The longer I'm here, the more I realize that getting a 'break', sadly, can have very little to do with talent. Still, I've always said I'm going to do everything I possibly can, so that, whether or not I ever grace a NYC stage, I can at least sleep better at night knowing I did all that I could to the best of my ability. I'm just so glad and feel beyond fortunate that it all paid off! Performing on a New York stage is what I've aspired to for most of my life. I can't believe I have the honor and privilege of doing it 8 times a week.

Hi, Boss...