A dear friend of mine from Moscow, whom I hadn’t seen since my days back on the Downtown Honolulu Cocktail Circuit in 2004, appeared in Manhattan this past week for a whirlwind tour of the city and its galleries (and, of course, its shopping), and treated me to a divine evening of catching up and cuisine at Gilt.

Of course I’d heard of Gilt, the two-Michelin-starred-for-two-years-running restaurant in Midtown’s Villard Mansion of The New York Palace Hotel, but I’d never had occasion to dine there until this week. And although I intensely dislike it when I read others’ reviews of Manhattan’s eateries on the Internet that devolve into streams of, “OMGWTFBBQ, SOOOOO GOOD!”, I’m afraid that was, quite literally, my only articulable response as each of the courses of Gilt’s seven-course tasting menu were presented to my friend and me for our consumption; the dishes were nothing short of sublime on every conceivable level.

Executive Chef Justin Bogle’s “Tasting” menu that we sampled differed rather a lot from the one currently listed on Gilt’s website, featuring more dishes from what is currently listed as its “Dinner” menu, and every dish was exquisite. I particularly enjoyed the Dry-Aged Niman Ranch Strip Loin with Alliums and Marrow, the Columbia River Sturgeon with Horseradish and Caviar, and the North Atlantic Fluke Tartare, but I think my must-not-miss recommendation would be the Nantucket Bay Scallops, because the Parsnip Velouté in which they swam was nothing short of divine.

And I’m not even going to talk about Pastry Chef David Charmichael’s Chocolate Platter for the “Dessert” course; language cannot even begin to describe the perfection of every single piece on it.

The entire evening was a culinary masterpiece, enhanced even more by the company and conversation of a dear old friend inside the warmly-lit wooden walls as the blizzard began outside, and emerging as if into the streets of Paris several hours later, a darkened St. Patrick’s Cathedral across Madison Avenue shrouded in fog and snow.

It was a positively majestic evening.

Gossip Girl Tour: It starts at The New York Palace, drives around the Upper East Side and then goes through lots of different filming locations. We stopped off at Henry Bendel (Blair’s favourite shop), the school building which is actually The City of New York Museum Building, the Empire Hotel (which we are staying at tomorrow night for Ali’s birthday - cheers Rod & Wend), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Meatpacking District to see boutiques and Dylan’s Candy Bar uptown.

The tour got off to a hilarious start, with the German woman sitting in front of us having a domestic with her 10-year-old daughter, where she hit her and shouted very loudly ‘NIEN’ and sat for the next hour of the tour staring at the window and ignoring her young daughter. The moment she started shouting and obviously nudging her daughter me and Ali were in hysterics, and crying with laughter. All my suntan cream went in my eyes, because of the laughter, and I had to spend the rest of the day with my sun glasses on as my mascara went all over my eyes. 

The tour was great and we both got cakes from Dylans Candy Bar - happy chicks! Perfect start to Ali’s birthday celebrations! 

We went to the Highline for a bit in the afternoon, and ate some haribo (cheers Fiona) and then came home. We have just had chile for dinner and have painted our nails and packed our bags to go to the Empire Hotel first thing tomorrow to use the rooftop swimming pool - going via Tiffany for Ali to buy her charm bracelet!

Very exciting few days, and can’t wait to celebrate Ali’s 21st! Can’t believe it’s here already, this year has flown by. And how depressing, this now means I am half way to 22 - eugh!


All These Ghosts -CLAIMED-

Summary: We begin on Olympus, with the Titan Army encroaching through Manhattan far below. We begin with the demigod children of Apollo, with no arrows left, as they set up field clinics in the meadows of the gods; and with the wounded and the fallen, the children covered in burial shrouds ad thee children who wouldn’t save them. We begin with the child soldiers trapped 6,000 feet above New York City, as Kronos stalks to the palace of the gods, Percy Jackson in his wake. We begin with the fear and the grief and the bated breath, the children who hold each other’s lives on their shoulders instead of the world, but we don’t end there.

     We return with the survivors to Camp Half-Blood, which is less a summer camp and more a training camp for war. Slowly, they try to return Camp Half-Blood to the way it was before, but there are kids who won’t play capture the flag, kids who won’t touch the climbing walls and kids who die there. There are kids who won’t leave, and kids who won’t return. The dozens of new campers don’t understand their siblings’ vacant eyes, stares toward the empty bunks. We return to the Apollo kids trying to heal the trauma scars. After centuries of mentoring demigods, even Chiron and Mr. D come to adjust to the new shape of their camp. Someone—Castor, mourning for his only brother—builds a memorial in the strawberry fields. The camp was designed to train demigods to survive a world that wants to kill them, but slowly it becomes something more: a safe haven.

Ships: Percabeth (minor to plot)
Genre: Gen, Angst
Rating: T
Warnings: death, suicide, other war and war-trauma related themes
Worlds: Canon divergent, post-The Last Olympian, not acknowledging The Heroes of Olympus
Writer: @lillianplatts
Will be written in: English
The writer has given permission for this fic to be translated.

Will be translated into Spanish by @quietlykeen

claimed by @the-artsy-oracle