Not at all! I’m not quite done reading through the whole yuletide 2016 archive, but I especially loved “Why Is Josh’s Friend’s Uncle Talking to Me About Vampires?” which is a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/Buffy the Vampire Slayer fusion by etothepii, who wrote some of my favorite Sherlockfics back in the day.
The other is “Conquest” a delicious Caesar/Marc Antony fic by the incomparable astolat, whose Drarry fic has been a standard in the HP fandom for a long while now.
New favorite authors:
Beatrice_Otter, who did an extremely well-thought out fusion of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with genuine French history—a great read in “From Castle to Palace”
kmo, who wrote an unexpected and yet very tender American Gods fic, where Samantha Black Crow meets Athena (yes, that one) in the UW Madison library, “under god’s power she flourishes”
The Yentl fandom fucking brought it this year, and I loved both “Mechaye Hametim” and “Begin With Love” as explorations of Hadass’ point of view, and her relationship with Anshel/Yentl.
“house of leaves” for Over the Garden Wall has such good writing, both in delivering on the fairytale and surrealism of the canon, and hitting on that particular awkward adolescence that is behind so many fairytales.
“We Arrive in the Dark” is the Andy/Miranda Devil Wears Prada fic I always wanted, where the evil step-mother and cinderella negotiate the relationship between them, with fairytale overtures made explicit.
Also, “The Kerkylas Society”, which is an extremely charming fic featuring Mac and Phryne Fisher and the “ladies club” that Mac belongs to. It’s a little casefic, but with a thoughtful and interesting twist of history and exploration, and I enjoyed it a lot.
“The Place You Need to Reach” is a great Librarians fic, about Librarians past and ‘Jenkins’. I loved reading this snapshot of how the library managed, in the high middle ages, and its oc is terribly charming.
There are a lot of other fics I adored—shout out to redbells, who wrote one of three Enslaved fics I will actually read; and BlackEyedGirl whose Deirdre Robespierre/Jacqueline Voohrees is just as deliciously fucked up as you would want, and incandescent (lmeden) who managed to actually deliver on the psychologically twisted Crimson Peak fic I’ve been longing for; plus everyone who wrote for Galavant and Selfie, because I had such fun paging through that section of the archive.
I love yultide, I have for literal years, and everyone should go fucking nuts in the 2016 offerings, because its authors deserve nothing less!
Hello! I'm a mad creature from Australia who is seeking advice. You posted up an amazing selection of amazingness about NY & London aaaaages back. I don't suppose you know where it is or could give me a snapshot of some of that info again? I'm going to be in London just before Christmas and then going onto NY for Christmas/NYE and you having lived in both cities and generally being amazing I figured you would be the lady to ask. Hope you can help! xx sapph
YES of course boo! here you go:
Restaurants (some highlights)
Uva (Upper East Side)
Caracas (Lower East Side)
Malatesta (West Village)
Buvette (West Village)
Heidi’s House (UES)
Little Owl (West Village)
Dumont (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Rosa Mexicano (UES, Upper West Side, Union Square)
Sweet Chick (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Sushi Samba (West Village)
John’s Pizza (West Village, Times Sq)
Palma (West Village)
Penrose (bar with good pub fare, UES)
Momofuku Milk Bar (East Village, Midtown, UWS)
Met and Natural History (UES and UWS, respectively)
Tenement Museum (by appt only, LES)
Museum of Sex (Rose Hill)
Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design (UES)
Historical Society (UWS)
NY Public Library (midtown)
Frick Collection (UES)
Museum of the City of New York (midtown)
Neue Gallery (UES)
NYC Police Museum (Financial district)
Park Avenue Armory (UES)
Evolution (amazing cabinet of curiosities, SoHo)
Brooklyn Flea Market (Ft Greene)
Strand Book Store (the best, Union Sq)
Forbidden Planet (a geek’s heaven, Union Sq)
Trash & Vaudville (birthplace of punk, St Marks)
Search & Destroy (scary, weird, cool, St Marks)
Dressing Room (LES)
Pearl River (all-in-one Chinese/Japanese import megastore, SoHo)
Babeland (18+ only!, LES)
Rudy’s Music (most beautiful guitar shop in the world, SoHo)
Designer Resale (nabbed a Prada trench here for $70 - this place is amazing, UES)
Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore, midtown)
Rizzoli (one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, bilingual English/Italian, midtown)
Topshop (just as much as a ripoff as it is in the UK, but the venue is cool; across the street from Pearl River in SoHo)
Obscura Antiques (LES)
Toy Tokyo (St Marks)
Shakespeare & Co Booksellers (UES)
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
English, Italian gardens in Central Park
Basically, Central Park
SLEEP NO MORE
Walk along the Hudson and/or East Rivers at night
And just try to walk everywhere you can. xxxx
BLOOMSBURY/FITZROVIA/MARYLEBONE • british museum (taking tea here is exceptionally good) • marylebone high st is my favorite street for walking in london, especially for cath kidston, conrans, daunt books (my favorite bookshop in the world) and a delightful weekend market at the top of the street near baker street tube called “cabbages & frocks” • the library at RADA (not sure if this is open to the public) • the misc squares and general stunning georgian leafiness of bloomsbury • denmark street is the best street in london for buying musical instruments. i’ve spent hundreds of afternoons at hank’s in a big armchair playing their stunning guitars. • FORBIDDEN PLANET DUH • if you happen to be on mortimer st, the george was my pub when i lived on nassau st. have a pint on me. • roka sushi. so so good. • suka - malaysian fare in the sanderson, an inconspicuous fashion hotel. to-die-for food but pricy. even if you can’t afford the grub, go into the hotel for a drink at the long bar. the elevator gives the illusion that you’re standing in a starry sky.
CENTRAL/SOHO • selfridges natch • carnaby street is a gorgeous little hub for shopping, though it can be touristy; dance around the edges to find hidden gems, like the great frog, which makes fucking awesome jewelry. head into kingly court for amazing vintage finds, five-minute massage parlors, tea emporiums and beauty salons. • ronnie scott’s. brilliant jazz club. • milk & honey. serious bar with serious booze. • go shopping at covent garden. get a cookie from ben’s cookies. for the love of god go get one of those cookies.
NOTTING HILL/WESTBOURNE GROVE • cafe 202. the best french toast i have ever had in my life. ever. • hummingbird bakery. this is a no brainer. go here. do not ever skip here. there is also one in south kensington near the natural history museum so you have no excuse. go. and get the red velvet cupcake and dissolve into a puddle of tears at the fact that you’ve never had anything this good in your life. • portobello market can be insufferable sometimes but it really is worth it. unbelievable treasures everywhere. alice’s at the top of portobello road is particularly strange and wonderful. it has everything from preserved animals in jars to globes to unreturned library books to circus paraphernalia. there’s also an awesome cowboy shop next door. • the portobello star. pub specializing in historical cocktails. awesome little place, don’t go on a weekend though.
KILBURN • very off the beaten tourist path, but a must-visit if you’re young and into music. i went to school here for a year and it was a big stomping ground for me. the entire high street is littered with pubs and open mic nights and live music venues. walk around and explore. the north london tavern is my definitive pub. then there’s the brondes age, ciao ciao, the king’s head, the good ship, and powers - which is the first place i ever did a gig. the area can be a little dodgy at night but use common sense and you’ll be all right.
KENSINGTON/WEST KENSINGTON • i went to drama school here and lived here for a few years. the curtains up near barons court was my pub. (also the albion close by.) i love that place, it’s probably my favorite pub in london, if only for the memories. they make really good food as well. westfield shopping centre is fun if it’s pouring rain and you have nothing else to do. go to kensington palace if you can, and have a drink at the kensington roof gardens. otherwise there’s not much to do except enjoy the lovely park. kensington is largely residential and very expensive.
EAST LONDON • 93 feet east is a fantastic club for people who don’t like clubbing (like me). lots of different musical choices to choose from scattered all over the compound, from live rock to pop to reggae to trance…a lot of fun. but be wary. brick lane is notoriously debauched on weekends. call addison lee in advance for a taxi to come pick you up. do not take the night bus on your own. (this actually goes for most of london, unless you’re right in central - and even then it can be a bit rough on the weekends. the tube shuts at 11 so use common sense if you’re out late.) • brick lane market. amazing treasure trove of eclectic goodies. • the mockingbird. awesome tapas owned by my best friend’s dad and brother. authentic spanish food and the paella is out of this world.
idk that’s like a list of things i really love to do but there is SO MUCH MORE i mean i’ve been there years, so it’s hard to sum up everything, but other areas to check out include:
• camden town (and if you want a fancy night out, go to gilgamesh. a friend’s dad owns it. amazing asian fusion with a fun dance club upstairs.) • knightsbridge (harrods and harvey nics are staples, but only really necessary to visit to say you’ve been there. harrods has a ladurée inside - the legendary french patisserie - so it is worth going there to have a macaron or six. however, signor sassi - tucked away in a little side street - makes the best italian i have ever had, and you will fall in love with all the waiters.) also go to embankment and take a walk along the river. cross the bridge, explore south bank. definitely go see a play at the national.
also GO HAVE PING PONG DIM SUM THEY ARE ALL OVER THE CITY AND IT IS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT ANYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. LIKE THEY HAVE ONE IN DC AND I LITERALLY WENT TO DC JUST TO EAT THERE BECAUSE I MISSED PING PONG SO MUCH. SO GO TO PING PONG.