Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Real Passion

And yes, I hate that word. However, I find it interesting that my real, ugh, passion has barely found its way out and latched on to the pages of my blog. Because, yes, as traveling and London are slowly becoming two things, I truly do enjoy, I mean what's not to love?, there is also that dreaded task of packing & unpacking & sitting on suitcases to shut them & planes & trains & cars and well, I get tired & cranky. However, I do think that after 3 years of traveling back and forth to Madison, the last 2 months (which by the way I can't believe have already passed) and the next 2.5 months, I think I can fairly claim that I am quite the seasoned traveler. Wow, that was quite a tangent. 

Anyway, my real passion: food, cooking and restaurants. Let me draw this out for you: There are few places I love more than the grocery store, kitchen, restaurant and table. In fact, I'm not sure there are any places, aside from my comfortable bed, but "Barb's" kitchen table chairs are prettty damn comfortable, I love more. (And yes, Barb-those quotations were intentional as the chairs & table are in fact borrowed and rightfully mine.) My college bookshelf is filled with textbooks and binders and double the amount of cookbooks. I've already bought one cookbook in London and will probably buy more before I leave. (British Cuisine? Hybrid Cuisine? Italian Cuisine in Rome?) I someday hope to work in the food industry itself. However, I've recently decided I'd settle being a Food Stylist, (Eric: you've still yet to respond to my email on CIA, if I dont get a job in a short year from now), Television Restaurant Chef, although I'm not sure I could handle the camera, or own my own restaurant, Dave can run the bar. Anyway, by the way I talk about food, you'd think I weighed around 500 lbs rather than my mere 115, on a good day, a very good day.

So why am I telling you this? How is this relevant to England, the city known to house the world's worst food? 
Because my life living in that city has actually come to be a lot more about food than I would have excpected.
Because in 2.5 months, when my life is no longer made interesting by my sheer location in a foreign country, I'm contemplating turning Carlyonqueue into a cooking blog, although I'd have to improve its photography, or add it in general (which by the way, I do know how to do!!)--Thoughts???
Because I currently work at a Food & Beverage Marketing & PR Company
Because my dissertation, which is due in t - 2 months is going to be disproving what I just said, that I have found England to have some, while not-earth shattering or cuisine defining, excellent food. Keyword: Hybrid Food
Because while I have already spent a weekend in Paris, the "birth place" of the Julia Child that could cook. Note: I know Julia is from California, I did write a thesis paper on her, but that Julia could not cook...Paris' Julia could & as I learned last year, she helped define American cuisine, and for that I am forever grateful
Because, lastly, in 2 days, Becca and I will be taking a cooking class in Rome, Italy and I am beyond excited. And that's just something you'll have to look forward to hearing about...

Updates since Dublin:
High Tea, something I'm planning to bring back to the states with me. Maybe this will be the restaurant I'll start: the tea sandwiches: egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, cucumber & cream cheese, salmon and more!, the tarts, the cupcakes, the SCONES, the tea. What's not to love, although I shyed away from the clotted cream. My stomach thanked me.
Harrods & Burberry
China Town
Portobello Road...again. And yes, we got crepes & scarves again, too...
Wagamama, just as good here as it is at home
Buckingham Palace
A hefty, an understatement, trip planning session: trips to Barcelona, Athens & Santorini coming soon!
Wasabi, a place other than Sushi Inaka that has BimBop
London Transport Museum

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For %@*&-sake

It's commonly known how nice of people the Irish are. What's not commonly known, or at least not talked about, is the amount they swear.

This past weekend, we went to Dublin, Ireland. After a quick flight via Ryanair, my first experience, we were there. I will admit, every time I travel, I'm actually baffled by how easy it is to travel here. I can barely make it to Wisconsin without a hitch and definitely not without any complaints. This also marks a momentous adventure because it was in fact the first place I have been that Barb & Eric, aka mom & Dad, have not been. Although Eric informed me they have never been to Deluth, MN. However, I'm fairly certain both my toes, which still suffer from that fateful frostbite, and I pretend I was never there.

Unlike Paris, Ireland had a lot less things to do so made for a nice, relaxing weekend away from London. And, I'm fairly certain we saw just about everything touristy there is to see in Dublin:
-Guinness Storehouse Factory, highlight: advertising history of the brand
-James Distillery, which I very much so preferred to Guinness
-Christ Church Cathedral
-Temple Bar
-Trinity College, sweatshirt: check
-Loft Market, dresses: check
-St. Patricks Cathedral
-Wax Museum, hopefully: Madame Toussaud's COMING SOON
-Porterhouse, briefly
-Valentine's Day

Now here's the part where my blog becomes a movie review. (You know, to show I have a wealth of skills, I am looking for a job after all, kidding, but really just to sing my praises to Valentine's Day). Let me first of all preface this with the fact that I am probably the worst movie or television critic you will ever meet. A faithful romantic comedy fan, I will probably watch, and enjoy, any movie in the genre. Marni often jokes that you know something is REALLY bad if I wont watch it. Having said that, I first saw the trailer for Valentine's Day back in the fall. I immediately knew it was the type of movie I would be rushing to see. Hence, I did see it, the second night it came out in Ireland. While the trailer contained virtually no information regarding the plot, the cast was enough for me. So I was in. However, I secretly knew with such a great cast and such excitement, this movie would never live up to my expectations. I'm happy to announce: I was wrong. This movie was great. Similar to Love Actually, the characters were perfectly intertwined. It was funny and cute and well done, even had a few surprises at the end.

My advice: Go see it for yourself, I may even go again...right now?
Seee ya later

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hold the Line

Sorry, sorry, sorry for my inability to post in far too long. And sorry that again this will have to be a brief post.
Things are busy in London and instead of boring you with the incessant details of my day-to-day life: Class, Homework, Sleep, Work, Gym, Sleep, Work...and a very occasional time to relax in there...somewhere? I'm taking a different route today.
Needless to say I finally feel like I'm abroad and almost feel as though I might fit in at least somewhat inconspicuously...emphasis on the somewhat. (Although with working 3 days a week, I'm growing rather concerned that I'm always going to feel young based on my size alone.) 

Things I'm getting used to & beginning/continuing to enjoy
-Walking around and seeing things I recognize from history, books, movies, the gamut 
-Looking Right before Left, although the signs help (I will never get used to looking on the right side for the driver though!)
-Cooking for myself & Whole Foods London
-Grab & Go Food Places such as Pret & EAT
-Le Pain Quotidien Cherry Jelly
-The Ease of the Tube
-Surprisingly the food--YoSushi, Indian Food-anywhere, Food Halls, especially Harrods, Champion, Ben's Cookies (I will admit, my stomach HATES me and I'm making bold moves in attempt to please it)
-Amusing British sayings such as Hold the Line
-Musseli, British Granola which has oats instead of Granola, and the make your own stand at Whole Foods
-Spending money and not immediately converting it to American dollars
-BBC2, which we listen to all day at work (current favorites: Blame It on the Girls)
-Drinking tea all day long, without equal
-24 Hour Nurse Hotline, which sadly came in handy around 5am Sunday morning

I'm also growing quite nostalgic for certain things at home, including but not limited to:
-Dryers that work, better yet Lazybones to do all of my laundry for me
-Bathroom Light Switches
-Fridges that don't resemble mini fridges
-Free, or rather not pay as you go, television
-People who move out of the way when you are attempting to walk
-Certain Foods (Kettle Corn Ingredients, Equal) 
-An organized university, cause lets be honest--Arcadia is a far cry from organized
-A good gym, equipped with someone to whip me into shape & keep me there
-My comfortable bed, and even my little twin at home
-Target & CVS like stores
-Having a life
-Most of you


quick hilights since we last spoke:
Notting Hill Arts Club
Tequila Tex Mex
The London Eye
HiYasaki Sushi--L15 for 7 appetizers and all you can eat sushi...Koyojin in London??
Harrods--picked out my future wedding dress (I hear it even comes with the British husband!!), delicious dim sum and ice cream sundaes that could cure world hunger and peace all at the same time...yah, I said that AND I'M LACTOSE INTOLERANT)
Oxford University
Ben's Cookies
Mrs. Dalloway's Walk through London
Indian Cooking Class with Monisha, don't worry I got her cookbook, signed and all

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hopefully the internet will last long enough to write this post

Thanks for hanging in there, I know it's been awhile! My internet has gone from mediocre to HORRENDOUS. Honestly, you'd think I'm in Kenya over here with the inability to even send an email between the hours of 6pm & 2am...which typically tend to be the only hours I'm convenient. (Arcadia--you REALLY need to get your insert select language here together.) Now starts today's installment of: What IS Carly doing over there?

To answer this cliff hanger: 
-Spending money. You know it's unbelievable how ridiculous the pound actually is. Then on top of that, living in London is comparable to New York City. Plus then there's that whole currency charges. Its typical to eat lunch for around L10, which then converts to 16 dollars! However, groceries seem to be cheaper, even whole foods, and, as I discovered today, Urban Outfitters. 
-My Favorite Place in London thus far: Portobello Road. This market of a street is probably one of the coolest places I've ever been, and yes, I plan to go back soon. With street vendors selling everything from fruits & veggies to jewelry, scarfs and clothing to old cameras and leather messenger bags. I'm fairly certain that you could go every week and find something you've never even seen before...something I'm planning on doing. PLUS the food! Carts selling anything from seasoned olives and cheeses to sandwiches to CREPES AS GOOD AS THE ONE IN PARIS (the best one from Paris even!!) to Humingbird Bakery Red Velvet, which Avery & I finished before we even reached the cashier...hey! it was a long line!
-Kensington Palace & Kensington Gardens, which is maybe a 5 minute walk from my door step. Maybe it was because we went on a sunny day, which are so rare here, although it has been sunny the last few (but my widgets predicting rain for the next 2), but people were out in the park and it almost resembled spring, minus the fridgid weather, by London standards, of course. (I have noticed its actually colder here when its sunny out) Anyway, I really enjoyed the Palace, which houses Diana's dresses. Whether it was my love for The Queen, the movie, or just simply remembering this history as something that actually took place as part of my lifetime, I really enjoyed the visit.
-A trip to the Museum of London with class, which was actually the first boring museum I went to. Although staring at a certain someone wasn't so bad.
-Yo Sushi, which can only be described as living up to everything I hoped for. The sheer genius of the conveyor belt. However, I will admit it was a challenge figuring out what was what. But with everything they had to offer, I can EASILY overlook that
-Champion, our local pub, and I call it "our"pub lovingly. For L10 each, 4 of us, Avery, Becky, Hannah & I got 4 entrees, 2 appetizers & 4 ciders. Who could beat that?? Anddd it was even delicious!

Things to come:
-Trips have been booked: Dublin, Rome & Amsterdam
-Hopefully a trip to some combination of Scotland, Florence & Greece will be booked
-A trip to Oxford on Saturday, where I intend to visit the bookstore
-Brick Lane for Indian Food? Harrods for the food hall? Burberry Outlet? Who said that? Buckingham Palace? Or I guess, work, in approximately 9 hours...yuck. Guess you'll all just have to keep reading ; )