Monday, July 26, 2010

Why I love Twitter (and macaroons)

Oh sweet Jesus, these are the best macaroons I've ever had & I've been to France! Thanks to Twitter and @dannymacaroons, I got to enjoy them!

After Amy, a food blogger I follow (@amyblogschow), tweeted about eating "surprisingly moist" salted caramel macaroons, and letting me know that they're from Danny Macaroons and are available locally, I immediately had to go out & get some. I love me some salted chocolate and salted caramel so I had to try them. Dan saw Amy's tweet to me and replied letting me know that he just dropped off fresh batches around the city. After walking 15 minutes to the closest coffeeshop listed as a seller, they tell me they're out and they've suspended their shipment. Well, boo!

I tweeted back to Dan & what ends up happening is a bunch of back-and-forth emails with him and he makes plans with me to hand deliver not only some salted caramel macaroons, but an assortment of plain & chocolate covered ones as well.

This evening, Dan was waiting outside of my office and pulled out a six-piece bag of macaroons from his cooler. While he tells me about himself and his business - Dan's been in business for 4 months and makes the macaroons himself in Spanish Harlem - I bit into the salted caramel macaroon and it was an explosion of flavors: sweet, salty, coconuty, and very, very moist. (I was tempted to take a picture of him, but I was busy eating.)

However, the best was yet to come. On the train ride home, I tried a plain macaroon. Holy cow, I went bananas on the train: this was the best macaroon I've ever eaten! Ever! Again, super moist, sweet but not overpowering, coconut perfectly shredded. I was all moaning and picking off the pieces that fell on my shirt and in the crook of my arm and shoving it into my mouth like some out of control person. It was that good!

So, if you're a fan of macaroons, find a shop that carries them (but call first, just in case).

If it wasn't for Twitter, I wouldn't have had the best damn macaroons I've ever tasted. Now I got to control myself to not eat the four macaroons I have left tonight. I haven't even tried the chocolate one yet!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Writer & the Reader

I'm reading a bunch of non-fiction stories a friend of mine gave me to read. I've been sitting on it for months now, much to my embarrassment, and every once in a while, she'd ask me if I've read them yet.

Truth be told, it makes me a pretty lousy friend that I've dragged my feet in reading them, and I'm direct enough to admit that to her. She laughs it off, but in her questioning she betrays a bit of hurt over it. I can't blame her. I remember what it's like, cautiously awaiting the moment when I'd hear the opinions of the people I respected who were given a copy of a poem or story I had written.

One reason it took a while for me to get to her stories was a fear they wouldn't be good and having to lie about it. My friend is pretty smart and knows it. This combination can produce self-conscious writing or writing suffering of egoism. If I encountered that kind of writing, the friendship would be in jeopardy and I didn't want to deal with any of that.

When I stopped writing, it was for a combination of many reasons, one of which was the isolation of the activity. I didn't want to continue to engage in activities that necessitated being alone. But, sitting here in the park with her stories spread out around my towel, I remembered: Writing is meant to be shared and enjoyed. It is a piece of you given to others, something internal made external. I've been so concerned in indulging myself further in isolation I've all but abandoned writing, but I've forgotten the vulnerability, beauty and bravery involved when you first share your work and how self-expression by its very nature requires someone to express to.

And, that was the other reason I was taking so long. She wanted me to see her and to know her and, because these stories were non-fiction and about her, what if I didn't like her?

I had nothing to worry about as her stories were well written, smart and enjoyable to read. I loved them and it reminded me of why were friends in the first place (I should have trusted my taste in friends). I cannot wait for her to return home from vacation and give her a hug and tell her how much I love her and her stories.

Something else came out of this experience reading her stories in the park, alone, on the fourth of July surrounded by crowds of people picnicking and enjoying games and food: perhaps I can cut myself some slack about being too isolated, forgive myself for being a bit of a loner, write some more, and remember that the act of sharing my writing is an act of sharing my self.