Our nanny share started today, and Rob’s office is also closed until January so…we found ourselves with three wide-open days and no baby. Since it’s probably the last time this will happen for awhile, I made us a little punch list to ensure that we’re taking advantage of winter-magical New York and ticking off our final holiday to-do’s. Here’s what’s on tap:
Catching a daytime movie: There’s something about a daytime movie that feels infinitely more luxurious than a nighttime showing. I used to love going to them by myself but now I’ll let Rob come along if he promises not to eat all my popcorn. Yesterday, went over to Alamo Drafthouse, a fancy theater in downtown Brooklyn, for a midday Star Wars showing. (Sidenote: On Tuesdays, all Alamo’s pre-2pm screenings are baby-friendly, which is a fun parent excursion.)
Pumping on the go: I’m still figuring out my strategy for pumping around town without losing my mind. My first step was finding this not-too-ugly cooler bag, which fits two bottles and my hand pump. I also did my first Lyft pumping session, which was weird and empowering at the same time.
Playing tourist: It’s easy to take New York for granted when you live here, and I love using hooky days to do things you don’t normally. This week, we’re going to the Met right when it opens to see the Michelangelo show, then wandering through Central Park on our way back downtown or having tea and elaborate Viennese pastries at Café Sabarsky. Or, depending on how late it is, we may be tempted to pop over to Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle for a Manhattan—quintessential New York.
Fancy lunching: I would so rather have a leisurely, indulgent meal at lunch rather than dinner. It’s easier to get tables, the light is lovely, and you can walk off the wine and dessert afterward. Last December, Rob and I had a pre-Christmas lunch at Gramercy Tavern and we’re redux-ing this year. I love sitting at the bar, where you can take in the warm room, including the towering flower arrangements and exuberant murals, and chat with the knowledgable bartenders. The food is seasonal and inventive without being too fussy, and the service is impeccable.
Shopping IRL: I love buying presents but hate ordering them online so I am very behind on my Christmas shopping. The plan: swoop by Elizabeth Street in Nolita, which we joke has all the expensive wonderful things: Aesop and Le Labo for indulgent nice-smelling items; Clare V. and Sézane for French girl chic accessories and clothes; and Alex Mill for Rob’s favorite cool dad t-shirts. We’ll find a couple treats there, then head over to Greeceologies for some edible gifts (their sour cherry preserves are ridic) and brave the line at Di Palo’s for some Italian cheeses and meats to add to the holiday spread (their sun-dried tomatoes are a sleeper hit). Back in Brooklyn, we’ll stock up on cookbooks and new nonfiction for my Dad and sister at Books Are Magic, our amazing neighborhood shop. Note: Not sharing specific gifts because I know my mom and sister are reading!
Getting cozy: In between running around, we’re going to settle in at a fancy hotel to regroup and work (and for me, pump). I’m thinking The Nomad because I know they get decked out and have a fireplace, plus excellent cocktails.
And by special request, Rob Says! Ok people, living with Mollie means staying at the top of your life-optimization game, and the holidays only increase the stakes. 1) Holiday break is a great time for cooking projects. I like to make homemade chicken stock for soups (freeze the extra stock flat in 1-quart ziploc bags for easy re-heating). My basic blueprint is the Serious Eats method; this stock is rich and restorative and cooks in two hours instead of all day. 2) This is a great time to revisit albums from past year that you didn’t spend enough time with (I’m still loving Bleachers and Lorde, fyi). I nerd out on this amazing list of lists Google Doc every year. Be aware that some albums may be deemed “headphone music” by Mollie, and listen accordingly.
Back over to Mollie.
That’s all for now—my next report will coming to you from hopefully snowy Maine.