Though I spend my days actively trying to give the stink-eye to Fitzgerald-y fashion-themed blog posts through the endlessly bright glare of my computer screen, I've inadvertently taken on a costly Gatsby-esque habit as of late, in that I can't stop spending money. I can't stop. I've had a few fantastic sugar lumps of cash come my way these past few months, but the problem isn't that. It's that I'm not spending it wisely at all. I'm not investing in leather jackets or "pieces that will last a lifetime", or even wiping my ass with $100s and feeling like a G. Basically, I shouldn't be attending a Thakoon sample sale and leaving with an old lady tunic big enough to fit an obese lady, especially since it cost the same as the shut-up-and-die formal gown a pin-thin woman next to me took home.
I know on top of that I should keep my cash flow on lock down considering the entire nature of working Freelance Willy, but god damn it just feels good to spend it for once. The sun's shining, spring is finally here, there's nothing in my closet and I'm craving anything that feels new, nice, refreshing or starchy. (Haphazardly giving up on carbs is taking a toll on my wants-and-needs at the moment, too.) Everything I own feels so childlike, dull and old at this point in life — a topic I'll be tackling sartorially sometime next week — and I can't help but crave nice things across the board. Nice, indulgent, expensive, silken, patterned, fatty things.
So, while hopping uptown to pick up one of said nice, indulgent, silken things, I stopped off at Maison Kayser, also known as the Land Du Carb Dreams Et Tears Of Joy and my favorite Parisian boulangerie. (I'd say bakery, but please, boo-lawn-geh-rhee sounds so much more applicably caloric.) What usually would have been me walking down the street in exercise clothes, eating a seeded roll with no intention of gym attendance in my future somehow got rounded up to a "let's buy the most expensive food we can find" spectacle of top-notch yuppy proportions, thanks to my case of the splurgies seeping into my brain and carrying my tired legs to every best-o-da-best outpost on my way home.
(Not so hot to trot with this carb-less lifestyle, you can see.)
Considering I did a bang-up job of blowing formal dinner-style money on a ground-dwelling makeshift brunch, I figured my expertise might come in handy to two, maybe three people. And if you're one of those who prefers to sit cross-legged and brush an ant off your $30-a-pound Manchego, I've become a tiny queen of fine dining by way of dirt floors. And now, I will tell you how to wow your classy loved ones and sadden your poor friends by doing the same. This five-part bougie picnic is all yours, just like that:
1: The Best Bread On The Island, In The Country and Therefore The World. If you haven't been to Eric Kayser's joint, the yeasty heaven mentioned above, it's like flying on a unicorn's back and eating icing out of the jar at the same time. You can't believe this hasn't happened before, and simultaneously don't understand why you can't do this more than once in a blue moon. (The UES is farther than you think, trust.) He will ruin croissants, table bread and all other baked goods for you. If I wasn't scared of needles, I'd have a tattoo of a seeded baguette across my chest. Actually, let's go with forearm. Across my forearm, for sure. It might look like a diseased penis, but it'll be a testament to greatness.
2: Over-The-Top Pompous Non-Hersheys Chocolate Bar. Because an $8 artisanally crafted, local, 72% cacao Mast Brothers chocolate bar wasn't expensive enough, they gone stuffed black truffles into it and called it a Limited Reserve. I handed over a wad of crumpled dollar bills to buy this because I could barely afford it, and it's currently sitting in my kitchen pantry because no one ate it. Two thumbs up!
3: Sacrificial Moral Coffee. And no, I'm not making a commentary on how commonplace Starbucks is. I got shunned, hardcore, while buying this cup of coffee at Saturdays Surf, which may be their "thing" but is still horrible and terrible and evil. I once sat at brunch with my parents complaining about how uppity the store is and why it makes no sense that they sell piles of surf clothes in a city that's pretty much the polar opposite of California, and still didn't back down when their owners, sitting next to us, chimed in to a later conversation and thus proved they heard the whole thing. More on this later, because they've got a spectacular backyard and perfect coffee and I'm terribly torn on how to reconcile my simultaneous hate and love, but one thing's for sure: if you didn't earn an iced skim latte by having a man with a curl-bun as a hairdo give you a death stare, it's not really coffee.
4: Strawberries That Cost More Than A Recent Paycheck. If fruit is nature's candy, consider their price tag your cavity bill. You'd think berries were filled with a creamy 24 Karat gold center, I swear.
5: 18-Month Acorn Fed Spanish Ham And Cheeses And Other Vehicles Of Caloric Intake From Despaña. You know, 'cuz brie just wasn't enough that day! Why buy meat when you can buy meat that had to be imported here, and why buy foreign meats when you can buy the best, most jaw-droppingly fatty mcfat fat strips of Iberico Ham? I used to buy $1 packages of ham slices from the Meijer near my college campus, but look at me now! Tasting strips of meat that had been flown from Spain all the way to my mouth! Doesn't get any
There you have it: a white tablecloth picnic that'll throw you (and me) into the poorhouse. Whatever you do, don't forget a blanket!
(But don't worry, I'm sure Barney's sells some great ones.)