Monthly Archives: October 2008


While reading my Serious Eats newsletter this morning, I got a little too excited when I read this:

Reviewed: New Hershey’s Kisses Pumpkin Spice.

Courtesy of Serious Eats.

Courtesy of Serious Eats.

Oh sweet Jeebus. When it comes to pumpkin, all I can say is, “Yes please.”

I thought it would be smart to come up with a term for my pumpkin obsession, and because I actually have a lot of work to do today, I decided it best to waste the morning sipping my coffee (the dollar pumpkin late from Dunkin Donuts will come later) as I sat and thought, “Hmmm. What two words could I mash together to exemplify my obsession? Was there already a word for such a thing?”

I pushed ahead. After skimming the comments on the Serious Eats article, fellow pumpkin lovers wrote comments such as, “This is why I love fall! Suddenly everything is pumpkin flavored!” and “I love anything pumpkin flavored!” but not, I am a ______________ (fill in the blank with the word I am now on a mission to find).

It was time to self-diagnose, to find a name to call my people. If you are obsessed with France, you are a francophile. If you have a thing for shoes, some say you have a shoe fetish. What did I have??

One of my favorite things on my computer is my dictionary widget on my Mac. Yes, I know what having a fetish means, but sometimes, even when you’ve heard a word all your life out of context, I think its refreshing to look up true dictionary definitions to words. Plus, I get to giggle at my dancing hula Homer Simpson widget that’s next to my dictionary widget.

My mission became clear. Latin author Gabriel Garcia Marquez  said that he prefers at times to write in the English language rather than Spanish because the English language is quite a melting pot. We have so many words for one thing. Would I need to stick with English or cross a border to find the perfect word??

Since English is my first language, I’ll stick with that for now. I look up fetish:

An inanimate object worshipped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

Nope. Try definition #2.

A form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.

Hmmm. Nah. I love pumpkin, but I don’t loooove pumpkin. I’ve thought about marrying it though. But then again, I vowed to marry my Tide-Wipe Out Pen when it literally wiped out a coffee stain I got on a dress right before I had to report at a trade show.

I was stuck. I looked up phile:

-phile: combining form, denoting fondness for a specified thing

Bingo! OK, I had the suffix, but now what to use for pumpkin. Do I have to be all scholarly and find out the Latin term for pumpkin? Is there one?

Oh, but of course. Found in a NYTimes article from 1991:

The name pumpkin is believed to be derived from a Greek word, pepon, or a Latin word, pepo, which is also used to describe melons.

Am I a pepophile?? Oh. Well. The end of my research appears to be somewhat anticlimatic. That word doesn’t sound as glamourous as I had hoped…

If I were to post on for pepohiles in the NYC area to get together, I doubt I’d get any replies. Well knowing NYC, I’d probably get a few, but definitely not anything pumpkin related.

Today’s Mommy Dearest

Attention, attention. I have officially entered the digital age.

Some of you may be aware that I recently got my first blackberry. For me, this is a BIG deal. Old fashioned at heart, instead of iPhones or BBs I always wanted typewriters and record players. Blue tooth what? GPS what?

But alas, I caved, and I am hooked. I look like every other 9-5’er on the run, crossing walkways, just narrowly missing cabs while I am checking my Gmail and work emails on my newborn baby. My 10-month-old Nano is a little jealous and has been pouting in its case.

But as much attention as I have been giving my BB (it really sounds like baby) I got it from a friend for free (Splenda Stealers rejoice!) and it did not have its instruction booklet in the box. So now, I literally feel like a mother. When I hear that phrase that babies don’t come with instruction booklets, I can now relate.

As I cradle my newborn BB in my hands, I can’t help but think:

Why is it constantly buzzing?? How can I make it stop? Is its blinking light always red?? Wasn’t it green yesterday??  Why oh why do you copy me on all emails I send out?? I just want to text! Why can’t you just let me text?? And the voice dialing button keeps going off! Is this normal??!!

Last night I fell asleep with it next to my head and it woke me up every other hour from its email feeds. Isn’t this the time when child rearing books say it’s time to put the baby in its own room? Do I need to give my BB its own nursery? Doesn’t it seem cruel to leave it outside my bedroom, alone, attached to its charger in the dark? Will it catch a cold out there? Will it start to resent me??

They say that the digital age has lead us to less human interaction because instead, we all keep in touch through ambient awareness, which according to this article in the NY Times, says is what social scientists call “incessant online contact.”

“It is, they say, very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye. Facebook is no longer alone in offering this sort of interaction online. In the last year, there has been a boom in tools for “microblogging”: posting frequent tiny updates on what you’re doing.”

Because of less human interaction, is this what we’ve come to–using our maternal instincts toward the devices that keep us in touch with people, rather than people, themselves??

I think I heard my Nano laugh at me.

My 900 Seconds of Fame

Courtesy of…IT’S ME!!

I left out the comments, but visit the link to see them because they are pretty funny. Although my shining moment was brief, in those quick 15 minutes I was treated like a true celebrity:

–my fashion was commented on, as someone asked why I had dried bananas hanging from my ears

–my politics were questioned, as I was compared to Sarah Palin

–the hot or not debate, as someone called me a lovely looking filly (though filly translates to a young female horse…)

–and last, but not least, it appears that I had somewhat of a brush with naughty tabloids, as one of the more colorful commenters referred to an off the wall scenario involving my face on a blow-up doll.

It made for quite the interesting day and happy to be a part of it!!

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Emily”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Emily, a freelance writer looking for a little UK love.

Name: Emily

Age: 25 in a month!

Occupation: Editor, freelance writer (and blogger at

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 41st & Lex

Favorite Kind of Food: Too much. I’ve been on a Cuban food kick lately and crave empanadas and platanos. But I also love Mexican, Thai, sushi, lots of pizza, anything with peanut butter or pumpkin, and I have a really bad sweet tooth.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I can be picky about seafood. I don’t really care for shellfish that lacks a specific texture other than slime, like raw oysters. I also don’t like monkfish and really didn’t like it after I Googled what it looks like naturally. I’m a very visual person so sometimes I don’t want to know what my food looks like before it’s ready to be eaten. Also, “a big salad” for lunch. I loathe all those Chopt and Just Salad spots. BO-RING!

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Do desserts count too? I have on occasion traded out lunch for dessert, and by occasion, I mean pretty frequently. The Mexican chocolate brownie or apricot oatmeal jammy from the Treats Truck and the PB&J cupcake from The Buttercup Bake Shop (one avenue over the Midtown Lunch limit on 2nd Ave.) are my favorite ways to indulge my sweet tooth. I am also pleased to report that I have become a pro at unwrapping onigiri purchased from Café Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th). I used to love the gravlax club at the AQ Café in the Scandinavia House before it was replaced by the Smorgas Chef, and my friend Kristine and I still cry tears of joy over our memories of the lobster roll and pulled pork sandwiches from our free lunch at The Volstead!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Old Bridge Deli on Lex btw. 40+41st (though I’m am interested in trying one of those rolly wrap, calzone-alternative things Zach found), Prete A Manger, and the Café Metro that’s in my building. I also frequent the 99 cent pizza place on 43rd btw. Lex+3rd, but I’m the only one in my office who has no shame and will run out for the really cheap finds or freebies. I will literally duck and run out of my office with exact change in my hand.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? The pizza deal at Naples 45 (on 45th & Madison) and the 99 cent pizza place, Woorijip (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th_ when I find myself near Penn Station, Café Zaiya and Chiyoda Sushi (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), and the Kwik Meal cart (on 45th & 6th). Mmm falafel.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Lately, out of nostalgia, I’ve been craving a lot of the comfort food/pub grub from when I studied in England a few years ago. High teas with scones, fish and chips loaded with vinegar, and hot Cornish pasties—flaky pastries filled and baked with some sort of meat, potato, corn, onions, etc.—millions of varieties—fast, hearty and cheap!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Does anyone know where to find decent English pub grub in Midtown or anywhere in Manhattan? Maybe even one of those Cornish pasties I miss so much? Or genuine fish and chips?? Thanks!!

Good question.  The only fish and chips I’ve had is at Chicken House (on 36th btw. 7+8th), which has absolutely nothing in common with a proper chip shop (although I’d still recommend it.)  I also stay away from the pubs in Midtown, because a) they’re sit down (i.e. you have to tip) and b) so many of them seem like touristy garbage.  But if somebody has a good recommendation, I’d be all ears.  As for cornish pasties, you can’t really beat Myers of Keswick.  Shame that it’s not in Midtown.

Got a recommendation for Emily? Put it in the comments. And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office email me at

Making Your Own Recession Special Combo

Those of us who dig through our pockets to use every cent accounted for will be happy to hear about Dunkin Donuts’  promotion that lets us buy a small hot or iced latte on any weekday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. for 99 cents through Nov. 11. You can also get a 99 cent Egg and Cheese Sandwich with the purchase of a medium or larger hot coffee through Nov. 1.

All I have to say is that when I dug for pennies out of my purse to run down to the DD next to my building, I literally gave myself a pat on the shoulder for remembering to bring an extra dime to account for tax, because the cost of the latte really comes out to $1.07, at least in New York. But, I can’t complain. Much. All things considered, the coffee gods have been on my side for the better part of 2008. From the two Starbucks coffee cards I received back to back that got me free Wednesday coffees from April to the end of July, a few free iced coffee days at Au Bon Pain, DD, and when a Joe the Art of Coffee opened in Grand Central and handed out free coffee and treats, the past months have left me very jittery and happy, though slightly dehydrated.

With a dollar latte in hand and my free bag of Terra Chips (see below), I have just demonstrated how to make your own recession special combo.