I remember the moment I fell in love with Paris. Head over heels love for a city. I was in serious culture shock for a very long time after my family moved, and it wasn’t until May 16, 2006 that I was happy. My friend Tiffany and I were walking across one of the bridges from Île de la Cité back to the metro station, the sun was setting, it was warm, and everything finally just clicked. And pardon my high-school journal, but I went home ti write “I promised myself I wouldn’t let this happen…I wouldn’t get attached to people. but I can’t help it anymore. I fell in love with Paris. I can’t help but breathe everything in walking home at night. The air is so warm and sweet, the sky a deep blue, the spotlight from the Effel Tower shining….I’m sitting on my window ledge with the windows wide open. The air is perfect.”
I’m glad that it’s taken a lot less time for me to adjust here, but I realized today that it’s going to be really really hard to leave. I went into the city yesterday to go to the Soulard Farmers Market for the second time (woke up naturally at 6:30 am on a Saturday…go figure), and then ventured over to Mud House and Whisk Sustainable Bakery afterward. This farmers market is a thing of wonder: open from Wednesdays through Saturdays, four wings (four!) with more choices than I know what to do with. Two pasta makers, meats, cheeses, flowers, herbs, a spice shop, a flower shop, it goes on and on. The first time I went I found most of my groceries for under $40 (all below), and only had to buy milk, diced tomatoes, hummus, and orange juice at the store. (Granted, I still had quite a few staples from my last grocery store trip). As a side-note, I keep reading great things about the Tower Grove Farmers Market too so I think next time I’ll give that a try. Any other recommendations?
After my trip to the market yesterday morning I drove over to Mud House after seeing it featured on this gal’s blog Food Year Resolutions. She is trying all of the best rated restaurants by Sauce Magazine in St. Louis in one year – awesome (and ambitious) idea. While I think there are just a few that she’s written up so far, I can’t wait to see what she thinks about the rest. This place seriously exceeded my expectations and is just what you would imagine a locally owned coffee house in an old neighborhood should be. We’re talking brick walls, beautiful posters, quirky decorations, dim lighting on a grey morning, and a cozy outdoor patio with couples enjoying a lazy Saturday morning. And of course some incredible coffee. I sat down in the back (next to an incredibly fluffy German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix) with my latte and flipped through one of their copies of Feast. As I looked through the articles, pictures, and interviews with culinary figures from St. Louis I was overwhelmed, excited, and extremely intimidated. Every single line in this magazine contains a new name or restaurant or brewery that I immediately wanted to go try. How will I ever be able to choose? I’ve barely barely skimmed the surface just by reading about the food and beer scene in this city, and I already have stars in my eyes. And I haven’t even started on the craft breweries yet. (I know I know)
As if that wasn’t enough, I walked down the street to window shop (antique shops seem to be everywhere) and found Whisk Bakery. Mud House was exactly what you’d want from a coffee shop and Whisk Bakery seems to be right on track with what you’d want from a bakery. I can’t wait to go back again and get some pictures, because again, with the blue. I’m loving these great shades of blue in decor lately. I picked up a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt & bacon (it works, trust me), and then bought some of Mila Sweets‘ macarons to-go (yum-my). Since I got stuck in traffic on my way back I went ahead and got a head start with the Pistachio and Lemon. So good.
This is all to say, I’m really happy where I am right now, and again, I love where I live. I don’t expect that I’ll be here forever, but this has been and is going to continue to be an amazing city to live near and a great community I hope I can be a small part of. Come visit and you’ll see.