Tag Archives: Cupcake Royale

Pretend Asti

17 Jan


My biological twin sister is going to be in Seattle for a day, one day, the same day that Rabbit was going to surprise me for a birthday present,
which happened to land in the middle of my Christmas present from my thoughtful boyfriend to visit my bride in Hawaii.  Jan blog 1
That’s almost all of my favorite people.  It’s a lot of stars trying really hard to align, but it seems they are off balance.  Maybe the universe should try my hot yoga class (that I stopped going to in July because I’m really lazy).

I am still trying to wrap my head around it.  Thank you stars, for gracing me with these girls that I love!

I actually sat in bed thinking about it this morning, trying to figure out how I met my twin, which is not something that most twins have ever thought about.  We don’t have the same parents, you see, but there is something very identical in our biology- we speak the same color, which is something you might only understand if you are a twin.

 I knew her in New York, moving from apartment to apartment in the bitter cold with a shopping cart and bathrobes under our sleeping bag jackets.  But wait- Paris was before that, with cheese and baguettes for every meal. No, before that.  

Flashes of lazy afternoons in Sydney wearing Ugg slippers, braiding hair, and making rice bread and tres leches cake. Jan blog 7 No, it was even before that.

London.  Of course.  We met in London.  We were living in the same flat, with her sister, Lucy, Starbucks-employed crazed Italian with an unhealthy obsession with The PetShop Boys,  Jennifer, the quiet South African, and Carina, who is still willing to pretend that we share a private jet with a pilot named Roberto. Our 2-bedroom flat was just off Portobello road, with a yellow door, a flat roof over the pantry that we used for movie nights with strange boys, a refrigerator full of River Cafe staff meal leftovers, and tire skids marking the hallway from our ten dollar (five pound) bicycles. Jan blog 6

 But that’s another story, just like the time we met a boy called Harry, drove across the English channel, and spent the night sleeping in a Farmer’s field in France, January Blog 3 and midnight champagne under the Eiffel Tower, Barcelona fruit markets, navigating Croatia in the freezing cold (will someone please just sort us out?), the trips to visit each other in New Mexico and Australia, our Iceland/London reunion, January Blog 4and the countless criss-crossing in New York City.  We’ve lived there, separately and together, with and without her sister, who I still want to call Pumpkin even though she doesn’t look like one, too many times to count.  Well, probably at least five.  I forgot how to do math ages ago.

I would say now, “I digress,” because it’s  true, but I am not that person.  It’s too East Coast for me, and it sounds like something a person would say while wearing a pink-button-down shirt and loafers on a sailboat near Cape Cod. 

So yeah.

Courtney, which is my twin’s name, is going to be here on February 4th (Rabbit will be here the following week, upon my return- thankfully- and that is another story!)  I will be drunk on mai tais, fat off of my bride’s cinnamon rolls,  and sunburned to a perfect crisp (which is partly the reason why I’ll be drunk, but only partly) on an epic beach in Hawaii.  It’s February, so it’ll be bright cold sunny for Courtney, and a whole lot warmer than New York City, where she lives and works.  And since she works for 3.0 Philip Lim, she will be the most stylish stunner in Seattle.  Her rabbit-lined cashmere sparkle scarf (I need one) will keep her warmer than my mai tais and Hawaiian sun.  Since I can’t actually see Courtney, I have whipped up a pretend outline of what we would have done together on her one day in my beloved Sparkletown Emerald City of green and rain and water and mountains and islands and coffee and markets and vintage and everything that I love.
Seattle is not London, and it is not New York City, so I will have to take her to the places that aren’t too reminiscent of  London or NYC.  Maybe some vintage shopping, jan blog 11but no department stores (this is a girl who spends her days visiting Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s and developed her very own lingerie line, so our cute little Nordstroms downtown will fail to impress).  I’ll have to take her to my favorite views, to give her a chance at some fresh air and blue sky.  Ferries, islands, and The Market.  We’ll probably have to begin and end at the Market.  We’ll say that she’s coming on a Thursday, because that’s probably my favorite day.  It’s going to be a very busy day.  I hope she got plenty of sleep on the plane. Ready?


1. I pick  her up at the airport.  But before I go to the airport, I head over to
Crumble and Flake to purchase a couple kouign amanns to greet her with.  Have you tried them?  They’re amazing.  

2. After we shriek with delight and irritate everyone in the arrivals section, we will take a slight detour over to Bakery Nouveau for a couple twice baked almond croissants, Cupcake Royale for a latte, and head over to Alki Beach (if it’s not too windy) for a romantic walk with a view of Seattle and Puget Sound and her dashing islands.  We’ll catch up on our lives, and squeal about 50 times about how weird and awesome it is that we’re growing up (awesome because we’re growing up on our terms).


3. We’ll head over to Pike Place Market, my favorite.  We’ll buy flowers, browse the different stalls and buildings, sample olive oil, fruit, taste the cheese at Beecher’s, which is just as delicious as that famous place in Greenwich Village whose name  I can’t remember, buy CD’s from buskers (definitely the guys who are outside starbucks.  We will not go into the original starbuck, because we’re not in Spain -where Starbucks is the only place where workers HAVE to be nice to you).
We’ll taste wine, head into the magic shop, buy candy, and maybe something kitchy with the Space Needle on it, or some Chinese slippers for Pumpkin.

4. 

jan blog 10
We’ll have lunch at The Pink Door, the magical pink place I’ve summered since I’ve been in Seattle.  It’s my Cape Cod, what can I say?
We’ll sit in the sunny lounge at Table 204, the one that overlooks the Big Wheel, and Brigitte the mannequin, whose outfit changes seasonallly,  and Brigitte the Cat.  We’ll take a picture to send to Brigitte (Pumpkin), Courtney’s sister.  We’ll have lots of cocktails and eat Beecher’s grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato basil soup.  We’ll have another cocktail for dessert, I’ll definitely have the black walnut Manhattan, not because we’ve lived in Manhattan before, but because it’s the only Manhattan that I’ve had that doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to grow hair on my chest.  Too bad it’s not Sunday or Monday night because that’s when the aeralists perform.
 Well, if we’re playing pretend, then we’ll pretend that Rachel makes a special lunch appearance.  We’ll marvel at her performance and feel very lazy about ourselves.

5. Then, since we’re getting good at playing pretend, we’ll have our driver, probably the driver of a Subaru because this is Seattle and they always have seat warmers, take us to Ballard.  We’ll drive over to the Ballard Locks, maybe take a little detour to Golden Gardens, and then he’ll take us over to Ballard Ave.  We’ll pretend it’s London’s Portobello Road.  jan blog 12
First stop, Trove.  It’s full of treasures and it’s what I want my life to look like.  It’s the most perfectly curated shop I’ve ever set foot in.  I want to buy everything in there.  We probably will buy everything in there because that’s how the game of pretend works.  I will be her Philip Lim vintage counterpart, without the dustball fragrance.
Next, we’ll stroll down Ballard Ave, and tuck into my favorite Ballard coffee shop.  I can’t recall the name, but it’s the one with rice milk chai lattes that don’t taste like hippie.  It’s attached to a sewing shop, and  has a little loft nook with tiny furniture and beautiful plants.  We’ll sip our faux hippie lattes and read vintage glossy magazines.


6. After that, it’ll be time to have some hot chocolate because pretend lets you be decadent.  Our driver (how very New York of us!) will show us the sights in Fremont.  We might even take a picture with the troll under the bridge in our new-to-us vintage party dresses that smell like Miss Dior.  We’ll pick up some hot chocolate and a slice of coconut lemon cake at Simply Desserts, and head over to the tiny neighborhood park on Palatine.  It’s he one that overlooks the Olympic mountains, Ballard, and its canal.  It’s a secret little view, and we’ll drink hot chocolate and look at the twinkly lights of the city until we get cold.jan blog 9
7. And then we will head over to Capitol Hill for dinner and drinks, so I can show her our little Brooklyn.  I really don’t know where we’re going.  Terra Plata?  Melrose Market? Spinasse?  Dinette? I’ve only been to Spinasse, and the pasta is amazing, but it’s not cosy enough for our dinner.  I’m always freezing in there. We might head over to Needle and Thread afterwards, but I can’t decide if the secret telephone bit is too New York.
We might skip drinks because there’s no Beach Blanket Babylon in Seattle.  

8. We’re going over to the ferry next, anyhow, packing a bottle of Asti,asti and some dark chocolate and heading over to Bainbridge Island just for the ride.  We’ll drink and each chocolate, and talk about boys on the ferry (it’s a heated indoor ferry, you know).  If it were summer, we’d finish up our bubbly at Myrtle Edwards Park, on a big fluffy blanket overlooking the neon jewels that sparkle the water, in the shadows of the Sculpture Garden.  But it’s not.


9. So we’ll go to a show.  I’m sure Hannalee or The Crying Shame will be playing somewhere.  We’ll meet up with Seattle friends, and spend the night dancing like we were 20 again.  If we end up back at Pike Place, cocktailing at Il Bistro or The Can-Can, that’ll be even better.


10. And when exhaustion finds us, we’ll have our driver take us over to our luxury houseboat on Lake Union and we’ll watch Amelie until we’re asleep.
Goodnight.

Jan blog 5