The Best of Billy Wilder

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There are few movies that make me repeatedly cry-laugh. The Birdcage is one of those movies. Some Like It Hot is another. The director of Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder, is one of American cinema’s premiere writer-directors. With gorgeous films such as Sabrina, The Apartment, and The Seven Year Itch, to name a few, Wilder has demonstrated his talent for writing and directing time and time again.

Billy Wilder was born in Austria in 1906 and became a screenwriter in the 1920s. He originally studied law, but shortly after he obtained a newspaper writing job where he conducted interviews and covered stories on crime and personal profiles. Wilder eventually made his way to the United States, and ultimately to Hollywood, after escaping the rise of the Nazis in Germany. This fantastic interview in The Paris Review gives a thorough look at Wilder’s background and provides insight into his life and work.

Whether you are a big Billy Wilder fan, have seen one of his movies, or are just starting to learn about his work (if you’re new to Wilder’s films, Sabrina is a great starting point), these films are absolutely must-see.

Best of Billy WilderWhat are your favorite Billy Wilder movies?

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That’s a Wrap!

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This week was all about homemade meals. From clam linguine to an improvised Farmers Market meal to a heart pizza, there was no shortage of trying new recipes and experimenting with fresh ingredients. On my radar movie theater-wise: Trainwreck and Irrational Man. After being on the verge of a cold for more than half the week, I’m looking forward to getting some extra sleep this weekend. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

GET INVITED BACK: A variety of gifts to bring every type of host/hostess.

CROSSING AMERICA: Routes from some of the greatest literary road trips.

PART II: Oh, the good ol’ Hollywood sequel.

DON’T WASTE: Use this handy chart to avoid food waste.

PARTY TIME: Throw an oyster bash.

THIRD PLACE: Jurassic World is now the third highest-grossing film in history, behind Titanic and Avatar. 

TERMS TO KNOW: A useful glossary of wine-tasting terms.

PRO TIPS: Baking tips from pastry chefs around the country.

Have a great weekend!

Image by Lauren

Around Town: Russ & Daughters Cafe – New York City

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Russ & Daughters is an appetizing shop in New York that has been run by four generations of the Russ family since 1914. For over 100 years, this shop has sold high quality smoked fish, caviar, and specialty foods. I’ve visited the shop a couple of times, but it’s their cafe, Russ & Daughters Cafe, that I was eager to try.

While the cafe gets busy on the weekend, I made it for a weekday lunch and immediately found a seat at the bar. Set in an airy and spacious environment, Russ & Daughters Cafe is a great place to enjoy a casual meal with friends.

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Bagels, smoked fish, latkes…the menu is filled with so many delicious choices. Matzo Ball soup was an obvious choice to kick off the meal. The Potato Latkes with Applesauce and Sour Cream had my name written all over it, and the The Classic Board with Gaspe Nova Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Tomato, Onion, and Capers rounded out the meal. Such a satisfying lunch. High quality in every bite.

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Russ & Daughters Cafe
127 Orchard Street, New York

Image by Lauren

That’s a Wrap!

It’s always nice to have productive weeks – this was one of them. It was also filled with lots of good food, mainly ice cream (and banana splits from Oddfellows). Maybe it was the long holiday weekend that kick-started a week of focus and inspiration. If only every other work week could be four days long. I’m looking forward to an eventful weekend, starting with the Taylor Swift concert. Until then, though, lets wrap up the week with a recap…

BEHIND THE SCENES: I love glimpses into people’s days, and Gayle King’s hustle is inspiring.

GIADA: Giada de Laurentiis has a restaurant in Vegas with the best chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had. This is a great inside look at the restaurant.

FOOD PROPS: The food stylist from The Astronaut Wives Club tells all.

STEP ASIDE, WAFFLE CONES: There’s a new cone in town.

FEMALE FILMMAKERS: And how Hollywood discriminates against them.

FAST FOOD: How McDonalds started in China.

ASIAN IMMIGRANTS: Starting to (very slowly) get some respect on TV?

MARIE CURIE: Production has started on a movie about this two-time Nobel prize winning scientist. Can’t wait to see the final feature!

MOVIES TO ADD TO YOUR LIST: The best films of 2015 so far.

DRINK UP: Tea may be strengthening your bones. Cheers to that!

VERY CREATIVE: A cake with wallpaper print. How cool.

LOCATION SCOUT: Secret filming locations in Paris.

Image by Lauren

Around Town: The Dutch – New York City

The Dutch has been on my list for a while now, so I was excited to try it for brunch a couple of weekends ago. Located on a tree-lined street in Soho, The Dutch has a dark interior that makes it the right amount of cozy. The space is surprisingly spacious, with an open kitchen and a couple of dining rooms to maintain the right amount of privacy. There are so many great items on the menu – there was a lot of debate happening internally. For a delicious and low-key morning, this place is perfect.

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Start with the Honey Butter Biscuits. They are fluffy, warm, and come with a side of melt-in-your-mouth butter and apricot jam. I still dream about these biscuits.

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For the main meal, it was hard to resist the Banana Waffles with Cashew, Maple Syrup, and Crème Fraîche. The bananas on top of the waffles reminded me of Bananas Foster – always a good thing. The Smoked Salmon and Bagel with Soft Scrambled Eggs and Trout Roe was another item on the menu that was irresistible. The best part about it? Two bagel tops. Genius.

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The Dutch
131 Sullivan Street, New York

Images by Lauren

That’s a Wrap!

It’s a short week for many, and it’s likely that your holiday weekend is packed with BBQs, sunshine, and time spent with family and friends. June was a good month – new movies, new adventures, new experiences (including seeing Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett live at Radio City Hall – pictured above).

July holds even more great adventures and experiences, and I’m making it a point to attempt more challenging recipes and see movies I might not normally watch on a Friday night. It’s always fun that July starts off with a (firework) bang – it really sets the tempo for the rest of the month. For now, though, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

40TH ANNIVERSARY: Last week marked the 40th anniversary for the summer classic, Jaws.

SEINFELD: You can now watch all 180 episodes of Seinfeld on Hulu. If you don’t want to start watching from the beginning, watch in this ranked order.

MAKE: Fresh pasta. This recipe looks like a winner.

TO READ: Judd Apatow’s new book.

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN: Though this food is way too much.

ICE CREAM: 15 great ice cream-making tips from cookbooks.

MILKSHAKES: Roasted fruit in a milkshake? Yes, please.

THINK BIG: The secret to Walt Disney’s corporate strategy.

ASTROWIVES: I loved reading The Astronaut Wives Club, and I can’t wait to watch the series on ABC.

Have a wonderful July 4th!

Image by Lauren