The Sliding Doors Effect


In the movie Sliding Doors*, timing is everything. The story begins when Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is shown running down a set of stairs to catch the train. For the rest of the film, her life is split into two parallels based on whether she makes it or misses it, which is enough to make you evaluate of all of the coulda, woulda, shouldas in your own life. When life seems to splinter into different storylines, what you're experiencing is The Sliding Doors Effect.

This past weekend, I schlepped back to New York for an old college friend's wedding. My best friend offered up the sleeping alcove in her East Village apartment, which she calls "The Cubby." I hadn't been back since I moved out to California in 2013. Sadly, though, it was to be a very short trip: I was due to arrive on Friday night, and was already departing by early Sunday afternoon, so I thought this trip would be a nice and easy in-and-out.

Our original plan for Friday night looked like this:

 1. Drinks at Virginia's
2. 10 p.m. dinner reservation at Lupa 
3. Go home and go to bed straight-away because...

Saturday's activities looked like this:

1. Early coffee session at Sant Ambroeus Soho
2. Go to an 11:00 a.m. Pilates class
3. Lunch at Pietro Nolita
4. Go back home to get ready for wedding

In regards to Sunday, I'd have just enough time to squeeze in brunch with another friend before scooting off to the airport. 

As you know, nothing ever goes according to plan. What can I say, I was in New York with my best friend! We were bound to stir up some mischief. And, boy, did we! (We ended up staying out until 7:30 a.m. both nights, which was obviously not planned.)

After dropping off my bags at her apartment, we did, in fact, partake in fabulous mezcal cocktails at Virginia's, and were halfway through our casarecce with shortrib ragù at Lupa when occurred to me that I owed someone a visit–an artist friend who I had missed while he was in L.A. last month.

"Do you want to meet my friend?" I asked from across the table while texting him on my phone, "He's really cool." 

"'Kay," she replied, taking a sip of red wine.

And so, at midnight, we landed ourselves at a corner bar on the Lower East Side with two artists. After a round of drinks and introductory chatter, we were spontaneously swept into a cab to go dancing at The Blond. "Let's burn off the pasta!" we screamed to each other as we bopped around the floor. After that, we all stumbled down to my huckleberry friend's gallery in Tribeca and smoked Glamour cigarettes while discussing art and drinking cheap whiskey in plastic cups. At some point, I cried. And then we hung out at an apartment somewhere. Next thing we knew, it was 7:30 a.m. 

It was one hell of a night. 

Needless to say, we missed our morning coffee, Pilates class and lunch the next day. The weather turned cold. Sometime around 2 p.m., we both stood in front of a ramen shop in the East Village, staring at their picture menu with bleary eyes. 

Me: What's the difference between these pictures?

Best friend: I can't tell.

Me: I think it's the egg.

Best friend: (long pause) Yes... Yes, it's definitely the egg.

Me: Is it weird that I want the egg with the non-spicy one but no egg with the spicy one?

Best friend: (glazed eyes)

"Is this normal?" my best friend's husband asked her, "Do you guys stay out until seven in the morning when you visit her in L.A.?"

"No... It's not like that at all," she replied. "We usually just cuddle in bed and tell stories."

Our reality would've turned out completely differently had we taken a taxi home straight after dinner. What a difference a text makes.

*It's an oldie from 1998, but still remains one of my favorites. Gwyneth cut her hair into a modern pixie cut for this film and I thought it looked so chic that I went out to the salon right after I saw it and requested it for myself. I was seventeen.

Tyann's Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

Back in August, my friend Vi, the talented designer behind Dolly Pearl, hosted a potluck dinner in her gorgeous Greenwich Village apartment for all the girls. One of my favorite dishes was a kale, frisée, and fennel salad that my friend Tyann made, which was tossed in a deliciously creamy Caesar dressing made from a fat-free Greek yogurt base. It was positively addictive and guilt-free. 

*Follow Tyann on Twitter: @tbaybj

6-ounce single serving of Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt 
Grated Parmesan cheese
2 to 4 anchovy fillets, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 table spoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper


You're going to have to go by your tastebuds on this one. Use the above measurement as a guide, but taste as you blend the ingredients and adjust accordingly!

Prosecco and Jamaican Curry Chicken Patties

Here's a prime example of a Paper Bag Princess moment: 

1. My friend Carolyn invited me to join her at the opening of Antica Pesa in Brooklyn, a new restaurant arrival from Rome, where its known for attracting jet-setters and local glitterati. As expected, the prosecco was flowing, but, due to the size of the crowd, the hors d'oeurvres? Not so much. We did manage to nab a few refined bites of Italian cuisine, but left still a bit hungry.

2. I came back to the city and met Ashley at Miss Lily's Bake Shop, where I had a Jamaican curry chicken patty ($4) and split an order of plantains ($3). She even treated me to a little something afterwards. #singlegirldinner

Crosby Street Vineyards

Hi! Hi there! Can I refill your glass with this gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon from Crosby Street Vineyards, the first vineyard in Manhattan? We're located on the small, cobblestoned street tucked right between Broadway and Lafayette in SoHo. This is our 2010 vintage, which was a great year for us. The grapes were harvested directly from Dean & Deluca. What do you think? I know! Isn't it just beautiful? This takes the meaning of locavore to a whole new level. We're now working on a rooftop vineyard. I just thought, you know, why not? ...

Okay, so this wine is not made in Manhattan and I do not own a vineyard in SoHo. I bought this wine from Astor Wines & Spirits and brought it to a gathering at someone's apartment in Brooklyn. My spiel made for a very good ice-breaker, though. I think it was convincing up until I mentioned that the grapes were harvested from Dean & Deluca. For something that is under $10 a bottle, the wine itself is actually pretty nice for everyday drinking.

Fried Chicken with Friends

I've long held this fantasy of having a fried chicken birthday dinner with friends at Popeyes, but, instead of subjecting my dearest friends to my low-brow whimsies, I decided to have a gathering at Peels instead. It truly was more of a gathering than dinner party—just a few of my closest friends coming to the same place at the same time to share a meal together. Super low-key, but felt nice to be in everyone's company. (I, of course, ordered the fried chicken, as shown above.) Maybe it's a testament to turning 31, but, instead of going out afterwards, I couldn't wait to curl up on the sofa and watch SNL on DVR.