Alyssa Shelasky is the creator of ApronAnxiety.com. Her base is in Brooklyn and she is an editor at New York Magazine‘s Grub Street. In a couple of months, Clarkson Potter will release Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen. It’s the book version of her blog – a bold move for a hummingbird with stories to boot about life, love and mixing the two in the kitchen and out. Here are some clues into Alyssa’s delicious tales.
What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?
I don’t like having a lot of “stuff”, so I’m really not the girl who has band-aids and Xanax and parking tickets and bejeweled shit cluttering my handbag. Not at all. If I can leave the house with a twenty-dollar bill and my keys, I’m happy. If I’m going to be out for a while, I’ll take my Blackberry – but leaving the ‘berry at home is SO liberating…more people should try it! If I’m going to be out late, I’ll bring a midnight-blue eyeliner so that when I start looking tired, I can smudge a little under my eyes and at least look sexy and tired.
You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?
For clothes: one pair skinny jeans, one pair fat jeans, a bunch of well-worn t-shirts, comfy underwear, lacy black bras, sunglasses and as many soft sweatpants as I could fit. I guess, to be safe, some silky, backless black dress kind of thing and snakeskin Louboutins (let’s pretend I have those). Black leather jacket and a bunch of oversized scarves, since I don’t really wear jewelry. More importantly – my Eve Lom cleanser and moisturizer because if my skin doesn’t look good, nothing will. That product is magic. Who is she?? And of course, some great, addictive non-fiction book.
What is your most essential article of clothing?
A snug, black wool blazer I bought at Madewell a while ago.
What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?
I could name 500 but okay…
‘Life is Sweet’ – Natalie Merchant
‘Just Breathe’ – Pearl Jam
‘Start A War’ – The National
‘Addicted to Love’ – these days it’s the version by Florence and the Machine
‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ – Rolling Stones
What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?
I used to save all my money to fly to London and stay at the Portobello Hotel alone for the weekend; I’d roam aimlessly for hours, making new friends at pubs and boutiques and just have the best time just riding the bus and eating sandwiches or falafel. That was/still is my idea of travel bliss. In the last few months, I got to travel to Ireland (nicest people in the world) and take a trip to Tuscany to learn about Chianti Coli Senesi and Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine. But in reality, it’s mostly trips to LA to hike and see friends and eat guacamole. If I’m desperate for relaxation at no cost, I get myself to Turks and Caicos or Anguilla…but rarely.
What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)
I’ve done a lot of crazy/stupid things for passion. Too many, probably. But I think writing a memoir telling the truth about all of it is probably the winner. By the way, it’s called Apron Anxiety and it comes out this May.
What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?
Don’t create beautiful moments just because they’ll impress people on Facebook or Twitter; in fact, just forget about the words Facebook and Twitter.
What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?
It was at Poderi del Paradiso in Tuscany, a vineyard owned by an older, handsome farmer (who was actually a famous doctor before devoting his life to the land) and his incredible wife. They served the soup with some crusty peasant bread under the setting sun in their lush, endless fields. Extraordinary.
Where have you had your best night’s sleep?
On my best friend’s couch in LA. It’s actually bizarre. I’ve always been a bad sleeper, and she is too, but we always sleep like babies when we’re near each other.
Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?
My sister – we have the exact travel (and everything) style, and she’s the only person in the world I could never get sick of.
My girlfriends (they count as one) – they’re all much more fussy and fabulous than me and I know we’d end up somewhere with butlers and bodyguards…or at least…fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and hot stone massages.
Clive Owen circa Closer… or Mark Ruffalo circa The Kids Are Alright…because I really love a hotel room.