Last Saturday was the best day ever!

Traces of snow from last Thursday were now buried underneath freshly fallen snow and the frigid air from last Friday still lingered that Saturday morning. But the 7 degree weather didn't stop me from stepping out of the house. No, siree, I was on a mission to see one of my favorite Artist's exhibiting his work at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea. Unfortunately, I missed the opening night and I could've met him (and Susan Sarandon too) And who is this artist that I am talking about? None other than James Jean!

Little did I know that that day would turn into a little culinary adventure too! When my bf--Peter--and I finally got there we decided to have lunch first. We went to a place called F&B that serves European junk food. It's a small restaurant with a few chairs and a menu with plenty of "junk" to choose from mostly hotdogs, wraps, fries and sandwiches. I had the Hound dog (French andouille, stuffed with aged cheddar cheese and toped with home-made coleslaw) with truffle fries (fries sprinkled with black truffle oil). Peter had the Guard dog (chicken topped w/ sauteed onion mushroom mix). It was actually pretty good and I will definitely go back. Next time I will try the Veggie dogs AND take pictures to show you.

After lunch, we headed for the gallery. We got lost but finally found the building. It wasn't crowded at all probably because it was bitter cold outside. I nearly peed my pants when I saw his work! They were amazing! I've always wanted to see them in person and maybe learn his technique. When I see art, I usually get the same feeling as when a bunch of prepubescent girls scream and cry out when seeing, say, the Jonas brothers in public. Ok, so that's a bad example! But, anyway, here are a few of my favorites from the exhibit.

You can see more detailed illustrations on his website. Although it wasn't a big exhibition as I expected, it was definitely a great collection of the artist's newest works. A lot of his original pieces were already sold out. I would love to own this painting (Hare) but unfortunately I'm not wealthy enough. :(

After the gallery, we headed to Chelsea Market to get some Moroccan spices. The market consists of 18 separate buildings. There are about 26 restaurants and retail stores in the building. It is also where Food network is located.

We first went to T Salon. Peter is a tea lover so stopping by was a must! There were so many teas from different countries in silver containers and had some information about the teas.There was a table by the door were you can smell different types of blooming flower teas, spiced teas and more. It was intoxicating. The place was nicely decorated and the colors were very soothing. After looking at the teas they offer, we decided to try them first. We both tried 2 different Black teas; Tibetan Tiger and Almond chocolate with pieces. We sat in the back where there are red cushioned seats and wooden tables. Very relaxing!

It's a great place to just hang out with your friends or by yourself sipping your tea while you read a book. This tea cafe was definitely environmentally friendly. The tea containers are recyclable and lanterns were made of used tea bags. I was surprise to find out that the spoon I used was made of potatoes! Even the cups are made of corn. Yes, CORN! Finally, we left the store with 4 different types of tea. I don't remember all the tea that Peter bought but one of them was the Blood Orange mate. And I got the Naughty and Nice black tea that is "infused with walnut and apple mixed with roasted almonds, star anise, gingerbread vanilla and everything nice".

Then we went to look for spices at the Chelsea Market Baskets where you will find cheeses, spices, bbq rubs/sauces, cookies and other tasty goodies like the chocolates here. After getting the Moroccan spices, we just walked around. We haven't been here for almost 3 years. Even though I live in Queens, I usually just go to Chelsea galleries and didn't really explore the neighborhood.

As we walked, the aromas from different stores were tickling my nose. And I could smell the freshly baked goodies from the bakeries then I remembered eating a brownie from one of them. There it was! FAT WITCH BAKERY! I remember seeing it from one of Food Network's show and headed down to Chelsea just to try their brownies.

I'm more of a fruit tart and cookie person but their brownies are heavenly. In the back, you can see them making and wrapping delicious brownies. There were plenty to choose from and for $2.50 you get a good size fat brownie. I got the Wicked Brownie with minty green sugar on top. Bet Dorothy wished she could have some now!

We went to two more bakeries before heading home. Eleni's New York, where you will find plenty of Obama cookies and Ruthy's Bakery with their creative cakes. The Cookie monster cupcake is my favorite and he looked hilarious!

So, our little adventure was almost over. Peter was already ahead of me when I caught a glimpse of a man in a black peacoat talking on his cellphone. He looked familiar. Then I thought....Bobby Flay! Yah! There were a lot of people and I don't know if anybody else noticed that the man standing next to the elevator was Bobby Flay. Peter said I should've asked him for a picture and an autograph. "It would've been a great ending to your blog post". Too late, we were already in the train station. Oh, well! It was still a great day! Who knows I might see him again next time! ^_^
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