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While New York City is grittily full of almost everything one could ever want, there still is a fascination with other countries and what they do well.  And by other countries, I really mean Italy and France.

Which explains the two-hour line to get in to Ladurée the day after it opened on a holiday weekend.

Now, New Yorkers will complain about waiting, but the truth is, we will stand on a long line for anything.  We need to brag about how we have tried the hottest thing – and how it was sooo not worth the effort.

Ladurée is worth a two-hour wait.  Maybe more.  It is a shop originating in France that sells beautiful confections, teas and other items.  What they are world famous for, however, are their macarons.

I’ve recently embraced the macaron trend, which are basically airy sandwich cookies made from egg whites, sugar and almond flour with a creamy, flavored filling.  When they are made well, they are two bites of heaven.

If there is a word more heavenly than heaven, I’m not sure what it is.  But Ladurée’s macarons really do exist at an entirely different level than others I’ve eaten.

But to try them, first, you have to get in.

The shop is simply beautiful, with its pastel green, lavender and purple color scheme that transports you out of the urban jungle.

The windows offer enticing displays of what is to come.

Inside, there are candies, like caramels…

…and fragrant teas…

…. beautifully potted scented candles…

…and fragrance in elegant perfume bottles.

The statue flanking the doorway lets you know that you aren’t in New York anymore.

The decor is so elegant you imagine yourself a Parisian.

Chocolates…

…and pastries…

…offer a prelude to the star of the day…

…the delicate, but lusciously delectable macaron.

All are astoundingly good – from classics such as dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and lemon to the more gourmet like rose petal, orange blossom, and coconut.

Green apple – vibrant, tart, and stunning in its bright apple flavor – was surprisingly my favorite.

I can’t wait to go back.  I’ll take a book next time.

Ladurée, 864 Madison Avenue, New York, NY.

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I remember that morning ten years ago, when the sky was a beautiful crystal clear blue and the air had the warm breeze of an impending autumn full of hope.

And then shockingly, ten years ago today the world was altered palpably, forever affecting the way we enter buildings, travel both near and far, and move through every day.

I can honestly say that not a week goes by where I don’t remember September 11, 2001 and how it impacted New York City and the rest of the world.

The legacy of that day should not be focused on the hate that altered the country’s emotional landscape forever, but rather about celebrating the innate goodness that exists in everyone and everywhere.

Today let us remember the moments  – both ordinary and exceptional – with our loved ones, some of whom may not still be with us. Remember the moments that conjure joy and offer cause for celebration.   Let those occasions be the force urging you to make your corner of the world brighter and more welcoming.  Remembering doesn’t have to remain rooted in sadness, but can transform us to consider the love we have been blessed with in the past with gratitude and a keen eye to revolutionizing the future with joy.

Today remember and never forget. And never forget to prayerfully seek the joyful outcome in every situation.

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