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September 2005

Posts from August 2005

There Are Times

when I really wonder about my own sanity.  Like when I find myself with Abracadabra by the Steve Miller Band stuck in my head.  It's times like these when I really wish I had some sort of mind-eraser that would zap it right out of my brain.  Come to think of it, a gizmo like that would also come in handy for erasing the pain of bad breakups and possibly for re-training myself not to repeat the same romantic patterns over and over again.  Hmmm.  Maybe I can find one on eBay.

A Temporarily Empty Glass

Davidn"What the . . .?  Who the . . .?  'Ello, luv."  That's David's typical greeting for me when I run into him at Otto or 'inoteca.  When I first met him at Otto, we got along well, chatting about this, that, and the other thing, and discovering that we both sang in a cappella groups in college.  He gave me his email address, and so I emailed him, but I never heard back.  "Jackass," I thought.  I learned a few weeks later that he was coming as a guest to our wine club society.  "The jackass who never emailed me back?!  Great." 

But despite the rocky start, David and I eventually became friends.  We weren't necessarily the kind of friends who called each other up to go out one on one all the time -- this only happened once in a blue moon -- but we spent a great deal of time together regardless:  wine club society, foodies, late nights at Milady's, New Year's Day at Nic's, dinners at Landmark, Bellavitae, Una Pizza Napoletana, and Per Se, among others, and, of course, countless nights at Otto and 'inoteca.  He's the only person I'll allow to pick the pancetta off of my pancetta-wrapped shrimp at 'inoteca (the crazy fool doesn't eat seafood).  We've had some good bonding moments -- I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few friends who knows the story behind the tattoo he won't admit he has, and we've had at least one good boozy heart to heart conversation about relationships.  David has been ridiculously generous to me over time -- admittedly due in part to his taste in wine -- but it meant a great deal to me nonetheless.  David has become a good friend and a solid presence in my world, so I was stunned to learn that he would be heading to Iraq.  I've known it was coming for a few months now, but that didn't make me cry any less after I said goodbye on Saturday night.  And considering the amount of time I spend at Otto, I'm sure I will still constantly be expecting him to stroll in.  Perhaps we should continue to pour a glass for him while he's away.  Sort of like Elijah. 

He's due back sometime between Christmas and New Year's.  I've promised him steak and boobies upon his return, and emails and care packages while he's away.  He's an ER doc, and I imagine he'll be patching up wounded soldiers, which will keep him away from the front lines, but I'm scared nonetheless.  All I can hope is that he stays safe and returns quickly.  This is the closest I've come to war in my life, and I hope it stays that way.  David -- I'm already looking forward to our next bottle of wine.

A Full Belly

Well if I don't have the energy to write a Gothamist column tonight, the least I can do is write something over here.  I'm feeling a little sluggish after the ribs and pulled pork at Blues, BBQ and Fireworks (lunch) and macaroni and cheese (dinner), but at least I went to the gym beforehand.  Thanks to all who joined in the feasting today -- Katie, Rob, Augie, Lauren, Alvin, Debbie, Chip, and Jenn. 

The rest of the weekend involved a few trips to the outer boroughs.  After a terrific dinner at Galanga (my new favorite neighborhood Thai joint) with my aunt, bro & sis, I went off to Park Slope to drink sangria in Kim's new backyard, which was quite lovely.  We finished up with a glass or two of wine at Total Wine Bar.  Saturday I hit the farmers market in Union Square for the most luscious, ripe and fragrant berries and melon -- blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and a cantaloupe -- then Whole Foods for my favorite Greek yogurt to go with.  I'm all set for breakfast this week, that's for sure!  Then I was off to Brooklyn again for dinner at D.O.C. Wine Bar followed by performance art (dance, video, music, and whatnot) at Galapagos, followed by a trip back to Manhattan to Otto, where we wished my friend David all the best before he shipped off to Iraq today.  More on that later, but I think we gave him a perfect send-off.  And now, off to bed with a full belly, and up early to get rid of it at the gym.

On a totally unrelated side note, Life of Illusion by Joe Walsh and Heat of the Moment by Asia have both been stuck in my head since I heard them in the soundtrack for The 40-Year-Old Virgin last week.  Can't wait for that sucker to be up on iTunes.

Ahh . . .

I had a perfectly calm and relaxing night last night.  Leftovers from my Wednesday night cooking class (an international street food course, taught by the fine gentleman who taught my pig-roasting class and who will be joining me on the Vendy Awards judging panel), a stack of mail to sort through, a load of laundry, and crappy movies on TV.  Just what the doctor ordered.  And now back to our regularly scheduled craziness.

Slow Down, You're Movin' Too Fast*

Very often, when people read my blog, they comment that I'm so busy, or that I do so many things.  I suppose I do, but I don't think about it all that much -- that's the way my life has been for a while now.  I have friends I need to catch up with, places I want to eat and go out, bands and shows to see, trips to go on  . . . and so on and so forth.  Yes, I'm exhausted sometimes.  Yes, I'm thrilled that my friends I was supposed to have dinner with on Thursday night have rescheduled, but even a "quiet night at home" usually means doing laundry, cleaning up, writing something for Gothamist, paying bills, a trip to the gym, and whatever else I can cram in.  Sometimes I think I should schedule nights to myself more often than I do, but every time I try, something comes up that I want to do.  Trust me, I'm not complaining -- I wouldn't want it any other way.  That's my life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world right now. 

* The 59th Street (or where I end up if I haven't had coffee before I get on the subway) Bridge Song, a.k.a "Feelin' Groovy"

Because I Am Tired and Lazy

I am not going to go bother with the details about my weekend.  As usual, it's really all about the food roundup, so I might as well get right down to it, starting with the amazing lunch on Friday at Aureole to send off the lovely summer associates who kept me out so late the night before.  Dinner was at Mercadito with Jenn and Emilia followed by nightcaps with Jeff, who came down from upstate and joined us late at Otto and the Stoned Crow.  Saturday was brunch with Cori at Clinton Street Baking Company (love their huevos rancheros, despite the hour-long wait), shopping, nap, workout, the 40-Year-Old Virgin, dinner at Banania Cafe and drinks at the bar down the block with Tom (no idea what that place is called -- can anyone help me out?  It's on the corner on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens).  Sunday was more shopping (I am soooo sick of my current, very limited "business casual" attire -- had to get some reinforcements), more working out, then dinner and Napoleon Dynamite with Roopa.  I will now leave you with these mouthwatering pictures from my lunch at Aureole . . .



Beauty is in the Eye . . .


Am I the only one out there that thinks Katz's Deli is actually quite beautiful?  Particualarly when the neon glows subtly as the sun begins to set. . .

Am moving in slow-mo today from a very late night at karaoke with work folks.  When you're trying to impress people at the new job, how can you leave when partners insist that you stay?  Rough life, I tell ya.


136_3609Coolness is being mentioned in the New York TimesAgain.  This time, a little less directly.  I'm going to be on the "distinguished panel of expert judges" for the Vendy Awards (don't forget to vote for your favorite street vendor!)

Additionally, coolness is finally getting your hands on the ramps you pickled back in May because you finally got your ass in gear and posted the story on Gothamist.  And now, to actually taste them . . .

Walking Down the Aisle

[Not that aisle.  Please, people.]  Sometimes I forget that food shopping is not as fun for everyone as it is for me.  Although I adore Fresh Direct for its convenience, I love the act of deciding I'm going to cook a meal, making a list of what I think I need, then walking through the Union Square Greenmarket and Whole Foods and getting everything on my list plus at least five other things I didn't realize I needed.  On Monday, I decided I was going to make pizza and a salad inspired by the one my friend Melissa brought to my recent dinner party (it was so good!).  Starting at one end of the market, I picked up some gorgeous yellow and purple plums (which had nothing to do with anything I was making) and sungold cherry tomatoes.  I then met my dining companion, Tom, who had just survived a somewhat harrowing experience at the post office.  Clearly he was in no mood to share my ridiculous enthusiasm for shopping during what they kept referring to over the PA system as "crazy night" at Whole Foods -- the line looked atrocious. "We could just go out," he suggested.  "It moves fast!" I assured him.  We headed downstairs and ticked off the items on my list: arugula, hearts of palm, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, avocado, lemon, crushed tomatoes, and more.  I'm still getting to know the Union Square store, having spent much more time in the Chelsea branch, which resulted in us wandering in circles a little bit, and we had no luck finding pizza dough until, in a flash of genius (which comes out every now and again), I thought to ask at the brick oven pizza counter upstairs.  For $1.99 I got enough dough to make two pizzas, although we somehow used it to make one.  When we finally attacked the line, it did move quite quickly, as I predicted, and we were off to cook.  Tom survived the experience, even without getting a "cranky snack" in line (as in a snack one eats when one gets cranky).  "You can get anything you'd like to eat while you wait -- even the Scharffen Berger."  Dinner was delicious -- arugula salad with hearts of palm, sungold cherry tomatoes, artichoke, and lemon/olive oil dressing, and pizza with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and a tiny bit of fresh basil, grown on my windowsill.  Well worth the trip, in my opinion.