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Posts from February 2006

Catching Up Yet Again

Things I have not yet written about that I did last week (among other things that I did but may likely not write about because they are too boring) with extremely brief commentary:

  • ate at Little Giant (scrumptious, get the brussels sprouts, as they're merely an excuse to eat spoonsful of butter and maple syrup disguised as vegetables) with Rob, Lauren, and Elisabeth, a co-worker who is set on eating at 52 new restaurants in 6 months.  I am hoping to tag along.
  • saw Barefoot in the Park with Mark (eh -- cute, but not great)
  • took a kickboxing class (loved it -- excellent for stress relief and cardio)
  • ate at Del Posto with Elisabeth (two new ones in a week!) and Maura (Mario at an ultra-luxurious level; excellent pasta and a space so big you can hardly believe it's in New York)
  • got a haircut to cure the mid-winter blahs
  • saw The Pajama Game with Mom (go see it -- it's a classic, old-school style musical.  I will now have "Hernando's Hideaway" stuck in my head for a week. Ole!)

The Royal Flush

I work in a building that has automatically flushing toilets.  There are also automatic faucets, but they're not really relevant here, although I have found myself sticking my hands under faucets in other restrooms and waiting for a few seconds for water to come out before realizing that I had to turn a knob or something.  There are pros and cons to having automatically flushing toilets.  The pros:  never having to touch the toilet handle, which is apparently party central for many a germ and bacterium; not having to remember to flush -- just stand up, walk out and go.  The cons:  the things sometimes have a mind of their own.  There's a toilet in one stall in particular that tends to flush way before I have decided that it's time for us to part ways, and somehow I always forget this.  It scares the hell out of me every time.

You know, if an office is going to invest in auto-flush toilets, it might as well bust out the big guns and bring in the Washlet C100 -- I'm sure it would improve employee productivity.

Laren: The Soundtrack

I recently had a discussion about theme songs.  This always reminds me of Ally McBeal, who often had a theme song that reflected what was going on in her life and that generally gave her some sort of inspiration to make it through her various trials and tribulations.  One of my favorites was Ooh Child -- always soothing and inspiring during troubled times.  I think theme songs are a good idea, but couldn't think of any that were as uplifting as some of the ones that came up as examples -- Tubthumping, All-Star, Proud -- so I turned to my iPod for guidance.  I found one that made me laugh out loud -- it was so good, yet so inappropriate:  Good Girls Don't, by the Knack.  So that was my temporary theme song until another came to mind.  It's still not quite the uplifting and inspiring mood that I'm looking for, but it never ceases to make me smile:  All the People, by the Monroes.  "All the people tell me so, but what do all the people know?"

Any thoughts?

Catching Up Again

Time to catch up, but first of all, if you haven't said hello yet, please do -- I'm truly enjoying everyone's comments!

Let's see.  Last week I went to a press party at Xing and it was like food blogger central -- Augie came with me and I met Ben from Eater, the guys from NYC Nosh, and schmoozed with two of the guys from Thrillist (not exactly a food blog, and not exactly a blog, but fun guys regardless).  My pictures didn't come out that well, unfortunately -- I put a few on flickr but the rest kind of suck.

Thursday was a night in and Friday I went to dinner at Lavagna, a cozy Italian restaurant in the East Village, with my stepmom, aunt, cousin, sister and brother.  I think my favorite dishes that evening were the seared scallops agrodolce with pancetta over parsnip puree and the papardelle with rabbit ragu.  Afterwards, I met up with Jen, Carolyn, and ultimately Emilia -- we started at Perbacco, but it was so crowded that we ended up at Otto (big shock there).  Of course Jon and David were there, but I exercised a bit of restraint in not joining them as they went to Reservoir for their next stop of the evening.

Saturday morning I met up with Hallie for spin class and then headed home to receive my Fresh Direct order (love, love, love the convenience) and pack for my "trip."  My V-Day present was a Brooklyn day -- a night at B&B on the Park and reservations for dinner at The Grocery (we had the chef's tasting menu -- more on that later).  Although it seems somewhat laughable for two Manhattanites to vacation for a night in Brooklyn, it was really the perfect getaway.

Sunday I met up with Kim, John B., Matty Z., Chip, April, Monique, Jenn & Scott for ice skating in Prospect Park.  Sadly, I remember being much better at ice skating that I am now -- at first I chalked it up to my rental skates, which seemed to have blades duller than a plastic butter knife, but even after swapping skates, I was pretty lame.  Someday I'd like to try on some freshly sharpened skates and see how I do because I swear I used to be able to skate backwards and whatnot without fear of mortal peril.  It seems the ground is much farther away these days.  We ended up back at Kim's for hot mulled cider and watched the olympics -- I think I got my fill of ice dancing for the next decade, thank you very much.  Finally, I headed home to watch last week's Grey's Anatomy that Mark had ever-so-kindly taped for me.  I am such a sap that it actually made me cry.  Oy.

Today's excitement includes paying bills, doing laundry, cleaning up, and heading in to the office for a few hours just to catch up.  Sounds fun, right?

Say Hi.

I am going to have to follow in Youngna's footsteps because I thought she had such a good idea -- if you're out there, and reading this, I would absolutely love for you to take the time and say hello in the comments.  I only have such a vague idea of who you are, really, beyond my mom, dad, stepmom and a select few others.  Are you an old friend?  Someone I met at a party?  A complete and total stranger?  Whatever -- I'd love to hear from you!

UPDATE:  This is not going as I planned -- I see the traffic, I know you're visiting.  Leave a comment!  Don't be afraid. 

When Pigs Fly


I love this picture of the pig animal crackers and truffles from the Applewood Meet the Farmer dinner I went to with Katie last week where we got to meet Mike and Jen from Flying PIgs Farm.

Also filed under the category of when pigs fly . . . Despite my past history in the V-Day department, I've got a date tonight.  With someone who asked me to be his valentine.  I accepted. Yes, you heard me right -- you can pick your jaw up off the floor now.

Happy V-Day everyone, and don't forget to spread the love.

Cheesy Poofs and Billy Joel

Sometimes I take a moment in the middle of what I'm doing to realize how incredibly lucky I am.  I had several moments like this over the past few days.  First, what was going to be an ordinary night (gym, home, bed) ended up with a lovely dinner with Rob at Bar Carrera (If you haven't yet made it there, it's worth a trip).  Comfortable and inviting despite its awkward space with a great 80's centric soundtrack, Bar Carerra serves up tapas in style -- my favorites that night were the shrimp & chorizo followed by the pate with truffled mushrooms.  Yum.  After a bit of Dodgeballing with Kim and some dessert negotiations with Rob, we headed to Otto for gelato where we met up with Nic, David, and ulimately Kim.  We ended up making a pit stop at 'ino for nutella panini and dessert wine before landing squarely at Mas (farmhouse) for late-night carousing.  Now Mas has a legendary late-night menu, offering everything from oysters & steak tartare to short ribs.  We weren't particularly hungry, but still made room for their gougeres, a.k.a. cheesy poofs.  Despite being a tad tired the next day, it was well worth it to spend time with good friends over food and wine.  At some point at Mas, I looked around the laughing, smiling faces at the table and took a moment to cherish it all.

Saturday, after helping my sister buy some interview clothes, we met up with our brother, his girlfriend Sarah, our cousin Sara, and Bill's friend Sebastian for dim sum at Golden Bridge.  Although we got there on the late side, we still managed to taste all kinds of steamed dumplings, some short ribs, and some Chinese broccoli with a drizzle of oyster sauce.  I'm looking forward to going back a little earlier at some point.  After paying the bill ($11 per person -- woo hoo!), I realized again how lucky I am to have both my siblings and my cousin living in the same city for the first time in ages, even if we don't see each other as often as we should.

Finally, Mark and I went to see Billy Joel last night at Madison Square Garden -- a belated and very thoughtful birthday present.  I don't even recall mentioning to him the fact that I like Billy Joel except for one fairly brief conversation a while back .  Some may scoff at him, but as we sat there last night, I realized how rare it is to sit through a 2+ hour concert and literally know every song.  Sure, some I knew more than others, and some I liked more than others, but to be able to sing All for Leyna at the top of my lungs because the words are seared into my brain from childhood (Glass Houses was one of the first albums I owned) I realized anew what a great gift it was for me.  Thanks again, Mark.

After the concert we went to 'inoteca for dinner -- a perfect cap to the evening.  We sat in the cozy warmth of the restaurant watching the snow swirl all around outside while we enjoyed our gamberetti with pancetta and truffled egg toast (someone was kind enough to let me dominate the ordering, it being a birthday celebration and all).  As we bundled back up and headed out for a cab, the city was covered in a tranquil blanket of white, (which I find so beautiful and peaceful every time it snows) and as we headed home, I soaked in the beauty of it all and took another moment. 


Some of you may have noticed that if you tried to get here without typing www, you got an error from TypePad.  Well, now having followed their directions to fix it, this problem is solved.  I now, however, can't access my sweetblogomine email, or my Gothamist email, which is linked up to it.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be resolved quickly, because I feel like I've just been cut off from all humanity. 


So apparently yesterday was "Dump Your Significant Jerk Day," or so the little screen in my elevator at work told me.  Thankfully, there is currently no "significant jerk" in my life, so I was off the hook -- I intend for 2006 to be a jackass (or jerk) -free year, but then again, it's only February.

Ode to the Orange


Believe it or not it has been years since I've eaten and enjoyed an orange.  Why?  Well, many years ago, my grandpa Jules, who was once in the produce business, introduced me to clementines.  They were sweet, juicy, easy to peel, seedless, and absolutely delicious.  In contrast nine times out of ten, when I tried to eat an orange, I couldn't peel it all the way, the pith leaving its bitterness behind, there were seeds to mess with, and the flavor just couldn't compare.  I gave up on them.  Until yesterday.  I bought a navel orange to use the zest in a sour cream, orange, and cilantro garnish, and brought it to work today in a baggie.  It was stripped of its zest, and I really didn't expect much.  Despite the bits of pith clinging to it, it was absolutely fantastic -- tasted like pure, unadulterated summer, and not a seed in sight.  I bought three more on the way home from work today.