Saturday, December 31, 2011

Three NYC Winter Haikus

It's been warm, and I've
happily snuck out early
to see these sunsets.

 Hetal's rooftop view
is really magnificent
for watching sunsets.

The sun sets while the
city rises into the 
sky, filling the void.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 65

Running out of days to post things that happened this year. Going to fudge it with some time-space magic.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

High Line X-mas

We thought there was music to be heard on the High Line
so we went.

But we missed the boat on the music.
Or something or other.
But it was nice and desserted.
SO empty!

There were some carolers that Pam thought were from The Night Circus.

But they were just carolers in black coats and red scarves.
We walked up the High Line and peered into luxurious apartments
that had amazing furniture and Christmas trees.
We met Lakshmi and then went to Bill's Burger for dinner.

Fun fact: 
Besides walking on the High Line, 
the second most popular activity is kissing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday S&S Secret Santa 2011

Jeannie was my Secret Santa. In addition to the giant eraser and calendar/pig/pen holder and the alligator staple remover, she also gave me a froggy bookmark. Such cute stuff from Pylones! She's such a good Secret Santa!

I gave Dorothy a water pitcher and glass from Crate & Barrel that she wanted. I thought the original water pitcher that she wanted was kind of heavy, but now I'm wondering if it'd have been better since it was slightly bigger and she'd have to take less trips to the pantry to fill it up. I don't know. Maybe it's good to have a reason to stretch your legs?

The kind of nerve-racking part about our department's Secret Santa is that we all have to guess who was our Secret Santa. Luckily, I got my guess on the first try! Woo-hoo!

I also brought us some Dunkin Donut Munchkins. I thought I was ordering fifteen, which seemed kind of small now that I think about it, but I got fifty! Turns out that there were three extra mouths to feed though: Dorothy's growing twins and Jenica's little growing one. The Munchkins were down to one layer by the time we came back to our desks, so getting the fifty was a good idea. Also, I had about ten, so I now know that more Munchkins are definitely better than fewer. Mmm . . . do they still make the cream-filled Munchkins though? I didn't get to eat one of those.

Monday, December 19, 2011

S&S Holiday Paaaaaarty!


There was a smilebooth! (Click to see all my coworkers at S&S. You know you kind of want to see who works here and does this stuff, and what they do when there's a wine and beer table on every floor of the building.) These are the photos I took with my boss, her boss, and a coworker I get lots of cool freelance work from. I love my job!!! There was also a band, Lo Res, made up of some designers (including the head of the Children's Design department) and our Apple IT guy. They were a lot of fun.

Rock Center Tree 2011

It looks a lot smaller this year. Maybe I have to go at night so that the surrounding buildings don't really feature as prominently as a subliminal comparison.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day-After-Jon's-Christmas-Party Flower Deconstructed

The story goes . . .

that Jon was supposed to leave at 11:30 . . .

from his company's Christmas party (or Holiday party--
though we all know what holiday they actually mean).

But he was asked to give a speech. 
The punch line was that hopefully the company did well next year,
but if not, then they'd all be fired. 

Then he drank some more. . . .

And when he was done, he went to his office to get his bike.

To walk it up the Westside Highway because he was too inebriated to ride it.

But that didn't happen.
(Good thing too!
What a dumb idea.)

Instead, I had a fitful night worrying about him.
And when he came home, he passed out in the bathtub.


And I had a fitful night and morning worrying about him. 

And then when he was sound asleep in bed,
I yelled at him.
He remembered nothing.

And then I went to work.

And then I came home to a bouquet of flowers.

This was all like last year. Kind of.

Anyway, all is good unless this happens again next year.
In the meantime, I had a fun time deconstructing the dying bouquet into these smaller vases,
so that they don't die as quickly.

The other lilies actually bloomed!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chinese Juk (Rice Porridge)

Sometimes, chicken soup just won't cut the cold. Sometimes, juk does.

In a pot, add 1 cup rice plus 9 cups water w. salt and lots of grated ginger, half leaf of konbu, pork, dried mushroom, and matsutake soup broth. Cook till juk. Add oyster sauce! Mmm . . .

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 64

Spot the moon!

Busy good Saturday. Noodletown cha sui! Oh yeah, baby!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hey Na Na

Oh, I love that turtle dress! I love it, I love it, I love it! I'd wear it on my private island and just sing "Hey Na Na, Hey. Hey Na Na, Hey. Boo Boo." No idea what the lyrics are yet.

The choose-your-own-adventure thing is awesome for two reasons:

1) I found Katie Herzig.
2) It's a fun way to look at clothes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 63

Wish it were an L&L loco moco, but it's a Dickson's burger simmered in mapo tofu sauce with romaine and an egg. A good alternative. Third straight day of rain. Getting cold again. Rain!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 62

It was 8 a.m. at the Englewood Volvo dealership about two weeks ago. Who were those other people there in that corner?

Oh, it's those folks. (Jon's so angsty.)

We invited them to IHOP down the block, but they weren't into getting pancakes. What snobs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 61

The last two days have been extremely warm--mid to upper 60s. I'm not complaining. If NYC could be like this all the time, that would be awesome.

Last night I met up with Dani and Hetal to go to TJ Maxx and then some pretty cute Swedish place by Columbus Circle. Like really cute. Before we met up, I sat in the park by the Chipotle on 56th and 8th for a bit marveling at how I could do this with just a short-sleeved shirt, cardigan, jeans, open-toed/basket-weave shoes, and a scarf. No coat. No socks. No chill. Amazing!

Part of me thinks this good weather luck is due to overwhelming pile of freelance work due this month. Jon literally told me that I had to finish my work before we could play our new Zelda game. How unfair. I feel like the trapped teenager in all these books I'm working on. Or the cranky baby that doesn't exist in the other books I work on. (No one wants to read about cranky babies. But they exist.) Freaking deadlines. I wanna save a princess!

Pep told me yesterday that he's moving to Boston. I really hate Boston. It's near the bottom of my list of cities that exist in order of how much I like them. There's nothing that I can recommend about it. It's a dismal place to drive to and around and back from. (Never mind the 7 hour bus rides of traffic that I've heard of. Maybe have been in for the visit to Boston with honors history class?) The best restaurant there isn't any better than the cute restaurant down the block here. It's where culture and cuisine go to die or assimilate to the most mundane tastes. What do people do there? Spend hours walking around their 1000+ square feet homes? Spend hours commuting to the two tall buildings that are there? (I lie. I have no clue if there are ANY tall buildings.) Or maybe prove me wrong. 

In the meantime, Baby Vampire is doing a great job tending to my Nat plant. There's a flower! Flllowerrrr!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kanoyama Omakase

Persimmon in sesame seed/chestnut butter--sweet and juicy

After seeing Nathan Myhrvold speak at Astor Center, we threw the White Truffle Festival at Buon Italia under the bus to go to Kanoyama mainly because it was closer. It was a good idea. 

Natto paste with uni;
the natto had aspic in it to help hold the shape.
I've never willingly had natto before because it looked gross.
Also, I'm not a huge fan of uni unless it's Santa Barbara uni.
But the dish was good!
Maybe it's not natto paste?

We were sat immediately at a table, but when Jon asked the waiter about the omakase, the waiter immediately recommended it and that we do it that evening since the chef wasn't busy. Like, the bar that the omakase was supposed to occur at was empty. (We thought it was the drink bar area for guests waiting for tables since that was where some of those people were being stored.) We felt a little bad about how the waiter basically screwed himself out of a tip, but hopefully the tips are pooled, so maybe he got a share for referring us. 

Last year I would've given this dish to Jon.
I really don't like uni.
But I took a bite, and it was good!
It was sweet!
There was almost too much of it for me though.
But I ate it all up.
I also found two small uni spines in my teeth.
Be careful eating these.
The uni was from Maine, surprisingly.

I have no idea how much it cost, but it was a really good omakase. As you'll see in a few moments, there was a lot of sashimi. I feel like most omakase have more sushi pieces than sashimi. Then I feel that I have to roll off the bar stool at the end of the meal because of being so full of rice.

The wasabi came in a cute vessel shaped like a shell.
It was also good fresh wasabi, though is there a bad fresh wasabi?

The chef was nice enough. He was relatively young, and he was attentive, but not like those older sushi chefs that for one reason or another try to engage you in conversation. He answered our few questions, and he probably would be your buddy if that's the kind of experience you look for in an omakase. He spoke with friends who had come in, and at the end he had a small glass of sake with the waiter who was helping him with our meal.

Baby blue fin tuna. The veal of the sea.
So delicious!
Itadakimasu, baby blue fin tuna!
(I'm working on a children's book about baby zoo animals.
Maybe I'll put together one about eating baby animals.
That can be the repetitive line.)

We got in at around 9 p.m. and left around 11:30 p.m. It was perfect timing for eating late, and it really didn't seem that long at all. And I didn't feel gross afterward. Score!

Mackerel. I think.
This definitely got more flavorful as I chewed.
I remember thinking that, normally, I'd never eat something that still had
what looked like its skin on it.
Then I was like, well, good thing I don't suck anymore.

The sashimi was so good. So, so, so good. The more you chewed, the sweeter the fish got in your mouth. What magic is that?! The appetizers were so good too. For whatever reason the teapot soup dish with mushrooms (dobin mushi) didn't take. It was the best. I wish I could eat that everyday for lunch.

Grilled tuna. It might be more baby tuna.
He grilled it on one of those smokeless charcoal grills.
It tasted so good.
We had just been told at Nathan's lecture that what gives grilled food
its flavor is the fat that gets released and thrown back on it.
(I butchered what he said. Buy the book. Read the chapter.)
Mmm . . .

The chef basically hand fed us the sushi pieces he made, so we didn't take any photos of those. There was one uni piece from Hokkaido that tasted like the reason I'm not a huge fan of uni. Huge difference from the Maine uni appetizer above or any Santa Barbara uni. Like the juices were making me gag. Oh, uni.

Needlefish! These guys look funny. See link to website below.
Their chins are what make the needle part!
What an underbite!

The restaurant's website is pretty informative about the fish we ate. What's also kind of interesting was that the fish wasn't kept in a kind of refrigerated case. They were in Japanese-style fish boxes behind the bar. The bar where the sushi in the refrigerated cases was was more for prep and making rolls for those at the tables.

Clam piece. I think. It was actually one of the first pieces,
and it got fancier from there. But since it's kind of
difficult to reorder stuff on blogger, it's here.
"Eat with Japanese salt and wasabi.
Don't dip your wasabi into the soy sauce," he told us.
(That's the clientele they usually get it seems.)

The restaurant's bathroom on the main level is tiny--like airplane tiny, but it was clean, which is all it really needs to be.

::ray of light; angel's saying, "Ooh!" sound effects::

This dessert was one of the best in my life. It had apples that were like whipped up. Like apple-flavored whipped cream. With some cinnamon on top. Ingenious and satisfying. The acidity of the apples removed all the oily fish taste in my mouth. It was so refreshing. After this dish, they also gave us a small scoop of ice cream. We both got green tea. It was good, but another bowl of the apple dessert would've been better!

Overall it was a great experience, and I'd recommend going. And I look forward to going back during another season to see what yummy fish are on the menu then. It's different from Yasuda and Yohei and the other great sushi places, but it's definitely not lesser.
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