Saturday, September 14, 2013

Scenes From New York: Trial, Coffee, Trial-Coffee, Papatzul, Trial Papatzul, Turning 30, Turning 30 at Trial and a Winter Wonderland

Well see, I'm actually posting pictures from 2013 now, so that's progress. 

Winter of 2013 really began in January. This also happened to be when I was at trial in federal court, in the Southern District of New York. Those 6 weeks I spent downtown were a blur of hotel conference rooms in Soho, paper, computers, late-night dinners and even later-night taxis. 

A few stand-out memories though...

Coffee at my new favorite coffee place, Everyman Espresso in Soho. These guys take coffee seriously, and it really is excellent. Everyman has that quirky-hipster vibe of many Melbourne coffee joints, but its also cozy and offered Kristen and I a short reprieve from the insanity of trial almost every single day we were downtown.

A lot of late-night dinners were had at my (also) new favorite Mexican restaurant in the city, Papatzul (Mayan for "food for the lords"!) Amazing (and strong) margaritas. The food differs from San Diegan Mexican, in that its not Baja or seafood-focused. The owner and chief Thierry Amezcua was classically trained in French cuisine, and I've read that the menu skews towards upscale takes on traditional and central Mexican dishes. Either way, its amazing and well worth a visit if you're in the Soho/Tribeca area.

Also while at trial, I celebrated my 30th birthday... celebrating a new decade of my life by staying up til 4 a.m. editing video deposition testimony. Do I know how to party or what.

Thankfully YBS had very very sneakily conspired with Kristen to get me out of the office a week earlier for a surprise birthday dinner with a bunch of our friends at Pisticci, where I had the grilled salmon, cooked to perfection, red wine and a delicious cake from Crumbs. 

Well played, YBS, well played.

After dinner, YBS took me home to give me my prezzies....

One of which was an ice-cream maker!

Wait, this is so you can make ME ice-cream, right?
As for the rest of January and February, it just got colder...

And colder...

And colder...
 And colder.

Thankfully, however, because its New York, you can find yourself running in the snow in Central Park and feeling like you're in a Winter Wonderland. 

New York is truly the only place where this kind of snow and cold is 50% ok with me.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scenes from New York: Christmas in the City and Homemade Christmas Pizza

Christmas of 2012 will go down as one of my favorites. 

Husband and I wandered the frosty streets of mid-town, looking at the windows of Saks 5th Avenue:

 St Patrick's Cathedral

And the Christmas lights sparkling on every 5th Avenue building.... how could this not make anyone happy?

Of course, some stores decided to go the 21st century route with iPad candles...

While I kind of despise the building's namesake, Trump Towers won it for the best Christmas tree I saw in the city:

Look! An American flag! Am such a patriot.

 And of course the obligatory Eskimo photos...

I want my next house to be wrapped in a bow like this. Totally awesome.

 We finished off our wander through the city with a trip to Godiva.

 The holy land.

Somewhat of a "mecca" if you will

This selection took approximately 4 hours to make.

Oh delicious chocolate truffle ball thing, I have no idea what is inside you, but you were perfect in every way.

 And same to you, sir

Christmas dinner was homemade pizzas, with dough based on this recipe 

YBS' first pizza was based in tomato sauce and covered in cheese and pepperoni

Other pizzas included vegetables (the horrah!!)

 Tomato, pepperoni, basil and red bell pepper (capsicum)

Tomato paste, cheese, yellow pepper, pepperoni and red onion:

 These were basil, mushroom and bell pepper, and cottage cheese, butternut squash (pre-steamed) bell pepper and red onion (amazing combination btw)

Oven, around 450-500 degrees F, for about 20 mins

It was no Christmas ham, but still one of my favorite meals to top off the day, the lights, the city, the company. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scenes from New York: Central Park, Madison Square, Katz's Deli, Rockefeller Center, Macy's and walking THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE ISLAND

I'll remember this day as the day my mother and sister made me walk the entire length of the island of Manhattan.

 I am not a huge walker. Sure, I'll head out and run 20 miles for funsies. But asking me to walk from the couch to the fridge to get a drink, is, like, a huge deal.

Not to mention walking from 125th st on the Upper West Side, through Central Park, down Fifth Avenue and then ALL THE WAY DOWNTOWN.

 So what. I'm a little lazy. I'm ok with that.

The skating rink on the lower east side of the park
 Anyway, I'm actually glad we did it, because New York is a city - if there ever was one - for walking. And you do get to see so much of it on your feet.

Plus, who could hate walking when you're in Central Park?

 Precisely no one.

In mid-town, the smell of some delicious nut-roasting wafted past us, so we decided to try some of the famous roasted chessnuts from a street vendor.

 I dunno if we just got a lame batch of these, but they weren't that great. Certainly the idea of them is much more awesome than reality.

Which is remarkably similar to the grand idea of going to visit the Empire State Building and taking in the views from the observatory... compared to the reality of paying $75 for all of us to actually do so.

After flipping the proverbial bird to the fat cats making a killing off tourism at Empire State, we continued to wander down Fifth Avenue (midtown) through Korea town.

 This is the Michelin-rated Korean restaurant, called Mandoo Bar on 32nd Street. It is well-known for its dumplings and bibimbob, a delicious dish of rice, vegetables and meat with Korean hot pepper paste, served in sizzling bowl. We didn't eat here that day, but I have since been there three times!

 We continued on downtown, and walked through Madison Square Park, which housed another of the 158,000 of the beautiful Christmas trees thrown up around New York.

  I also started to get a little silly with ye old camera.

 We continued walking down to Union Square which had some wonderful holiday markets.

 But we didn't stop because we were on a mission...

 To get to Katz's! My brother-in-law's only stipulation regarding my sister's visit, was that she eat a Reuben sandwich at Katz's.

 Katz's is a really famous deli, on Ludlow Street, Lower East side. It was apparently established in 1888 by the "Iceland" brothers, who were joined by Willy Katz in 1903. Willy and his cousin Benny bought out the Iceland brothers, and established the restaurant as Katz's Delicatessen in 1910. It was thereafter a congregating point for the huge number of immigrants who moved to the lower East in the early part of the 20th century.

During WWII, the owners' sons were all serving in the armed forces. The website iterates that the company's famous slogan "Send a Salami To Your Boy in the Army" was born out of their family tradition of sending food to the three sons during that time.

The Deli was absolutely bustling, and you can tell they're never short of business. They have a unique payment system; you take a ticket at the door, they write your order on the ticket, as you make it, and then you pay as you leave. No hold up by cash registers before getting your food!

While originally known for their salami, the Deli is now very famous for its original Reuben Sandwich with corned beef.

 I only ate a small bite (stupid, crazy girl), but this was really really amazing. I'm definitely going back.

We headed back uptown to meet YBS at the Rockefeller Center, to check out the famous Christmas tree there and all the other festivities.

 I loved the huge animation show they played on the side of one of the buildings at the center.

Afterwards, we met my darling cousin and his girlfriend for dinner back in Korea town. Unfortunately there was a long wait for tables at Mandoo Bar, but we got into Miss Korea straight away.

We all enjoyed some really great bibimbob, but the prices were a little high, for my tastes.

 And then we finished off the day with a stroll past the Macy's windows, which were really spectacular.

 And wandered through the store a little to soak up the Christmas tree (and the heating), before heading home...

on the SUBWAY this time.