Archive for February, 2008

Veggie Delight


So we had our Metroblogs meetup recently as you may have already read. I’d just like to talk a bit in detail about my dish of food…it looks good, doesn’t it?

There are a few things in material life better than a hearty meal prepared with love & care. The latter portion of it playing a big role in what makes food actually “good.”

I personally have a lot of dietary restrictions when dining out but tonight I was treated to something unusual; a meal prepared to my diet with love, attention and even a personal visit from the chef.

It was at Counter – a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a pricey menu and fully loaded bar that & variety that attracts omnivores and fruitatarians like yours truly alike.

Inside the Future

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I went to an open source event at 7 World Trade Center in the Financial District. This building is kind of incredible. It feels like the future! We walked into a lobby filled with an odd blue light, which must give the many security guards headaches. Actually, maybe that’s why they were all wearing sunglasses that made them resemble Matrix agents.

After we signed in, we went through a dizzying marble maze to the elevators. The place looked more like a museum than an office building. In the elevator lobby, shelves on the marble walls held iron sculptures. The buttons to call the elevators aren’t for up and down. There’s a button for every floor. One you’ve chosen your floor, some kind of an algorithim figures out which elevator is best for you to take. Then you get into the elevator and there are no floor buttons. A female voice greets you and the elevator opens at the floors selected.

The office hosting the meeting was also pretty amazing. There was a lovely lounge with all sorts of odd-shaped couches and chairs. The conference room we met up in had a wall of glass with a spectacular view. The whole place seemed to be the perfect setting for some futuristic sci-fi flick.

Counter Attack

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This week I tried out a restaurant called Counter with some fellow bloggers. Located in the East Village, this spot has a chic decor and an even cooler menu. They serve organic food, with ample vegetarian options, but plenty of meat choices as well. They also serve a wide selection of colorfully-named cocktails – such as Tie me to the Bedpost. Since these cocktails cost $12 each, I went with glass of Rose.

We ordered a variety of appetizers, including hummus (with delicious pita bread), spinach and feta cigars, and corn beignets. While the serving sizes were tiny, the food was all delicious. Then I ordered a tasty avocado and artichoke salad and picked at some thick fries.

One of my dining companions practices Jainism, which I learned has a strict diet of no animal products and no root vegetables (ie. potatoes or other tubers). The chef made a huge dish of cooked vegetables specially for him and even came out to apologize for this custom dish having taken a while. I was very impressed with this attentive service. Definitely a good dining experience.

St. Patrick’s Day Starts Early in Queens

For those of you want to start wearing the green, drinking green beer, and hear the bagpipes, and can’t wait until March 17, you can head to the Rockaways this Saturday, March 1 at 1pm. The parade starts at Beach 129th St and Newport Avenue and ends at Beach 94th St. The Rockaways was once known as the “Irish Riviera”, and if the weather is nice, this parade can get up to 50,000 spectators.

Expected to march are Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Chuck Schumer, and NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. More details on John Roleke’s Queens blog

Mayor Bloomberg: not running, but has suggestions

In this morning’s New York Times, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg penned an op-ed entitled, I’m Not Running for President, but…, declaring in no uncertain terms that despite all the rumors and the people encouraging him to run, he is not running for President. He does, however, have some suggestions and ideas about what can solve our country’s problems, and he makes some interesting points. We have, particularly in recent years, a history of partisan bickering that tends to impede progress. He says that though he is not running, he will change his mind on one thing – if he decides that a candidate is committed to addressing the country’s problems in an independent fashion rather than sticking with the party line, he will endorse them and help them win.

From the article:

The changes needed in this country are straightforward enough, but there are always partisan reasons to take an easy way out. There are always special interests that will fight against any challenge to the status quo. And there are always those who will worry more about their next election than the health of our country.

This seems like a reasonable approach, and I hope he finds his candidate. I still haven’t found mine.

An old lady saved me from falling on the subway

Don’t underestimate the elderly! They possess powers beyond the naked eye. They are helpful and sweet – and deserve the seat every time!

This happened yesterday on the Manhattan-bound E train at around 9 am.

I got a seat at 23rd Ely Avenue only to notice an elderly woman’s patch of golden curly hair. I asked if she wanted to sit down and she said yes. I stood up and at that very moment the train started moving, she was at least 6-8″ shorter than me; but she grabbed me by my arm and I held on to her arm for dear life. Once the shakiness was over, I helped seat her and stood there smiling for the rest of the ride.

When you go to help someone out, you’re ALWAYS helping yourself. Remember that jerks that don’t get up for the pregnant ladies and elderly.

After this was all over, she got off at 7th Avenue and encouraged me to “Have a seat!”

NY Philharmonic Plays in Communist North Korea

Concert Master Michelle Kim’s is visiting the place her parents escaped from– North Korea– so that they could have a better life. Although she is happy their escape made it possible for her to have a life of freedom, she is excited to be in the land of her heritage, although she is saddened by the poverty.

If music soothes the savage beast, it also transcends diplomatic barriers. Jim Dolan of ABC/Eyewitness News is covering the historic concert by our own NY Philharmonic in Communist North Korea. Check out his blog.

Fun times in the ER

Both my fiance and our roommate had colds in the past week or two and despite my desperate attempts to avoid their icky, icky germs, I managed to catch one too. At least I thought it was just a cold – but instead of moving up into the ol’ schnozz, whatever it is moved up into my ear and settled there to torture me. After toughing it out all day Saturday, the ear pain got so bad late Sunday night that I called my doctor and he told me to go to the emergency room at Beth Israel, conveniently located just a short walk from my apartment.

I am really weird about the ER and feel like I shouldn’t go there unless there’s something broken or I can’t breathe. In fact, before Sunday night, I had only been to the ER three times – once to give birth, once because I had a 105 degree fever and once because I sprained my ankle really badly and couldn’t walk on it without searing pain. I didn’t have a fever, I most certainly was not pushing anyone or anything out of my uterus, and I walked to the hospital, so I kind of felt like a dick. But it turns out I have a really bad ear infection, so they gave me some antibiotics and a Percocet – which didn’t make a dent in the ear pain – and sent me on my way. I felt less like a dick after that. I mean, I was in a lot of pain.

Highlights of the ER visit after the jump.

Gramercy Architecture

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I was strolling through the Gramercy neighborhood this Sunday afternoon gazing at the beautiful architecture and firing off a few frames. I am a wide angle fan and had the opportunity to use Nikon’s new D3 and their 14-24mm f2.8 zoom lens. If you get a chance, take a stroll through this tiny oasis with such celebrated history. I highly recommend it.

The Art of Addressing

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When my sister used a calligrapher for her wedding invitations, they looked beautifully addressed. But it seemed a bit much to pay someone to handwrite every envelope. Plus, the calligrapher wrote them so perfectly that they practically looked printed out from a computer in a nice font.

But then we did our save-the-dates. Since labels seemed a bit informal, we printed out the addresses directly on the envelopes. Between getting the envelopes lined up correctly and getting the ink to print perfectly, this frustrating task added up to a lot of time. After that experience, I suddenly have a different view of hiring a calligrapher.

We decided to go with my sister’s calligrapher Michele Keele. Her work is lovely and her price reasonable. When I think of the time it took to print out those save-the-date envelopes, calligraphy now seems an artful choice.

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