Archive for May, 2008

Wawa in New York

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An inconspicuous Korean spot in the West Village, Wawa caught my eye when I saw its customers in the window eating delicious-looking noodles. Noodle-junky that I am, I had to try it out.

Their menu, while not too extensive, contains a selection of salads, dumplings, bibimbop, and (of course) noodle soups. I got the Udon, and it was yummy – thick noodles, tasty tofu. I’m not a huge fan of the broth, but it’s still a delicious dish.

The place is very small, but I haven’t yet had trouble finding a seat at lunchtime. I like the clean, white interior and the music they play – old school jazz and interesting indy. Definitely a good spot to get my noodle fix.

Destination D.B.A.

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In this summery weather, I met up with some friends at a Manhattan beer garden for a change: DBA. Located in the East Village, this spot has a large beer selection and a laid-back atmosphere. While it can’t compete with the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria for space, it serves as an enjoyable Manhattan alternative.

The bar consists of one completely outdoor section, which, during our visit, was frequented by at least two cats who appeared to be regulars at the establishment. They hopped on top of tables and slinked through customers’ legs with no one seeming to mind. Then there’s a covered area, which offers a little more shelter and comfortable seating. Lastly there’s the interior, which I found a little crowded and noisy for my taste. At 11 pm or so, the outdoor areas shut down due to an unfortunate noise ordinance. Rather than squeeze into the stuffy interior, that’s when we left.

Choice Seating for July Fourth Fireworks

You can get seats for one of the best views of the Macy’s fireworks show from Southpoint Park.
Gates open at 5pm [fireworks start at 9].
price: $18.00 [general seating]
you can purchase online
by phone — 877-77CLICK
or at Festival gate [cash only]
check the above link for prohibited items.

For other places to view the Fourth of July fireworks, check out this article
You can assure yourself a good view of the 4th of July fireworks!

ECO Plug

As some of you already know, in the past I did some work with a group called ecoagents. (go to their site to learn more)

Recently, I’ve been slacking (bad Melissa) but I’ve been asked to plug their latest and greatest effort… Eco-To-Go. It’s actually a really great idea – and for those of you that are looking for easy ways in NYC to be eco-friendly, this is it.
Spread the word!

Here’s a little something from one of the founders to tell you more about it.

Everybody’s doing it! Eco To Go.
We all want to do something for the environment – now here is a way, and it’s easy!

Ecoagents is responsible for a unique initiative called Eco-to-Go. This green program speaks to NYC restaurants that offer in-office and at-home delivery service. Those restaurants that are enrolled in Eco to Go have made a conscious and serious effort to do away with all of the unnecessary plastic and paper that traditionally comes with take out orders.

Eco to Go is an easy way to help save the environment! Eco to Go is available at any local restaurant or deli! Just remember to tell them, Eco to Go!

Growing Restaurant Participation List.


Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!

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Tomorrow marks the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge opening. When it opened in 1883, this monument was the longest suspension bridge in the world and its Gothic towers were the tallest structures in this hemisphere. Today it serves as a celebrated landmark – appreciated by locals and tourists alike.

Whenever I have friends coming into town, I like to take them for a walk across the bridge. The view of the city and the sight of so many people enjoying this monument (joggers, bikers, a wedding party I saw taking pictures there once) serves as a great NYC experience.

Birthday celebrations started last night with fireworks and a Brooklyn Philharmonic concert. The festivities continue throughout the weekend with free movies, lectures and walking tours. For details on this weekend’s Brooklyn Bridge events, click here.

Mumbai is cleaner than NYC…in some places

If you compare the number of people that are homeless in NYC v. Mumbai, the latter wins by millions. If you compare the number of slums – like straight up slums with tin foil and cardboard for roofs, again, Mumbai is the winner. The same goes for the number of vehicles on the roads, the different types of pollution sources and the amount of public transportation available. Mumbai, if looked at from a straight up infrastructure and numbers basis, should be a thousand times dirtier than New York City.

But after landing at Sahara international airport on May 2nd this time around, I’ve found that Mumbai is much cleaner now than it ever was before. They have implemented several garbage cans along the roads for cleanups. I even saw a NYC-styled garbage truck which for some reason got me really happy and homesick for a brief second.

India’s cleaning up everywhere. Mumbai seems to be one of the primary cities taking this initiative personally. There are several hundreds of billboards around the city reminding Mumbaikers to keep their city clean. I actually partook in one of these projects today. My friend has a graphic design studio here and she uses old CD-Roms to write anti-littering campaigns. Then she sticks them on the back of rickshaw drivers’ seats so that each rider can have the message delivered. I posted one of these today. It was awesome.

Mumbai’s done an excellent job in cleaning up and the smell that I once associated with this heavily populated city is also leaving slowly. It seems as though it’s time to move here, but then again real estate in Mumbai is the 5th most expensive in the world.

Are New Yorkers "Snottier"?

Discussion in the blog called “Things You Should Have Been Told Before You Moved to NYC”

Top on the list??
“Why did no one tell me that when I moved to NYC, I would have so many more boogers?”
I really never thought about it.
The dirt in the air seems to be the reason.

other warnings transplants wish they had been told
“don’t pick up “female” prostitutes between 14th and 30th Streets on the westside.” [no, this was not posted by Elliot Spitzer]

“don’t tell the guys talking in the movie theater to ‘Shut the fuck up'” [sound advice unless they’re over 80]

“You have to actually pick up your feet when you walk…the pavement and sidewalks aren’t always flat.”
[huh? you mean in other cities, they shuffle??]
anyway, you can follow the link above to read the entire article, or feel free to add your own here.

Obscura Antiques and Oddities


I went into a wonderful little shop this weekend called Obscura. A treasure trove of bizarre and wonderful things. Open in their new location at 280 East 10th St. I highly recommend a visit. Their captivating wares are constantly coming and going with new things in all the time.

More Photos!!!

Day Trip to Bordeaux

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I decided to forgo the traditional male strippers and penis straws for my bachelorette party in exchange for something a little more low-key. Having had a blast in Sonoma with a friend a few years ago, I decided on a trip to Long Island Wine Country.

These bachelorette wine tours are becoming more common, now with specific companies basically devoted to chauffeuring around groups of ladies to a few vineyards. We went with North Fork Wine Tours to three vineyards around Greenport – Duck Walk, Osprey’s Dominion, and Pindar Vinyards.

Greenport is about a 2 hour drive from the city. Only limited public transportation options exist to the area. There’s the LIR, but it doesn’t actually run out there that frequently. And then, the Hampton Jitney – not the cheapest way to travel, but it does get you right in the area. The scenery there is lovely – farms, vineyards, and the ocean.

We began the tour near the adorable Greenport downtown, at the Townsend Manor Inn – a comfortable (though not upscale) hotel with apartment-style rooms. Our guide told us that the region was very similar to Bordeaux and discussed some wines in the area. We boarded a small van which took us first to Duck Walk Vineyards, where we tasted some delicious wine and had a modest lunch. The next spot we hit was Osprey’s Dominion, which had a lovely outdoor seating area where we split a bottle of pink champagne. We ended the day at Pindar, a popular (and crowded) vineyard with live music playing. Another bottle of sparkling wine outside and our time was ended.

The whole day was beautiful and a wonderfully relaxed way to catch up with old friends. I don’t know much about what makes a good wine, but I did enjoy the Rieslings and this yummy dessert wine called Aphrodite from Duck Walk. With the summery weather, I wasn’t in the mood for anything like Bordeaux.

Shawn Porter

Shawn Porter

Shawn is a my brother in law from Philly. He came to NYC this weekend for the NYC tattoo convention. He let me photograph him between the rain drops on my roof. Taken with Canon 5d.

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