gotham bar + grill and other good eats...

gotham bar + grill
we once ate here during restaurant week on one of our nyc visits. i was very impressed with it, but ben was even more impressed. so we went back to celebrate our may 10th anniversary but more so to celebrate ben on his 1st year of law school. such a huge accomplishment that totally deserves amazing, amazing food! food is new american/fancy. things like creamy risotto and mango souffles. can't get much better than that.
make a reservation and enjoy the excellent service.
about $100 pp depending on how much food you get. a fancier night out if you will. at 12 west 12th street (near union square/greenwich village "the village").

dos toros
the same set up as chipotle but WAY better. ben gets the steak burrito with guac and i get a taco and chips and salsa.
and it's just a delicious mexican food fix.
one on upper east side, union square, west village. $10 pp.

gourmet dining but family style - new american type dishes. the great thing about family style gourmet is it's very interactive and social. mmm and get the sugar and spice donuts for dessert if they have them.
gramercy/union square. spendy :)

taste d-lite
fake ice cream. it's a great fix for a frozen treat. although i prefer the (below) 16 handles.
all over the city. $5.

joe's pizza
supposed to be the best slice in the city. yeah, it was pretty good.
west village. $2 slice?

all different kinds of burgers - bison, beef, turkey, veggie - all organic/grass fed/free range crap. and their milkshakes?! oh their milkshakes. soooo good.
a few throughout the city. $15-$25 pp.

arepas bar! east village yumm venezuelan place. arepas are these little corn gordita type things. so many different choices. good prices.
east village. $8-$15 pp.

swedish sour gummy candy! lots of choices.
west village. pay by the ounce.

num pang
cambodian sandwiches. much like vietnamese banh mi. except better? really great sandwiches on baguette-ish bread with cilantro and meats and et cetera. yumm.
the village + near grand central. $8-$12.

luke's lobster
east village gem for lobster rolls.
$17 for lobster roll combo and it will fill you up!

momofuku milk bar
get a slice of crack pie (a whole pie is about $40 and may cause a heart attack) or get the compost cookie or the cereal milk ice cream (it's like eating cereal but in ice cream form. ask for it parfait style).
a few locations in manhattan, a couple locations in brooklyn. $3-$6.


really amazing italian food. the special spinach ricotta ravioli (it's a secret) is perfectly done. pastapastapasta.
carroll gardens, brooklyn. $15 for pasta.

16 handles
16 flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt. what could be better? just give me a little birthday cake flavor + mini peanut butter cups and i am HAPPY.
various locations throughout nyc. about $5 pp.

prosperity dumpling
5 dumpling for $1. sesame pancake (about the size of a piece of pizza) for $1. basically we can eat here for 2, for less than $5 and be TOTALLY happy. in chinatown/lower east side. i want to go here everyday just because it's the ultimate hole-in-the-wall. it's tiny, tiny, so cheap, so good.

harley's smokeshack
a new harlem bbq joint. there are plenty of options for everyone, even someone like me who doesn't love bbq. and it's a clean, new, cute little haven in east harlem.
east harlem. $15-$25 pp.

john's pizza
(not joe's, it's john's)
i think it's better than lombardi's. and grimaldi's. more flavor. best pie in the city?
west village. $18 for large pie.

victory garden ice cream
goat's. milk. soft. serve.
west village. $5.

the best name for a museum restaurant. go to the whitney museum. and eat here, at untitled. and report back.
$25-$40 pp.

p.s. have you noticed (if you're on google plus) and you google a restaurant, you get zagat ratings for restaurants?! the rating system is out of 30 - so anything 20 and above is pretty darn good!


i like my in-laws. ((part 2 of 2))

i think the name music box is my favorite name for a broadway theater.
dinner timeparking it at the park
grand central station (ben saw this and said, "you look funny.") muji. my favorite japanese homestore. (go here + here)
our first official family photo with our garden.

everyone tries to express their condolences when i tell them "my in-laws are in town." but i always assure them--- well actually, i quite like my in-laws! i totally won the lottery with in-laws. they are great. adventurous, foodies, fun, energetic, easy!
what more could you want in visitors, let alone in-laws!

we got to do so much while they were here. and i was happy about every bit of it.
we had wonderful meals, nice strolls around different neighborhoods.

linda+dave had been gifted tickets to once the musical... you know... that musical that i am obsessed with? so... it gave me+ben a really, really good excuse to get up early to get cheap tickets to see once again. twice? so we saw it again.
and it was even better the second time. go here to see my short added review about this amazing show.

we also saw one man, two guvnors. a british play about a guy who has two jobs and is trying to juggle working for two different demanding people. it's all slap-stick humor and the lead, james corden is a like a younger, funnier, british version of chris farley. and not so loud. pretty sure all four of us were laughing so hard we were crying. it's healthy to laugh like that every once in a while.

we went to the whitney museum and saw the neatest exhibit called "fireflies on the water." you go into a square shaped room alone, where little lights hang - and you stand on a platform that is surrounded by water and the walls are all mirrors. you get 60 seconds in there. you kind of just keep thinking to yourself, "this is so cool."
the whitney is "pay as you like" on fridays from 6pm-9pm. eat dinner at untitled before or after just because it's awesome and called untitled.

we ventured to chinatown for 5 dumplings/$1, sauntered in soho, shopped at century 21 downtown, took the staten island ferry, ate incredible pizza + goat's milk soft serve ice cream in the west village, took it easy on sunday but also celebrated our nyc pride for pride day in the east village with big gay ice cream. mmmm.

note: ben and his parents did a bit more during the day... but i missed out on those fun times :(


where are we going?! south ferry!

caught - with cell phones in hands!
one world trade center progress

one time when we visited new york city, we took the subway down to south ferry where you can catch the free staten island ferry and the free governors island ferry.
there was a presumably father and daughter saying to each other:
"where are we going?!"
"south ferry!"
"where are we going?!"
"south ferry!"

it was cute and has stuck with me ever since.

ben's parents were here for a few days and we took the staten island ferry to staten island and back.
it's free--- you get to see the downtown manhattan skyline, the pretty bridges, the statue of liberty, ellis island. it's all good fun.

i always have to remind myself it's not a quick trip. it's like a 1.5 hour - 2 hour deal. i will remember that next time, i will.

and luckily the heatwave had subsided by saturday so we could actually enjoy ourselves. and get out into "nature" and feel the "ocean" breeze.

((part 1 of 2))


getting along better

maybe it seems strange, but i am constantly analyzing and taking things in a different way that they "normally" would be.

just the other day (now a month or so ago) a couple people i know were talking about mistreated dogs. how rottweilers and pit bulls get bad reputations. but "it's all about how they are taken care of" these people kept saying. it's so sad that they are found "just tied up to a lamp post" because no one wanted them, et cetera.
what if we looked at people like this? because of a characteristic of what defines them like gender, race, religion, culture - can't it be that they have a "bad" reputation because of a stereotype? that rottweilers and pit bulls are just mean - just like some people are just mean or ill tempered or ______ fill in the blank.

what if these people were treated better? could they play with all the rest of the dogs (people)? without being judged by their stereotypes and exterior?

i love people and i try my best to be kind and understanding even when i encounter someone who is a bad reputation dog. or is "unsavory."

if i can't believe in them, who will? who will let the pit bulls run with the poodles?

the phrase, "helping people get along better" is something i am thinking about constantly because i see a sign that says that almost everyday.
how can we all get along better...? it doesn't have to be that we all of a sudden have to just get along... period. it means, we progressively get along better.

is it as simple as helping the pit bulls of the world? letting them know that you, yourself care because you and that otherwise unsavory person are both members of the world society - and somehow you have some common ground because of it?

i get to thinking about a lot of these things when i am making my way through the city since i encounter such a diverse group of people -- from harlemites, those who live and those who loiter here -- to the businessy, snooties of midtown east -- to the hipsters and fancy folks of the village. it's such an interesting group and i just wish somehow we could all exist together harmoniously.

now i'm going to go put on my birkenstocks and draw pictures of people of the world holding hands around the globe.


shakespeare in the park

every summer, nyc does shakespeare in the park. central park. in the delacourte theater... which is right in the middle of the park (well technically not the exact middle...)! you sort of "forget" you're in the city.
and it's oh so lovely.

you can get your free tickets 1 of 2 ways:
1. stand in line pretty much all day 6am-1pm, which doesn't guarantee you a ticket
2. enter the virtual lottery online and hopefully win!

ben and i had entered the online lottery every day we could - when we didn't have something else going on that night.
and yesterday, ben won!
ben is super lucky! and i'm lucky to be married to him!

the production this month is as you like it which is totally hilarious (it's a comedy, hence the HAHA) and really well done.
oftentimes, shakespeare in the park productions later make their way to broadway. and you know how we looooooove broadway.

the lead, rosalind is an actress we saw on broadway! and there were also a few other "famous" people in the play.

i really loved it and enjoyed the escape and turning my "shakespeare ears" on - since i feel like i have to translate that funny talk :)

and it just so happened to the only chilly night nyc will see this summer - and we were just in our shorts and long sleeve shirts (ok i brought a jacket)
but i was desperate and put a reusable grocery bag over my legs (put my feet in it...) and then put the corresponding reuseable produce bags on my knees. i was good to go!
we were still cold.

and opted out of getting frozen yogurt afterwards, as previously planned. ha.

but it's funny how you don't care if you're cold when you're watching shakespeare in the park.


p.s. the above photo of me was taken friday in central park. if only i had been wearing longer pants like that day...


i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

patriotic flag at a new harlem restaurant // watermelon for dinnerstudio 54 // painting by my mamma
my nieces who are the cutest // we loved the tony awards

well goodness me.

i'm baaaaaaaaack.

the tony awards made my year. once once once the musical! it won a lot of stuff. including best musical. i would see it again in a second if the line to get cheap tickets wasn't 5+ hours long :)

studio 54. was amazing. have you been? we saw a play there (yes we see a lot of shows).
and it's such an amazing venue. it's huge and old and cold and eerie and has leopard print carpet and no leg room. one of the prettiest theaters i've ever seen. maybe the prettiest.

summer is the best. watermelons? strawberries and raspberries on my cereal?
do you know how much the lady at trader joe's MADE MY WEEK by finding berries in the stock room (because i thought they were out... they are always out!)?! i love her.
oh and i may have mentioned but we have a garden AND stuff is growing.

we saw moonrise kingdom, the new wes anderson film. i thought it was new and fresh and fun and i love wes' quirky style.


brandon + celeste say goodbye

not too long ago, our friends brandon + celeste left this city of new york for another city.

ben + i are really sad about it. we loved hangin' with our long time friends - especially because they love food and broadway shows and lots of our other favorite things.

we miss you. did i mention that?


don't delay

have you tried blood orange soda?! // once the musical albumwe have tiny tomatoes in our garden // our pretty neighbor'hood
more of cloud city // newsies the musical

the last couple weeks...

we have seen 3 broadway shows in the last 8 days. for a few reasons... but partly because i don't want to miss any good shows. you just can't let things you want to do/see pass you by!

we saw once (see my review here)

we saw other desert cities (a play that is really well written and presented. about a writer who goes "home" for the holidays to visit her family in the desert - palm springs - she lives on the east coast. and it's all about the struggles the family has and a deep secret they all come to share. everyone did a fantastic job - all 5 of them - and we sat in the front row! lucky us!)

and we took our chances and entered the lottery for newsies the musical. ben won us two $30 seats! (newsies... you know, the old disney film is now on broadway! all that singing and dancing and backflips and high kicks. it was really a great show to see on stage. and now we have seen all the musicals nominated for the tony's 2012 best musical.)

i can understand if people aren't sooo into broadway shows, but i am a believer that there is a show out there for everyone!


we have been hangin'.

on memorial day we rented a car and drove over the george washington bridge through some of jersey, back into new york state to the woodbury commons outlets (really huge and full of amazing outlet stores). basically we blew all our money at the j.crew outlet. we just can't help ourselves.

we've been growing things in our garden. it's been raining just enough that i haven't had to go and water as often as i thought i would. but i have been trying to be good and weed and take care. weeding isn't fun mostly because at this point i have a hard time deciphering which green things are weeds and which green things are plants.

we are loving this break from law school for the summer. we are both keeping busy still (obviously) but there is something about no homework that really makes a difference.