Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's Gripe: Stupid Knee-Jerk Reactions

I hope this post doesn't land me on the TSA's no fly list.

I am having a hard time with the reaction to Christmas Day's terrorist plot aboard an international flight bound for Detroit. Since all's well that ends well I don't feel bad criticizing the newly implemented restrictions that have resulted in the wake of this latest failed attempt by the "evildoers" known as Al Qaeda.

There is no reason to scan my handmade Barker Black brogues (note -- those are my embarrassingly pricey shoes). There is no reason to prevent me from bringing shaving cream that exceeds 3.4 ounces in my carry on luggage. There is no reason to make me stay in my seat with nothing on my lap for the last hour of my flight. What all of these knee-jerk reactions have in common is that they cause real terrorists to think of creative ways to cause havoc subject to the newly implemented regulations. Am I the only one who sees this being the case?

While I generally disagree with law enforcement profiling this may be the exception. Am I the only one who has noticed that the 20 9/11 assholes, Richard Reid and this Nigerian fellow all have a few notable traits in common? All men. All young. All Muslims (at least I suppose). Is anybody taking bets that the next evildoer will fall into this general profile?

But at the end of the day I will be the one who suffers most. I fly a lot. And now I will not be allowed to keep a blanket on my lap for the last hour of my flight, despite the fact that the passed an FBI background check. I guess common sense ain't that common at all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's With The Lingo?

Many of you may not know this, but I am a social worker. I got my degree in social work administration and have been working in a management position for a non-profit called Experience Corps for the last two years.

On most days I really enjoy my work, but being that I am a normal human, I sometimes totally HATE it. On those days of hate I find myself becoming annoyed at everything. Emails piss me off, phone calls are irritating, and the things that people say around here, really get my goat.

For example:
When can we huddle up? - I am not an NBA star and you are not my coach. Simply asking when we can sit down and chat would suffice.

I need to download with you. - Although I find technology fascinating, I cannot stand it when people use computer or technological terms when talking about a human act, such as speaking. Instead try: I'd like to discuss or assess some issues with you.

Let me firm up with them. - The word is confirm. Please use it.

In terms of... - People are starting to use this phrase way too often and incorrectly at that! "In terms of my lunch being a sandwich, in terms of meals being food." In terms of SHUT UP!

We can talk about this offline. - When may I ask, will I be offline? Hmmm...

There are so many others, but you get the point. Besides, no one is in the office today so I am enjoying the bliss of silence.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Today's Gripe: People Who Steal (my) Shit

Starting late Friday night, Mother Nature hit DC with an early Winter smack down. I'd guess that total accumulation was between 1 and 2 feet, probably closer to the latter.

Among other collateral damage, my Dad and Sis who were supposed to visit this week, got snowed out of DC. They made it as far as Denver on Saturday, but by midday all flights into DC were canceled.

Nonetheless, Christina and I tried to make the best of the inclement weather by heading over to see Matt and Josh, our close friends who live just a few blocks away in Logan Circle. A bit of background is in order for those who don't live in DC. Our neighborhood is a few years past gentrified -- but well beyond transitional. Most who live here are young, professional and fairly well to do. As such, we don't spend any time worrying about our safety or whether our stuff is in danger of being stolen. We leave our Weber grill on the roof of our building for days on end, we never worry about the car parked in our garage, etc. So when it rains or snows we leave our umbrellas, boots, etc., in the hallway in front of the door. Who doesn't?

I think you can see where this post is headed.

So I left my Bean Boots in the hallway in front of Matt and Josh's apartment Saturday night. A few hours later -- GONE! What the hell? Who steals a pair of boots -- a place I put my sweaty feet? Knowing that the poor person who's the rightful owner will be stranded in two feet of snow with nothing to wear on his feet . . . what the hell is wrong with people?

Thankfully, Josh had a pair of Tim's (albeit size 11) that I borrowed to wear home. Still, I am fuming that some piece of shit would have the nerve to steal my boots. I ask you all to keep an eye out for some 12" Bean Boots with a piece of tape around the end of one lace on the right foot. I'll pay extra if you kick the guy who stole them in his nuts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are We Getting Cheesier?

Last night was the third night that The Sing-Off was on, and I was tuned in. As the host Nick Lachey says every five seconds, it's the only a capella singing competition on television, and I'm hooked.

While I sat in awe and watched "The Beelzebubs" sing the great Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline I started to think about how cheesy some of the shows on TV are these days. Here's a list to prove my point:

5. Glee - I posted on this show a few weeks back. I love it. It's about a high school glee club and it's fantastic, but again, it's about glee club and there are showtunes involved...

4. American Idol - The classic cheesy singing competition that has been on way too long in my opinion, but people love it!

3. So You Think You Can Dance - I don't watch this show, but some of my friends love it. It's basically people who have been dancing their entire lives either professionally or for fun who come together to compete for fame and fortune. Well maybe neither fame nor fortune, but definitely street cred!

2. America's Got Talent - How cheesy can we get? It's a variety show/competition. People yodel, mime, perform acrobatics, and train their dogs to jump through hoops -- awesome!

1. Dancing with the Stars - Super Cheesy Cheesiness! Who can resist Donny Osmond dancing his little heart out? I know I can't.

Anyway, I happen to really enjoy cheesy goodness once in a while. I sing along to the Broadway hits being belted out on Glee, I practice my samba while swiffering the floor after a good episode of Dancing with the Stars, and I've taught Bella to juggle like one of the showdogs on America's Got Talent! Okay, so Bella can't juggle, but these shows make me happy and that's all it's really about.

Do you enjoy cheesy shows too?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Self Important People: Part Two

I was really annoyed yesterday when I was waiting on line at the grocery store and two men decided that their time was more precious than mine and proceeded to cut in front of me. I said to one of them "hello, I was actually next," but he ignored my cries. I said out loud to myself, "maybe I am invisible today."

Anyway, it got me thinking about the top five places that self-important people always frequent. I'm not saying that all people who visit these places are self-important, but I guarantee that you will find a few self-important people there at all times. Here they are. See if you agree.

5. The Gym - Oh my god, are the people at my gym soooo important. Just ask them, they'll tell you! Never a kind word in the locker room, just judgemental glares. Always racing to the next available machine and pushing you out from in front of it...

4. Hair salons - Ever feel the need to dress up when you go to get your hair did? That's because the people at hair salons are self-important and un-friendly. Maybe it's just salons in big cities, but I feel like if you're shampooing, and then styling my hair, should'nt we at least say two words to one another? Maybe be friendly and really work for that tip? I guess they're just better than me...

3. Stuffy stores like Brooks Brothers - Okay so Mike loves him some Brooks Brothers, but I can't stand the place. I'll admit, they carry really well made menswear, but their staff are rude, and the people who shop there are the WORST. Talk about snobs...yuck.

2. Starbucks - My grande double stuffed oreo latte, is more important than your tall holiday peppermint patty mocha supreme...AND I will push myself in front of you to make that point very clear. Why can't we order in small, medium, and large? I HATE the people that hang out at Starbucks.

1. Whole Foods or other Organic Markets - AHHH! I swear the people that shop here are the most elitist, snobs on earth. Oh look at me, I only eat organic, and I have the paycheck to do so, (Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck) and therefore I am superior to all others. Whatever. I like to be able to buy Heinz Ketchup and Hellman's Mayonnaise if I want to.

Ohhh! Mike and I flew to Seattle today and I am so happy that I didn't post this entry yet, because MANY self-important asshole-ish people hang out at the AIRPORT! Pushing their way to the gate, placing their carry-ons in the over head bins where they don't belong because MY carry-on belongs there, over MY seat...anyway, the point is, that people need to chill out and not be so pushy at the airport. Your time is not more important that mine and we will all get to our destination eventually.

There I'm done.

Monday, December 7, 2009

China Pictures

Here are a few that my parents took. I spent a good portion of Sunday going through ours, but I have to spend more time to really choose the best ones to have printed so I can make an album and scrapbook. It takes a lot of time and energy to sort through so many pictures...ugh!

I do hope that you enjoy these. The one of Mike and me was taken at the Forbidden City in Beijing. That's where the imperial family lived from the during the Qing to Ming Dynasties. The one of the white temple is at Beihai Park and although it was a chilly day, the sun was shining and it was lovely to see the snow glisten. The two of the Buddha and Bodhisattva carvings were taken at Dazu which was one of my favorite places.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Congratulations Tiger: You're a Douche

I'd like to think that someday there will be a role model for my (future) child who is BOTH a stellar professional athlete and a top notch human being. Now that Tiger is officially off the list, let's start the search anew.

I'm starting to think that Sir Charles may have had it right when he disclaimed the "role model" label. Maybe he's right that professional athletes are simply doing a job that happens to be highly lucrative and places them in the spotlight. And it is probably true that the old timers from our parents generation weren't any different -- present day media and the utter lack of privacy for celebrities are probably more to blame than the declining moral character of our supposed role models.

Nonetheless, I can't help but be disappointed in the addition of Tiger Woods to the list of total douche bags who just happen to be really good at a professional sport.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gripe of the Day: Self Important People

They are everywhere in D.C. Of whom do I speak? Those self-important assholes, of course! Just take the White House State Dinner crashers, for example. So self-important that they made themselves believe that they were invited to the White House, when they are really just pathetic fame seekers...anyway, I digress.

Back to my personal gripe. Why is it that when I'm walking to work at a brisk pace that people feel the need to shove me out of the way just to get by. The phrase commonly used is "excuse me." Please try it.

I also wonder why it is that when I have the right of way and the signal says walk, a lunatic driving a Volvo feels the need to make a left at top speed, damn near hitting me! It makes no sense. First off, it's Friday. If you're in that much of a hurry to get to work, you're a loser. Second, if you're running late, try leaving your house earlier, to avoid RUNNING SOMEONE OVER! Just a thought.

I also feel like people here are blindly unaware of their surroundings. Wake up and smell the city people. There are others that live here. During rush hour, don't let your dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk where people are walking. It's rude. Also, if you're walking with a friend or a loved one, hand in hand, please know that you are taking up the entire sidewalk and that single file walking might be necessary so that others can pass. That would be polite. Lastly, your time is not more important than mine, nor is your life. So pretty please with sugar on top, clean the fucking car. Um, I mean be aware of your surroundings, and don't do drugs.

That's it.

*If you're not a movie line kinda person, "So pretty please with sugar on top, clean the fucking car" is a line from the film Pulp Fiction. "And don't do drugs" is a line from the film City Slickers. Two very different, but awesome movies in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

That's how I finally feel. Like I'm finally getting my groove back. Jet lag sure takes a long time to get over. Throw in a stomach flu, and a husband with a head cold, and it takes even longer.

Anyway, I feel good today. The sun is shining and it's brisk outside and feels great. The holidays are just around the corner and decorations are starting to go up all around the neighborhood, which I love.

I promise to post pictures of China this weekend when I have the time to sit down and choose the best ones to share. One of my goals for this weekend is to go through all of the pictures, all 800 of them, and to start on a China scrapbook/album. It's hard not to take so many pictures when you're in such an amazing place.

I am happy to be home though. Although China was fantastic, there were a few things that drove me crazy while we were there.

In particular:

1. ROCK Hard Beds - Why is it that the Chinese like to sleep on beds that feel like marble?

2. Squatters - Hello! "Western" style toilets are the way to go people! Cleaner, more efficient, EASIER TO USE!!!

3. Two Double Beds in EVERY Hotel Room - I guess the Chinese didn't get the memo. Married couples like to sleep together in ONE bed, preferrably a soft one.

4. Spitting - What is with this? Men, women, babies, all spitting, all the time. Gross!

5. Volume Control - Inside sacred temples, airplanes, restuarants, wherever. People don't practice voice volume control and are instead extremely LOUD!

Those were my top five. I never thought I'd be so happy to see my toilet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're Back!

It's been awhile, but we are home, and what an amazing time we had in China! I planned on posting while we were there, but didn't realize the cost of blogging and how annoying it would be to try and post from Mike's tiny touch screen phone.

Anyway, we had a fantastic trip and saw such wonderful sights. Everything from thousand year old Buddhist temples, to the misty limestone mountains of Guilin, and cities where the number and massive enormity of the highrise buildings blew our minds.

China is such a faciniating country. I promise that there is much more to come and many pictures to share, but for now that's all the energy I can muster up. Dealing with this jet lag is the worst!

More soon...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beijing in T-1

Off we fly to Beijing tomorrow! I don't think it's quite sunk in yet that I will be in China with Mike for the next 16 days, but it's starting! I'm beginning to feel those butterflies of excitement in my tummy, and it's really cool.

Bejing is a fascinating city. It is the capital of The People's Republic of China and there are about 17 million people who reside there. (WHAT??) It is a city full of history and progressive movement. I am thrilled that we are going to Tian Anmen Square where the infamous 1989 protests occurred. I remember seeing footage on the news and not quite understanding what was going on because I was only 9 years old...
Beijing means "northern capital" and has been renamed many times. Some people still call Beijing "Peking" although the Mandarin dialect (which is the National language) pronunciation is "Beijing." It is the second largest city in China after Shanghai, and is recognized as the political, educational, and cultural center of The People's Republic of China.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and we all remember how fantastic the opening ceremony was! I couldn't believe how skilled and disciplined those hundreds of performers were. It was truely amazing. If you missed it, you're crazy, but you can watch it on our video of the week.

Sidebar: I know I haven't posted a video of the week in ages, and I apologize, but I never find anything that I like. If you have videos that I should post, send them to me!!!

I could go on and on about Beijing and about all the other wonderful places we'll be visiting, but I won't. Instead I will leave you with this Chinese proverb: yi xiang qing yuan!
Literally: Enthusiastic, but unable to.
Meaning: The person wants to do it, but is unable to...

Cause really, I gotta go! Catch ya on the flip China!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All Look Same?

Mike came home from work the other day and showed me this website that tests how much people know about different Asian ethnicities and cultures. I'm not sure how much I like the name, but I have to admit that taking the quizzes to see if I could tell the difference between a Chinese person, Korean person, and Japanese person was really fun.

I figured that since we're off to China in two days, you should all know a little more about my Asian heritage and that not all Asians look the same, eat the same foods, or are part of the same culture. I'll admit that I have to do some more poking around on the site before I can honestly state whether or not I agree with their point of view or what they're writing about, but in the meantime I will have fun taking more of the quizzes they offer.

I did really well on the facial recognition quiz, probably because I know that we DON'T all look same, but I didn't fare so well with the photos of cities, maybe cause they DO all look same...hehe, just kidding.

See how well you do, here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Countdown to China!

This Friday Mike and I, along with my parents and a few of their friends, are going to China. We fly directly from Kennedy airport in NYC to Beijing, which take about 14 hours.

I can't believe that this trip is actually happening. We've been talking about it and planning it for years! The last time I was in China was in 1999. I was 19 years old. I was there with my parents and a large group of close family friends. It was amazing.

We climbed the Great Wall in Beijing, saw the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an, surfed down sand dunes and rode camels in the Gobi Desert, and enjoyed walking along the crowded metropolitan streets of Shanghai. It was the trip of a lifetime. And here we are ten years later getting ready to take another magical trip to China. I am so excited to see how Beijing has changed, and so excited to have Mike there to experience it all with me and my parents! I really can't wait.
So, I've decided that for the next three days I will post things about the places we are going in China! I figure you can learn about this fantastic country and hopefully you'll want to visit someday as well. I also plan on posting while we're there.
Here's a list of some of the places we're going:

Beijing and Xi'an;
Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge;

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paper Fashion

I always tell my cousin Camille that she has the coolest job ever. She works for the U.S. Department of State in their Art in Embassies Program. What that means is that she gets to travel around the world and install art created by American artists in public rooms in American diplomatic residences worldwide. Isn't that exciting?!

We recently went to dinner and she told me about an exhibition she is doing in Brussels. She mentioned an artist named Isabelle de Borchgrave who re-creates amazingly beautiful dresses out of paper! I was instantly intrigued. Later that night, she emailed me with the link to Isabelle's website. Her dresses are masterpieces. Simply gorgeous. And wearable! She has the ability to make her dresses look like they are made from expensive fabrics. They also move and sway like a dress made of silk or lace and organza would.

So, how excited was I when I learned that Camille is borrowing Isabelle de Borchgrave's "Delphos" dress for the Brussels exhibition! What a lovely dress. I wish I could borrow it! I'd wear it to a grand ball, or to the Oscars of course. Way to go Camille! Take lots of pictures.

Here is the Delphos's made from paper!! See more Isabelle de Borchgrave here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

KFC: Korean Fried Chicken

Have you ever heard of Korean fried chicken? Well, I hadn't either until my friend told me that the best fried chicken she ever had was at BonChon. BonChon is a chain of Korean fast food restaurants that are located in NYC and here in close-by Annandale, Virginia.

To locals around here Annandale is known as a very diverse town in Northern Virginia. I've heard it referred to as A-nan-da-le because of the amount of Hispanic people that live there, and I've also heard people call it K-Town because there are so many Korean people and businesses there. Call it what you want, but I like it. I like everything about it.

There are Korean BBQ's everywhere, pupuserias abound, and there's the BonChon!! Best fried chicken wings ever. The skin is super crispy, and I mean super crispy, and the place is just plain interesting. It's basically a bar with some tables and booths that serves Korean food and specializes in fried chicken wings...weird, I know, but great. BonChon is nothing fancy at all. There's classic rock playing which is is totally random and awesome, there are about six TV's with sports playing, and the waitresses are cute teen-aged Korean girls.

The service is terrible, and that's half of the appeal. You must know this going in. Prepare yourself for a slow paced meal. It takes them 35 minutes just to prepare each chicken wing order. You have two options with the wings: garlic and soy, or spicy. And when I say spicy, I mean SPICY.

Here's a rundown of what we ordered:
SPICY chicken wings and drumsticks (a mix of the two, medium sized)
French Fries (crinkle cut...yum)
Tofu with kimchee and fatty pork

The wings were hella spicy but really crispy and good, the kimchee dish was great with the tofu and fatty pork adding good flavor, and the fries were delicious and perfect for cooling your mouth off after scarfing down a few wings and some of kimchee dish. I've never seen Mike sweat like he did after trying his first wing. It was funny... sorry babe. You're a trooper!

Below are a few pics we snapped of the place and the food, and me texting my friend Grace (who's Korean) about the food. You should definitely try BonChon too!! Enjoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glee: A Must Watch

If you haven't yet jumped on the Glee bandwagon you are really missing out. Glee is my new favorite show and in my opinion, the best show that's on TV right now. It's so freakin fun!!
The premise is simple: high school kids in glee club. It's a glee club made up of great characters. Take Finn, the captain of the football team. He's a sweet innocent guy that everyone loves, who's caught in a love triangle with Rachel, the intense young girl who has been singing and performing forever, and Quinn the head cheerleader who comes across as a pretentious snot, but who is really just a confused teenager. It's great! My favorite character is Kurt who is as gay as a parade and proud of it. His fashion sense is impeccable and he has a face moisturizing regiment that would put most girls to shame. Kurt is such a great character because in each episode he stays true to himself, which is so hard to do when you're in high school.
I mean, come on...remember high school? It was so tough. Trying to fit in, trying to wear the right clothes, trying not to get picked on, or beat up...what a shitty time of life, but what a great time of life. Good times meant hanging out with friends, feeling like you were invincible, falling in love, having your heart broken...Well, Glee encompasses all of these feelings and memories and whenever I watch I feel like I've been transported back in time. All of those high school feelings come rushing back, and I love it.
I also love Glee because in each episode the kids perform at least five songs. They sing everything from Broadway ballads, to Beyonce. From Celine Dion love songs to Young MC's "Bust a Move." And they dance. And they're really, really good! Again I say, it's so freakin fun!! And it's showing kids that you can sing and dance and be who you are, and still be cool. It makes me happy and I guarantee it will make you happy too. Just watch.

Glee: Wednesday's at 9pm on Fox

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Big Night Out

What a thrill the other night was for Mike and I. As many of you know we are huge fans of Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist, and his amazing blog. I make sure to check it everyday for inspiration on all things fashionable.

How cool was it then when we found out that he was kicking his United States book tour off in none other than Washington D.C.!! Who woulda thunk it? Well it was true. Not only was he to visit D.C. for a meet and greet and book signing, but it was taking place at Masa 14, a new restuarant about 5 minutes away from our apartment!!

After three long hours of waiting both inside and out, we made our way up to, and sat down next to the man himself. I was acutally nervous! I mean, it wasn't like I was walking up to shake the President's hand, but to me, Scott's photographs are an important part of my life.

You see, I'm a people person. I like to see people express themselves through fashion. That may sound shallow to some of you, but you're wrong. Fashion means personality, a sense of style shows character, it shows that you have perspective. It says something about who you are as a person. I like that Scott takes pictures of real people he sees on the street. Granted, he does take some pictures of celebrities and models...but the majority of the pictures he takes are of everyday people. People like you and like me.

Anyway, meeting Scott was great. I sat next to him and he signed my book on Giovanna's page, because she's my favorite. He said she was his favorite too! We chatted for a few, posed for a picture and wished him the best. Whatta nice guy, whatta rich guy! Getting a book published that's mainly of photographs is no small feat. Kudos Scott, we love ya!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gripe of the Day: People with Enormous Umbrellas

Have you ever noticed that people get dumber when it rains? It's like all common sense just flies out the window. People start driving like idiots, walking like they may melt if a drop touches them, and the umbrella situation gets completely out of hand.

Take this morning for example. I'm walking to work as usual, and these two girls decide to stop and have a conversation in the middle of the block. They also happen to be holding ridiculously enormous umbrellas. You know, that special kind of umbrella that has those top vents that prevent those umbrella-inside-out occurences we have all experienced. Anyway, there they are gabbing away and no one can get passed them without saying "excuse me," or just pushing through.

I mean, HELLO! Move to the side ladies, take your conversation to the coffee shop, but don't stand in the middle of the sidewalk with your monstrous umbrellas and expect not to get shoved. So that's what I did. I shoved past them making sure that my tiny, almost falling apart, pink umbrella knocked into their HUGE Brookstone umbrellas and got them wet.

So far, that has been the highlight of my day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How Far is too Far?

Mike and I are shoe lovers. You all know this, but a recent article in the NY Times has me asking, how far are we willing to go for fashion?

All women know that a good pair of heels not only make you taller, but thinner, better looking, and better dressed. I have recently been pining away after an amazing pair of black nappa leather Prada platform heels. I tried them on and fell in love. My legs looked so freakin long it was ridiculous...I'm telling you, instantly I felt like Gisele Bundchen.

Well, then my cousin emails me this article and I'm like, are you kidding me? The shoes the designers put these models in on the Paris runways are downright scary. You could take a really bad spill in these and break your neck and DIE.

They're also hideously ugly. Pushing the envelope way too far if you ask me, but then again it's fashion, so how far is too far?

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Man Shops Globe

I just found out that the buyer for my absolute favorite store, Anthropologie is the focus of a documentary series called "Man Shops Globe" which premieres on the Sundance Channel tomorrow night at 10pm.

Anthropologie carries some of the best clothes you can find as well as amazing furniture, antique lamps, and the most beautiful bedding. This series follows their buyer Keith Johnson around the world as he searches for hidden treasures.

I love the idea of getting a behind the scenes look at how buyers find merchandise in stores that I frequently shop at. I will definitely be tuning in and you should too!

Below are some pictures from the show to whet your appetite. The first is Keith in India buying bangle bracelets. The second is Keith in Turkey looking at a suzani which is an embroidered blanket or throw. In the third picture Keith is in Holland in search of furniture.

Find out more about the series here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Foods

Being home this weekend was fantastic. Saturday during the day, Mike and I did a little local shopping and then for nostalgia we visited our old stomping grounds in Kew Gardens, Queens. We got pizza at a place called Paul Michael's that Mike and I used to order from all the time. This was back when Mike lived in a basment apartment called the dungeon, and I still lived at home with my parents.

Paul Michael's is a great example of a local Queens eatery that is friendly, and happens to serve really good food. The people working there are so nice and the patrons are locals from the neighborhood. Their pizza is awesome and they also have delicious Italian dishes like spaghetti with meatballs and homemade lasagna. It was so fun to go back to a place we used to frequent when we first started dating back in 2002! It brought back all sorts of funny memories, and reinforced the fact that we can't wait to get back to NYC.

On Sunday, my parents took us into Flushing which might as well be renamed mini-China, and we had an amazing lunch at Joe's Shanghai. The Xiao Long Bao, known to Western Devils as "soup dumplings," are delicious. We had pork and crab xiao long bao, regular pork dumplings, shredded pork and pickled cabbage noodle soup (my absolute favorite thing - EVER), cold spicy pickled cabbage, scallion pancakes, spring rolls, and shredded chicken with wide see-thru noodles. Everything was super good, and we were all in a food coma by the time we were finished, but it was worth EVERY BITE!
Being in NYC is great, and being home in Queens is especially great because I really miss the diversity and the great ethnic foods that are so easily accessible there. I know that we only have one more year to go before we're back in NYC and I can't wait.
Here are a few pics of the xiao long bao and me eating...yum.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Mike and I are headed to the big city tonight for the weekend, so cross your fingers and pray that there isn't horrible traffic due to "volume" or some hideous accident that backs the turnpike up for 30 miles.

I'm really excited for this weekend, because my parents have been away in California on vacation, so I haven't seen them in a while, and also because on Saturday night we're having dinner with some of Mike's friends from law school and needless to say, it's always a great hang.
I have to say that I'm lucky when it comes to my husband's friends. I really enjoy each one of them and I have become close to their wives as well. I know that they have become our friends instead of just his friends and to me, that's special.

The only gripe I have, and leave it to me to have one, is the restaurants we go to when hanging out with these friends. They always pick the places that Mike and I would NEVER in a million years go to if it was our choice. On Saturday, out of all the amazing resturants to choose from in the great city of New York, we will be dining at Del Frisco's which is a total power scene Wall Street, steakhouse. It also happens to be a chain, which annoys the shit outta me.

Why the hell are we going to a chain steakhouse in NYC? I get that we needed a bigger place to accommodate 9 of us, and that we may be a rowdy bunch, but common! There are plently of places we could have picked.

I guess I can't tear the place apart until after I've been there, but I know that if it were up to me we'd be going somewhere with a little more character and a little less of the see and be seen scene. Oh well, I guess that's what you do for friends. You take the good, you take the bad, and you dine at crap restaurants...

Look for my review of Del Frisco's soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Are Famous!

I can't name any names, but one of our good friends is a billionaire. Yea, it's pretty awesome for him, and his family, but also for us as his friends. When invited, we get to travel to their ridiculously gargantuan home in Florida to holiday with them, Mike has flown on their private jet a few times, and has sat front row at Nets games.

The other day we learned that our friend's family had recently acquired, or bought, a country club just North of Manhattan, in New City, NY. Long story short, he lets Mike and I know that they are using pictures from our wedding on their website under the "events" category. How cool is that?!

Who knows if they'll keep those pictures up as they revamp their site in the coming months, but for now we are embracing our new found fame as spokespeople of the Dellwood Country Club!

Check us out here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Art of Baking

I love to cook. Whether it's following a complicated recipe or coming up with a dish of my own, I really enjoy putting ingredients together and mixing flavor combinations to end up with something that tastes great. This is simple to me.

Unfortunately my skills are not as stellar when it comes to baking. Up until recently, I have not had the desire to bake. Precise measurements and having to wait several hours just to let something rise was not that exciting to me. It just seemed like it was easier to leave baking to the professionals.

Well, I have to admit that my perspective on baking has changed as of late. Mike has always enjoyed baking and has mastered the art of making great pie crust. He bakes a mean apple pie, and he makes it look so easy.

For Labor Day weekend we took a day trip to Saint Michaels, Maryland and bought a pound of fresh blueberries. We worked together and made a lovely blueberry pie and then amazing blueberry muffins. And guess what?! It wasn't that complicated, it was just as fulfilling as cooking, and I enjoyed it.

Who would'a thunk it? Baking aint so bad! See for yourself.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Washington 16 - USC 13

Oh, the sweet sweetness.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Endorse: Veritas Wine Bar

Last night Mike and I had another great dinner at Bistro Du Coin. We ate early at around 7pm, so afterwards decided to go have some wine at Veritas, a cozy wine bar right on Florida Avenue which is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Bistro Du Coin. It was a cool night, so we chose to sit outside and enjoy the nice breeze. It felt lovely!

The Veritas wine list is extensive but not daunting like some wine lists are. There are many great reds and whites to choose from. You can have wine by the glass or of course, by the bottle. They also have a great variety of red, white, and dessert wine flights.

We had wine by the glass. Mike started off with the Hullabaloo Zinfandel from Napa Valley, CA which was very tasty. I had the Matchbook "Tinto Rey" from Dunnigan Hills, CA which was a blend of syrah, tempranillo, malbec, petit verdot, and graciano. It was great. Smooth, a little spicy, with a nice finish.

The couple sitting next to us got some munchies which looked good, but we were stuffed from dinner, so didn't order any food. The food on their menu sounds great, so we will definitely go back to have drinks and bites next time. They offer a nice selection of cheeses, charcuterie, dips, and chocolate. Yummy.

The servers were very attentive and down to earth, which we both appreciated. The seating inside was nice as well. Dark with some light music and a nice hum from people chatting. I liked the crowd too. It was a good mix of people. No rowdy annoying GW grads or anything like that.

I can say with certainty that we will return to Veritas again soon for some tasty wine and a good time. You should try it too! Check it out for yourself here.