Sunday, January 6, 2013

Action-packed weekend!

I wish I had some pictures for this post, but I will eventually learn! I had another fantastic weekend in New York. Friday night was spent with my friend and her baby, out at Community (near Columbia). I ordered the rice bowl -- the peanut tahini sauce was really great. My friend ordered a Kale salad that was also really good -- but I love kale!

Saturday I had brunch at this place called MUD in the east village. It was an accidental find, since the place we wanted to go had a really long line. I got huevos rancheros, a cup of MUD, and OJ for $15, and I didn't even have to ask for hot sauce -- they automatically brought it out! (A place after my own heart.)

Saturday night I had some vegan vietnamese food at Lan Cafe. It was very good -- get the clear noodles if you go! Then we had some drinks at Tile in the East Village.

Sunday night, I made my first trip to the IFC to see Holy Motors -- such a weird movie! Then I had more vietnamese food and finished the night off with a sour at Blind Tiger Ale House. Any place that has a sour on tap is an automatic favorite of mine!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Catching up: Coffee Houses...

Being an academic, I have grand plans to frequent the many coffee houses in NYC.  So far I have been to:

  • Think Coffee (Mercer St) -- so crowded, so loud, so hot

  • Think Coffee (14th St) -- pretty nice, but also very dark.  also had weird run-ins with people waiting to use the rest room.

  • Joe's the Art of Coffee (near Columbia) -- excellent pour-over coffee, but too much traffic to really work here.  lots of big windows!

  • Yippie Museum and Cafe (Bleecker St) -- i can't believe there is such a quiet place to work in NYC.  i love everything about this place -- that is has fresh juices on the menu, a green smoothie, vegan baked goods, cartoons of evil people on the wall (such as bernie maddoff) and giant pot mural on the wall

  • Ost Cafe (East Village) -- great coffee, great cookies, great everything (except the limit on wifi -- one hour per purchase)

  • Birch Cafe (Chelsea) -- nice coffee shop, but limited windows.  also a limit on wifi -- one hour per purchase

It's difficult to say if I will be going back to any of these coffee houses.  I think I am in need of a new venue to work.  I really did like Ost Cafe, but it is pretty far away from where I live, so it takes a while for me to get there. I'm open to more suggestions that any of my readers might have!  I definitely will not be working at a Starbucks, a.k.a. the public restrooms of New York.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rush tickets for students!

Given that I don't have an unlimited budget in New York, I'm always looking for good deals for students.  One of the great things about New York is that there are always amazing broadway shows with great actors/actresses and thankfullly, many of them offer student and rush tickets.  In addition, a number of Off-Broadway shows also offer student and rush tickets.  I've seen three broadway shows in New York in the past 2 years: Spiderman, Anything Goes, and Jersey Boys.  Anything Goes was by far my favorite.  Spiderman and Jersey Boys was just meh.  I am hoping to see The Book of Mormon, Rock of Ages, Once, The Heiress and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  The Heiress has Jessica Chastain, David Strathairn and Matthew Crawley (oh yes!).  A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has Scarlett Johansson.  Among the off-broadway shows, I am interested in Tribes and Forbidden Broadway.  I wonder if these student and rush tickets are worth it -- If the seats are so far back that it is just worth it to pay full price for a ticket to sit closer.  I got tickets to Anything Goes from TKTS and I wished the tickets were closer, but perhaps I will experiment with showing up as soon as the box office opens to see what kind of tickets I can get.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Dear Readers!

I thought I should post about some goings-on that I am excited about.  Apparently the IFC Center in the  West Village is playing four of the best documentaries of the year:

Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry
The Waiting Room
How to Survive A Plague

Check the schedule here.

Seems like they are playing these movies through January 7 at least, but I suspect they will keep showing them through January 10, since movie theaters tend to change their schedules on Fridays.  I hope to make it to the theater for the latter three movies, but we will see if I can fit it in my schedule!  I have a job too!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Catching Up: Museums...

What better time to catch up on museum viewing than the holidays?  Too bad everyone else in NYC has the same genius idea.  I recently went to the Met and the MoMA with some friends and I thought I would write about my trips.

Metropolitan Museum of Art:  I went to the Met to see the Andy Warhol special exhibit.  (I love Andy Warhol's genius!)  I have to say I was kind of disappointed with this exhibit, because all in all there wasn't that much Andy Warhol.  It was Andy Warhol mixed in with a bunch of stuff from other people and you could always tell without looking at the description, which was Warhol and which was not.  I also feel like the Met doesn't really know how to present and explain modern art -- perhaps they should just leave it to the MoMA.  At the end of the exhibit, they had some. I also visited the rest of the modern art exhibit section at the Met, a small special exhibit on Klee (the later years), and a special exhibit on Matisse.

MoMA:  I prefer the MoMA to the Met actually, because I find the MoMA much more manageable to navigate.  The Met can be overwhelming at times.  I enjoyed this visit to the MoMA, in part because I went with my friends Priya and Deepak, however it was really crowded since we went on Sunday Dec 23rd.  As a result, I wasn't able to see a lot of the special exhibits since the lines were so long.  For example, I didn't see The Scream by Edvard Munch, or any of the other paintings on this floor (including Frida Kahlo), since the line for the The Scream was blocking entrance to the floor.  In any case, I had fun looking at more Warhol, Jasper Johns, Rauschenberg, and the photography section.  They also had a neat exhibit called shadow puppets -- you are never too old for shadow puppets!  I need to go back to see The Scream and other paintings!  I will also visit the MoMA PS1 in Queens and eat a SriPraPhai!

Visiting the museums is a good excuse to pick up cool and unusual postcards.  I have a friend in Berkeley who likes to My next museum trip will be the Guggenheim for the Picasso black and white exhibit.  Come visit soon Elizabeth!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Catching up: Nightlife

Making a list of the nightlife I have experienced in NYC.  Hope I am not missing anything!
  • Peculier Pub (Bleecker St)
  • Blind Tiger (Bleecker St)
  • Death and Co. (East Village)
  • Shoolbred's (East Village)
  • Bourgeois Pig (East Village)
  • Blarney Cove (East Village)
  • Decibel Sake Bar (East Village)
  • The Living Room (Lower East Side)
  • Amsterdam Tavern (UWS)
  • Cleopatra's Needle (UWS)
  • Hi-Life (UWS)
  • Pourhouse (UWS)
  • Bier International (Harlem)
  • Rudy's (Hell's Kitchen)
  • Three Monkeys (Midtown)
I really enjoyed Death & Co. and the Bourgeois Pig, what can I say, I love speakeasies and all their champagne cocktails!  Not a fan of midtown and everything in it, so I didn't like midtown much.  I almost got into a fistfight with a woman at Cleopatra's Needle, so perhaps I should not go back there and show my face.  I'm kind of over Bleecker St. -- I'm too old to be hanging out on Bleecker St.  I know it doesn't look like it my dear readers, but it is definitely true!  The Living Room was really fun -- there was a singer by the name of Kiddo and I got her CD upon leaving.  I should check out more live music venues in the city!  In summary, I will visit these places again:
  • Death and Co. (East Village)
  • Shoolbred's (East Village)
  • Bourgeois Pig (East Village)
  • The Living Room (Lower East Side)
  • Amsterdam Tavern (UWS)
  • Hi-Life (UWS)
  • Bier International (Harlem)
The beer selection at Bier International was amazing and I especially enjoyed the sampler flight.  I hope to visit Jimmy's 43 for beer flights!  (see a theme?  East Village + beer flights).

Friday, December 28, 2012

Vegetarian Restaurants in NYC

Being mostly vegetarian and having a lot of vegetarian friends, I have been to a lot of vegetarian restaurants, but not nearly as many as I would like.  Here's where I have been:

  • Cafe Blossom (UWS)
  • Cafe Blossom (Carmine St)
  • Candle Cafe West
  • Quantum Leap 
  • Gobo
  • Red Bamboo
  • Hangawi 
  • Pongal
  • Tiffin Wallah
  • Saravana Bhavan

The three latter ones are vegetarian Indian Places in Curry Hill (Murray Hill), but Saravana Bhavan also has a location on the upper west side.  The food at these indian places is usually quite good, but the service is usually lacking.  Why is the service inversely proportional to the food at an Indian restaurant?  The food at Saravana Bhavan might be a little bit too spicy for me, so therefore I am labelling Tiffin Wallah as my favorite!  I have eaten most frequently at Pongal, but I have had both good and bad experiences here.  Sometimes their dosas are amazingly crispy, sometimes they are soggy, but usually the food is pretty good.  

Hangawi is quite pricey, but I enjoyed it, so I will probably go back once more.  (Only once more, because I am not sure my wallet can handle more than once.)  The Blossom restaurants are good, as well as Candle Cafe, but not amazing.  I also enjoyed Gobo quite a bit; more so than Blossom and Candle.  These will definitely warrant future trips.  I think I wrote previously about how I was disappointed with Quantum Leap and will not be going back.  I probably won't go back to Red Bamboo either.  It was just okay in my mind -- my dish was less than stellar (a stir fry dish with seitan), though my friends dish was really quite good.  She got an eggplant parmesan sandwich with vegan cheese, so if you go there, order that!  

Here is where I am itching to go!
  • Dirt Candy
  • Angelica's Kitchen
  • Lan Cafe
  • Hummus Place
  • Sacred Chow
I am most looking forward to eating at Dirt Candy.  I have reservations there on Jan 22, which I made in early December!  Can you believe it!  It better be amazing with all this anticipation!

Let me know if I am missing any of your favorites!