it’s only noon and i’ve already had a crazy friday. i woke up at seven a.m. on day two of a juice cleanse to meet my friends at saved to get tattoos.
so there i am, hungry, at 8 a.m. at a tattoo parlor with one of the best tattoo artists around, who is impossible to book an appointment with because he is always traveling. and what do i do? i wimp out. but no regrets (actually, i think there would be more regret if i inked on something permanent without pretty careful consideration). but yeah, i’m giving it some consideration now and i highly recommend if you’re in the market to book an appointment at saved.
3 hope st.
every thursday my sister and i get together for our weekly worship of lost. beforehand she either makes me dinner or we hit up some asian spot. last week we thought it would be a good idea to try a seafood buffet in koreatown. turns out it was not so good of an idea.
i guess in theory buffets are good. they’re certainly exciting the first time you go up with your plate and this whole smorgasboard of things to choose from. but i suppose inevitably all buffets end up leaving you feeling kind of ick. meanwhile i’m reading a book called the world peace diet (please don’t make fun of me), and the whole scene was just no good.
6 east 32nd street
this past weekend i surprised my boyfriend with a trip to the catskills. i told him to pick me at work at 3pm on friday and handed him an envelope with our secret destination. i highly recommend this little trick for either girl or boy because the recipient then has to be nice to you for the entire weekend!
we got into town around 6pm and headed directly over to the bear cafe. i was convinced that everything would shut down early in this mid-winter low season leaving us dinnerless. but of course, the manhannites kept rolling in at the usual later hours having just gotten into town. the bear is definitely the place to eat.
the town of woodstock is pretty sleepy but there are enough highlights to keep one entertained for the weekend. i loved the sunfrost farms market where i bought local yogurt and all of the ingredients to make an organic potato leek soup. the old hippie stores around there are pretty much just relics and totally unacceptable for shopping with the exception of chez grandmere, a french inspired chocolate and gift shop. i ended up with jasmine perfume powder and giant peanut butter cups!
despite it being january and my mom telling me to be careful hiking because my cell phone would stop working and i would freeze in the snow and a man with a knife might come up behind me (oh, mom) my boyfriend and i walked the overlook hike which started at the karma triyana dharmachakra tibetan monastery , which gives tours on sunday afternoons. we walked two miles uphill to a spectacular view of the hudson river and valley. there were no men with knives but we did come across the ruins of a hotel that burned down, where i think they filmed that awful movie freedomland with julianne moore and samuel l. jackson. that was creepy.
i recommend the inn on the millstream, room 11 – the only room with a two person spa tub. it’s quaint but comfortable and clean. and if you’re down for a good laugh, i also recommend stopping in sloatsburg on the way back on the border of new york and new jersey to go to mt. fuji. words cannot express the monstrosity that is this hibachi restaurant…
my lil sis moved to the city recently to become an assistant buyer at mega-retailer bloomingdales (hey, sweet discount), and she’s starting to see that far from the party capital she thought this would be, she’s actually just an indentured servant at her cubicle. i’ve actually lost track of where i was going with this and my restaurant experience saturday night…
oh yes! so in my experience after living here for about a year or so i started to get into the rythym of things. i see my friends less than i did in my rolling college days and spend almost zero time at the apartment that sucks up most of my paycheck, but i’ve discovered one of the main activites here that i didn’t have in providence – becoming a foodie.
where else can you go into an unmarked door on some corner and slip into a japanese sake and tapas bar to eat miso grilled oysters? zenkichi is a funhouse-style maze of private bamboo curtain booths and mirrors, where waitresses come to your booth only if called on the little buzzer on the table.
(ok, and i promise next time i’ll venture out of my neighborhood.)
77 north 6th street
having brunch with my lovely friend diana yesterday, i remembered again that i love roebling tea room. mum was playing softly in the background while i snacked on smoked salmon served with toasted pumpernickel, cream fraiche and beet relish. they serve dozens of different teas and it’s super comfortable.
143 roebling at metropolitan ave.
last night on my way in to diner i stopped in bittersweets to pick up my sister’s christmas present (let’s hope she doesn’t read this till after!). i originally came across the sweet little engraved 14k gold rings at catbird and snatched up two for myself. i had never been to robin’s own shop and studio so was excited to stop by.
what i saw was so nice i ended up staying and exploring for half an hour. decorated all herself with second hand furniture and hand-drawn walls, the space was large and luxurious, but in a brooklyn way. i ended up falling in love with the vampire rings, of course.
sushi is hands down my favorite food. i eat it like four times a week from dean and deluca, knowing that the supermarket version is a total bastardation of the food. but really, sometimes i just need it to tie me over.
in new york i like tomoe. sapporo east has good normal sushi, and nobu has excellent traditional sushi. recently i tried morimoto and blue ribbon, which i found both a little over-rated. tonight i am trying jewel bako which i have heard good things about.
my fail safe is bozu (yes, it’s in brooklyn). i just cannot get enough of the bombs! little circular sushis that for whatever reason the shape is so exciting to me. the drinks are so yummy too with a shiso leaf mojito and a rich coconut caipirinha. way too easy to drink. the details are very well taken care of. appetizers like the pork betty have just enough fat and cilantro. the wasabi comes pre-mixed into the soy sauce in little bamboo containters.
when the place first opened it was pretty quiet but last saturday night i had to wait for a seat at the bar so get goin!
296 grand street
i rarely like to go to movies. my thinking is that time is so precious and i’d rather be spending it chit-chatting than mutually staring at a screen. so when i do go to a movie, i typically like to go alone and i wait till there is something i really want to see.
on these occasions, i prefer to go to sunshine cinema on houston street. there’s a quietness there unlike the more gaudy movie house chains. and when scarlett johansson sat in front of me during an inconvenient truth that pretty much sealed the deal.
143 east houston street
lower east side
i’m going to have to do a post soon on late night eat spots but for now i’ll just introduce you to supercore. i went there last night again around midnight with a couple of friends for some japanese comfort food. nothing like a hot chocolate and curry rice to put you to sleep after a long day at the office. electronica music, dim lighting, a bar and a garden in the summer round it out.
305 bedford avenue
after a sake-filled evening, being a bit tipsy and a lot bold, i decided to cut my own bangs. like the old days when i used to take hair matters into my own hands (somehow when i was 19 it always looked okay…) but this time the outcome was just a blocky chunk hanging down my forehead.
not wanting to spend $80 on my usual gal i decided to try commune which the lovely amber recommended to me. i loved it. haircuts are very reasonable at $40 and you know the all japanese staff is sweet as ever. plus, the decor is soothing and natural and wood and white, which is a big bonus for me. oh yeah, and they have a boutique with great jewelry too.
191 grand street
four months ago i booked a ticket to st. martin knowing only vaguely that it is an island somewhere in the caribbean and that i was going with the whole and extended family of my boyfriend. the lovely week of vacation has now come and gone and if any of you are planning a trip to the islands anytime soon, heed my recommendations and warnings.
first off, definitely stay on the french side, st. martin, rather than the dutch side, st. maarten. the french side is laid back with croissants (my new obsession!), villas, and secluded beaches – my favorite being baie rouge. topless sunbathing is the norm and after twenty -five years of hiding ’em, they definitely needed it. the dutch side is all casinos and cruise ships, chubby tourists and bad shopping. skip the zoo which was actually terrifying owing to the fact that half the animals are not in cages and that the ostrich is horny and not shy. the butterfly farm, however, is a beautiful little sanctuary worth sitting on the benches and enjoying for a couple of hours.
the best food is supposedly in grand case but my preference was for the lolos, the road-side shacks where locals go to get there barbecued chicken and fish with rice and beans, salad and plantains. throw it all back with a carib, the local beer, and a happy woman do make (or something like that).
day trips to st. barth and anguilla are easy to make and so fun. i love riding on the back of a scooter and made a day of it on st. barth, the posh but approachable island a ferry’s ride away. anguilla is a short ferry ride away also and quiet and beautiful. i have literally never seen a more beautiful beach than shoal bay in the western part of the island.
i was never into that “oh, bowling is cool again” hipster attitude that included rollerskatingand kickball and other child-like attitudes all played with an ironic enthusiasm that i just couldn’t understand….
that said, give me a bowling alley in my neighborhood with a laid-back bar and i don’t know, maybe i’ll give it a go. happy hour anyone?
200 north 14th street
if there’s a special glow to my face today, it’s because i had an incredible night last night. and it’s not what you’re thinking.
my latest obsession has been korean spas and i told you a while back about king sauna but that is now passe in my book since checking out inspa world last night. news of the 60,000 square foot mega-spa reached my ears through the grape vine. my friend overheard her korean coworkers in a design studio in tribeca saying this was the spot.
korean spas are based around saunas and inspa boasts led infrared light rooms, a himalayan salt sauna, a gold room and more. there are baths and heated outdoor pools with jets too. it’s no mandarin oriental, but that’s kind of the point. inspa is well-kept and clean; somewhere you can go and hang out all day just chillin, taking a bath and sauna, eating, watching tv. there’s even a sleeping room with just straw mats on the floor.
admission is $30 which includes a clean t-shirt and shorts, towels, a toothbrush, and you can spend as long as you like there. treatments such as massage, body scrubs, manicures, and facials are all available at an additional cost.
11-11 131 Street
College Point, NY
a lovely friend just came by and took me to lunch at one of my local faves, rice. she was sweet enough to bring me a little gift of a tiny anime-like cactus plant and some christopher norman chocolates. not until i looked at the card did i see that it was from a store i used to frequent when i worked in that area, utowa.
utowa is a concept store designed by hiroshi uemura, son of shu uemura. a floral, fashion, beauty, and music store, there is no fixed furniture. as the seasons change so does the collection of items. for example this season the theme is aquatic flower. the color is moxie-strength-loyalty-gold dust-pale sea-desert night-moody blue.
the impact of the interior design is one of serenity, to match the simplicity and beauty of the products.
17 west 18th street
i love me some jewelry, and erie basin in red hook has a great collection of vintage and comtemporary finds.
388 van brunt street
red hook, brooklyn
under the williamsburg bridge in brooklyn, on a sparsely populated section of broadway, are two little gems of restaurants – marlow and sons and diner. both restaurants are owned by mark firth and andrew tarlow, who also own nearby bonita.
marlow and sons has a storefront that sells specialty cheeses and honey, and local coffee amongst other treats. the back room yields wooden bench tables for diners.
at next door’s converted diner, on a warm night you can sit outside at somewhat rickety but charming tables. colder nights beg you to go inside and warm up in a cozy interior. the ambiance of both places feels so natural and well-designed without being at all designy. and i’ve never been disappointed by the food. both restaurants have just a few regular dishes and rely heavily on changing nightly specials such as grilled sesame bread crostini with fresh ricotta and nettle pesto, or braised rabbit leg loin. yum.
i know i said freeman’s was my favorite restaurant before, but i think i lied. the brooklyn girl in me says these two.
marlow and sons, and diner