Friday, September 30, 2011

Snow Leopards, Red Pandas, and Kimchi! Oh, my!

We went to the Central Park Zoo.

We also ate at Mill Korean Restaurant, which is across the street from our apartment.
Devin got the Kalbi Tang, a beef broth soup with short ribs and noodles.

The banchan here was the best I've had...mushrooms and jalapeƱos sauteed with garlic, bean sprouts and sesame oil, shredded cabbage with red chilis, and a super spicy kimchi. They gave us seconds of all of these and tossed in a fifth kind, chunks of silky marinated tofu.

I got Yook Gae Jang, a seafood soup with udon noodles, clams, shrimp, squid, scallops, vegetables, and tofu. It came to the table still boiling.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bread Feeds the Body, Flowers Feed the Soul

I allow myself $10 a week to spend on flowers. Plus, September is dahlia season, and they are irresistible.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


We ate at Excellent Dumpling House on Lafayette. Definitely the best Cantonese food we've had so far.

Chive and scallion pancakes, which were Devin's favorite.

Steamed spinach dumplings.

Pork dumplings and seafood soup dumplings. Lesson: dumplings are not a photogenic food. But so yummy! Also, this restaurant's red chile paste was nice and spicy, which gives them bonus points. I guess this means that what I'm really in the mood for is Szechuan food.

Afterwards, I bought some fruit from a little stand.
Exterior of a dragon fruit.


How to eat it: scoop out contents with a spoon. Taste: sour, tart, surprisingly refreshing. Texture: juicy, soft, pliable, yet a little crisp.

Also, some fragrant lychees.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Barbeque in Harlem

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que! Directions: Head north through Harlem, you'll know you're there once you pass beneath a giant bridge made out of arches and metal.

Cranes filling the empty sky with bricks.

Weeds! I've really missed scraggly vegetation sprouting from cement, so this was a fun find.

Here we are! Four different sauces, which almost guarantees a good restaurant experience. I am all about the sauce.

Devin makes a mean pitcher of lemonade, and I quote: "This is almost as good as mine!"--Devin. And it was!

We ordered the "Sweetheart Deal for Two," which is made up of a full rack of ribs, plus four sides of our choosing. Devin decided on mac & cheese and fries, and I picked coleslaw and collard greens.

For me, soul food is all about the sides. I'd be perfectly content with a meal made up simply of these add-ons, and a hallmark of a good place is careful attention to the extras. Dinosaur did not disappoint! The mac & cheese was flavorful and creamy, the noodles were cooked al dente, and the sauce had a hint of meaty richness to it...a bit of gravy, perhaps? The stewed collard greens were tender, succulent, highly seasoned, and delicious.

But I'm not complaining about the ribs, either!

This humble-looking coleslaw was the unexpected show stealer. I ordered it after our waitress informed us that the whipped sweet potatoes were MIA, but I was glad to end up with this. The slaw was spicy and tart, with vegetables julienned thick and lightly dressed with a hint of creaminess. None of that shredded watery sweet stuff of roadside diners.

Dessert! Shortcake with a compote of black-, blue-, and strawberries and fluffy whipped cream. Awesome.

Sunset over the Hudson.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Bit of the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Enormous, easy to get entangled in, slightly exhausting. And we've barely scraped the surface--today we just took in the second floor, which varies widely in medium, time period, and culture. Luckily this museum is free with my student ID, so we'll be back! And in more comfortable shoes. It will be a cosy place to explore when the air gets chillier, and that frozen stuff--What do you Northeasterners call it? Snow?--begins to blanket the city.


Ink and persimmons? Yes please.

Oh hello, Rembrandt. Looking a little paunchy.

Dutch still lives make me so happy! Obsessive attention to detail, food, flowers, and composition is right up my alley.

This takes me back to the Mauritshuis in Den Haag, which is possibly my favorite museum ever.

And a Vermeer!

My new "profile picture."

Detail of a gown in the Medieval gallery.

This dude and I are bringin' Napoleonic poses back.

Creepy young child in red with ominous cats intent on the demise of his magpie, perhaps symbolic of his early death? Real sinister, 18th century.

El Greco is refreshing after all the realism. He's also Devin's favorite.

Coins beneath the surface of the indoor fountain.

Instead of tickets, the Met hands out these cool buttons that vary in color according to the day.

See you soon!