Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday at Prospect Park

All plans for a Sunday at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens were thwarted by unexpectedly large crowds. No sakura is worth lining up for hours so we wandered into Prospect Park across the street. While cherry blossom trees there were set few and far between, there were enough spring blooms to keep me happy:  

Scenes from my Saturday

After 24 hours of feeling terribly under the weather, I was so glad to get out of the house on what can only be described as a gloooriously warm Saturday.

The day started off with lunch at Smorgasburg at Williamsburg with visitors, P and A from Toronto:
I think Dough makes the best doughnuts in NYC and my heart skips a beat when I find their wares anywhere other than at their Bed Stuy store. My favourite is the toasted coconut:
With dessert out of the way, I honed in on Scharf and Zoyer, a jewish sandwich stall - which I was most intrigued by after reading them in Serious Eat's new series: Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop-Up:
 The Ajoulk:
 And the Kugel Double Down - both as tasty as they looked:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On A Wing

Everything that happened in Boston this week has been so surreal - a feeling much amplified by long meetings at work where I had zero access to the news or social media for hours. I know plenty of runners who pour their heart and soul into a race, and I have friends who bleed Boston pride - when the enormity of the situation finally hit, there was no way to stop the tears from flowing. A week later and I suppose it is back to normal for most of us. The city will recover, runners will lace up again and but I hope most importantly, we will always remember Patten Oswalt's words, that the good will forever outnumber the evil. There is no greater message of hope than that.


When I finally peeled my eyes away from the news sometime mid-week, I discovered a place that served the best spaghetti-with-tomato-sauce I have ever had. I don't eat uptown often enough even though I will go anywhere for food. So I had a dinner date with a girlfriend on Wednesday at Amali located a hop, skip and a jump away from Bloomingdales on the Upper East Side. While every single dish we had was worth re-ordering (the broccoli and eggplant appetisers = insane), it was the pasta that blew me away - I couldn't wait to finish one mouthful of the spaghetti before wanting to shovel another in. 

The dish uses San Marzano tomatoes which are given the Amali-treatment by being cured overnight with salt and sugar, then steeped in olive oil, herbs, lemon and orange zest. As the NYT aptly puts it: "the flavors multiple. It is sauce as liquer". Yup, I got drunk on spaghetti. Well worth maxing out my MFP count for the week day. 

Amali's dining room (via)
On Friday, after being glued to the news on the Boston manhunt, S and I went for a late meal at Comodo - a place I've been waiting to visit since seeing my friend, Felicia's photos here. The kale and quinoa salad you see on Felicia's blog was fantastic - alas not much else. With so many other options in the city, I am hesitant to make return visits to a restaurant for a dish I can replicate at home! One redeeming quality though - the staff disco-ed the lights and turned the volume up on "Celebration" whenever they brought out a lit birthday dessert for any birthday babies in the house. 

We weren't keen on ending date night on a mediocre note, so walked around the corner to Pegu Club. A cocktail lounge I hadn't been to since it first opened, it had a nice mix of being busy but not too crowded. Solid gin cocktails there were the perfect pick-me-uppers we sorely needed.

My date night outfit involved a jaunt through old favourites:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

9 on the 9th

S and I celebrate nine years together today.

Our first date was for Vietnamese, after over a year of being friends.

Our second date, also our first concert, was for Sean Paul.

At the end of our third date, we became each other's one and only. It was Good Friday. Or as I like to call it, a Very Good Friday.

Since then, we've propped each other through the university exams, bar exams and the CFA, moved thousands of miles across Australia then a million more halfway around the world, shared laughter and tears - and, of course, gone on a gazillion more dates

Today we celebrate our "golden" anniversary. Next year on our tenth, we'll be newlyweds. 
I can't imagine being any happier and more in love then I am now. 

Though I do suggest asking me again in December.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NYC Social - April

Spring is in the air in New York City.  The city seems so much more alive now that the harsh winter is behind us. Puffer coats have all but been put away, trees have begun to flower and my favourite sign of the season - al fresco dining is an option again! The warmer temperatures mean April is full of outdoor fun. Here's what is taking place in NYC this month: 

1. Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Pardon me, DC folks but there is no need to trek to the Nation's capital for cherry blossoms. The BBG once again looks forward to full blooms this month. Since they blossom for such a short time, keep up to date with this map which is updated every weekday. If you can, time your visit with Sakura Matsuri, which falls on the weekend of the 27th and 28th. 

2. The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Gardens: until April 22

If Orchids are more your thing, then trek up to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx for the annual Orchid Show. Stroll through the lush gardens (worth a trip up there for this alone) to the  Observatory where there will be a showcase of orchids in a myriad of colours and varieties. Remember when it housed waterlilies last Autumn? Similarly, there will be evening concerts, potting classes, lectures and guided tours.