I left New York early on Thursday morning for what was supposed to be a 10 hour train ride up through Upstate New York to Montreal, Quebec, but we were stopped at customs for nearly 2 hours, so I arrived in the Montreal nearly 2 hours late. Fred came to pick me up and whisked me off to his house in the country, about an hour and 15 minutes outside of the city.
Friday, we spent some time out by the lake next to the house, just enjoying the weather. It is quite nice to get out of the city for a little bit. As much as I love NYC, I thought it was really cool to see a real beaver dam and some happy, lazy cows grazing in the countryside. Friday night, we met up with Mark, another friend from Japan who is now living in downtown Montreal. We went to an excellent Vietnamese restaurant for dinner where you can bring your own wine and not have to pay a corkage fee – a fantastic idea we need to implement in restaurants south of the border. Then we walked around a bit, looking for places to get a drink, and we ended up at this rooftop terrace of a bar. The terrace itself was pretty cool, but the sangria we ordered with frighteningly sweet and the crowd was like, tragic or something. Lots of short, short men and some high school kids mixed in. A hilarious parade of oompa-loompas and jailbait. Fun!
This morning, we went to get some brunch and then headed to a suburban shopping mall, more to enjoy the free air-conditioning than anything else. Shopping malls, that cultural nexus that unites us all across this vast continent, from North to South, East to West!
I will upload some picts later when I get a chance. Stay tuned!
Tonight, I went to a Harvardwood cocktail mixer at a bar/lounge/restaurant just south of SoHo called Sugar. Harvardwood is an alumni association for Harvard graduates working in and interested in the media and entertainment industries. It was nice to meet some new people and to learn a little bit more about the realities of breaking into media and entertainment. I also ran into an old friend, Darya, at the cocktail mixer. We were in the same transfer student orientation at Harvard.
Tomorrow morning, I am off to Montreal for a few days. Back to NYC on Monday night.
Last night I met up with my friend Chie from Japan for some drinks and dancing. It was definitely cool to explore some more of New York’s nightlife and to meet some new people. I was told by a New Yorker that I “seem like I belong here,” and I am starting to feel the same. I am really starting to get into the idea of settling in New York on a longterm basis. Oh yeah, total random but, I ran into another former Harvardian and ex-Pforzheimer House resident, Jane Kim last night as well. She is dating a friend of a friend of Chie’s. Small world, ne?! Anyway, here are some pictures from the festivities last night:
Chie and L.S. waiting for the subway heading downtown
Jordan and Ky
Chie, L.S., Matt and Ky
Ky, L.S. and Chie
My review of Washoku: Recipies From The Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh has just been published online at JapanVisitor.com. Check it out here.
I went to a Malaysian restaurant called Fatty Crab with Michelle, an old family friend from California tonight. The restaurant is located in a New York neighborhood called the Meatpacking District, which I guess was once really where they slaughtered and packaged meat, but it is now full of upscale restaurants and shops full of hipsters.
The restaurant was very small and cozy with exposed brick walls and vintage furnishings and featured some very interesting, spicy, fishy dishes. I have only had Malaysian food about 2 or 3 times before, so I am still expanding my horizons. We ordered the signature dish, the Chili Crab (dungeoness crab, chili sauce, white toast $28) as well as the Skate Panggang (grilled on a banana leaf, sambal udang kering $12) and the Lo Si Fun (short rice noodles, Chinese sausage, shiitake $11).
The Chili Crab was super messy but super fun as well. The crab came in the shell in a bowl full of a sweet and spicy red sauce that came with a few slices of toasted white bread. It was quite an effort to get at the meager amounts of meat inside the crab shell, but well worth the mess and the inconvenience. The skate was cooked perfectly tender and spicy yet fragrant with kaffir lime leaves and creamy with coconut milk. The Lo Si Fun noodles demonstrate the strong Chinese influence in Malaysian cuisine. The noodles themselves resembled Japanese udon noodle, fat with a bit of al dente texture. The sauce was a dark, sexy, salty, fishy concoction with a nice textural and flavor contrast of shiitake mushroom and Chinese pork sausage pieces floating around. We washed it all down with some cold beers. I stuck with my old favorite from Thailand, a Singha.
I’m sure the kind of food served at Fatty Crab would cost a fraction of the price at a street market in Malaysia, but the flavors were very inspiring and the cozy ambience definitely make the place worth checking out. I’m going to have to add some Malaysian dishes to my own personal cooking repertoire now!
I went to my friend Sophia’s birthday/going-away-to-San Francisco party at the Chelsea Piers Bowling Alley last night. Good fun. It was disco bowling! With fancy lights and music and everything.
Both me and my sister have collected stuffed animals since childhood. I just wanted to share some pictures of our collection and to give you all a glimpse into what our childhood bedrooms at our parents’ house looks like.