I took a walk over to Chelsea Market today for a look around. The official Chelsea Market website describes the space as “a one-stop, NYC culinary food shop, a gourmet lover’s wholesale-retail wonder world, and an energetic, industrial-chic hotspot, all meshed into an entire city block of space in the heart of West Chelsea.” In other words, it’s a wet dream for a foodie like me.
At the Thai restaurant-cum-import food market inside Chelsea market, I picked up a bottle of my favorite hot sauce, Huy Fong’s Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce, an all-natural, hot chili and garlic sauce with a Thai name, made by a Vietnamese/Chinese immigrant-owned company in California, and a holder of cult status in my culinary canon since the late 90’s (my late teens). Me and my friends in Arizona have given this sauce the nickname, “cock sauce,” because of the rooster on the label. Huy Fong’s cock sauce has many imitators, but none replace the original’s all-natural, pure ingredients and versatility. Cock sauce has the perfect amount of heat and spice from ripe, red jalapeño peppers and garlic balanced with a bit of sour and sweet notes. Put some cock sauce on your hotdogs, hamburgers, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Mexican, etc.. Cock sauce to go with any ethnicity of cuisine. Cock sauces for the masses! Cock sauce for all. Long live cock sauce! Vive la “cock sauce”!
I got in late last night on the train. The Amtrak train was 2 hours late both ways – going up to Montréal and coming back to NYC. I really support the idea of passenger rail travel, both for environmental reasons and just for the retro glamour and romance of it all, but Amtrak has a lot of room for improvement. Not only was the train late, but the café car ran out of food less than half-way into the trip. Not like there was much selection in the first place, just some sandwiches, burgers and hotdogs, reheated in a microwave. I really miss Japanese trains for their puntuality, customer service, and selection of good food – such as special, regional bento boxes known as “Ekiben” (駅弁).
Anyway, I was starving by the time I got home at 9:30 pm. So I dropped off my bags and went out again to pick up some takeout Pad Thai at Royal Siam, a Thai restaurant just around the corner from the apartment, and a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon (a very light, cheap American lager, but perfect with spicy food) at the corner bodega. I pigged out at home and I was quickly asleep.
Above and below: Two views from the train from NYC to Montréal.
Above: Hot air baloon festival, view from the train, just after passing into Canada.
Below: The lake by Fred’s house. Very Dawson’s Creek!
Above and Below: A photo-essay about modesty.
Above: close-up of the lake
A Fred and LS original recipe. We made this cold noodle salad for lunch on Friday and enjoyed it al fresco on the terrace.
cooked udon noodles, rinsed in cold water
julienned carrots and cucumber and turkey cold cuts
chunks of avocado
wedges of tomato
chopped green onion
Arrange the vegetables on top of the noodles in a bowl. Garnish with some sesame seeds and season with Wafu Dressing. Mix well before eating. If you can’t find Wafu Dressing, any soy, sesame or miso-based Japanese-style dressing will do. A perfect lunch for a late summer day.
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!
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
I got into NYC last night. I’ll be here for the next few days and then on to Boston and/or Montréal. I’ve also got an interview for an internship on Monday, so wish me luck!