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eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Food and the City

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#91 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:15 AM

So, hunger reared its ugly head, and I defeated it by eating the FatWitch "Blonde Witch" I bought yesterday. It was goooooood. And, you know, made with just a touch of butter. Yeah, just a touch. There go all the benefits of that walking. :laugh:

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#92 Smithy

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:48 AM

Beautiful tour, Megan! This is why I don't have any particular requests: not sure what to ask for. Case in point: I have the Balthazar cookbook, I've enjoyed it, but it hadn't occurred to me for a nanosecond that you might be nearby. Oh, that bread looks divine. Have you ever eaten there? What did you think? (If you're running out of places to eat during this blog, I'd add that to your request list...but it's probably terribly pricey.)

I had to laugh at your refrigerator. Even when we haven't been shopping for a while, ours never looks that empty. It didn't even look that empty the first day we got it. You must be more disciplined than we are about not buying things in advance of needing them?

If it isn't too far OT: what's the derivation of SoHo? Why is there a capital letter in the middle of it? What's so special about SoHo? I've heard the name for years, almost always in conjunction with "fashionable", but never figured out the buzz.

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#93 gini

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:53 AM

Beautiful tour, Megan!  This is why I don't have any particular requests: not sure what to ask for.  Case in point: I have the Balthazar cookbook, I've enjoyed it, but it hadn't occurred to me for a nanosecond that you might be nearby.  Oh, that bread looks divine.  Have you ever eaten there?  What did you think?  (If you're running out of places to eat during this blog, I'd add that to your request list...but it's probably terribly pricey.)

I had to laugh at your refrigerator.  Even when we haven't been shopping for a while, ours never looks that empty.  It didn't even look that empty the first day we got it.  You must be more disciplined than we are about not buying things in advance of needing them?

If it isn't too far OT: what's the derivation of SoHo?  Why is there a capital letter in the middle of it?  What's so special about SoHo?  I've heard the name for years, almost always in conjunction with "fashionable", but never figured out the buzz.

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SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.
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#94 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:05 AM

Beautiful tour, Megan!  This is why I don't have any particular requests: not sure what to ask for.  Case in point: I have the Balthazar cookbook, I've enjoyed it, but it hadn't occurred to me for a nanosecond that you might be nearby.  Oh, that bread looks divine.  Have you ever eaten there?  What did you think?  (If you're running out of places to eat during this blog, I'd add that to your request list...but it's probably terribly pricey.)

I had to laugh at your refrigerator.  Even when we haven't been shopping for a while, ours never looks that empty.  It didn't even look that empty the first day we got it.  You must be more disciplined than we are about not buying things in advance of needing them?

If it isn't too far OT: what's the derivation of SoHo?  Why is there a capital letter in the middle of it?  What's so special about SoHo?  I've heard the name for years, almost always in conjunction with "fashionable", but never figured out the buzz.

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Hey, Smithy! Yes, I've eaten at Balthazar several times, though not in the past year or so. It's great fun - very active and bustling, true to its nature as a brasserie. The best meal I had there was Christmas Eve dinner back in 2002 - the cold seafood tower with cocktail sauce and mignonette, steak frites, and tarte tatin for dessert. To drink, Champagne and a Chateauneuf du Pape. Thanks, Mom! :biggrin:

It's known as a breakfast and lunch spot for the media folks in town, and is a good place to spot celebrities, from time to time.

WHICH REMINDS ME!!!! I completely forgot to include this yesterday...Lisa and I had a celebrity sighting (alert, alert!) at Chelsea Market yesterday! While we were eating lunch on folding metal chairs at Chelsea Thai, Sandra Bernhard walked past us. It was one of Lisa's first NYC celeb sightings. Yay!!!

Back to Smithy's questions!

SoHo stands for "South of Houston Street," and encompasses the neighborhood ranging from Houston Street on the north to Canal Street on the south, and from Lafayette Street on the east to the Hudson River on the west (Click here for a detailed map.). Historically, it's famous for its iron-fronted buildings, plethora of galleries, and, now, for its huge volume of shopping, from the high-end big-name designers (like Chanel and Cartier) and tiny boutiques to the lower-end mall places, like Old Navy and H&M. As a result, it has long been associated with glamour, first via its avant-garde arty types, and now via its stick-thin fashionistas.

On weekends, no matter what the weather, SoHo is pure hell to navigate. The sidewalks are ridiculously crowded, especially on Broadway, the main thoroughfare for the neighborhood. I have literally had to fight my way through crowds to get into stores at times, and try to avoid it on weekends at all costs. My hairdresser is in SoHo, though, so I find myself there pretty often. My favorite parts of the neighborhood are west of Broadway, where you can find tiny little sandwich shops (Olive's is one of my favorites) and a lot of small, boutique-y stores. I'm trying to stick to a budget (to fund a trip to France this fall), so I decided to steer clear of those spots yesterday! :laugh:

As for my fridge, yes, it's usually that empty. To be fair, the drawer is currently full of onions (red and yellow), and the freezer is stocked with meat, ice cubes, butter and batches of puff pastry. But, yes, I tend to be pretty good about only buying what I need...it's a good way to stop myself from buying things that don't get used, and helps me stick to a relatively small food budget - I don't limit myself from buying what I want, but I don't buy it unless I know I'm going to use it in the next couple of days (things that freeze well being the exception!).
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#95 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:12 AM

SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

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Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

Edited by Megan Blocker, 24 February 2006 - 10:29 AM.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#96 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:18 AM

All righty-roo, folks. I'm off for a long walk around the 'hood, and will be back after lunch time. Clearly, based on the fact that I am now using phrases like "all righty-roo," it's time to get out of the apartment. :laugh: Talk to you soon!
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#97 racheld

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:42 AM

This is SUCH fun!!! I've wondered forever how city folks do their grocery shopping. Seems to be no room for a Safeway. And trudging up and down the aisles with a basket on your arm (and the required inconvenience of shopping as often as that small amount would require from day to day)---I'm so at home behind a humongous grocery cart, loading in the goodies from football-field stores. How DO you do it?

You're one of my favorite posters, and this is just an embarrassment of riches, all at once...Love this.

Off to Cincinnati for the weekend...can't wait to catch up on Sunday!!!
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#98 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:56 AM

SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

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Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

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And don't forget...Houston is pronounced HOUSE-ton.

My favorite new acronym is LES. Just a funny name for a neighborhood. Reminds me of an old man, or Les Nesman from WKRP in Cincinnati. On a somewhat unrelated note, they're trying to find a cutesy name for my neighborhood down here in Philly, which is currently called South of South. But somehow SoSo doesn't quite market well when it comes to real estate.

I'm so oblivious to celebrity sightings. Sandra Bernhard walked right by me at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, and I didn't notice her until my husband (who is oblivious to just about everything else) pokes me and says in a stage whisper, "there's Sandra Bernhard!"
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#99 Curlz

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:09 AM

Megan, this is a REALLY fun read...great job!

On a somewhat unrelated note, they're trying to find a cutesy name for my neighborhood down  here in Philly, which is currently called South of South.  But somehow SoSo doesn't quite market well when it comes to real estate.

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How about BeSo or ABeSo (pronounced ahhbeesew)? That would be Below South or Area Below South... :laugh:
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#100 lancastermike

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:16 AM

Enjoying your NYC blog, Megan. We only visit Manhatthan and I know I get sticker shock everytime we do. What do you really think of the prices of things in New York as opposed to other places you have lived. I would never be so crass as to inquire of your income. But do you consider your self to be an average sort of New Yorker in terms of income and lifestyle. In particular as to eating and drinking out?

Hope you don't find this question to be offensive, I do not intend it that way. Simply when we visit we always say how much we would like to live in the city, but that we just can't imagine affording it. That may be due to visitors not being hip to value that you folks who live in New York know of.

#101 Daniel

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:19 AM

SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

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Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

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Ahh geeze there is something called SOHA now.. Thats ridiculous.. Techinically, most of Manhattan is SOHA.. :biggrin:

Edited by Daniel, 24 February 2006 - 11:20 AM.


#102 crouching tyler

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:35 PM

I'm so oblivious to celebrity sightings. Sandra Bernhard walked right by me at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, and I didn't notice her until my husband (who is oblivious to just about everything else) pokes me and says in a stage whisper, "there's Sandra Bernhard!"

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I saw Sandra Bernhard in a Whole Foods, too. In Seattle, no less. Strange.

I am thoroughly enjoying this blog - this slice of NYC. I think this blog may end up giving a slight increase to NYC tourism, as you continue to inspire us to plan our next trip to the city, and all its food fabulousness.
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#103 MarketStEl

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:47 PM

I've had Li-Lac chocolates--a friend bought some back from a trip to NYC when I was living in Boston--and they're luscious. Good to see they're still around.


Finally, it was back to the subway and up to 86th Street and home...
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A mass transit shot! God bless you.

Your pre-foodblog karma must have traveled 90 miles south this morning. A catenary wire problem on the R3 West Trenton shot the R3 Media/Elwyn schedule full of holes. After arriving at Market East at 7:44 to see that the 7:16 was 75 minutes late (and obviously later still) and the 7:47 (my usual train) 55 minutes late, I decided to take the Market-Frankford El to the 109 bus instead. I got to work at 9:10, as I usually would taking the slow route at this time.

ObFood: Lots of coffee and a decent diner lunch.
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#104 MarketStEl

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:50 PM

Also, for Sandy, who requested a view of my fridge.  I haven't done a big produce shopping in over a week, since with my mom here I ate out for four days straight.  The lower shelves are usually filled with lettuce and fresh herbs, and whatever meat I've bought or am defrosting for dinner.  As you can see from the door and top shelf, I am a condiment fiend!!!

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Makes two of us.

But I don't think you have to refrigerate the Sriracha.

OTOH, there may be no pantry for you to put it in, so I guess that makes sense.
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#105 MarketStEl

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:56 PM

SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

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Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

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I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

Trivia: I think SoHo also caught on because of the association it conjures up with the London district of the same name (lowercase "h"), which is IIRC fashionable in its own right and not too far from very fashionable Kensington and Knightsbridge (the latter home to Harrods and its world-famous Food Hall).

After that, the deluge of geographic acronyms.
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#106 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:27 PM

I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

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When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

BTW, what are the boundaries of SoHa?
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#107 MarketStEl

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:36 PM

I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

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When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.


No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

BTW, what are the boundaries of SoHa?

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Yeah! What are they? I didn't know there was unclaimed territory south of 110th Street.

(Wait a minute. The tracks leading to Grand Central Terminal come out from underground at 96th Street and Park Ave, and I believe it's at that point that the UES ends. Conversely, the UWS continues all the way to Cathedral Parkway (110th) and beyond a bit to the Columbia campus (at 116th).
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#108 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:48 PM

I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

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When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

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But DUMBO's cool and edgy and hip. Or is that Williamsburg (no acronymns). Doesn't invoke thoughts of Disney. Speaking of which, I wonder if Disney has any lawsuits filed about using that acronym.
Karen C.

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Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

#109 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:30 PM

Good afternoon, all! I'm back from a good afternoon of fooding and walking, and have lots to share with you all. First, let me show you two pieces of equipment integral to long walks in New York:

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Playing today on my iPod was Rufus Wainwright, who wrote and sings one of my favorite food-related songs, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk." These are just a couple of my cravings/Everything I seem to like's a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me... LOVE him. :smile: Another fave of mine for long walks is the Amelie soundtrack - it makes even the most mundane errands seem romantically cinematic.

First stop on leaving the house was the dry cleaners (SNORE), and then I walked west to Madison Avenue. After a brief bout with my demons (who won), I bought a pair of shoes at Banana Republic and then walked south. My ultimate goal will be revealed in a moment, but first I stopped in at E.A.T., another branch on the Zabar tree.

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Next door to the cafe is a little gift shop, full of trinkets ranging from Lulu Guinness umbrellas to useless keychain doodads. I spotted this huge assortment of baby dishes toward the back. They also had some cute bibs, for anyone who's in the market.

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Continuing south on Madison, I turned east on 78th Street and reached my goal: Lady M Confections, a bakery and cafe (they call it a "tasting salon"). I love this place. It's aesthetic is clean and modern, but luxurious - everything is white or silver, the tables are that lovely crackled enamel, and there are crystal chandeliers. The tea is served in fine porcelain cups and the flatware is sterling, and the cakes are divine. They are notoriously guarded when it comes to press, so I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but here are some shots from the street:

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I had a pot of the Lady M Gray tea and a slice of my favorite, the mille crepes cake. This is a cake made of twenty crepes stacked with alternating layers of pastry cream "lightened" with whipped cream. The topmost crepe is covered with a fine layer of bruleed sugar. I LOVE this cake.

The offerings at Lady M make me think of Patrick S' creations - decadent but restrained and clean in appearance. What a lovely combination.

After leaving Lady M, I caught the bus on Madison (give those tired feet a break) and headed up to 93rd Street, eager to pay a visit to Kitchen Arts and Letters, a food and wine bookstore at 93rd and Lex. This section of the UES (heh heh, acronyms rock!) is called Carnegie Hill, and it is indeed quite hilly, and very pretty - full of grand old apartment buildings and beautiful little townhouses. Here's a shot of a clapboard townhouse (unusual in Manhattan) and its brick neighbor on 93rd between Lex and Park:

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After ogling the real estate for a bit, I headed across Lex to the bookstore, whose front window housed a display of books on - what else - chocolate!

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Unlike Lady M (harumph), the folks at KA&L were really nice about letting me take loads of pictures, so here's a mini-tour!

The place is crammed floor-to-ceiling with books on food and wine...drool.

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Some of the things that caught my eye...out of print selections, a section on medieval eating habits, and some smaller volumes of primary source material dating from the 17th century. Also available is a biography of Mrs. Beeton!

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I did make a purchase there, but it's a gift for someone who may be reading this, so I'll have to wait to reveal what it was! :wink:

After leaving KA&L I walked down Lexington to Likitsakos' Nature's Gifts, a tiny little market where I do most of my produce shopping. It's tiny, but the prices and variety are pretty good - quality is about as good as what you find at Eli's (though not always as exotic), and the prices are about half that. I bought tomatoes, a couple of oranges, romaine, baby spinach, some fingerling potatoes, parsley and some rosemary, and the total came to about $14.00, which is about half what I would have paid for the same stuff at Eli's.

Here's the entrance to the market, on Lex between 87th and 88th:

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And here are the fruit, veggie and dairy sections. The yogurts are homemade!

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I also stopped at Gristedes, one of the New York supermarket chains. I usually go there for my basics, like pasta, flour, sugar, and so on. Their prices, I find, are way better than Food Emporium, which is the other large supermarket within easy walking distance of my apartment. To give you an idea of scale, here's a shot of one of the aisles at Gristedes - all I bought there today was a box of capellini, which I'll be using for dinner tomorrow...

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And that was my afternoon, folks! It was nice and leisurely...I rarely get to spend this kind of time just walking around and enjoying the city, so thanks for the opportunity (and the excuse)! :wink:
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#110 twiggles

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:33 PM

I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

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When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

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But DUMBO's cool and edgy and hip. Or is that Williamsburg (no acronymns). Doesn't invoke thoughts of Disney. Speaking of which, I wonder if Disney has any lawsuits filed about using that acronym.

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i live past the manhattan bridge (not really DUMBO but the real estate agents like to call it that), and i was reading a magazine (i forget which) where someone called our area RAMBO- "right after the manhattan bridge" :laugh:

#111 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:41 PM

Enjoying your NYC blog, Megan.  We only visit Manhatthan and I know I get sticker shock everytime we do. What do you really think of the prices of things in New York as opposed to other places you have lived. I would never be so crass as to inquire of your income.  But do you consider your self to be an average sort of New Yorker in terms of  income and lifestyle. In particular as to eating and drinking out?

Hope you don't find this question to be offensive, I do not intend it that way. Simply when we visit we always say how much we would like to live in the city, but that we just can't imagine affording it.  That may be due to visitors not being hip to value that you folks who live in New York know of.

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Hey, Mike! I don't find it offensive at all.

I would say that I live on a fairly average-for-NYC salary for my age (26) and education level (bachelor's degree). I have friends (working mostly in front-office banking jobs or as lawyers) who make more, and many (who work in publishing, etc.) who make far less than I do. I eat out (meaning, go to a restaurant, not ordering take out) about once a week, and I do buy my lunch almost every day, unless it's provided at work for some reason or another, like a training class or all-day meeting.

That said, it is an expensive place to live, especially when it comes to rent. It's not unusual for people to pay half of their income or more in rent, especially in my age group. It's easy to spend way too much money on things, especially if you don't do a good job of searching out places where you can get quality for lower prices. The big names (Zabar's, Eli's, Fairway, Citarella) don't always have the best bang for the buck, but are truly excellent for certain items. Similarly, places like Gristedes might have the right price, but the quality may be lower.

The best way I've found to stick to a budget is to shop in a way that seems more European than American - visiting several shops, each for a specific thing, rather than one big store for everything. It takes a little more time, but it's worth it in the end.

The hardest part about New York is looking around at the people who have enough money not to worry about anything, who can take cabs everywhere, eat wherever they like at any time, etc. I cure my jealousy by making my home as inviting as possible, so that I don't mind spending time there :wink:, and by reminding myself that I'm only 26 - I'm not supposed to be spending money like a 40-year-old, because there's no reason I should be making the same kind of money.

So, yes, I think it's possible to live here on a budget, and salaries are at least somewhat proportionately higher here, so that offsets some of the cost. But it's not always the easiest thing to do. :laugh:
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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#112 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:46 PM

But I don't think you have to refrigerate the Sriracha.

OTOH, there may be no pantry for you to put it in, so I guess that makes sense.

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There is a pantry, but it's pretty crowded, so into the fridge goes the Sriracha! :laugh:

As for SoHa, yes, Daniel, it is annoying as hell. I think it's really more a subneighborhood of the UE and UW sides, like Carnegie Hill or Yorkville. Don't know if it has set borders...if pressed, I'd say 100th to 110th...teeny tiny. :wink:

After I got home, I realized that I'd only had sweets to eat today, and also that my dinner reservation tonight is a late one. Soooo, I made myself a sandwich. I took some tomato, red onion, Eli's bread and some leftover steak from one of my dinners out with Mom and slapped it all together. On the bread, some mustard a friend brought me from Napa.

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No pics of the finished sandwich, because I was just too hungry. :laugh:

Edited by Megan Blocker, 24 February 2006 - 04:18 PM.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan
eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#113 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:58 PM

- As for Magnolia, I'm sort of "eh" about it.  You can get decent cupcakes all over the city, and there are plenty of places far closer to me (Magnolia is kiddy-corner across the island from my apartment, far south and west) where you can get one.  The frosting doesn't bother me (with cupcakes I often find myself licking the frosting off first no matter how much there is, anyway), but I do know it bothers some of my friends.  My friends Miles and Hall, who live in the West Village and therefore are close to Magnolia, are very divided over this issue.  I'll see if I can get them to weigh in for your edification! :wink:

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Okee-dokee, folks. My friend Miles has just weighed in with his opinion on Magnolia. Without further ado, for your reading pleasure...

The desserts at Magnolia are fine for what they are - tall American cakes with sweet frosting, framed on stands in retro 50's plastic domes.  The problem with Magnolia is that it doesn't/can't live up to its hype.  Though it's not really my taste, it is good at what it does. But it's not life-changing.  Moreover, when you have to wait in a line that literally goes around the corner and then when you get inside, a large tattooed individual is shouting at you to hurry the f*** up with your order (because obviously you should already have made your choice from outside around the corner) , there's just no way you can have a rewarding experience.  So when you can go around the corner to Mary's off Jane and have the same dessert for the same price with none of the wait and none of the attitude, why not?  It's a case of meeting or falling short of expectations-but this is true of everything, not just Magnolia bakery or food experiences.

And there you have it. Now hurry the f*** up and tell me what you think. :laugh:

Edited by Megan Blocker, 24 February 2006 - 04:01 PM.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan
eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#114 Megan Blocker

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 04:14 PM

I have a favor to ask of all of you...tomorrow night will be a dinner party chez Meg, and I'll be serving sweetbreads to start. I think I'm going to try and adapt a dish I've had and loved at Ouest, which has crispy sweetbreads served on top of garlicky, creamy capellini.

Here's my question - what's the best wine (at a reasonable price - no more than $10-20/bottle) to serve with a course like this? Would love your input, as I am a wine neophyte. I know the basics, and I know a good wine when I meet one, but I'm no expert at pairing...

And I leave you with that question. I'm now off to get dressed for drinks and dinner! :smile: TGIF!
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan
eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#115 Pan

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:41 PM

Hi, Megan. I'm glad you're feeling better! Having blogged myself, I know how time-consuming it is to edit and upload photos, so I'm quite amazed at how many photos you're inserting into this blog! I also noticed your night photo. I have such trouble getting night photos to come out without glare that makes them unusable. What kind of camera do you use, and do you carry a tripod?

I have to say, I'd never heard of "SoHa," and I'm sorry I now have. I still think "NoLiTa" is a ridiculous name and don't accept it, especially as there really is no Little Italy to speak of for it to be north of. But it just goes to show how things change in New York, with nomenclature not the least of them. I relatively recently found out that York Avenue used to be called Avenue A (you can see the evidence in the form of street signs on a public junior high school on York in the 70s or so). My father still refers to Park Avenue South as Fourth Avenue, which is what it was called in his childhood. Lots of avenue names were changed to aid in real estate promotion, and the real estate promotions changed the neighborhoods. Those changes were of course reflected in the nature of the restaurants and food shops that serve those neighborhoods. It's an interesting process, and the longer one lives in New York, the more one observes seemingly unimaginable things taking place, like the gentrification of the South Bronx, a once-chic neighborhood that was more recently synonymous with urban decay, neglect, and building-torching. But if you ask me, rich or/and poor, Harlem is still Harlem!

Hmmm...speaking of East Harlem, do you go up to Patsy's from time to time?

#116 Susan in FL

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 08:21 PM

...tomorrow night will be a dinner party chez Meg, and I'll be serving sweetbreads to start. I think I'm going to try and adapt a dish I've had and loved at Ouest, which has crispy sweetbreads served on top of garlicky, creamy capellini.

That's a challenge. I'm always trying to make a case for red wine, and probably would recommend a big red such as a Bordeaux-like blend or a full-bodied syrah if not for the cream sauce -- or Zinfandel if the sauce was herby or real garlicky. However, a creamy sauce may call for a white. Perhaps a dry to medium-dry riesling, or that style of German wine or Alsace riesling? (I don't know much about German wines.) A match that is less risky and more likely to please might be a bubbly, such as M&C White Star. If a Champagne is not in your budget, perhaps a California sparkling wine -- extra dry I would say. Overall, sparkling is probably your best bet, but if I come up with a more specific suggestion, I'll be back.
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#117 srhcb

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 08:25 PM

I'm so oblivious to celebrity sightings. Sandra Bernhard walked right by me at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, and I didn't notice her until my husband (who is oblivious to just about everything else) pokes me and says in a stage whisper, "there's Sandra Bernhard!"

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I saw Sandra Bernhard in a Whole Foods, too. In Seattle, no less. Strange.

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I don't quite know how to say this. I don't want to shatter anyone's illusions, but we all know Sandra Bernhard can't be everywhere at once?

The people you saw were probably just "Sandra's Helpers".

SB :unsure:

#118 srhcb

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 08:31 PM

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Megan,

Cute Feet!

SB :cool:

#119 KatieLoeb

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:32 PM

Yay Megan! So happy to see you blogging and visiting some of my favorite haunts, as well as some more obscure (at least to me) places. Looking forward to your visit to Pegu!

I was just at Chelsea Market about 3 weeks ago and was stunned by the number of bakeries per square foot! Every other storefront was a bakery! Must be the population density that requires so many baked goods. :smile:

That Blondie looked really good... :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
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#120 Megan Blocker

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:09 AM

Good evening/morning, all.

Just home from drinks at Pegu and dinner at Babbo - both were wonderful, in their infinitely gorgeous ways, and I cannot wait to share them with you. However, it's pretty late here (about 2:10 AM as I write this), and I need to hit the sack in order to rise at a reasonable hour.

So, I'll check in with y'all in the (real) morning, with much to report.

Cheers!
"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan
eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007





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