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eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Trading Pumas for Uggs

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#1 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:24 AM

Good morning! :biggrin:

So, since Irishgirl is such a good food detective (and in possession of a ridiculous memory!), I suppose this post won't come as much of a surprise to all of you. I'm very excited to start my second eG foodblog, and I think we have some fun things in store for the week!

For those of you who don't know too much about me, a quick intro. I've lived in Manhattan since graduating from college almost six years ago, and have become more and more obsessed with food over that time. I'm a fairly competent cook (nothing to some of the folks here on eG, let alone the pros), and an avid eater and drinker.

I'm also a huge caffeine addict, so you'll be privy to my coffee and Diet Coke consumption (I swear, I could be their spokesperson).

Last time I blogged, I was, blessedly, off of work for most of the week. This time around, the situation is reversed - I'm working for most of the blog, but will be off of work next Friday. So you'll get to see a lot of my more mundane culinary world...the coffee machine in the 8th Floor kitchen, the lunch places near my office, the grocery store...

However! I also have lots of far more interesting things planned (requests and suggestions are VERY welcome)...here's a tentative agenda:

Friday: Dinner at Cafe d'Alsace
Saturday: Union Square Greenmarket, Schaller and Weber, dinner at home!
Sunday: Laundry, a movie...Dylan's Candy Bar!
Monday: Rockefeller Center, not sure about dinner yet...
Tuesday: Lunch at The Modern
Wednesday: Valentine's Day
Thursday: Way up in the air!
Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown?
Saturday: Totally open!

It's pretty cold here in the city, so I've traded in my typical culinary adventure footwear (Pumas!) for some warmer trappings (Uggs!), the better to maintain my stamina and actually get to all the places promised...so, bundle up and come along for the ride!

Off to get some coffee...of course.
"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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eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#2 srhcb

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:34 AM

It's pretty cold here in the city, so I've traded in my typical culinary adventure footwear (Pumas!) for some warmer trappings (Uggs!), the better to maintain my stamina and actually get to all the places promised...so, bundle up and come along for the ride!


I'm glad you brought this up. I didn't want to sound like a foot fetishist(?). :wink: I will miss the Pumas though. :sad:

Off to get some coffee...of course.

View Post


Are the outdoor coffee carts operational in below zero weather?

SB (they might sell a lot of coffee just for hand warmers?)

#3 little ms foodie

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:06 AM

i was just wondering where you have been megan- obviously planning & gearing up! i'm sure it will be a great week. i request you have cocktails at the new death & co. and if you do and brian's working tell him seattle says hi and good luck with the new gig. suppose to be great- some pegu club people trying to break out on their own.

#4 Jen Keenan

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:07 AM

Welcome back to blogging, Megan! I was otherwise occupied when you did your last one but I read it, and am quite looking forward to this week.

As for suggestions, my first one is that you go to Pegu Club! Is it even allowable to do a NYC foodblog without a trip? :wink:

Part of me wishes you would photograph the inside of one of our run-of-the mill, crappy regular supermarkets we have in New York so people don't think we live in some foodie fairyland where there's a Fauchon and a Lobel's on every block. Good food takes work here! Hmm, thinking...
To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

#5 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:10 AM

i was just wondering where you have been megan- obviously planning & gearing up! i'm sure it will be a great week. i request you have cocktails at the new death & co. and if you do and brian's working tell him seattle says hi and good luck with the new gig. suppose to be great- some pegu club people trying to break out on their own.

View Post

I know, I've been a little under the radar of late...but I'm back and ready to party, dude! D&Co. is definitely in the offing, I think... :smile:
"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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eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#6 oneidaone

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:12 AM

Aloha Kakahiaka Megan! I look forward to your blog! Your posts always are fun to read. As I
sit here wearing my Uggs (violet), sweat pants and sweatshirt for it's cold here this morning
your New York week will be great to share! I have heard so much about Dylan's Candybar
I look forward to pictures. I don't eat candy myself (were it Dylan's Potatobar that would
really get me) I have heard it's a beautiful place. Your week activities look like fun and
I can't wait for the posts! A hui hou! :smile:
"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"
Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

#7 snowangel

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for blogging, Megan.

So, let's talk about cukes -- do you peel them, and if you do, do you use a knife or a peeler?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#8 Luckylies

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:30 AM

oooh goodie I'm psyched!
does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

#9 ludja

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:39 AM

..
Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown?
...

View Post

Remember, it's completely okay to eat tortes or cakes for breakfast. Well, it is in our household anyway and that includes whipped cream! A nice Kleiner Brauner* or Kapuziner* alongside balances the sweetness. :smile:

Looking forward to another great blog; good luck juggling everything with work.

*Kleiner Brauner = Viennese speak for a demitasse of espresso with a dash of milk
*Kapuziner = Viennese speak for a strong dark coffee with enough milk added to match the robe color of the Capuchin Monks

Edited by ludja, 09 February 2007 - 10:55 AM.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#10 santo_grace

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:41 AM

Megan, looking forward to your blog.

Your teaser photo of the brown sugar cake looks just like the picture in Gourmet. It's beautiful.
I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

#11 Rebecca263

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:43 AM

I will be wearing my Ugg knockoffs(sold my pink Pumas and bought 2 pair of the warm boot things) all week in your honor, blog on! :cool:
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#12 suzilightning

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:52 AM

megan-

love to live in the city vicariously. how about some noodle shops or since it warming up(relative to the last bloggers) some island food and cocktails?
The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.

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#13 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:56 AM

Thanks for blogging, Megan.

So, let's talk about cukes -- do you peel them, and if you do, do you use a knife or a peeler?

View Post

Well. A very good question. Clumsy and accident-prone as I am, I use a peeler. I have, on occasion, when there haven't been enough peelers to go around, used a paring knife. My digits have survived intact, though only by sheer chance, I suspect.

That said...I peel regular and English cucumbers, but leave the peels on when I eat kirbies! I find that the two former have bitter skins, but that the skins on the latter are mild and add a pleasant tension to the outside edge of the cuke slice.

Gosh, I do love cukes.

Edited by Megan Blocker, 09 February 2007 - 11:11 PM.

"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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eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

#14 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:59 AM

megan-

love to live in the city vicariously.  how about some noodle shops or since it warming up(relative to the last bloggers) some island food and cocktails?

View Post

That's so true! I feel like such a wimp complaining about 25 degree highs! :laugh:

It's supposed to be in the low 30's tomorrow...I suppose that means tank top and grass skirt?

Oh, and a quick aside - I did not bring my camera USB connector to the office this morning (dang!), so no pics till tonight. :sad: I promise not to make the same mistake twice.
"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

#15 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:15 AM

..
Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown?
...

View Post

Remember, it's completely okay to eat tortes or cakes for breakfast. Well, it is in our household anyway and that includes whipped cream! A nice Kleiner Brauner* or Kapuziner* alongside balances the sweetness. :smile:

Looking forward to another great blog; good luck juggling everything with work.

*Kleiner Brauner = Viennese speak for a demitasse of espresso with a dash of milk
*Kapuziner = Viennese speak for a strong dark coffee with enough milk added to match the robe color of the Capuchin Monks

View Post

Excellent tips, Ludja...after looking over the Cafe Sabarsky menu, is there a particular torte or cake you'd recommend?
"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

#16 hhlodesign

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:34 PM

I'm excited to read your blog Megan!

One request I have is to hit the late night scene at Momofuku Ssam! One of the best food experiences I've ever had, and I'd love to experience it again through your eyes.

#17 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:36 PM

I'm excited to read your blog Megan!

One request I have is to hit the late night scene at Momofuku Ssam! One of the best food experiences I've ever had, and I'd love to experience it again through your eyes.

View Post

Now that is a fabulous idea.
"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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#18 lancastermike

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 02:48 PM

Megan is the toast of the town and the queen of Diet Coke. Should be another enjoyable trip with her. Megan, i have switched to Coke Zero. I hope you don't hate me for that.

#19 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 02:51 PM

Megan is the toast of the town and the queen of Diet Coke. Should be another enjoyable trip with her. Megan, i have switched to Coke Zero.  I hope you don't hate me for that.

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Well, not yet, but I've deducted points from your overall score. :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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#20 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:35 PM

Your teaser photo of the brown sugar cake looks just like the picture in Gourmet.  It's beautiful.

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Thank you. :blush:

Today started out much like any other morning, except that I was late to work (am planning a trip to India, needed my passport for the visa, forgot it, had to turn around and get it - grrr....), so I was also late in getting my caffeine dose.

I finally made it over to the kitchen around 11:00. We have a Flavia machine on all the floors...it's not terrible but it's not great, either. No, that's not my CoffeeMate - ick!

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Our offices are actually in two buildings in the same block, and the other building had an electrical fire on Tuesday - everyone is ok, but three of our floors are without power. I had thought that the floor with the cafeteria would be closed, but it wasn't! We get free lunch on Fridays, so my friend Liz and I headed over around 12:30.

It's a pretty nice cafeteria, though poorly laid-out and too small for the almost 2000 people in our New York offices. You walk down a long hallway to get there...

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Once in, you walk smack into the salad bar:

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Just beyond, the desserts!

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From the actual seating area, looking toward the cafeteria...you can see how small it is, and how the salad bar is smack in the middle of everything. It was pretty calm today, probably since so many people are working from home due to the fire.

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I ended up getting a special sandwich, roast beef, mixed greens, and caramelized onions on grilled ciabatta. We took our lunch back to our offices, where I indulged in, what else?

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Am now home and getting ready for dinner at Cafe d'Alsace with a business associate. Conveniently enough, the restaurant is only a couple of blocks uptown from my apartment!

See you post-meal!

Edited by Megan Blocker, 09 February 2007 - 04:35 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

#21 monavano

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 05:10 PM

Megan,
I'm so happy you are blogging again! You're my Carrie Bradshaw.
I can't wait to vicariously live like a single gal in the Big Apple this week.
Have fun!
BTW......Do you ever get over to Hoboken to enjoy that restaurant scene? I visited NYC over the holidays and we had dinner at Arthurs. Wow! Cheap, cheap , cheap and the double cheese onion soup was delicious. Also had burgers, eye poppingly large patties of delish beef. I thought it was a gem.
Thanks!

Edited by monavano, 09 February 2007 - 05:11 PM.


#22 Nina C.

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 06:01 PM

Megan! So glad to see you blogging again. Your itinerary sounds awesome, although I wonder what Valentine's Day means. After a few years of going out in the city and dealing with crowds, poor service, limited tasting menus, and an irritating NYTimes photog at Room4Dessert (really? Did he have to be leaning over us the whole time on Valentine's Day?), I've settled on making a delicious meal together at home, and choosing a different day to go out.

If you need company for Death & Co or Momofuku, let us know! And don't deprive us too much of your cooking - you always seem to take such care with what you make, whether it's indulgent or healthy.
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#23 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:15 PM

Megan! So glad to see you blogging again. Your itinerary sounds awesome, although I wonder what Valentine's Day means. After a few years of going out in the city and dealing with crowds, poor service, limited tasting menus, and an irritating NYTimes photog at Room4Dessert (really? Did he have to be leaning over us the whole time on Valentine's Day?), I've settled on making a delicious meal together at home, and choosing a different day to go out.

If you need company for Death & Co or Momofuku, let us know! And don't deprive us too much of your cooking - you always seem to take such care with what you make, whether it's indulgent or healthy.

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We-ell, the answer on the V-day front is...I'm not sure yet! I'm single right now, so I was thinking about going out and eating alone at the bar at one of my more favorite local spots (Bar Etats-Unis), where they have fabulous wines by the glass and an incredible chocolate souffle (I'm tempted to say it surpasses all other molten chocolate desserts). Or I may cook in...we'll see.

Will definitely keep eG'ers posted on D&Co and Momofuku...
"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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#24 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:45 PM

For dinner tonight, I paid a visit to Cafe d'Alsace, an Alsatian brasserie that opened in my neighborhood about a year and a half ago. It's constantly bustling, partly because the food is solid and always satisfying, and partly because we are a neighborhood in which good, unstuffy restaurants seem to be in short supply. It's improved drastically in the last few years, but some stereotypes about the Upper East Side have reason for being.

Between the three of us, we made it through two bottles of this Alsatian pinot noir...a bit lighter and more peppery than many of the pinots we're used to - we loved it (hence the second bottle).

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I started with a perennial favorite of mine, the bone marrow. It's served in an obscene portion; sometimes, I make it through all three bones. Tonight, it was just the two. I could handle a little more greenery, maybe some capers, on the side...

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My friend Rachel had the goat cheese tatin, which looked divine (one of my deep, dark foodie secrets - I'm not a big cheese person, so I didn't try the tart).

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For my main, I had the baeckeoffe, a traditional Alsatian dish. Kind of like a baked stew, with broth, herbs, potatoes, lamb, oxtail...so tasty. This one was a bit more brothy than I've had in the past, and was served without a spoon. Otherwise, perfect comfort food. Warm, earthy - melt in your mouth lamb - and just meant for a cold, cold night.

In Alsace, it's served with a mustardy green salad, and I missed that accompaniment. I mean, come on, it's me - I need my salad, kids! :wink:

In the background, Tamara's pork chop in apple and calvados sauce - huge, and delicious.

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Last, but certainly not least, DESSERT! I ordered the mandiant, billed as a sweet brioche with grillotes; really almost a bread pudding, especially once you pour the creme anglaise down over it. I love this dessert - it's not too sweet, but it has that cakey texture that's just so satisfying.

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Tamara ordered the profiteroles, which were a special tonight. The choux was a dark golden brown, and the ice cream was creamy. Best of all, the bittersweet chocolate sauce.

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Overall, a wonderful meal. Service was prompt and friendly, the sommelier was pleasantly flirtatious, and I'll still be in bed by 11.

I had a nice, bracing walk home in the cold...walking home on Second Avenue on a weekend night is always entertaining...a mix of people hailing cabs, desperately trying to escape downtown, and people spilling out of the fratty bars that line the Avenue, desperately puffing on their cigarettes in the cold. So picturesque. (That's New York, all about the glamour.) :wink:

I haven't cooked in a while, though, so I'm psyched for tomorrow. :biggrin:
"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

#25 Megan Blocker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:53 PM

Megan,
I'm so happy you are  blogging again! You're my Carrie Bradshaw.
I can't wait to vicariously live like a single gal in the Big Apple this week.
Have fun!
BTW......Do you ever get over to Hoboken to enjoy that restaurant scene? I visited NYC over the holidays and we had dinner at Arthurs. Wow! Cheap, cheap , cheap and the double cheese onion soup was delicious. Also had burgers, eye poppingly large patties of delish beef. I thought it was a gem.
Thanks!

View Post

Oh, stop! :wink:

I have never, ever been to Hoboken in my entire life. Crazy, right?

Any other suggestions over that way?
"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

#26 lucylou95816

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:57 PM

Megan, I am so glad to read your blog, from one diet coke sister to another...that is my morning caffeine fix, since I am not a coffee girl (I know, shame on me). I am also really happy that someone refreshed our memory of where your beautiful cake came from, I may have to try it some time. Enjoy your week, I know that we will.

#27 Rebecca263

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:29 PM

Yum marrow. Thanks for eating it for us.
I read the bit about Hoboken, so, I'm trying to figure that part of the city out for a few minutes, I figure that Ho= Houston Street, I'm not getting anything on Bo or Ken, so I dogpile it. Um, well, my daughter is laughing as hard as can be, it's in NEW JERSEY! :raz:
Oh, and Megan, are we hitting any farmer's markets? Is there one in your neighborhood?
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#28 C. sapidus

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:18 PM

Megan: I greatly enjoyed your previous foodblog and your trip reports, so I am looking forward to this week very much. We have missed you on the dinner thread lately, though. :sad: I used to visit Manhattan once or twice a year, but we haven’t made it up there since the boys entered our lives. One of my favorite NYC activities was to wander around lower Manhattan, taking pictures and stopping to eat whatever looked interesting.

I look forward to seeing the city through your eyes, and you are off to a great start. Happy blogging!

#29 Meredith380

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:51 PM

Megan, I can relate to your diet coke addiction, I drink anywhere from 2-4 daily. I wake up and crack one which is a terrible habit, but I love it!
Where are you from originally? It can't be Jersey, otherwise you'd have been to Hoboken! :laugh:
I assume you're going to the Union Square Market? Maybe a brew at Heartland Brewery (although not unique) would be a nice refreshment post market.
Great to see you blogging!

#30 Pan

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 12:39 AM

Have fun, Megan. Any thoughts on where you might have lunch in Chinatown?





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