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Jen Keenan

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    Brooklyn, NY
  1. I was just there in March ... what do you consider good? Biegel Bake is in a very hipster neighborhood. Media professionals during the day, party goers by night, and it's utterly swarmed by street art aficionados of a weekend afternoon. If murals and vintage shops are your kind of thing, you could make Shoreditch one of your tourist stops. Or a night out. Friend of mine went to get bagels after a night of cocktailing and had a great time chatting with the Londoners (including cops!) who were in the queue. Many museums have respectable dining options. Thanks to Rick Steves, I can also tell you that lots of churches also have "crypt cafes" that will keep you fed cheaply. Hopefully you'll have booked a hotel or b&b that has breakfast included. I only ever needed one other "main" meal per day after that, with maybe a snack. Pubs, pie and mash shops, Pizza Express. St. John is both Arguably Good and Reasonably Priced. We spent twenty pounds per head at places like these, and the one time we splashed out (at Quaglino's) it was forty. Is that at all what you are looking for?
  2. I wanted to share something with fans of the show and its cocktails. A woman called Dyna Moe has been making Mad Men illustrations for a while now and they're charming. Here is the main Flickr site. Here is a printable invite in which Salvatore offers you canapés. On this placemat, period drink recipes are being served up by Sally Draper. On this one, Sally is offering you cocktails, tutu-clad. I just love her work. (And so does Matthew Weiner!) Um...my parents didn't really have parties. My mom had one or two for her nursing school buddies but everybody just drank beer. So don't ask me or my hypothetical children to bartend if you want good cocktails
  3. LOL I do I am a nurse!!! ← Yay hummingbirdkiss! My mom was a nurse and I attribute my lack of germ paranoia to that. That being said, because I have a relatively small maw, I have taught myself to break the big chips and can only hope that's good enough for everyone. I try not to entertain those who would freak out over the possibility of human contact. And I love the new, smaller-sized chips!
  4. You have an excellent memory! The old Woolworths has since become a Five and Dime, but the institution of Frito Pie has remained intact. ← Memory, schmemory. It's FRITO PIE. One of those recipes I occasionally try to Google and fail. Why? Because everyone else makes with with red chili. Sorry, Texas, but Frito pie made with New Mexican green chiles is so much more delicious. To me, anyway. What excellent news! I'll be sure to remember it the next time I move around America for a year and stop in New Mexico for four months...ummm...
  5. There's probably some evolutionary significance to this, but now that I think about it, it is nearly always a woman who asks for directions or a photo. Which is a smart instinct, because thanks to the scammers and sleazeballs that populate New York, I immediately ice down any male who looks like he's about to approach me. Drunks of either sex are to be avoided! I don't blame you one bit. But regular tourists, they're cute, and they spend lots of money here. I will go back to liking them when these bloody holidays are over. To bring it back to food ... FRITO PIE!!!! I had some great drive-in Frito pie in Taos, that's all I remember about it. That dime store sign in your photo - does that mean some kind soul has opened a restaurant where the old Woolworth's used to be? That gives me all kinds of hope.
  6. Well I am shocked! Mainly because I've been working in midtown Manhattan for years and "would you take our picture?" is as common as "how do I get to ___". So ages before I owned a digital I had to learn how to use one. It just goes to show that it's more important to have a good eye than a fancy camera. And you, lady, have a good eye
  7. What about Esca? If someone were taking me out for a treat before or after the theater that's the first place I'd suggest. Mainly because I haven't been, want to go, and am too cheap to take myself. Of course, if you don't like fish, well, then you'd better keep looking.
  8. Favorite bits were between the Stone Barns visit and the D'Artagnan one. Least favorite, definitely the 'let's get the kids to act bratty and swear in front of innocent strangers' shtick. Kids swearing is only funny if it's entirely natural or completely fictional. And no, I never thought I would become a snob about children and foul language. Elie, I've noticed the Travel Channel is slapping their stars' names on all their shows now. Perhaps if you used "Anthony Bourdain" instead of "No Reservations" as your keywords your DVR would pick everything up. And Tony, nice gravy! But there are no chefs in my family (despite what my brother thinks of himself), my mom's gravy was perfectly delicious, and most people know that poultry gravy just isn't brown. Or don't they?
  9. I do think the network might be listening a little or maybe it's the writer's strike but Two Dudes Catering is not on the line up any time soon. Reality show jobs aren't union jobs. That's why their writers are not on strike, and why the joke is that from next week on it's all-reality, all the time. Which, um, makes me wonder - did Emeril write "Bam!!!"? And if not him, what unsung hero came up with that one? And what is he or she doing now?
  10. Whoops! There goes another one of my poor vocabulary choices. 'Sanitary' was the word that popped into my head when I imagined cold, impersonal service (or lack of, really) and over-packaged, robot-produced food things lined neatly up on shelves. I didn't mean to imply my market was any cleaner than those - who knows what went on in the back room at the A&P? Women in my family tend to be shy so we love non-interactive shopping. My mom would have loved Fresh Direct even more than I do. Small markets I can handle, e.g. the Thai Grocery in Chinatown, esp. when I know exactly what I need and can't get it (or recognize it) myself. But enough about me! So I guess what I was trying to ask was, have you always been an adventurous shopper, or did you have to train yourself? (Oh, and I used to have chef friends who went dumpster-diving at Trader Joe's long before it had a cool name. The only creepy part, really, was the fear of getting caught and lectured by the employees. The food was quite fine - just broken.)
  11. That is a fascinating thing I did not know! It's especially interesting considering the backlash against people trying to apply the Red Hook label to the Columbia Waterfront district - which used to be part of Red Hook? I guess it's kind of like the Clinton / Hell's Kitchen name war - the developer types want the nice name and the dive bar types want the cool one. One of my friends used to live in Red Hook and LeNell's, now, that is an amazing place to go if you like bourbon. Nina, you don't seem to be at all intimidated by ethnic markets or factory settings. Were you ever? Some places I can handle and some just scare the crap out of me. It's not my fault I was raised on sterile supermarkets
  12. Thanks Anna N. That sounds reasonable. I just have to remember to take a deep breath and repeat: "olive oil is good fat, olive oil is good fat, olive oil is good fat..."
  13. Please forgive me for restating the obvious, but have the topping lovers tried using a lid? It took me a little while to figure this out but I do it now when I reheat leftover pizza in a skillet. Precisely because the dang cheese wouldn't melt! The idea of making fresh pizza in a pan is just lovely. Has anyone tried doing it without the extra oil?
  14. Yikes! That sucks! Just as I was warming up to your condiment collection. You have me beat on pickles, but my mustard could take yours out easily (it's at least half a shelf). I have two open jars of capers in there too, and I was totally relating to your need to keep them visible. I really hope it doesn't affect your work! Maybe you could post from Ozzie's down on 5th Ave. in the Slope...or somewhere equally cozy...access is free from the Mac stores in Manhattan, but oy, what a zoo. Good luck!!!
  15. BK represent! This Boerum Hill gal is already enjoying your blog. Do you ever venture across (the) Atlantic? Brooklyn is so overwhelmingly huge; I'm looking forward to getting to know another area I know so little about, despite living so close.
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