Monday, November 03, 2008

NEW YORKERS: Call Battlegrounds Tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No We McCain't

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phone Bank for Obama!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

RW08: DB&D

Restaurant Week. Two beautiful summer weeks during which a vast array of sumptuous NY dining experiences become temporarily "affordable" to the average New Yorker. At $35 for a three-course meal, it's certainly not cheap (especially when you throw in wine--and how could you not?), but it's still a fun way to splurge and celebrate the dog days here in the city.

My friends and I went to David Burke & Donatella for dinner last night. Despite the 10PM reservation, the place was jam-packed. The space felt like something Alice in Wonderland would dream up, if she were going to create a New American restaurant on the Upper East Side... Ostrich eggs painted red and black, glass balloons hanging from the ceiling, paintings that look normal from far away but upon closer inspection border on the wildly bizarre... It was a fun space, and they had jammed in as many tables as possible in the two main dining areas (perhaps to accommodate the larger-than-usual crowds enticed by Restaurant Week prices, or perhaps to remain true to the eclectic decor of the place?) seated with a diverse clientele ranging from 20-somethings who could never afford the place on normal days, and salt-and-pepper-haired Upper East Siders who probably ate there every week because they couldn't be bothered with cooking their own food and cleaning up the kitchen.

But enough about the space--on to the food. "New American"--and this was true up to a point, except that the portion sizes were definitely traditional: huge. We all started with crab cake and shrimp, followed by entrees such as a salt water-soaked roast chicken (mmm creamy potatoes on the side!) and melt-off-the-bone short ribs with mushrooms and truffle mousse. We topped it all off with the desserts, which were the most memorable: a rich, chocolatey, decadent milkshake with quarter-sized cookies on the side; an apple tart with a lovely crisp crust, topped stylishly with an apple chip; and a chocolate mousse that was so dense it felt heavy on the tips of our spoons. We waddled out of there and I hailed a cab home, and I quite honestly thought that if the cab hurtled off the Brooklyn Bridge on the way, I'd die happy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Midtown Mediterranean Mmm

I've decided I don't qualify as too much of an adult because I still get really excited when friends' parents come to town for a visit and take us young'uns out for dinner at at a swanky restaurant. A friend from Seattle was in NYC last week and his lovely parents treated us to a delectable meal at Milos, a Mediterranean restaurant with a philosophy to always serve "the best the world has to offer: the best produce, the best honey, the best yogurt, and certainly the best fish and seafood." I read this description on their website and the first thing I did was pull out a dress from my closet--this being New York, after all, and not the chilled-out PNW where one can wear torn-up jeans to the nicest eateries in town--and the second thing was to make sure I was good and hungry by the time I arrived in Midtown.

Milos did not disappoint. Among the awesome items that were just out-of-this-world delicious were: grilled octopus appetizer; Greek spreads sampler; roasted beet salad; Greek tomato salad; and the baklavah (laced with the "best honey" in the world!) was just killer. The fish was fresh and fantastic (though we had some issues with their incomplete de-boning process) and the service was, unsurprisingly, very gracious. The funniest part was as we were getting ready to order, the waiter walked us over to the fresh fish selection for the night, laid out in a huge display of ice, and proceeded to pick up every type and give us an explanation of its origin and flavor. Since there were a good 15-20 types of fish on display, and none of us were taking notes, it didn't help anyone in the selection process of their entree--but it certainly was a colorful way to take Michael Pollan's sage advice about knowing where your food is coming from and appreciating it had a face at one point. (Btw, plug for The Omnivore's Dilemma: 464 pages of literary orgasm-inducing writing about food in America. Good writing about food, I mean, what more could you ask for?! Buy and read now--or borrow my copy!)

So if you enjoy seafood and are a) someone with money; b) dating someone with money; c) sleeping with someone with money; or d) know a McKinsey-ite who's working a NY project and has an expense account with some cushion--check out Milos. It was yummy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A New Home in Cobble Hill (!!!!!)

Alright, people. It's official. I am now a resident of Brooklyn.

My last post about housing was not a very happy one. The first apartment my roommate and I found was in Clinton Hill, and was lovely--but we discovered that the landlord was being indicted for Medicaid fraud, and decided to pull out of the lease. (Thankfully, there were no financial repercussions on this front, except that Corcoran has yet to give us our broker's fee back. Let that be a lesson to anyone who reads this to stay the hell away from Corcoran.) Needless to say, this was a complete debacle, immensely stressful, and it crossed my mind that perhaps this was was God's way of telling me: Go back to Seattle, wench. You no longer have what it takes to make it in cities with populations greater than five million.

So, we were back to Square One in our search. Thankfully, we managed to snag a beautiful apartment in Cobble Hill for about the same price, with a July 1st lease, after just one more day of real estate trekking. Move-in happened last Saturday, and voila! Home. I'd forgotten what it feels like to have a place to return to every night that is filled with my favorite things. Call me a homebody or sentimental or whatever, but the psychological toll of living out of a suitcase for nearly four months was quite significant. Or maybe it's the notion of living out of a suitcase
and only a suitcase, that really kicked my ass, since this wasn't such a monstrous issue during my travelin' days at McKinsey. Either way, I'm thrilled with the new place (what up, central air!); crushing hard on the new neighborhood (mmm cute little brunch places); falling head-over-heels for Brooklyn (Brooklyn Brewery & BAM: 'nough said); and can't wait to invite people over (no guarantees on the quality of food served). There is also a backyard, which I am told must be leveraged for much bbq-ness, as some of our neighbors are doing even as I type type away...

Pics of the place are on Facebook, for those not in NY and unable to come take a look in person.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

August: Osage County

The TKTS booth where you can buy discounted Broadway tickets is always surrounded in this season (or perhaps, year-round) by a mob of tourists. Luckily, there is a way to shorten the time you stand in line considerably: go see a play. With everyone calling August: Osage County the front runner in the Tony nominations for Best Play this year, it seemed like a good idea to go see this show before it blew up at the awards ceremony tonight. "Partial view" tickets from TKTS got us in the orchestra, with a slightly - angled - but - very - much - able - to - observe - the - actors' - facial - expressions view of the stage in Row E.

A distinctly American play set in Oklahoma, August shows a distintegrating family as it faces the crisis of a missing patriarch, much-decorated poet and melancholic misanthrope, Beverly Weston. His wife--pill-poppin', fiery-tongued Violet Weston--is a shrill, manipulative woman who will do anything to prove her own strength and independence from a family she feels has abandoned her. As the story unfolds, we witness their deep-rooted dysfunctionality has been passed on to the next generation: their three daughters. The eldest, Barbara, struggles to take hold of the reins of responsibility in the broken household while reeling from her longtime husband's infidelity and her teenage daughter's rebelliousness. While family members come together to support Violet through this difficult time, what ensues is a heartbreaking yet laugh-out-loud funny portrayal of a family so broken there remains little hope for healing.

The matinee tonight elicited a standing ovation for good reason. The play is incredibly well-written, funny, acerbic without being alienating--and really touches a nerve with anyone who has ever experienced dysfunction in a family, which is to say, to some degree, everyone. There were moments when I could just feel my heart aching for Barbara as she desperately tried to make her family whole again; times when I wanted to punch some of the characters in the face for hurting each other so much, for lashing out to prove themselves instead of listening to one another; and just times when I had to sit and marvel that someone could capture in words and on stage the frustration, anger, resentment, hatred, and despair brewed by family fights. It's an inescapable poison; you can't get away, because they're Family, for God's sake--but sometimes everything becomes so unbearable that you have to wonder whether it's better simply to be alone, unbound by genes and responsibility. All of that, and so much more, was conveyed by this play. There's no way to do it justice here, so I won't try.

My only disappointment while watching the Tonys (well, not quite: I don't understand why the Rent original cast number was so short) was that I was rooting for Amy Morton to win the Best Actress in a Leading Role award, but it went to her on-stage mother, Deanna Dunagan, instead. Not to say Dunagan didn't deserve it; Amy just completely blew me away with her performance... The former more made me want to strangler her--which I suppose, could be construed as compelling also, but it's difficult for me to wish a character I find fundamentally soul-grating the best of luck. (And yes, I have trouble separating the actor from the character they play on stage.)

I'm not sure whether there will be any discounted tickets available going forward, but apparently the original cast is already on its way out, so go see it soon (within the month) if you care about that sort of thing.