The Latest of What I've Been Eating.
It was very surreal being back in NYC after the slower pace of life in Lincoln for the last few weeks. Of course, I came back for Pride Weekend in NYC and a little celebration at the office.
There were chicken nuggets from Sticky's Finger Joint with french fries and boozy snowcones from Sweetface Snoballs. I picked out some nuggets sans cheese, fries and the "Nola Voo Doo" snoball, which was blueberry, coconut and vodka. A little booze never hurt to help numb the sadness and pain.
Plus, there was a photo booth with drag queen, Pattaya Hart!
On my way to the airport in Omaha on Monday, I was lamenting that I forgot to get a meal at Bison Witches! Well, wouldn't you know it? Inclement weather in Chicago/NYC forced my flight to be cancelled. I almost got to Chicago and would have been stranded, but luckily, after sitting for 2 hours on the tarmac, our plane turned back to the gate, where I was able to get off and book a flight to NYC for the next day.
I called Dad and he headed up to Omaha to get me, while I contemplated what to do with my extra day in Lincoln. Oh yeah! Get a TON of carbs at Bison Witches! Dad had never been, so I was happy to show him one of my favorite college places.
I got a club sandwich, sans mayo, on wheat with cream of potato bacon soup, tortilla chips and their amazing chili con queso! Seriously. I dream about this queso! Why is it SO good!?
Once of our traditions growing up was going to the Haymarket for the Farmer's Market every Saturday morning with Dad. Since I stayed around for another week, we drove downtown in search of produce, poultry and treats.
Then while Dad was off looking for coffee, I ran into my cousin, Maegan, with her kids, Mikey and Ora. We walked around the market and grabbed some treats. After walking through all the food booths, I was craving some ice cream, so why not go to Ivanna Cone? (Yes, the name is a bit unfortunate due to our current President...but oh well.)
They churn all their own ice cream, so I opted for a scoop of coconut and a scoop of circus animal beach party! I couldn't convince Mikey to get a "fun" flavor and he opted for some vanilla ice cream with Oreo's, when they didn't have cookies 'n cream! Maybe one day I'll help develop his ice cream palate!
During one of my last days back home, I met up with my best friend from elementary school, Erin, and our high school friend, Nikki. We caught up over slices at Yia Yia's Pizza downtown. It was great reminiscing about our friends and catching up on life; it'd been years since any of us had seen each other.
I got two slices of pizza and garlic cheese bread. Too much food? Yes. I would eat this later, and Dad would try to steal it, too. This is a photo of "The Atlantic" - grilled chicken, bacon, potato, broccoli and mozzarella with white sauce. I also got a slice of "The Local" - bacon, hamburger, pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, bell pepper, onion, black olives and mozzarella with marinara, but saved it for later.
I think a cheese frenchee is another Nebraska/Midwest food anamoly, like the Runza. Basically, it's a grilled cheese sandwich that's breaded and fried - artery-clogging? Yes! Delicous? Absolutely.
When my college friend, Neal, wanted to meet up for dinner, I knew I had to go to Don & Millie's with him, since it's one of his favorites and I hadn't been there in years.
That fried, gooey cheese sandwich was perfect and I also got a loaded baked potato - sans sour cream.
We indulged in our greasy, diner food and talked about New Kids on the Block, since we had both went to their concert last night in Omaha, and how disappointed we were that Paula Adbul was injured and couldn't perform. (I still credit Neal with introducing me to One Direction!)
One of my favorite brunch dishes has always been biscuits & gravy. The Green Gateau has been the brunch place of choice for the Gordon family for some time now, as they always go to the same place every Sunday, after Mass. When I was growing up, it was the "fancy" place to eat and where I went for dinner before my Junior Prom, thus being back, felt a little surreal.
We waited a bit for our food, but what followed was the largest plate of biscuits & gravy I had ever seen! Two giant cheddar & chive biscuits smothered in sausage gravy with hashbrowns or a potato pancake. I opted for the potato pancake, as they said their pancake batter was baked into it...what showed up was a giant stack of hashbrowns; crispy on the outside, but a little doughy on the inside - interesting.
My stomach wasn't used to these Midwestern sized portions anymore, so I had to take half of it home...which I would never get around to eating. Oops. I definitely didn't need to "add on" a side of poached eggs!
As more family members came into Lincoln to remember my Mom, I had to take a short break from various family members to meet up with others. I went out with my cousin, Liz, and her husband, Jeff, and my cousin, Matt, to Amu Ramen Bar in downtown Lincoln.
It had been a few years since I had been here with Dad, but the food was just as good as the last time. I got a bao with tofu, kimchi, fried shallots and cilantro, but ate it before my ramen came. For my soup, I chose the Garlic Shoyu - ramen noodles with chicken, mushroom, egg, cabbage, ginger, scallion in a chicken soy broth.
Now, I've lived in NYC for almost 8 years now and I have yet to find Indian food that's as good as that at The Oven in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. You might think that sounds crazy, but my other Nebraskan friends agree; there's something about it that you just can't compare.
My dinner didn't photograph that well, but my sister-in-law, Melanie got the vegetarian Thali and I had to snap a quick photo of all those delicious dishes: Matar paneer, saag, aloo gobi, mixed vegetable curry, maah dal, raita, papadum, rice, naan, kheer and mango chutney. Wow!
Even though sad circumstances brought me home for the summer, it was nice to get to sit and talk with my Dad, brother and sister-in-law over breakfast at Village Inn.
Ever since I was a kid, it was one of my favorite local places for brunch/breakfast and that was mainly because of their skillets. I got the California Skillet this time around - bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and spinach with white cheddar cheese, Hollandaise and avocado over a bed of country potatoes. I went with fried eggs and a short stack of pancakes. Definitely eating my feelings for this meal.
After running some errands in Williamsburg, I had to swing by one of my favorite restaurants, The Meatball Shop for a quick brunch. I usually will get their breakfast sausage balls (a brunch-only specialty) with biscuits & gravy, but this time I opted for the "Balls Benedict."
A thick slice of brioche topped with two breakfast sausage balls, two poached eggs, bacon, Hollandaise and chives. The perfect breakfast, a little sweet and a little savory!
I watched this restaurant get built. For the longest time I never knew what it was, then suddenly Eater and Grub Street were talking about the naturally leavened pizza pies being made at Ops. And, yes, it was less than a block from my apartment.
For my first visit with my roommate, Jordan, I went with a classic margarita pie, but added pepperoni and mushrooms. The crust was nice and chewy on the edges, but the middle was a little soggy. I didn't care by the time it finally arrived, since we'd been waiting so long for the pizzas and it wasn't that busy...will I go back? Yes, but maybe not that soon.
After walking through the Whitney Museum for a few hours, I was ready for a snack. I wandered over to the Gansevoort Market with Ololade and Grant and browsed through the booths. I knew I didn't want anything too heavy, since I might be headed out on a date later, so when I saw a sign for "garlic knot sliders," that seemed like the perfect snack!
I opted for the chicken parm slider and although it was a bit too garlicky, it definitely hit the spot for my afternoon craving.
My fellow boy band-loving friend, Christina's birthday is only a few days after mine, so we celebrated in Brooklyn with some wonderful freshly made pasta at Gersi.
Although almost all the dishes looked amazing, I opted for the special - Kale Gnocchi with cream sauce and a side of roasted cauliflower. I also found a special on Swarm and was able to get us a free order of garlic bread! I mean, who can pass up free bread, right?
Maybe the HR Department at Gap is trying to make us all fat!? For the first "Summer Friday"/Memorial Day Weekend, they provided us with gelato pops from popbar in a variety of flavors.
Since I'm already a devoted popbar fan, I went for a flavor I normally wouldn't get: pistachio with white chocolate and crushed pistachio coating. The perfect summer treat for a short work day!
After taking my birthday off of work, my co-workers surprised me with a dozen cupcakes saying "Happy 35th B-Day" from Sprinkles!
Thankfully, they helped me eat them, but not before I saved some of the little sugar toppings and made this Care Bear-esque design.
Another work perk: checking out venues with Global Events and getting a fun, post-work happy hour! We sampled Gilligan's rose on tap and drank a few watermelon margarita's!
Normally, I'm not a big drinker (especially on a Tuesday night), but knowing I had the next day off for my birthday made it easier to relax and enjoy the night and company.
Between all my panels on Day 2 of Vulture Festival, I ran into Chelsea Market for a quick snack. I'd walked by mokbar numerous times, but as soon as I saw there were "disco fries" on the menu, I knew this was just what I needed.
Thin fries topped with gravy, mozzarella cheese, kimchi, scallions and seaweed; they hit the spot!
A rookie mistake on Day 1 of the Vulture Festival - not having cash for the snacks in the lounge. Day 2, I thought I would get a snack from the pretzel stand, not realizing that the vendors changed each day. Oops.
At least Fred's from Barneys New York had some mini everything bagels with smoked salmon (and they made one special for me, without cream cheese)! Adorable and delicious!
Most of my friends know that I'm not a big coffee drinker, but when I got 2 drink tickets for each Vulture Festival panel, I suddenly found myself with 6 drinks in a 8 hour period. So...after grabbing a free bottle of water, I thought why not try the iced coffee!?
Noble Tree Coffee provided the caffeine and I opted to blend mine with some soy milk and simple syrup. (Note: this has actually become my go-to for caffeine at work now, too!)
After an old college friend decided to pay my a visit in NYC, my b-day reservation at ABC Kitchen had to be cancelled. The upside? Getting to get some of this cheesy goodness from Emmy Squared pizza!
There's something about their Detroit-style slices that can't be described. Plus, they use those tiny, crispy pepperonis that I can't resist!
Since my friend, Whitney, has been on a diet, I've been tackling our "Dumps of the Month" on my own. I knew I couldn't miss this month's specialty dumpling - soup dumplings!
Although I've never had foie gras, I knew these would be rich, but I didn't know just HOW rich they would be. Created by Chef Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park, I quickly realized why there were only 6 to an order! Served with a small squirt bottle of sherry vinegar and I got a side of scallion pancakes, they were the perfect treat after work.
As a little "happy hour," Banana Republic hosted a "Meet & Greet" with the new President of the company. The best part was the hamburger sliders and tiny cups of ketchup with fries courtesy of the Gapeteria!
After hiking through Banff National Park and grabbing lunch, I had to try out one of the BeaverTails, that I had seen lots of kids (an adults) carrying around.
They were described as fried whole wheat dough, which you could top with various items. Melanie and I agreed to split one and opted for the bananas with chocolate hazelnut spread (aka Nutella).
It was pretty damn messy, but delicious!
After Mel's ultimate frisbee try-out and my visit to the museum with Philip, we went down to Chinatown for dinner. They wanted to show me what kind of soup dumplings & bubble tea that Calgary has to offer, so we went to Great Taste, just on the edge of Chinatown.
It's nice having more people to split up dinner with, so we got the xiao long bao, scallion pancakes, Beijing-style shredded beef, Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, fried rice cakes with beef and a few other dishes I can't seem to remember.
We probably could have kept eating, but I needed to save room for bubble tea!
How could anyone NOT like pies? The option of getting sweet or savory at Simple Simon almost overwhelmed me. Luckily, the ladies at the counter let you sample anything you want (I wonder how many pies they go through with samples alone...).
I was on the hunt for a dairy-free option, before I figure out what the rest of my meal would be. I opted for a mini chicken pot pie and couldn't resist poking a little "mouth" into the crust to make a happy face.
My brother wasn't kidding when he talked about the wait for BBQ at Hayden Block; as we waited almost 2 hours, but it was worth the wait.
We splurged, as Dad said he would pay for our dinner, and got a whole stack of ribs, pulled pork, hush puppies, mac & cheese, smoke stack corn. broccoli salad and cornbread (for me).
Strangely, the smoke stack corn ended up being my favorite part. Something about the creaminess of the sauce and smokiness of the corn did it for me.
While I was planning my trip to Calgary, I knew I wanted to find a good brunch place. So, when my Google search turned up OEB, I thought it would be a great option & thankfully, my brother agreed. We went to their newer, downtown location, and got seated pretty quickly.
I wanted something salty & sweet with eggs...so it took me a bit to narrow down their extensive menu. I finally went with the "Menage a Trois" - 2 poached eggs, rosemary ham and a slice of French toast with a fresh fruit garnish. OEB is also known for their twice-fried herbed potatoes, fried in duck fat; so I got a side of them to split with Philip.
He opted for their "Box'D" breakfast - which included eggs and some of the potatoes with various toppings inside a Chinese take-out container.
After a decently-long flight, I arrived in Canada to visit my brother! Although it was Thursday in Calgary, it was Friday in NYC, so for #fatfriday, we went to Peter's Drive-In and got burgers with a side of poutine.
Now, for about $6 US, I can say this is one of the best poutine's I've had! The fries were nice and crispy, the gravy not too salty and the cheese curds were melty, but not slimy. I can easily see how someone could get addicted to eating these all the time.
With Whitney still on her cleanse, I continued our NYC tradition of dim sum on Easter Sunday with my friend, Ololade. Since he'd never been to a Chinese restaurant for dim sum, I had to take him to Nom Wah.
I helped him pick things off the menu and let him pick out a few of his favorite things. I think we ended up with 7 dishes and were plenty full afterwards, with just enough room left for a bubble tea.
Here, you can see some of our eats: xiao long bao (soup dumplings), beef rice noodle rolls, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, spring rolls and pork shui mai.
After seeing these spaghetti donuts all over Instagram, I had wanted to try them for myself. Surprisingly, the line was relatively short and I soon found out why.
I opted for the "Pop Red Sauce" - spaghetti, parmigiano, eggs, tomato puree, olive oil and salt. I took my Lactaid for the cheese, took a big bite and realized that it was rubbery and lacking in moisture. It's hard to describe, but after everyone in my group had a bite, we threw the remains in the trash.
This definitely made me miss Devine Pastabilities' Tor Pasta in San Diego, because if you're going for a spaghetti pie-style dish, this was the winner...not the donut.
The Latest Shows That I've Seen.
The Latest of What I've Been Doing in NYC.
While Dad was watching a video about "The Big Bang," I wandered around the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Even though I had been to the American Museum of Natural History a few times, I had never been in the earth and space wing.
Seeing this structure from the inside was mesmerizing, as I had only seen it in the nighttime from the outside.
After living in the city for almost 7 years, there are onlry a few "touristy" things left that I haven't done. Even though Dad had already been to the Empire State Building, I insisted that we go together.
I got the tickets ahead of time and we had to postpone our trip a few days, after his flight got delayed and he arrived Friday morning vs. Thursday night.
So, on Sunday afternoon, we went to the see the view from the observatory deck. (After dropping off all my Broadway Flea Market wares at home.) It was a gorgeous day and you could really see from all directions of the observation deck. We didn't go up to the 102nd floor observation area, but still had a great experience and even got a cheesy souvenir photo, as I knew Mom would love it. (Even if it wasn't a printed, "real" photo.)
Every year, I try to go early to the Broadway Flea Market. All the proceeds go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) and you can walk away with some great Broadway and theatre memorabilia.
Last year, I had to run up to Times Square on my break, but I got a signed windowcard from the entire Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton! (Needless to say, I'm gonna hang onto that one for awhile.)
This year, the Flea Market happened to coincide with Dad's visit to NYC, so I brought time along with me. He walked around with me through a few booths before he agreed that we should meet up later.
I found some great programs, souvenirs and a photo with Geneva Carr from Hand to God. All in all, a successful trip to the flea!
Dad wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial, so we ventured downtown. I had to bring him through the Oculus structure near WTC One.
After dim sum with my Dad and a few friends, we were walking through Chinatown and Soho, when I spotted this graffiti. My old roommate, Dexter, used to always turn the "Peanut Butter/Jelly Time" song into other things like "Peanut Butter/Shower Time" or "Peanut Butter/Pizza Time!"
I was amused.
The 15th Anniversary of September 11th. Every year, the city light's up the sky with giant blue beams to represent the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
Leaving work, which was also my 5 year anniversary with Madewell, I had to stop and take this photo from down the block.
One of my other favorite rooms at 29Rooms was this ball pit/interactive room spg onsored by Perrier. You could write down something that makes you unique and toss a ball into the pit. I wrote "being true to myself, no matter what others say/think."
It took me a long time to get to this place, but I still worry about what others think about me from time to time. But after being made fun of for so many years in middle school and high school, I finally learned to own my nerdiness - boy bands, theatre, pop culture; you name it. I wear it as a badge of honor now.
Last year, Refinery29 had setup an interactive art installation called 29Rooms. Apparently, the lines were insane and you had to wait hours to get in. So, this year, I saw that they were being moved to a warehouse space near my apartment and I agreed to meet up with my friend, Ashley, and get in line early.
One of my favorite rooms was the RuPaul "Wig Room," where some of Ru's wigs were setup like salon hair dryers and you could sit underneath them and "try" them on.
Post-Mets game, Emily and I walked through Corona Park, including the US Open, towards the Unisphere. Emily's always been into the World's Fair and wanted to walk by this structure.
We convinced some tourists to take our photo and the rest is history!
Emily FINALLY convinced me to go to a Mets game with her and guess who was throwing the first pitch; Laurie Hernandez!!! This gymnastics-loving girl could not have been happier! (Of course, the game was also featuring a Chinese dance group...it's like they knew I was coming to this game!)
I don't know much about baseball, so Emily had to teach me, but I did enjoy the copious amounts of stadium food; one of my favorite parts of sporting events! First Mets game: mission accomplished!
I was lucky enough to have a Thursday evening off work, so my friend/co-worker, Christopher and I met up at Metropolitan Bar in Brooklyn for the RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars 2 viewing party with Thorgy Thor and Ragamuffin.
When Thorgy came out, I was immediately gagging over her birthday cake outfit, complete with a pink feather/frosting plume hat! Thorgy & Ragamuffin provided hilarious commentary during commercials and it was a great way to watch the show, surrounded by fellow allies.
Story (This Is Story) is a super cool concept store in Chelsea. Each month or so, they change the concept of the store and house new product in a single theme. For the late summer, they adopted a 90's theme featuring loads of Nickelodeon and NickToons!
Of course, I tried to not spend all my money there; but I couldn't resist a Spice Girls pouch, boy band book and this photo of the Double Dare podium! If only I could have been Marc Summers!
To celebrate the premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars 2, Logo TV partnered up with Big Gay Ice Cream and was serving up free ice cream near Madison Square Park. Yes, it was hot out, but luckily, I knew the right people in the right places and was able to get near the front of the line, after my physical therapy session.
Only a few of the queens showed up: Phi Phi O'Hara (who was in boy drag/isn't doing drag anymore), Detox and Coco Montrese. I don't know how their faces weren't melting off in the heat, but I appreciated them showing up and for the cup of free ice cream!
I probably picked one of the hottest days this summer to go wandering around downtown. My other mistake: thinking Seamore's opened at 11am for brunch, but they actually didn't open until 11:30am. Those 20 minutes walking around Nolita were pretty damn hot. I was pleasantly sweaty by the time I got to the restaurant.
I had only been to Seamore's one time before and it was for dinner, so it was harder to see the interior of the restaurant. Since I showed up just after opening, it was easy to get a seat and this awesome shot.
I may have lived in this neighborhood for almost 7 years and walked by this school numerous times, but it was only when I took a detour down another street that I saw this map of the United States.
Of course, I had to stop and pay tribute to my home state. You can take the girl out of Nebraska, but you can't take the Nebraska out of the girl!
It was my first time in the new Barneys New York in Chelsea, much prettier than their previous location that was sometimes turned into the space for the Warehouse Sale. The architects, Steven Harris, really took the time to make sure the store was gorgeous.
As I walked up the staircase, I knew I wanted to get a photo from the top floor - easy Instagram fodder. I didn't know that when I got upstairs, I would run into one of my former sales associates from Urban Outfitters, where he was working in Men's Shoes. A pleasant surprise, even if they didn't have the Comme des Garcons Converse sneakers in my size.
Just a cool shot of the Thunderbolt marquee on a really clear day in Brooklyn.
Yup. Two days after my first venture out to Coney Island for Fifth Harmony, I found myself back at the Ford Amphitheater to see New Kids on the Block with Christina! After hearing that NKOTB were only going to do a show at Hershey Park for the Mixtape Festival, I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't get a chance to see the boys this year. However, at the last minute they announced a one night only performance at Coney Island (the sight of the "Please Don't Go Girl" music video) and of course, being the Blockheads that were are, Christina & I HAD to go!
Before the show, we walked around Coney Island and stumbled upon the Art Walls. I took a lot of photos, but this one stuck out to me the most - "Everything is shit, except you love." Seems appropriate for NYC.
When the new Ford Amphitheater reopened at Coney Island, I found that many of the concerts and shows I wanted to see were there. So, I made the long trek from Bushwick to Coney Island to see Fifth Harmony.
Walking down the boardwalk after the show, everything was lit up and I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the rides in Luna Park.
After seeing the New York Spring Spectacular and the Christmas Spectacular, I wasn't that stoked about seeing the Summer show until I heard that Mia Michaels had choreographed the show! I'm always up for some Mia work and there were so many of my favorite dancers in the show, so it was an easy choice for a Sunday matinee show once TodayTix listed it.
I was super impressed with the dancing, especially the fashion/Vogue number since it featured so many handsome men shirtless in blazers hitting all their marks full out! (How could I NOT watch Jakob Karr during this whole piece!?)
The story wasn't the strongest and Lilla Crawford (who I loved in Annie and Into the Woods), was super annoying in this show. But over all, well worth my $40.
After my visit to the Jewish Museum, I grabbed a quick lunch at the Russ & Daughters Cafe inside the museum and went for a walk around Central Park.
Any time I walk by the reservoir, I can't help but think about one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals. "The Next Ten Minutes" from The Last Five Years and how Cathy & Jamie sing while walking through the park and he proposes to her.