Monthly Archives: June 2011

$150 for $75 at Pixie Market

Some things I never really do is give into discounts, bargains, vouchers, and coupons. I’m not a very good shopper, never was, never will be and no sales pitch will ever change that.

Until now.

As a subscriber to Refinery 29’s newsletter I couldn’t resist purchasing this $75 voucher to LES and online storefront Pixie Market where awesome wispy dresses go for $55 and shoes of desire are always at the ready. I’m about to run out the house and buy a pair of shoes and maybe a top. I promise I won’t go over $150!

Some covetous items:

One: Woven Leather Flats: $117

Two: Brown Leather Sandals: $114

Three: White Perforated Loafers: $126

Four: Mustard Shift Dress: $54

Five: Bow Back Floral Dress: $72

Six: Aryn K Cotton Dress: $70

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Sobalicious: Cocoron and Soba Ya

There’s really something about soba that screams healthy, light, and refreshing. The act of slurping noodles brings comfort while soba’s earthy tones, grainy textures, and cold smooth body slows time just a little bit as you contemplate each exquisitely simple bite. I’ve been craving soba noodles since the heat wave hit NY and I got to indulge in it two days in a row!

Sunday night after a day spent at Rockaway Beach Angel and I stopped by Cocoron, a tiny 14 seat noodle shop on Delancey Street with a counter opening to the kitchen and tables for two alongside a brick wall. The space was a bit too cramped for comfort, poor Angel barely had space to maneuver his arm freely while reaching for the noodles and making way for the appetizer plate (which came AFTER our main dishes) was a challenge. The waitress was a nervous little thing, unsuccessfully placing trays of food in between guests spilling all over one woman’s lap, incessantly apologizing whilst forgetting other guests’ requests for water.

I ordered the Pork Kimchee Dip Soba which is basically cold noodle and hot soup and I was prompted to dip the soba into the broth for no more than 10 seconds before gratuitously slurping it into my belly. The soup is a tweaked version of  the infamous Korean dish, kimchi jigae, made much more dense in its saltiness to balance the blandness of the soba. The kimchi and pork combo will always fails to disappoint but the broth was way too salty, even for my tastes considering I over-salt everything.

Angel ordered the Tororo Wakame Soba wherein which a white mass of slimy gooey frothy stuff (grated mountain yam) is slathered alongside broth and a pile of seaweed. According to the cutely animated menu it’s supposed to be age-defying  and is a “power combo”. Angel seemed to begrudgingly finish it off, unconvincingly telling me it’s good and filling. I am certainly not disrespecting cultural traditions or acquired tastes but I felt absolutely no fondness for this slimy dish. None.

Steamed Chicken Meatball was our appetizer which only came midway through our noodles and despite having loved the sticky orange (not quite brown) rice I felt again, it was way too salty for anyone’s good. I cringed a little watching Angel pop two in his mouth, afraid his tastebuds would collapse from all the puckering. The dessert was a confounding mixture of corn flakes cereal, green tea ice cream, knobs of rice cake, crumbled peanuts, red beans with a very green green tea sauce. I snatched up the rice cake and ice cream real quick but left the corn flakes drowning in translucent green water for the taking. I also would avoid comparing green goo to espresso that lathers mounds of ice cream. Perhaps this would be much better without the corn flakes. It really confounds me!

Where Cocoron was casual, homey, young, and fast, Soba Ya in the East Village was more refined, subdued, decorative, and pricey. The place was packed at 6pm on a Monday night and I sat at the bar with Mai, watching all the action take place as dishes were made and whisked away by quick footed waiters.

Since last night’s soba was hot and rather filling I went for traditional cold dipping noodles which followed a three piece appetizer with my favorite side dish of all time, the glaceed sweet potato.  The Korean version of this appealingly sweetened vegetable is fried and crispy while Satsumaimo was steeped in sweet juice and melted in your mouth. I ordered a separate side dish of only this which was probably a mistake as it quickly became a little too sweet to handle. Help yourself to 2 – 3 slices and you’re all set.

The soba was exactly what I was looking for: cold, light, refreshing, earthy, simple, and healthy. A dish that leaves you feeling just the right amount of content, never too filling or present. I look forward to a rise in the soba trend as I believe ramen is overrated and is associated with all things fat and msg. Soba! Soba! Soba!

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Rules of the Road (Suck)

A few weeks back I was riding my bike at the point where Nassau Ave becomes Berry St on N.15th Street in Williamsburg and was going against traffic ON the bike lane when I was swiftly pulled over by a nice cop lady who proceeded to lecture me about its being illegal to ride against traffic. I tried to explain the one way change over where exactly at that point Nassau and Berry switch directions and I needed to go just one block AGAINST traffic continuing ON the bike lane to turn on N.15th onto where Kent Ave turns into Franklin St (you confused yet?) She explained whether or not I was on the bike lane it’s illegal to go against traffic. I told her I felt more safe going on the bike lane than not, whether or not I’m going with traffic or not. It thus became pretty confusing because she didn’t have much details about what exactly was the law and what the ticket fine would be.

Then Angel sent the link to this video of some dude getting a summons for riding WITH traffic NOT on a bike lane. Cop told him it’s illegal. Even though it’s not. So I presented this to twitter and facebook and have received informative feedback on what you can and cannot do. If you’re on any street with a bike lane and you’re not using it, you’ll get pulled over. If you see the bike lane, use it. EVEN THOUGH, there are cabs and people and double parked trucks, construction cones, deep potholes and the occasional hot dog cart rolling on the lane where there should be nothing but bikes riding it. As the video emphasizes, it’s ridiculous and unfair to subject bikers with summons and obnoxious ignorant behavior from the authorities when we do our best to stay away from harm including dangers faced ON the bike lane.

Reading the official rules of the road I ride my bike in full paranoia now as I still don’t have a bell on my bike, nor do I wear a helmut and keep two ear plugs in my ears for music and conversating on the phone. I do have lights installed although I forget to use it half the time and feel the blinking brightness is more distracting than what the peace of the dark night has to offer.

In the end I won’t be fighting the summons I received and this will by my lesson learned; don’t take shortcuts and always ride with traffic, even though you felt safer on that bike lane going against traffic seeing nothing was in the way to cause harm or injury.

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Crispy Potato Wrapped Flounder with Dill & Caper Sauce

It’s been quite some time since I’ve last posted about a homemade meal and I’m relieved to find inspiration once again to dedicate more time to blogging. The last three months have been filled to the brim with transitions; quitting my job, moving into Angel’s apt in the Lower East Side, planning the wedding, planning a gargantuan art festival, and living for two. I’ve cooked every once in a while since we’ve been living together but I felt little urgency to photograph and write about my kitchen adventures. Hopefully that’ll change as I get back on track and figure out what my next step is. One thing is for sure, my dream is to experience culture and share it with the world through writing and rely on the audience’s taking a liking to my voice, allowing me to grow readership and run a financially self-sustaining website/online mag. That’ll probably be a couple years in the making. Until then I’m trying to figure out how I’ll bring home da money and am having quite a difficult time swallowing the thought of working in an office again. I just can’t do it!!

I figure if I find a decent gig where I deepen my experience and skillset and spend the rest of the days exploring, photographing, and documenting through this blog. I don’t even know where to BEGIN looking for a job as my ambivalence prevails and switches my interests from wedding planning and event production to social media and marketing, freelance writing and publishing to yoga certification and teaching. Can’t decide!

Until I figure my shit out, let me share this dish I made last night. The inspiration and recipe comes from the ubiquitous Closet Cooking, replacing a bed of asparagus with sliced summer zucchini, my favorite vegetable. I wish to god I had a mandolin to get the potato slices cut perfectly thin but alas I labored through uneven thicknesses of potatoes. Wrapping flounder around them wasn’t as difficult as I would’ve imagined and where I was worried the flounder wouldn’t cook evenly throughout, the meat was super tender and juicy with the dill sauce drenching the fish to give it a tart, sour, and refreshing taste.

Recipe can be found here.

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Northside Open Studios: June 16 – 19th


In between the last post and now I quit my job, moved to the Lower East Side, had a magical lovely Greenpoint wedding, and busted my chops planning this four day art festival. I’ve certainly lost my blogging mojo as everything in life has been up in the air, twirled around and never quite settled to a smooth transition. I’ll be back on that track next week as I search for a soul and a job, revamp the blog, update all my lists, and maybe even pursue a website redesign.

Until then, indulge with me starting TODAY as Northside Open Studios launches with a panel discussion on art and real estate. FUN! Full press release and every single flier we’ve created below:

The main event of Northside Open Studios occurs June 18th & 19th where over 200 participating artists will be opening their studios to share their artistic practice, providing an in-depth and unique experience that incites dialogue and harvests community.

In addition to artists opening studios throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint curators, organizations, and local businesses are hosting myriad exhibitions and events throughout the area. Whether it’s a show about hardware, a live mural painting on the street, an exhibition dedicated to Burt Reynolds or a Bikini Reading Series, there’s no telling what you’ll expect during this four day art extravaganza. Check our events page for more.

The NOS team has also produced four special events during each day of the festival including a panel discussion, a screening, a street festival, and a group exhibition of participating artists followed by a launch party. Each attached flier features our general flier and individual special event. The celebration will be non-stop so free up your calendar and join us!

NOS maps and programs will be available at our hub spaces and downloadable from our website.

Hub Spaces:

Causey Contemporary
: 92 Wythe Ave

Crest Hardware Store: 558 Metropolitan Ave

Camel Art Space: 722 Metropolitan Ave

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: 632 Manhattan Ave

Brouwerij Lane
: 78 Greenpoint Ave

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