Thursday, May 31, 2012

Have You Ever Been to a Japanese Tea House?

Both Jamie and Joanna have officially left Lafayette.  They're moving on up in the world with real jobs and new apartments, of course that doesn't mean our adventures are over.  But, last night we did leave the dessert making to someone else, dining instead at Cha An on 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd.  The restaurant can best be described as a Japanese Tea House.

For starters, they were both courageous and tried drinks native to Japan.  I stuck with the simpler orange tea.

For dinner we shared the six appetizer medley and a crazy combo with rice, soup, raw salmon, battered pork, and greens drizzled in peanut sauce.
Some of these bite-sized dishes were 100% new to me. 
Who would have thunk it:  peanut-butter flavored vegetables? 
The $8 price tag for this sweet treat was well worth it! 
Of course, the ultimate treat (and real reason for trying the new restaurant) was for their delicious desserts.  An earl grey flan came with dinner, and a strawberry cream number paired with fresh, berry ice cream was added as well.  All I can say is YUM!

Overall, the meal was a little expensive ($25 a person), but I'd say it's the perfect spot for a special catching up with great friend.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Might as Well Take Advantage of It

I've decided to make a pact with myself; if I'm going to be spending my last sumer free of any real responsibilities in New York City, I better take advantage of it.  School's out, so no more homework.  No longer will it be acceptable to spend my Sunday afternoon locked in my apartment watching Netflix.

My friend Claire told me about this awesome website  It lists the daily free or low cost activities going on around the City.  So, I looked there for suggestions on today's adventure.  A two o'clock showing of the 1937 classic Shall We Dance starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire was playing at the Lincoln Center Amphitheater.  Usually I would have just slowly eased into my morning, heading Uptown around 1pm.  But, new roommates were moving in, so I left Laf around 10:30.

I know I've said this before, but I've lived here for three years and still think of myself as a tourist whenever going above 34th Street.  Usually it's just check out the random directions on and take the designated subway route.

But with hours to kill, today I decided to walk.  Art booths decorated University Place from 4th-14th Street, and the typical Veggie Market was going on in Union Square.  At 24th and 5th Avenue Madison Square Eats featured treats from 25 famous food tuck vendors.  It's going on for another week, so be sure to stop by.  I tried a Blueberry/Mint popsicle from People's Pop.  The $3.50 price tag was a little steep but definitely worth it.  Whole blueberries and mint leaves were in every bite...yummy!

As for the movie, there was no doubt in my mind I'd love it.  Sure, today's movies may have special features with 3D bonus features, but there's just something about watching an old classic.  The story lines are original, the acting's genuine, and the costumes are always gorgeous.  Surprising as it may be, I wasn't even the youngest person there.

After the credits started rolling, I had to race back to Lafayette and work a four hour shift in the Resource Center.  It's only redeeming quality was meeting some of the cute new boys who will be living in the building.  Once the final registration card was alphabetized, it was off to Pommes Frites on 7th and 2nd for a quick bite.  Their  Belgian fries are some of the best around, and the dipping sauce is delicious too!

So if you have a favorite place I should check out, please let me know.  I'm in need of a few new suggestions!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Working at 30 Rock

It's official; I have my own desk at NBC.  Summer 2012 will be spent as an intern for the department called Local Integrated Media.  I'll be resizing photos, writing captions, and editing video for galleries that appear across 10 major markets across the country.  I've only been there a few days, but already it's a step above my last internship with The Times.  At NBC, my bosses treat interns as budding journalists with valuable ideas, not brainless bodies whose only purpose is to restock the beauty closet.  

Wednesday was my first day.  As I walked from the subway to the golden doors of 30 Rockefeller Center, the usual hoards of people were waiting to catch a glimpse of Ann and Al from The Today Show.  But, I marched right past them, posed for my ID, and was sent to the 6th floor.  Unfortunately, the elevator I was told to take took me to the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" studio, not the office.  It looked just like the set of "30 Rock. " But eventually, my boss found me and showed me where I was actually supposed to go.  After being there for only a few minutes, she gave me my first assignment:  write captions about the 51 contestants competing for the crown on Miss USA.

Well, I clicked on this morning, and guess what's leading the entertainment tab... my gallery!   A story I did on my first day is raking in rating results!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moving On Up

My building hasn't changed but my floor number has.  For the summer I've left the 11th floor behind and am the newest resident on the Penthouse.  The amount of stuff I've accumulated over the year is seriously mind boggling.  Between new clothes, rescued furniture, and hand me down bake ware, it's a good thing there's two floors in my new apartment.  I'll only be here for three months, but that doesn't stop me from decorating.  After days of packing and unpacking, it's finally finished.   The plates are on the wall, and baked goods have been made.  The bro pad's been transformed, and it's certainly for the better.  
The Living Room's HUGE!  Besides the 5 coaches for sitting, it's been converted into a hula hooping paradise.  
My Favorite Room is the Breakfast Nook.  

Not as big but just as colorful.  
And the View's not to shabby...literally, I can see the entire Island! 
As for those baked goods I was talking about, last night I made banana bread.  The little kids I babysit introduced me to the recipe.  On Saturday, I took a piece home.  Instantly I knew I wanted a loaf of my own. 

2 cups sifted-all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt.  Cream the butter and gradually add sugar.  Mix well.  Add eggs, bananas.  Blend.  Combine the milk and lemon juice.  Slowly fold in flour and milk mix.  If desired, stir in nuts.  Pour into buttered 9 by 5 by 3 inch pan.  Bake in the oven for one hour.  

My oven was broken.  Its knob said 350°, but the actual temperature was 600°.  Needless to say, my bread didn't turn out quite as good as theirs.  But lucky for me, (after eating a slice of burned-bottom banana bread) my friend fixed the broken oven.  Hopefully that means I've had my one and only baking blunder of the summer.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Treasure Trove from the Trash Bins

I've been back in New York City for a few days now, but most of my time's been spent in the Lafayette Resource Center.  For most of our residents, it's checkout time.  So moving bins, registration cards, and lots of parents can be found all over the place.  But it's the stuff people are throwing out that really surprises me.  Textbooks, microwaves, lamps, even a couch and lots of TVs are up for grabs.

This is Just One Section!  Seriously, There's So Much Stuff
From the trash rooms and donation bins, I've rescued an abandoned bookshelf, an antique coffee table, a new mixer still in its box, and a few cookie sheets.  After a few go-arounds with Palmolive and Clorox wipes, each item's good as new.  Plus, they were 100% free.  Some kids at NYU must have more money than they know what to do with if they're throwing out stuff like this!
This Will Nicely Hold All my Fun Books I Have Here 

I guess the old saying's man's trash really is another's treasure.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hello There Cupcakes

Sweets in Savannah
If you find yourself in Savannah craving a sweet treat, be sure to stop by Tier Luxury Cakes.  Located next to the Lucas Theatre, Tier's crazy flavors reflect their Southern roots.  There's you're typical red velvet and chocolate, but I'd say step out of your comfort zone and try a whimsical flavor, like Strawberry Lemonade.  Seeing as how it's almost peach season, I tried their Georgia Peach and Vanilla Cupcake...super sweet and delicious!   Their ultra-moist cake had real chunks of fruit mixed in its batter.  And, peach preserve was drizzled atop its sky high icing.  It's definitely the cupcake choice if you're hankering a fix for your sweet tooth, but be sure to ask for some water too.  Might I suggest you also grab it to go and spend some time relaxing in Oglethorpe Square just up the block.

Congrats Grad
All this cupcake eating really made me want to make some for myself.  I wish I could claim this design, but the cute cap and gown topper were inspired by our Lafayette end of the year celebration last week.  Our Residence Hall Director, Nupur, decorated apples with this Reese's Peanut Butter Cup/Hershey's Square treat.  So, when it was my friend's graduation dinner, I knew just how I wanted to decorate my dessert.  

What You'll Need
-Completed, Iced Cupcakes
-Miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
-One Giant Hershey's Bar (it comes with 16 squares, so buy another depending on how many cupcakes you're making)
-Brown Icing 

It's super simple; start off with cupcakes topped with colored icing of your choosing.  Next, turn your mini Reese's cup upside down and add brown icing to it.  Break up your Hershey's bar into its square, and add a piece to the peanut butter cup.  Put a tab of brown icing on your cap and attach an unraveled section of Twizzlers for the tassel.  Plop the completed graduation hat on your cupcake, and voilĂ , a cute cupcake fit for your favorite graduate.  

On an Unrelated Note

I hope you've wished the extra-special women in your life a Happy Mother's Day.  We'll be having a spaghetti dinner with the Tribbles followed by my favorite dessert of Strawberry Shortcake.  As I was chopping up the fruit, look at my neat find.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, strawberries are quite important to our family, so I think the secret heart was quite fitting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hello Again Savannah

When I think of the South, Savannah instantly comes to my mind.  I'm not sure if it's the moss hanging from the trees, the fact that it's mentioned in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, or just because it's home to Paula Deen, but a visit to the Georgia Coastal City seems like the quintessential Southern experience.  Even though I only lived here for two months, Savannah and I have this weird connection.  Nothing can compete with roaming its streets on a warm May day.  So when my mom asked if I'd join her  on a business trip to my favorite city, how could I say no?

After checking into the hotel, Lady and Sons was our first stop.  We ogled over the menu but both ultimately decided to get the buffet.  As per usual, Paula didn't disappoint! I ate fried chicken, beef tips, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, hoe cakes, and peach cobbler for dessert.  Delicious!

Such a Beautiful Cathedral
And today, Momma's been working at the VC campus here, and I've just been getting utterly lost in Savannah with a cup of coffee in hand.  I had to go to the Lucas Theatre and peaked in at St. John the Baptist Cathedral.  It used to be our church, and I was baptized there ages ago.  I read my book in Lafayette Square, and window-shopped  around Bull Street.  Of course, there was the usual, annoying, tour bus folks, but not even their insistent asking if I'd mind taking a picture of them in front of a random fountain could get me down.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm out of school?  Maybe it's the weather?  Maybe it's just being back in the South?  But today was simply wonderful.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Day Dedicated to Strawberries?

If you ask me, nothing in this world taste better than a plump, ruby red strawberry.  One bite from the juicy fruit is like a time machine to past summer celebrations, late night cake baking parties, and memories of my great grandmother's kitchen.  Bar known they're my favorite fruit, and could very well compete with PB+Js as my favorite food.  So when I discovered my freshman year that NYU had an entire celebration dedicated to the festive fruit, I seriously couldn't have been happier.  We may not have homecoming or a spring pig roast,  but what we do have is Strawberry Fest.  

We Were Certainly Enjoying Our Pieces of Cake 

I actually ended my internship with The Times a day early to insure I'd be able to make this year's event.  Along with Jamie and our fellow RAs Jeff and Phil, we walked under the giant arch of red balloons and were carted to a Candy Land-esc world of nothing but strawberries.  Sweet Buns with pink filling and 2 cups of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream were the first items sampled.  Of course we also had to stop by the booth handing out cups of strawberries.  But, the real treat was a slice of New York's Longest Strawberry Shortcake.  Stretching an entire block, flavored drizzle, bits of strawberry, and butter-cream icing covered the entire cake.  Sure, it wasn't exactly the best tasting dessert, but the novelty alone was reason enough to wait in the long line.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Really Amare?

We've had our fair share of technical difficulties this semester, but the final episode of NYU Tonight went off without a hitch.  From the anchors and the stage manager to the prompter and media manager, the whole show was 30 minutes of our best work.  As the executive producer, I was in charge of creating the run down.  But it wouldn't be a Tuesday unless I wrote the Sports Stories too...
The Heat put the Knicks in a 0-2 hole, but Amare Stoudemire’s  self-inflicted wounds cut New York deeper.  Frustrated with last night’s final score of 104 to 94, Stoudemire slammed his left hand through the glass encasing of a fire extinguisher.  He received stitches from Knicks paramedics and left the arena in a  sling.  A league source said Stoudemire is “almost certain” to miss Game 3 on Thursday in New York.  And, there’s a possibility he could miss the rest of the series.  The Knicks have lost 11 straight play off games, tying for the longest losers streak in history.  

Throughout the season the New York Rangers have frustrated opponents with their defensive system and blocked shots.  But last night the Washington Capitals gave them a does of their own medicine.  The Rangers found themselves down a man after taking two consecutive penalties in the third period.  And, they ended up losing 3-2 as a result.  The Rangers vs. Capitals next matchup will be this Wednesday at 7:30 P-M in Washington.  They’ll enter Game 3 with the series tied 1-1. 

It's sad to say, but that's all the news I'll have for you this least that'll air on NYU Tonight.