Archive for January, 2012

Quite the steal

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on January 24, 2012 by robdc

After Highline we had plans to go to the MOMA. Brando, as usual, had found out that if we go at this time on this day we don’t have to pay anything to get in. But on the way we stopped at BXL Belgian Café for some frites and a couple of drinks.

On our way to the MOMA we happened upon some very nice, very rushed gentlemen. They had a rack of winter coats and a proclamation, that any coat on the rack cost only $20 but they had to be bought RIGHT NOW!, there was fur and wool and all sorts of stuff, I had my eyes on a cashmere number and could not pass up that price point, so I wore 2 coats for the rest of the day.

The MOMA was populated by many pieces of art, but the main theme of the museum at this moment is, I guess, what you’d call post feminist.



After MOMA was one of the moments we were all waiting for on this trip… NINJA! Our reservation at Ninja was finally here! I couldn’t wait. Was the place a bit gimmicky? Yes. Was it an experience? Hell yes! And complete bonus, the food was absolutely fantastic. We entered through the ‘Ninja’s path’ which is basically just a narrow winding set of stair cases that bypass the restaurants other patrons. We sat in our secluded little area and waited for the show to start. Our first server was very much Asian and dressed in what I can only assume is business casual for ninjas. He flung out the menu scrolls dramatically and laid them on the table. Many quips and ninja references are snuck into every string of words anyone lets loose while employed here. You can order a-la carte or in groupings, all of which are ridiculously over stacked with food, but hey, we’re on vacation so what the hell?! I ordered the Sasuke which was 5 courses and started with this:’


Those support dishes had swords through them when the dish arrived and we had to yank them out while screaming to produce the effects you see here. That’s a popcorn shrimp dish up top and goose liver (might as well call it what it is) on the dish next to it. Also there were shrimp and spicy tuna sushi rolls. Some items had ninja stars next to them on the menu which indicated some theatrics or special presentation. Brandon noticed that the Ceasar salad had this marking and wondered how they managed to ninjafy a salad so he ordered it. Turns out what that meant was that Brandon would have to attack the cover of the salad when they brought it to him.

IMG_3805 IMG_3807

It was easily the least impressive aspect of the meal. Those doors up against our table did slide open and at one point a ninja flung them open and yelled at our table, effectively scaring the crap out of everyone for a second. Stuff like that happened throughout the meal. Many of the dishes were set on fire and some of them had some trickery involved in the presentation.


Here are a couple more shots of the crazy stuff that we ordered before thinking through the fact that we were expected to actually eat everything.



Again, running short on time, going to have to finish the rest later in the week.

Cojelo con take it easy,



Highline or no line

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on January 23, 2012 by robdc

We awoke Saturday and headed directly to Doughnut Plant, this was a new location closer to the center of Manhattan and had a much more dine in feel than the original location in Chinatown. Thankfully, the selection had not been dumbed down by the establishments further reach.


I had the tres leches and the blackout which had some fudge baked into the center of the ring, my mouth is watering just writing about it.


Then we headed to Highline park, this park used to be a train line that headed to Penn station, it was going to be torn down but the city had it redesigned as a very pleasant walking park above the city. To any avid watchers of Louie this is the spot where he goes after he witnesses that bum get decapitated by a garbage truck to have his deep moment about life and it’s value.


The view was also very nice.


And of course we made time to mess around and have some fun. We were also lucky enough to witness someone adding a bit of beauty to the walk, whether this was sanctioned or not we have no idea, either way I think it only added to the view and the experience.


We walked along and chatted about this and that, my mind was apparently in skit mode because the now infamous rapebies were spawned in this magnificent place. This only gets us into the early afternoon. Seriously, I only got through Highline?! I’ll have to go on later, the plane is landing, gotta run.



In Memorial

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on January 23, 2012 by robdc

I arrived in New York to find it just how I left it last, save one glaring difference… It’s God damned cold! The coat I bought in preparation is doing me alright but there will definitely be an addition made to my wardrobe while I’m here.

As always we wasted no time and got right to the good times. I met up with with the Segermeisters, Christian and our psudo-guide Mellissa and we headed to Breslin where the Laphroag was plentiful and the laughs abounded. Then we hit a dive bar I didn’t bother getting the name of. A quick stop at grays papaya for some delicious hotogs doused in caramelized onions and a final set of drinks at Down the Hatch where a yelling match about M&M not being the greatest white rapper signaled that it’s probably time for us to turn in.

We awoke the next day with signature deli food on our collective minds, so we headed to Carnegie Deli where the four of us split two pastrami sandwiches, no one finished their half.


We then ran over to the apple store because Christian needed some Jobs branded knickknack, the rest of us took the opportunity to visit FAO Schwarz, a toy store that my parents were wise enough not to let me know existed when I was a child. This place just isn’t fair, so many awesome things that no one person can own all of.


Then we headed to ground zero where the 9/11 memorial is mostly complete. The site where the horrible tragedy of 2001 happened is now a beautiful but poignant memorial to the many souls that lost their lives here, tragically, because of the misguided  ideals of zealots who believed that killing the innocent was an ok thing to do.


We then headed to the financial district and to battery park. The weather definitely made park visiting less of a visual treat but I managed to snap a couple of shots of key points. The barricades are still up along most monuments and statues in this part of the city from the occupy protests that have been happening recently.



After that we headed down to Canal St. to haggle with the shop owners and see who could get the best knock off, I think Christian won this round with his very reasonably priced Omega.

A quick stop into St. Andrews for some 18 year Glenmorangie while we waited for the show to start then we headed in to Avenue Q. Saying that I was unaware of what I was walking into is beyond an understatement. I knew puppets were involved but not that this was a foul mouthed exhibition of hilarious puppetry.  Yes it was a musical but not like you’d expect, ‘Everyone is a little bit racist’ and ‘The internet is for porn’ are only a couple of the awesomely hilarious and off color titles of the songs performed by the puppets and their human counterparts.

We then headed to Crif Dogs where I had a ‘good morning’ which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and deep fried, served over a fried egg and a slice of American cheese. We were way early for our reservation at PDT so we headed to McSorleys. This place was so refreshingly authentic. In a city of gluten free decaf chai lates Mc Sorleys is a little slice of Ireland. You walk in, are seated wherever there is room (we were thrown at a table of NYU alums who were kind enough to share some NY war stories) and given 2 choices, “light or dark”. You make your choice and two mugs of whatever you expressed desire to drink are brought to the table for each patron. The dark was delightful. Also, I was wearing my Killkenny sweater and the gentleman who brought us our beers asked me about it, when I told him that I bought it in Killkenny when I was there last year he made a comment about how he remembered that being a rough town and they must have softened up to let a foreigner like me wear their colors, it was all in jest and made the atmosphere that much more authentic.


Then we headed back to Crif Dogs for our reservation at  PDT (Please Don’t Tell). Apparently this place was a true secret until Anthony Bourdain ousted it on his new show but either way it was new to us and a real gem. You enter the establishment through a phone booth in Crif Dogs, you have to pick up the phone and clear your entrance with the hidden establishment, here’s a shot of me at the hidden portal.


Once inside the menu consisted of some very specific and meticulously designed foods and drinks. Yes the main focus was still hot dogs but these hot dogs were like no other, kimchee and oyster dogs with all sorts of special sauces. Drinks crafted by some of NY’s most renowned mixologists. The ambient was dark and intimate and as a complete coincidence my “happy song” ‘bombay’ by El Guincho was playing just as we sat down, this was definitely a sign.


The ‘I knew about this place before it was cool’ element was palpable but the food and amazing quality of the drinks did a great deal to overcome that. This hipster owl should make the point.


We brushed off this minor draw back and managed to have a time and a half anyway.


Oh yea, I had the tots with chorizo gravy…


and yes they were as good as that sounds. I ended up finishing pretty much every drink that was ordered but here are the contents of a couple of the ones I actually ordered:


Butter infused flor de cana silver dry rum, Wray and nephew overproof rum, frangelico, blue curacao, lemon & pineapple juices, cream, bittermans elemakule tiki bitters.

Kansai Kick:

Yamazaki 12 year old Japanese whisky, blandy’s special madeira, lime juice and orgeat.

Although a bunch of other things were ordered, this should give you an idea of what this place is all about. Also, you’re not allowed to speak on the phone while inside the bar and there are no public displays of affection permitted. I love this place, but it led to an acute case of amnesia for the ride home. This was the end of the night.



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