Jul 30, 2010

Bluebird coffee shop

I think I've mentioned the NY Times list of "serious" coffee places in a post or two here and how I want to tackle the list. Today I happily crossed off another. Bluebird Coffee Shop is described as "pleasant," "disarming," and "flooded with sunlight." All very true. This is one of the coziest cafes I've seen in a while. Totally unassuming on the outside. Eddie and I walked right past it and had to backtrack to locate it. Very cute and the light was a dream. It is a shame I was only armed with my iPhone camera. Will return for sure.

Eddie had a pretty cortado, we split a giant cookie, and I had an iced latte with half the milk. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Happy weekend! I'll be off to Boston for a mini-trip. Lugging three cameras, which will probably take up 75% of the stuff I am bringing. Hope it will be worth the heavy baggage :P.

Jul 28, 2010

Macaron traffic light

Jumbled up a bit, but these macaron colors still reminded me of a traffic light. There is something irresistible about the combination of Polaroids and macarons. They seem to just beg for each other.

Pistachio, raspberry, lemon. Go, stop, and make a run for it. My rules, at least.

Jul 27, 2010


It's been a while since I've taken flowery/nature shots. Guess I've been too busy taking pictures of my food ;). Dug this up from the archives.

Jul 26, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (viii)

When I just barely recovered from the epic Friday night food/wine coma, I kicked off Saturday with...more eating obviously, beginning with dim sum at Golden Unicorn. I am horrible at ordering dim sum actually; it is always handy to have a Cantonese speaking friend to go with. Took the cliche route from there and chased down some bubble tea from Ten Ren. A nutella mint cupcake later, we ended up at Hummus in the West Village. I can't remember how many times I've passed this place and wanted to try.

Warm, fluffy pita with these hummus dips was perfect. And of course, my preoccupation with cafe chairs/tables and afternoon light has me snapping away.

Saturday was probably the worst, muggiest day to be walking around, so Alicia and I ducked into anotheroom in Tribeca and began Saturday night way too early. Wandered to Bar 89 in Soho where we consumed dinner #2 (sadly so normal for us!). Grannied up for the rest of the night in preparation for Sunday brunch.

Back to the West Village for a real French brunch. Another tiny place (slightly bigger than Tartine though) with little elbow room. Amazing Croque Madames with bread toasted to perfection. Also, crazy cappuccino foam, hello!

I was so excited to take Polaroids of people, instead of my usual subjects. Thanks to my friends for being great models. :)

And finally, watching the storm pass from the dry shelter of Filene's Basement in Union Square. I think I would love to live around Union Square if I could ever afford it!

Jul 24, 2010

A night of glorious excess

A four-hour long affair of food and wine at Daniel. Ahhh, my spoiled, spoiled taste buds and stomach. They are going to have a fit when I get them back on the daily grind of ramen and other offensive processed foods.

These people really know what they are doing. Service was very personable and knowledgeable. Quite phenomenal all around. I was amazed how accommodating the menu was for vegetarians. Of course I wanted to whip out my Digital SLR but it was so quiet in the dining room, the obnoxious shutter click would have been the only noise heard all around. So I present you with a mix of iPhone and point & shoot shots.

Naturally, it is in the Upper East Side, where monies abound. :P
Pre-dinner cocktail called "Pomp and Circumstance." In hindsight, a cocktail followed by 6 glasses of wine pairings was not the smartest decision I've ever made.
I never remember what is in the amuse bouche, but these were so daintily plated.

And it begins (I had the carnivorous dishes on the left, and my friend's vegetarian selections on the right):

I did actually take home both of the menus, so if you are interested...
1) Mosaic of Lola Duck, Porcini and Red Wine Gelee | Yukon Gold Potato "Quiche" with Chanterelles
2) Peekytoe Crab Salad with Persian Cucumber | Ragout of California Corn
3) Hazelnut and Chorizo Crusted Maine Sea Scallops (this was INCREDIBLE) | Minted Ratatouille with Ricotta Gnocchi
4) Black Sea Bass with Syrah Sauce | Roasted Daikon Radish and Black Mission Figs
5) Duo of Beef (Short Ribs and Wagyu Tenderloin) | Arugula and Spinach Subric
6) Warm Guanaja Chocolate Coulant | Coconut Lemongrass Soup

Wine pairings were, of course, fantastic. I was holding up fine until I had to stand up after all of it. Oof. Most intense food coma ever.

Hehe spotted Daniel chatting to some diners! Also got a quick view of the kitchen. It's such a frenzy in there and lots of shouting/cursing. Pretty amazing.
I regretted not being able to polish off the petit fours. Or the selection of chocolate that came around.

My dining companion and I go way, way back. :) And I am quite lucky to have such fantastic friends. Thanks for the unbelievable dining experience!

Jul 23, 2010

Here and there

A few black and whites I wanted to share from the last film hoorah.

Shiny espresso machines in the Van Leeuwen Ice cream truck (I think?! Can't remember where this could have been taken). I've only had this ice cream once but really need to return so I can try the flavors that were sold out last time, like the earl grey.

Mm buildings and reflections in the windows always get my attention. I noticed I do need to venture out of my usual photo spots (West Village and Downtown). Pretty sure I don't have a single film shot above 20th Street.

Kori in Tribeca. I was hunting for Korean food downtown during an insatiable craving one day when I came across this place in Yelp. I just love the decor into the kitchen area. Dark and moody.

Jul 21, 2010

Aptly named

Stone Street in the Financial District is always bustling with suits in the after work hours. I am just a sucker for the cobblestone. :)

I think these were actually taken around Cinco de Mayo. The place was hoppin'.

Jul 20, 2010

University days

I am so slow on this film taking/developing process, but I'm happy to finally share some images from the last two rolls I shot. Unfortunately, I can't say I made too much progress in terms of improving my manual focusing. Third time's a charm?

Another sort of nice thing about being so slow is that by the time I've got my negatives back and scan them in, I'm totally in for a surprise because I hardly remember what was shot! Dealt with a ton of scanner dust and scratches though; not sure why because I definitely cleaned the glass thoroughly.

These images below were taken on campus when I went back for graduation in May. Ahh, simpler days ;). I do miss Philly. Especially the food carts. And the food in general. I don't miss how everything shuts down by 2am. Or the nasty steam emanating from the sidewalks. Or how wide the blocks are. 10 blocks in NYC != 10 blocks in Philly for sure. Ok, enough with the non sequiturs.

Oh hai, Minna!

Excuse the fact that the shirt and wind make me look about 5 months preggers. Photo taken by Minna.

Who do I look like? :)

Oh, many many MANY hours spent in this bookstore.

This was Kodak Portra 160NC. I just placed a B&H order for some higher speed films and lomography films, so I am excited to try those out.

Jul 19, 2010

Whimsy, patterns, designs...

I meant to blog about the Fishs Eddy in Flatiron much earlier but just remembered as I passed it again today. Quite a unique store with tons of knickknacks at reasonable prices.

Some particular items of note: the Alice in Wonderland collection (I need this!), Republican and Democrat mugs, crossword puzzle tumblers, and "cawfee" mug. :)

Whew, this collage making is grossly more time-consuming than lining things up neatly. No wonder blogging can be a full-time job.

Jul 18, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (vii)

Fooling around with the photo collages a bit more. Sometimes you need a little bit of unorganized chaos.

Polaroids taken at the MoMA yesterday. I haven't been since the summer of 2008 so I was excited to revisit. It's always inspiring to walk through. My favorite sections remain the industrial design and photography installments.

Headed over to Central Park after an amazing sushi feast at Sushi Yasuda. Stayed a wallflower (well, if there were a wall) to watch the tango dancers. Pretty sure I have three left feet and stiff hips. I will keep my distance from this art ;). Oh yes, and my impeccably dressed Saturday partner-in-crime.

Look ma, no gluttony shown in this post!!

Jul 16, 2010

The usual

Another dinner, another bout of gluttony. I had gone to David Burke's Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ a while back, and it was a wonderful experience (I will never forget how I was asked if I wanted a plush little stool for my handbag!), so I was happy to try his Townhouse in the Upper East Side last night. Many menu items were exactly the same between the two, but the vibe and decor were very different. I loved the red accents everywhere. The balloons in the hallway were random and cute (pictured below).

As I am home in NJ on my 4+ year old barely alive Macbook, these pictures took forever to put together. White balance was a nightmare as well, but what can ya do?

Love the little egg artwork.

Scallops "benedict" looked so cool with egg and lobster foam. The pretzel crusted crabcake was fun, but I always like when opposite textures get together...now that I think back, I might have gotten this dish before. Entrees, lots o' meat. Naturally I was able to polish off my dessert after I thought I was "stuffed" and proceeded to eat some of Mr. B's apple tart with dulce de leche ice cream. Mmm. Cannot really ever go wrong with an apple tart.

Other cute things. The drunken donuts sounded so good but even with my sweet tooth, I'm not sure if I could put much of a dent in that tower. Red accents and balloons. :)

More noshing this weekend. I weighed myself for the first time in months on my parents' high-tech scale. Silly move.

Jul 15, 2010

Earlier today

Posted the polaroid version over here. I like that you can see the steam here.

I am a simpleton when it comes to deli sandwiches. Just give me some turkey and any kind of spicy cheese, and I'm happy. With no toaster, I ghetto-ly browned my french loaf over a skillet. Whatever gets the job done.

Jul 14, 2010


Stella in the South Street Seaport. Came here randomly as I always walk by and the decor is pretty inviting. Stella is not so stellar in terms of service and food, but I was glad I to finally check off another Seaport restaurant. Definitely are some better gems in that area. I also emerged with a dozen mosquito welts the size of Asia on my right leg (which not so coincidentally happens to be my larger calf), and 3-4 on my left. Guess they had enough to gorge on and didn't make it over to the left. Thank god for Cortizone. Naturally my dining companion didn't get bitten once. Seriously?!

Tuesdays with...

Misc. ingredients of another Tuesday night with Eddie, wandering "deep" into Brooklyn for the first time, the peculiar homogeneity of the F train (yuppie central), also first time I've seen the train go above ground (crazy!), trekking to the Bell House for the Secret Science Project, thinking there really isn't much to Brooklyn (:P at least not in the area we were in I guess), a number of misadventures trying to get on the right-way C train on the way back, an unavoidable 5 inch deep puddle...and such was Tuesday night.

Jul 13, 2010

French in the morning

I always look forward to my french pressed coffee in the morning. It's such an exact science, getting the coarseness of the grinds right, the water temperature, the ratio of grounds to water of course, and the steep time. And it gives me so much more satisfaction than using drip coffee machines. My only complaint is the clean-up.

Jul 12, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (vi)

As far as my recent memory goes, this weekend was one of the most fun I have had in a while. While these pictures don't capture the single moment of Saturday night that surpassed all my expectations (thank you, City Tap House patrons ;)), they should capture some of the shenaniganry and of course, the gluttony.

One of those places you take for granted when you live in Philly and then crazily miss once you're out of it. [Mad Mex]

Joy-riding in Mai's new car. Need I say more? I never really desired a nice car until this weekend :P.

Thank you, Yelp, for pointing us to Golosa Chocolate Bar in a neck of the neighborhood we rarely venture to. I had a cold chocolate espresso drink (not pictured) that might as well have been a dozen melted chocolate bars with ice. So decadent, I couldn't finish it even with my massive chocolate tooth.

Early Sunday brunch at Day by Day in Rittenhouse. Go too late, and there's bound to be a line. So good, and they have delicious looking baked goods (baked on premise) in the counter when you enter. We tried the cinnamon bun with vanilla icing as an "appetizer" before our savory dishes.

All in less than 24 hours in Philadelphia. Beautiful.

Jul 10, 2010

Just when I thought it didn't get much better than EMP...

The flavors and colors of last night's meal are still dancing in my head. So much creativity and artful plating. Amazing marriage of flavors and combinations that have never before crossed my palate. Losing track of how many glasses of wine I had...Well, like usual, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. ;)

I would provide commentary if I could remember what was in all of these. Probably wouldn't do the experience justice.

On to the sweets!

Choice between 'dark and stormy' or passionfruit macarons. :D

Corton, you have seriously dazzled my senses. EMP, don't worry, you still have a place in my heart.

Earlier this week...

I headed to Madison Square Park to listen to Frank Bruni read from his memoir, Born Round. I read this book a while back and it is some good stuff (I never said I was good at reviewing books). I think what amazed me most was how hard he had worked in reporting before he got the food critic position.

After this ensued a trip to Fishs Eddy (OMG, this place was a dream! - pictures to come), and the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck where, against my better judgment, I had (ok, shared) one of these monstrosities:

Tasted like pumpkin pie. Mm.

Jul 8, 2010

I've been slacking...

On film photography. :( Figures after I buy a negative scanner, that would happen. I do have one roll of color waiting to be developed but it doesn't seem worth it to trek all the way to the photo lab for one roll. I also realized, though looking at others' film work, that I totally bought the wrong kind of film for the kind of look I admire. My first round, I bought all really low ISO films, but it's actually the kind of moody, noisy indoor shots I like! Will have to return with some 400 speed films.

Here are some from the first roll way back in early spring. Click for larger.

Jul 7, 2010

Tuesdays with Eddie

It just happened that last Tuesday, my friend Eddie came over for some imbibing, and this Tuesday again. He joked it was like "Tuesdays with Alice" now, so maybe we'll keep this up, at least as a nod to Mitch Albom. Anyway, this guy is way more domestic than I am and brought over some cream cheese pound cake that he had recently made (trying to fatten me up even more it seems). He was going to make a lemon curd to top it off and we made do with the utensils I had in my sparse and sad kitchen.

He pretty much did all the maneuvering in the kitchen, and I just took pictures. See?

Oh yeah, it was delicious. :D Thanks, Eddie!

Jul 6, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (v, part ii)

1) Central Park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Would love to get a tilt-shift lens for a scene like this!

2) Friday night's dinner at Pocha 32 (cool interior, eh?) in Koreatown. A friend and I tried to finish one of their casserole dishes (Spicy beef stew with octopus) in vain. So much food. In our defense, we also got an appetizer and the watermelon soju. And our third eating companion doesn't eat spicy food. Ahem.

3) Some lovely evening light at Pho Pasteur. That was some TASTY pho, and it's always nice to return to Chinatown after a while because I always get sticker shock. How is it so cheap?! Makes me want to order half the menu.

4) Ah yes, you know about my preoccupation with Le Pain Quotidien table/chairs. ;) This was also in Central Park.

Today is worse than a sauna. I am debating whether to brave the heat and get lunch myself or order in and deal with the guilt of sending a poor old delivery man into this misery. I think my conscience will win over this time.

Jul 5, 2010

Scenes from a weekend (v, part i)

1) Jack's Coffee, Saturday morning

2-7) Good eats at Chinese Mirch on 28th and Lexington. Spicy and flavorful.

8-11) Um, yes please. Definitely something I'd toss my lactose issues aside for. Called the "Natural History Crunch-stellation," this shake had vanilla custard, malt, Valrhona chocolate crunchies, and chocolate toffee. I am drooling thinking about it again.

Hello, obesity!

More to come. :)

Jul 2, 2010

Alllllmost there

The Friday before a long weekend always feels a little strange. It's like walking a sprint race or something. That made no sense, but I'm already dreaming of good food and whatever fun the weekend may bring. I will be armed with my camera(s). :)