Fun in New York

Some highlights:
– Dinner on Saturday at NoMad. Jeff treated me to an early birthday dinner at NoMad Saturday evening. Donny and Joe joined us and we all just had to try that celebrated roast chicken stuffed with truffles and foie gras. It was divine, and we mopped up every morsel.

– A round of ping pong at Spin.

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– Hilarious (and most effective) subway ad. Ever.

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– Sunday Dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go with friends, and on Monday at Red Egg with Jeff’s family. The former was pretty good – but Red Egg wins, even with dearer prices. Red Egg has the best liu sa bao we’ve ever had (at least, in Chicago, New York, and Singapore). The steamy white buns, when gently broken apart, revealed a hot soup of egg yolk custard that we greedily – but cautiously – slurped up. The sweetness of the custard was just offset by the saltiness of the egg yolk. I’d like to see one of the fancy-pants gastro chefs top that!

I was a little bemused to note (and those I shared my observation with also agreed with some puzzlement), how quiet Chinatown seemed. Even on Sunday, a quarter of the stores were shuttered, and we even spotted free parking spots along the sides of streets! Mott and Canal, usually busier veins, seemed relatively empty without crowds jostling about. We wondered if businesses still hadn’t yet recovered from the damages due to Hurricane Sandy, or if they had simply moved away to Flushing.

– Lovely sunny 50 degree weather to stroll around town in on Sunday. We walked all over Chinatown, Soho, Nolita, around Fort Tryon in Washington Heights, and across Central Park.

– Sunday dinner at Naruto Ramen. I just had to satisfy my ramen craving, because we haven’t yet found a good spot for ramen here in Chicago. I suppose that isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, considering my unhealthy predilection for it. The restaurant only sits 14 people, so our group of 7 had to wait a little – worth it though!

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– Sunday evening drinks and desserts at Vintry, a wine and whiskey lounge in the Wall Street vicinity. Loved the excellent service, the 300-strong whiskey menu, and the whiskey-based cocktails we sipped while hanging out.

– Monday after dim sum stroll with Jeff and his sibs. Stopped by Gimme Coffee for a pick-me-up (Joe’s the coffee connoisseur in the group, and had loads of suggestions for places we could go to) – although the macchiato I got was a little too strong and sour for my taste. We spent a bit of time poking around fjallraven, a Swedish outdoor equipment store (although i think it’s a US brand), where on the spur of the moment, I picked up a vintage rugsack I’m excited to bring on my next travel! Hehe.  We also walked by MakerBot, the 3-D print shop. It was fascinating to see the printers at work. Loads of ingenious designs – including watches, and a mix tape one could directly plug earphones into and listen. As we watched one of the printers on display finish printing out a small shark model, Kathy asked the sales assistant if I could have it as a souvenir. 🙂

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