Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i can be blasé about a lot of things

but i cannot be blasé about hearing the fatburger's heartbeat for the first time. apparently we should have been able to hear it at our first ultrasound, but the air conditioning was going like crazy and i couldn't make it out. yesterday at my appointment, i lay down and our midwife put the doppler on my lower belly and i heard it going and all of a sudden, it was one of those, "whoa, S**T IS REAL" moments. i'm not gonna lie, i listened and realized that the little fatburger is the size of an avocado in there and has a heart that is going and i may have teared up a little bit. meanwhile, captain audiophile dotytron is all like, "i should've brought my ear phones! what's that swishing sound in the background!" and being all audiophile about it. lol! you can hear the swish of the blood passing through the umbilical cord and then the little fatburger's heart going badumpbadumpbadump pretty fast. it was pretty crazy.

kind of the best way ever to top off what was the best long weekend ever in nyc.

we flew out thursday night into newark via porter, which we love, even if the little wee bombardier propeller planes do make me more nervous. it's just so g-d convenient to have a DOWNTOWN airport, that is the classiest thing ever, free drinks and wifi and computers in the lounge and whatnot. so civilized. the new jersey rail train into penn station was super-late, so we didn't get to pingy's until super-late, just really enough to say hi and goodnight as she had to work on friday.

i'm IN LOVE with pingy's neighbourhood. everyone talks about williamsburg in brooklyn but williamsburg BLOWS. it sucks. it's like parkdale. filled with tight jeans and ironic mustaches and beards and plaid shirts and fixed gear bicycles - it's in the process of gentrifying so things are really spread out and the latin and hassidic jew neighbourhoods are getting squeezed out by hipsters. it's annoying. but pingy's neighbourhood, boerum hill, is THE BOMB. it's like the huxtables! it's totally where people go to have babies and raise families (rich people), in downtown brooklyn, with leafy, tree-lined streets and bustling thoroughfares filled with cute bakeries and a free people store and delis and cafes and the most gorgeous brownstones you've ever seen. walking around there just felt like home. it felt relaxed - away from the hustle and bustle but still with lots of things to do. it felt like a neighbourhood.

we saw michelle williams' house (the actress, not the christian destiny's child singer.) she literally lives right around the corner. pingy and her 4 housemates occupy 3 floors of a brownstone with gorgeous skylights and a back deck and comfy couches and big, shared living space. it's obviously rental living but it's unbearably cozy. here is a shot of her place and the room we stayed in:

 

 

 

 
it's SO NICE staying with people. i'll take it over a hotel any day of the week. we bought a 7 day unlimited metrocard (which we had gotten our monies worth from halfway through day 1) and friday morning woke up bright and early and had breakfast at the clinton street baking company, which is known for their amazing breakfasts and craggy biscuits:

 

 

 
then we had ourselves a little shop, which basically just meant wandering a bit around soho, stopping in pearl river mart , gawking at marc jacobs and nanette lepore and betsey johnson, etc. and then spending a good few hours in the uniqlo store. I LOVE UNIQLO. love it love it love it. i spent like, under $200 and came away with 2 skirts, 2 tshirts, 1 blouse, 3 pairs of jeans-leggings things (more on that in a bit), 1 dress, and 1 pair of cut-off jean shorts that i'll be able to wear for about a month before i start to really bump out (i started bumping out this weekend, finally.) everything was like, 20 bones, no joke. it was the best! fantastic basic pieces and great work mixer and matchers. the dotytron loaded up, too.

so i TOTALLY become a jeans-leggings convert. 1) they were only $20. 2) they're SO EFFIN' COMFORTABLE! i bought 2 dark rinse denim pairs and 1 black pair and if they had had more in my size (like a khaki and a grey pair) i probably would have snapped those up, too. i know, it's total mom wear. they're basically skinny jeans with an elastic waistband and the little tie things on the inside so that you can cinch them at the waist. but they're SO COMFORTABLE. so so so comfortable. i'm a total convert. if i had known everyone's sizes i would have bought enough for everyone i know. with a tunic top or a baggy t-shirt, who's to know you're wearing mom jeans? and what could be better for someone who's going to have a giant belly soon? you seriously have not heard the last of my jeans-leggings adulation (i'm refusing to use the commonly accepted terminology, "jeggings" - for now.)

then we hit century 21 for shoes but came up empty handed and hit the addidas classics stores and got stuff for the dotytron and that was it. it was SO NICE to have all our shopping done and out of the way in an afternoon. i don't know how people do it. i don't have the patience for getting a serious new york shop on anymore. i just like to stroll and browse and if i see something i like, then fine. but it's not like you can't get the stuff here and it's not like i really want to waste precious away time fighting with girls and the crowds on broadway and stressing myself out when online shopping scratches the itch so much better. i didn't want to spend a fortune and we didn't.

we headed back to pingy's to collect some towels and then into deep brooklyn, midwood, to pay a visit to di fara's pizza, which is generally regarded by the pizza cognoscente as some of the best in new york, and the country. IT'S SO GOOD. dominic been hand-making each pie for FORTY YEARS. he makes EVERY SINGLE ONE. so if you want a slice, sometimes you have to wait for enough people to want one so that he can cut your portion out of the pie. the slices aren't huge. and they cost $5 but they're so worth it. we got 3. one with sausage, one with pepperoni, and one plain:

 

 

 

 
as each pie comes out of the oven, he grinds some parmesan in an old fashioned meat grinder attached to the worn wooden counter and sprinkles the parm over the hot pie. then he takes a handful of basil from his window pots and snips it over and that's how the most delicious pizza of life comes to life. the dotytron is convinced the hand of god is working through him and i'm not inclined to disagree. while we were there, some hipster girl got on her phone and was all huffy to her friend, "yeah, i'm at that pizza place you recommended. i wouldn't have come if you had told me it was FIVE DOLLARS A SLICE." and me and the dotytron looked at each other and contemplated smacking her undeserved slice out of her hand, or saying, "why don't you buy a d**k for $2 and eat that?" about 10 minutes after we got there, they put up a sign that said they were closed because they had run out of dough. gah!!! so good!!!

then we spent the rest of the waning afternoon and early evening lolling around reading on towels in the brooklyn botanical gardens and then prospect park - so lovely:

 
friday night we went to brooklyn fish camp for dinner, which had the most adorable brick-walled back patio strung with patio lights and filled with picnic tables. it's run by an ex-pearl oyster bar employee. pearl oyster bar brought new england/maine-style seafood shack eating to new york and people line up. i was like, i'd rather stay in brooklyn and NOT line up, so go with the copycat! we shared appetizers of raw oysters, steamers, and fried clams and oysters with tartar sauce. pingy got the shrimp tacos, i had the lobster roll with fries, and the dotytron got grilled branzino:

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

for dessert i got the banana pudding and the dotytron had grilled pound cake with ice cream:
 


the fried apps were definitely the best. i'd stick to the sandwiches if you go - like the oyster po'boy, the shrimp sandwich, the lobster roll, etc. the steamed clams were a little gritty and the raw oysters were just malpeques, nothing special.

saturday morning we woke up super-early to meet my friend lentz, whom i cooked with at canoe, at the greenmarket where he was picking some stuff up for the restaurant he works at - you might have heard of it, per se?

he gave us a kitchen tour. it's freakin' awesome. tommy keller had the opportunity to design everything just-so. no walk-ins, just shallow fridges. everything is super-organized. everyone has their own section. all the cooks get their own drawer for their tools. the kitchen is eerily quiet and under every kitchen clock is a sign that says "sense of urgency":

 

 

 

 

 

 
i could never work at that level. i'd be too busy singing nazareth and cracking jokes and calling thomas keller "tommy keller" and trying to fist bump him to make it.

here's a $900 piece of wagyu, from a female cow, which according to lentz, who is the butcher there, is more rare:

 
per se is in columbus circle with a bunch of other high end restos like masa and a voce. there's also a bouchon bakery there so we stopped and had coffee with lentz and caught up. i had a chocolate bouchon:

 
it was okay, if by "okay" i mean "one of the most delectable pieces of pastry i've ever put in my mouth"

saturday late morning we had brunch with count chocula in his williamsburg hood at the rabbithole. i got the eggs benny, served on a biscuit and the dotytron got the "half-baked" baked eggs, which were served on toast with spinach and sautéed shallots and spinach, were actually poached and not baked, and were topped with a cheesy mornay sauce. really delicious:

 

 

 
we napped all saturday afternoon and snacked on our other bouchon goods. this is the tko:

the tommy keller oreo. it's KILLER. like the best oreo you've ever eaten in your life. they really dialed in that deep, dark, chocolatey, cookie and the cream is sweet and fluffy without that chemical cloyingness of the of original oreo. i also got a fugedaboutit, which is what a rice krispie treat, topped with chewy caramel, enrobed in milk chocolate, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt would be ON CREATINE:

saturday night we headed to meet xtina and buns at fette sau. when we got there at 7:30pm on a saturday night there was a lineup that practically snaked around the block. there must've been 100 people waiting in line. the space is small - inside it's almost like a converted garage with picnic tables and a pretty boss beer selection, sold by the glass or in 1/2 gallon and gallon quantities:

 

 

 

 


they had the outdoor ripping which probably made it even crazier. basically you line up and when you arrive at the counter you place your order cafeteria style - they sell the bbq'd meat by the 1/4 lb and the sides in small, medium or large. we got A LOT of food and it was all exceptional. we had pulled pork, pork belly, lamb ribs, brisket, pork loin chop, coleslaw, baked beans (which we saw a guy drizzle about a 1/2 cup of meat fat into), german potato salad, and broccoli salad - the meat comes with soft rolls and a squeeze bottle of vinegar and bbq sauce. it was freakin' amazing. look at the pink on that shiz:

 

 

 

 

everything was delicious, i'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. the lamb ribs, brisket, and pork loin were probably my top choices. we waited about an hour for our food, with xtina being a super-star and sweet-talking a table into letting us have it after they were done. which meant that we stood in line for an hour while xtina and buns fended off hipsters and staked out our table for the same amount of time. p.s. all that food was only $100 INCLUDING a tip left in the tip jar at the counter.

best best best! did i mention that we only waited an hour for some of the best bbq i've ever had? that's LESS TIME THAN THE WAIT AT PIZZERIA LIBRETTO. i hate toronto.

we headed to a jazz bar in the village after that, smalls, to see some guy i've never heard of (but the dotytron obviously has) play straight ahead. it was aight. the room had no vibe and the band was okay. kind of phoning it in.

sunday morning we slept in and then the dotytron went to meet count chocula and i went to betty bakery with pingy. i got a red velvet cupcake (very good) and their homemade twinkie (very, very good):

 
and we headed into manhattan to do some work shopping with pingy as she'd never been to uniqlo and i was spreading the word with missionary zeal. the dotytron met up with us, pingy splintered off, and the dotytron and i walked around, had a late lunch at gray's papaya:

 

 
and then grabbed artisanal ice cream from an ice cream truck (we got pistachio):

 

 
i love all the food trucks in nyc! hot dog stands (the only thing you can get in toronto) are the minority there. freakin' amazing.

we went to the whitney museum of american art and basically hated everything because it was mostly really lame and stupidly political and kinda ghey. in our opinion, the whitney (which costs eighteen dollars A PERSON) should be pay what you can, AFTER you go through the entire thing. this is the only neat piece we saw, which was a GIANT woven tapestry of smoke (it took up a whole wall - very cool):

 
i've realized we're just not into art museums as a whole. we like the interactive experience of museums of science and industry, or natural history, or museums for children or about rock'n'roll.

we had dinner at yakitori taisho, which is a grimy, subterranean yakitori bar in the east village (the east village is probably my favorite new york neighbourhood). it was really good and very atmospheric. we had a jyako salad, which is salad in a rice vinegar dressing topped with fried fish, we got an unagi super-bowl of tofu and unagi and other goodness, we got spicy tuna tartare, and then a wackload of yakitori (chicken hearts, gizzards, livers, skin, beef tongue, squid tentacles, bacon-wrapped scallops, shitake mushrooms.) our only mistake was ordering all the yakitori at once, so by the time we got around to eating the later pieces, they were cold:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
so we ordered like n00bs and that kind of messed with the experience, but if our only complaint is that WE screwed up the ordering, we'll be going back.

okay, that's enough outta me for one night. i'll wrap up tomorrow.

fin.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

You guys look deliriously happy in that picture in the park!!!!

I loved the heartbeat story. xo