Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sushi, Songs & Sake!!!

Tonight I dashed downtown to meet up with Lisa, Silvia, Chiara, Patrizia and Henrietta and wish Wardell happy travels as he journeys back home to Holland in a few days...a few months earlier than planned.

Lisa, his dear girlfriend, organized a lovely sushi and karaoke evening as they are two of his favorite things. I couldn't believe how much food they included in the package at Japas 27! Yikes! Throw in unlimited sake, wine and water/sodas and you have yourself a party! No WONDER they had us sitting around a table in the private little room -- we were stuffed to the gills!

We sang and sang and sang --- and before we knew it, our two hours were up and they were ushering us out.

While waiting in the bar area for people to finish some things up, I met a few fun folks singing karaoke and got in an other song. Yeah! Hopefull I'll meet up with those folks at another time for some more K. Fun!

From here we were headed to the beauty bar...but needed a quick stop at the dorms at NYU Medical on the LES where both Wardell and Henri live (it's convienent since they work in the building -- and you can't beat the rent!!) Left overs were poped into a were changed for dancing and we popped downstairs to the game room to wait for everyone to be ready.

Suddenly the foozball table was in action...then ping pong and finally, the pool table.

Food and drinks poured out of doors and before we knew was 3am and we never made it to the beauty bar!!!

We did have a great time though. Thankfully there were cabs out at 3am down in the middle of no where NYC and four of us shared one home that stopped here and there until it ended at my front door. Sleeep. Oooh - so good!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rolling Along...

I loved this in another part of Soho today.

Meetings all morning... all afternoon...

and then...drum roll please...

after having bought tickets WEEKS's's here...

Village Voices' 1st Annual CHOICE EATS!!!

What's Choice Eats?

It's when The Village Voice's columnist Robert Sietsema gets together his top restaurants from all of the boroughs and over 1000 foodies line up around the block to pour into the Puck Building to taste and savor until they just can't do it anymore! For $30 Ramona, Jennifer, Jenni and Carol joined me in tasting and trying!! Some things were FABULOUS...some were was super disappointing.

In the Best category:
Nirvana Cafe & Bar -- Sri Lankan Cuisine -- 218 3rd Avenue, NYC
La Maison du Couscous -- Moroccan Cuisine -- 484 77th Street, Brooklyn, NY <-- this place is worth taking the R out to Brooklyn any day! Tiffin Wallah -- South Indian Vegetarian Cuisine -- 127 East 28th Street, NYC --
Smoke Joint -- BBQ -- 87 South Elliot Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn,

The biggest disappointment:
Vanessa's Dumpling House -- How can you make pork dumplings that have absolutely NO FLAVOUR? Zip, zero...Nadda. Blah.

Nope...I didn't have the room in my belly to try all of the offerings..but i tried all that I had hoped to and more!!! Yum!!!!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

One of my most important vendors is in town for the week. Although our work will take up some time I'd usually be using on other things, it's so worth it. I'm sure we're going to have a VERY productive week.

Not only is Marilyn in town, but she brought her older sister with her from Taiwan and her younger sister came up from North Carolina where she's going to school.

We three spent the day checking out the stores (and competition) downtown, mostly in Soho.
Bloomingdales Downtown had some beautiful things as did Mango and Uniqlo. Keep in mind that we try to hit as many stores as possible to see the trends and see what our competition has out in stores. It's not like we're picking out and trying on clothes etc. (Not that it isn't fun!!)

Marilyn was very generous to treat our entire office to dinner at Morton's Steakhouse.

Yummy steak and New Zealand lobstertail and very tender asparagus. YUM!!

Early to rise again tomorrow for day 2 of shopping/working.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bring on the Music, Bring on the Fun!

How does a single girl fill up her weekends in NYC? My way? With as much fun as possible and utilizing as many of NYC's resources as possible!
First stop? A matinee of Xanadu with Jason and Devon. Jason and Devon had already seen it from a seat on the stage, but this was the first time they were seeing it from the audience view.

I know...the movie, although now a cultish classic, was grade B. The Broadway show? FUN! It had the entire audience laughing over and over again. Really, isn't that what you want on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon?
Thanks Jason for suggesting it as a show I "Needed to see at this time in my life." You were dead-on right. Kerry Butler did a wonderful job in Olivia Newton John's role...and a grand job picking at the silliness of it all. Jackie Hoffman and Mary Testa did an equally great job keeping the witt and puns rolling through the show. If you want a silly, funny and absolutely NOT serious show...check out Xanadu.
After a tasty bite of Thai food I dashed home to wrap up a few things before dashing downtown to an unexpected invite for dinner at Lucien with Hiromi and her friend. Lucien is a lovely old French spot on !st avenue and 1st Street on the Lower East side... in other's in no man's land. I taxi'd there as fast as I could and met Hiromi just in time. The food at Lucien was quite good. The Loup de Mer Chilien avec Julienne de L├ęgumes (Chilean seabass with julienne vegetables, court-bouillon) and Escargots de Bourgogne (Snails, Burgundy-style) were lovely, as was the Michel Redde Sancerre (2002) and the Chateau Les Tuileries (2002) Sauternes.

What's next? On to Rockwood Music Hall to hear some live music!! No cover. Good music and a suprisingly well mixed sound.

We started with Johnny Marnell -- wonderful!

Johnny Marnell at Rockwood Music Hall Ricardo Rodriguez Bass

Really a great band -- pop on over to the My Space link (click his high lighted name) to hear a few of his tunes!!! I was so wrapped up in the music that I got ZERO photos of them performing. Instead here's a photo of Hiromi and I. :-)
I REALLY liked the song Johnny sung with his female back-up singer (below), Irina Perez, aka Ming, where she had more of a front-woman role. Hopefully Ming's website will be up soon.
A very talented band!

Johnny Marnell featuring Ming on Vocals / Ricardo Rodriguez Bass

Thanks to Linda for suggesting we go listen to Johnny Marnell!
The next band was fun too...I have photos of them...but can't recall their name!!!
All lovely ways to spend a Saturday. Thanks all for coming out to play!

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Who's Better Than You?

Tara...I can't thank you enough for the beautiful bouquet of Tulips.

You are so wonderful...You're right...I did need a beautiful pick-me-up.

Sending you a big hug of thanks!!!!

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Friday, March 07, 2008

I Bo, You Bo, Beebo's so cold and rainy in NYC right now.
Pulpy and well done, Linda and I popped out in the rain to catch The Beebo Brinker Chronicles at the 37 Arts (50 West 37th Street)

Described on their website as "Adapted from the groundbreaking 1950s pulp novels by Ann Bannon", the show follows the lives of two sorority friends who had been lovers and what happens when one of them decides to wed a man instead of following her lover to Greenwich Village in the 1950s. The show definitely held our interest. It was really well done. No wonder it's a NY Times Critics Pick.
From here we popped on up to Cafe Lalo. It had been quite a while since I'd popped in there. They have renovated a little since my last visit. It seemed a little brighter inside, but no less crowded. They still had wonderful Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Chocolate-Raspberry Rugella.
Thanks for joining me on this terribly rainy night Linda!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dancing Flavors and Feet

Although midtown restaurants often promise large and deliver small, tending often to an out of town crowd who may not realize they can and should expect more for their dollar, I was pleasantly surprised by Le Madeleine.

I went tonight to meet a party of 5 (only knowing 1 of the 4 people aside from myself) for a pre-show dinner. Being the first to arrive, they seated me without trouble, taking my coat and attending to my beverage needs as I waited. As my party began to arrive the person who'd made the reservation told the host that our party would now be a party of 7...not 5. This at 6pm on a Thursday in the busy theatre district. No trouble. A little work on the part of the staff and voila, a table for seven appears ready and waiting.

Let me say here how much I loved that this restaurant is a member of Slow Food. It showed on their menu as I saw local farms listed as suppliers where available. I enjoyed my mushroom tart and vegetable and Coach goat cheese pasta immensely. Everyone seemed to enjoy their measl - from mussles and salads to steaks and chops. There was no time for dessert - but there will be next time. A good option pre-theatre or pre-show (we headed from here to MSG.)

From here we briskly walked to Madison Square Garden to continue the evenings festivities!

Who were we going to see?


What a great show!!!

The fans of Juanes really know how to enjoy a show!

As I looked around the audience I saw so many Columbian flags being waved. Bright yellow being worn by many -- such celebration of a country.

Everyone sang along and danced - no one seemed to be able to sit still!!

Ooooh --- now I have to get some more of his music and get ready for the wedding to come this spring in Puerto Rico!!! Bring it ON!

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New Beginnings

I'm back from my brief trip away last week. (See prior posts as they are filled in.)
Work has been busy - prepping for the arrival of my Taiwanese vendor who I'll work with and entertain starting Monday of next week.

What does a girl do for fun?
Get trained to start volunteering for God's Love We Deliver down on 6th Avenue.

Tonight I dashed from work to their office and listened and learned all about how GLWD started and how it's worked for over 20 years. Really an amazing organization providing 15,000+ meals a week for those with debilitating diseases and their dependants.

Take a look at their 20th Anniversary video. They are always looking for more volunteers! Come join me in the kitchen!!

From here I walked up and across Houston to meet Radhika for a bite at the newly relocated downtown location of Rice. Good food at a good price! We shared an order of veggie dumplings and a caraff of wine. I enjoyed a chicken tamatillo tamale and some Jerk Chicken with brown rice. Radhika enjoyed her Thai Curry with black rice. We finished the meal by sharing 3 homemade cookie-ice cream sandwiches. Yummm! A good reccomendation for dinner Radhika - THANKS!

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