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Archive for March 6th, 2009

a taste of my NY

I was in NY this past weekend and my time can be summarized in a few words – family/friends, food, and art. Not surprisingly, much of the latter two were shared with the former. It was such a NY weekend. And for the first time in a long time, the only thing I bought were things to fill my pantry and fridge.

pantry and fridge items purchased in NY

my NY goodie bag

I got everything on my list and then some. In addition to good balsamic, parmesan, and fun demura (and white) sugar cubes, I found kosher beef jerky, gnocci from italy, ras al hanout spice mixture (which honestly I could have found up here, but I saw it in Fairway so I just bought it), and the pièce de résistance…Hazelnut oil. I found the hazelnut oil in Zabar’s (specific info on the oil on my resources page) and had bought the same one a few years ago but let it go rancid because I didn’t realize it needed to be refrigerated. I was SO happy to find this oil again!

Besides visiting the old classics foodie haunts on the UWS (Zabar’s, Fairway, Gourmet Garage), I stopped in to the newly renovated Kosher Marketplace — one of the higher end all kosher grocery stores in my old “chood” to see what it looked like. No longer a cramped tiny store, and still carrying some very high end products and interesting products, but check out the pictures below, and giggle along with me about some of the product placement issues they’re still working on (Meira — these are for you) …

expensive chocolate + bean dip!

yum...Payard's kosher collection...

fancy french apple sauce - French Lau in London used to order these to remind her of home

Delis compote aux pommes: authentic fancy French apple sauce - French Lau, living in London, used to order these to remind her of home

I didn’t just shop for food … I took advantage of NY’s culinary and cultural variety.

I got into the city only 3 hours before sundown, wanted to catch a small photography exhibit at a Chelsea gallery, and needed to find food for shabbat for my sister and my friend. This is probably only possible in NY and a handful of cities. We went to the exhibit — photography of female Israeli soldiers and dancers in Russia (captured poignantly not in performance, but behind the scenes which is where, as Elvera, who I met when we were in a dance company together, and I know only too well, the real emotion is), met the artist (!), and managed to pick up Indian food just cross town in “Curry Hill” and get back to my friend’s apartment more or less in time for shabbat to begin. Only in NY!

Saturday afternoon, we ate Indian leftovers and then walked to The Jewish Museum to see their exhibit on Chagall and the Russian Theater which is only around for 2 more weeks. What made the exhibit really interesting was that Elvera is originally from the Ukraine and could give her own commentary about life and the theater (having trained in dance there) in the more modern Soviet Union, when it was still united.

And then in the evening, I went to a CityStep benefit held at the Alvin Ailey building. Right outside the room where our benefit was being held, there is a stunning mosaic of Judith Jamison (who, I might add, received an honorary Doctorate of Arts the same year I walked…) that I just can’t resist sharing with you.

mosaic of Judith Jamison at Ailey

mosaic of Judith Jamison at Ailey

I had Sunday brunch at Pain Quotidien with some of my international friends that I so sorely miss. And interestingly enough, a guy wearing a yarmulke was eating in there too…Romy and Thierry wouldn’t let me take a picture of him eating his baguette and butter. And I wasn’t in the mood to approach him to start a discussion. Clearly we both subscribe to the “traditional French (and Belgian) baguettes are kosher; check that they are made on a floured (not greased) baking sheet/stone” rule and believe that this rule does not only apply to France (Belgium) … <ignoring the fact that I have become a bit more lax about eating out>.

After strolling through the MoMA and seeing some classics that I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen before in person, I was treated (and I mean treated!) to one of my favorite meat places for an early dinner. It has been so long since I’ve eaten meat out in a restaurant — and especially red meat — that I truly savored each bite of my Wolf&Lamb ribeye  burger with grilled onions. This was no meagre hamburger. This was the kind of burger that melts into the bun. No ketchup required. I couldn’t decide whether to eat it with my hands or a knife and fork. So, I alternated between hands and cutlery. It may not have been pretty, but it tasted pretty great. And the company, my dear friend MD, made it all the better. And thanks for the help with the picture — otherwise it would have been all bun!

Wolf&Lamb ribeye burger

And then it started to snow.

And snow.

And snow.

And eventually I got home.

But, wow…I did a lot in just a few days. You always hear about a NY minute. I think it took me six months away to realize and appreciate the vivaciousness of this city. And these were just a few tastes of my NY. I can’t wait to return for more. Imagine what I can do if I actually plan…

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