New York City has finally thawed! Which totally means...
BRUNCH + Central Park!
I had no idea that Central Park had so many beautiful gardens . If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the Conservatory Garden. Pretty flowers and allergeeeez. But seriously, it's worth it!
I also had no idea that you can't order alcohol on Sunday before noon. I found that out during brunch at The Smith (looking like a total alcoholic when I asked if the server could just keep my Bloody Mary in mind when it hits noon).
I may have posted this pic already from a past brunch at The Smith. But it gives you an idea of the goodness there. Also, I ordered the same chicken sandwich I did last time. So it's still a pic of my most recent meal?
RIP B.B. King
Walking in Times Square past BB King's Blues Club
Celebrating Jeanette's birthday at Refinery Rooftop It's gorgeous there. The time before this, friends and I lounged out on the roof for over 6 hours during the day. So yes, you feel like you could stay there forever. It gets a little (lots) douchey on weekend nights. We saw two fights between some bros. It was pretty gross.
Andrew and I took a little trip to Philly to watch one of his favorite bands "The Replacements". It was at the Festival Pier off the river. It was such a lovely night, and I loved seeing how much fun my husband was having. I'm pretty sure I was the only Asian girl there. All these older white men reliving their glory days...while showing each other pictures of their kids.
We also had the tastiest Cambodian food while we were there. I had been to Khmer Kitchen before when I went to Philly for an audition. But I wasn't blown away by their signature dish Prah-Hok Kahteeh (caramelized ground pork), so I was a bit hesitant to go again. But I wanted Andrew to try it so...(yes, wifey points). We ordered the papaya salad and the beef satay with lemon grass. Those dishes will keep me coming back for more!! Warning: if you ask for hot, be prepared for the heat!
I wanted another order of the beef satay dish. That's how good it was! But I was on this clean-eating/portion control diet, and Andrew reminded me of that. Andrew also reminded me to save some room for the authentic Philly cheesesteak I was dying to try. Did I mention I was on a clean-eating diet?
Andrew said these were pedaling bars. Like I thought they made drinks on it. Which made me go WOW! But you go from bar to bar (or historic sites-what are YOUR priorities..hmmm?) pedaling and moving reeeeeeaaaaally slowly. You can't even bring drinks on the thing.
Keep it creepy, Philly.
Erin: My very first roommate in NYC. Her whole family came to visit from CA.
And her whole family joined us for the premiere of "Franny" at Tribeca Film Festival. "Franny" was the movie in which I had a scene with Richard Gere. It was so fun to have friends and Erin's family come and support the movie. It's weird anticipating your scene on the big screen. Some actors never even watch their scenes. You can get hypercritical of yourself or just plain hate seeing and hearing yourself. I was relieved and happy with everything, and I look forward to getting the clip later!
Laura and I hitting some UCB shows. On this particular night, we watched a musical about twincest and listened to a writer tell his story of anal sex gone wrong. UCB--where you can be as WRONG as you want to be. Yeah!
Our friend Kathy invited us to Harlem Eat Up at Dinosaur BBQ. I just thought it was a regular Dinosaur BBQ meal with live music. But it was a special menu created by Dinosaur BBQ's Chef John Stage and The Taste's Chef Ludo Lefebvre. With way too much alcohol (but in a good way).
Smoked Seafood Gumbo
BBQ Porchetta with Korean Glaze
I hope they do it again next year. I would love to experience other restaurants and events that are part of the festival. More descriptions of the events here.
Andrew and I rarely go out late anymore (cause we old!) So it was a treat to hit a birthday party and eat some late night Chinese together.
That 2am train ride. I know, I know. We could have cabbed it. But with the money we saved, we can get some more noodle soup.
My old Esper acting classmates supporting the crazy gal in the middle at her play. Robie rocked it!
Our lobby smells like pee sometimes. But it has a full length mirror + lots of light for those outfit of the day pics that I always take. (Jk. It's so hard to remember to take them. And if I do, I end up chopping off my legs + shoes.) It's spring, but my clothes say FALL. Or FAIL?
I found one of the shots from our hotel shoot. Ana Maria and I kept our energy up by laughing the. entire. time. I think we were delirious.
On Sunday, I watched another fellow Esper alumnus do her thing on stage. Since I was already downtown, my husband and I had a little lunch date for soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe. The service is always hit or miss there (you'll get your food, but sometimes with a side of surly), but it is our go-to for those juicy little noms.
If you haven't tried Shanghai soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao), they are like buns with a party inside. A party consisting of ground pork and gelatin cubes of chicken, pork bone, or cured ham broth. Once steamed, the gelatin melts into savory soup inside the dumplings. You can also get crab and pork soup dumplings, but I didn't like the taste of the crab paste.
image via steamykitchen.com
image via lickmyspoon.com
There aren't many pretty pictures online of what's inside of the dumpling. But here is an example:
image via hashiwanderer.com
I sent my mom this pic, and she called me "Big Head Princess".
After just one order of soup dumplings (such discipline!), we made a stop for a Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) at Saigon. It was nice to sit outside and share a sammy. The little things, ey?
Thanks for reading! I'm working on my New Orleans trip post. Until then...