Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Walking and Eating

    I often have very specific food cravings, either for a certain flavor, texture, or meal aesthetic.
    Especially in New York, it's easy to satisfy your culinary desires -- just pick up the phone for delivery, or walk a few blocks to your favorite restaurant.

    I wish that fulfilling a craving for someone you miss were just as easy.

    Last Saturday I met Shayne and Tracy at an unspeakable hour to participate in my second annual Revlon Cancer Walk. It's a disease that's unfortunately very near and dear to my heart, but this year I raised over $1,700 for research, counseling, and outreach. The walk began with celebrity speeches and tickertape in Times Square and ended 5k later in Central Park's East Meadow. For a while we walked near a woman wearing a sign that said, "Cancer free for two days."

    Afterwards, brunch was obviously in order. We bussed down 5th Avenue to the Comfort Diner (23rd b/t 5th and 6th; there's also an East 40s location.) for waffles topped with fruit, heuvos rancheros burritos, and hash brown patties. The Diner is perfect for brunch -- they'll even bring you a tray full of ingredients to make your own Bloody Mary or Egg Cream.

    Full with good food, friends and karma, I hopped a Boston-bound plane to see my MIT boy. I'll share my many Cambridge/Boston favorites when I return from Jon's grad school graduation in June.

    The next time I see Jon, he'll be crossing my threshold carrying all of his worldly possessions, and we'll commence our official lower Manhattan apartment cohabitation search. I've lived in Chelsea for six years now, and it's time for a change.

    That said, I will certainly miss this trendy, sketchy, artsy, gay, growing, large, tasty neighborhood. I'll miss my alterations guy on 24th and 6th, my button lady on 23rd between 7th and 8th, the close proximity to my favorite Whole Foods, and the fact that I live two blocks from work. My stomach will especially growl for these budget friendly spots:

    Shake Shack (Madison Square Park)
    When that Shack Sauce and cheese that's stuffed into the fried portobello mushroom sandwich oozes down my chin, I'm one happy puppy...and the words "
    Purple Cow" are music to my custard float loving ears.

    Rickshaw Dumpling Bar (23rd between 5th and 6th)
    There is a hint of nutmeg in the duck dumplings that welcomes me home every time. The chicory flavored Thai coffee is perfectly balanced with condensed milk. Biting into a
    Chocolate Soup dumpling is better than Amélie cracking a crême brulée -- even if the end result is chocolate all over my face and black sesame seeds dotting my teeth. What is it with me and foods that leak? And does anyone else think it's silly that Audrey Tatou does the crême brulée shtick in both "Amélie" and "A Very Long Engagement"?

    Big Booty Bread Co. (23rd between 7th and 8th)
    Amusement over its name might draw you in the first time, but the homemade bread, Nutella or guava "booty buns," and the dulce de leche will keep you coming back for more Latino influenced baked goods and sandwich lovin'.

    The Half King (23rd near 10th)
    Sitting on a couch during one of their Monday night readings with a glass of wine and the beet salad is the height of literary bliss.

    The Molly Wee Pub (corner of 30th and 8th)
    Miss Molly Wee holds sentimental value for me as Jon and I had drinks there the night we decided we liked each other. Don't hold it against her that she's located near Madison Square Garden; she's got fine pub grub and a jovial atmosphere.

    Soul Fixin's (33rd near 9th, a block from B&H)
    Stop in for some Southern fast food (an oxymoron if I've ever!). I never gave much thought to Southern food until I left the South. Now I clap with glee over collards and smile knowingly at a side dish of black-eyed peas. Then I sprinkle some
    Tabasco on everything and trace my roots bite by bite.

    Next week: Slicing the budget

    Top photo by Shayne Leslie Figueroa; bottom photo by a kind stranger.


    Shayne said...

    Good for us for walking! I am sure that you will find new tastily delicious places to haunt wherever the wind takes you (and Jon) next.

    And for the record, there was no whipped cream on my waffle, just delicious berries and bananas. :) SLF

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