Week 28: Potatoes for Everyone, Dumplings, & an Egyptian Smoke House.

[This post is coming a week-too-late. I’m still working on getting posts ready in time. I wrote everything on time, but for some reason posting the pictures got the best of my procrastination.]

It’s getting colder. My mood seems to be plummeting with along with the thermometer. Unhappy Regina means Pho for everyone! I have happily sipped on a giant bowl of Pho 3 times this week. In my ideal world, Pho would replace every meal, every day. Including the Turkey. I’m not a big fan. I’d much rather enjoy a bowl of warm bowl of beef broth than munch on dry meat. Just saying.

I decided I should be more visible online – so I joined the world of Twitter. I’ve only made a few posts while researching how to get the best out of it. Twitter is quite the tool.

This Thursday, as all of my US fellows know, was Thanksgiving. The day in America that precedes the greediest day of the year. It’s quite ironic that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for everything in one’s life… Clearly, for many Americans, this is just a day full of lying to themselves and their families. If everyone was so thankful, we wouldn’t have masses of people lined up and trampling others to buy a toy. Or a TV. Seriously? We might as well call Thanksgiving the Day We Prepare Ourselves to Buy More Stuff. Not very succinct, but I’ve never been good with titles. Some people have actually started shopping ON Thanksgiving. Let’s be clear. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays (right next to my birthday & New Years). I try to remind myself to be grateful on a routine daily basis so the whole giving thanks is not the allure. Yes, giving thanks is important, but quite frankly if we had a culture where giving thanks didn’t get squished to ONE DAY of the year perhaps we wouldn’t have people trampling others for a freaking iPhone.

On this magical day, I’m able to eat as much food as I [really] want without anyone being the wiser. I’ve mentioned my disdain for turkey (I eat it anyway, thinking ‘this time I’ll actually love it!’), but the other dishes are worthy of seconds. This year, I wasn’t able to afford a ticket home [traveling around this time costs 3x more] so I joined one of my roommate’s family for the day. She is from Long Island. We took the LIRR (pronounced by saying out each letter L I R R – I naively thought it was pronounced leer) and met the most adorable older lady couple on the way. One had short light hair with green triangle earrings that reminded me of the 80’s and a very spunky outgoing nature. The other, wore a black visor over her short curls and a black long sleeve shirt that read ‘Unarmed Citizen’ with another black shirt underneath that read ‘Greed Kills’. Needless to say these ladies had my heart immediately.

Prior to leaving for Long Island, Mary Alice & I made truffle oil garlic mashed potatoes for a group of 30. It was a lot harder than I thought, but success was inevitable. They were pretty amazing.

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11.30: Today was the perfect example of what I had thought my life would consist of constantly. Of course this couldn’t be farther from the truth, but days like today do take place periodically.


Union Square Holiday Market

* Made a couple dumplings stops in the East Village followed by some bubble tea.

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* Smoked hookah at an Egyptian Coffee House. This place screamed authentic with the dark and somewhat smokey interior and a handful of Egyptian men hanging out. A couple of men were playing Chinese checkers (?) while enjoying their hookah while another seemed to be dozing off. This was right off of Steinway in Astoria which is filled to the brim with hookah lounges. If you’ve ever walked this street, you’d know what I’m talking about. This hookah spot looked about as far from the other ‘lounges’ as possible. The other spots looked shiny and dark all at once. This spot didn’t have the fancy lighting or seating (the chairs had holes burnt into them), but it was adorned with a giant replica of an Egyptian Mummie at the entrance.  We sat there for quite some time, engaging in conversation. I had failed my coffee consumption ritual that morning so I enjoyed my first Turkish coffee here… needless to say my yawns had said their last goodbyes.

* That evening was chilly so I thawed my fingers while sipping a Cosmo by a small fireplace in the back of a small cafe (Cafe Vivaldi) in the West Village. This place is adorbs… very quaint and lovely indoors with tiny tables assembled in just the right orientation to view the front of the room (they host musicians nightly). One of my brother’s friends performed tonight. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

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