New York, New York!

12 May

ArtichokeI am currently typing this post a half-hour past midnight here in my friend James’s apartment in Williamsburg, New York.  I spent the past few days here, “recuperating” from finals and the first year of law school.  I say “recuperating” in quotation marks because I’ve done a lot here–a lot of walking, taking subways, eating, drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages, drinking coffee and espresso, seeing jazz recitals, etc.  It might not have been recuperation in the physical sense, but more in a… well, spiritual way.

I stayed away from Times Square and the touristy things.  I thank my friend James as well as my friends Jen, Jonathan L., and Heather–all Berkeley grads and transplants to the City.  It was good also to see Colleen and Jon S. here in New York as well.

I promise that I will write more on wine per se–for now, however, suffice it to say I visited four or five different wine stores (including the very awesome Chelsea Wine Vault in Chelsea Market), purchased seven different wines, and drank a lot.  This post, however, will serve as a journal entry to myself–not very detailed, but just phrases to jog my memory in the future.  

For an alternate telling of the deliciousness, click here for my friend James’s entry on his blog.

Monday, May 4

Rain in DC when I left in the early afternoon, rain all the way up to NY. Stopped by UVA wine store on Bedford Ave, picked up a bottle of Le Pigeoulet de Provence from H. Brunier and another of txakolina from Amestoi, a refreshing lightly pétillant (sparkling) white wine from the Basque region of Spain. Picked up an onion bagel with cream cheese from the Bagel Store. Had Polish food (mushroom-filled pierogies and a meat-filled potato pancake) from Lomzynianka. Bought more wine at other stores.

Tuesday, May 5
Headed to Cafe Grumpy with James and had a cup of Ethiopian coffee–his Columbian was better. Had corned beef hash with poached eggs and home fries at The Dish in Chelsea. Went to Chelsea Market where I visited the aforementioned Chelsea Wine Vault. Had a macchiato at Ninth Street Espresso. Bought a steak soft taco from a street cart on Bedford to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Went to Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers and picked up used copies of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn and John Wray’s The Right Hand of Sleep.  Tried to take a nap.  Rode out to Chelsea again to see my friend Heather and our friend Colleen.  Heather’s apartment is over Unicorn (apparently a sex toy shop or something).  Heather is graduating from a masters program in music management at NYU; Colleen is heading over to Togo for the Peace Corps.  Chinese food at Ginger House with the two ladies and Pete, Heather’s boyfriend.  Uptown to Columbia to meet up with Jonathan L.  Recital where his friend Ally sang bossa nova; jazz improv; nice wood-paneled theater.  Drinks at Havana Central (formerly the West End Bar, Kerouac’s old haunt); shiraz next to a statue of Pan in the rain while hiding from security guards; drinks at Jon’s dorm.  Back to James’s.  Sleep at 4 am.

Wednesday, May 6
Headed out to NYU/Washington Square to see Jen. Kati Roll Company–delectable Indian fillings wrapped with wonderful Indian bread. Double shot of espresso at Porto Rico Importing Company (no spelling error). Slice of margarita pizza for me, artichoke/spinach for James, and Sicilian for Jen at Artichoke. Best pizza ever. Beers at McSorley’s Old Ale House, a venerable Irish pub that’s been around since 1854: buy either light or dark ale (no other beer on tap) that comes in two half-pint glasses per order; sawdust on the floor; overpowering smell of vinegar or mustard upon entering; history a.k.a. grime and memorabilia everywhere; glasses washed by dunking in one tub of soapy water, another tub of water, then put on the bar to dry–incredibly awesome place.

McSorleysColumbus Circle to meet up with Jon S., now entering his third year at Duke Law. Wandered around without luck to find a coffee place that wasn’t Starbucks or a bar that wasn’t filled with d-bags. Took the subway to Chelsea again, got lost, found Chelsea Market–wine tasting at Chelsea Wine Vault. Americano and macchiato for Jon and two cold-brewed ice coffees for me at Ninth Street Espresso. Farewell to Jon, met up with James at Union Square, walked to Washington Square to meet up with Jen and her roommate at NYU Law, Zhimin. Walked over to Taïm for falafel and fries; got more fries at Papaya Dog; got a bottle of La Vieille Ferme rosé; went to the rooftop terrace of Jen’s dorm and ate and drank while looking at the Empire State Building. Then James and I took a 40-minute detour (total) off the B train to get to a food stand at 53rd and 6th–a plate of lamb, chicken, rice, salad, with smooth cool white yogurt sauce and ass-kicking hot sauce. M train back to Williamsburg. Beat the rain. Drank some Maipe malbec while watching TV with the food. Typing this.

Thursday, May 7
Woke up late. Had another bagel at the Bagel Store. Had part of a quesadilla made with a freshly-made flour tortilla. Rushed off to catch my plane.

I’m finishing this post at home, where I’ve been now for the past three days. I’m headed off to Berkeley to visit some friends and drink some wine–I’ll be sure to post when I get back!


4 Responses to “New York, New York!”

  1. James May 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    Joon, the Trappiche Pinot Noir you left us is AMAZING. Bright, punchy, smooth and refreshing. PLEASE tell me exactly where you got it, so I can stock up!

  2. vinicultured May 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Really? I guess that sales associate really knew what he was talking about! I got it at Chelsea Wine Vault at Chelsea Market. They also have a whole bunch of wines that I’ve tried and like–especially selections from Spain and France’s Rhone Valley–so let me know before you take a trip so I can give you a few recs.

  3. Kris May 13, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    Joon! I’m in Boston for the summer! You should come up here at some point and visit!

    • vinicultured May 13, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

      If I can I will–how long will you be there for? My schedule is really tight in August, though: I have to help out with new student orientation and I have fall recruitment (to find myself a job!) in August and September!

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