Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The epic NY trip. Day 1.

I guess this should really begin the Friday night that I left work. Got to Burbank with about an hour to spare. Went through the TSA checkpoint with no problems. The Spire Meta that I use allows you to quickly take your laptop out of the bag but still leave the sleeve attached to the bag so you don't have to take it out and put it in one of those plastic bins. Yay! This bag is NOT for the faint of heart. Fully packed with 3 days worth of clothes, my HP 8510p and my Nikon D300 with battery grip. It's GIGANTIC, and it leaves almost no space for you to carry anything back from your trip.

So anyway... at the airport I drank a beer, a shot of whisky and swallowed a benadryl. By the time the plane was off the ground I was fast asleep. I woke up a couple of times. For no other reason than my dumbass fell asleep before the plane took off and I couldn't recline it before take off. Doh!

I arrived at 5:20 in the morning at JFK. Pretty much didn't have anything to do since everything was closed. I was going to waste some time before going to Robyn's but I found myself saying. Oh well, I'll find something interesting along the way and stop there. So that I don't wake them up. I just kept following the signs and next thing I know. I'm at their stop. Crap... Oh well. I woke her up from her slumber WAY eariler than I expected, and then went back to sleep for another couple of hours until everyone else woke up. Then it was.... SHOPSINS!!!!!

Shopsins apparently is known for having a ridiculous amount of things on their menu, and for pricing the dish not based on the cost, but based on how much of a pain in the ass it is to make. The menu this morning was.....Sliders.... OMFG. I promised Ian that the first thing I would eat when I got there was sliders, and true to my word. I ate sliders.... and oh how glorious these sliders were...

Shopsin Sliders

They were meaty, oniony, cheesy goodness on a soft potato roll. Absolutely delicious. Also on the menu was a Guinness Malted Milkshake.

Guinness Malted Milkshake

This, at first taste was... off putting because you didn't expect that much Guinness flavor in a milkshake. Even if it did say Guinness Malted Milkshake. It was sweet with a hint of bitterness at the end, and OH SO CREAMY.... CREAMY CREAMY CREAMY.... it went really well with the sliders for breakfast. :)

Robyn's dish was... the SOS. I think that this is probably the most aptly named dish in the world. It consists of eggs, creamed corned beef, grits, and hot sandwich. Sounds fantastic doesn't it? Until it comes to your table....


Did I just hear a wtf come out of you brainz?!?! I think I did.... However, when you start putting this concoction into your mouth and the first hints of it's savory goodness start to wash over your tastebuds, wtf is VERY soon replaced with WTF?!?!?!?!?!! It's like.... every savory white people comfort food flavor collectively hitting you at the same time. Word of caution, SHARE this dish. You could not possibly finish it alone. When you finish your food at Shopsin's you're greeted with a pretty nice design on the bottom of his plates. Is it reason enough to finish everything? Not really.... but it's a nice plate nonetheless!

Shopsin Plate

After breakfast was done.... we went to a hat shop on the lower east side. Thus began my day of NYC walking... I like walking, don't get me wrong. LOVE walking. When I WANT to. Not cause I HAVE to. In this case, I could say, I went to NYC knowing that I would have to walk. So I WANTED to HAVE TO walk. So this makes it ACCEPTABLE. The hat shop was cute and quaint and Boppy even bought a hat.

Hat store

Where hats are born...

What kinda amused me was this hair salon called Crops For Girls... specializing in women's short haircuts. Partly because I don't think I've ever met a girl who had a bad short haircut. The ones that are even interested in something that short are already boyish anyway and when you just cut it that short. It's like adding instant hotness.

Crops for girls

Next stop.... Economy Candy!!! Ahh Economy Candy.... I didn't get anything here. :( I don't really have a sweet tooth for candy. Which makes me totally lucky since it's one less thing that contributes to my ever expanding waist line. I swore I wouldn't buy new pants this year. So far, I haven't had to buy new pants! Yay!

Economy Candy Store front.

Cool sign..

Wall to wall goodness


Then.... one of the highlights of the trip. Doughnut Plant. Oh man.... the guy was totally weird about me taking pictures of the store. Like I can find anything about his SECRET doughnut making techniques by taking pictures of your food. I bought a damn doughnut man... Oh yes the dough... OK EFFF this. I'm going to type DONUT from now on just cause it's shorter. I don't care what the name of the store is. The Creme Brulee DONUT was deliciously awesome. A little chewy with a crispy shell on the outside, and cremy goodness that is not overly sweet. Also tried a little of the carrot cake DONUT which was a little too sweet, but totally tasted like portable carrot cake! Yay!

Creme' Brulee Doughnut

Creme Brulee Donut inside

Carrot cake donut

After sucessfully filling ourselves to the brim.... well actually the girls were full but I still had space... which I totally took care of later.... we walked to SoHo. This is where we all split up since the girls wanted to shop. Me... shop? I do that shit online! Although, anything more than a T shirt I still go to the store.. but I wasn't looking to shop at all today! Fortunately, Dinh was in town.

Dinh in NYC

So I met up with him, and I totally had some lamb over rice and grape soda. We walked around Soho a little bit, and went to the Victorinox store and Camper. Then it was off to Toy Tokyo!

Lamb Over Rice yeah...

Dinh at the victorinox store

The bike at Camper

Camper rocket nozzle lights...


I like that shoe horn...

On the way, we walked by Little Italy and there was some kind of street fair going on. I got a chocolate cannoli. It was good. Not great. I don't really know what a great cannoli tastes like cause no one has ever pointed it out to me. Maybe I don't like cannoli's?


Anyway, we got to Toy Tokyo, and Dinh said I would freak out. I did. I love that place. If I had space in my bag, I would be like a few hundred dollars poorer. After Toy Tokyo, we stopped by a mini mart, that had more belgian beers than Bevmo, I kid you not. It was intense.

Donald in Carbonite

Totally crazy looking figure


We stopped at Starbucks cause well.... we were tired of walking, I saw this rather cool building along the way.

The Cooper Union

Then it was off to Otto! For some Italian food and gelato.. Otto is EPIC EFFIN FAIL. We got there at... 6:30. They told us the wait was an hour. Which was ... understandable. So we left to get a drink somewhere else so Dinh could charge his phone.

Stopped here for a drink

I like the furniture

We came back in a half hour, and I think they had given our table away? Or something to that effect, and we had to wait till 7:45 for a table. Then we sat down, and we asked for olive oil for our bread, 3 separate times from 3 separate waiters. The food was slow to come out, and they seemed to adjust the music so that everyone had to speak really loud to hear yourselves OVER the music.

The food was good, but I would probably never go back there to eat again. Except for the gelato... which was phenomenal. It was too dark for me to really take any good photos of it, because of my slow lens. Salty Caramel, Olive Oil, and err.. whatever they call chocolate chip.

After Otto, we went back to Brooklyn, until of course Dinh texts me and says, "Going to Chinatown, bringing camera" so... I leave the apartment at 12:30 in the morning and meet Dinh. I went the wrong way once, and finally when I meet up with him. Chinatown is dead. So.... off we go in a cab to Times Square! That place is like eye candy at night. So much to see...

I was here!

She's fresh....

Dinh having a religious experience...


Streets at night

After Times Square, we walked over to the 53rd and 6th Chicken over Rice / Lamb over Rice vendor. This place was insane.... it had a line that was probably 100 people long and from the time we were there, till the time we left, the line never grew any shorter. The food itself was delicious, a bit underspiced, but his rice is better than everyone elses I've had. However, the hot sauce, is where the magic is. That stuff is potent, and oh so tasty. Dangerously hot, like Wing Stop Atomic hot. With a very good flavor, kinda peppery, a little dusty. Kinda like El Taco Llama's salsa roja, but WAY hotter.

Rice Cart Ghetto Pano....

Chicken and rice! 53rd and 6th

After this, I took the subway back to Brooklyn, got there at about 5 in the morning, and passed out very soon after. So much for my first day in NYC!

Quiet at night...

Continued on ... Day 2.