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Posts from the ‘Manhattan’ Category

Kiosk Portugal

The first time I went to Kiosk to see their Florida collection I was apprehensive.  A curated collection of objects brought back from their travels, I worried that, taken out of context and back lit in their Soho space, the cans of Materva and La Cubanita guava bricks would be all hipster irony and no heart.  When I finally went, I loved it and was excited to hear they were hitting Portugal next.  I’d only been there once in college but it’s still my favorite vacation of all time.  For three days we drove along the southern coast only stopping to eat, swim and sleep.  Like previous exhibits,  Portugal. What a Beautiful Place! is small collection of shelves set up with light box view of a trip you wish you’d been on.  With Avril au Portugal still floating through my mind, I wasn’t expecting to find so many practical why-have-I-not seen-this-before items.  Here are a few pictures of my trip to their trip: Read more

Sound Break

I went to the Times Square simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala performance of Puccini’s Tosca this week.  Open air events in New York are a mixed bag.  They seem like a good idea but usually mean hours of discomfort and crowds fighting over patches of damp grass.  The Met’s broadcasts are the exception.  Before the city stopped traffic on 42nd Street, the Met was creating an island of sound in the middle of Times Square every September.  Last night, Karita Mattila’s Tosca threw jealous fits, betrayed a friend to the police, and killed a man – and she was the heroine.  Pure passion rarely leading to pure actions,  the quiet girl secondary roles Read more

High Line Break

My great uncle once wrote that he had an impure love for cities.  Though he was describing 19th century Havana, the New York City High Line is the perfect expression of the sentiment.  I’d been hearing about it since it opened but hadn’t gone till last weekend.  An elevated railway last used in 1980, it’s been transformed into an promenade cutting into the New York City Skyline.  With nature and design in perfect balance everywhere you look, it’s a beautiful tightrope.

If Only I Could

Deciding to take advantage of Friday night late museum hours, my friend and I made our way to the Rubin Museum of Art a collection of art from the Himalayas.  After a quick drink in their K2 lounge buzzing with after work chatter, we made our way to the quieter hum of Gods and Buddhas.  That’s where we found “The Lord and the Subjects Twenty-Five.”  Disciples of the 8th century Tibetan teacher, Padmasambhava, each figure represents the devotee and the ability they achieved through their dedicated practice of Tantric Buddhism.  Lang Palgyi Sengee was able to make rainbows appear in the sky, Drubchen Khyluchung Loba who was able to attract birds and teach them Buddhist doctrine, and of course my favorite, Ma Rinchen Chog, pictured above, was able to levitate cross-legged and make even stones edible.  Seemingly unattainable, at least it’s something to work towards.

Milking a Coconut

I was looking at different dessert recipes when my cousin sent me one for a Venezuelan bienmesabe, a coconut custard cake that required me to crack one open and extract the milk.  Picturing hammers and machetes and emergency room visits, I thought she was crazy if she thought I was going milk my own coconut.  My next thought was where in New York to find them.  In Miami this would not be a problem.  Though Miami Beach has become unrecognizable in many ways, you still see men pushing grocery carts of fresh green coconuts along red hot sidewalks.  With one balletic move, they’ll swing a giant machete to cut a tiny hole just big enough for a slender straw for a coco frio.  Fresh or dry, I knew my best chance was Essex Market in the Lower East Side.  I found them straightaway at Batista Grocery.  The clerk helped me pick out a few by shaking them to make sure they had water inside and offered to crack them open for me to be sure that the meat inside was still fresh.  For a moment, I was tempted.  It would be so much easier, but I was decided and it seemed a shame not to go through with it.  After all, it was a  pretty common kitchen technique before we were all hooked on cans.  So here are some pictures along with a few things I learned by milking my own coconut… Read more

Found Objects

I came across a small Kiosk installation for the first time at the Brooklyn Flea.  They had cans of Jupina soda, Ricos meringues, bricks of espresso,  La Cubanita guava paste, and orange gum balls exhibited together like a Cuban survivalist kit left under the Manhattan bridge.  Asked to pick a handful of time capsule objects to explain Miami’s Little Havana circa 1985, I might choose the same ones (just adding a bottle of Royal Violets baby cologne for good measure). Read more

Road to Búzios

 

For months, I’ve had five untouched bags of farofa piled high on a pantry shelf.  Not knowing how to use them but not wanting to throw them away either, I finally thought to ask my Brazilian friend, Claudia, for a recipe.  When she started to recite the different ways it could be prepared, we decided it would be easier for her to come to my house next week to show me.  She gave me a list of ingredients for our learning lunch with a warning to do no more than soak the black beans (lest I do anything to make them Cuban before she gets there).  Excited, I went home to bring down the exiled farofa which was now…expired.  It had obviously been trying to tell me something when it  kept falling on my head each time I went into the pantry.  Now that I had a plan but no farofa, I headed to Búzios in Little Brazil. Read more

Pretty Paella

The first annual Paella Parade is this Sunday, June 7, 11:00 AM-3:00PM at Water Taxi Beach, South Street Seaport.  It’s local chefs competing for most creative, best use of ingredients, best overall taste, paella parade pleaser and (my favorite) prettiest.  Tickets are $25 for all the paella and wines from El Coto de Rioja you could want.  I’ll find out this Sunday just how much that is!

In a Manhattan Kitchen, Part 2

As promised, I’m posting the results of our market run through Chinatown.  When it was all laid out, I have to admit I was intimidated.  I knew absolutely nothing about Filipino foods. A combination of Spanish, Mexican, Malaysian, Chinese and Indian, I had never seen many of the ingredients before and their names wouldn’t stop moving long enough to be written down so I’ve included a lot of pictures.  With Benjie’s help, Annette explained the origins of what we would be making.  Then it all started going at once…

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In a Manhattan Kitchen, Part 1

New York City’s Chinatown offers everything you could possibly want while seeming completely inaccessible at the same time.  That’s why I really wanted to take advantage of the market tour and Filipino cooking class offered by a member of my blogging group, Annette Tomei.  Annette is a chef, writer and teacher at the International Culinary Center.  Her blog, Wander, Eat and Tell, chronicling her travels and food experiences is always a push out the door, especially when she turns her attention to nearby neighborhoods I can explore with new eyes.  One of her trips was to the Philippines to visit her brother-in-law Benjie’s family.  While she was there, she spent time in a Filipino kitchen learning from four elderly women who shared their recipes and cooking knowledge in exchange for a promise that she teach it to others in her own country.

To that end, Annette planned today’s class.  I met the group at the ICC and we walked over to Chinatown to pick up the final ingredients (and do some snacking you can read about here).  The group was made up of Annette; Steven, our writing teacher; Hayley, another ICC instructor; Benjie and his friends, Luisa and Raqui.  Food markets in Chinatown can be overwhelming so it was great to work our way through with a sense of purpose and Annette prepped guide.  Looking the pictures now, it all seems so vivid.  Before today I never felt like I could find the same spot twice, now I can’t wait to go back.

Rambutan, cherries, mangoes, lychees and mangosteens at Tan Tin Hung Supermarket. Read more