Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What is this thing in my soup?

It's been a few days since I wrote anything but that's because I don't really have much going on. Today I have to pack and go to the grocery store. Exciting! And then I'll make some kind of stir fry for dinner. While I was thinking about what to make for dinner, I started wondering if they would even have the things I need at the store down the street. I don't know how easy its going to be to find fish sauce, but considering that the only "ethnic" foods they have are taco shells, I'm not counting on them. But this brings me to another question that has been on my mind for a few days...
What is this thing in my soup?
The white thing with the hot pink edge.
It wasn't meat. It wasn't a vegetable. It was some kind of firm gelatinous salty thing. It wasn't tofu, either. And why the hot pink? It didn't taste bad. It just tasted like broth. Still, I only nibbled it and then made Mike try it so he could also be confused.
It is of Japanese origin. I still have it if you want it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Things I will miss in Brooklyn

I just walked to the grocery store to get some chicken, jelly, bread, jiffy mix, and jello. The store smells like a pet store. It's so gross. I also left because my neighbors are listening to their awful music again and I can't deal with it so I had to get out. On my way to the store I took some pictures of my favorite things within a few blocks of where I live. I'm going to miss this stuff. I'm sure at some point I'll make time to come back and walk around again. Maybe when it's not snowing.

So here are the things I like about my hood.

1. Franklin Avenue Shuttle. It is across the street and from there I can get anywhere. I literally have to walk across the street to get anywhere the subway goes, anywhere metro north goes, or anywhere any of those other trains I've never taken go. Plus it's got a pretty interesting history, which you can read about here. That page also has info on some of the other things I'm including.

2. This semi-creepy old building that no one lives in but still has a bunch of crap in it. Can you imagine what you might find in there? I imagine there are probably lots of old magazines and records, some funky furniture from the 70's, maybe some drug paraphernalia, and even a dead body or two. The sign you can't see in this picture says "Deliveries." I like that they make deliveries.

3. The "Public Elephant". That's what Mike and I call it. The Public Elephant is a government office which can be held by anyone willing to run, but usually goes to an elephant. This is Brooklyn's Public Elephant. He is the finest one yet and has lowered tusk tax by 5%

4. Mint green pointy house. Around Christmas they had this huge plastic internally lit nativity scene on the ledge of the lower window. It's also the only house that is colorful around here. The one next to it is yellow, but that's nowhere near as tasty looking.

5. The Heinz Building. It's a neat looking ketchup colored building a few streets away from where we live. If some developer hadn't built some really awful still vacant apartments right outside our bedroom window I would be able to see this instead. And the old buildings that are attached to it that I love so much.

6. The hallway in our building. It is sooooo ugly since they painted parts of it gold. Mike was coming in one evening and overheard this conversation between a little girl and her mom.

Little girl: "Mom, why did they paint those things gold?"
Mom: "'Cause some people like like ugly shit."

Girl on Grill

Last night I was cooking dinner and started thinking about some of the differences between NY and Tucson. There are lots, and for the most part the differences are better in NY. Like not having to drive and all the cost that goes along with it, being able to walk places, Seasons, and people who read. There is one thing though, that I will never enjoy. I can't grill. I don't have any outdoor space of my own. The last year in Tucson every meal I made with the exception of 3 was cooked on my grill. I am not a big fan of indoor-meat. Have you ever had a steak cooked in a pan? Its terrible. It gets that dull brown color and tastes like dead animal. When you grill something it comes to life! The meat gets some black parts, some deep brown parts, some bloody parts, and lots of the fat you're not supposed to want drips off and makes even better "fat smoke" that leaves a tasty flavor on yer meat. Oh how I miss grilling.

But there was one solution... Mike bought me this grill pan which is wonderful in every way other than not leaving any tasty charcoal smoke on food and I suppose thats healthier. It's also hard to clean. Actually, my burgers are better on this thing than any I cooked outdoors. (Probably because I can control the flames under it with a knob, and I clean it.) I further realized how convenient the grill pan is when I looked outside this morning...

This is the lonesome grill I can see out my bedroom window, living behind the building with no one using it. It makes me sad. I'm guessing someone who lives on the 1st floor gets back there by going out their window since it's otherwise blocked off. I took this picture a few hours ago, and to emphasize my point, there are footprints that look like maybe lastnight someone walked toward the grill, realized it was too cold to cook outside, and walked back without even giving it a friendly pat on its lid.
New York is not a grill-friendly city unless you live upstate or are fancy enough to have your own backyard. That is why I continue to talk about how someday we have to move to Yonkers or some place where I can grill and plant tomatoes and herbs and other things that don't taste as good when you buy them at a crappy grocery store in Crown Heights. Maybe someday I'll get my wish. Until then, the grill pan will do.

Just for humor, a picture I took when we lived in AZ---->>>>

We didn't have any big marshmallows.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A semi-brief overview of the last year

So here I am again, this time hopefully not getting rid of everything I write because I end up thinking it's stupid. Maybe my good friend Robyn can encourage me since she's a master blogger. I figure I have some reasonably interesting things to write about since Mike and I are moving again. We moved to Brooklyn from Tucson, AZ about a year ago. Mike is from New York and I'm from Los Angeles and we both wound up in Tucson. We met in our shared backyard. I was literally the girl nextdoor. We had known eachother for about 2 months when the company he was working for closed its Tucson office. He wanted to move back to NY, so I came with him. We left Tucson in April of '09 and I drove a moving truck with a car pulled behind it for 2500 miles. With 4 cats and 2 ferrets. I did it to be with a great man. I'm glad I did.

We moved to Brooklyn in a lovely area called Crown Heights. (Not so lovely but I love it.) It's a quick walk to the alternate universe called Park Slope. To those not familiar with Park Slope, it is the land of women pushing strollers, women reading Oprah book club books, women spending too much of their money on expensive organic baby stuff, lesbian bars for the women who like women, and men who don't make as much money as their women. We go there for dinner sometimes because Crown Heights is a little short on good food. And it's just a little scary.
In December '09 Mike got a new job at a hospital in the Bronx. It takes him an hour and a half to get to work, and an hour and a half to get home, on top of his long work day. Time to move again.

On March first we will be moving from over-priced hipster filled Brooklyn to the less expensive non-hipster-filled Bronx. I'm really going to miss this place, but I'm sure I'm going to love it up there too. I've already learned my way around the new 'hood with my favorite time wasting activity, google street view.
So thats my semi-brief overview of the last year. I enjoyed Brooklyn. Now I get to enjoy the only boro that has a "the". Much cooler than just plain old Manhattan, Staten Island or Brooklyn. They don't have a "the". Other fun Norwood Bronx facts can be found on my absolute favorite website Forgotten NY. Here is the Norwood link.
And now that I've got all that crap out of the way, I can begin...
A Bronx Blog.