Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New York City Eats - Cha Chan Tang

For our Saturday breakfast, we went to Cha Chan Tang in Chinatown for Hong Kong tea, pineapple buns, and stir eggs.


So thrilled to finally see this smile in person!  Skype is fabulous, but it's no substitute for the real thing!

Hong Kong Milk Tea - be warned, it's not sweetened like conventional milk tea.

The most beautiful pineapple bun.  Ever.
(pineapple buns don't actually have pineapple in them, the name comes from the egg yolk/sugar/butter crumbly topping)



Monday, October 28, 2013

The Bloggers Take Manhattan!

This August, I was finally able to meet the lovely Kyla.  We've known each other since 2009---we're blogfriends from way back.  I emailed her out of the blue early in the summer, with the subject line "brilliant idea.  no, seriously."

"You know how I went to the jazz age party last year?  It's happening again this year, and the June date won't work for me or my friend Sara, but the August date won't work for her (she'll be Australia still).  Soo----how would you feel about meeting in NYC for the jazz age party?  I think it could be so much fun"

And to my utter amazement, the universe was on our side and it all went so swimmingly!  We stayed in a lovely little bedroom in the Chinatown/Lower East Side in Manhattan, and had a glorious time.  I can't wait until we do it again.  For Kyla's recap of the weekend, check out her blog!

Meeting up, at midnight (thanks late Megabus; photo credit Kyla)


Our Saturday started with breakfast in Chinatown.





And walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge.




After Brooklyn (pictures here) - we came back to Manhattan and the Lower East Side for the afternoon. 

We found a rice pudding store.  No joke.




And watched a bit of soccer in the park.

photo credit: Kyla






The street art was incredible, as always.





After a long day of wandering, we had dinner out and then went to the roof to enjoy our wine and macaroons....cause nothing says magical like sugar, a bit of bubbly, and the New York City skyline. 

photo credit: Kyla
(it was nearly impossible to get a good picture of how amazing this view was!  It looks like only boring buildings, but I promise it was wonderful)


My camera was getting a little tired of the low light business.

View of the Brooklyn Bridge the next morning.



Saturday, October 26, 2013

1963 Flashback Party!

1963 Flashback Party Invitation
2013 is the 50th anniversary of the dorm that I live in, and some of my fellow GRTs and I got really excited about the idea of having a 60s themed party...between Mad Men, jello, 60s dresses, whoa.  So many good things, all in one place!  

And of course, I came up with the somewhat sadistic idea that hey, I should make a cake in the shape of McCormick. 

Seriously, self?  Like I don't have enough to do already?

We definitely wanted to do some sort of celebration with the girls when they got back to school in September, but with the summer comes penthouse cocktail parties... and it would be the perfect time to do a test cake.  Essentially, we couldn't not do it.  It was simply the right thing to do.

So!  Friends took the reins on appetizers (and fancy jello shots!), while I focused on the bar and the cake.  I realize the white block-y thing on the table isn't much to look at, but it was critical to do some tests on defrost time, dowel size, stability...all important things.

The bar!  My new-to-me vintage ice buckets, and lots of very stiff-upper-lip liquors...whiskey, vermouth, that sort of thing.  And a range of fruity sodas for Tom Collins variations, because hey, everyone needs a bit of blood orange and gin in their life.

And I know some people have asked me how things have gone asking for party donations, and I have always felt very lucky in that my friends understand that $10-15 can go a long way towards me funding such events, and hey, a night out in Boston costs far more than that, anyhow.  I have people over because I want to and I can afford it, but I can continue to do it because I have help purchasing the food and alcohol.  This particular party cost about $600 total, but there was both alcohol, food, and some capital investments like jello molds leftover, so it didn't make cost quite so much post-tips.

The cake structure specialist and I.

The hosts!  I'm in a dress found at Great Eastern Trading Company - and it was perfect for this sort of event!  I gave up on my hair, though.  One of these days I'll finally learn how to not be scared of teasing. 

Two more 60s beauties!

Everyone looked so great! It makes me so nostalgic for the summertime!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The search for a souvenir

Despite being a kid who hoarded everything, had zillions of collections, and couldn't get rid of anything (sorry mom) - I've become an adult with a much more jaded view of stuff.  Maybe it's the fact that once I started college, in the next five years, I had moved all my belongings 12 times.  Probably.  This also means while I have enough dinnerware to host 45 people for dinner, I just don't have all that much room in my life to acquire things that don't have a purpose.

And before you ask, yes, I did try to find a giant cowbell, but I didn't have any luck.  They had some miniature ones in little shops, but not actual real cowbells, sadly.  

So, I think the best option is to find jewelry.  And the characteristic that really stood out in Switzerland that is hard to capture was the opaque green-teal-blue of the glacial rivers and lakes.  It's simply stunning. 


And I was hoping I could find a good match to remind me of the trip, sitting next to Lac Leman, dipping my feet in the River Aare in Berne.  However - it proved to be far more difficult than I thought it would!  After searching Etsy, Ebay, all over, I still haven't quite found the right color!  I won't give up, though!  Some contenders:


Blue quartz


Green fluorite

Green fluorite

Aqua quartz

Green fluorite

Green fluorite