Short version: brunch at S’Mac; red bean bubble tea (DELISH!); bought sunglasses, a gorgeous gaudy blue ring, feather earrings, and the SKULL RING I was bound and determined to find; McSorley’s; dinner at Candle Cafe; people-watching; metro serenades; awesome D&D!
Longer version (and pics) below the cut.
We woke up, and I had my “Low Blood Sugar and You” pre-breakfast smoothie, and then Danny made us a delicious green juice! YUM! (I still think we’ll be making smoothies for ourselves every morning, because I could certainly use the fiber; but juicing is tasty, tasty, too!) Then we went to S’MAC for brunch. And it was every bit as awesome as I’d remembered. I got the Napoletana (fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil) again, with multi-grain macaroni and without the breadcrumbs – still delightfully scrumptious! Greg got the Masala (“North American comfort food blended with Indian spices”), and I tried it, and it was INCREDIBLE. Danny got the Parisienne (brie, roasted figs, shiitake mushrooms, fresh rosemary), and let me try it – also AMAZING. You seriously cannot go wrong at S’MAC.
Then we had red bubble tea at TKettle on St. Mark’s. My main goals for the NY trip were: 1-hang out with friends; 2-buy a skull ring to replace the one I’d lost, which Greg bought on our first trip to New York for Spring Break while we were in college, decided he didn’t want to wear, and then I wore. So, St. Mark’s. At TKettle, I got the Red Bean Milk Tea with tapioca bubbles, and it was SO GOOD. I looooove red bean ice cream, and red bean bubble tea was just as delish. Greg got Plum Oolong Tea with tapioca bubbles, and it was a bit too tart and ume-y for me, but he loved it. Then we wandered down St. Mark’s and I looked at stuff on sale – tons of little shops set up right on the sidewalk and street vendors and stuff.
My first purchase was a pair of sunglasses, since my favorite/current/only pair had broken recently. They’re black, kind of cats-eyed at the corners – I’m thinking they need a couple rhinestones in the corners, though, you know?
And then at the same store, I found a sweet light blue crystal ring (fake of course, but glorious nonetheless), some awesome feather earrings (that ended up basically being free since the cashier discounted everything so much; well, or “discounted,” but it made me happy anyway), and a skull ring that was almost an exact match to the one I’d lost – the only difference? Red eyesockets instead of black.
You can’t really see the beautiful sheen to the feathers, but they glint purple and green when the light hits them just right. I think they’d be perfect for a bellydance costume.
And about five minutes after buying this ring, we walked past a woman who had the same ring, with black eyesockets, so I freaked out a bit, and had to gab with her about our rings and whatall.
Then we went to McSorley’s, and the guys had some rounds of beer. (I had water, of course, since I’m not big on beer.)
It was crowded as fuck, and the atmosphere was incredible. If you’ve read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, McSorley’s is pretty much exactly how I imagine McAnally’s Pub, except for the actual physical layout (McSorley’s doesn’t need to worry about magical warding and suchlike.). But the ambience, spot on. And the bartenders were impressive – carrying ridiculous amounts of mugs in one hand (like, um, twelve?), and steering through the crowd quickly but calmly and jovially, and just being total badasses. I bought a mug, and it is AWESOME. I love, it makes me happy every day (because I drink so much tea out of it at work every day), and for some strange reason, I love the gold around the rim so much (which you can’t see in the pictures, but it’s there)! (I’m really not much of a gold person, but I fucking love that mug.)
I pretty much decided to revel in being a tourist this trip, and do whatever I felt like, in terms of picture-taking or souvenir-snagging. I’m glad I made that decision – I had so much fun, and really love all the stuff I got. I mean, not that I got tons, but it makes me happy to have it and look at it, and it really is a souvenir (French for “a remembrance” or “a memory”).
Anyway, back to McSorley’s – for some reason, everytime a woman went to the ladies’ restroom, the whole bar cheered/jeered/chanted/howled, but it seemed to be in good spirits, and the women didn’t seem to mind. I had to pee, actually, and managed to sneak *into* the bathroom without hollers, but they got me on my way out. 🙂 Also, at the table next to us, for some reason I couldn’t discern, a bunch of dudes kept heckling one dude sitting with them, and repeatedly chanting, “Asshole! Asshole!” loudly while pointing at him. But again, it seemed in good spirits, and he seemed cool with it.
Then we left, and went to Brian’s (and Carol’s) apartment, so Brian could feed their cats (Elroy, Quigley, and Hannah, who is my favorite because she’s a diluted tortie like Chalupa; I’m a sucker for them). We watched the D&D episode of Community, to rev up for the game later that night, and I took a good nap on Greg’s lap – adjusting to meds tweaks and walking so much took it out of me.
When I woke up, it was dinner time, so Michel met up with us, and we took the bus over to Candle Cafe (whose logo – sorry – looks like a vagina to me; I mean, I still like the logo, probably *because* it kind of looks like a vagina, but…there it is). On the bus to Candle, though, there was a woman across the aisle from me, whose style I liked so much, I stared a bit and took notes – and when she got off the bus, a guy next to her asked me who she was. I guess he thought she was famous. I was like, “Uh, a stylish woman.”
When we got to Candle, it was so crowded, and we had to wait a bit, and I was kind of cranky, and the crowd seemed kind of, dare I say it, snooty? And I definitely thought, “Shit better be worth it.” Um, IT SO WAS. Although I did see some strange outfits (probably extremely stylish and trendy, but not to my taste), and some really obnoxious people with entitlement issues and cellphone rudeness. But the food was pretty damn sublime. We shared the mezze plate appetizer (although I tried to avoid high-GI stuff – trying to be “good”, you know). I had water, their Flu & Cold Fighter juice (ginger, orange, grapefruit, carrot, and lemon – and DELICIOUS!) and the Ginger Miso Stir-Fry (with brown rice). Yum yum! I don’t remember what anyone else had, but it was amazing.
We caught the metro back to Danny and Michel’s, to play D&D! On the sub, we were serenaded by these guys, and they were actually pretty good. (I mean, I haven’t ridden the metro that many times, but all the other singers I’ve heard in the past were kind of…not so hot. So people who can actually carry a tune? Two thumbs up! It made me smile. Also, they did their piece, and then moved on, rather than keep droning on and on and on like one of the other metro serenaders I was subjected to on our last trip to NY. Ahem. Anyhoodles.)
Got off the metro, walked back to Danny & Michel’s, and passed 206-208 Vanderbilt Ave, in Brooklyn. The building is kind of weird – I don’t think I got a picture of it, but the facade looks like it’s made out of fabric, but it’s not. Is it metal? Concrete? I have no idea, but it looks like fabric. Neat effect. (Actually, I just found this, so…the texture is due to David Adjaye using a “tent-like screen on the exterior over polypropelene panels.” Ugh, WHY didn’t I take pictures?) We also passed the Eglise Baptiste d’Expression Francaise, a French-speaking Baptist Church, which is beautiful, so I snapped some pics of it, but on Saturday (so I’ll put those on the Day 3 post). We also passed a place that I noticed the last time we visited Danny and Michel: the End Times Ministry. I don’t know anything about it other than what it looks like from the outside, but I just adore that name (although I’m assuming they think the End Times are here, just a guess).
And then we got back to Danny’s and Michel’s, and it was D&D TIME!!!!!!!! It was SO MUCH FUN. Just a one-off, dungeon-crawl type thing, and we didn’t even really get it finished, but still – FUN AS HELL. (I should probably give a shout-out to the fact that Dylan’s halfling rogue’s name was Cobra McJingleballs. Also, the whole group played together really well, and played off each other’s strengths really well – one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve ever participated in. Too bad those fuckers live in NY and not NC, so it can’t really be a regular thing. Hmph.)