Day: June 29, 2009

Weekend Update: Part III

Sunday was fairly uneventful in the morning: just laziness and lolling around the apartment.  After Jon left to go to the airport I hopped on the subway to head downtown for the Pride Parade.  I’d always wanted to observe NYC Pride, so I figured I’d go walk along the parade route.  The route started on 5th avenue in the 50s and turned onto 8th Street to head into the West Village and, of course, Christopher Street.  I joined the parade at 23rd Street and walked downtown with the parade to Christopher Street, which was (of course) a madhouse.





The 20s were fairly calm: lots of flags and music (Madonna, Cher, Black Eyed Peas, anything danceable with a bass beat).  I saw some boobs (evidently toplessness is allowed, or at least ignored, both within the parade and amongst the watchers) which really should not have been displayed.  I picked up a flag around 14th Street.  Lots of older couples were walking around with cute dogs.  The sidewalks also hosted numerous confused tourists, who clearly weren’t sure what precisely they had discovered.


Yes these are Pride flags with Israeli flags.  Awesome.
Yes these are Pride flags with Israeli flags. Awesome.

Once the parade veered into the Village things got a little crazy.  I ended up alongside the Caribbean Gay Pride contingent for awhile: lots of well-muscled men in feathery outfits.  The woman on the adjoining float was from Trinidad, and once the parade hit Christopher Street she led the crowd in the chants “I like pussy!” (for the women) and “I like big cock” (for the men).  Good, clean, classy fun folks.



I had to flee once the parade hit Christopher Street.  I was able to see the Stonewall Inn from behind the gates of Christopher Park, but I decided I’d had enough of the heat and the crowds.  People kept asking me where the Pier was (the place where the after-Parade dance party is held) and I had to tell them that I had absolutely no idea.  While I’m glad I got to see the energy in the Village, I think that watching the parade in the 20s, 30s, and above is the most pleasant and least crowded experience.




Of course there were a lot of marriage-themed floats and marchers.  I think a lot of New Yorkers are angry that the state of New York is less progressive than the state of Iowa.  Overall, however, the mood was joyous.  I’d read an article earlier during the week in New York Magazine about the generational divide separating middle-aged homosexuals and homosexuals in their twenties, and the generally joyous mood of “protest” caused me to really consider what was stated in the article.  An interesting read, if you have time.

After peeling away from the parade I realized I was a) hot b) tired and c) by Bleeker Street which has a ton of frozen yogurt shops (of course).  My sister had told me to check out Yogurtland, a self-serve fro-yo place, so I stopped by and got a mix of green tea, plain tart, and taro (my new favorite flavor) yogurts and doused them with mochi, strawberry, and white chocolate chips.  Self-serve fro-yo isn’t a bad concept but the yogurt was a little too icy for my taste, so I think I’ll return to Red Mango.  Still, a nice pick-me-up after several hours of walking around downtown.


I headed back uptown, grocery shopped, and ran in the park for a bit before calling it an evening and returning home to tidy up the apartment.  Now all my guests are gone, the apartment is back in order, and I’m trucking through Week Five.  Weekend has been updated, check back for updates from the week!

Monday Sugar Rush: Lady M.

I’ve walked past Lady M., a fancy, snooty looking pastry shop on the corner of Madison and 78th.  SeriousEats has written it up (of course) and evidently they are known for something called a mille crepe, which the website describes as numerous crepes layered with custard.  They also have other lovely cakes, all of which you can view on their website.  The “boutique” (as the shop is described) is stark white with chandeliers and fine china and lacquered tables and chairs to better suit the ladies-who-lunch crowd.  The interior was so stark that I decided to take some cake to enjoy in the comfort of my own apartment.  I ordered a slice of mille crepe (because it is the thing to get) and a slice of strawberry shortcake (because I’ve been feeling fruity these days, as you will soon read).

DSC05443 The shopgirls (there is no other word for them) behind the counter  wrapped my cake slices in plastic paper and placed them a fancy little box with a fancy little sticker. I took the box home to enjoy some of the cakes–don’t worry, I didn’t eat either slice in its entirety.

Both cakes were very light and airy, clearly made with excellent ingredients.  The mille crepe was sweet but not too sweet, but it was a little soggy for my taste (I actually preferred the hardness the cake gained after it spent some time in the refrigerator).  The strawberry shortcake was also excellent, though I wish it had contained more strawberries.  Still, the cake was light and the strawberry-infused cream yummy.  If I go back to Lady M. I’d probably try one of their chocolate cakes, but these two were a treat, and certainly a testament to the cake-making skill happening at Lady M.  If you like your sweets subtle, head here.  If you like to be walloped over the head with processed sugar, head elsewhere.  DSC05444

Pardon the plastic wrap in these pictures.  I wanted to wrap the cakes up again post-sampling, and so didn’t remove the covering all the way.

Mille crepe.

Strawberry shortcake

Weekend Update: Part II

Saturday also involved sleeping in, because sleeping in is awesome and site-seeing is exhausting.  The first stop of the day, after Jon and I became people, was the Whitney, because Jon should see where I work.  I showed him the whole museum–easy to do, as the museum is small–and attempted to explain the Dan Graham retrospective but as was evidenced in the article to which I linked in an earlier post, Dan Graham is difficult to explain.  Still, I appreciated people who don’t know art but are still interested and curious about said art, and Jon is certainly interested and curious, so it all works out.

We then went on a hunt for NYC hot dogs, and ended at the Gray’s Papaya on 3rd and 86th.  We each had a hot dog and shared an order of large spicy curly fries and a large papaya drink.  Awesome.  (The trend of the weekend was not healthy, eating, as you can tell.  Sometimes you just have to go for it).

It was rather hot and sunny outside, so we walked crosstown to seek solace in the air-conditioned confines of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We started in the Egyptian galleries, because Egyptian art is neat (and the Met has tons of it) and because the Temple of Dendur is impressive.


The rest of our time at the Met was a walking tour of various cultures: China and the really fabulous Astor Court, India, a breeze through Europe to see the Goya painting I love and Michelangelo’s so-called first painting, etc.  We wandered through the Francis Bacon retrospective, which I would like to revisit–his work is creepy and visceral at first glance, but I’d like time to really study it.  We also went to the roof to see the Roxy Paine installation, “Maelstrom,” and it was actually one of the more striking rooftop shows I’ve seen at the Met. The installation is one large single-piece sculpture (it is site-specific) that sort of resembles an eerie, frozen, leafless forest.  If the sun catches the metallic limbs just right the structures looks as though it is blanketed in snow.  You can wander in and around the sculpture and you can touch it, so it is definitely an interactive space.  Which, of course, I love.





After descending from the roof we took another jaunt through the museum to see Damien Hirst’s icky formaldahyde shark (also known as “The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” from 1991″) and then decided to head back to my apartment to rest our sore and tired feet.

After a brief rest and a bit of fandango-ing we took off, once again, to see Up, which neither of us had seen (evidently we are behind in regards to the cultural zeitgeist).  Pixar really cannot fail.  Though I do not think that Up is better than recent films such as Ratatouille or Wall-E(easily my favorite Pixar film) it is still better than most movies that are currently playing in theaters.  Also, the sideplots involving the dogs were hilarious, and the spectacle of countless colored balloons lifting a house was really beautiful and touching.  Some people also think that the marriage montage at the film’s beginning was a little manipulative, but I found it quiet and lovely and honest.  If you haven’t seen Up (you probably already have, I was a bit behind) then go check it out.  Pixar is victorious again!

After the movie, continuing our busy Saturday, we took the subway downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop to take an evening stroll across (and back across) the bridge.  It had rained while we were in the movie (perfect timing!) so the evening was lovely and cool; earlier, the day had been blazingly hot.  Also, the rains left behind a bit of a rainbow.  The Bridge walk was beautiful.  The city seems peaceful and full of possibilities when you are not actually in the thick of it.  One can understand how people romanticize Manhattan when you are viewing it from a bridge above the river.DSC05373

The Statue of Liberty, waaaay off in the distance.
The Statue of Liberty, waaaay off in the distance.



We walked to Brooklyn, and then walked back (rather than hunt around DUMBO for a subway).   We then took the subway back uptown to get New York style brick-oven pizza at the Upper East Side location of Totonno’s, the famous Coney Island pizza joint that was established inthe 1920s (and which suffered a major fire late last year).  The UES location did not, thankfully, suffer a fire.  Also, it is much closer than Coney Island.

We arrived at the restaurant around 9:15, starving and tired–I don’t understand how people in this city eat dinner at 9:00, but I guess one adapts.  We split a half-white half-magherita pie with sun-dried tomatoes.  Jon preferred the magherita side but I actually liked both sides, though I think I liked the white pizza a bit more (it was nice and garlicky).  I loved the charred crust, though I wish the pizza had been served a bit more piping hot.  However we were sitting outside, so the breeze could have been a factor in the rapid cooling of the pizza.  Also, the pizza doesn’t reheat that well–the crust gets tough.  Still, for better-than-average New York pizza without trekking to Brooklyn or downtown, the UES Totonno’s more than delivers.

Sometimes hunger trumps photographic integrity.

After dinner I introduced Jon to Pinkberry (Red Mango please come to the Upper East Side) and then we stumbled home, exhausted and footsore after an extremely long but extremely full day of running around New York.

Almost caught up with the weekend.  I’ll try to post tonight about Sunday’s activities, which mostly involved the NYC Pride Parade!