Thursday, February 27, 2014

A brainfreeze not from ice cream // semi-spontanious visit to Niagara Falls

10 second without your gloves and your fingers are in so much pain, you want to scream right out. The wind and mist give you an instant brain freeze deluxe, the snot freezes instantly in your nose (sorry for the tmi). I guess I was wrong about the sense of spring in the air.

Maybe not the best day of the year to visit Niagara Falls, but since my plans for the day got cancelled, I thought what the fuck, let's go to the Falls! I had been to the Falls over ten years ago in autumn, but thought that they might also look spectacular during the winter. They do, and on a day with wind chill temperatures of minus 20, you have the place almost all to yourself!

Oh and Niagara Falls the town? It was a weird place ten years ago, and it still is.

copyright of all photos j.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rice & Miso everyday // and you could sense spring was in the air

Spiegel online was featuring an article about the new wave of hybrid food that is sweeping through New York at the moment, you know, cronut, bruffin, ramen-burger.

So is it time to call the good old cheese sandwich "cheeswich" and make a fortune with that brilliant idea? Honestly, hybrid food makes me yawn. And cronuts? I don't get the hype. I haven't had one, but what do people expect? Of course fat plus flour plus sugar will taste good, so get over it. 

Nevertheless, I went to Brooklyn Winter Fleamarket today, which is sort of the epicenter of the hybrid food wave. The Smorgasburg at the winter edition is somewhat smaller, but I don't care as long as my favorite food supplier is there: Rice & Miso everday! Whenever I go to Smorgasburg, I always start with an onigiri with Tuna and Mayo from them. 

Today, I also had the curry, which was ok. The Onigiri however was as lovely as always! Onigiri are my favorite snack and I wish they were as widely available as bananas. 

I also looked around the fleamarket but didn't buy anything except for 4 old black and white photos. It always makes me sad to see such captured memories up for sale and I wonder where their relatives are or why they didn't bother to take care of those memories. So I bought four photographs and will put them up on my fridge in my Berlin kitchen and pretend that they are part of my family: Omma Eusebie - the long lost sister of my great-granny - in her new white gloves and shiny fur, Onkel Friedrich, the long lost son of Omma Eusebie, his long lost nephew Karl sitting on his shoulders and two photos from when Anneliese, the wife of the long lost Onkel Friedrich was showing of her new swimsuit at the beach that day it was really windy together with her best friend Edna. If we all would adopt old photographs like that, we could give those memories a new home!

And spring, let me tell you, there was a sense of spring in the air! The sky was blue, the sun was shining as if to proof that it had not forgotten how to warm us all up! 

Some impressions from a stroll through Williamsburg with a sense of spring bringing a smile to my face!

copyright of all photos j.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A thimble full of vanilla sauce and the good mood bus

After visiting the Museum of the City of New York, I was met with yet another snow storm outside and decided to make a café stop to see if the weather would change so that I could walk home through Central Park.

I won't mention any names (hint: take a close look at the photo) but if you want to have the tiniest amount of vanilla sauce served on the Upper East Side, head to a famed Austrian Café! To start with the good things: my Peppermint tea was delicious. The apple strudel however? It wasn't really 'leiwand'. I didn't really like the taste of the apples used, plus, they were really underbaked. And the thimble full of vanilla sauce - mind you, the picture doesn't do justice to the size of the petit pot - well, I was about to ask for the missing magnifying glass... As a matter of fact, the only reason I took a photo was to document the tininess of the pot.
Oh, and telling me repeatedly where to stand in line when there really isn't a line, is just ridiculous. At least it felt cozy, sipping hot tea inside while the wind would make the snow flakes dance outside the window. 

Since the weather hadn't cleared up, I decided to take M 86 across town to head home which turned out to be a brilliant idea as I found myself on the good mood bus. I am not the kind of person who likes public attention, or being forcefully drawn into someone's performance, but the busdriver on this bus was just so nice and not overtly intrusive that when he asked over the intercom if it was somebody's birthday today or in the upcoming weeks, people at first were like 'ahahhh' but then started shouting when their birthdays would be. When we turned the corner to Central Park, it was determined that Max in the back of the bus with a birthday coming up on Feb. 27th was the winner and the bus driver asked everyone on the bus to sing happy birthday to Max - and everbody did! I don't know if the snow storm outside or the grey and dull Manhattan life as a back drop made people appreciate the humanity displayed, but literally everyone on the bus was smiling when they got off! It clearly made my day after just having spent 20 dollars on an underbaked apple strudel and a thimble of vanilla sauce. If you are really curious about the bus ride, google M 86 and happy birthday and you will read many stories about the driver. It really makes me happy when people love their job as much as he does!

copyright of the photo j.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

AZ // BZ Manousheh, New York

It's official. A new epoch is here! AZ! I can't understand how for thirty years, I could live without Za'atar. From now on, my calculation of times will be Before Za'atar and After Za'atar.

I can't believe the first time I ever had Za'atar was at the Persian cooking class I took in Berlin last November. Ever since then, I have been craving Middle Eastern food so when I learned about Manousheh, I had to go there the very next day!

The place is not yet overrun by customers, at least not on an extremely cold Saturday at 1 pm. It's a joy to listen to the people behind the counter explain what their signature dish is and what Za'atar is made of and they even have a little glass jar readily at hand to let people smell. It didn't take me long to know what I wanted: one Manousheh with Za'atar, Jibneh, rolled and filled with cucumber, olives and tomatoes. The Manousheh is delightful. An herb and spice explosion mixed with the fresh taste of the vegetables and that soft Libanese breadshell, nomnomnom!

The crew seems genuinely happy to work there, a very rare find in New York. One of them (maybe the boss?) was even muching on a Manousheh himself when I was there - what better sign is there that the food that is served is awesome?
Kenmare Street on which Manousheh is located is not really a feast for the eye, but a perfect way to go and have lunch there is to combine it with a visit to the New Museum of Art, just 1-2 Blocks away.

It's a gonner!

Copyright of all photos: J.