Sunday, February 28, 2010

NYC (Part 4) Chinatown and Central Park

Chinatown! Shopping and people watching in Chinatown is fun. I like to go into the purse stores and browse. After a few minutes the shopkeeper will come up and say rather quietly 'Gucci? Coach?". If you say 'Yes', they hustle you to the back of the store, where they open a hidden door and take you into a tiny 'secret' room full of contraband fake designer handbags. I always feel like a bad girl afterward, so FUN! I scored a giant black 'Chanel' bag for $40. Pam loves NY Catch O the Day Little Italy backs right up to Chinatown. Holy Cannoli!! I used to have a parking garage like this for my Matchbox cars. Amazing use of space Take a quick Cab Ride with me! video Oh, so touristy! What's better than a Hansom Cab Ride in Central Park?! The Dakota (former home of John Lennon) The final post is FOOD...don't miss it!

NYC (Part 3) - Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's

This is me, enjoying coffee before heading out to a fun day of exploring Gotham City. It's my 'Literary Look', with glasses and sequin beret. I think I'll use it on my next book jacket. :) 30 Rock - Underground, there is a gigantic concourse of shops and restaurants. It's a self contained city. If you worked in the building, you wouldn't ever have to leave. Fast food, nice restaurants, drug stores, florists, a grocery, dry cleaners...all right there. Cool! Top of the Rock Observation Deck was fantastic! 70 stories up with a great view of the city. Roomy and comfy with a nice glassed in lounge area for relaxing, consulting your map, etc. I enjoyed the view and the observation area at Top of the Rock more than the Empire State Building, altho it has it's own wonderful iconic appeal. Even the ride up is fun! The super fast elevator has a clear ceiling, with a film playing on it, and neon green lights line the corridor up, so you watch a video and see the green lights whoosh by. Not in a million years!!! Just looking at this famous pic makes me dizzy. "Luncheon Atop a Skyscraper" was taken in 1932. Long before OSHA. Beautiful Art Deco detail at the top of 30 Rock The Empire State Building Central Park 70 stories high! Laura, Me, Pam and Belle St. Patrick's Cathedral is a Gothic marvel and an absolutely beautiful and serene stop in the middle of the busiest part of Manhattan. Building began in 1858 and it can accomodate 2200 people. the girls look like Alice in Wonderland next to these giant gold doors! Pam and Belle Oh, Honey...there's not enough time in the world... I just couldn't stop taking pics, hoping to capture the beauty and grandeur The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center. Oh, it made me want to practice my Triple Axle, but I decided to just watch. The gold statue is Prometheus, bringing fire to mankind. Stay tuned! More to come...food, Chinatown, and "I'll have what she's having"!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I Don't Like Lost

There, I've said it. I just don't like it. Let the stones fly. My wonderful husband wanted to start from the beginning with Season 1 and after 12 episodes, I'm waving the white flag. And here's why: Characters - I am a 'character' person. I have to like or be intrigued by a character to enjoy a movie or a show. If I could walk out halfway through and not care what happens to them, then the entire movie is a bust for me. I'm just that way. I find the characters on Lost to be stereotypical, shallow and cartoonish. Jack the hero, always in the shadow of his alcoholic father and now large and in charge. Kate, the sexy, bad girl with a past who is trying to redeem herself. She's got a rockin' body and a single facial expression, but then again, so do Hooter's girls and I don't find them fascinating either. Sawyer. Oh, Sawyer...every line is some hokey little catch phrase and his schmaltzy nicknames ('Freckles') drive me crazy. The smirk doesn't help any. What might help is if he just stopped talking and took off his shirt. But I digress. Slow, Slow, Slow Really? Did I just watch 40 minutes and nothing happened? Again? WTF Factor A polar bear on the island. And they kill it but don't eat it? Why haven't they gone exploring. I mean, there could be some All Inclusive Resort just down the beach for all they know. It could be Happy Hour! I've been privy to way too many up and coming things to know that my brain will not be capable of suspending logic enough to swallow all of this. The story arc is too great and there is no payoff so far. And I know enough to know that there won't be for five seasons, if ever. Kinda sounds like my first marriage, but that's a whole different blog entry. :) Now, don't automatically think that I watch innane tv like 'The Bachelor' or 'Dancing With the Stars', because I don't. I watch 'Weeds', 'Californication', and 'Big Love' and I think 'Six Feet Under' was one of the greatest shows ever. Network TV lost me long ago. I don't like sitcoms, I don't love Raymond. I know everyone does. I like to be surprised. Throw me a really good twist and some quality characters and I'll give you an hour. If you like Lost, great. I'm not judging you , I'm just saying it's not for me. I really hope for the big fans of Lost that the payoff at the end of the series is the Hale Bopp Comet experience that it should be, I truly do. But unless Hawkeye and BJ go home from Korea, Bobby Ewing appears and it was all a dream and they all wake up in Bob Newhart's bed, I just don't think I'd be satisfied.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Slow Cooking ~ Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef 1 1/2 pound flank steak 2 T minced garlic bunch of green onions (save some for garnish) 3/4 c Soy Sauce 2/3 c white wine (I used flat champagne because it was just sitting there in the frig...mocking me. I think I'll go drink the rest just to show it who's boss) 1 t Olive Oil 1 t Honey 2 t Ginger 1/4 t black pepper 2 t Red Pepper Flakes 2 T Creamy Peanut Butter 3 T Brown Sugar Cornstarch for dredging meat As always, use a Slow Cooker liner. Why make it harder on the rest of the family who has to clean up? :) Slice the flank steak into thin strips against the grain and shake in a plastic bag with cornstarch. Just enough to give it a good powdering. Slice green onions. Add all liquids and spices to the slow cooker and stir. Add meat and onions remembering to reserve some for garnish (the onions, not the meat. duh). Toss lightly to stir. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Serve over rice and garnish with onion. This was really good. The meat was really tender and had a good flavor. Mr. Wonderful gave it a thumbs up. I would personally like a little more spice, but you could always add more pepper flakes as a garnish to spice it up a bit individually. I would also slice the meat a bit thicker, maybe about 1/2 inch thick slices next time and try it with brown rice. Mmmmm. This recipe made four good sized servings.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New York (Part 2) The Plaza, The Met and a Makeover

A grey sky and the promise of coming weather. Although we had record snows all around us in Maryland and New Jersey, it somehow avoided us! Drinks at the Plaza? You bet! The Plaza is the second hotel of that name on the site and first opened to the public on October 1, 1907. At the time, it cost $12.5 million to construct. When it opened, a room at the Plaza Hotel was only $2.50 per night ($57 in today's dollars). Today, the same room costs from $695 upwards. Pish Posh. My Irish Coffee at the Oak Room was $18. It did, thankfully, provide a nice little buzz. Giant chandelier in the lobby Miss Pamela makes a call at the Plaza ("Please wire me some money to pay for this martini.") Our waiter conveniently forgot to come by and check on us for quite some time (and for the record, it was mid afternoon and there were several empty tables). Maybe he was on his break, maybe he just didn't want to come near us because the guy at the next table was complaining about his meal to the manager. (Hmmm, ate it all tho, didn't ya?) When our waiter finally came back, Belle exclaimed "Oh, where have you been? We missed you?", with impeccable Southern Belle charm. Our Ride ( I wish!) It wouldn't be a girl trip without sharing beauty tips and make up. Not to mention those legendary pillow fights. Belle performs a makeover on Pam while singing "Beauty School Dropout". The bigger the hair, the closer to God. OMG, you're blue eyes just 'POP'! I WANT CANDY!!! Dylan's Candy Bar is a two story candy store that is owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph. 5000 kinds of candy makes 4 happy girls. This is a landing on the stairway. Candy is embedded in the stairs. Too cool. Sugar Rush!! Culture Call! We went directly from Dylan's to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located on Central Park East. In addition to being a Sugar Fiend, I am a total Art History Geek, especially for Greek and Roman Classical Art, so I was pretty excited in a really nerdy way. It was a really cold and windy day This section of a fluted Ionic column dates back to 300 BC and is from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis. The original column stood over 58 feet tall! Detail of the side of a sarcophagus that was just exquisite! Smokin' Dog Three Muses The ubiquitous 'Pam Poses Like A Statue Pic' from Girl Trip. You saw that coming, now didn't you? I was mesmerized with the beauty of all of the statuary. I did 'not so well' in Sculpture Lab in college...but that's another (funny, embarassing) story. Another vibrant street scene. Constantine (dude from previous American Idol) coming out of the show that he's in as we happened to walk by. Pam loves him, so I snapped a pic. Stay tuned for Central Park, Chinatown, Katz's Deli and more!!!

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.