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A Day in the Life

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The Kamran’s Last Week in NYC edition:

• Tuesday, we went to dinner at Louro, which is owned by a chef friend of ours and can be summed up in three words: asparagus ice cream:

• Wednesday, we went to Soba Totto for their lunch special that includes a rice dish, a bowl of hot or cold soba, pickles, and salad. The food is deliiiiicious, but the best part is seeing how the different people around you eat their soba. There are the people who use their spoon to gather some broth and then use their chopsticks to add some noodles to the spoon. There are the people who eat some noodles and then slurp some broth. And then there are these young Asian dudes in crisp black suits who don’t talk for an entire hour while they bury their heads in their bowls.

• Thursday, we went to Mission Chinese Food. It’s originally from San Francisco but opened here a few months ago to long lines and hugely hyped reviews. IT IS AMAZING. Wait for my review.

• I have no idea what we did Friday night–probably watched “Shark Tank”, knowing us–but I can tell you that we ate Cambodian sandwiches from Num Pang. They were out of the corn-on-the-cob we like with the spicy mayo and the coconut and, you know, lightly apologized for it. They probably didn’t realize that was MY LAST TIME EATING THAT CORN EVER. Unless I take a half-an-hour subway ride. For corn.

• Saturday afternoon, we met our friends Anthony, Jeff, Nik, and Marko at a sushi buffet called IchiUmi for Kamran’s farewell lunch. (My roommate, Jack, was out of town. I know you’re all in love with him and would have noticed his conspicuous absence.) We ate something like 240 plates of food. Everything tasted better than ever, as everything had all month long. Kamran tried on Anthony’s sunglasses to prepare him for his new life in sunnier climates:

I had asked Jeff to help me move my things from Kamran’s apartment to mine, partly because he’s strong and partly because he’s nice and mostly because he has a car. But over the course of the lunch, everyone else was somehow convinced to help me out (well, except for Marko, who was getting ready to defend his dissertation and thought getting a PhD was more important than schlepping my underwear across town), so I suddenly had a gaggle of movers and Anthony’s car, too. And thank god, because what I thought were a few boxes turned out to be several boxes, a dresser, a nightstand, two ottomans, and a zillion bags stuffed with shoes and toiletries at the last minute. We hadn’t told the building about my move in the hope of avoiding having to get permission from anyone and to avoid the $50/hour fee they charge to use the freight elevator and just walk out the front doors with all of my stuff. But of course the doorman saw through us the moment we asked to borrow one of the rolling carts and told us we needed to use the freight. So we loaded everything onto the carts and rang the bell for the freight elevator, and the porter stepped off and said we had to write him a check for $50 before we could go any further. So Kamran paid $50 for a trip on an elevator for me. And what a ride it was.

Kamran rode with Anthony and Nik to give directions, and I rode with Jeff and was of course the one who got us lost. Never trust a person who drives a car twice a year. One of my biggest annoyances living here is cab drivers who ask me how to get to my apartment. Um, take the 4 train to Brooklyn? I wouldn’t be in a cab if I had a car, buddy! Now do your job. Anthony and Nik went to get coffee while they were waiting for Jeff and me to arrive, and then Kamran had to watch their illegally-parked car, and Jeff had to watch his illegally-parked car, so I was left to bring everything up to my apartment on my own. But of course the doorman at my building was kind and helpful, because it’s Brooklyn.

Anthony and Jeff left in their illegally-parked cars while Kamran and Nik came up to my apartment so we could order banh mi and watch the new Louis C.K. stand-up special and hang out on our roof deck

watching the sun set:

When we got back to Kamran’s apartment that night, it was so weird to look around and not see any of my stuff. When we first started dating, I would haul a bag of clothes from my apartment to his every time I stayed over. Eventually I was staying over so often that he bought me a dresser. And then I filled the dresser so full that I started stacking my clothes on a table beside it. And then another table next to that. And then a chair. I had my laptop there. The scrapbook I was working on. All of my camera gear. My birth certificate. That’s how moved-in I was. So it was strange to be at his apartment and have clothes for the next three days and nothing else. We watched movies and ate one of my favourite meals, the quesadilla enorme from Baby Bo’s Cantina:

• Sunday, we took a walk to Beekman, the secret park we discovered a couple of years ago and have been walking to all of the weekends. There are waterfront parks near me in Brooklyn–much bigger, nicer ones, actually–but this one was ours. I got pooped on by a bird as I was passing under a tree, which is the only thing that could’ve logically happened my last time there with Kamran:

• Monday morning, I took the bus from Kamran’s house to work for the last time. I got the most perfect seat in the front by the window and thought about how it was my last ride on the bus and was nostalgic for a moment until I remembered that I would be going home on the bus, too. So I stopped looking out the window and enjoying the sights of 2nd Avenue and read my book instead. But then Kamran asked me to meet him in the Flatiron after work so we could return his cable box together right off the 6 train, so I didn’t get to ride the bus home for the last time. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Someday.

His movers had come that afternoon and taken what seemed like almost everything away, but “almost everything” still left, like four hours of packing and cleaning for us. I took his plant, and he posed with the gigantic Scooby-Doo that took up half of his 275-square-foot apartment for seven years but that he wouldn’t throw out (nor give to Jeff, who really wanted it) because he swore he was going to someday mail it to the ex-girlfriend he had won it with in Atlantic City. YET ANOTHER UNKEPT PROMISE COURTESY OF KAMRAN. j/k, j/k.

The first pictures of Kamran I saw before our first date included Scoob creepily looking over his shoulder in his old Princeton apartment. But we still left him by the freight elevator to be tossed out with the day’s leftovers. JUST LIKE OUR LOVE.

We ordered our favourite Greek dinner from The Famous Chicken Place,

and had to, like, actually sit and talk to each other with the cable box already being gone. For the six and a half years we were together, his kitchen table was the same as his computer desk (studio living!), but with his computer gone, we talked about eating at the table for the first time ever. And then we ate on the couch like always. He texted the guy from his floor he’d made friends with to see if he wanted to say goodbye to us, and I was hoping to run into the girl I had casually talked to in the hallway for two years and had been meaning to become friends with but hadn’t, but the guy didn’t text back, and I didn’t run into the girl and didn’t even really know which apartment was hers, so that was that.

We made a trip to the lobby with as much as we could carry, and then I waited downstairs while he went up for another load, and then he waited downstairs while I went up for the last load. I took a picture of the apartment completely empty (I have to do a separate blog post on that because it’s so hilarious/sad) and a picture of the closed door for the last time, and you can faintly see the yellow stain on it that may or may not have been pee but that we didn’t clean off in all of those six and a half years,

and then we went to the doorman to leave our keys. He asked who they were being left for, and Kamran said, “Oh, um, the landlady, I guess. I’m moving out.” And the doorman was like, “Oh, really? Well, sad to see you go. Good luck with your new place!” And we were like, “Yeah, thanks for calling up to us every night when the delivery guy arrived with our dinner.” And that was to be the extent of our goodbye to the building.

It felt pretty strange to be leaving so unceremoniously after so much time there. I mean, it’s not like we were heavily involved in the goings-on of Tudor City–there were art shows and concerts in the park and building committees that we weren’t remotely a part of–but it’s also not like we didn’t know people there. People talked to us. People recognized us by our sweater vests (him) and our winter capes (me). People ran into us in the street and laughed about how funny it was to see each other in regular clothes outside of the building’s gym. We had wildly creative nicknames for people–The Tudor Lady (whose greyhound was named Tudor, after the neighborhood), The Crazy Lady (who stood outside with her mangy old bulldog and danced to music only she could hear)–and people would ask Kamran how his wife was and me how my husband was (awwwww (or barf, depending)). I kind of wanted some sort of send-off from Stacey with the red hair or the woman at the end of the hallway who always passed me in the morning in her yoga gear or even the asshole neighbor who would literally run into his apartment to avoid having to be polite to us if we nearly passed in the hall after he had taken his single empty can of Pepsi to the trash room. But no one was waiting for us with banners and balloons, so we silently carried our things to the curb and waited for a cab to take us to my apartment.

But then a moment later, the girl from the hallway came out to smoke, and we exchanged e-mail addresses. And then another moment after that, the guy Kamran had made friends with walked up, munching on a sandwich. We all stood around chatting and talking about future plans, and then the guy helped us load our stuff into the cab that pulled up. Well, first the cab driver said he wouldn’t take us and drove off. But then he stopped down the block, reversed, and popped his trunk open. CAB DRIVERS. We finally got to my apartment close to midnight. I think it was Kamran’s, like, fifth time there.

• Tuesday, Kamran came to work to say goodbye to all of my co-workers who actually like him better than me, and then we went back to my apartment to do laundry and eat one last banh mi. When we sat down to eat, I accidentally knocked his bubble tea to the ground, and it went eeeeeverywhere. Kamran, who used to act like I was the least-responsible person in the world whenever I spilled anything at his apartment, calmed me down and did all of the work of cleaning it up. And then we shared my bubble tea while watching “Deadliest Catch”, which we started watching together a few years ago and seemed appropriately epic for our end times. We cried and cried and then went to bed and cried and then held hands and cried and I told him not to say anything nice to me the next morning so I wouldn’t cry before work.

• Wednesday, I left for work knowing that I’d come home to an empty apartment. I hugged Kamran and closed my eyes for a second to enjoy it but then was like, “Shit! Shit! Don’t cry!” So I stopped thinking about it, kissed him, and left. It sucked.

A Day in the Life

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I’ve been expectedly terrible about writing my weekly life recaps, but here are some of the importanter events:

• My bedroom is teeny, so I bought a bed frame without an attached headboard to save room, but after two years, I’ve been craving something to bang my head against while listening to angsty music. Thinking a mirror would help make the room appear bigger (and allow me to judge how pretty I must look while sleeping), I set about finding one that was tall enough to be wider than my frame when set on its side but also wide enough to stick up over my mattress to give me something to lean against. Basically the only one that fit the bill remotely was the IKEA Mongstad, but it happened to be perfect. There’s an IKEA in Brooklyn with a free shuttle that leaves from my neighborhood, but thinking it’d be even easier to just toss it in a cab, I bought one off of craigslist from a guy on Wall Street and convinced Kamran to help me move it.

I knew it was going to be big, but I might have underestimated how unwieldy 66 pounds (and 2 ounces) of 74″ tall, 37″ wide mirror is. Kamran and I had no problem carrying it downstairs, but the wind was blowing so much by the time we got to the street corner that I had a hard time staying upright with it resting against me while we waited for one of the big minivan cabs to drive by. Ten minutes later, we had seen a couple of them up the street, but they were snatched up by other people before they got to us. In the meantime, we had tried to hail some of the SUV cabs, but drivers were literally turning around in the middle of the street and going back uptown when they spotted the mirror. We thought about hiding me around the corner and trying to trick someone into stopping for just Kamran, but eventually a nice driver in an SUV stopped out of the goodness of his heart and helped us load the thing into his cab. Of course it didn’t fit. Once it hit the plexiglass partition that separates the driver from the back seat, a foot of it was still sticking out the back of the car. So we gave up, turned back the way we came, and took the thing on the subway.

We hadn’t brought gloves, and we hadn’t drank our protein shakes, so our hands were aching and our biceps were shaking by the time we loaded it onto the 2 train. I was saying things like, “If I have no problem carrying it this way, why can’t you just stop being a pansy and make it work?” And he was saying things like, “I’m a physicist. I’m pretty sure I know the best way to distribute the weight.” It was only two blocks to my apartment from the subway, but we probably stopped five times to yell at each other, but once we got the thing in place behind my bed frame, we were like, “Yeah! Teamwork!” And then we went out for bubble tea.

• My cousin, Ethan, and his wife, Katherine, stayed with me this week while visiting NYC for the first time. They drove to Pittsburgh from Ohio and then took a bus the rest of the way, arriving in Brooklyn at 3 a.m. Thursday. I had signed our spare key out for them with the doorman earlier in the evening, but the overnight guy somehow didn’t understand which of the exactly one keys he was supposed to give to them, so he ended up calling not me, whose name was on the sign-out sheet, but the owner of the apartment, who is my roommate, Jack. At 3 a.m. Having them here reminded me so much of my early days in NYC, lo those nearly eight years ago, when I would get on the subway going the wrong way and when walking anywhere seemed like such a hassle. I remember my first week here, when my boyfriend at the time, Todd, and I were trying to move out of the student housing at NYU he’d been in for a year and get our own place in Chelsea, and I felt like the walk from the subway to the realtor’s office could have taken two hours in the July heat. I later realized that it had been two avenue blocks. Which are admittedly equal to four or five street blocks, depending on who you ask. But still. Two.

• Kamran and I took our friends Nik and Jack to Momofuku Ko for lunch on Saturday. It’s our favourite restaurant in NYC. Period. We sat in the same place at the counter as the last three times we’ve gone, and the same chef we’ve had the last three times served us, and the soundtrack was The Beatles and LCD Soundsystem and The Beta Band, and I got tuh-RASHED on the wine pairings, and Jack and Nik didn’t complain about having to eat an oyster, and I’ll always remember that lunch.

“Momofuku” means “lucky peach”.

• “Game of Thrones” started up again. Like you haven’t heard. Kim has been coming over every week to watch it, along with an assorted cast of characters who have seen somewhere between all of and two of the past episodes. As I sat watching it last night in my thrifted orange damask armchair, I looked around the room at Kim and Jack and Nik and Chris and thought about how crazy it is that I was just, like, hanging out all normally in my NYC apartment with my NYC friends. I’m 99% sure Joffrey is going to die soon.

• My friend Jessica was in town from Germany a couple of weekends ago. She was an intern at my company for a year, and there’s absolutely no other way we ever could’ve become friends. We ate queso fundido and sang karaoke (Jessica likes to do the Ken part of the 1997 hit “Barbie Girl” while our friend Jeff does the Barbie part) and one friend developed a crush on another friend while that friend was busy developing a crush on a third friend, and it made me sad that our group of friends is probably legitimately too old to be hooking up with each other with abandon and without consequences.

• My friend/former co-worker Chantee was in town yesterday after having left NYC a few years ago, and we met up with Kamran, Jack, and Jeff for the whole duck at Momofuku Ssam Bar. They take a Long Island duck, stuff duck sausage under the skin, confit the legs, and serve it all with hoisin sauce and fried shallots and greasy chive pancakes and rice that soaks up all of the duck juices. There’s a reason the place appears on “best of” lists along restaurants like Per Se.

You wouldn’t know it from Jeff’s face here, but Chantee is one of those people who’s hilarious but never at your expense and only makes you feel good about yourself when she’s around. I wish my sense of humor was more that and less naming-all-of-your-faults-in-front-of-everyone-we-know, but my mother died when I was 18, and I’ve never recovered. Just kidding. Well, sort of.

• My stomach is tired.

Weekend Update

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Kamran was in California all last week being a lawyer, so I spent the week at my apartment, stretched diagonally across my entire bed and eating as many hot dogs as I wanted. My roommate/landlord/co-worker/friend, Jack, and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (super-entertaining) and Prometheus (ridiculous (abortion machine!) but fun to watch) on his giant 3-D TV, and then I watched The Great Gatsby (teeeeerrible and so, so sweaty) and Martha Marcy May Marlene (amaaaaazing both in acting and cinematography and creepy as hell) in my immense free time.

Saturday night, my friend Ash had a bunch of us over for Early Thanksgiving at her apartment in Queens that has a kitchen big enough to cook a multi-course dinner in. The menu included gougeres, clam chowder, turkey slathered in herbs, shepherd’s pie, cornbread and chorizo stuffing, Brussels sprouts salad, pumpkin Gorgonzola flan, and caramelized apple spice cake decorated with marzipan pumpkins she had formed and painted herself. It was insane. She is insane.

pumpkin Gorgonzola flan

Yesterday, Kamran came back to town, and his friend Gary from back home came to stay with him, and we all went to Jean-Georges for a tasting menu. We’d had a hard time figuring out the best place to take a tasting menu virgin, so I’d made a reservation for J-G and put us on the waiting list for Per Se and Torrisi. J-G called on Saturday afternoon to confirm the reservation, and then, literally two minutes later, Per Se called to offer us a spot. FOILED! Poor Gary only got his first tasting from a three-Michelin-starred restaurant and not the BEST three-Michelin-starred restaurant.

And tonight, I’m going home to Ohio for Thanksgiving. Pretty good livin’.

Otto, PS1, 5Pointz, and Other Really New Yorky Things

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On Friday night, my co-workers and I went to Mario Batali’s Otto for pizza and pasta and cured meats and gelato in flavors like OLIVE OIL and CREME FRAICHE. My friend Ash took awesome pictures of the meal, including some of me pretending to eat an entire plate of salad like a taco once we figured out there was a big slice of cheese underneath all the lettuce. No big deal.

Otto Pizzeria
photo by Ash at Not Bored in NY

Afterward, we went to see Prometheus in 3-D, and I thought we’d all agree that it was awwwwwwwwwwesomely entertaining, but it turns out that fully half of the group thought it was a plague on the rest of the franchise. So go see it if you want fun and suspense and gore, but don’t see it if you like films that don’t try to cram three movies’ worth of material into one.

Saturday, we met our friends Nik and Marko at PS1, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) baby sister in Queens. There were some crazy cool things there (a roomful of confetti being blown around by fans, a movie with animated LEGO people reading pathetic online conversations between real people), but because some of it was a little avant-garde, it was no surprise to hear middle-aged women saying things like, “This is as useless as Twitter.”

P.S. 1 NYC
Wendy being constructed in the museum’s courtyard

Then we walked across the street to 5Pointz, a factory that’s been turned into a graffiti park where artists can spray on the weekends. We’ve probably seen it a hundred times from the 7 train but have never stopped to actually take it all in.

5 Pointz Graffiti Park NYC

Obviously it brought out the badass in the boyz:

5 Pointz Graffiti Park NYC

And then we went to a Bosnian restaurant to eat cevapi, the sausages Nik and Marko ate while growing up in Serbia. They were totally delicious,


and now I’ve threatened to take everyone out for Ohio food.

My Superfantastic Weekend and What I Ate

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I had such a great weekend that I’m actually going to talk about what I did rather than write some abstract post about “American Idol” or whathaveyou. Ready for this?

On Friday night, I picked Kamran up from work, and we rode the subway to Astoria, which is a neighborhood in Queens that’s getting to be known as the new Williamsburg (my previous neighborhood in Brooklyn), because it’s cheap enough that artsy, non-trust-funded types can actually afford to live there and eat from the plethora of Greek restaurants. It’s still not quite as settled as Williamsburg was, though, because there was a point where the streetlights just sort of stopped existing, and we found ourselves thinking, “Why did we agree to come to this god-forsaken borough?!”

But then we remembered we were about to eat CHICKEN, stuffed with CHEDDAR, wrapped in BACON, covered in MOLE, topped with melted MONTERREY JACK, and smothered in crumbled FETA at Fatty’s Cafe. Obviously worth it.

Lorraine seductively models the Contraband Chicken,
as if it’s not seductive enough on its own.

There were much better photos of Ash, Mike, and Lorraine,
but the look on Ash’s face here is SO GREAT.

Please tell me why Kamran posed normally in this photo with Jeff
but threw a gang sign in the photo he took with me.

On Saturday night, Kamran and I went to dinner at the famed Serendipity 3 with my longtime blogfriend Kim of Good Hair, Kim Luck. We’ve seriously been reading each other’s LiveJournals and then blog for years now but failed to meet when we both lived here, realized we probably made a mistake once she moved away for a while, and decided not to butcher it this time when she moved back recently.

The lovely and talented Kim shows off her young chicken sandwich and the hair
she had dyed especially for me, or so I tell myself.

Kamran sips espresso instead of helping me eat our giant Can’t Say No Sundae,
which included peanut butter pie, vanilla ice cream, bananas, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.

After Kim and I had been talking about “Gossip Girl” stars and handbags for 15 minutes, Kamran leaned over and whispered that Sarah Michelle Gellar was at the table next to ours with her family, which prompted us to try naming more than three things she’s been in. I failed ridiculously and didn’t slyly take a picture of Kim with Buffy in the background, but rest assured that she’ll be ceremoniously added to my list of famous people I’ve seen in NYC.

Even though Kim was in a dress and heels, we coerced her to ride the tram to Roosevelt Island with us, which is basically a 3-minute ride in the air to the tiny island next to Manhattan. We used those 3 minutes wisely, though, by loudly talking about how people from Roosevelt Island are pathetic if they think they’re part of Manhattan.

On Sunday morning, Kamran and I were treated to brunch at La Silhouette, which I think is just trying to get the word out that yes, they serve brunch, and yes, it is awesome. As if my cheesy, crusty, piled-high-with-ham croque madam wasn’t enough,

they also served us the entirety of the dessert menu. (And we secretly kind of liked their sundae better than Serendipity’s!) The full review will follow on donuts4dinner.com, obviously.

Super fun times!