“Where to begin? See Shakespeare in the Park; see Jeter in the Bronx. Take in a matinee at 2pm; take out pizza at 4am. Found a new start-up; find an old mom-and-pop shop. Cheer the Knicks at MSG; cheer the Nets at Barclays. Catch Puccini at the Met; catch Da Vinci at the Met; catch Santana at the Mets. Eat Grimaldi’s after Brooklyn Bridge Park; eat Nathan’s after the Cyclone (definitely not before). Watch the US Open in the summer; watch the Super Bowl in the winter (next year!). Get a free ferry to Staten Island; get free advice in 200 different languages (I hear a lot of it). We are the most diverse and dynamic city on the planet—with record-safe streets and 440 bike-lane miles; 852 museums and galleries; 24,000 (smoke-free) restaurants; 29,000 parkland acres; a record 3.9 million jobs; 8.4 million residents; and 1 grateful mayor.”—Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
The Catholic Church is like Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.R
January 2013 recap
Read 1 book a week. Love my Kindle! Never thought I’d be an e-book convert, but it’s just so convenient to borrow e-books from the library. This February I resolve to read more fiction, haha.
- Pink Tea Cup - very refreshing cucumber mint lemonade. Everything else tasted bland.
- Union Hall - a bocce ball court, a fireplace and hard apple cider on tap. I’m sold. Such a Brooklyn vibe. Go after 12:30 on a Saturday to avoid crowds.
- Coco Roco - great Peruvian chicken, but not cheap.
- DGBG Kitchen - went here for Restaurant Week brunch. Lively atmosphere, good for groups, awesome pastries and desserts. Didn’t like the frenchie burger as much as I thought I would. (People on Yelp were raving about it.) Maybe because I got it medium rare?
- City Winery - forgettable food, romantic ambiance, good wine.
- Delmonico’s Steakhouse - favorite porterhouse steak in NYC. Then again I’ve never been to Peter Luger. Really liked their acquerello risotto, classic Delmonico potatoes and hazelnut praline chocolate cake. Best meal of the month.
- Handsome Dan’s - Didn’t get to meet Dan, bummer. Favorite hot apple cider in NYC.
- Angkor Restaurant, Providence - OMG BEST CAMBODIAN FOOD EVER. They have a “medicinal soup” called Nam Yaa and the broth tasted like sinigang and Filipino spaghetti sauce and it was sooo good! I still think about Nataing every freakin’ day - ground pork cooked in coconut milk served with rice crackers. I enjoyed this meal immensely. Would go back to Providence just to eat here.
- Coffee Exchange, Providence - chai spiced apple cider. ‘Nuff said.
- El Perrito Taqueria, Newport - had a tamarind braised short rib burrito that was bigger than my arm.
- Kilwins, Newport - penuche is basically fancy yema.
Repeat visits: Ippudo, Terakawa Ramen, Ronin (ate a lot of ramen this month!), Lahore Deli, Quickly, Henry’s, Picnic Garden, Cheesecake Factory, Imli, Pret A Manger, Artichoke Pizza.
- Dianne Birch at City Winery - still not sure how I feel about her new record. Nothing But A Miracle is a great song to hear live. She’s really talented.
- Jose James at The Highline Ballroom - new favorite. Jazz + R&B. His music is smooth, soothing, relaxing. I just wish he didn’t wear a Yankees cap all the time.
- Left By The Ship - an interesting, eye-opening documentary about black Amerasians in the Subic Bay area. Felt like the narration was a bit over-romanticized.
- Fresh - This documentary made me want to be an organic, country farmer
- Zero Dark Thirty - The torture scenes were hard to watch, but aside from that… WOW.
- Silver Linings Playbook - felt too angry at times, but overall an enjoyable film. Great ensemble cast. Who knew Bradley Cooper could act?! And we already know that Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in everything. I still hate Julia Stiles.
- This is 40 - funny but it dragged on for another 30 + minutes
- Beasts of The Southern Wild - beautifully shot. I wanted so badly to like this movie but it was just too surreal for me. Don’t get why critics are raving about this film. It bored me to death.
- Whore’s Glory - a shocking look at prostitutes’ lives in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico.
- Celeste and Jesse Forever - great romantic dramedy. A lighter version of Blue Valentine. There should be more movies like this.
- Liberal Arts - Eh… So-so. I keep forgetting Elizabeth Olsen is related to the Olsen twins. She’s a good actress.
- Your Sister’s Sister - one of my favorite indie comedies. I barely noticed that the movie just had 3 characters in it. Highly recommended. I read the reviews for this after watching it and found out that this film was shot in just 2 weeks and was highly improvised. I’m impressed!
- Jeff Who Lives at Home
- Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
- Hello I Must Be Going
- Providence and Newport, Rhode Island
Didn’t get to explore as much as I would like because I sprained my ankle, but I still enjoyed this weekend trip I took with my friend John. Can’t wait to go back in the summertime and explore the mansions in Newport. There’s nothing much to do there in the winter time except maybe go ice skating, but ha! I couldn’t do that. :-/ We ended up playing arcade games at Ryan Family Amusement - half-priced games on Sundays, woot woot! I expected the locals to be preppier but they’re just really… normal and… white. People are friendlier, but isn’t that always the case outside of NYC?
Notable Streets/Neighborhoods: Wickenden and Benefit Streets in Providence, Thames Street and Bowen’s Wharf in Newport
Parties, Events, Etc.
- New Year’s Eve Party (and New Year’s Day breakfast!) in Park Slope. Great way to start the year. :-)
- Rob’s 30th with Ramon’s med school friends
- Lester and Alex’s Housewarming. Lady M pastries and desserts!
- Anne’s Gentlemen’s Club Birthday Party. First time to play Cards Against Humanity!
- “La Solidaridad” brunch. Turned heads because we were eating with fake moustaches on. Haha.
- Lunch with high school friends, Steph and Miko. Hotel sleepover too.
- Hung out with my English blockmate, Camille. Haven’t seen her in 10 years! (I was a college freshman 10 years ago. Wtf. I feel so old.)
- And this is worth mentioning: Ramon gave me flowers for the first time in our 19 month relationship. :-) But our plant Fernando died. :-/
Museums, Art Galleries
- The Morgan Museum and Library - Drawing Surrealism, Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters
- Bottleneck Gallery - Gizmos and Gadgets (featuring my friend JP’s work)
- Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art - Sassy Signs and Sculptures by Alejandro Diaz, More and More, More is More
- Providence Athenaeum - 4th oldest library in the US! Something about being in the presence of old books…
I’m Not Your Mother - a bedtime story read by my nephew Franz.
Paalam, Lola Charing.
I will miss your air kisses, your arm moles, your countless renditions of Autumn Leaves, your looong version of the rosary, your banana chips pasalubong, your love and your warmth.
Most of all, I will miss seeing you with Lolo Benny. 70 years of marriage (!!!) and 10 children together. I remember seeing you peel off peanut skins one by one before handing them to Lolo, hearing you read the newspaper out loud to him in bed, and thinking, wow, that is LOVE. I don’t think I will ever come across a love story that would top yours and Lolo’s. My heart breaks just thinking about Lolo living his life without you by his side, but I know that the Panahon clan will take good care of him for you.
Thank you for making me feel loved and special. I seriously don’t know how you managed to treat all your 50+ (I lost count.) grandchildren equally, like we were all your favorites. I remember the time I stayed at a Mangyan community in Naujan for my thesis. Lolo said you already wanted to pick me up an hour after you dropped me off, and that you were restless the whole week I was there, concerned about my safety. But you didn’t need to worry at all, Lola. The community treated me with respect because I was your granddaughter. There were even people who came up to me and thanked me for all the help you’ve given them. That’s when I realized just how many lives you and Lolo have touched. I truly could not have asked for better role models and grandparents.
Thank you for the good genes. Thank you for giving me baon/money every time you stayed with us in Marcelo. Thank you for my wonderful childhood - all the summer vacations, reunions and holidays in Mindoro, Subic, Tagaytay, Nueva Ecija, etc.
Thank you for instilling in me a love for reading and learning, for teaching me the importance of family, rootedness and prayer, for showing me what it means to be compassionate to others.
I strive to honor you with my life and the work that I do. You will live in my heart forever.
I am overwhelmed with grief, but I am at the same time comforted, knowing that you are now in heaven. Say hi to Lola Taba for me!
Rest in peace, Inay, Lola Charing.
Rosario De Asis Panahon
May 5, 1919 - December 9, 2012
Spring is here.
Who knew a serene place like this exists in Queens?
Kissena Park, March 17.
Double Take of the Day: Game Change, Jay Roach’s made-for-HBO adaptation of John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s same-named book about the 2008 presidential election, was watched over the weekend by more viewers than had tuned in to watch any HBO original movie over the last eight years.
The success of the movie is due in no small part to Julianne Moore’s pitch-perfect portrayal of John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin. Some kind soul has helpfully pieced together a side-by-side comparison of the former Alaska governor and her on-screen doppelganger using archival clips of Palin interviews and speeches and the reenactments of those clips in the film.
Love this movie.