Last week I went to see If/Then Musical starring Idina Menzel (of Wicked, Rent, and Frozen fame) and it was funny, sad, romantic, and hopeful. The musical is about a woman who moves back to New York after a divorce, and it depicts how her life would be if she chose between two different paths. The musical shifts between the timelines seamlessly so you’re not confused, and I enjoyed how they incorporated different parts of New York City into the show.
The most important thing you need to know about my experience is that I didn’t pay anywhere close to full ticket price. I was complaining on Instagram about the high price of show tickets when a random user informed me about ticket lotteries. Every show does a lottery to insure they have a full house. 90 minutes before the show starts a drawing is held outside the theatre a drawing is held for unsold orchestra seats. You put your name in a bowl and hope that you get picked. And this time I was. Lottery tickets for If/Then are $35 cash only and you are given orchestra seats! The seat I won was front row, orchestra left, closer than close to the stage. If you click on my Instagram pictures on the right you can see a blurry picture of Idina Menzel leaving the stage. What’s nice about the ticket lottery is that even the people whose names were not drawn were given the opportunity to buy unsold mezzanine seats. Either way, you still get to see the show. The show is gone after March so see it now if you want to see it at all.
Click here for more information about the ticket lottery for If/Then.
Also, when you buy a drink at a show you’re given a sippy cup that you can bring to your seat. Very nice. If I have time next month I want to see Kinky Boots so I’ve bookmarked the ticket lottery info on my computer.
I say, skip the TKTS booth, skip all the broadway discount sites and just do a lottery.
There’s a youtube show on the Vice Channel called Huang’s World (I could’ve sworn it used to be called Fresh off the Boat though) where chef Eddie Huang travels the world meeting interesting locals and sampling food. It’s expletive laden, culturally diverse, hilarious, and something you should bookmark on youtube to watch when you have a bored moment. Check out part 1 of the New York episode below.
Anyway Eddie Huang also has a restaurant in East Village called Baohouse, which serves Taiwanese-Chinese food. Basically it’s all about the Bao: fluffy, mildly sweet bread pillows that hold whatever you want, but usually meat. On the left is the Birdhouse Bao (fried chicken) and the right is the Chairman Bao (pork belly). The Birdhaus Bao was not my favorite because of the lemon-garlic aioli but you should definitely try the Chairman Bao. I don’t know what’s in the Haus relish but I dig it.
Check out the full Baohouse menu here. There’s very little seating so it’s a grab and go kind of place. I also recommend the apple soda.
I’m excited for this event. March 13th is the 8th annual Choice Eats hosted by the Village Voice. About 70 restaurants will set up in the Metropolitan Pavilion and allow me (and you) to eat and drink to your heart’s content. The Village Voice has only released a partial list of restaurants but there are a few that I am exited to see: Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, The East Pole, Luke’s Lobster, and Butter & Scotch just to name a few. General admission tickets are only $65 and who knows you might run into me.
Click here for a slide show from Serious Eats showcasing the food from the 2013 Choice Eats.
I would describe Darrow’s as an upscale, vegetarian (mostly) version of Panera (with a bar).
I was invited to a media preview and I was impressed with the decor (you can order on iPads) and the food which was healthy yet still tasted good. I am always skeptical of health food restaurants and I rarely ever visit them but I can see myself adding Darrow’s into the rotation.
I always love brussels sprouts.
The dish the I ate several cups of was the rice salad which was made with three kind of rice, apples, pomegranates, and a hit of sheep’s milk yogurt. Ahh so good!
Going back to the decor, in the upstairs dining area Darrow’s has a beautiful living plant wall.
And when the weather is warmer, the downstairs room will turn into a farmers market. For now, the room holds artisanal products like Mast Brother’s Chocolates and Pulse snacks.
So, if you’re in the Flatiron area and want to try something different for lunch (the Madison Square Shake Shack is closed until June) try Darrow’s. It even has a juice bar.
In an effort to introduce some (non food related) culture into my life I’ve decided to visit as many museums, art galleries (you know, cultural shit), as possible this year. So a few weeks go a dragged my cousins to The American Museum of Natural History and we had a good time. Pro tip though, do not go during Christmas break or any holiday when children are out of school. I had to navigate around too many double wide strollers and hyperactive 8 year olds and I wasn’t able to digest the exhibits fully. Naturally, I’ll have to go back.
Dino. Origami Christmas tree
I actually forget what this is.
And more dinos.
It’s a great way to kill a day, and admission is donation only meaning you can pay whatever you like to get in. $1, $20, it doesn’t matter.
Yup it’s true. Last week Momofuku Milk Bar had an Instagram contest. Go to a Momofuku Milk Bar store, post a selfie in front of the store, and get a free apple pie layer cake. I happened to be in Soho when I saw the Instagram post so I sprinted to the Soho location and got the last cake. Sweet victory! If you go on Instagram and hashtag “sweet selfie” you can see pics of all the other people who won cakes too. Though I deleted my selfie because I was excited and I looked crazy.
Cream cheese icing, apple pit filling, and pie crumble. You can order one here. Or you can wait until the summer when Momofuku has a weekly cake walk and gives away a free birthday cake. I’ll be there. I have my eye on the strawberry lemon cake too…
Prince Street Pizza is so nice that I went twice in one week. At $3.95 per square, one square is filling enough for a snack, and two squares make a meal. Prior to Prince Street Pizza my only taste of New York pizza was mall pizza (gross) and dollar slices from random places around Staten Island (ranging from gross to ok). But Prince Street pizza is 1000 notches above those other places. The slice below is called The Spicy Spring and the pizza is supposed to be spicy but I didn’t taste any heat. A little sweet, but not a hint of heat. The crust is thick and fluffy but not super doughy (if that makes any sense at all) and the cheese to sauce ratio is perfect. I’d really love to taste more New York pizza but I’m not in the mood to wait in line at Grimaldi’s. Any suggestions?
1. I’m not about that “new year, new me” b.s., I’m gonna keep eating doughnuts. Speaking of which I visited Dough again and tried both the hibiscus and strawberry doughnuts.They got smushed in transit but of course they were delicious.
2. Serial Updates! Jay, the main witness in the Adnand Syed trial, gave a three part interview to The Intercept in which he changed his story about the murder (again) and whined about how the podcast has affected his life. Ok, some of his complaints were valid. Crazy redditors need to stop driving by his house. The lawyer in me wonders if Jay has a lawyer and if so why was he advised to speak but oh well, it’s worth a read.
4. My new favorite jeans. But look closely, they aren’t actually jeans, they’re sweatpants! Rag and Bone pajama jeans in the Sheffield print (another store). They are comfortable (of course, it’s sweatpant material) and realistic looking enough to full people into thinking you are put together for the day. I’d like the miramar print (another store) too. And the shorts. I want it all. I’ve worn these pants more times than what is considered acceptable since they arrived in the mail.
5. I keep a Baggu tote in all of my purses in case I stop at the grocery store while I’m out and about. The bags are lightweight and fold neatly into a tiny pouch. I’m going to swing by their Brooklyn shop this week and add this pizza bag to my collection.
6. Burger nails. Also Shake Shack introduced a new burger into the rotation; the Shackmeister. I haven’t tried it yet but I will soon.
7. A list of when all your favorite shows come back this winter. The Mindy Project, Shameless, Parks and Rec, hooray!
8. I had a giftcard so I decided to splurge on Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid Foundation. This stuff is worth the money. If feels light as air on you’re face and it glides on smoothly. My shade is Expresso and I’m impressed with the range of shades Laura Mercier offers, especially for women of color. Get it from Sephora, Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus, Saks, and anywhere else high end makeup is sold.
9. The 2015 New Years Eve ball. People started lining up early in the morning to see the ball drop. I don’t have that kind of dedication so looking at this gif is enough.
10. Brown Girls do Ballet. A recently discovered website/instagram that I am obsessed with. The pictures are beautiful and the site is dedicated to showing celebrating and increasing diversity in ballet. There isn’t a “dance well” bone in my body so I’ll just support from afar. The closest I’ll ever get to being a dancer is buying these flats.
Mmmmm, hot chocolate with lavender infused milk from Maman in Soho. I also like the white and bluish-purple branding that runs throughout the shop. There’s also a back room with plenty of outlets for you to plug in your computer and work. Check out the full Maman menu here.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine doubles as an art gallery. Every few months to a year one or more exhibitions are on display and can be viewed by the public for free. Right now the main exhibition is “Phoenix” by Chinese artist Xu Bing. Two phoenixes made out of salvaged debris from a Chinese construction site. The male is called Feng and the female is called Huang and they are majestic. The phoenixes are in The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine until the end of February. Click here for more information.
So you can get an idea of the scale of the birds.
A few close up, detail shots.
PVC pipe, bamboo, and rusted metal.
These two birds are the best things I’ve seen in New York thus far.