Eat and Drink


Errrr…See You Later!!! (as everyone reminded me last night)

OPEN ARMS-THANK YOU TO EACH WHO CAME THROUGH LAST NIGHT AT MY “REAL” OFFICIAL-UNOFFICIAL SEND-OFF FROM NEW YORK CITY!!!

(It’s so hard to leave especially since all my peers keep telling me that I’m gonna eventually return to NYC at some point. But still… for now, I have to breathe deep and say goodbye / farewell / see you later / hasta luego…)

The evening started off with a lovely “family dinner” with my niece (yes, niece) Cindy and nephew (yes, nephew) Jay @ Barbuto in the West Village. Neither of us had eaten there before, but upon the strength of Cindy’s co-worker’s recommendation, we decided to check it…and it gets a two thumbs up!! (thanks pat!)

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After our delicious meal, we walked on over to Gaslight to meet up with some awesome individuals who will always have a place en mi corazon ๐Ÿ™‚ From hometown to college to music industry to advertising world, I’ve come in contact with a gazillion number of people. Those that showed love last night are beautiful beings who have ridden with me since Day 1 of (respective) introduction. There really are not enough words to express how much each of them mean to me. I love them all for who they are as individuals and their contributions to all things Great!

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Abrazos y Besos a Todos!
 

ๆ‹ฅๆŠฑๅ’Œไบฒๅปๅฏนๅคงๅฎถ

. . don’t burn the day. .

Photo Credits: IT Boi aka Jay ๐Ÿ™‚ and B. Happy.

 

 

Monday 2/25 – Ahh THE very last Monday. Slow start to the day, as I didn’t leave my apt till 3ish, since I tempted to re-pack, in the earlier half, in preparation for the real move-out later this week. But, I didn’t get too far since Gab was scheduled to come over in the evening to pick up some random items. (So I just moved a few pieces around to make it look productive.)

I decided to go for a walk without my ipod in ear – in order to take in all the “wonderful” sights, sounds and smell of NYC. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well it is, but I might as well get used to it because it’s not like I walk around the streets of my hometown with my ipod attached to my ears. It’s really one of those “only in NY” things to do. But for real, I wanted to take in all the random cell phone conversations, the multi-languages spoken, ugh the honking, the sounds of MTA buses, street vendors whether it be hot dog, pretzel and/or halal stands.

I headed up to Madison Square Park and snapped a few photos…

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I then came upon Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s “roadside” food stand in Madison Square Park, serving burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more… Shake Shack had been voted “Best Burger” in 2007 South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash, plus my friend Edric had been talking about this spot for a while, but I had yet to give it a try. I had a moment of indecision since it was nearing 5pm and I planned to meet up with Edric at 5:45pm for a round of bubble tea, plus dinner with Gab at Spice. So I paced for a period that seemed about 10min, and finally gave in and got in line to try out one of these burgers.
Next, I receive a tap on my left shoulder. I look left, I look up and WOW! It is Jesse (former night manager at Cielo). My immediate response: “Oh my God! The universe really is bringing all sorts of familiar faces to me! I was just at Cielo on the fly the other night and asked about you!” So we got into the whole “I’m leaving NYC… going to Shanghai…thing.” Jesse and I had worked together on numerous occasions back in the day… but since I left GS, we had not seen each other since ehhhh November of 2006. So we each grabbed a burger and chatted up. (Burger is EXCELLENT, by the way.) He is no longer at Cielo, however is doing super well, managing all sorts of venues including Room Service and congrats on Jr #2!!! Soo great to run into him! And just as he said of me, he was a pleasure to work with … “professional yet mellow.” Here, I promised he would make my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ …
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Then I headed back downtown to Saint’s Alp Teahouse to meet up with Edric for a last round of bubble tea in the city. (Taro with tapioca, cold. I dare not to deviate from this because the couple times that I have, I regretted and wished I had gone with the taro w/tapioca, cold.) Memorable dialogue of our bubble session:
  • Me: So I’m meeting with Gab for dinner at Spice after this. I already know what I’m gonna get.
  • E: Drunk Man Noodles.
  • Me: Nope. Even though that is definitely a Spice dish. I’m gonna get shrimp fritters, fried calamari, grilled pork chop and maybbbee the fried banana dessert.
  • E: You just had a burger!! And now bubble! Are you pregnant?!
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Classic!! Goes wayyyy back to freshman year!! Oh some things just never change…
img_3039.jpgNext stop! Spice! Always a favorite for Gab/Mimi moments. I stayed on course with the exception of the shrimp fritters (since Gab wanted the shrimp curry dumplings) and I did not have room for the banana dessert…
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Gab & I….I would have to create an entire new blog to devote to all the good times we’ve had throughout the last 8 years. (We’ve also learned that we can NOT talk about sports.) But, it all started in Florence, Italy back in 2000 and was awesome to have been able to re-experience Florence this past summer (2007) again as a tag team. Great heart (though she’s begun to adopt my “i hate people” a tad) + hilarious personality, never a un-laughable moment!
Case in point….(outside of Rugby store). — Gab has this thing about imitating mannequins. Again, started in Florence with Pajama Man.
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img_3042.jpg(The PLAID-dow sparkles!!)
Thennnnnnn… after a quick run to my apt, we head back out to Three of Cups to join in celebrating the Engagement of Tara (with an N) & Aram! CONGRATULATIONS, YAY!!!
Overall, just a nice easy-going day. I’m beginning to get used to this….
. . don’t burn the day. .

Friday 2/22 – Morning after late night snowstorm. I was sooooo grateful that my 11AM cancelled, because I was a grumpy camper in the AM. I got to go back to napping and hit the doc’s office in the afternoon for all of that travel abroad pills and prescriptions ‘ish. Then downtown I went, to spend a couple hours with my accountant to figure out my ’07 monies.

I later headed into Ft. Greene (Brooklyn!) to Chez Lola (two thumbs up!.. nice call Brook!) for a fabulous dinner and drinks session with some of my most favorite, genuine peoples (Ant, Kyra, Brook, Rashaunah & Marcus). THE PEAR MARTINI was where it was at, FOR REAL!! As R said… “I’m Thirsty!” Smooooth tasty pear + brown sugar/cinnamon combo along the rim and splashes… MMMM!! I had the spicy salmon sandwich with chipotle mayo + thin onion rings. (Again, great call B!!!)

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Seriously, this dinner will stand as a memorable one for me. It was just perfect in every way possible (well minus the delay since Marcus had to find his belt, but we unanimously let slide…). Awesome folks, delicious food, dangerously addicting drink and straight up good times reminiscing: Outkast party, Arista lay off party, Questlove nights, Rhone nights, Summer 2005, Van Hunt/Bembe night, Double Happiness nights, and on and on… Love you guys!! I owe ya’ll some videos! Soon coming!

Of course our night did not end there. We were actually pretty amped for the night. With our previous track record, as abbreviated above, we were looking forward to banking it just one more time before my departure from NYC. These soul summit parties have been a staple in the Ft. Greene neighborhood for years, and surprisingly none of us had ever attended before. So we figured, what the heck, it’s Spinna and all. We packed into R’s ride with “Mimi in the middle” and headed over to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)…and conveniently for Chuck, he squeezed himself into our spot in line after shouting, “Mimi?!! Shouldn’t your ass be in Shanghai already?!” Classic! ….And here we go!

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and where it all began…

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then met up with some FREEdom fighters…Phil & Todd…

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But the “soul summit night of soul classics” were moreso punishment house music (as Kyra translated in German). Ummm music, we were not feeling, but we had each other ๐Ÿ™‚ … so we dipped to Moe’s …and eventually called it a BK night!

. . don’t burn the day. .

Hmmm let’s see. I gotta start jotting down stuff now before I completely forget what I’ve been up to in my remaining days here in NYC…

Thursday 2/21 – I woke up on the tired end from the previous two late-night outtings. But, thankfully, I was able to push my first meeting from 1pm to 3:30pm… and even still, I was rushing to get outta my apartment to meet up with my homie, Marcos at Altantic. We were supposed to do lunch but both of our schedules got a lil messy and rather than risk the not being able to meet up at all, I trekked up to his offices even for a brief chit chat. Marcos was THE man who offered (and I gladly accepted) my first step into the music industry at Arista. Yes, yes, the good ol’ days. (By now, ya gotta get used to my frequent good ol’ days references .. until.. I start talking about my days at Family Tree — but that is later coming..)

So, I rush uptown and am late by about 10min and knew we had about an hour set aside for our catch-up. As I’m signing in at the lobby desk, I look to my left and wow….. bringing it wayyyy back is Damon! Damon and Marcos in one day! Ya see, D had once upon a time worked at Bad Boy (2001). As I mentioned in previous posts, I had left knee ACL reconstruction surgery at the end of March, 2001. But, that did not stop me from interviewing at various record companies and PR companies throughout April and May. One of which was with D at Bad Boy. With crutches and full knee brace in tact, I took that interview and left knowing that Bad Boy would be an awful match – reason being – its disorganization. I walked out, totally confused. (I can say this now, cuz D and I have chuckled over this numerous times. We kept running into each other in the subsequent years esp when I was over at BMG/RCA, since Bad Boy was housed under the same roof at that time…and eventually became friends.) Soo yeah, wow D and M! Two total icons for “when it all started” in music for me.

Next, I scooted back down to the East Village for a dinner with friend, Monique at one of my favorite img_2956.jpgMoroccan restaurants, Cafe Mogador on St. Marks. Among all sorts of topics of discussion, we were trying to figure out how we became friends, and we still don’t know the exact moment, but the gist is… She worked with my sister (when my sister and I lived together in the city a few years back), met me at some point…vibed on the music tip, and from then on became one of img_2960.jpgmy groupies ๐Ÿ™‚ Right, M?? So yeah, dinner was fab. And actually, M surprised me with the ordering of straight Henny “because it’s so smooth and will warm us up from the cold” and a drink to follow. I NEVER knew you did it this way M, I NEVER knew. But anyway, apps and lamb tangine with the spicy sauce was where it was at!

After dinner, I popped over to the west side to show my homie, Khairi some love at APT. (Sorry, no boots this time… but the kicks gotta count for something!) I can’t even remember the last time I was at APT…but was cool; got there on the early tip and chilled with some peeps (Kym Ahmad, Sharon, Nina and Sam). Heard the “fist” story and all of that… Here’s us being of course, fools…though, Khairi is missing!

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My initial curfew of 11.30pm of course didn’t stick and we went off to Florent for a late night snack. That experience can be summed up in two words: Stevie Wonder.816.jpg

But upon walking out… ooh la la.. it’s snowing!!!

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And still… I was not allowed to go home even though I was uber tired. It was probably around 1:30AM at that point. However with out of towners in our hands, we decided to “see what was going on at Cielo.” 6851.jpg818.jpg403.jpg343.jpgBeing that I have spent many a event nights at Cielo, I had a good handle on the who’s who in that mix. Upon walking up and through the long ass line outside in the snow, security immediately greeted me and welcomed my party of 5. Now I had no intention of even going inside because I needed and wanted my sleepies, however security thought otherwise and granted easy access into the spot. Promoter chic got all fired up as he had just comped FIVE …$35 per head tickets.. yes that is umm $175 right there along with an irate promoter and pissed off “regulars” in line! Ahh well, that’s how I roll.. ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, could there have been any more greasy euro-trash, jersey’ers there that night? I mean it was PACKED and I still don’t know who the DJ was. Hands down, the sound system there is one of a kind, and now they’ve even improved on the dj booth/soundboard. But all that oomptah-oomptah-oomptah-oomptah was too much for me. I peaced eventually and got home shortly before 3AM.

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I find it funny though. It is as if the universe is putting me in these places to let me get my last fill’s worth and have me confirm that I will not miss these type scenes much.

NYC will indeed, always be here.

. . don’t burn the day. .

Wow the last two days have been just crazy all over the place…and somewhat SPONTANEOUS and RANDOMMMMMM. I think thats’ gonna be the name of the game for my remaining week here…

For jourimg_2930.jpgnaling purposes, let’s see..

Well first off it kinda started this past weekend when I was feenin’ to play scrabble. And admist random convo with my friend Edric, I mentioned it… and he had the game!! So we hit up some jamba and played a round of s-c-r-a-b-b-l-e. ๐Ÿ˜€ Edric cheated a lot so he won by a few points. I also attempted guitar hero, but I totally suck. (My – I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life-self definitely showed its true colors. MORE reason why I admire musicians.) I am definitely going to add it to my “Need to improve on when I’m at home in Boston” list.

Tuesday 2/19 – I dipped down to Tribeca to have lunch with the GS homies (George and Erik). I then hopped on over to Park Slope to meet up with DJ friend and artist, Geology to simply kick it and catch up. Well, in mid-convo as my blog became a topic of discussion, he noticed my broadcasted pong skills and got super excited:

  • G: You play table tennis?!
  • Me: Umm, I can play table tennis, but I’m not like a pro or anything…
  • G: We are going down the street right now to play!
  • Me: Are you serious?
  • G: Yes (and grabs his OWN PADDLE in its OWN SLEEVE)
  • Me: You have your OWN paddle?!
  • G: We’re gonna play. I never get to play.
  • Me: Oh great.. you’re gonna kick my ass.

Soooo off we went.. down the street to Ocean’s 8 to play some pong. Upon entering, my eyes locked to the left as I saw 3 airhockey.jpgAir Hockey tables! I LOVE AIR HOCKEY!! There were pool tables, bowling, pong tables and air hockey! I felt like I was in adult version Chuck E. Cheese!! G and I had our bouts in pong, but I was really anxious to hit the air hockey table. We eventually manage to get over there and we, hands-down, got “Loudest Patrons Award.” (Sad part is, since it is winter break for NYC schools, some younguns were in the mix and YES, G & I were the loudest ones. Sad… but FUN!) Vengeance G!! ๐Ÿ™‚

img_2944.jpgmimideborah.jpgNext, I hopped back into the city to one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the west village, Valdino’s West with Deborah. D had me as an intern, assistant and now as a great friend. (Thank you so much for the travel charm from South Africa!!) Now I’m not much of a flan person, but this place has amazing vanilla flan!! It’s texture is like no regular flan – at all. Very smooth, almost pudding-like consistency, however retains its shape like jello would, with real vanilla bean extract and the chocolate drizzle gives it a fantastic spunky contrast with fresh strawberries all around. Mmmmmmmm!!! (mouth-watering!) D and I have been going there for a couple years now for its delicious pasta and vanilla flan… Here are some flicks:

Involtini di Bresaola (besaola rolls filled with arugula, parmesan and truffle oil) – Yummy appetizer!

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Mmmmm Vanilla Flan!

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Then, I managed to get home to chill for a bit and switch coats because that wind along the Hudson was no joke! For old times sake, I rolled thru Tillmans at about 11:30ish to check the fellas (Ant, Center & Marcus) in addition to meet up with friend, Jeff Sunscreen. Cool, chill night up in the front/VIP mix of course. We closed the spot down eventually, and J had the tummy grumbles, so we shot down to the East Village and popped into 7A as default since Sidewalk was closed. Boy oh boy.. chit chatting, had us leaving at 4AM! Good convo, good company, thank you sunscreen! ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, yesterday Wednesday, 2/20 – I met up with awesome blast from the past, Michael at his office at Universal, and we grabbed lunch at Vynl – cool for music heads spot… you guessed it… vinyl decor. So great to have M back into my life as I was only a mere marketing/sales assistant and he a big shot executive when we met years ago. It’s all about good people vibes, isn’t M?

I then capitalized on the opportunity and did a quick round thru the Def Jam offices. I thought to myself, “Wow I’m so glad I’ve graduated from ALL of this (record business stuff) and NOT working it anymore!!” L.A., JD, familiar execs blasting music had me thinking, “haven’t we heard this before??” Anyway, onward – chilled with G-Lavi Lindsayย  and then got to see my “Mama Sandie.” – Always such a pleasure. Mama S was part of the “Good Ol’ Days” Arista publicity fam.

And then next up, was dinner/drinks at Bar 89 with J & S. All I can say is… “taco meat on his chest” LOL LOL LOL! HILARITY!

Thennnn I get a text from another friend, BoomBox Mehmet as he lives in my neighborhood and just came back from a trip out to Hawaii. So of course, I had to link up with him as we’ve been talking forever to check this Argentinian restaurant in the hood called, Buenos Aires. Unfortunately I had already eaten dinner, but I dabbled off of his plate of steak and mashed potatoes nonetheless. Steak was OK… too dry actually, but I wouldn’t mind going back at some point with an appetite. And oh! I did check the eclipse on the way to the BA. (I also hope to hit the REAL BA some time soon….)

After my 2nd dinner, we hit up Drom where BoomBox M is picking up residency and dallying bookings work with. Known for world music, this night was packed with Greeks clap clappin and dancing away with hands in the air to the live band. It was quite a scene and made me LOVE NEW YORK that much more. I mean in one day, I had gone thru so many ethnic scenes, ie. Argentina to Greece! We chilled with some tea and this dessert M insisted for me to try. I eventually met the chef as well, since the dessert was his very own creation:

Cingene Eggplant (Layers of chocolate, crema catalana, raspberry coulis toppd with frothy eggplant mousse)

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I was iffy on the whole “eggplant” part … but it was actually delicious! Didn’t taste like eggplant persay. (bc I’m not huge on eggplant either) My favorite part was the cookie since it had chili powder specs on them for a nice spicy kick. Delish!

And then home…. and sleeeeeep. and oh, I’m also still sore from the air hockey madness!

. . don’t burn the day. .

jude-law-alfie.jpgIn the 2004 version of Alfie, starring Jude Law, Marisa Tomei, Sienna Miller, Nia Long and Omar Epps, one line resonates:

“Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder…”

absinthe.jpgIllegal for quite some time due to its supposed hallucinogenic effects, absinthe has finally been approved to be sold (and, more importantly, drank!) again in the US. Sip some for FREE with the generous folks at East Village Wine and Liquor TODAY.

Just remember not to blame them if you see a scary green monster or a hippo in the corner of their store.

Date: February 14

Time: 5pm-8pm

Place: East Village Wine & Liquors

Deal: FREE!

. . don’t burn the day . .

Original Film: Released in 1966, starred Michael Caine.