Tag Archives: New York


I had wanted to go to Birreria for a while now since it’s opened in the Eataly establishment, today is a perfect day! With all the holiday shopping frenzy, having an outdoor meal on top of the 14th floor of an office building sounded great! Plus, this was an unusually warm and sunny day after Thanksgiving.

We were going to order some cheese and salumi plates, but after the waitress explained the menu, we couldn’t resist to have the main courses. The food were delicious. Batali never fails!

Insalada Di Mela: Local apple, fennel, cabbage, speck, asiago with lemon vinaigrette

Extra virgin olive oil with bread

Beer braised pork shoulder with celery, local apples and mustard vinaigrette

Olive oil smashed potatoes

Hong Kong: New Force in Art and Design

2012 in Hong Kong was declared by the local government as the Hong Kong Design Year (HKDY). Throughout the year, there will be many events and activities to celebrate Hong Kong as a creative city and an important force in art and design in the region. Having worked and lived in Hong Kong for a few years in the past, I always have a soft spot for Hong Kong. It’s a very special place.

So last Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion “Hong Kong: New Force in Art and Design” in Asia Society. I especially enjoyed one of the panelist Gary Chang’s talk. Gary’s work, particularly his apartment has been on many publications and it was great to have a chance to hear him talking about the subject of sustainable living and design. He is very humble and humorous too.

Below is a picture of Gary’s apartment – a domestic transformer. A 334 square foot apartment in Hong Kong changed into 24 different configurations, just by sliding walls and panels around.


(see the video below on the transformation)

This makes New York City living seem so spacious!


Monday Night at the Speakeasy

Anna and I arrived on a poorly lit street in Lower East Side, saw two men dressed in blue police uniform in front of a short metal gate. She whispered “cannolis” to his ear and we were led down a staircase in a typical tenement building. Repeating the same password in front of a big metal door, a door opened to a room full of people, laughters and live jazz music. We just walked in the immersive play called “Speakeasy Dollhouse“.

We stopped by the bar and asked for a drink that seemed to be popular among the patrons, a champagne cocktail served in a tea cup. We decided to take a seat across the Howard Fishman Quartet to enjoy the music and enjoy an evening of intrigue and fun in the 1920′s.

Speakeasy Dollhouse is based on a family mystery of the writer and the producer Cynthia Von Buhler. Cynthia was intrigued by the story of her grandfather’s death so she embarked on extensive research. She wrote a book and built dollhouse like models with extreme attention to detail and produced this immerse theater piece.

Throughout the show, you are encouraged to explore the rooms, talk to people and try to piece together the plot. We were asked to hand a note to Lucrezia at the bar which led to perhaps the cause of the shot later on.

Here the hostess seemed to have discovered something.

The waiter was watching the crowd in the bar.

We felt that we were having a fun party in the Prohibition era. It was definitely interesting and different!

Each month there is a different theme, currently it runs until June. You can get the tickets online and receive the password from the email.

A secret weekend hide-away brunch

It was a cold weekend last week, but we were hiding in the back alley’s of Freeman’s to enjoy an afternoon of great food and company. Anna and I have not seen each other for a few months now, and Freeman’s was the perfect cozy place to meet.

We settled upstairs in the lounge. Freeman’s offer rustic American cuisine with produce from local farms. The food is fresh and delicious. Quite reasonable on the pocket as well. It’s a perfect hide-away for me.

Grilled Cheddar Sandwich with watercress, mixed greens salad

Smoked Trout, hard-boiled egg, horseradish cream and buttered sourdough toast.

Did I mention? They  have excellent French fries.

A lazy afternoon of good food, good drinks and good friends…


History Tells the Future?

In its fifty-eighth year, the New York Winter Antiques Show opened with a loan show from Historic Hudson Valley and with exquisite antiques from seventy three blue chip exhibitors. I stopped by yesterday to say hi to a friend who is an exhibitor and to admire the fineries.

This is the entrance way with a digital moving image projected in front of the Park Avenue Armory which is one of the amazing space in New York.

A Salvador Dalí Ruby Lips Brooch.

There were so many other beautiful paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, books…etc., but this federal budget of 1797-98 caught my eye. Back in the days, the total federal budget was $10,161,097.48, today, the President proposed $3.7 trillion for the Nations’ budget of 2012. Back then it was just 9 pages long and today it’s 216 pages long with a 1,364-page appendix. It was interesting that we were already borrowing money with domestic debts and foreign debts back then. Guess certain things don’t change much. We over spend.

The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring original hand writings by historical figures such as Mary Antoinette, Abraham Lincoln, J.D. Salinger, hearing stories of how small pieces of bones of Christopher Columbus was moved, and admiring paintings by Miro, Matisse…


Oodles of Noodles

I don’t usually go to Ippudo because it’s always a mob scene, you have to wait for more than an hour to get a seat. Thanks for Elly being so organized, she booked an 8:30pm reservation so that we can show Vanessa (visiting from London) just how frenetic the New Yorker can be for a bowl of ramen!

So on a frigid Friday night, we slurped these delicious noodles…Yummy!

Wasabi Shoyu Ramen. A Soy sauce and vegetable based noodle soup, topped with bean curd, wasabi, menma, nori, scallions, and wasabi infused oil.

Karaka Kogashi Miso Ramen. A ”Chintan” chicken base noodle soup, a dard, rich broth made from black charred miso, with Ippudo special blended hot spice, topped with pork chashu, cabbage, bok choy, menma, naruto, scallions, and glazed with a layer of oil.

I love the shape of this bowl too!


Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue…

Back in the city, it became windy and rainy this afternoon. I decided to go out and get some pretty paper from NY Central Art Supply store in the neighborhood to do a small craft project.

Sandwiched between the shiny new pharmacies and banks, this unassuming little store is an institution for artists and students. Opened in 1905 by Russian immigrant, it passed down through the generation and is still a family business. Pretty rare these days in the big city… The shop became known from supplying artists like Chuck Close, Andy Warhol…etc. with the highest-quality and hard-to-find items. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The entire upstairs is devoted to paper and they’ve got more than 3000 of them, all organized and labeled impeccably by country, maker, specifications. I have to say, I have not found any other store with this range of paper. It literally has papers produced by the world!