concrete jungle // wet hot sticky city summer

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07.26.2013 by Andrea

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view from the staten island ferry

Awhile back I had the I privilege of attending a moderated discussion on the effects of social media and eating. It was a stellar board of people ranging from food truck owners, PR account execs, the creator of Serious Eats, and bloggers. Ed Levine, the brainchild behind Serious Eats, made a statement that I can’t get out of my head. He said, “the mission of Serious Eats is to be passionate, discerning, and inclusive.” These three words have grabbed ahold of me and are the driving force behind so many artisans, vendors, and creators that I have run into over the course of the past few months. I’ve plucked a few of the recent food and art occurrences I’ve encountered that embody one or all of these words to present today’s post.

It’s easy to think that I reside at Katz’s Deli, if you follow my instagram. Since they were having a celebration of being open for 125 years I certainly couldn’t pass up an opportunity to view the world’s first pickle bobbing contest, and experience the major league eating competitors at their finest when pastrami sandwiches were consumed at an incomprehensible pace.

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pickle bobber winner

pickle bobber winner

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@joeyjaws takes the trophy home for eating 25 halves of 7 oz pastrami sandwiches.

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pickles at their best

sunday supper

sunday supper

matzo ball soup

Katz’s homemade matzo ball soup


While I didn’t have a sandwich after viewing this gluttonous display of consumption I have had my fair share of matzo ball soup and can attest the best sandwich is the original. It’s really not worth deviating from the pastrami. Enough said.

When I have visitors coming through the city I love opportunities to share the traditional eateries with the new and contemporary. R and AK came to town at the beginning of June and I was informed it had been over a decade since AK had eaten a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s. It might have been my fourth visit in 4 weeks, and judge away. I swore I would only go when visitors are in town and so far have kept my promise, scout’s honor. We had the honor of having Mrs. W in town for business so for an evening we hopped around the Lower East Side and through my ‘hood of Soho.

One of our first stops was at Jack’s Wife Freda which is naturally inviting and has a lovely atmosphere. Throw in a few glasses of rose, plus duck lardon salad and I think you have a winner for both locals and visitors alike.

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hot sticky summer

best salad in soho

best salad in soho

I always love the surprise and delight factor of the pawn shop fronting Beauty & Essex. You certainly aren’t going to find a glass of bubbly being served in a lot of ladies powder rooms in Seattle and it was a place that I thought all three of my little family members would like. True to form the beverages were delicious, the food was artful in preparation, and the people watching top notch. Could go there every night, and was happy that AK, Mrs. W, and R were pleased with the venue.

ahi crudo tacos

ahi crudo tacos

best friends ever

cheers to best friends reunited in NYC

marrow toast

marrow toast

Other than walking the High Line I try not to take every visitor to the same haunt [Katz’s being the exception], plus I have places I want to check off my eating list. As touristy as it might sound Grand Central Station has some great eateries. I haven’t yet been dressed appropriately to sip on a cocktail in the Campbell Apartment but it was a treat to share the Oyster Bar with my friend S and his bro T. The two boys hail from Nevada, and now live on either sides of the country. S flew in from LA and T drove down from CT. It was fun to dodge raindrops, drink some IPA, and eat at some great places.

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world famous oysters

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summery gazpacho

summery gazpacho

These two gentleman were troopers and gamely ducked into various eating establishments as we traveled from midtown through Chelsea, stopping in the meatpacking district, and then headed to the West Village for my pizza and pasta. As it turns out I had other friends in town from LA and being the small world that it is 6 degrees, 2 in our cases, of being separated from one another is the real deal. It was a whirlwind tour, and such a fun evening. Thanks for being such good sports, guys!

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italiano

italiano

'za

‘za

It’s not all posh restaurants and hole in the walls. I had my friend K and her boyfriend CJ here for a long weekend before they headed out to the Hamptons. We wandered the streets of Little Italy, conveniently directly within eyeshot of my stoop and made sure to sample the goods. I am not sure I really needed to indulge in a fried dough ball, that was re-fried to warm it up as the lady who was selling them told me. But one little bite can’t hurt, right?

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fried, then re-fried to “warm it up”

I love when people come armed with an eating agenda all their own. My very own WeHo boy flew cross country and wanted to eat the ice cream sandwiches from the High Line, indulge in rice pudding at from Rice to Riches, and find inspiration for his next tattoo, which the chandeliers at Isola Trattoria accomplished. One late night swoop through Katz’s and a laugh until your belly hurts, tears are streaming down your face show, Songs for a More Funnier World, rooftop dance parties, and bottles of rose I say that we might have had the most perfect summery NY day.

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Stone getting his Melt on

best show ere

fabulous show!

afternoon pit stop

afternoon pit stop

Speaking of NY summers. I have most definitely declared myself a west coast sweat-er. I have concluded the New Yorkers wear black not just for fashion purposes but also so that they can sweat fashionably. I thought that when I was down at LSU Southern girls had the sweating down pat, wrong! Men in suits in, during NY summers are je nais se quoi. Superheroes to put it lightly. I step out of the shower and sweat beads reappear, sorry if that’s too much information.

That being said, in the interim I have also finally conceded to purchasing an umbrella. I know, what? It’s a simple equation, black hair can’t get wet, [it’s already getting huge in the humidity], it rains, [ugly rain in the city], and trying to pull a shirt over my head while avoiding the umbrella doesn’t work. I gave in, and tried to buy the most perky piece of water repellant gear I could find. Learning umbrella etiquette and navigating the streets of NY is not an easy task. I was recently informed by my roommate there are seasonal umbrellas. Um, what? I think I will stick my head in a parka with a hood come fall, and work with this apparatus for the summer.

A few more tantalizing NY nuggets. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the MLB All Star game it was in my “backyard.” Check out this Matt Harvey clip from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Finally, as I blog away … my neighborhood cafe, Little Fox Cafe, is hosting an amazing in-house artist who will draw your likeness in your cappucinno. If only I liked coffee. baristart, is doing amazing work and I encourage any and all of you to check him out if you are in the city. The picture of PBR and a rosemary shoot is a teaser for my next post, on foraging and urban farming. Can’t wait to share the tasters from my most recent experiences. Bushwick Open Studios and Tama Mutsuoka were the inspiration for these eats.

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coffee caricature by @baristart

bushwick open studiso

bushwick open studio’s

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umbrella .. ella … ella …

Breathe. Sorry for the lengthy post, it felt a bit like verbal vomit, so much to spew and share. Off to celebrate the mwarriage [Princess Bride reference] of the lovely K & K this weekend. I hope Karma is ready for us! Until the next bite. Enjoy the beautiful NW weather, cheers.

One thought on “concrete jungle // wet hot sticky city summer

  1. Kelsey Nicholson says:

    I hate people that don’t sweat, it’s not fair. #sweatymcsweaterton

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