Single (and cooking) in the City

Food, life, love, and fun recipes


June 2010


I’m tired, by now, to have to whine once again about how hard it’s been to find time to make dinner after work, so here is an image of what often looks like my meal at the end of the day:

some sauteed vegetable (in this case Chinese water spinach) and steamed fish.

Like most of the vegetable dishes I make, I prepare them the simplest way – garlic and olive oil. Chinese water spinach is particularly fun to eat because the stems are hollow, so its like eating straws. (It would be unsurprising that I might be the only one who finds this amusing.) A dinner like that takes about 20 minutes to prepare, which gives me ample time afterwards to do a bit of freelance work for my old job.

And when I’m not busy freelance working or actual day job working, (or working on my cycling tan), I’m working on a side project with coworker Patrick. He’s part of a group of cycling/volleyball enthusiasts, who call themselves Spikes and Spokes, and they will be riding in the MS Bike Tour taking place in October. In addition to riding, he came up with an idea to raise money for the cause, and approached me to see if I would be interested in designing something together. As a follow-up to our first collaborative design effort (2 years ago), we once again explored some jewelry design. The first collaboration, which I wish I had some images and documentation of (if anyone out there does, please send it my way!), was a series of rings laser cut from acrylic, and we sold them during a fundraising event for the earthquake crisis in China. If I remember correctly, the design sessions took place on weeknights after work at Whole Foods and also mostly via emails and AutoCAD. This time, since we’ve now become co-workers, our design session became an extension of our normal workday. Takeout containers and showroom wine stash… not a bad way to spend afterhours in the office.

After a couple of glasses, we were strong enough to wrestle a bicycle spoke into a ring.


Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

Sunday was the third annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, which took place on Governor’s Island — the sun was shining, humidity at an all time high, and the island was packed full of dressed up women hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry on the field. In a sea of fancy straw hats, seersucker suits, and patterned sundresses, I stuck out like a pre-makeover Eliza Doolittle in black rags covered in dirt and sweat – who came up with the great idea to ride bicycles in the 90 degree weather?

Starting in the morning, we rode our bikes out to Despana to pick up some amazing sliced chorizo and serrano ham. Stocking my bike basket up with baguettes, brie, and a little juicebox sized container of olive oil, we rode down to the ferry and met up with a melting Peter who had arrived early enough to secure a spot right up front on the lawn.

Waiting for Despana to open.

The spread – Baguette from Tom Cat Bakery, meats from Despana, Scandinavian style salmon, cheese, crackers, and fruits.

The Polo players.

The game was tied at 4-4 with a couple of minutes added for sudden death when we decided to call it quits. I’d had enough of roasting in the sun! (I heard the winners were Black Watch, not the team Prince Harry was on.)

Sweaty on the long ferry ride home. I think I have a sunglass tan.

By the way, this is super embarrassing, but I have to confess that I decided to take a stab at the polo tickets giveaway when I got an email from Daily Candy about submitting a haiku relating to the event. I thought, why the hell not!? Came up with something crappy about 5 minutes later and sent it in. Unfortunately I never heard back from them. And I think it was a sham – I couldn’t for the life of my unborn Prince’s baby find the winners of that contest anywhere on the website!

The Food Film Festival

It was one of those weekends you live for in NYC – insanely hot weather, amazing locales, great food, good people, and wonderful little surprises along the way.

The Food Film Festival began earlier last week. Apparently it was on its fourth year and I’d never heard of it before, but it seemed pretty cool – about five days of films about food, and foods based on films. Events were at various places with various themes, some which cost money and others which were free. I was lucky to discover one of the free events one drunken night at a bar with a copy of Edible magazine stashed behind the bar’s bench seating. The first Food Truck Film Festival, for the price of zero dollars, was the perfect event for me.

Trucks congregating under the Brooklyn Bridge.

It was a great concept, get all the delicious food trucks in NYC (and beyond! The Krave truck from New Jersey was there!) together in one fantastic location under the bridge, set up some picnic tables and beer stands, and show films all day. Films were short films, all in some way or another about food, and at the end, the attendees get to vote for their favorites. But who are we kidding? We were there for the food.

I was excited to see The Best Pizza I’ve Ever Had – Pizza Moto – at the festival!

The first time I’d ever had pizza from Pizza Moto was at the Parked festival last year in the Gowanus. They made the most amazing magherita pizza with fresh basil, and a seasonal one with ramps, I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a storefront somewhere. During the whole Neopolitan pizza craze, I had boasted that none could beat the pizza off the back of Pizza Moto’s truck, and finally, I was able to prove it.

The Krave truck was never without a line, and you can see why – people are into korean bbq tacos. They are damn good. Bring NYC the KBBQ truck!

More delicious foods included the shrimp roll from the Red Hook Lobster Pound and a pistachio and vanilla sundae from Van Leeuwen. Besides the amazing ice cream, the texture of the hot fudge, home made whipped cream, cocoa nibs, and walnuts really make this special.

The final tally? Pizza (Pizza Moto), raspberry basil pop (The People’s Pops), short rib and pork tacos and pork kimchidilla (The Krave), mini Throwdown wafel (Wafels & Dinges), hot pink lemonade, apple ginger soda, and orange soda – all fresh pressed from real fruits and veggies (The Green Pirate), pork chop and chicken over rice (NYC Cravings), pork dumplings (The Good Fork), shrimp roll (Red Hook Lobster Pound), and (finally) the pistachio and vanilla sundae (Van Leeuwen).

In the middle of a film, we were all of a sudden interrupted by a fireworks show. A nice way to end a gorgeous night.

Got It!

On my way to the Water Taxi Beach for the Food Film Festival! Snazzy little front facing camera, no? Got the iPhone yesterday, after a quick run from the office before lunchtime.

Thanks Pete, for waiting in the stinking heat for 5 hours and then giving every stranger around you my phone number because yours was running out of batteries.

Matcha Box

My coworkers like to find every opportunity they can to freak me out, keep me on my toes. For example, there was a time when they sent me to the notary. Their description of the process? Vague: nondescript brick building…. walk in, long halls, find some tables, turn left and he is hidden behind the desk… find a guy named Stanley, just follow the line, don’t get distracted by the tons of people who are rushing all around, the building is not a notary building. Patrick described it best: It’s like going to find the Oracle.

I’m Neo, and I’m walking down the block, I find the building and walk in, and I’m expecting some sort of big room containing an energy of flustercluck, or a million hallways leading to a million other similar rooms, but no — Stanley just happens to be the guy working behind the lobby desk. (Notice how in one complete sentence, I can accurately describe the entire process of finding Stanley.)

So now I’m an expert at the notarizing game, and I get sent out again to perform the same task. On my way back, I notice a little shop on Crosby, a little hole in the wall, dark, with a chalkboard sign out in front – Matcha Iced Tea. I had read about this place, and seen its treats online. Little lemon cakes with a matcha glaze, matcha madeleines, matcha marshmallows, matcha puffed rice treats, you get the point. Matcha everything. I got a cup of Iced Matcha Latte with soy milk and what is best described as simply a matcha rice crispies treat. So freaking good. Lightly sweet and the marshmallow was melted soft (not like the stale ones at the supermarket you crack your chompers on). The frothy soy milk mostly sat on top of the ice matcha, so I had to mix it up good before I got to taste it. The matcha itself though, was good on its own. No sugary crap in this latte. My kind of summer drink!

The Matcha Box is a little pop up shop, only around for another week before they disappear forever.