A few more images from my trip to NYC...
Here's a dinner Dorota and I made at home. (I have to admit I was inspired by a similar dish Urban Vegan made a few weeks back that had looked so delicious and stuck in my mind) Lentils sauteed with some spices served with a mixture of caramelized pearl onions and mushrooms, with a side of simply dressed mesclun topped with toasted pine nuts and some Tofutti vegan cream cheese. We were not going off a cookbook or a recipe, but both loved how these simple ingredients came together and tasted. Now I crave this every day!
Every time I go to New York, I have to make a pilgrimage to my old neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. This is the first subway stop out of Manhattan, so you get fantastic views of the New York skyline and the East River. It is also very close to these fun neighborhoods: Astoria (Queens), Greenpoint (Brooklyn), and Williamsburg (Brooklyn).
First, I had so say hello to the old apartment, on the fourth floor above the "Stop One Mack Deli."
Then, down the block on Vernon Blvd. to the Brasil Coffee Shop, which made a mean cup of coffee, where we picked up a bagel for...
...lunch on the East River. It was a beautiful, warm day, and well, the view was perfect. (There's the United Nations in the background!)
Here I am, contemplating all the new skyscrapers going up on the waterfront. Development and gentrification are a fact of life in most NYC neighborhoods, but there is something so bittersweet about seeing all the small shops, restaurants, and apartments going out of business or getting left behind as the neighborhood becomes, well, yuppiefied.
This picture shows the juxtaposition: a fancy French Bistro, Tournesol, next to a neighborhood bodega. An old brick apartment building near the giant luxury apartment building. (We used to call this the "mowhawk building" because of the way the orange top glowed in the night.)
Of course, I had to feel like I was doing some "serious work" on this trip, so I headed to Chelsea to check out some new art gallery shows. The funnest was a show by Chuck Close, a favorite photographer of mine.
Here are 2 self-portraits. (On the left, a photograph, on the right a tapestry)
For the last few years, he has been working in the medium of daguerreotypes (a 19th century precursor to film photography). He took daguerreotypes of himself and a group of friends, and then blew them up into giant photographs and tapestries. The medium of daguerreotype, with its long exposure time and overwhelming detail produces hauntingly frank portraits, and this show was exciting to behold.
Here are some of his portraits of the artist Lorna Simpson. Here is a link to the show catalog (which ends tomorrow, Jan. 4) for anyone who is interested.
My friend Tony and I went to dinner at Quantum Leap, a fantastic vegetarian/vegan restaurant (that also serves some fish dishes) with two locations in the East and West Village. I had this super indulgent dish: Chipotle "chicken" burger with "bacon" and "cheese"- oh my gosh, this really hit the spot! I made up for the naughtiness of the burger with going with a side salad and miso soup instead of the french fry option...
Here's a festive little marzipan Santa that Dorota bought at her neighborhood bakery in the Bronx. Unfortunately, he looked better than he tasted, the marzipan wasn't the best.