the best $12 i ever spent
I'm 3/4ths of the way through Hillary, a 4-part documentary about Hillary Clinton on Hulu. It covers her background as a bona fide feminist tour de force and how she dealt with the trials and tribulations of intense public scrutiny, especially with respect to her husband's sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky.
I rarely watch anything, and I think what pushed me to watch this was my newly-acquired morbid curiosity for tales of infidelity now, because—well, what drives people to do such awful, hurtful things, especially when there's so much at stake? How do those affected deal with the pain, shame, and anguish?
I've always looked up to Hillary Clinton, but even I was floored at the resilience she displayed in the aftermath of the scandal. She didn't hide from public life; instead, she continued to appear in public and honor her prior commitments. And not only did she decide to stick by her husband's side, but she also put her feelings aside to defend him fiercely throughout the impeachment proceedings. It's impossible for me to imagine how hard it must have been to deal with such devastating news in the public eye. It's a wonder she survived, and the documentary left me with newfound respect for her.
After work I saw some kids playing soccer at the park near my school and they graciously let me join them. Within five minutes I'd accidentally kicked their ball in what seemed like an irretrievable place: behind a tall rusty chain link fence, down an air shaft more than 10 feet below ground level. I felt awful. They were already so kind to let me join, and I'd repaid their trust by prematurely ending their game.
Since it's an unspoken rule in sports to get the ball if you lose it, I tried climbing the fence and making the jump down fifteen feet. Naturally, I chickened out—I was inflexible, unbalanced, and worried sick about getting tetanus. I fell backwards over the fence and felt the wind rush out of my lungs as my back hit asphalt.
As the other kids tried to climb the fence in pursuit of the ball (despite my protests not to, since it was patently dangerous), some of them chatted with me and told me they were immigrants from Nigeria who'd moved to New York recently. I was struck by how kind and open they were with me, especially considering how I'd just booted their ball likely into an ignominious demise minutes earlier. They would have been completely justified in getting mad at me, yet not one of them made me feel bad for losing the ball. We have so much to learn from kids... I always find myself surprised by their grace and candor.
We ended up getting the ball thanks to one kid's heroics and played for a bit before I had to go pick up my clothes from the laundromat. Before I left though, I bought all six of them ice cream from a pushcart passing by. I don't remember the last time spending $12 made me so happy, but all of them really deserved it for being so kind and welcoming.
I had a really good weekend! You can usually tell when I do because I'm too busy doing things to post on the blog. I went to see a Broadway show called 'Grey House' on Friday night and spent Saturday and Sunday gorging myself in Flushing and Jackson Heights, respectively. I'll link my finds down below!
- ⭐ OKONOMI // YUJI Ramen (150 Ainslie St, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
- The 2nd Japanese set breakfast I've had (in NYC, or anywhere), and by far the best! $30 gets you a surprisingly filling breakfast of fish, rice, pickled vegetables, tamago, and miso soup. The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, and the attention to detail is evident.
- ⭐ Dosa Delight (35-66 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372)
- My first ever dosa was bigger than my thigh... it was absolutely delicious too. I tried the pondicherry dosa and the mushroom masala one and both were scrumptious! The mushroom masala one was crispier and the pondicherry was more spicy and substantial. I think they were like $13 each, and surprisingly filling.
- ⭐ Fuchka Garden (Bhelpuri) (37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372)
- This is a street cart on 37th Ave between 73rd and 74th Streets. I found it hilarious that there were three Bengali street food carts in a row, all professing to be the real, original Bengali street food cart.
- I got the pani puri ($7) which was great; I recommend.
- ⭐ Fong On (81 Division St, New York, NY 10002)
- Soybean-based snacks like sweet or savory tofu and soy milk!
- Where I'm from tofu is exclusively a savory thing, so I tried to branch out by ordering sweet tofu, topped with brown sugar syrup, taro balls, grass jelly, and boba. I really enjoyed it! The soymilk was really good too.
- ⭐ Benfaremo- The Lemon Ice King Of Corona (52-02 108th St, Queens, NY 11368)
- This place is kind of out of the way of everything but still—where has it been all my life!!! Their ice puts Ralph's to shame. I had a $4 medium serving of the lemon flavor and I was so, so happy with it. I would take a good Italian ice over ice cream any day (and I love ice cream).
- ⭐ The Stand NYC (116 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003)
- My first comedy club experience was a success! $20 netted me a 2nd row seat in what was a very intimate venue. The comedians were great, and I really enjoyed myself.
- Purple Dough (6304 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377)
- Filipino bakery & desserts! They had cookies, cupcakes, leche flan, ice cream, and halo halo in various flavors.
- I had the $10 halo halo and it was as good as any I've had.
- Sweetory (71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372)
- The lady who works here is so nice??? She probably hates me after I paid for half of my lychee bingsoo in pennies and nickels but if she did she didn't let it show.
- Cash only, and the cafe is below ground which makes it really easy to miss.
- 969 NYC Coffee (3761 80th St, Queens, NY 11372)
- A kind of strange Japanese cafe? The guy who works there (seems like a one-man shop) was a little bit ... curt? But the onigiri he made me ($3.50) made up for it.
- BCD Tofu House (5 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001)
- Decent! Probably the best Korean food I've had in New York to date.
- I ordered the bibimbap & soondubu combo and also the kimchi pajeon and I was happy with those and the banchan spread as well. (I was also famished after not eating for eight hours, so take that with a grain of salt.)
- Best Pizza (33 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
- Pizza here is solid, probably the most New York slice I can think of. It's dim inside, the workers mean business, and they sell a small selection of pies by the slice.
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