the L train gives me (more) trust issues (nyc day 6)
Yesterday after a long night of eating and watching other people drink I walked to the 14th St / 8th Ave metro station to catch the L back home, only to learn that the train wasn't stopping there for some reason. The only option I had was to walk a few blocks east to the 14 St - Union Sq station, which would probably have been a more pleasant walk had it not been half past midnight. As I sat on the cold subway car, I thought to myself, is it too much to ask to expect a subway to run normally? Random unanticipated happenings like this can throw a wrench in plans or worse, strand people with nowhere to go late at night.
Unfortunately for me the minor inconveniences didn't stop there, because this morning my cupboard shelf collapsed without warning and caused a bottle of balsamic vinegar to shatter and dump acid and glass shards all over the kitchen. All the glass might not even be the worst part, because the stench of vinegar stubbornly refuses to go away. My eyes and nose water every time I step into the kitchen.
Today is the first day I don't have evening plans with friends, and surprisingly enough I'm looking forward to it. I've enjoyed seeing old friends every day, but I haven't gotten more than seven hours of sleep a night and I can feel my body pushing back. I'm burning both ends of the candle and it's starting to catch up to me. I hope to spend the evening doing laundry, catching up on work, and sleeping earlier.
Yesterday's dinner was a high school reunion of sorts, with some people I hadn't seen since graduation some six, seven years ago. I always knew we were a pretty diverse group of people, but even still I found myself surprised at how much the years have changed us, especially when it comes to how we spend our free time and how we think about work and money. I myself am content to spend nights here getting $10 dinner in Chinatown and window shopping in SoHo, but when I talk to people who go on thousand dollar shopping sprees and down $20 cocktails like they're nothing, I can feel my signposts moving, even as I stubbornly will them to stay where they are. New York in general seems to be making it less painful for me to part with my money. Try as I might, it's hard to resist the city's lifestyle inflation, especially when peer pressure and social norms come into play. I've been spending far more than I'd like to these past few days, and I'm wishfully hoping (praying, even) that this spending will slow down as I settle down and get more used to living here.
Tuesday, May 17th, 2023
- I had dinner at Le Botaniste (127 Grand St, New York, NY 10013), a kinda-cultish vegan counter-service restaurant where workers dressed in white lab coats serve homestyle dishes from Dutch ovens. I split half servings of the Tibetan Mama, Pasta Bolo, and Vegetable Tajine with a friend, and all were pretty tasty but the Pasta Bolo stole the show. Who knew quinoa fusilli could taste so good? Expect to spend around $20/person.
- Fueguia 1833 SOHO (21 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013) is one of the more interesting perfumeries I've visited. They have a rotating selection of fragrances made entirely from ingredients grown on their farm in Argentina. Some of them smelled divine, but they'll run you upwards of $380 for a 100mL bottle. One day... I'd like to splurge on one of these divine scents.
- I revisited City Hats - 55East Houston St (55 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012) after being fascinated by their selection last time. I don't know if I'll ever be able to pull off a $400 rabbit-felt hat, but until then I will content myself with trying on fedoras and Panama hats and imagining what I might have looked like in another decade.
- For dessert I had a scoop of the black sesame and lychee ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013), which were both pretty good! The black sesame stands out as the better of the two, though. $9.99 for two scoops of ice cream is pretty pricey though, and it's cash only.
- I had a after-dinner snack of 10 boiled chive & pork dumplings ($4.50, cash only) at King Dumplings (74 Hester St, New York, NY 10002). These were really good... the store doesn't look like much, but I will definitely be going back. They also sell sets of 50 frozen dumplings for $14, which is a pretty remarkable deal.
- Actual dinner plans were at Boka (9 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 100030), but I didn't try anything other than their fresh watermelon juice ($4) so I can't say anything helpful other than the fact that they are also a cash-only establishment.
- After dinner we walked over to Analogue (19 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011) for drinks. I don't drink, so I can't help you here either.
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