Category: everything else
Then February zapped by because it IS really a short month! Thanks to our new President, people seemed to have been seeking more "comfort" and I sold good amount of Niku Jaga, our comfort food champion. Then there were Valentine's Day which doesn't have much effect for us (what, are we not romantic enough for ya??) and a few days later, SOY's 15-year anniversary!! 15 years of SOY, 23 years on Suffolk Street, 25 years of Lower East Side, 27 years of Manhattan, all of my adult years in America. All feels like maybe three years, or at least about half a century, which I haven't lived (phew, but getting close). All these reminiscing is also due since Taiyo and I along with SOY are relocating 90-mile north to a cute little Hudson Valley town of Rosendale in about two month. We are very excited and maybe a bit scared. We've never lived in a "country." But certainly grass is greener in upstate. So please come see us soon. Not tomorrow because we're closed on Wednesdays.
So there was Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year. Then in this new year 2017 two weeks have passed in about two seconds. Seriously. Life sometimes feels like a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Comical and sad. Absurd and complex. Time travels. And so on.
Anyway, for Taiyo the new year began with this super rich deep fried brioche french toast with fruits and bacon. For many years my new year's resolution was to blog every week, or just little bit more. Of course this was never achieved so lately I would not set any goal I cannot make. Besides, how could I dramatize and recite my life in public space when my actual life feels like just so full of it? Non-responsive o,p, and l keys on my laptop were also to be blamed. And it's all because of Donald Trump anyway. It's like Mercury retrograde- we've got someone to blame everything on for the next 4 years (maybe.)
Oh how happy and hopeful we were back on Halloween- Taiyo in his beard and me in my rice bag space suite. It's been 10 days since the dark election day and finally people are coming out to have my comfort food. Here in Manhattan 86$ voted for Clinton and there's so much anger, sadness, and anxiety all over the place. Collectively we haven't felt this much threat and sense of urgency since 9/11. And like post 9/11, I've lost a few friends who didn't share this feeling. Then there's so much more tight and long hugs going around and I'm sure we can let our goodness grow among us in this intense time. Taiyo's been making "Token of Appreciation" out of bottle caps. Please come get one. And order beer so he can make more for other people.
Indeed time flies when you are having fun. Here's recap of some of our fun moments this summer.
He did lots of great project, such as this one: King Potato. I tried to get King Potato to sprout afterwards, but he sort of melted in the heat instead. Here's another fantastic thing he built.
He not only learned to swim but to float on water.
and to wrangle some birds.
His favorite Dragon ride at Renaissance Faire:
Close encounter with a bear at Central Park- fortunately there was a sheet of glass between them.
Corpse flower was a stink of town, although it wasn't stinky when we got there, fortunately. I wonder if it was as bad as ginkgo nuts.
And there were many food adventures, of course.
Some pasta place in East Village
Lombardi's. I took him there since it's one of NYC's icons. But personally I think it's so over-rated. If it's pizza, he doesn't need assistance.
No pictures please while I have my mango!
And fun will continue with my high school friend from Tokyo.
I've installed a new "SOY" sign above the restaurant this morning. It's made of plastic mega blocks I've been trying to get rid of since early this year. I finally found perfect use for them! It was a fun project, and I got so many compliments while installing them.
This picture from last Halloween turned out to be the last photo I have of the previous sign. It was completely destroyed during the building exterior clean-up a few months ago, and the contractors scraped everything off and painted over.
This sign was the first one from the very beginning of SOY in 2002. I've made them with glass tile pieces. Some of the tiles had fallen off, and paint was peeling all over the place in such a beautiful way. Some people had suggested maybe it was time to re-do. But I loved it since it looked old, and scenes of urban decay and ruins were my deep attraction to this neighborhood when I arrived here in 1990.
Recently I discovered that you can see the history of the street view on google maps. When you look up 102 Suffolk Street, the current view is from 2014. Then there's pull-down menu on upper left hand corner where you can pick the view from previous photos starting 2007. In 2007, you don't see SOY at all because there was a big moving truck parked in front. In 2011, I had a "caught on camera" moment walking out of SOY with an empty stroller. I was puzzled to see an empty stroller- where was Taiyo? Well, he was way ahead of me, walking toward Delancey. A lady walking behind him if worried and turning behind her to see if anyone is running after him.
By the way, the strange art/toy installation almost made the whole month. Elmo in the middle was stolen about a week ago. I will have to fill the void.
Last weekend, Taiyo and I did "toys in trays" installation on our gate. I placed Taiyo's toys on blue plastic trays and fastened them around the gate of the restaurant. It was grey Saturday afternoon. People immediately stopped and took pictures. Little kids and babies pointed at each toy. There were Sponge Bob, Baby Jack Jack (from a Pixer movie Incredibles,) Grover, headless painted torso of a super hero (I have no idea what it was), a finger puppet monster, a bird guy who used to be on a bike, and a Mexican wrestler. By next morning, half of them were gone. Monday morning, all were missing but the wooden robot on top too high to reach for a normal person.
They were simply ripped off the tray. Some were gone with the tray. Although only the figure we were sad to lose was the Mexican wrestler, it was upsetting nevertheless. Even a duckie I put on the menu holder was ripped off the fastener.
This was definitely "smad" moment as Taiyo would put it. Sad+mad=smad. Is it an act by self-destructive neighborhood teenagers or newly arriving hipsters who are ruining our neighborhood?
Whoever the enemy it was, I had to challenge again. I continued on the experiment with strange art objects (yarn covered light bulbs) and little toys in enclosed shrines you cannot stick your hands in. So far it's working and they are untouched for a week now. Does this mean stranger art lives longer? Or is it so bad no one wants to touch?
It was Valentine's Day. Escaping another icy cold spell, we were back in Sunshine State visiting Tampa and vicinity. First destination: Legoland for some serious awesomeness. And it was a perfect sunny day, not hot, not cold. Crowd: enough, but not overwhelming. It was a very well designed cute theme park perfect for families with small children. There were no serious roller coasters or nothing a small child was not allowed to ride. (or at least I didn't notice anything Taiyo wasn't allowed to ride.) There were play areas with big legos among the waiting corrals. And of course Lego store was everywhere. Especially the main store had the most variety of lego sets we ever seen in one place. So yes, Taiyo had the awesomest time. He actually spent quality time at "Miniland," U.S. Cities and their architectural icons built with ordinary Lego pieces. We especially loved seeing familiar structures of New York City.
Then there were scenes from Star Wars! With sounds and strobe lights and smoke rising out of them. So he spent some more quality time in this section. He wasn't so into the rides anyway. I couldn't talk him into getting on a wimpiest roller coaster. Anyway, Florida is great. Warm, sunny, although some things are horrible like ... food. We ate at many chain restaurants and most of the things I ate I wish I'd never have them again. We also dined at an average Chinese-owned Japanese restaurant. They also make great Cuban sandwich there. Cigar rolling Cubans used to have a community in Tampa, and so did Greek Sponge Divers. It's true. But Florida is really great. We visited Honeymoon Island and took a very, very long walk on the beach collecting shells. The beach was dotted with sunset viewing swings and benches facing the Gulf. How adorable! And there were plenty of old folks everywhere. 80 percent of work force were well above 60 years of age. That wasn't a bad thing because they were all so courteous. Yet there were enough reckless crazy drivers, some redneck in road rage, or menstruating female. So Florida seems almost livable if there weren't so many republicans. But it's always great to visit. No commitment.
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