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April 2008

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There was no food in my mouth when I woke up

I think about food all the time. I think about food while I sleep. I dream about food quite often. It was a typical morning; I was dreaming of cooking up something, and it was ready to be served. I don't remember what it was, pasta perhaps. My mouth is watering in front of my beautiful meal. Bon apetite! That's when I wake up, of course. I felt like Homer Simpson. Doh!

I was looking at Rugelach recipe when an Orthodox Jewish man with thick beard, glasses, a black hat and a long coat almost walked in the door. He pressed his nose against the door to observe inside the restaurant, but this place probably didn't look Kosher to him, so he left. I took this as an omen and decided to bake some nutella rugelach. Next time this happens I can tell him, "Come on in, I got delicious homemade rugelach!" A few hours later, I'm sitting here with my first regulachs rolled with nutella and chopped pecans. Shaping them was trickier than I thought, since the dough was soft and sticky. I couldn't wait them to cool to taste. Delish.

on april 30, 2008 @ 12:42 am [link]

In the park again

My weekend came and went very quickly as usual, like a dream during a quick nap. But it was still satisfying to complete the heaviest workout week, finishing with 20-miler in the park. For non-endurance runners running 20 mile sounds like the hardest thing, but there's many other harder things for me- like cleaning my apartment! Running 20 miles is just another routine I have to get it over with during the marathon training. I get out as usual and do it, and it'll be done in less than three hours. Cleaning my apartment, which is a permanent disaster area, is so hard to start, and once I start I never get done. Compared to that, running 20 miles in the park is heavenly. The sound of rain outside the window was a bit discouraging on sunday morning, but by the time I stepped out it was just light drizzle which soon stopped altogether. In the Central Park, white cherry blossom was over, but now thick pink flowers of Kwanzan cherries were in full bloom. I ran under the bright pink tunnel by the reservoir. The park was getting filled with bright new green. The brief spring is such a great time in the city. After the long grey winter we endured, everywhere is so pretty. Now water fountain is available everywhere, it's also a great time to run, although I already miss the chilly weather and sweat icicles around my neck. One big lap of the park, and endorphin's already kicking in. My body is light, and I don't feel any pain. Another small lap, then running under the pink cherry again. Oh, yes. I'm in heaven.

I paid a short visit to Betim & Mike down the street and was introduced to their new arrival Aslan, now two weeks old! In 30 minutes Betim mesmerized me with her funny and crazy delivery story. Really, running 20 miles is like nothing compared to that. Last year's NYC marathon champion Paula Radcliffe said that the pregnancy was the hardest thing ever she's done. So salute to Betim! Aslan was such a beautiful baby and Betim had this wonderful glow of a new mother. I was so happy for them.
on april 29, 2008 @ 12:26 am [link]

Earth Day

Followed by yesterday's Tulip Day is Earth Day. For me it began with an intense two hour work-out at the East River Track loggin 16 miles. This was the heaviest morning work-out ever. This week I'll be logging over 50 miles, the last week of the heaviest marathon training for this round. It was a bit breezy, but perfect temperature at low 50s, and I thought about how I enjoy training marathons since it gives me clear goal and measurement of my training progress. My new project relating to Earth Day is attempt to grow avocado trees. Instead throwing away avocado pits we yield every day, I am soaking them in water in little glasses. I have so far four nicely shaped avocado pits to begin my green project. When they begin to grow, I want to plant it, name the tree, and have them adopted. How do I come up with these crazy ideas every day?
on april 22, 2008 @ 07:29 pm [link]

Tulip Day

It was 7 year anniversary of Bartholomew's death. I've decided to make this "Tulip Day," for the post card he sent me from Amsterdam, where he was having the best time of his life. I got beatiful tulips at Union Square greenmarket in the morning, and watched them gently open up and take in the sunlight in the window. Business was good all day with steady flow of familiar friendly faces. My choice of music was New Wave, a tribute to our night of "Wave Dancing" at Pyramid club. I remembered the way he danced swaying his big body. He was there with me today, all day.

on april 22, 2008 @ 12:05 am [link]

Seven a.m. in grey sunday morning, we waited for instructions to help with the 4-mile race in the central park. Someone said next to me to our captain, "You're a true volunteer, but we are more like, forced labor." Many of us were there because Road Runners Club recently made one volunteering for a race as one of the requirement to qualify for the NYC marathon. The older gentleman replied with a smile that he enjoyed volunteering, siting a story about how incredibly powerful he felt to stop a crowd of thousand people coming off the ferry by holding his hand out in front of him. I was assigned to the start/finish marshal. This morning's race was a little bit of chaos because of newly implemented corral system, and all of us had plenty to help at the start. Many people were complaining that they were put in a wrong corral by mistake. A old black lady were screaming, "It's inhuman to make a 82-year old woman walk all the way to the back!" There used to be always some very old and slow runners sneaking up to the front that make us almost trample over them. And that's why this new system. The result is by your net time, from the start line to the finish anyway. After we saw 6 thousand people head uptown, we moved to the finish line. The winner was soon coming in. Then next hour we cheered the rest to the finish. A few people gave me high five. Some thanked us running by. Job well fulfilled, then I did my long run next two hours, three loops of the park full of flowers, pink, white, yellow, red. Cherry blossom was near the end, petals gently blown off the trees. Back home it was time for an ice bath, the proof that I'm so hardcore.
on april 20, 2008 @ 10:37 pm [link]

My new vehicle

My little helper Namazzi turned 9 years old. It's been four years since the picture on the wall; it was his fifth birthday. I said, "No wonder I'm getting old!" His favorite activity after Soy croquettes, a bowl of Nameshi, and a glass of ginger lemonade is working in the kitchen with me until his mother says they have to go home. He started doing this almost two years ago, when he looked so cute and tiny in an adult-size apron. Now he's already fitting better in it. I should really start offering cooking class for kids. I'm sure mothers would appreciate it, too.

Someone stole the rear wheel of my yellow road bike. This bike I bought from a Bergian for 30 dollars 5 years ago was once a cute vintage vehicle. But because it was left outside as a parking spot holder for our delivery bike right outside of the restaurant for all these years, in rain, snow, hot and cold, every possible brutal New York weather, it was so beat up and I thought it was untouchable. Seat was so torn I had to put saran wrap around it to ride after a rain. Gear cables broke last summer but no one was able to fix it because it was an obsolete double cable system. I was still happily riding it at a fixed gear, and it was still taking me to places on weekend. Now finally someone stole the wheel. It looked really sad. I was sad because I was so used to it. But now it was a piece of junk. And there was a bike I found in front of the building a few months ago, which I kept in the basement. It was missing a pedal, a seat, brakes, and needed new tires. I debated weather to revive the old yellow bike one more time, or to give this Ross a chance. Wheels are straight, and the burgandy frame has almost has no scratches. Frank at the bike shop said it is a decent bike, and when I took it back from the shop it rode like brand new. Just in time for a beautiful weather and early morning ride uptown to volunteer for a race tomorrow. I hear cherry blossoms are already near the end.
on april 19, 2008 @ 09:43 pm [link]

I want to make new friends every day

Last weekend, buds on trees in the Central Park seemed fattening up. By mid week, flowers suddenly began to blossom on trees everywhere. Temperature is still up and down unpredictably, and today was again kind of chilly day. I ran 4-mile race in the park this morning under gloomy sky. I ran a good one, finishing with my track runner's sprint.

Last monday, this bubbly friendly woman stumbled on SOY. She immediately loved the place, admired every details, took notes, and befriended me and all the other customers. She kept saying, "I'm going to write on Yelp about this place." So she did. Read Mellie's long review about SOY. She already came back three times, and I expect to be exposed to her intensity regularly. It's always fun to make more friends.

on april 13, 2008 @ 11:35 pm [link]

Fools' Day

It was April Fool's Day. A year ago, I was a fool, and ran myself into a wall on a scooter in Bermuda. Compared to that, this year was rather uneventful. I did my long workout at the track in the East River Park in the morning, singing Green Acres' Theme Song in my head. (I must have been high.) That's because I've been watching this great TV comedy from 60s on DVD. It is so absurd unrealistic and silly I truly love the show. It is one of the things if I come across flipping channels mindlessly I have to just stop there and watch. I just have to surrender for its silliness. "Green Acres is the place for me.." the song kept me going round and round the track. 14 miles total for the morning workout, my legs were tired but I kept up with the busy day in the restaurant. ".. ...The chores! ...The stores!
...Fresh air! ...Times Square!"

I'm worried about the congestion pricing that may pass. I have to drive out to Queens almost every week to get some supplies from Restaurant Depot (where restaurants shop! as they say) and am I going to get penalized for driving out and coming back to my uncongested street? It reminded me of my favorite passage from "My Dinner With Andre", which goes:
"New York is the new model for the new concetration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing that they've built- they've built their own prison- and so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners. And as a result they no longer have the capacity to leave the prison they've made or even to see it as a prison." It's so spooky like Twilight Zone, because it also applies to my restaurant. I've built it, I'm the guard and I'm the prisoner in it. And I'm proud of this place I built.

on april 2, 2008 @ 01:16 am [link]

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