5:30 am: I woke up dreaming of donuts. I thought I understood what it may be like to be Homer Simpson. 7am in the Central Park: Manhattan half-marathon. 80 degrees and humid. Soon after the start, I'm already soaked in sweat. I took it easy and had actually a good race. They had ice cream bars at the finish, and I treated myself with two of them. It was the best part of the morning, of course.
Then I visited Museum of the City of New York. The show I wanted to see, 'Magnum's New Yorkers,' was fantastic. There was also an exhibit on the Lower East Side, which was disappointing.
On the way home I stopped at B&H, which is this super crazily efficient photo/video supply store on 34th street. I'm always fascinated how things work in this place. You enter the store, and check your bag. As you enter the floor, there's a man who greets you and directs you to the department you're looking for, since this store is pretty big. Each department is staffed with efficient sales people who'd help you find the stuff you need. There's check out counters where the sales guy takes your items, asks what else you need, then get them, gives you a ticket, and puts the merchandise into a small plastic crate, which will be sent via a eletric rail hanging from the ceiling. You go to the cashier, pay the bill, and heads to the pick up counter, where the stuff you bought has just arrived and bagged with your ticket number. You proceed to the exit, before which you can pick up your bag you checked on the other side of the bag check. And this store is run entirely by religious Orthodox Jews with long curly sideburns. This is like.. Alice in Wonderland to me.
I rode my bicycle down on 9th avenue and realized that I couldn't cross town til after 14th street. First because of convention site, then because of the massive UPJ protest. It seemed like every single person on the street except the cops was heading to the protest.
I came home just in time for the last hour of Olympic men's marathon, the final event. The Brazilian was leading, then 4 miles to the finish, he was attacked by a crazy Irish priest who wanted people to read bible. That confirms my theory that no one should read the bible.
I rested a little then went on a bike ride to Red Hook. The place was pretty desolate and beautiful. I took Brooklyn Bridge across, and was reminded that it is the most beautiful bridge to cross in New York.
The new Baskin Robbins on delancey opened, and I've been indulging myself with cappucino blast and double scoops of ice creams daily.
Some people think that I don't have a life since I work so much, but I had quite a day. I'm proud to say that I have a life. And it's a good one.
on august 29, 2004 @ 10:55 pm [link]
Republican National Convention is almost here, or pretty much here, which means that there'll be lots more of protests and marches throughout the city. In fact, there's been a police check point by the Williamsburg Bridge for a few weeks now, mainly to stop and search 'suspicious' white trucks coming off the bridge. They seem to focus on white trucks, because that is terrorists' preferred vehicle. I loved the comment by Mayor Bloomberg on the naked protestors across the Madison Square Garden a few days ago: "This is New York. Of course we have ... naked people on Eighth Avenue!" Some people asked me today if I'm going to a protest tomorrow. No. Although I do dislike Bush like any other average New Yorker, I don't consider myself 'political.' Plus I'm only a 'resident alien' and don't have a vote. So I really don't get involved with the politics. I'll be running a half-marathon in the Central Park instead tomorrow morning. Besides, I don't want to get arrested. They say the protestors are randomly getting arrested. Those of you who are going, watch out.
on august 29, 2004 @ 12:10 am [link]
My Jewish mother
This toothless little old Jewish lady I'm friendly with came by to give me a jar of soup, a can of chili, a coupon for Subway, and a copy of AM New York. Other times she brought me gefilte fish, borscht, pasta, beans and etc. I walked back into the restaurant, where a customer was waiting for her veggie gyoza, and told her that this old lady brings me food. "Oh, that's so funny, and cute!" Then we both cracked up. It is really cute. She thinks I'm her daughter so something.
on august 27, 2004 @ 12:43 am [link]
Artworks arrived in the Matzo store down the street, at Streit's on Rivington and Suffolk. Unfortunately I wasn't able to sneak out of my restaurant for the opening yesterday, but I'll go check out the 'Matzo Files' which includes little artworks of my friends and customers.
A beautiful cool and sunny day. No complaints (weather-wise).
on august 24, 2004 @ 04:31 pm [link]
here's some more crazy friends
It was a pretty rough race yesterday: 80 degrees in 90% humidity, but fortunately it was 'only' 5 miles for club championship, where most of the crazy local runners compete. Even our team coach Tony, who would be usually yelling at us on the course, had a different approach. He praised us that we looked perfect as we struggled in suffocating humidity. Why do we run? I don't know. We're just crazy.
And this beautiful sunday afternoon I'm watching the most exciting, thrilling, fist-clenching sport of the season- the women's marathon in Athens. I thougth it was bad enough yesterday, but they're running through those hills in 90 degrees. Totally insane. I ran the same course in Athens last November, so I know how insane it is. Just to see the endless uphill in front of you, makes you die continuously. And now the tiny Japanese woman Noguchi surged ahead of towering world record holder Paula Radcliff. Then at 36K Radcliff stopped her race and broke down. I remebered that psychologically I also gave up by that point in the race. Amazing come back by Deena Kaster in the last mile, winning bronze medal. What a race! What a drama! Makes me want to go out and abuse my body even harder.
on august 22, 2004 @ 01:34 pm [link]
We've been spoiled with the mild weather; 84 degrees and 60% humidity feels extremely hot. Selling lots of ginger lemonade.
Last night Elliot took this $40 delivery order to Eldridge street which turned out to be non-existing address and wrong phone number. Seems like it was a fake order. There's evil people out there. Elliot came back and kept shaking his head, 'so wrong, so wrong.' He's been watching out for me all week, and this afternoon he poked head in and asked, 'I'm going to the market. Do you need anything?' He brought me back garlic which I forgot to buy this morning. He's been so wonderful I'll make sure to keep a croquette for his dog Winston when they stop by at closing.
The treadmill I was on this morning at the gym kept stopping for 'communication error.' The bagger at the supermarket dutifully double bagged each item for me. My neighbor Kathy came back from her vacation in Cape Cod. I hope we have a good night.
on august 19, 2004 @ 05:32 pm [link]
Paris Hilton's dog Tinkerbell is missing. Award offered for safe return of the chihuahua is said to be $5,000 at this moment. I guess the kidnapper can wait to see the better offer.
My neighbor Elliot came by for his 'juicing rights.' He's loaning me his Champion juicer, and instead of getting some cash for it, he said he would loan it to me in exchange for 'juicing rights.' So I made some carrot celery ginger juice, which turned into 'Juicing 101 with Elliot.' 'I told you that you'd have to put a plastic bag there. Here- a perfect bag, and do you have a rubber band?' 'Shove it down, but the other end first.'
Betim and Mike just came back from their vacation to Turkey. Betim looked so pretty this morning- "Oh, the trip was sooo great. I didn't want to come back..." She told me once that she thought ''shove it up your ass" was "shovel it up your ass." And that's how she said it sometimes.
on august 18, 2004 @ 01:28 am [link]
some more ideas
Nothing too exciting this weekend. Gray and wet. I ran along the Hudson River with an old veteran with an American flag and boom box straddled on the back of his bicycle playing this folk song loudly "Roll truck roll I wanna see my baby roll truck roll me on home.." He gave a thumb up to every woman he passed by. By the way I think they should also add 'hotdog eating' to the Olympics. I bet those little Japanese guys train hard all year round. Yo-yo could also be an Olympic item. Or baby jogger run! It's a race with moms & dads with baby joggers run around town and also have to get some errands done! Absolute coordination between the parent & the baby will be required for this sport. If either a parent or a child starts crying, wets their pants/diapers, etc., will result in points reduction.
on august 16, 2004 @ 02:17 pm [link]
The Olympics started and I caught some of it on TV this afternoon. I didn't know that beach volleyball was a Olympic sport. I saw some women with perfect bodies in bikinis competing on sand. Blondes from Norway was being beaten by California girls. They should also consider adding 'mud wrestling' into the Olympic games. Perhaps they can pack the stadium easier than these sometimes odd sports. I always thought 'synchronized swimming' was the oddest sport of all. It's kind of Stepfordy. Synchronized diving felt somewhat odd as a sport too, but dive that last only two seconds have a beauty in itself.
on august 14, 2004 @ 04:25 pm [link]
It feels like we're having the wettest summer ever. Looks like the weekend's going to be shitty too. The relief for yesterday and today was Amy from Clinton Street my neighbor Elliot refered me. She was just wonderful. So Akiko, Amy, and me. Three girls ran the place tonight, and it was kind of cool.
I came home and stepped on this wet gooey thing as I walked into my apartment. My cat Coco threw up a gigantic hairball. Poor thing. I apologized her that I haven't been brushing her enough lately. It was kind of a rough week.
on august 14, 2004 @ 01:29 am [link]
Latest virus that arrived in my mailbox is W32.Mota.B@mm worm with 'gutted' in the subject line with attachment 'creme_de_gruyere.zip.' Since it was from someone I know, my reaction was: "why is he sending me some obscene stuff?" But there was no message so it was easy to figure out that it was a virus.
Don from the electronic store came and said that I have the best curry in the world. His partner wears a tatoo of crucifix on his right arm. "What is this, a Jew with a cross on his arm??" It's a joke, his partner said. Tal from the theater across the street came for his daily dose of his favorite drink and said, "You got the best ginger lemonade in town, don't you forget it!"
on august 12, 2004 @ 02:59 pm [link]
At 2:30pm it became dark as if it's around dusk, like 'magic hour' but without warmth, and started pouring. Then by little after 3pm we had sunshine again. Humid and muggy afternoon.
Last night my neighbor Elliot came for rescue and made some deliveries. Returning from his first delivery he was content. "You can call me anytime for this one!" When he knocked on the door this tall young handsome blond man was waiting his dinner, half naked in a bathrobe. Elliot's eyes went boing! in heart shape. Hope he calls again tonight because Elliot is filling in again.
on august 11, 2004 @ 05:27 pm [link]
Life is like - watermelon without seeds
-don't ask me what it means. Life is also like 'a giant hammer orbiting a small group of pigeons while a moderately priced pot of marmalade cries in the dark' according to someone on the web. Too many people say life is like 'chocolates.' I hope it's a good box of chocolates. I just hope it's not like the marathon course in Athens: hot ugly endless uphill. Jonathan left our kitchen to go back to Switzerland for college, and I'm in the middle of stressful hiring process. I'm just trying to relax a little. Life is like aa big pink cotton candy that dances and sings you a lullaby in an incomprehensible language. And I always remind myself that I should be learning Spanish.
on august 10, 2004 @ 02:42 pm [link]
Tour of Manhattan
It felt too cold for the beach, so I decided to go on a bike tour of Manhattan island. Most of this island on waterfront has beautiful scenic paths you can ride along. Then I cut through beautiful row of old brownstones in Harlem. I got lost trying to find a passage to Harlem River waterfront. So I gave up just the tip of Manhattan, and turned around at Jumel Mansion, which was also surrounded by quiet beautiful streets. The whole stretch on West side from George Washington Bridge to Battery Park is one long clean scenic ride. The best time for this part of tour is early evening before sunset. The whole trip, mostly leisurly ride, including a pizza break, took me about four hours. Highly recommended.
on august 8, 2004 @ 09:45 pm [link]
can't believe it's still early August
Last night I went to Tonic and to see my friend play with a 'trumpet super-group'. My friend Susie was on drums, and boy, she plays. She plays with her drums. She dangs and bangs every side of her drums. She elbows on her drums. At one point she was like swimming around her drum set, and I remembered that she likes to go swimming. Earlier when she came to have dinner at SOY with Mark Dresser (bassist) and Bryan Carrott (vibraphonist), very cool nice talented people, by the way, Mark was telling me about his recent trip to Japan. He said in Japan they like to show fish on television. There'll be shows on fish every day. He talked about all kinds of funky Japanese TV shows and amazing food he had, and made me so jealous.
Rather chilly day for August- we didn't even have 70 degrees today, did we? I got up early and joined other crazy runners in the Central Park to do 20-mile group run. It was perfectly beautiful morning to do so. There were people camping out for Shakespeare tickets. Those stationary crowd seemed to be pretty indifferent to the crazy runners going round and round the park.
on august 7, 2004 @ 06:35 pm [link]
My tip was stolen from the jar this afternoon. Obviously I didn't hear someone come in, stick his/her hand into the jar, and grab the money while I was working in the kichen a few feet away. Only thing that was left from my hard work was small change. Next time someone stick their hand too far into the jar I should have a surprise for him/her. A snake? Electric shock? A spider? And how about those no tippers, who sit at the table, where we go to take their order, then bring their plates one by one, and at the end by walking up to the cashier they suddenly turn this place into a 'cafeteria' leaving us no tip. What do I do about that? What's surprising is sometimes it's a return customer who do that. I thought this was America, the land of tipping.
on august 5, 2004 @ 09:58 pm [link]
Last night as a group of trumpeters left for a gig at Tonic, I had a surprise visit by an old friend. He walked up to me at the counter and said, "Remember me?" He looked familiar. I squinted my eyes and thought for a while - it's probably someone I worked with like 10 years ago. But I really couldn't make a connection. I shook my head. "Mizuno." "No way!" It was my teammate from the track club in high school. He was just transfered to New York office by his company and will be stationed here for 4-5 years. We were never directly in touch with each other, so there was so much to catch up. It was nice to see someone from back home.
on august 5, 2004 @ 04:01 pm [link]
before the storm
I got up early and went swimming at Hamilton Fish Park (which is around the corner on Pitt Street) early morning. It was just the perfect day to do that, and the perfect way to begin a day. We have another flood watch tonight through tomorrow afternoon. But the weekend is looking good so far - maybe I can finally get to the beach.
on august 4, 2004 @ 07:34 pm [link]
give me back my three hours
I spent three hours at Department of Health for my hearing for the past inspection. I was told to appear in front of a judge to hear the verdict: do I have a fine, and if so, how much? They gave me an option of pleading guilty by mail, or appear in person. I chose the latter because this is a new system and I wanted to find out what exactly happens, if it's a thing to avoid in the future. And I figured it's probably better for me to appear with my innocent look and say that I've corrected everything I've done wrong. Paper works, bureaucracy, waiting in this ugliest waiting area for three hours. I wondered what good this new system is doing to anyone. Then I was in front of this witch (I'm sorry Judge, you seemed to be nice but you did look like a witch) for three minutes and told her I corrected everything immediately. Then she said I'll hear the judgement in the mail in 2-3 weeks. How could this whole ordeal be so anticlimactic! I was pissed off all afternoon.
on august 3, 2004 @ 11:54 pm [link]
A news arrived from Japan over the weekend that my favorite theater company, Third Stage, is doing a play/musical with this Japanese punk rock band from 80s "Blue Hearts" later this year. Blue Hearts, with their simple but straight music and words, screamed out loud our young mind, and was the main background music for my high school years. So the past few days have been reminiscing time, digging up Blue Hearts tapes and playing the Cure all day since I couldn't get enough on Saturday.
A few days ago I just discovered that Kim's Video on Avenue A has lost their lease and they already packed everything. I'm worried about the whereabouts of my Kim's money. Then I realized Meow Mix, the chick bar, down the street is also gone. The neighborhood keeps changing- I hope for the better. But I was surprised how empty Orchard Street was last Sunday. There are so many vacant storefronts, it almost resembled early 90s before the boom. That was the time when my parents first visited me in the Lower East Side and thought I was really something for living down here. I think I should walk around the neighborhood and take some pictures. Maybe in 10, 20 years they would tell a story about 'good old neighborhood.'
on august 2, 2004 @ 10:46 pm [link]
vacationing on the island
"Yesterday I got so old
I felt like I could die
Yesterday I got so old
It made me want to cry"
After training some eager future sushi chefs, I found myself in a crowd at the Cure show on Randalls Island. Having an extra day off- which meant I was on my summer vacation, on Randalls Island. Mr. Robert Smith, the Great, looked somewhat ill- as usual. It freaked me out that they've been together like 26 years. And yes, I had a great time, singing, dancing. Only unfortunate thing was that their new materials sucked played against good old classics by them. I loved the show anyway, because Robert Smith is the best person in the world, as it is widely known.
on august 1, 2004 @ 09:39 pm [link]
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