Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last day in NYC

on saturday, we met up with G and K and headed into Manhattan's Chinatown for a dim sum lunch. But this is New York City, of course, so it was no ordinary dim sum. It was kosher vegetarian dim sum at Buddha Bodai, bringing you all the guilt-free imitation barbecue ribs, pork and fake shrimp congee you could ask for, all made of tofu. interestingly, my favourite dishes were the straight up fried tofu, and the eggplant, which only confirms my theory that i don't really like things that are made to look and taste like other things.

afterwards we took a walk through what seemed like the whole world: the bustling streets of Chinatown seamlessly turned into Little Italy where barkers stood outside their restaurants shouting out their special pastas deals for the day, until we hit SoHo and its rows and rows of trendy shops and bakeries proudly wearing their gentrification like a lovely badge. that's where we finally arrived at THE MARKET, which is basically my idea of heaven, minus the price tags. Here, every weekend, dozens of artists and designers from all over the city set up booths in this great hall displaying their unique products. there were so many things i had never seen before. there were so many things i would have bought, if they weren't so expensive ($400 for a sweater? that's the price for innovation?). Although, who am i kidding. I still dropped a lot of dough anyway, telling myself that I was supporting the art scene.

in the evening, O and I made our way to the historical Stonewall in Greenwich Village where the celebrities from the Real L Word were putting on a lesbian comedy show. Stonewall Inn, of course, was the site of the famous Stonewall riots in 1969, which many have called "the single most important event that led to the modern movement for gay and lesbian issues" (at least that's what Wikipedia says). E was working the doors that night and had gotten us on the guestlist, so we got to check out the show a bit while large beautiful women in bright red dresses accused us of trying to steal their girlfriends (well, to be fair, maybe we were). Stonewall seems like a pretty happening place to hang out. It was packed full of people of all ages and all walks, and there were spontaneous dance parties popping up all over the bar.

afterwards we took E for some delicious soondubu chigae in Korea Town at at BCD Tofu House, a restaurant that O had been relentlessly talking about during my entire stay. miraculously they were able to whip up a vegan dish for the girls (while i enjoyed my real pork) and we got a chance to catch up with E, seeing how all sorts of things have happened since we last saw her (like the fact that she's getting married, for example, but only for immigration purposes).

We had made plans to do Korean karaoke that night (and bust out our Seo-Taiji skills) but by the time we finished our meal, the food coma had set in, so we called it a night early and went home to watch SNL, which is, i think, an important American tradition.

the next day was a long, long, long bus ride with a random stop in Albany (did you know that there is nothing to do there on a Sunday morning?) and now my back is firmly letting me know that it does not enjoy spending 24 hours on a bus. next time i go back to New York, it's gonna be by some other mode of transportation. like on a dolphin. (i'm not an animal rights activist)