not all who wander are lost.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kickin' it OldSkool.

I finally had a day off. A FULL day off - start to finish. I woke up at the crack o'dawn, made myself a latte, and then hopped in the car to begin my trek to my old stomping grounds. I went to college at Montclair State University...that's where I met Gina. I had worked in Brooklyn and spent MUCHO time in the city...spending time there with G and also with my friend Miss Emily Corkill, who lives in {my beloved} Chinatown. I felt it was time to visit some old faces and friends...and to eat, obviously- what else would i do! - in the city that I love. I arrived in Montclair in 2.5hours and met G at the MSU Train Station stop. We hopped the train and headed into the city for our day of adventure {and gluttony}. Both of us were ravenous so we quickly hopped on the subway (the A to W4th, taking the B or D then to GRAND), walked a few blocks up after getting off at Grand, at stopped at 118 Eldridge Avenue at Vanessa's Dumplings *AKA* "DOLLAR DUMPLING". For a bank-breaking $7.50 {yes, that paid for BOTH of us} we had an order of fried pork and chive dumplings {4/$1}, sesame pancake with vegetables {$1.50}, sesame pancake with roast pork {$2}, an experimental steamed bun with red beans- which was eh, no bueno {$1} and two cans of diet coke {$2}. We got there just in time because minutes after we ordered there was literally a line around the block. Vanessa's has been my go-to dumpling place in the city ever since the day that Emily Corkill introduced me. Boom - it's the best and I will NEVER stray {what can I say...the fabulous prices and deliciously greasy dumplings always keep me coming back for more...}.

We shopped and bopped our way through Chinatown, making our way to my favorite asian bakery on Canal street: Tai Pan. Tai Pan makes BOMB coffee...when I order it I ask for cream and sugar -- it's the one and only place that I've ever let anyone add cream and sugar FOR me. MmMmMm it's just delicious. We passed up on the red bean pastry in a sweet bun- had to save room for the next venture....


And these weren't just ANY cannoli's...these were from Ferrara's Bakery in Little Italy. MmMmM. G and I prefer the mini ones -- they are just so cute, delicious, crunchy shell- creamy inside. Perfecto! They also have them with chocolate dipped shells, but we opted for the original today. We sipped our Tai Pan coffee, indulged in our Ferrara cannoli's and then set off again into the big city {which really isn't that big at all}...

We hopped the B Uptown to Rockefeller Center. We were half in a food coma and half just plain ol' delirious - so we decided to shop!! I have a small obsession with Anthropologie -- it's the only other place that I enjoy to shop aside from the thrift store. They have OBNOXIOUSLY expensive prices {$300 shirts, $500 dresses, etc. etc}, but their stuff is beautiful and I can sometimes afford their SALE stuff. Well goddamnit, Gina and I could NOT find this store. We walked and circled and went up, then down, then over and then back to where we began. We kept seeing their {BEAUTIFULLY decorated} window advertisements, but alas - no store!!

We finally found it after I almost had a mini-meltdown, and I spent too much on a dress and a bag - but hey...I had the money in my "play" money envelope, so whatever. Stressed over the money that I spent and the time spent FINDING the place to drain my wallet - booze was callin' my name, and Gina has having a hankering as well. We posted up in Bryant Park to soak up some sunshine and suck down some Sauvignon Blanc. MMMM. There was a bunch of hustle and bustle because work was ending, so all the "suits" were at the outside park bar sipping martini's. Gina and I giggled over their ludicrous, expensive outfits - and gossiped about how we would NEVER join the "real world", sipped some more, admired a pair of ludicrous, expensive shoes and then decided that we should head back to the train before we were late or too tipsy. Man, I love Gina.

We got back to the train just in time so that we would make it for dinner. Yes, didn't I tell you - we had big dinner plans! More food, of course. Kara Bocchino {and old roomate and classmate, graphic designer}, Bobby Liqouri {and old classmate, sculptor extraordinaire- currently building dinosaurs for museums}, and Tiffany {old friend and old roomate of Gina, acting school didn't work out, so now she's a baker - tho I think her calling is stand up comedy} were meeting Gina and I at {MY FAVORITE!} GREEK DELIGHTS in Montclair for dinner @ 7pm. We all arrived a few minutes late...then hugged, chatted, laughed, gossiped, bickered, laughed more, ate, and had a fantastic time for the next 3 hours. I wish that I could have stayed there with them all night, but I had to teach yoga this morning at 7am...and the 2.5hour car ride was not looking too fantastic. SO, we said goodbye and I hit the road around 10:30pm...riding the whole way home with a smile on my face, thinking about the great time that was just had - and the many that were had over the past few years with those very special people.

Kara, Me, Gina and Tiffany. Minus Bobby.
Paco took the photo...he's a much better waiter than a photographer.
My new, semi-expensive dress, that I changed into in the car on the way over.


  1. All of you are about 5' tall.

  2. hell yes - im with 'my people' strain on the neck