Monday, May 11, 2009

My Miami Experience In a Nutshell: Some Lists for Your Enjoyment (Viewing and Otherwise)


Sorry it took me a while to update. Been busy with vacay (sigh, it is a burden that I must take upon myself). Anyhoo, to keep you up to speed on my Miami funcation, here are some things that have made an impression on me about this unique - in both good and extremely odd ways - city.

Things I Like About Miami
1. Endless sunshine, consistent warm weather and no bizarre changes like we have in NYC (where the temp drops 40 degrees in 20 minutes)

2. The beach - sand, color of water, soothing ocean sounds

3. The boardwalk - an amazing place to jog, dodge vacationing lovers, and peek into the courtyards of hotels and other condo buildings

4. The amazing, newly renovated Fountainbleau pool, which I successfully snuck into. I love its myriad options for lounging, the all-white theme, and especially, the kiddie water slide

5. Yummy new kosher restaurants to discover - I keep hearing about The Gourmet Carrot and of course, Grill Time

6. The different lifestyle - there is more of a Latino emphasis; people seem to be less obsessed with money, work, power and more about enjoying life

7. The art deco, pastel buildings and theme
8. Just being on vacay and doing whatever the heck I want, when I want. Essentially - not being anyone's beer wench. This would hold true in any city, but feels particularly real in Miami, for some reason.

Things I Dislike About Miami
1. Portly men in speedos

2. Abundance of portly women in different versions of be-spandexed ensembles. The most glaring violation of fashion protocol was the 'lady' in a yellow spandex 'dress' (if it can be called that) with a tattoo behind each thigh that together, read 'badass mama' or something equally horrifying

3. Abundance of hideous tattoos in addition to badass mamacita one, missing teeth (I am not a snob - this is just jarring to me). Am I hanging out in the wrong circles?

4. The pathetic bus payment system, which has not yet gone over to Metrocard-type payment and requires cash (singles) each time. Also, the bus drivers appear to be deaf/mute since they never appear to hear (my admittedly) touristy questions and when pressed, finally mumble something out of the corner of their mouths

5. The insane heat that has put myself and my travel companion in a consistent fugue since we got here (but I'm not complaining!)

Things I Find Odd/Endearing About Miami
1. Old school Miami kitsch - flamingos, tropical shirts, Sea World-type souveneirs

2. Early bird specials

3. Interesting (not gross as above) fashion choices - colorful muumuus, sky-high clogs, unusually orangey lipstick and nail polish colors

4. The frummies in my building who seem unsure whether I am relig or not
5. The fact that when I see coconuts, rather than reminding me of pina coladas, they instead bring to mind that Keith Richards (the Rolling Stones kook, if you amazingly did not know who that is) fell out of a palm tree and injured himself whilst trying to pick one
I am sure there is much more but I'll have to ruminate on it and get back to you when I return. Don't miss me too much!

Your Florida Baby

Monday, April 27, 2009

Down Home, Old Country Comforts


Do you ever watch shows on the Food Network, hosted by folksy Southerners like Paula Deen, and wish that you had that all-American background? (Just hold the butter and ham hocks, please. Hot cakes will do just fine.)

I must admit that although I have no desire to be a WASP (not that there's anything wrong with that), and that I enjoy and often cartoonishly emphasize my yiddishe Eastern European background, at times I desire to be from a small town in Middle America. It would be fun to be 'just folks' from June Junction, Mississipi for a little while.

Once this three minute fantasy is over, I usually snap back to reality and appreciate that I grew up as the grandchild of immigrants, in good ol', down-to-earth Queens, New York.

It is then that I appreciate the comfort foods of my youth - stuffed cabbage, mashed potatoes, my bubby's apple cake and star cookies, my mom's meatballs and spaghetti. And of course - macaroni with ketchup. (Don't say ew - it's delicious! Try it!)

It was this nostalgia that was behind today's lunch: a huge bowl of spiral pasta and tons of ketchup. I enjoyed each bit of grainy, gloppy goodness while watching trash TV (Judge Jeanne Pirro). It was just as good as the steak I scarfed down last month at Prime Grill. In fact, it was better, because I could eat it in my muu muu (very Mrs. Roper-esque).

Take a minute and think about it - what foods bring you back to that warm and fuzzy age when The Muppet Show was must-see TV?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bagel BOSS

I must share an important tale with you all.

Today I had the good fortune to be in Queens at the Lake Success shopping center (an under-appreciated jewel). While I enjoyed the window displays at Bath and Body Works and the Gap (check out their striped boyfriend cardis!), I bypassed them in favor of a wonderous dining establishment, Bagel Boss.

I had previously been there a month or so before to grab a bananayy, so I was a little perplexed as to why the 'Grand Opening' signs were still adorning the windows. Be that as it may, a warm feeling of goodwill enveloped me as I passed through the double doors, and saw the shining racks of danishes, cupcakes, rainbow cookie cake (freaking amazing looking) and uh, bagels.

Being on a post-Pesach penance diet, I had to go for the 'build-your-own-salad' option, while jealously eyeing my brother's pizza bagels. I did manage to squeeze in some unusual yumminess of my own in the form of honey mustard tuna (intruiging!).

As brother and I sat, ensconced in a cushy booth, he complained of chilliness, and I urged him to try a sip of my green tea to warm his bones. He demurred, but I was so persistent (and annoying) that he gave in and took the tiniest sip known to man, at which point he made an extremely ugly face and practically spit it out. (Don't make ugly faces, kids, your face might freeze that way.)

I admit that the tea, not my usual brand, did have a slightly bizarre tinge of mushroom. But I loved the fun cup cover with its nifty piece of foam that lifted up.

As we left, I gave the bakery goods - every single one of them - a longing stare. (The staff behind the counter might have thought me a touch bizarre.) With great sadness, I shuffled off, sans any desserty goodness but secure in my dietetic state.

Thinking about these events, now that a few hours have elapsed, I can't help but be elated that I ate at Bagel Boss. It was so BOSS. Living in Manhattan and trying to be fabulous all the time can be tiring on one's soul. Allowing yourself to 'slum it' sometimes (and I mean that with greatest affection) in outer boroughs such as Queens, in a quaint little bagel shop, is so necessary.

The moral of the story? Throw off your Hugo Boss and hitch a ride out of the citayyy (although I am in no way endorsing Staten Island as an option).

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm baaaaack - and obsessed with coffee

A big HOLLA to everyone reading this -
a. Loyal readers of my multitude of blogs who have been inquiring regularly about when I am finally getting back to blogging
b. Facebook friends who checked in on the strength of my 'intruiging' status update
c. Peeps who just surfed on in

It has been over a year since I last posted. Having vowed again and again to return to this vaunted pursuit, I have finally, FINALLY overcome my mental block and am back!! I will once again be sharing my most random thoughts with you, my dear audience. While this blog originally started as a way for me to comment on women's health issues, I have come to the startling (ha) realization that I am most interested in discussing a multitude of topics, with health among them. In a nutshell, I have alot of unusual things to say, so why limit myself to one thing??

So here goes!!

Much has changed since March 2008, the time of my last posting. However, rather than go into a long and uber complicated saga, I'm just going to pick up where I left off, as if I just posted last week. Please play along with this harmless charade.

Anyhoo, what's up with me in mid-April 2009?

First of all, I am soooo happy that Passover is OVAH (should I say PassOVAH??)!! Eight days of matzoh is hell on the stomach, and eight days of hoovering food like a rabid vaccuum cleaner on the last day of its blessed life is unsurprisingly, hell on the diet! In celebration, I had a delightfully bread-ful and cheesylicious slice of pizza at Pizza Time, one of Brooklyn's shtottiest establishments. In penance, I am exercising like a maniac on acid. (Kids, don't do drugs.)

Second of all, I have become obsessed with coffee. Not so much drinking it, as the IDEA of it. Manhattan is a coffee-drinking town and while I couldn't give a bat's wing about that beverage whilst growing up in Queens, seven years of city dwelling has made an indellible mark on my psyche. As such, whenever I pass by Starbux, Dunks Dons, Smokey Joe's Cafe (or whatever the heck that new place on 84th and Columbus is called), etc. etc. , I stare in to the window like a semi-crazed voyeur to see what everyone is drinking and the expressions on their face as they suck in their nectar. It's quite amusing, really. (Let's not even get into the distinction between those that choose raw sugar over the white stuff, or the brave souls who drink their coffee black.)

This sort of peeking is similar to the way I look into the open windows of people's street-level apartments, to see how much space they have and how they've decorated the place. I assure you I'm not a stalker (much), but real estate is a Manhattan obsession as well and I must indulge my craving. And I know I'm not alone in this, fellow real estate freaks.

So - back to coffee. I've concluded that green tea is much better for me but it's somehow not as sexy as coffee, which is just so bad. Since I don't do drugs (except for Tylenol), a girl's got to splash out somehow, eh? The problem is that java stains your teeth, so when I'm unable to suck it through a straw, I compensate by brushing with a frugal combo of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

Still, if you see me and you think the glare of my pearly whites have dimmed somewhat, please be a true friend and tell me.

Okay, New York dolls, I'm new again to this blogging biznatch, so I need to go recline with cucumber slices over my eyes. Please comment on how you liked this entry and if there are any topics you'd like to see covered in the future.

Yiddishe Gossip Girl