Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Tonight is a pretty chill night. I admit it; I'm a homebody. It may seem weird, then, that I've chosen NYC as my summer (and likely post-graduate) location. This is, after all, the "city that never sleeps." Why am I here? I guess it's an exercise in extremes. I like being a homebody, but when I go out, I like having the best of choices at my fingertips. There's so much to do/see/feel/experience here that I love knowing that I'll never get bored when I do decide to explore.

I'm loving my firm. Work has been going well, and I'm enjoying the newest assignment that sort of fell into my lap. My assigning attorney for a craptastically bad due diligence contract review assignment left for vacation this week, so she's having me watch over another deal where the client has hired us to form his company. It's pretty awesome.

Yesterday I just about keeled over with foodgasms at Nobu. Since it's Restaurant Week, there was an amazing $20.12 prix fixe menu. Our budget, needless to say, covered that and way way way more. Thus, my meal was an exercise in gluttony. Four of us ordered the Restaurant Week menu and then supplemented up the wazoo in addition to the menu. The menu included, among other traditional dishes like miso soup, this amazingly crazy wonderful black cod with miso. This fish was seriously to die for. In addition to this, I ordered a rock shrimp tempura, which was pretty good. The flavor wasn't quite as complex as I would have expected, and lemon was pretty dominant, which I wasn't expecting. Besides this, though, the meal was fabulous. The dessert included in the Restaurant Week menu was surprisingly delicious. It was a mango and green tea layered sorbet with toasted coconut/crispy cake shavings between layers and a strawberry glaze on top. It was refreshing and wonderful. In addition to this, though, I will admit to super gluttony; I ordered a dessert on top of the included sorbet. I had the Bento Box, which was an oozing chocolate cake with green tea served in a cute little bento box. It was delectable. Overall, I'd say that Nobu is a super close runner up to last week's Jean-Georges. As a comparison, the rock shrimp tempura was good (but not outstanding), and Nobu's decor wasn't as spectacular (it was well-decorated, but not as impressive as Jean-Georges' sweeping windows and calming whites and greens). Note: Since Nobu is Japanese, it's possible its decor is just more simple and understated.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Border's Romance Section = Teenager's Supermarket Equivalent?

You know how the supermarket apparently is the best place to "pick up" people? Well, it seems that bookstores have now become the newest pickup joint -- for high schoolers, anyway.

Yesterday I was in Border's, browsing the "Romance" section. Yes, I read romance novels. No, they will not rot your brain. Why do people mock romance novel readers? It's the most popular genre by far, and more people read them than you'd imagine.

Anyway, I was browsing the Regency romances (which, according to my friend, are"ankle barer" books as opposed to the scandalous porn-quality "bodice rippers") and a kid -- I swear he was probably 18 or so -- interrupts me as I'm reading the back of "The Bath Intrigue." Now, maybe I'm being picky here, but if I'm engrossed in my romance novels, I don't want anybody interrupting my obsession!

This kid tries to pick me up in the middle of the Romance section on the ploy that he's picking out a "gift" and he wants my help. There are so many things wrong with this picture: 1. The romance novel is a very personal choice, and romance novel readers have very particular tastes! I don't want just anybody picking out my romance novels! 2. He's 18!!! 3. In the Romance section of Border's!!! 4. I'm in the middle of a highly rigorous selection process here! 5. The romance novel is a very personal choice!

I couldn't decide if I was annoyed (Hey, don't interrupt me! Very important book selections going on here!) or amused (When it registered in my "The Bath Intrigue"-filled brain that he was in the "Romance" section, he actually said "Hey, don't look at me that way." As in, don't give him the "What are you doing in this section?" look.).

To all you ladies out there, maybe you could test this hypothesis in your respective cities. I look forward to hearing your reports.

Week 3 Restaurant Roundup

On Monday, three of us took our "secretary mentors" to Bryant Park Grill for lunch. We summers have a theory that they are secretary mentors because the firm hopes it will keep us from abusing them. I don't know what's more disturbing: to have a secretary in the first place or to know that a summer in the past must have abused his/her secretary in order for them to try to correct for it with "mentor." I still haven't gotten used to it. Lunch was pretty good, and we had a beautiful spot outdoors. I had a grilled tuna steak and a warm apple crumb pie a la mode for dessert.

Tuesday brought us to Amma, a cute little Indian place tucked away on 51st between 2nd and 3rd. They had awesome lunch specials, so I would recommend this place highly for a bargain lunch package. I had the saag paneer and a wonderfully tasty rasmali for dessert. I want to know how to make rasmali!! It is SO good!

Wednesday was fun. A partner called me up and invited me to lunch. I felt so special! He's such a funny guy; he actually reminds me of the dad from "American Pie." We went to Django along with another summer. I loved the decor, and the food was really good. For my appetizer I had the sea scallops, and they were crazy awesome good. My entree was a beef "Toro" tarjine, a last minute choice that I made upon hearing what a tarjine was. For dessert, I had this incredibly artistic chocolate hazelnut mousse. It looked so amazing I almost didn't want to eat it!

On Thursday, I went to silverleaf tavern with the Real Estate group. I was super excited to get to know more of the Real Estate bunch because they rarely "do lunch." The restaurant was really fun, and their use of textures in decorating was unusual (in a good way!). The roasted salmon was delicious, and I had this amazing creme brulee, which I had them brown over twice (there must be a technical term for this!). Yes, I have a weakness for creme brulee.

Friday was the best. lunch. ever. Friday was my favorite lunch so far. We went to Jean-Georges, and my life changed. It was amazingly incredibly unbelieveable. The portions were perfect, and the service was gracious without being unaccessible. I had two dishes off of the tasting menu that day: a lobster with lychee and the veal, which was crazy awesome good. And, yes, I had veal. After having eaten Thumper my first week, you wouldn't expect me to think twice about Mary's Little Lamb, would you? I chose the "Exotic"dessert option, which was a pineapple cake and a fluffy, meringue-y, sorbet-y, I-have-no-clue-what-it-was-but-it-tasted-good coconut-shapped thing. This was my absolute favorite place so far. We'll see if next week's Nobu or Le Bernardin gives Jean-Georges a run for its money.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Spending Money Like Water

I can't understand how it's possible to spend SO much money in SO little time. As an anonymous airplane pal sagely stated on my flight over here, "every time you step outside, you should just assume you're going to make a $20 deposit somewhere." Frighteningly enough, this is SO true. The only time I don't seem to spend money is when I'm working, and that is really sad. Reeeally sad.

Today I went shopping in SoHo, and I resisted for the most part. Then we stopped into the Kate Spade store, and I couldn't help but indulge my handbag addiction once again. As my friend pointed out, I am buying a new purse at a rate of once per week. Crazy! Anyway, here it is. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm in loooooove... Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

More Food (Surprise Surprise)

On Thursday, we went to Sushiden, a little sushi place on East 49th St. Let me start by saying that my previous experience with Sushi Yasuda set a pretty high bar for sushi in the Murray Hill area. We unfortunately weren't able to get a table at Sushi Yasuda, so we headed to Sushiden in search of another local sushi place. While Sushiden wasn't as incredible as Sushi Yasuda, it was still a solid runner-up. I had a spider roll, a spicy tuna roll, a piece of octopus sushi and a piece of toro sashimi. It was really good, and the place was pretty fun because we had a private table (complete with the shoes-left-outside, paper walls, etc.). For dessert I had red bean ice cream. I convinced my fellow summer (who wasn't planning to get dessert) to get the black sesame sorbet (just because it sounded fun...and because I wanted to try it). It was really odd looking on the dish, quickly melting into a puddle of black tar-water. It wasn't odd tasting, though, so I'd definitely recommend it for its novelty factor.

Today we went to Tabla, which was towards the top of my "want to go there" list. After a week of solid American (steaks everywhere!), I've been desperate for some (I hate to say this) "ethnic" foods. At least Tabla was Indian influenced. (And the day before's Sushiden was quite obviously not steak and potatoes, too.) Tabla was delicious and had a very chill atmosphere. I had the Chef's Menu, from which I chose the duck samosa, the nut-crusted halibut, and the pear bread pudding. Mmmmm...

As a work-related side note, my office mate continues to drive me crazy. Newest thing: Using the speakerphone. Who uses the speakerphone in a shared office??

On the way back home from work, as expected, I once again got distracted. I found the perfect present for my cousin, though, which is very very exciting. She, my aunt, and my uncle are arriving Saturday night and will be staying in NYC for a week. They're here as a graduation present for my cousin. My initial impulse was to get something small and cute from Tiffany, but after visiting the GIGANTIC store on Fifth Avenue, I wasn't bowled over by any of the choices. Continuing my way back home, though, I came across the perfect store and the perfect gift! I walked into the Coach store as it was about to close and browsed right up to something that I would have used in undergrad. I bought this very cute wristlet in black. It's perfect for college because you're always on the go around the dorms, and sometimes you just don't want to lug a purse and/or you don't have pockets to carry your keys/student ID/cash/etc. Let's hope she likes it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Molto bene!

Il Mulino: Upon being greeted by a buoyant "Buon Giorno!," I felt transported immediately to Rome, my Spring Break destination. The setting of this tiny little restaurant was cozy and intimate, but nothing incredibly spectacular. That didn't matter, though, because the incredible creations coming out of the kitchen, along with the warm, accommodating, gracious service, make you forget your own name, let alone that you're in a little West Village restaurant. Even before reading our menus, dish after dish of fabulous breads, sauces, and toppings just appeared magically on our table. We had a tomato and mozzarella appetizer that was delicious. I saved myself a bit for the entree. I ordered a baked fish that was amazingly light and flaky. The dessert we ordered to share (a whopping $30 for this single dessert!) was absolutely divine in its simplicity. A dish of long-stemmed strawberries (absolutely perfect in every way -- they weren't that deep lipstick red color that means the berry's overripe; they were firm and a rosy red but with the same sweet, succulent taste of a deep lipstick red berry...mmmmmmm....) with a creamy sweet thick sauce shot with a hint of some sort of liqueur ("zabaglione" according to those who know better than I), dessert just was heavenly. We nearly doubled our budget (we had to invent another associate who "came to lunch with us" in order to stay close to the budget). Even so, we were still over. Yikes! It was well worth it, though, for the experience of such delectable food. Grazie, Il Mulino!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Life's Peachy Keen

After a week of work, we're finally settling into a groove at my firm. Last week began with training and ended with the usual "poke-and-prod-the-summers-to-see-what-they're-like" phase. Now that we all pretty much have the lay of the land, we're working and eating like there's no tomorrow.

Work update:
I really love (most of) my fellow summers. They are awesome, fun, smart people, and it's really great to know that smart people can have a good time, too. I say "most of" because my office mate (of all people!) is a workaholic. He is way too serious about everything, and it seemed to peeve him that I didn't have much to do this afternoon (my new assigning attorney didn't ever get back to me about setting an appointment to talk about the new assignment). There I was, just lazying the day away after having spent hours on a memo that I'd already turned in (and without another assignment to keep me busy), and he finally says "Shouldn't you be doing something? Like reading a firm brochure or something?" Asshole! Granted, the delivery was very dry, but after having lived even for a week with nonstop dry sarcastic humor, I was ready to throw my laptop at him. Dry sarcastic humor has its place, but not in enclosed spaces for the duration of one's day.

I finished up my first assignment this morning and turned it in an hour early. I actually got my feedback this same day, and (yay!) it was very positive. My assigning attorney even said, "This was your first assignment? You did a great job. I'm sure I didn't do nearly as well when I was a summer on my first assignment." That was very encouraging, and I am now not as scared to face what the rest of the summer has to offer.

(And more importantly...)
Food update:
A recap of last week's restaurants:

Tuesday, Artisanal: A cheese and wine bistro in the W. 30s. It was really cute and made me feel transported into some wonderfully relaxed European cafe. Although I'm not much of a cheese fan, I'm willing to try everything once (usually twice or three times even), and my first fondue experience was a lot of fun. I had a divine piece of cod that just fell onto my fork, making it that much more easy to enjoy it bite-by-succulent-bite. To top it all off (and what I'm most excited about, having a HUGE sweet tooth, you know), I had a cheesecake the size of my head. It was amazing.

Wednesday, Capital Grille: A new place just a block and a half away from the office, this steak place served up a delicious piece of juicy squishily-wonderful filet mignon. I was super impressed with their use of the black napkin for those of us who had black slacks/skirts on. How fancy! The white chocolate mousse was incredible.

Friday, Gramercy Tavern: An unintimidating restaurant with unbelievable everything, this "tavern" had a warm and inviting feel. I had the rabbit. (Sorry to those of you freaking out about my eating Thumper.) The rabbit was amaaaazing. It was so soft and juicy. It wasn't tough at all, and I could just picture a fat, fluffy bunny who did nothing but sit there and eat carrot after carrot. I'm sorry, Thumper. For dessert, I had the apricot tart, and it was reeeally awesome. It was beautifully presented and tasted even more wonderful. Wow.

Today, BLT Steak: The turf half of BLT (there's also BLT Raw, a seafood place), BLT Steak was very poshy in a nondescript way. That may sound horrible, but don't get me wrong -- it was a beautiful place. I initially ordered the sea bass, but then changed my mind about ordering fish when their specialty was (obviously) steak. I switched my order to the filet, and I didn't feel as dorky/weird when one of the associates who was with us did the same thing. Dessert was creme brulee, and it was really good. The initially didn't brown it enough for my tastes, so I asked them to go over it once more. After that, it looked (and tasted) ab fab.

Stay tuned for the next culinary adventure (and I promise I'll try something other than the filet next time). :)

And yes, AC is still awwwwesome.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A $200 Miracle

Actual conversation in my newly air conditioned apartment:

Me: Seriously, air conditioning is awwwwwesome.
My high school friend who's visiting: ranks preeetty high up there.

I cannot say enough about how awesome D's and my new air conditioner is. So that we didn't have to drill holes in anything, my friend and I "installed" it with packing tape left from the people we're subletting from. Let's just say it felt really great in a MacGyver-ish way to star in the episode featuring "How to install an AC unit with nothing but a roll of packing tape."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Innovation Station

After taking over two years to request it, I finally received my Phi Beta Kappa membership packet...and promptly put the "Handbook for New Members" to work as a makeshift -- and very effective -- fan. Nice to know it was good for something.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Are they just trying to torture me???

It's four hours later and somehow inexplicably it is HOTTER than it was at 8PM. 82 degrees??? WTF??????

Edit: No, we haven't acquired an AC. DAMMIT. Both of us got roped into firm things that weren't over until after the stores had closed. DAMMIT. DAMMIT.


Nothing's changed.

Wednesday night, 8:30PM:
80 degrees
52% humidity
Lying prostrate on bed, barely moving (except to type).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Indoor Heatstroke?

My first day in NYC was Saturday. It was CRAZY hot. We're talking lying-in-bed-spread-eagled-without-covers-and-STILL-sweating-profusely hot. Everybody reassured me that it would get better and that it doesn't get nasty until July/August. Well, people, it's Tuesday, and it's still CRAZY HOT. What gives??? The apartment I'm sharing with Darlyn is a GREAT deal in a GREAT location, but We Have No Air Conditioning.

Yes, you read that correctly. No Air Conditioning.

Let's just say that acquiring some sort of AC unit has zoomed to the top of our priority list. To put it into perspective: Yesterday Darlyn bought hair conditioner (we had been making do with purloined hotel conditioner from my San Francisco trip, which, while wonderful-smelling, is just ghetto fabulous all things considered). Today I bought shower gel (again, we were using purloined shower gel in the interim). Tomorrow and no later we will be buying an AC unit. After that, as Madonna would put it, "nothing really matters."

Monday, June 06, 2005

First Day Jitters

Last week my firm had an orientation kickoff event in San Francisco for the summer associates in all of the offices. Even though it may sound cheesy, it actually turned out wonderfully. Meeting everybody else in the summer class made today, my first day, much less painful.

On our first day in San Francisco, we were split into teams to participate in this super fun scavenger hunt called The Go Game. Even though it got a little crazy running around the streets of San Francisco (the coordinators actually warned us that people get so into it they forget to obey the fundamental kindergarten "look both ways before crossing" rule!), it was a lot of fun to indulge in a bit of the competitive spirit. There were clues sent to each team via cell phone that had us running to street corners and finding the answers to such curiosity-piquing clues as "Go up the alley along Margrave Place about 50 yards. Be stealthy and climb the 10 stair steps on the right hand side. Right in front of you is one of the rarest sights to behold in San Francisco." The answer? A swimming pool! There were also such interpretive clues that inspired creativity such as "In a series of pictures, show your team being daredevils!" One of the team's interpretations showed a hilarious series of the entire team rolling down the asphalt hills of San Francisco. Good times.

There were also the expected "orienting" talks such as one discussing the transition from law student to lawyer and another discussing harassment. The latter was actually a little fun because the approach was interactive where we placed scenarios along a "Green light, Yellow light, Red light" spectrum according to whether we thought it was "Okay, Use Caution, or HELL NO." Calling things red/yellow light now seems to be the punchline of the summer.

While it may sound trivial, this all culminated in easing the pressure of today's first day. As I changed outfits twice and put on two different sets of jewelry before deciding on my trusty graduation present pearls, I realized that the first day jitters were just not there. Why's that? After having met everyone on the San Francisco trip (and, thankfully, liking them all!!), there was no first-day-of-school-is-everyone-going-to-like-me? feeling going into today's Big Day. So, while it might be a little daunting to go into something completely new that I've never done before (Business and finance transactional law? What's that?), it's at least a little reassuring to know that the people I'll be with will make it an (enjoyable) experience to remember.