Monday, August 25, 2008

Sen. Kennedy Speaks at DNC

Pretty amazing and inspiring how Sen. Kennedy addressed the Democratic National Convention less than 3 months after brain surgery. It was a very emotional entrance and speech. You have to give props to this man.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Walk This Way

Another warm day in the city yesterday. Temps not in the 90s or triple digits, but the humidity was there. I walked a lot too. Took the N/R into Manhattan. Went to the UWS to see some old friends and visit my old neighborhood, then went to the Fashion District to visit Mood...yes, it's as fabulous as Project Runway depicts it to be. You take an elevator to get there; an old elevator that has two doors and old, black buttons that stick out.

I forget how much you walk in New York City. One block becomes two, three, four... My only complaint: I can't seem to dodge the water drops from the air conditioners. It always drops on my head and slowly trickles down my face.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Manhattan, Momofuku & Me

I'm recovering from getting about 8 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours...a little disconcerting to think that I haven't slept for 40 hours. Good news is, I made my flight to NYC last night. Was afraid I was going to miss my early morning flight from California.

Made it. Caught a cab, and had a very interesting chat with the driver. His name was Asogai and he was from Ghana. He came to the U.S. four years ago and has been a taxi driver for the past two years. That's what I love about the city, everyone has a story, a good story to tell.

The growling in my stomach had become progressively louder somewhere around 57th and Central Park West. A pitstop in Brooklyn, and it was off to Momofuku in the East Village.

Momfuku is an Asian-themed restaurant. The menu is simple, a cross between Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. It's owned by Chef David Chang, one of the rising young chefs in Manhattan. He is known for his hot-temper, an insane amount of swearing and his high expectations of chefs and cooks.

I open the door to a young crowd sipping ramen and nibbling on Momofuku's famous buns. (The buns, by the way, are basically the chinese steamed buns you eat with Peking Duck, very similar to the wrapping of pork buns or "char siu bau.") The food was good. I was very impressed with the appetizers, especially a cold smoked duck breast dish with marinated cherries and wax beans. I also ordered the shiitake and chicken steamed buns and two different bowls of ramen. Again, the flavors were good, the mushrooms could have been seasoned more, and the ramen broth tasted a bit off.

I do have a very critical palate, but I was born with it. Add to that, growing up in a Chinese restaurant and having parents who stressed fresh ingredients, simple ingredients and precise seasoning. Overall, I was pleased with my experience there. Toward the end of our dinner, David Chang emerged from the kitchen to the line, with a few expletives in tow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Go China!

(Courtesy: Phil Walter/Getty Images)
(Courtesy: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

I'm so proud of China. I hope everyone had a chance to catch the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. The opening ceremonies rocked, simply phenomenal. A bit emotional for me, as my parents got teary-eyed hearing and watching the flag-raising ceremony while the Chinese national anthem played. I'm proud to be Chinese, a Chinese American.

Friday, August 8, 2008


It is pronounced "bay-JING" not "bay-zhing" (with a zhuh). I don't know how or when people started mispronouncing Beijing. But, I feel since today is the start of the the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, I should mention that's it's "bay-JING." Jing, not zhuhjing. Xie, Xie.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Incredible, Edible Egg Goes to Korea

Have to share this link with you. I found out about this from my friend Bill. Enjoy, listen to the lyrics, pay attention to the animation.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some New Movie Recommendations

I've been telling friends and co-workers about three movies I recently watched. No...they don't involve sex-crazed Manhattanites who drink Cosmos and wear Manolos or a man in a suit. These weren't blockbusters at cineplexes, but they were hits with critics.

"Persepolis": An amazing animated film from Iran. The Academy Award-Nominated film tells the story of a Iranian girl who grew up after the Shah in Iran, and follows her through teenage years and adulthood. There were times during the movie I felt I wasn't watching an animated piece, because there was so much drama and, amazingly, great acting by the characters. (Of course this is because of a great script). It's in French with subtitles. A must see.

"The Savages": Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are sister and brother in this comeday-drama about siblings having to face the reality of adulthood while they take care of their ailing father. Both acting and screenplay are superb. There are moments of amazing wit and humor, and pain and pathos. Linney and Hoffman are consumate actors. I laughed, I cried...

"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly"/"Le Scaphandre et le papillon": Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel directs this memoir-inspired drama about Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby, the
France editor for Elle Magazine, suffered a najor stroke when he was 43 years old, which paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Bauby uses that eye to blink out his memoir. The movie is in French with subtitles. The first 10 minutes of the film are a bit dizzying, so don't watch it if you have a headache. What drew me to this movie was the fact that it was based on real-life events. The system Bauby and his nurse creates with communicating with his link eye is pretty amazing. You'll leave this movie reciting the French alphabet.