Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Getting ready to move again... again... again?

Well, this will be our second move for 2013. But it's not as big a deal as last time when we up and moved country, this time we're just moving from our temporary accomodation to what wil be our home for the next year and a bit.

So my Chinese New Year post left abit of a gap in our diary entries, as it was big enough to warrant its own post. So this one serves to fill you in on what happened up until then.

Friday we had organised to meet up with friends at Grand Central to participate in the centenary celebrations. When we arrived we could never have expected this:


I've been told Grand Central is busy, but this? The big draw of the day was that the businesses in Grand Central Station were offering items for sale at the prices they were 100 years ago, and it obviously worked. "New Yorkers will queue up for anything!" a crotchetty old guy exclaimed. Just happy to be part of the novelty of it all, we had (a few) 12c Cups of Gelato, (also a few) 8c packs of French Fries, and attempted to pick up an 8c loaf of bread, but that just ran out way too quickly for them to have enough supply.

Dewi and I enjoying our food from the early 1900's


Later that night we also were due to meet up with friends for a free music act at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, or the much more catchy, BAM cafe. Unfortunately the music wasn't really to our taste so we left our seats to other people who might enjoy them more and went for our first late night snack with friends.

Right across from the academy, was a place called Berlyn. As you can guess, it served German cuisine, with Wurst and Pretzels being the main events. As we went in, we were greeted by possibly one of the cuter things we would see in our stay here.


That's right! A plushie pretzel. The place was very nicely decorated, with tonnes of little knick knacks for you to visually sort through. Unfortunately it was a little dark to take some nice pictures so, on to the food.

As Deb and I had had dinner earlier, we decided to share a pretzel, the sweet potato chips and a bowl of mussels.


The pretzel was a little on the salty side, as you can see it was liberally salted. But after brushing off a little excess, it was deliciously fluffy and still toasty on the inside. The sweet potato chips were very tasty, with the kick of paprika melding well with the mellowness of the blue cheese sauce. The mussels with white wine and cheese sauce was one of those "damn, there's none left?" dishes. We just wanted more. Our friends also had a nice selection of dishes that tasted just as nice. Overall we heartily recommend Berlyn for comfort food that's also classy.

The rest of the weekend was concluded with a trip to the Columbus Avenue street markets on the Upper West side. And my first visit to Shake Shack! Somehow it had gotten in my head that Shake Shack was a mass market, Wendy's or Donut King type of joint (well, how they are in Australia anway). But as with a lot of things here, they sometimes take a different meaning when they move abroad.


We had a Shackburger, a Smokeshack, and smothered it with a Peanut Butter Milkshake. The Shackburger was a nice step up from your typical fast food burger, not too greasy with a flavoursome patty. The Smokeshack built on the Shackburger but added some spiciness via a spicy sauce and some chilli, and how could one forget the smoky bacon. The Peanut Butter shake was a revelation and is definitely recommended, just make sure you leave room in your stomach as it's quite thick. The Smokeshack was a very nice way to warm up on an otherwise cold cold day, it just didn't seem enough for Deb.