DC vs. NYC Round 3: Mo’ skeeters

October 30, 2010 at 6:31 am (new york city, washington dc)

The summer months were pretty bad for mosquitoes, with a handful of bites every week from just walking around the city.  I thought that was bad enough.  But it’s now the end of October and I got two mosquito bites this last week.  Who gets mosquito bites in October?  Apparently me when I’m living in DC.

NYC: 2

DC: 1

This one factor could even trump everything…  In future posts, DC’s score may continue to get penalized because of these little buggers.


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DC vs. NYC Round 2: Getting to the Airport

October 30, 2010 at 6:26 am (new york city, travel, washington dc)

I’m back in California, where the weather is unexpectedly gloomier than the beautiful fall weather that I left in DC.  But to get here, it was so easy.  No transfers from one line to another, no transfer to an airport line, no need to leave an hour to get to the airport.  I just hopped on the metro and it takes you right to National Airport.  Dulles is another story and more complicated than NYC airports and Bay Area airports, but it was so easy to get to National.

NYC: 1

DC: 1

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DC vs. NYC Round 1: Street/Subway musicians

September 19, 2010 at 9:37 am (music, new york city, washington dc)

When we moved from SF to NYC, I had a few posts on my thoughts about how the two stacked up against each other.   Now that we’ve moved to DC, I figured it’s time to start those comparisons again.

I don’t think any city will have performers that match the ones in NYC.  Like this guy who looked like Roger Federer, played electric violin, and danced like Gene Kelly AND Michael Jackson.

But since moving to DC, I have enjoyed the guys who are always drumming on plastic bins in Chinatown.  Not a lot of variety, but I’m glad that I can count on them being there all the time.  And I did run into two guys who were playing trombones while walking down the street.    Sorry, there’s no photo.

The two guys playing trombones, even if I never see them again, bump DC considerably higher, but the Federer look-alike who played electric violin while dancing, plus all the other amazing musicians in NYC, can’t be beat.

NYC: 1

DC: 0

SF vs. NYC, Subway musicians

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Harvest Time!

October 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm (cooking, food, new york city, plants)

We’ve been enjoying the fall in NYC again!  Crisp cool air, blue skies, flaming trees!  It’s the best time to be here, in my opinion.  Certain people, like Mark, may try to convince you that it’s best in the summer.  But hot in NYC means hot and sticky and muggy and stuffy and stinky.  Don’t be fooled.

Why is fall considered the time for harvesting?  It seems like at least as much stuff is harvested in spring and summer.  Maybe it’s because stuff you gather in the fall is stored to help you get through the winter.  But then they should call it storing time, not harvesting time.

We’re going apple picking this weekend to do some harvesting of our own.  In the meantime, I’ve been gathering lots of goodies from the farmers’ markets.  Summer may have the tastiest produce, but fall has lots of stuff that is fun to cook with.  I made a pumpkin-pear cider-apple cake.  And delicata squash with swiss chard and cipollini onions (spiced up with coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon).  Yum!  And some “Lakers soup” – butternut squash-corn-leek soup with purple cabbage.  And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

a.k.a. LSU Soup or Shaq Soup

And since we’re on the topic of harvests, my pepper plant is growing fruit!  I think there are 3 baby peppers growing!  It’s a little late, but it’s probably just confused because it’s in a yogurt container inside an apartment.

Maybe I should start a pool for their height and weight and birth date

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All the good stuff is coming!

May 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm (dessert, food, new york city)

Cupcake truck! It debuts on June 3!  I don’t actually like cupcakes all that much.  I like making them.  And I like the idea of them.  And I love the idea that there’s a cupcake truck!

The Union Square Greenmarket is finally showing some spring goodies!  Winter is over!  And the first (albeit expensive) strawberries are showing up!  I know you guys out in California will mock me for rejoicing over leeks and peashoots, which you have had for months now!  But you have to imagine half a year of just onions and apples!

And Mark’s coming home from Paris soon!  Just in time for summery BLTs and tomato-bread salads!

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New York City vs. San Francisco Round 9: A life update

March 2, 2009 at 8:52 am (new york city)

The previous comparisons between NYC and SF have been more about sharing observations and opinions.  But I thought people might be curious about how we’re holding up with our lives.  So this round is more about how we’re doing.

We’re pretty adaptable so we’re adjusting to life in NYC.  For example, it’s a lot colder here so we’re wearing more clothes to compensate.  Actually, I probably spend more time being too warm here because you bundle up to go outside, but if you’re inside a grocery store or something, it’s too hard to hold your coat while you grab groceries, so you keep your coat on inside and then overheat.  Plus, if you’re wearing a hat, your hair doesn’t look very good after you take the hat off, so you have a tendency to leave it on indoors.  I guess this is turning into a post about observations opinions.  I can’t help it.

Mark’s been working for about a month now and he’s doing well.  He gets to travel to exotic and romantic places for work, but they’ve been keeping him busy with work.  But at least he gets to do his work in exotic and romantic places.

My various gigs are going well.  My students (who are actually teachers or teachers-in-training so the terminology gets really confusing) are great.  And doing research in science education has been a great learning experience.  The terminology there can get confusing too.  I’m learning to do research about teaching and learning and about teaching teachers to help their students learn.  Got that?

And if you haven’t heard, Mark and I are betrothed/engaged/planning to get married.  So our official relationship status has changed, but we’re still us.

In Ireland w/ the personalized tree stump that the leprechauns prepared for us

In Ireland w/ the personalized tree stump that the leprechauns prepared for us

The summary is that our lives are progressing and we’re learning new things.  But we were also progressing and learning new things when we were in San Francisco.  So you can’t really compare and the score is unchanged.

NYC: 3
SF: 5

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The city in Legos

February 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm (new york city, random)

This is a Lego version of what my life is like now.  At least the things that I see now.

I recommend checking out all the photos, but here are my favorites:

I was just wondering about the subway seats this morning.  The orange and red are actually pretty similar in color.  So it was really hard to tell if they were the same or different on the real subways.  I came to the conclusion that they’re different.  I guess the NYC Lego guy agrees.  Also, this is exactly what Manhattan looks like.  I live in the column of dots on the right side, and I’m near the 5th dot from the top.

Ha ha, this one is just very amusing.

Substitute “woman” for “man” and this is how I spend much of my time waiting for the subway.  In my version of this scene, I’m also looking around at the other people waiting on the platform, wondering why they’re not seeing the rodent, and wondering why they don’t look completely grossed out by it.  But maybe they accept that man and nature must live in harmony, which means we have to share the subway.  Maybe I’ll get to that level of acceptance sometime.

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New York City vs. San Francisco Round 8: Subway musicians

December 28, 2008 at 9:33 am (music, new york city, san francisco)

I’ve heard the worst subway musicians in NYC.  There’s one guy that seems to always be playing violin in the Union Square station.  He’s usually playing something Vivaldi-esque with a recorded accompaniment.  He can’t keep up with the accompaniment and as you might imagine, it’s not a good outcome.  But I admire his persistance and I expect that his frequent “practicing” will lead to great improvements.

But I’ve also heard the best subway musicians in NYC.  Many of them are pretty amazing, actually.  Last night I heard a flautist playing beautiful baroque music.  I gave her an extra big donation because the music was so lovely.  I was sad when the subway arrived and I had to go, but I was pleased to see that there were some drummers on the car.   They were quite amazing and they had much of the subway car dancing.  Last night was an exceptionally good night for subway music, but it’s often really good.  And I love that people play such funky interesting instruments that I’ve never seen before.

If it weren’t for the Union Square guy, I would have thought that they hold auditions for musicians to play in the subways here!

Maybe if my cousins get good enough at Rock Band, we can try out!

img_3581NYC: 3
SF: 5

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New York City vs. San Francisco Round 7: Egg custard tarts; And housing news!

December 13, 2008 at 4:42 pm (dessert, food, new york city, review, san francisco)

I had some dan4 ta3 (egg custard tarts) from Egg Custard King in Chinatown today.  I tried a regular one and a Portuguese one.  They had a bunch of different types and flavors – maybe about 8.  Ha ha, I couldn’t read any of the Chinese characters so I had to ask.  At least I was able to do that in Chinese.  And at least I was able to read one of the labels – the almond one.  I pointed to the Portuguese ones and asked what they were, and they said “pu2 tao2.”  I asked “Grape?” and thought to myself “what an odd flavor for egg custard tarts.”  The woman looked confused and then I realized my mistake and said: “Oh, Portuguese!  They’re Portuguese tarts.”  Portuguese is also “pu2 tao2.”  I’m such an ABC.

These are supposed to be one of the best places for dan4 ta3 here.  So how do they compare to Golden Gate Bakery in SF?  It’s definitely close, but I’d still give it to GG Bakery.  The crusts are similarly light and flaky and tasty.  The custard at GG Bakery, which is light and smooth and tasty, is definitely superior to EC King, both the regular and the not-grape kinds.  But EC King’s custards are still better than every other dan4 ta3 that’s not from GG Bakery.

I don’t have any photos of EC King’s dan4 ta3.  Here’s one of GG Bakery’s, with my cuz:


EC King had no line, while GG Bakery always has a line, often going down half the block.  And GG Bakery often runs out or doesn’t have any that are ready.  EC King also has many more flavors.  So if those flavors turn out to be amazing (though I doubt it because the classic dan4 ta3 is pretty much perfect), I might give this round back to NYC, but for now, it goes to SF.  There’s a reason the lines are so long and it’s definitely worth the wait.

Hmm… actually it’s a lot easier to get to Chinatown in NYC by public transportation than Chinatown in SF.  So that’s another issue, but maybe the public transportation issue is for a separate post.  So after Round 7:

NYC: 2
SF: 5

The other news is that Mark and I found an apartment.  It’s in the Upper East Side.  The landlords seem quite desperate to fill the apartments – many were offering 1 month free and no fees.  When we first told our broker (thanks BCG!) our desired price range, she was very nervous that there would be nothing for us and wasn’t sure what to do with us cheapskates.  But it turned out to be no problem, we found a lovely place that’s well within our budget.

We move in right after Christmas!  I’m so excited!

There’s a gym in the building, with no extra fees!  And there are individual TVs on all the machines.  So because we won’t have a TV in our apartment, I’ll have to exercise to watch any TV!  That’s a good healthy setup, I think.

The lobby of the building is really tacky.  I’m hoping that a lot of the tackiness is due to the holiday decorations, but we’ll see how it looks in January.

So if you want to see this apartment, you’ll have to come visit!  But if you’ll have to prepare yourself for the tacky lobby.

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New York City vs. San Francisco Round 6: Filling out online forms

December 10, 2008 at 10:35 am (new york city, random, san francisco)

I used to type ‘C’ when entering my address online and California would be selected from the list of states.  And then I could tab on to the next thing I had to enter.

Now I have to type ‘N’ 6 times.  Six times.  And I have to double check that NY was selected because I’ve seen cases where things are screwy and six doesn’t get me to NY.  Or maybe it’s just that there’s a lot of room for error when you have to type things 6 times and I often get it wrong.

So this is a big enough issue for me to write about.  But probably not big enough of an issue that I’ll move to Nebraska.  Or Alabama.

NYC: 2
SF: 4

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