Year of the Ox

X and I celebrated the Chinese New Year last weekend with two days of feasting. On Saturday, we took the long train out to Flushing for the first time to see the Chinese community out there. What an excursion – it takes over an hour to reach Flushing on the subway. When we arrived, we checked our info and started walking along Roosevelt Ave, looking for a specific restaurant: Xiao La Jiao (Little Hot Pepper). We walked for like 20 blocks looking for the place in the freezing cold, only to reach the end of the street without finding it. A phone call to the restaurant told us that we had gone all that way in the wrong direction. Sweet.

So we walked all the way back, and it turned out that the restaurant was almost right outside the subway station. Seems that the address X had pulled off the net was wrong – perhaps user-submitted.

Ma La Yu - Spicy Fish
Ma La Yu – Spicy Fish

Anyway, we sat down and ordered a huge pot of ma la yu – spicy fish. There was enough food there for five or six people, though it was just the two of us. We took it home later, froze it, and X just finished the last of it yesterday.

Sunday we met up with some new friends for lunch in midtown – Sichuan Express. There were four couples in total, all people that passed through Shanghai at one time or another. Some of them we’d met over there, some here. One couple brought their four-month-old baby boy. We shared a big hotpot meal and toasted to good luck in the new year.

No Beer Here

Last month a great crime was finally paid for by yours truly. Over the summer, way back in June, a group of friends were having a late-Friday-afternoon get together in Central Park. My friend Charlie S was soon to embark back to Beijing for an open-ended assignment, and this was a small gathering for goodbye. Four of us sat on top of the big rocks up by 62nd and Fifth drinking canned beer. Soon we were approached by four men in t-shirts and gym shorts, who looked like they were about to go on a run. Something about them looked bad to me, and a second later I knew what it was: they pulled badges out from under their shirts on necklaces and identified themselves as the police. Continue reading No Beer Here

Uncle Bob

For months, I’ve been telling Uncle Bob he’d get on the blog – he has been a loyal reader since day one and so now here he is! This shot is from Christmas, where we had another wonderful time at Jody and Mark’s (where we’ve been staying since October) with the whole Kellow clan.

It was a mad rush of travel at the end of the year and into 2008. We were in Cleveland for Tristan and Caroline’s wedding party, I went to London for my new job while Xianyi stayed with friends in NYC, and recently we were down in DC to watch the Hoyas absolutely THRASH the Fighting Irish, stayed with Joe and Mary Beth and even saw Boom and Jane for brunch before peeling out and making it to Mom’s in time for the Giants-Packers game – what a match!

As we wind down the first month of the year, we’re achieving a new milestone, but I’ll save that for its own post…

Working Man Again

Tomorrow marks the end of my five month, 18-day unemployed streak.

I will begin work at my first job in New York City – right in the heart of Manhattan – and I’m very excited.

Jaguar
What I’m Working For

This is a shot of me at the MOMA in front of a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster – and this image perfectly shows how I’m feeling about going into my first day of work tomorrow. Finally, we are getting a foothold on our new life in America. Tomorrow is the day we start laying the foundation for our future.

I tried to savor this last week of freedom (I received confirmation that I’d gotten the job about a week ago), but mostly I ended up idling about, not accomplishing anything. I know full well that soon, when I’m in the throes of the daily grind, I’ll wish I had the kind of time I had in the last week – hell, in the last five months – to do whatever pleases me at the given moment. But I just couldn’t think of anything to do, so I sat around watching TV, which was perfect.

What a great week to start a job! Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I imagine the office will be excited about a short week. There will probably be a bunch of administrative things to get to before I even start doing any real work, and with the Christmas season fast approaching, it should be a fairly generous introductory period for me to get settled. By the time the new year rolls around, I’ll know my way around and will be totally in synch with everybody as they buckle down…

Or I could not know what I’m talking about at all, and be in for a hell of a grind right off the bat.

True Romance

True Romance
True Romance

I just received my first issue of True Romance magazine.

Some readers might be wondering why I would pick up such a magazine. But it goes further than that, folks. I am a full-on subscriber. Certainly I am not a member of this periodical’s target market. But I’m still a fan.

And I’m not the only one. All across the world, people are starting to catch on to the phenomenon. True Romance is THE new MUST-READ mag. And all credit is due to Assistant Associate Editor Gia Portfolio. Continue reading True Romance