Notes to a Friend Archives

FDR's Yankee nautical-sailing heritage

Please try to go to the South Street Seaport Museum. .. I have read in Friday's NYTimes Travel Section about a fine exhibition of FDR's Yankee nautical-sailing heritage ... from the Cape you can ride the bus to Boston and catch the Chinatown bus to New York and it is a short walk to the South Street Seaport Museum ....

South Street Seaport Museum, web site, 207 Front Street, New York, NY, 212-748-8600

Posted January 7, 2009 07:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Onassis Cultural Center - oasis on 5th Avenue

The Onassis Cultural Center is one block north of St. Patrick's Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue. I have discovered this wonderful Greek tall skyscrapper when I last paid a visit to their art exhibition of The Golden Bull, 3rd centruy BC. The entrance to the building is on the side streets, one can enter the building from either side.

There is a very lovely Greek cafe serving all kinds of Greek pastries, etc. A warm and safe place to rest from the very hectic crowds on 5th Avenue ... a great location, next to St. Patrick's Cathedral which I use as a warm pit-stop for coffee, Greek culture and the toilet...

Onassis Cultural Center, web site, 645 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 212-486-4744

Posted December 21, 2008 10:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Queens Museum of Art

One can go to the Queens Museum of Art at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park and enjoy the wonderful bird-eye's view of the tri-borough with all the buildings, airports, rivers, Central Park, etc. ... free, no charge and ample parking ... just off the Grand Central Parkway, years ago, I would use that as a pit-stop when I am tired driving along the LIE ... also, the Flushing Meadow park is wonderful for a stroll, the site of the World's Fair in the early 60's ... many years ago, I traveled to visit the Bronx Botanical Garden and I was disappointed because it is so similar to Central Park ... Central Park is free and the Bronx charges an admission fee, parking, etc.

p/s: my last Con Ed bill was $20 and change for the last 32 days, which is less then $1 a day for electricity, so cut down your energy consumption and you will not have to worry about nuclear generating plants ... use less electricity and sacrifice some creature comfort....

Queens Museum of Art, web site, New York City Building, Flushing, NY, 718-592-9700 | directions | wikipedia

New York Botanical Garden, web site, 2736 Marion Avenue, Bronx, NY, 718-817-8700

Posted December 20, 2008 09:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Museums , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Queens   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Duck stew

Yesterday afternoon, I traveled to Chinatown and bought a chopped, half Cantonese roast duck for $6 at my regular duck joint. It was a very freezing day and considering the cold weather, I created this simple recipe.

At home, I placed a cup of long-grain white rice in the pot with 2 cups of water. Shred a huge leaf of green cabbage and a carrot that are readily available from my root-celler (I have turned-off my refrigerator!). Bring the pot to a rolling boil and place the cabbage, carrot and the roast duck into the pot and cover.

Lower the heat to simmer and shut-off the heat after 5 minutes. Let stand for another fifteen minutes and scoop up the duckfat infused rice into a dinner plate and enjoy with a glass of Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. It is so good for a one-pot cooking in this very hard economic times. There was enough left-over for lunch!

p/s: duckfat is better then butter or extra virgin olive oil!!!

Posted November 20, 2008 03:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Cooking & Food Prep , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Best deal for hard economic times

After casting my vote at Hunter College with a minimal wait ... the TV media was very sensational about long lines ... I went to Chinatown and ate at my local hawker stall on south-east corner of Canal & Mott Streets .... three deep-fried vegetable spring rolls for $1.00 and fried vegetable chow-mein for $1.25 ... I walked to the Hong Kong supermarket on Hester Street and bought a can of cool coconut juice for $0.89 ... the best deal for this hard economic times ... cheaper then the cost of the tip at a 4-star fancy up-town restaurant ...

Hong Kong Supermarket, 157 Hester Street., New York [Yelp]

Posted November 7, 2008 07:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Notes to a Friend , Street Vendors   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

25th Anniversary of Chimay Trappist Ales in NY

Please come and join me : The 25th Anniversary Chimay Trappist Ales in U.S.A ... .Wednesday, November 5, 2008, at The Ginger Man, 7 - 9 PM ... the only pub in Manhattan that does not have any television sets!

The Ginger Man, web site, 11 East 36th Street, NY, NY, 212-532-3740 [Yelp]

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Posted November 5, 2008 06:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Midtown , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings at Sotheby's

Something nice to do in New York on the first week-end in November ... walk to 72nd Street and York Avenue, free and no tickets required.

A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings, beautifully displayed, and nice toilets. The space makes me feel that I am in some SOHO or Chelsea art gallery but I am in the Upper East Side

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Sotheby's, 10 am - 5 pm, October 29 - November 2, 2008, Sotheby's New York, 1334 York Avenue, at 72nd Street, 212-606-7000

There is a branch of Dean and DeLuca on the 10th floor with a lovely out-door terrace to enjoy a cup of coffee ... or Matsu Sushi, 411 East 70th Street, New York, 212-744-5454. ....the best values are at lunch from their "lunch specials" from 11am - 4 pm ... the sushi rice at Matsu Sushi is a stand-out ... with the correct amount of rice wine blended into the sushi rice to give a nice sour and sweet taste, a very tasty sushi. Also they do not serve a huge piece of fish, just a nice size piece ... and at the right temperature, i.e., luke warm and not ice cold ... very close to Sotheby's, the Tri-Institutional Friday Noon concerts at Rockefeller University  and the numerous hospitals in that area...

Speaking about lunch in this neighborhood, I must recommend the ILLY cafe at the Food Emporium on 69th Street & Third Avenue, very good Italian ILLY coffee, great sandwiches for $6.99, especially the mozzarella and prosciutto, numerous hot soups and $5.99 salad buffet ... moreover, a whole roasted D'Artagnan chicken to go for $10.99, etc...

Posted October 26, 2008 12:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Auctions and Appraisals , Notes to a Friend , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

"Does street food make the best cuisine?"

The hawkers who came to New York had been handpicked by K.F. Seetoh, a Singaporean of Cantonese descent, whose connection to hawker food is similar, on a smaller scale, to the connection the France family has had with stock-car racing; that is, he has managed to recognize a lot of scattered, un-exalted activity as a cultural force and figured out how to merchandise it.

"Three Chopsticks: Does street food make the best cuisine?" by Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker, September 3 & 10, 2007 (abstract only online)


Posted September 2, 2007 04:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Tiffin Walla

Dear L: I look forward to meeting the L--- family clan for an all-you-can-eat Kosher Indian vegetarian $6 lunch .... I hope that M will show us all how to eat with our fingers ... the #6 train stops at 28th Street ... Tiffin Walla is located on 28th between Lexington and Park ... please let me know which day of the week ... I am not sure if Tiffin Walla offers the lunch on the week-ends....

Tiffin Walla, web site, 127 East 28th Street, 212-685-7301 [NYIndia.US | Village Voice | NY Mag | MenuPages | Chowhound]

See also: "India's tiffinwalas fuel economy," by Karishma Vaswani, BBC News, July 24, 2006

Posted August 13, 2007 03:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Indian , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

A Mid-Summer Night's Dream

I saw this play, opening night at the Delacorte in Central Park ... a must see ....

A Mid-Summer Night's Dream, August 8 - September 9, 2007, Tuesdays - Sundays at 8:00 pm (more info and dates)

The Delacorte Theater is located near Turtle Pond, just south of the Great Lawn, in Central Park. The closest Park entrance from the East Side is Fifth Avenue at 79th Street; from the West Side, Central Park West at 81st Street. After entering, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater ...

Posted August 10, 2007 04:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Notes to a Friend , Theatre   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Best Shanghai's "soupy pork dumplings"

For the best Shanghai's "soupy pork dumplings" ...

in Manhattan, please go to the Grand Sichuan, 24th Street & 9th Avenue at Chelsea. Very well prepared fresh whole fish in a delicate sauce for $18.95. Beef tripe and tongue in a very hot red-sauce. Garlicky cool cucumber slices. Silky soft bean curd ma-po to-fu is very hot and spicey for $8.95. I love the string-beans for vegetables. The service is very polite and efficient. Can get very crowded at the prime dinner time. 229 9th Avenue, 212-620-5200 [openlist | Yelp]

For the very best in Flushing, please go to Joe's Shanghai .... including soy-sauce braised pork shoulder, crispy fried wheat noodles, Shanghai bok-choy and prawns. Very crowded and busy at dinner time. 13621 37th Avenue, Flushing, 718-539-3838 [openlist | Yelp]

Posted July 20, 2007 07:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Chinese , Flushing , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

$6 dinner ... includes dessert ... at Sanur

Last Sunday, I ate a very delicious Nyonya plate of rice with a choice of 3 dishes and a styro-foamed cup of clear soup ... for $3 ... a real taste of Penang island on the island of Manhattan ... also, 2 curry-puffs and 2 Nyonya Kuehs (coconut cakes) for $3 to go ... a perfect solution when I eat alone in this big City ...

Sanur Restaurant, 18 Doyers Street, 212-267-0088 [AGINY | TCEDG | MenuPages | Citysearch | Yelp]

Posted July 13, 2007 09:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Malaysian , Notes to a Friend , The Best , Top 10   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Good Vegetarian

BY: On this topic, I prefer very hot & spicey Indian vegetarian cooking at Saravanaas and at Chennai Garden for their versions of masala dosa, breads, whole grains, vegetables, etc. Zen Palate has been around for many years but I could never bring myself to eat there.

Saravanaas,, web site (flash and music), 81 Lexington Avenue, at 26th Street, 212-679-0204 [NY Mag | MenuPages | Citysearch | NYT | Yelp]

Chennai Garden, 129 East 27th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, 212-689-1999 [MenuPages | NY Mag | Village Voice | NYT | Yelp]

The best Chinese food is in Chinatown - Manhattan and Flushing.

Posted July 11, 2007 06:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Indian , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Vegetarianism in China

Together with Buddhism, vegetarianism came into China from India in the 6th century. Like Buddhism, vegetarianism was foreign to the Chinese. As an agrarian people, the Chinese had always eaten whatever was available, seeing no good reason to do otherwise. Unlike some other ancient people, the Chinese are remarkably free of arbitrary food taboos.Buddhism came along and declared that the taking of animal life was immoral.... Vegetarianism was never practiced extensively in China. This is reflected in the language: there is no commonly used word for vegetarianism or for vegetarian. Vegetarianism was required only for monks but not of Buddhists in general...In historical China, the only class of people other than monks who practiced vegetarianism were old ladies in wealthy families. After all, they could afford to....

Chapter 12, "Swallowing Clouds," by A. Zee.

KM, this is my answer to your inquiry about why I could not bring myself to eat at the Zen Palate. Not because the Zen Palate [web site] does not serve fresh mozzarella.

Post by Peter

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Posted July 8, 2007 11:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)


On my birthday morning, I met my adopted twin-sister and we walked to the Boathouse Cafe in Central Park for coffee and croissants. We met about 20 years ago in the Hamptons and found out that we were both born on the same day, month and year!!! Grandma Jane is her nick-name. Yes, she is a grandma and after all her kids have grown-up she came into Manhattan (the island of joy) to re-create a new life for herself. I am so impressed with her drive and energy.

Afterwards, I met up with my 2 sisters and 2 nieces and we all had a slow meandering stroll in Central Park uptown to Cafe Sabarsky to enjoy lunch and delicious slices of cakes for my birthday. I cannot recall all their Austrian names but we enjoyed 5 assorted slices. My old friend Hans Pohlschroeder joined us for the celebration.

Next we went to the MET Museum for a cooling interlude. Came back to my apartment for a short rest and discussion about to-go-or-not-to-go for my sister, Sophia. She had to go and so we all rode the subway to Chinatown. Luckily, we missed a very harrowing electrical black-out due to the heat-wave.

We enjoyed a very delicious 7-course HK-Cantonese meal before her departure at 7 pm. The menu of roast duck, chicken, ribs, won-ton, fresh dumplings, ginger-scallion lo-mein, roast pork lo-mein, yau-choy vegetables, etc. So good and satisfying to the soul. Little place on the southwest corner of East Broadway and Market Street. The owner, Madame Nelli, is a fantastic host.

After sending her off on the bus, the rest of us went to see a great jazz performance by Ms. Paula West and John Pizzarelli at the River-to-River festival ... because of the bad weather the free concert was moved indoors ... to the Stuyvesant High School with such great acoustics. Next was Congee Village (100 Allen Street) and Ciao Bella ice-cream .... Oh what a birthday!

Posted July 2, 2007 01:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Peter turns 59....

My birthday celebration has started ... last week, two old friends, Nancy & Bob from Adventura flew from Ft. Lauderdale to JFK for a short visit to Manhattan ... and I took them for a 3-star lunch at Aquavit. Delicious platter of herrings, green salad, goose-liver pate, smoked salmon and 3 plates of Artic Circle, Granny Smith apples and Peanut Chocolate creamy deserts. Wow.

Later, I rode the Jitney to Hampton Bays to visit my old buddy. Arrived late because of heavy traffic on the Long Island Expressway. We ate supper on his deck, 250 feet on a cliff overlooking the Peconic Bay and the sunset. He grilled hard shell tiger shrimps which became very pink, firm and juicy with a hint of sea-salt. Grilled porterhouse steak, medium-rare and two bottles of French burgundy. Last Tuesday, my niece came from Paris with those two bottles. The French wines breath so smooth and delicious with the fresh salt air.

On Sunday, I met Chug and Caitlin for dim-sum and a Nyonya dinner in Chinatown.

Dorothy arrived very late last night, round-about-midnight. We went to Chinatown in Flushing for a very late night HK-Cantonese feast to celebrate the start of my 60th year.

This week-end, it will be red-sauced pizza with fresh mozzarella at Patsy's in Spanish Harlem prepared by illegal immigrants from Mexico. I have some gringo friends who do not enjoy Chinese cuisine.

HS and you are most welcome to join me in this week of celebration. The Chinatown bus stops in Richmond.

Posted June 27, 2007 08:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Peter Luger Steak House

Peter Luger's Steak House in Dumbo, Brooklyn, was established about a century ago in the style of a Bavarian beer hall with grumpy male waiters. You will eat very good juicy, medium-rare, greasy and tasty porterhouse steaks, creamy spinach (an acquired taste), fresh tomatoes and fried potatoes. I would drink a bottle of red wine to lower my cholesterols! A shrimp cocktail with horse-radish sauce is optional. No other choices are necessary.

The bad thing is that you will have to wait at least an hour or more for a table. Beware cash only for the very big tab. Steak-lovers go there very religiously.

Inside tip: I prefer to eat there for lunch ... no wait for tables and they offer a delicious juicy hamburger, French fries and a tall glass of beer. A bargain, too.

Afterwards, you can walk across the East River via the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan. What a sight.

Peter Luger Steak House, web site, 178 Broadway Street, between 6th Street and Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-387-7400 [Yelp | openlist | NY Mag | MenuPages | Gayot]

Posted June 25, 2007 05:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Brooklyn , Hamburgers , Notes to a Friend , Steaks   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

American-Italian red sauce trattatoria - Patsy's Pizzeria

I have found an American-Italian red sauce trattatoria that I enjoyed very much. We can all go there for a great time to celebrate my birthday ... Patsy's Pizzeria, 1st Avenue between 117th and 118th Streets, Spanish Harlem. Thin pie crust with fresh mozzarella and red sauce. Delicious fried mozzarella, etc.

Another suggestion is Ottomanelli Grill, 93rd Street & Lexington Avenue. Easy parking, too. Very reasonable prices.

Patsy's Pizzeria, 2287 1st Avenue, between 117th and 118th Streets, 212-534-9783 [openlist | Yahoo | Slice | Gayot | Best Pizza in New York]

Ottomanelli New York Grill, web site, 1424 Lexington Avenue, at 93rd Street, 212-426-6886 [MenuPages | Citysearch | Yelp]

Posted June 21, 2007 08:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Harlem , Italian , Notes to a Friend , Pizza   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Another lovely Friday noon Classical concert at Rockefeller University

You missed another lovely Friday noon Classical concert at Rockefeller University (the Tri-Institutional Noon concert).

Mr. Inon Barnatan, piano, Mr Arnaud Sussmann, violin and Ms Priscilla Lee, cello. The program comprised:-

I sat in the first row, eye-level with the players about 10 feet away. It was such a lovely performance. So much talent at such a very young age, all in their early twenties. I must say that New York is the centre of the universe for the Fine Arts. The very best in this world congregate in New York and I get the opportunity to enjoy and listen to their fine artistry talents.

One very good reason that I have discarded my TV and found so much better inspirations. Seek and you shall find. You must do the same.


Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map - pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1

Posted June 11, 2007 08:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Music , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Design for the Other 90%

On view in the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, this exhibition highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world's population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.

Design for the Other 90% is an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

The Q drum

"The real stars of the show, though, are the stories behind the designs." microscopiq, May 17, 2007
They don't need a handout. What they need is an opportunity.
. . .
A poor person actually only cares about one thing: making more money. If they have more money, they can get ahead, take their family out of poverty.
-- Martin Fischer, Kickstart International
The introductory video also provided an opportunity to explore an additional range of themes that may not be as apparent, running through the exhibition and this area of design: open source options, leapfrog technology, economic impacts, community building, testing and end-user research, low-cost innovations, social enterprise, humanitarian entrepreneurship, improved democracies and multiple calls to action.

"In Their Own Words," Design for the Other 90% blog, May 14, 2007

Design for the Other 90% (web site), an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007. Cooper-Hewitt, web site, 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY, M-Th 10 am - 5 pm, F 10 am - 9 pm, Sat 10 am - 6 pm, Sun Noon - 6 pm. $ Admission fee.


Posted May 23, 2007 10:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye , Central Park , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Technology   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Chennai Gardens ... Met roof garden

Roger: That was a very good buffet lunch to-day... thanks for coming up-town to Chennai Gardens for their $6.95 all-you-can-eat, very Kosher, South-Indian vegetarian ... all the dishes were so freshly prepared and the breads were so flaky ... and the dessert of rice pudding laced with rose water was delicious ... a great lunch for Tuesday to Friday ... 27th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues ... a bottle of Kingfisher beer for $3 ... what a great deal ...

At the MET museum, the roof garden is open ... opening day showed the art work of Frank Stella, monumental sculptures ... and the view of Central Park ...

Chennai Gardens, 129 East 27th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, 212-689-1999 [MenuPages | NY Mag | Village Voice | NYT]

Met Roof Garden Cafe, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, on the fifth floor, entrance by the elevator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Galleries, 212-535-7710

Posted May 16, 2007 10:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Saturday lunch around Lincoln Centre - Nougatine

For Saturday lunch around Lincoln Centre, I would suggest Jean George - Nougatine at 1 Central Park West ... 3-course prix-fixed at $24.07... a great value for excellent French cuisine ... with a Thai touch ... very healthy and spa-like cooking ... go early and you need no reservations ... otherwise, it is great fun to sit at the bar and enjoy lunch ... you can watch the whole lunch scene ...

Nougatine, 1 Central Park West, 212-299-3900 [NY Mag | savory new york | MenuPages | Yelp]

Posted May 8, 2007 01:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Trip to Pantai Kerachut

Some of the photos from the trip to Pantai Kerachut ...

Setting sail ...

Pantai Kerachut beach

Daniel Goon, Sydny, Peter, NYC, and ...

Pantai Kerachut Recreational Forest - Virtual Malaysia

Posted March 23, 2007 03:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Relatives ... St. Patrick's Day


2nd uncle is my late cousin Herbert Chew's father ... Angeline's father is my 5th uncle ... I saw him in Ipoh ... he was recuperating in the hospital from surgery ... luckily, he has a very good Indonesian maid to watch over him 24 hours ... Grace's father is my 9th uncle-in-law ... he is 91 years old ... frail in physical health but very alert in mental health ... he was able to carry-on a good conversation with me in English .... very remearkable, I assumed he was happy to see me again after 40 years ... Grace's mother was my mother's 9th sister (9th Auntie) ...

The Traditional Chinese Family & Lineage - David K. Jordan, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, UCSD


very wet and snowy day for the Irish ...

St. Patrick - The Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent

Cathedral of Saint Patrick, on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets

St. Patrick's Day in New York City - Newyorkology

2007 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Saint Patrick's Day - Wikipedia

St. Patrick's Day is so huge in New York City that it takes a whole month to celebrate it, so March is St. Patrick's month in New York. Keep checking this space to help you plan your St. Patrick's Day (& month) activities... - slainte, Murph

The Ultimate St. Patrick's Month Listings - March 2007 - MurphGuide

XM Green - Irish music this weekend on XM 200 (free online trial)

Posted March 17, 2007 07:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Ethnic , Holidays & Festivals , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Beijing duck ... Erin-go-brah

Dear EL: Yes, definitely the NICE Restaurant in Chinatown for Beijing duck ... $36 for two courses ... get the 2nd stir-fried with the duck meat and green snow peas or Chinese celery ... a bottle of Cote du Rhone will do very nice or a 12 year old Irish whiskey "Old Bushmill" ... great appetite ...

other highly recommended dishes are the boneless squab served with green lettuce ... Beijing pork chops ... beef with scallions ... salt & pepper squid ... prawns with Chinese kai-lan (broccoli) ... bring along an ice-cream cake ... to clean the palate ... Erin-go-brah

Posted March 16, 2007 08:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Chinatown , Chinese , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Breakfast at the Bayview, February 3rd, 2007

Photo taken on February 3rd, 2007... in the morning at breakfast at the Bayview... we are all wearing our Penang Free School shirt ... "as a sign of solidarity"....

Posted March 14, 2007 11:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Delegates' Dining Room at UN Headquarters

The UN Delegate's Dining Room was recently featuring Welsh cuisine during Wales Week in New York... the public are welcome for the buffet lunch at the Delegate's Dining Room ... no sales tax .. .Monday-Friday ...

"Proper attire is required" - no jeans, no sneakers, jacket for men ...

The Delegates' Dining Room at UN Headquarters is open for lunch Monday through Friday. Visitors are seated between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. as tables become available. Reservations are a must, and should be made as far in advance as possible, through the Maître d'hôtel, at (212) 963-7625. The age requirement for group reservations is 12 years or over. Proper attire is required.

From "An information guide for the public about the United Nations"

Also see "VIP lunch at United Nations Delegates' Dining Room," from Newyorkology, May 13, 2005

United Nations Delegates Dining Room, web site, United Nations Building, First Avenue at 45th Street, 212-963-7099

Wales in New York

Posted March 10, 2007 08:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Chen Chee Hong and Penang Hill

I met Chee Hong at our MOAR (Mother Of All Reunions) after 40 odd years and again up No. 3 point on the Penang Hill climb during CNY. A retired teacher now, he spends his time helping out at the No. 3 & No. 5 hill stations. He says on most days he climbs up there in the afternoons.

Here are pictures of Chen Chee Hong making coffee for all climbers up at No 3 on the track to Penang Hill and the beautiful view from there. The tea and coffee, even beehoon and mee for climbers are all free. Climbers donate to the coffers. So if you are ever up there in the afternoon, do look out for Chee Hong. Donations are welcome when you climb.

Post by SK


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Posted March 5, 2007 01:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Old school mates in Malaysia

My school, "Penang Free School," was established in 1816 ...

Posted February 28, 2007 04:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Brunch in a Malaysian food stall

Eating brunch in a Malaysian food stall, February 16, 2007
Posted February 26, 2007 06:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

When in Penang, Malaysia

Dear Fran: In Penang, please try the KAYU Nasi Kandar restaurant at Penang Road for delicious Indian-Muslim curries, bread, etc. ... For very good Chinese cooking, please try the restaurant located at the OFA (Old Frees' Association) ... or at the Chinese Recreation Club (CRC - No. 3, Jalan Padang Victoria, 10400 Georgetown, Penang, 604-2299157) ... For the numerous delicious out-door hawker food, I have no idea because my cousins drove and I simply ate!

Peter and Soo Kar Wong

I am back in New York...

Post by Peter

Also check out the Penang Pages by kenyneo and the Tourism Penang pages: Hawker fare - Malaysian food - Chinese food - Indian food

Posted February 22, 2007 05:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of the Great Public Works, Part I - 3/19/2007 - 7/8/2007

We do not normally reproduce press releases on AGINY, but the subway is so integral to NYC, and the design impacts so many people every day, that we are reproducing this press release, and encouraging our friends and readers to stop by the Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex in Grand Central Station and see these exhibitions, opening March 19, 2007.

Chandelier from City Hall Station Station opened 1904. Material: Bronze. Image credit: New York Transit Museum
Chandelier from City Hall Station Station opened 1904. Material: Bronze. Image credit: New York Transit Museum

Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of Great Public Works, Part I (3/19/2007 - 7/8/2007) and Architects of the NYC Subway, Squire Vickers and the Subway’s Modern Age, Part II, (7/30/2007 – 10/28/2007)

Be sure not to miss two new exciting - consecutive - free exhibits at the New York Transit Museum entitled, Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of Great Public Works, Part I (3/19/2007 - 7/8/2007) and Architects of the NYC Subway, Squire Vickers and the Subway’s Modern Age, Part II, (7/30/2007 – 10/28/2007). Culled from the extensive collections of the New York Transit Museum, The New York Historical Society, the Episcopal Diocese of New York, The Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservancy Center, and private collectors, more than sixty historic artifacts, architectural drawings, and photographs will display, the vision of the subway’s first architects, John L. Heins and Christopher G. LaFarge and the subsequent work of Squire J. Vickers at the Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex in mid-town Manhattan.

From 1901 to 1908, John L. Heins and Christopher G. LaFarge not only designed the first subway stations, but also the control houses, power substations and ornamental kiosks, in the popular Beaux-Arts style, evoking classical architecture using ceramics, metal, and wood. Because Heins & LaFarge began working more than a year after subway construction began, their primary duty was to decorate and make beautiful the stark utilitarian spaces built by engineers achieved by using ceramics, terra cotta relief’s and unique station plaques to identify and adorn each station. Says Roxanne Robertson, Director of Special Projects,
“The crown jewel of the subway is the old City Hall Station which was designed by Heins and LaFarge. Visitors are still inspired by the arched tile ceilings, skylights, and brass chandeliers. This station still has the feeling of entering a grand cathedral and remains the NYC subway’s most spectacular space.”

Elements adorning the subway also included ceramic tiles, mosaics, terra cotta reliefs, sconces, iron railings and circular air vent covers. Examples of brass ticket booth grilles and metal exit signs in the exhibition are graceful, with their function masked by the beauty of design and materials. Design drawings of Manhattan’s control houses for 72nd, 103rd Streets and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue show three similar structures with decorative arches, glass, metal, and terra cotta. Architects of the NYC Subway… also presents a dozen pieces of these original station ceramics. Because an immense amount of ceramics had to be designed, fabricated, and installed in less than three years, numerous companies were hired to produce these pieces. The work of the noted ceramics firms Grueby Faience Company of Boston, Atlantic Terra Cotta of Staten Island and New Jersey, and Rookwood Pottery Company of Cincinnati, are also represented in the exhibition.

Architects John L. Heins, Christopher Grant LaFarge, and Squire J. Vickers determined the aesthetics of New York’s subway system. These men created the decorative motifs that adorned the subways, allowing each station to be unique while contributing to its overall style. In 1907, Heins died of meningitis. Though he would work as an architect until his death in 1938, LaFarge worked on the subway only until 1908. Architect, Squire J. Vickers, was then hired and become the architect responsible for New York’s subway station’s design elements for the next four decades.

In addition to being business partners, John L. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge were friends, classmates, and brothers-in-law. The two met as architecture students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying a curriculum based on the French school of Beaux-Arts classical approach to architecture, but also stressing logical planning and design. They graduated in 1882, and in 1886, formed their own New York City firm. Heins & LaFarge specialized in ecclesiastical and residential buildings.

Today they are best remembered as the original architects for the Cathedral of Saint John theDivine. They began the cathedral project in the 1890s and would continue with it for two decades. During this time, Heins would also be appointed the State Architect of New York, responsible foroverseeing the design and construction of all state buildings.

In the first years of the new century, Heins & LaFarge continued with the Cathedral, but also designed the New York City subway stations and the Astor Court Buildings of the Bronx Zoo. Though these important civic projects might seem, at first, to be disparate, Heins & LaFarge used similar architectural elements and fabricators for each project. The Guastivino Fireproof Construction Company fabricated magnificent arches for the grand City Hall subway station, the Belmont Chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and the Elephant House of the Bronx Zoo. The Atlantic Terra Cotta Company produced ceramics for numerous subway stations and the Lion House at the Zoo. Pieces of these Zoo and subway ceramics, including examples taken from the 33rd Street, 110th Street, and 116th Street subway stations, are featured in the exhibitions. An architectural drawing for the Zoo’s Monkey House shows a frieze with classical design elements that can also be seen in subway station ceramics.

Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of the Great Public Works, Part I, at the New York Transit Museum, 212-878-0106, March 19, 2007 - July 8, 2007, at the New York Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex at Grand Central, Monday-Friday, 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 6 pm. Admission is Free. These exhibitions are made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support: Major sponsors: ARUP, Daniel Frankfurt, P.C., and Parsons Brinkerhoff. Supporting Sponsor: STV. Sponsors: FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, PC, and Domingo Gonzalez Associates.

New York Transit Museum


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Posted February 11, 2007 10:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Art , Moving Around , Museums , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Subway   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Pantai Kerachut is the most beautiful spot on Penang island.

Pantai Kerachut is the most beautiful spot on Penang island. As the boat rounded the light-house point, we came across a lovely bay, totally untouched by modernity and commerce. A green lush jungle canopy with clean golden sandy beach and clear blue sea. I spotted 3 sea eagles gliding with the warm sea breezes hunting for their dinner. I had a short enjoyable swim. Many thanks to Ooi Chong Jin for showing us this peaceful spot.

Post by Peter

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Posted February 6, 2007 11:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Posting light through February 23 or so

Peter is out of the country in Malaysia until late February, visiting relatives and attending his 40th high school class reunion in Penang ... they will have a 'live' Char Koay Teow stall at dinner on February 1st, because the Oriental Ballroom is on the ground level of the hotel and has an exit to the open-air car park where they can locate the stall ...

Happy trails to you ...

Posted January 29, 2007 11:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

John Dragonas and Tri-Institutional Noon concert

Last week, I paid my first 2007 re-visit to John Dragonas' grill food stand on 64th Street and Madison Avenue ... the street cooking is still very delicious ... I had two orders of hot sausages for $1.50 each (compared to $3 each in Central Park) and as a bonus meal, I ordered a stick of shish kebab for $2.50 ... delicious ... lunch for $7.00 ... I walked away feeling very good and satisfied ... next time, I have to bring along a plastic container filled with red wine. such a friendly man and friendly talkative customers ... everyone in such a good mood and no attitude.

Also last week, another fine performance at the Tri-Institutional Noon concert ... Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map - pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1

Now, I must get back to work, pronto ...

Posted January 25, 2007 03:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Italian recommendations

For a very special Italian treat, go to San Domenico, and ask for Ms Marissa May, she is a very sweet and friendly owner ... a great friend of my Italian nephew, Francesco Buitoni ... San Domenico is very high class and elegant but ... expensive ... web site, 240 Central Park South, 212-265-5959 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Mag | Village Voice | openlist | Gayot | Yelp | Citysearch]

Another suggestion: Da Andrea ... a simple Northern Italian trattatoria ... go early and enjoy the delicious cooking .... web site, 557 Hudson Street, Hudson and Perry Streets in the West Village, 212-367-1979 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Mag | openlist | Yelp | Citysearch]

Also see our previous post, "Good Italian food"

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Posted January 21, 2007 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Italian , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Another great day in NYC

Another great day in New York ...

Walked across Central Park Zoo and saw the sea-lions being fed at 11.30 am and the polar bears playing with a plastic oil-barrel ... a great live show from the sea-lions obeying the hand instructions from their keepers ...

Central Park Zoo, 830 Fifth Avenue, 212-439-6500

Go see the Americana exhibition at Christie's, Rockefeller Centre ... I love the Audubon prints, Samplers, Quilts, Weather vanes and Chippendale mahogany furniture ... a beautiful slice of American history ...

Christie's, Americana Week, January 13-18, 2007, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-636-2000

Posted January 15, 2007 05:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Winter is here

In order to save the world from global warming, I have turned off my refrigerator for the winter ... I was able to finish all the perishable food, last night. The weather turned very cold. I made a nice pot of bucatini all'Amatriciana red sauce with the half-pound of bacon strips, portobello mushrooms, carrots and shallots with a can of tomato sauce ... so very heart warming ... plus a big bowl of chicory green salad.

The three bottles of champagne left-over from the PZ fiasco have been moved to the window ledge.

Since the winter air is so dry, I always hang my laundry to dry over-night in my huge bathroom ...

Post by Peter

Posted January 12, 2007 05:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Wonderful exhibitions in NYC

This 2006 Fall season I saw so many wonderful exhibitions, including many fine portrait paintings ...

Pablo Picasso, Seated Woman with Wristwatch, 1932
Pablo Picasso, Seated Woman with Wristwatch, 1932

Post by Peter

Posted January 1, 2007 12:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Noon music at Rockefeller University

The Rockefeller University hosts a recital series called the Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals. Held on Fridays at noon from September through June, this series brings outstanding musical talent to NYC.

For example, on December 15, 2006, pianist Soyeon Lee gave a great perfomance. She played with much expression and enthusiasm. What a joy!

Soyeon Lee

Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map - pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1

Post by Peter

Posted December 27, 2006 09:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Music , Notes to a Friend , Sights & Sounds , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

How to eat at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets

there is a strategy for eating at all-you-can-eat buffet places ... start with a huge plate of fried crabs, very fresh crunchy string-beans, fried shrimp to-fu squares ... next a large bowl of spicy-coconut flavored-chicken curry with scallion pancakes and fried broad rice noodles ... next, the assorted dim-sum dishes ... finally, a plate of desserts ... of course, you can go for seconds and thirds if you have the desire ... 1 1/2 hour time limit ...

Posted December 23, 2006 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinese , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)