Thursday, September 11, 2008

in a (coco)nutshell

So, I got that day off and I'm spending it waiting. Waiting for the handyman to return and waiting for the gas company to arrive. I really hope the gas company comes! As much as I enjoy a challenge, I'm sure coming up with inventive ways to cook using an electric wok will get old shortly! Although, this past week I made a good vegetarian paella and Nick, some tasty gnocchi.

In other news. I enacted my planning plan yesterday! I took a minute to google "best happy hour + mahattan," cross referenced a couple Best of lists and came up with a few places in the Village to check out. I settled on The Boxcar Lounge on Avenue B. I met Nick in Union Square after work. In an attempt to mix it up, I took a different route to get there — I took 17th Street! Approaching the square from a different side did oddly provide a fresh perspective. We proceeded to walk down 14th Street into the Village. On the way I bought a bag of those fragrant roasted nuts I love so much — only I bought coco nut. I'm coo-coo for roasted coconuts. As we walked we spied some fun stuff: Artichoke, a pizza shop I'd been inexplicably drawn to, we later confirmed why I trust my gut, and the Shrunken Skull — wait for it — a tiki bar!

We made it to Avenue B and Nick fell in love. Believe it or not, it's a not quite completely gentrified corner of Manhattan. He agreed with my theory in this situation, you see, we'd walked up Avenue A the other day and just as I suspected, something we liked a whole lot better was just around the corner, aha! Anyway, we had a happy hour at The Boxcar and on the way to the subway opted to stop and check out the Shrunken Skull — come on, it's tiki bar! Nick dropped off a demo and in the end, we decided to queue up and get a slice of pizza from Artichoke — the definite highlight in my opinion. This place only serves a few types of pizza: a Sicilian, a plain slice covered with huge basil leaves, an artichoke pizza and crab pizza! Nick got the regular slice and I went all pesco-vegetarian ordering the crab. We took our slices and sat on a stoop. I'm pretty convinced this spot doesn't have seating on purpose. People standing around eating delicious slices of pizza is pretty great free advertising; we were asked more than once by a passer-by about the place. So, now I'm in love. Happily this place is at the 1st subway stop in Manhattan on my line.

So, that's it. I found a few spots on 14th and good pizza to boot! I intend to continue taking new routes and doing a quick google search here and there. In a city full of possibilities, you just need a starting point and a little perspective, I think.

Developments: It looks like I'll have a couple more weeks to master the art of electric wok cooking and more reason to hit up that pizza joint. National Grid, the incompetent gas company, decided to not come today and we have to wait until the 25th to get our cooking gas set-up! I, not at all regretfully, used a few expletives on the phone. Looks like some nasty letter writing is in my future — sans the expletives. It's a good thing I took the afternoon off so I can get started!

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