Friday, July 31, 2009

Smell the Summer

You can smell the summer in New York (or in the U.S.), which reminds me the one I smelled 10 years ago, when I started the summer school at University of Pennsylvania. After getting off the train and walking through the campus, you can smell the summer, especially after the rain.
There are a few things reminding me that it is summer after all, even though there have been no over 90 degree day this year yet - ice cream vendor and this building with thousands of air conditioners sticking out from the windows.
You can see an ice cream vendor all over the city which serves soft serve ice cream along with commercial ones. I personally have never tried but there is always a line of people.
Many old houses or buildings don't have the integrated cooling system installed, so we still use window installed air conditioners (not like Japanese style) which are pretty noisy and bulky. This building in Brooklyn Heights has been catching my eyes since every single window has the same unit. I guess the building installed them and nobody has changed since then. You don't see this in Japan, do you?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brown Stone Houses

Brooklyn Heights is famous for many beautifully preserved brown stone houses.
When I work from home, I have flexibility on my schedule, so I go to the gym during the day, usually in the morning after checking e-mails and completing urgent matters. On the way to the gym, I walk on beautiful tree lined streets with many brown stone houses. They were originally built in the late 19th century or in the early 20th century as one family home, but these days they have been converted for multi families home (one or two apartment(s) per floor). The name explains the reason why it is called, and it was an unique architect method in that era, vs. brick exposed ones you can see in this picture towards the end.
Aren't they beautiful?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turf and Chicken?

Surf and Turf - this is the expression you would see at a seafood restaurant usually. Surf represents seafood, while turf does beef. I guess people still want to eat meat at a seafood restaurant after all.

Coming back to my topic. Since we made steak and chicken (not seafood) for dinner, I named this combination turf and chicken. Too straightforward? Originally we thought it would be a chicken day, after eating kind of heavy meals over the weekend, but ribeye steak was on-sale at Whole Foods, an organic food store chain, we could not pass it, how cheap are we? We ended up eating grilled lime marinade chicken and steak along with potato salad and roasted carrots. I know Japanese don't roast the vegetable so often, but it is so easy and tasty to do. You just need to put salt and pepper (and other spices, like thyme and garlic, if you like) with olive oil, and dump it into the oven at 375 to 400 degree for say 20 to 30 minutes.

Too many topics about food?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Party School - Penn State!!!

Yes, we got the No.1 spot back. I am talking about the party school ranking by Princeton Review.
A little bit about MY school Penn State (The Pennsylvania State University). It belongs to the Big Ten conference, which consists of ELEVEN east to mid-west schools, such as Ohio State and Michigan. They are all academically top ranked and as are their sport teams, like football and basketball. Penn State was the last school who joined to this originally TEN school conference in the late 1990s. If you ask people in the U.S. about Penn State, they might say about football, a huge football stadium, and ice cream (YES, ice cream. We have our own creamery on campus where the founder of Ben & Jerry studied).
Join me to celebrate this prestigious come back with a beer in your hand, would you?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Suburban Life

Not all the people working in the city live in the city. (Just a clarification of New York City; it consists of FIVE boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, and people commonly refer to Manhattan as "the city". Obviously Brooklyn Heights is in Brooklyn but only one subway stop away from Manhattan's south tip.)
Some people live in the other boroughs, but others live in New Jersey or north of the city via train. Even it is just 30 minutes away by train, it feels totally different from the city, but more like other states. People can afford the house with garden and many family with kids prefer living in suburb over the city. Of course there are many apartment complexes in surburb and it reminds me the one I lived in Pennsylvania when I was a student. Beautiful greens with flowers. Very refreshing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Food, Food and Food

I try to be healthy in terms of food I eat. I mainly cook only vegetables, while I eat ANYTHING when I go out. After eating OX tail noodle soup for Lunch, our dinner at home was "lighter" side - fried chicken tenders with greens, so it can be categorized as "salad".
Lunch on Saturday was a different story, since we went out, meaning I can eat ANYTHING. So this time we went to Apple Bees - neighborhood restaurant chain, and got a big BBQ burger with onion rings (1,500 calories per their menu).
As health conscious person like me, my dinner was of course lighter side - salmon with Miso glaze along with broccoli, zucchini and brown rice. It came out really good except the room smelled like Miso over night.
Can I still say I am a health conscious eater after these three meals?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Business Lunch

It has been a while since last lunch with my ex-coworker, Jim and Tosh. This time we went to a Chinese restaurant in mid-town close to the Grand Central Station. Tosh chose this because they have OX tail soup noodle only on Wednesday and Friday. It was very tasty - it could be very fatty but the lettuce cut the fattiness of the meat. I ordered with spinach noodle to feel a bit healthier as Jim did too. Having lunch with them is always exciting to talk about their projects and what they are doing in their lives. They give me a positive energy and thinking for my future...
To meet another friend, MH, I took the S train to the Times Squire Station. I don't take this train often, but they had a promotion of some TV series and all the interior was painted for that scheme including seats. I have never seen anything like this, even though it is common to have only one kind of advertisement in a car, but not covering the seats.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Farmers Market

There are several farmers markets, especially during the summer, popping up all over the city. Lucky for me, we have our own one in Brooklyn Heights, more specifically in front of the court house. They come here three days a week from upstate New York and from New Jersey - vegetables, fruits, plants, breads and others depending on the season and the day.
This time I found vivid colored berries. They are in season along with peaches, corns and summer vegetables. Aren't they beautiful? and of course tasty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Working in The City

I usually work from home, but sometimes I need to go to the city. Today was one of these days. I don't hate to do so, since New York is such an exciting city and you can feel the energy all over. I took a picture of a subway at 42nd st. station (Grand Central Station, like Tokyo Station in Tokyo), when I got off the train. There weren't that many people (it was 10:30 AM) but it could be very crowded in the morning and evening. I did not capture rats in this picture, did I?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lindsay's Pictures

As promised, here are some of her pictures. Brendan said that it was kind of a rainy day with some breaks, so the pictures even came out more beautiful with clear air and vivid greens.
Don't you agree that she is one of the most beautiful brides?

Hair Cut and Brendan

I had a hair cut, which was postponed by one week, in East Village as usual... It's summer so I went "very short". I think it came out good.
I met up with my friend, Brendan for dinner at a Ramen shop he found. I got their special - Sesame Miso Ramen, while he got Nagasaki Ramen, which is his favorite. Both were very good. He likes to talk so before and without eating it, so he started talking about his friend's (Lindsay) wedding a few weeks back. I know her through him (and she helped me choose my apartment's paint color several years ago) and she is one of the most beautiful people I have met. (I will post her picture here once I get permission from her.) Since she is an artist, it seems like their wedding was very story-telling and a themed one, which could be difficult to understand if you were not there.
After a bowl of ramen we walked several blocks to an ice cream shop, which again he found, for another round of TALK. I got sesame and chocolate peanut butter ice cream, while he got only one scoop of chocolate mint.
It was very much fun to meet up with Brendan.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guilty FREE Dinner

Since I had sweets during the day, today's dinner is pure vegetarian in Korean style. I made cucumber pickles, bean sprout and garlic broccoli, and got two types of kimchi from the Korean store. At that store, I found brown sweet rice (Mochi-Gome in Japanese), which I have never seen, so I had 50/50 brown and sweet brown rice tonight. Aren't they looking good even though there is no meat.

Guilty Pleasure

This is the last piece I got from Baked the other day. Blondie - for the people who are not familiar with, it is Brownie without chocolate, but to me more like soft cookie bar. It was their new recipe and it was good, especially with coffee.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Garden

It is almost impossible to have a garden/backyard in NYC including Brooklyn Heights, unless you are lucky enough to have/own a town house with $$$ price tag.
Like many New Yorkers, I don't have a garden or terrace, so my garden is only a couple of pots at the window with herbs. This year I have Thyme, Rosemary and Basil. I use them for cooking all the time, and one time I marinated the chicken with them along with Lime and they came out really nice.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beach and Korean Chicken

We go to the beach almost every weekend during the summer. Not to face a heavy traffic or two, we leave early in the morning and come back early afternoon.
On the way back from the beach this time, we stopped by at a Korean fried chicken restaurant in Flushing Queens. We got a whole chicken, even though a waitress said that it is "supposed to" be for three people. Spicy and their original sauces half and half. They were crispy and really yummy... We will add this spot to our lunch place list we stop by after the beach. Aren't they looking yummy?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baked Chocolate Cake

Here is the update on the cakes we bought at Baked.
We have never eaten this chocolate cake (there are several types of chocolate flavored cakes), and it was moist and really good. (Maybe after leaving it at room temperature for a while to make the frosting creamy.)

Friday, July 17, 2009


It's Friday... so we went to Fairway Market in Red Hook in NY.
We saw Lexus HS250, which has NOT hit the U.S. market yet. We were wondering who was driving that car, and found the person when we came back form the check out.
It was Carmen from CNBC ( She was SOOOO friendly, bubbly and BEAUTIFUL without any makeup on. See the picture in front of HS250.
HS250 looks sexy and a good contender toIS250.

On the way back, as usual, we got cakes from my favorite bakery, Baked ( I will report the details about these cakes later...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dinner at Eleven Madison...

I had dinner yesterday at one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Eleven Madison.
Food is always good, but the atmosphere - high celling and beautiful flowers, and educated servers are the reasons why I go there over others. Sorry no picture this time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Update on BH about EVERYTHING!!

If you like BH, like I do, you can get all the updates on this BLOG.

The View...

Here is the famous view from the park a step away from my apartment.
Isn't this beautiful or what?

I Love Cooking...

I love cooking and sometimes I took a picture or two when it came out pretty.
Here is one I made a few weeks ago - Japanese (kind of) mini meatloaf.

New Start!!

I have decided to create my OWN blog to report my life in Brooklyn Height, New York. I think this is the most beautiful place to live in the U.S.
A bit about me...
Japanese guy moved to the U.S. 10 years ago as a student. After 2 years at the school, I got a job in New York and started living in Brooklyn Heights ever since.