Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"They got a divorce, it's a matter of course..."

I’m going to see Billy Joel in 3 hours and these final 9 minutes at Zoom are the only things stopping me from running up Madison Ave. singing about Brenda and Eddie’s friendly divorce. (You will probably hear me in Calfornia during that tune tonight.) It will be a fabulous time, of course, and will certainly fulfill my concert dream. Piano man, here I come!

On a more travel travel-related note – because, isn’t the whole point of this blog to be a travel collection, though it’s been much more heavy on the rambling as of late – my ticket to England is officially booked! Kathleen and I land in Heathrow on the morning of September 15th and plan to have three days of London tourism before our program starts, a slight but welcome change from our original plan. I’ve started buying black garments to minimize my Americanness, though my hot pink luggage will probably prevent that.

Who cares, though. I’m going to see Billy Joel.

KR out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kaitlyn's No-Fail Guide to Sushi Fabulousness

In my times, trials, and tribulations on the mean streets of Manhattan -- and even trickier times on the tree-lined blocks of the GC -- I have come to consider myself quite the sushi extraordinaire. Maybe it all started while interning at Fusia Communications last summer… After all, from accent to action, I seriously embraced the Pacific gal within me. So, let me take you from NY to the GC on a three-stop, rock-and-roll tour of my favorite sushi spots. Get out your chopsticks, prepare for a few sake bombs, and enjoy this Japanese delicacy, which has become my absolute favorite treat!

If you're in the mood for a TRENDY scene, HIP servers, PEOPLE-WATCHING (!), and the great OUTDOORS, step right into SushiSamba 7, located at 87 7th Avenue between Barrow and Grove Street in the West Village. Remember that time when Samantha doused the cheating Richard with her cocktail? Well, look a little closer next time after you chow down at the ultra-colorful SushiSamba. Congratulations, you've officially dined on the set of "Sex and the City," and perhaps enjoyed a cocktail or three on the very stool where Richard was royally and rightfully served. Colorful is no lie when describing SushiSamba. From the rainbow of tropical shades that deck the interior d├ęcor to the dynamic hoards of passers-by that you'll certainly spy while sitting at one of the coveted street-side tables, the variety at this place is unparalled -- and it doesn't stop there! With a Mexican twist on traditional sushi dishes, you are sure to experience an explosion of flavor in both your mouth and, unfortunately, your wallet. To avoid what could potentially be a pretty money-draining dinner, visit the hotspot mid-day. Their $20.07 (and, oh, what a crucial extra $0.07 it is!) price fixe menu runs until 4 PM, so embrace your inner Grandma and enjoy an early bird special if a lunchtime chow-down isn't in the stars. I've dined at SushiSamba many a time, often times while flying solo. Pop a squat on one of the outdoor tables (assuming New York quits this hair-shattering humidity we've been having), or keep it cool in the central air while tucked into one of the colorful and cozy booths. The rooftop deck for a cool cocktail after work also serves as a champion way to bring the happy into everyone’s favorite hour. Sip, sip. I’m sure I’ll see you there!

On another note, make sure to use the facilities at this amazing place, even if nature fails to call. Freshen up, send a text, whatever-- just go! This basement bathroom is more of a romantic walk through a jungle than a dirty NYC spot to break the seal.

If you’re in the mood for a POWER-LUNCH, CREATIVE rolls, DIM LIGHTING, and a BAR-LIKE atmosphere, spend your next New York minute in Chef 28, located quite purposefully on 28th Street between Madison and Park Avenue. I was turned onto this miniature Midtown East location in early May, and have religiously returned each subsequent week. With an undeniably fantastic lunch menu that boasts a full selection of Chinese cuisine in addition to some seriously eclectic maki (the peanut avocado is just to die for!), Chef 28 is the perfect place to run in and out of on your lunch hour. Two rolls, a salad or soup, and a crunchy noodle appetizer for under 7 bucks? It’s no wonder this place is a hit for dine-in and take-out. Though I’ve never been there at dinnertime, Chef 28 has a killer selection of special maki, with names ranging from “the Princess” to “the Fantasy.” Head on over. Fulfill your fantasy. Chef 28 is the perfect place.

If you’re in the mood for a CLASSY atmosphere , FRIENDLY staff, LONG ISLAND locale, and REASONABLE prices, join me in the GC at Sushiya, my all-time favorite Long Island restaurant and place to chow down on delectably raw fish. I have two words for you: SPIDER ROLL. This champion of champions makes me get up in the morning. I wish I were kidding. It’s just really nice to know that a quick shot-gun ride away is such an incredible explosion of flavor, texture, and overall amazingness. Just go. Just order a Spider Roll. Just make sure you ask. For some inane reason, thr Sushi Ya owners booted this little piece of heaven from the menu. Have no worries; regulars like me know it’s the hidden stuff that tastes the best.

Runners up:

1. Miso, Main Street, DUMBO Brooklyn. Great for a quick lunch. Take it out to Brooklyn Bridge Park down the road and enjoy your spicy crunchy salmon maki (my favorite Miso specialty) with some breathtaking views of the bridges, South St. Seaport, and downtown Manhattan.

2. Kodama Sushi, 8th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan. When in need of a super-quick pre-theatre meal, look no further than this hole in the wall. Fast service, dirt cheap prices, and proximity to every Times Square nook and cranny, Kodama mixes charm with fabulous food.

Bon apetit!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

the "Tales" begin

My European wardrobe may have to adopt some colors other than my typical pink and green, but my blog sure won’t!

Hello, hello to my family, friends, and any and all clickers-by. I also extend a special greeting to the agent who is lucky enough to stumble upon this blog. Ideally, after reading it, you’ll take me on as a client and help fulfill my life-long goal of publishing the greatest American novel imaginable. Let’s make it happen! Anyhow, welcome to “Tales from Canterbury,” my obvious English-major take on my three-month trip to Canterbury, England. As I’m sure many of you know, I’ll be spending the Fall semester of my Junior year as a Stonehill Skyhawk at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England -- mascot unknown at press-time. Map-wise, Canterbury a small city set in the English countryside with fabulous proximity to London, Paris, and Brussels. The city is supposed to be utterly quaint, and has a lot more charm than is conveyed in Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” which I was totally blessed to have read last Fall. Please note that I say that with writhing sarcasm. The Kent campus overlooks the city, and by city I mean the CASTLES OF CANTERBURY. Hey Dad, now I really am a princess! I’ll know more when I get there, and it will all be recorded right here. The fabulous thing about blogs (which, for those of you aren’t as tech-savvy, is the shortened form of “Web Log”) is that they don’t take up room in your suitcase, and, unless the computers of the world crash, leaving us all dazed and confused without e-mail, can’t get lost. A blog seems like the perfect match for a girl like me who 1. will by no means stay within the suitcase weight limit (I blame my shoe collection) and 2. loses things as often as she opens her mouth. You all know me well. You all know that’s a whole lot!

I decided to start this blog today, a few minutes ago, basically out of sheer boredom. But more importantly, I want to take you all with me on my trip. I want you to help me hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I want you to sit with me at pubs (!) in Ireland, and I want you to be there when I make my cross-country flight. Unfortunately, all those hearty Christmas dinners have caught up with us, and my bright red luggage (I know, it totally going to clash with my pink motif) just won’t be able to fit you all. So, instead, I opted to print a few photos (so you'll all be with me in essence) and write this blog to keep you all in the know of my European travels, and, oh yeah, studies, too. (Just kidding. I really am exceptionally psyched about one class in particular, which takes its students on tours of the places Charles Dickens wrote about back in the 1800s! He is one of my favorite authors, so I am naturally thrilled about this opportunity in particular. But I'll have more to say about that once classes start. The English nerd within me will really blossom. I mean, come on, I worked at a library for almost 6 years. Books make me tick!)

While it’s just July, and my flight a few months away, I figured, why not start blogging now? I’ll need some place to vent out my frustrations about Europeans not wearing prints, plaid, argyle, and bright colors (oh, the tears) or the fact that it’s a social sin to smile at a stranger while across the pond. Yeah, I might not follow that rule. I’ve been educated otherwise.

I’ll probably blog again ASAP. I am really liking this. I hope you’ll all comment, enjoy, and hey, totally share this with your friends who may want to travel back to their days as a carefree college student. Or maybe they know a book agent who will make me the newest, youngest gal to top the Times' book review... =) Ulterior motives aside, I really hope you'll all read and enjoy. I'll be thinking of you all with each cobblestone street step I make.

Have a fabulous 4th of July Weekend. Perhaps I'll see some of you soon!

Cheers to Independence and XOXO,

Kaitlyn, your Canterbury Tale-Teller