Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Latest pictures (hopefully last snow storm)

View of the backyard in winter

Jn & Elise's apartment in Harlem

Eglantine @ Morningside Park

Monringside Drive

UWS slush crossing

Typical UWS restaurant bathroom

Artistic view of Hudson river luxury condos

Columbus Circle

Snow heap in midtown

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weeks around town

I'm still waiting for winter to go away and looking forward to the "good season".

It actually feels like it is the beginning of the good season: friends are starting to plan their visits from overseas.

For two week ends I hosted Eglantine who was on her way to Minnesota for work.

It was a good occasion to go to MoMA and see the Jeff Wall exhibition. He makes stunning photos, that are semi transparent and very bright when placed on back lit displays. Nice exhibition, and enjoyable by a large audience. I mean, this is some rather classic art display for a modern art museum.

We also went to a couple of nice restaurants, mostly in the Upper West Side: Malaysian Grill (most of my readers should know this is my usual cantina!); a place that claims to have the Best Burger on Earth; and two sushis places: Haku and (my favorite): Asiakan, a new Panasian restaurant on Amsterdam and 95th st. I particularly recommend the Spicy Tuna roll!

Other places I discovered over the past two weeks: Kemia, a Moroccan lounge/bar near Times Square that I had wanted to go to for a long time, and Park, an upscale club in Chelsea, where I was invited at a birthday party yesterday. Two trendy places that I will add to my of "must see" for my visitors who want to go out for a drink ;-)

Last but not least: I've booked the flights to Puerto Rico! Elise and I are going there in roughly 2 weeks now!

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My picasa web albums

The address has recently changed: my Picasa pictures are now at:


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Only in the US (at least for now)

Today I read a lot of articles in the NY Times.

Here's my favorite in the "Spending" section, or "how to spend your money when you have too much of it?":
- In the Computer Dating Game, Room for a Coach

Another one: about what it means to work for Google:
- Google's buses help its workers beat the rush



A night in Brooklyn

Hello blog,

Yesterday, I went out with Jenny, theNuge & Chetan. In Brooklyn! That's quite unusual for me, because, as a good uptown Manhattanite, I rarely go there at night (it takes me forever to go and come back).

Jenny chose the program, as she always knows of what's happening on the independent jazz-blues scene, and I chose the pre-concert place to go for a bite. I had read very good things about "Petite Crevette", a small restaurant known for its seafood in Carroll Gardens. It's a 10min walk from the subway and the place is really tiny (5 tables total), but worth the experience. We were sat between people with a heavy Brooklyn accent and had fried oysters, seafood chowder for appetizers, then Mussels a la provencale, Tilapia served in a bowl, Mahi mahi roasted in virgin oil, and wild salmon. The seafood tasted really fresh and authentic: a quite fancy dinner, whereas I expected just a quick bite before jazz. We had to wait quite a long time for the food to be served, as there is only one chef, but that is part of the experience.
If they could serve the plates faster (and have music), that would be the perfect seafood restaurant. It's also BYOB by the way.

After this delicious dinner, we went to Park slope to catch the second set of Talat, a jazz band with Middle East influences performing at Tea Lounge. Right after we entered the place, I knew I would love it: it is a huge open space with comfortable couches all over the place, cool people playing chess and backgammon, others with laptops and wireless connection, and an incredibly friendly atmosphere. That kind of place just doesn't exist in Manhattan, where everything is always so small and cramped... The music stage was large enough, and the music of great quality, though the band didn't have much connection with the audience.

The bar was oversized, and they served all sorts of drinks: specialty tea and coffee (everyone should know I'm crazy about tea), wines and strange cocktails, all at a price much lower than in Manhattan of course! I went with the Siberian Java and theNuge took a Moroccan Mojito. Maybe he wanted to compare with last week's great Cuban mojitos we had in the the East Village.

My verdict: this is an exceptional place to lounge and relax, as you can see.

Not that far from home after all ;-) On the way back, we took the Q train, over the Manhattan bridge and had a magical view of Downtown Manhattan. Ok, I have to admit it is worth getting out of the island sometimes... Now I know why people want to live in Brooklyn. I'll be back for sure.

PS: I have heard that Elise may have plans to start writing her blog again, but not before June (in fact probably not before September). Let's let her finish the PhD in peace first :-)