Intelligence Squared Debate

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

In the previous October, Intelligence Squared from the UK had a debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. Arguing for the motion were Archbishop John Onaiyekan, MP Ann Widdecombe, against the motion were writer Christopher Hitchens and actor Stephen Fry. It's a feel good debate and it's worth watching it in its entirety.



























Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe did not seemed to be the intellectual equal to their counterparts, he seems very sincere but his only argument was if the Catholic church wasn't a force for good he wouldn't have devoted his life to the church while hers was "Yeah, the Catholic church was bad but we weren't the only ones." Even Christopher Hitchens brought up a lot of great point even though I was never a big fan of him, arrogant intellectuals are sad and misguided. They are too wrapped up about their own narcissism, they rather showcase their intellect than do anything productive. Stephen Fry was as sincere as the archbishop with more conviction and logic.

I have to say I love the format of these debates. Vote on the issues first, debate and then revote to see how many people have change their minds. I wish the government system is more like this, maybe it is, but nobody has the attention span to follow a debate that takes months with 200+ debaters each taking turns to have a say. C-Span should change their formats. Each and every issue can only take up to one day, locate one hour for questions/answers, you log on at the end of the day to vote with your social security and pre-registered password. No dragging along, maybe even no need for politicians, just debaters. We used to have representatives and congressman because no one can make time to stay in a meeting place and listen and decide on every issues, but the internet is making everything a lot more accessible and if we can all represent ourselves via online, there's no need of representatives to crowd up issues. What we need again, it's people who knows the system well to debate and to figure out how to implement decision into the system and make it run smoothly: persuaders, overseers, supervisors but not voters or decision makers.

The whole political system doesn't have to be this big monster that is extremely complicated to figure out and drags every issue around for years and years, that frustrate everyone to no end. Just health care reform had been kicked back and forth for months, the bill is getting weaker and still no one is budging and nothing is being passed. Majority rules, that's what democracy is all about.

Go to their site for more debates, they are all very interesting.

Read more...

Weekend Meme: Aging Meme

>> Saturday, February 27, 2010


This week's creation - Turtle burgers, lamb burgers with vienna sausages and latticed bacon, inspired by This is Why You're Fat

I've just got a new chair and a new iPod touch, in fact, it's the first iPod Touch I've owned, so there's a lot of playing and fidgeting around. I've stayed up at night just playing games, it's a big waste of time but it's fun. I've also set up my wireless router and don't have to drag a long line around my place any more. Hope I don't get wireless cancer.

Today, I scouted over at Sunday Stealing and found this meme. It's about aging, suddenly I'm feeling quite old, I guess it creeps up on each and everyone of us.

At a certain age women should: find a nice person to settle down with.

At a certain age men should: find ways to support a family.

When I was a kid I thought I would: buy a nice house for my grandma.

Now that I am older I wish: I would have took better care of myself in various ways.

You know you are too old to party when: you much rather stay home and watch TV.

You know you are too young to retire when: you can't keep still.

When I was in high school I listened to the music of: Paula Abdul.

Nowadays I find I like the music of: John Legend

On my last birthday I: went out to dinner and then a bar.

On my next birthday I want to: tear the city apart.

The best birthday present I ever got was: nothing really spring to mind, I guess cash when I was growing up.

The first time I felt grown up was: when I have my own apartment.

The last time I felt like a kid was: playing video games.

When I read The Pink Pages it changed my life.

Last year was: a waste of time.

Next year I hope: I'll be more productive in all counts.

Read more...

Restaurant Review: Garces Trading Company - Stalking Garces

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010



About two week ago, I was walking in my neighborhood on my way to the post office trying to mail a book I sold through Amazon, I stumbled upon a familiar face. Since we're in the gayborhood, I thought maybe he was one of the gays that I should have remember his name so I said "Oh, hi!" and then it dawned on me that this guy in front of me was Iron Chef Jose Garces. Clearly he doesn't know me and I sounded like we were friends, so he might have been a little weirded out but he tried to be nice and replied "Hey, how is it going!". At this point, I was already starstruck and stupidly said "Good, thank you." and walked off. My life is full of these little embarrassing moments that I revisit sometimes and cringe.

Jose Garces has become a big time restaurateur here in Philly. Within a month's time, a new restaurant/food market name Garces Trading Company has opened in my neighborhood and I went to check it out once it opened, it's exciting to have a new nice restaurant being so close to home. Of course I saw Garces there but I tried to hide my face to save myself from the embarrassment. The boyfriend and I went to check it out on it's first Sunday Brunch event and it was quite chaotic.

The space was divided into a tight store which is a corridor surrounding the middle restaurant part. The corridor contains a cheese counter, an oil and vinegar bar, a charcuterie counter, a bakery counter, a beverage fridge and a wine cellar. It usually requires 20-30 minutes waiting time for a table, however there are no waiting space, patrons are left brushing shoulders and wandering the store.



After getting our table, we were waited by a forgetful waiter who asked us our choice of water and then disappeared without bringing the water. We reminded him after placing our order which include our drink order and then he disappeared for a long period without bringing our drinks. We reminded him again and reiterated our food order after being asked and waited for our food to come. After a prolonged period, the quartet seating next to us who arrived and ordered later than us had gotten their food but the boyfriend and I were just munching on bread that comes in a cute box with a small container of sea salt, after finishing our second bread box, our food finally came.

The food was less his usual Spanish fare but more French and Italian. I ordered a vichyssoise that was served with scallop and bacon and a splash of truffle oil. Yum. I also liked the roasted eggplant antipasti with toasted pepper, cherry tomato confit, toasted pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. The boyfriend had a Cubano sandwich that was substantial and the pickled pepper, and chili pepper on the side make the sandwich delicious and I had a small duck salad with a poached eggs, bacon and a mustard vinaigrette that was decent, the running egg yolk made it soul satisfying.

The problem of the place other than the tight space is the staff. Maybe it's the very first Sunday brunch, as the boyfriend pointed out - the most important restaurant rush in our neighborhood, they seemed a little frazzled. There were only 2 waiters for the whole place which is a bit understaffed, the orders aren't sequential, we had to wait a long time for our food, I have to wait for my rather small salad for a long time after finishing every other courses, then the waiter disappeared entirely when it's time for our check. After we finished the meal, the maitre'd came over and asked if everything was okay and she was annoyed when I told her the service was slow. She told me that she'll ensure that it won't happen again next time I come, but I was sure she was just trying to pacify me. After the meal, we went over to the bakery to get some desserts to go, it was a short line and after getting my money, the cashier proceed to talk shop with the other cashier and exchanging money. I had to wait another 5 minutes for them to finish before she slowly put on her gloves to fetch my orders and then she had to ask for my orders again. There is a serious problem with the staff.

On a different occasion, I went back again for lunch during the week. The service was a lot better, even though it was still as busy, the wait staff has changed and work more efficiently. The baby artichoke is served with a lemon-honey vinaigrette with bits of date wrapped almonds and mixed of olives contains 5 different kinds served in seasoned olive oil. I had a taste of minestrone that my friend ordered and it was very tasty, but the best thing is the funghi pizza served on a thin crust, aromatic tallegio cheese, maitake, royal trumpets and black truffles. The food contains a lot of oil and vinegar that is sold in store, so the food is sort of an advertising. After trying some tarts and cake, I'm only impressed by the pistachio cherry bomb and the chocolate croissant, the price of madeleines is only $3 a dozen which sounds great. I will definitely come back during the week or at night maybe try out their cheese plate for $15, the price is sorta affordable. It is said that Garces is showing up every night in this early stage of the restaurant.

Rumor is that Garces signed a 10-year lease in Philadelphia Cira tower to open up yet another restaurant and taking up another space in the gayborhood for another deli, my friend told me that Garces is already happily married and in person he seems shorter than I imagined.


Oil and vinegar bar, the most expensive one is the white truffle oil for $41.50 a slim bottle.


Beverage and wine cellar at the far right, the central sitting looks a little bit like a cafeteria.


The bread box comes with a small container of crunchy fleur de sel.


Vichyssoise Chaude - The seared scallop and bacon were a good match and made the vichyssoise special.


Eggplant Antipasti - The tomato confit elevated the eggplant and made it very pleasant.

Read more...

Blog Intro: Failbooking

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The people of Failblog must be itching to find concepts to publish another book, they collected a bunch of funny FaceBook conversations and created a new blog called Failbooking and a lot of the captured dialogues are quite funny.





















Fun stuff, I'll put it on my blogroll just in case I need a laugh.

Read more...

Stroller Mom Rant

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010



The main advantage of living in a city is that you can pretty much walk everywhere, the obstacles of this simple task, however, are other pedestrians and cars. The boyfriend and I have jokingly said that we should write an illustration book on identifying all the obstacles one can encounter on the street. A group of people who like to stand in the middle of the street waiting for friends or deciding what they want to do or just simply refusing to walk on the side while chitchatting. A group of family or friends that insist on walking slowly in front of you in a row or holding hands, slow walkers, old folks, tourists taking pictures of each other. The biggest menace of pedestrians would have to be stroller moms.

These creatures wield their strollers like a weapon because they have a kid, they think they achieve a social status and therefore entitled to special treatment. I guess I'm not the only one who's displeased by this norm, so when Marv Albert's daughter Denise Albert thought it was cute to express her mommy rage, she got the full impact of people like me.

Managing Mommy Rage

Move out of my way. Help me, please. Hold a door. Offer my kid your seat on the bus. Walk faster. Why so slow?

Out of my way, I’m a mom!

Yes, I have mommy rage. I don’t hide my feelings, and if you make me angry you will know it.

I’ve always been honest, vocal and very straightforward. But since becoming a mom all of those qualities have escalated to a heightened state.

If you see me trying to navigate a double stroller, why can’t you move out of my way? When my behind is scrunched up to the door, one foot behind me, one arm on a stroller handle, and another holding my other kid, would it kill you to just open the door and hold it? I mean, you are standing right there. What happened to common courtesy?

And if I get to a movie early to get a good seat, and you come strolling in as the previews are rolling, and you sit down, all 6 feet of you, in front of my kid, would you mind moving before I have to angrily ask you to?

If you work in a store, hurry up. I don’t always have time for small talk … especially when I’m with my kids. And I certainly don’t have time to wait while you are on your e-mail. I won’t be shy about letting you know.

I don’t want your animals touching or licking us, either. I don’t care if they are hypo-allergenic — someone did once try to calm me down with that rebuttal.

To some, this may seem aggressive or forceful but the bottom line is I know what I want, what I like, and how to get it done. So please, pay attention, be courteous, do your job correctly, and occasionally, lend a hand. Then us mommies with rage can use our useless anger for the good of others, too! Oh — and curb ramps are for things with wheels, so step aside.


I do so hate stroller moms for many reasons. I try to be a gentleman and open doors for them but often even standing there for a good half minute holding the door open obviously for their benefit, I will not heard a word of thanks back. The sense of entitlement is shocking, it makes me angry at time. The sidewalk is already slim in this old town and yet they insist on pushing their double wides in the middle of the sidewalk, there is no way you can avoid them and no space to move aside and yet they head on regardlessly ram ahead. If one more of these mom hit me on my shins or run over my leg, I will be forced to trip and fall on their kids. Their job as I understand is to protect their children and not use them with their weapons.

No, I will not move away if I find a seat in the theater and you should leave the theater if your kid start crying or talking loud, I might twist their legs off if they start kicking my seat. On the bus, I won't offer my seat to your kid either, put him on your lap. Courtesy goes both ways, you don't get special rights because you're a mom or a kid, you chose to have a child you should be prepared to take care of your child. I decided not to have kids, so leave me alone.



Here are some of the other responses to her post:

I take total exception to this article. I am a gay man and chose not to have biological children. There are states in this country where it is against the law for me to adopt children. YET, as a tax paying American citizen, 67% of my state tax dollars go to educating your children. I would be that at least 35% of my Federal taxes go to educating your children. Next time your stroller is on the way of the door when I am coming out of a building, perhaps you should hold the door for me, after all, I pay for your child's education. Perhaps you should move to the side of the pavement to let me pass, because I am in a rush to make money so I can pay the taxes I owe to educate your child. Remember, there are states in this Union where it is illegal for me to adopt a child...me! I have a master's degree, am an art historian with five books under my belt. I own two small businesses with sales over two million a year per business. Let's just say that I am smart enough NOT to choose to raise kids in New York City, and I am barred from adopting children in states across this country...yet I pay for your kids to attend crappy public schools.

You know what .......get out of my way baby!


Do me a favor and kindly disassociate your state as a mom from your rage. If who you are is pushy and impatient, fine, but I have a feeling you were that way before you gave birth. Many (most?) of us manage to be civil and pleasant while also being moms. And when we do encounter rudeness and bad service, we don't use motherhood as an excuse to be rude right back.


....and then these Moms with Entitlement Syndrome wonder why people are hostile toward them. I can't imagine why!

I've been around mothers like you, Denise. The ones who expect everyone to prostrate themselves on the ground in awe of their Mommyhood. The ones who expect "common courtesy" from others but can't be bothered to give it themselves. The ones who think it's just fine when their kid talks through the movie, runs around the grocery store and knocks things down, or behaves in a rude manner.

Guess what? It's not all about you. Get over yourself.

oh, and for what it's worth, I'm the mom of two beautiful girls. I don't hang out with mothers like you. Raising kids in the city isn't easy. Nobody said that it was. But that sort of entitled, rude attitude is inappropriate whether you're a parent or not. And especially when you're a parent, what kind of attitude sets a very bad example for your kids. What are you teaching them, that they have the right to be jerks?

If you have time read the comments, no doubt a self-centered person like the writer hadn't realized the amount of shit that was gonna fall on her head.

Read more...

Who Is This Craig? And How Many Lists Does He Have?

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

The anonymity of Craigslist allow it to be a platform where people can say absolutely almost anything. A person with patience to search through the postings could be awarded with hours of amusement. Last year, I found this bit online where a guy breaking up with his boyfriend on Craigslist. Reading Huffington Post, they have found one ad that they claimed to be the most amazing one and 19 craziest ones. They are all very amusing, so I thought I'd share some here.


This is the most amazing ad. Imagine living with this guy, wouldn't you just want to jump out the window and kill yourself after a while?
---


Love is blind, deaf and smells like yam.
---


"Just tell your kids that happy hamster keep still..." lol! Grandpa didn't die, he's just in his happy place!
---


Um... I'm selling my mouse for $50 a pop and they all come with their own glue traps. For $160, you'll get all four of them so they don't have to be separated from each other. You don't want to break up the family now would you?
---


I'm sure this is a helpful solution for a lot of folks. There are so many accidents happening around here.
---


A dollar? Really? Who's desperate enough to soak in noodles for 5 minutes so you can get $1? I wonder how much money the neighbor with a stopwatch is getting. It must be a bet between neighbors on what ridiculous things you can make people do for $1. Sadly, the neighbor is going to lose.
---


You mean to tell me that this lady knows how to use Craigslist but didn't think of putting the words Rusty Trombone on a search engine? She's so getting Dirty Sanchezed for that one.

---

If you have time read the entire post, it's ridiculously funny.

Read more...

All Apologies

>> Sunday, February 21, 2010



I don't know since when the whole nation become so sensitive about everything, probably the same time someone decided that political correctness and putting "Warning: Content is HOT" on coffee cups. Everything you do or say will and could be held against you, especially if you're a public figure and not a Republican.

Take Rahm Emanuel for example, he was using the word "retard" to describe liberals in a closed door meeting and somehow words got out and people are calling him to be fired because he use the word "Retard" with a bad connotation. Um... huh? It's a closed door meeting, no mentally challenged person was presented. He wasn't calling on people to hurt the retards, or taking any rights from them. The lead of those calling for his resignation is Sarah Palin, obviously because she has a son with Down syndrome and so the word "retard" is now sacred to her and anybody use it in any kinda way will offend her and must be fired and disappear from his world. Kinda make you think if she'll still fight for the mentally challenged if her son was normal, and if she'll fight for the gays if one of her children turned out to be that way.

Last week, Fox's Family Guy aired a Valentine episode where Chris fell in love with a bossy girl with Down syndrome who claimed to be a former governor of Alaska's daughter. Of course, Sarah Palin was livid and wrote a Facebook post with her daughter Bristol decrying the unthinkable cruelty of Family Guy, stating that we should have more compassion to the less fortunate, certain things aren't funny and people should watch what they do or say to people in the special needs community. Turns out the voice actress who plays the girl with Down syndrome was herself a girl with Down syndrome. Her family had taught her that having a sense of humor is good, it helps her to live a normal life.



Footage of Jersey Shore's Ronnie exchanging words with a bar patron and called him a "F**king faggot" and a "F**king queer" right before getting in a brawl surfaced which he apologized. I'm sure no one is too surprised or offended by that. I mean if you're getting into a fight, are you gonna really watch what you say? That and being a juiced up, bronzed and being the cast member of a show about a bunch of people who's proud of being stereotypically guido. Come on. We're clearly not looking for role models in this bunch of folks.

Tiger Woods made a public apology for cheating on his wife many, many a time. I believe that he was sincere at times, saying money and fame has given him easy access to poontang and he felt like he's entitled to it. Though I can't believe that his wife never hit him, I mean you just don't get into a car accident in your own driveway. Obviously someone else wrote the speech for him or at least someone read through it and made certain changes. I have to say making a public apology like that is not easy. If sorry is indeed the hardest word, the difficulty level should multiply by the number of people you have to say it to.

The Olympics is under way and gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White's coach Bud Keene got overtly excited and you the F-word a few times when talking to Shaun. Unfortunately this private talk got picked up NBC and got broadcast to the audience. Nobody asked you to pry into it, so who's fault is it anyway? snowboarder Bronze metalist Scotty Lago got caught in a racy picture on TMZ. The boyfriend and I heard it and expected to see something nice but was really disappointed. Yet Scotty still had to apologize to the Olympics committee for disrespecting the medal he received and had to pack and go home early.

How easily should we feel offended and how many apologies are genuine? For the sake of self-preservation, I think we should all grow thicker skins.

Read more...

Weekend Meme: Trivia About Me Meme

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010



About two weeks ago I went to New York and rounded up more than half a thousands of desserts and did a comparison, all those desserts came recommended from Serious Eats. After the taste test, me and the boyfriend concluded that the Banana Bread Pudding from Magnolia Bakery is pretty much the best thing we had put in our mouths for a while. To save us the trip to go to New York, I found the recipe online and tried it out, after a bit of tweaking it turned out pretty damn good. Maybe I'll post the recipe later this week.

This week's meme can be found on Sunday Stealing.

Opening…

Do you get regular massages?
No, not really into massages. Though lately since the air has been dry, I do ask the boyfriend to help me apply moisturizer on my back from time to time.

Do you have an answering machine?
I used to, but now I just use my cell phone and there's answering service.

What cuss word do you use the most?
"Shit!" It's a fun word to say.

Are you underweight or overweight?
Over... for the overindulge/extremists.

Can you see your veins?
In certain parts of my body, yes.

Favorite…

Soap?
South of France soaps, but they are like $6 a pop.

Fruit?
Sugar apples which is not available here in the States.

Kind of red meat?
Beef, specifically rib eye or prime rib.

Fish?
Salmon, love it raw!

Candy bar?
Loved Mars bar, but they are not really available anymore.

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips?
Who hasn't?

Eaten lobster?
Yes, just had it 2 nights ago.

Climbed a mountain?
Hold on, does it have to be a very tall mountain? I have climbed a mountain but maybe they'd just qualify as a hill here.

Been skydiving?
No, it should be fun.

Been water skiing?
I have seen people do it but I'm not such a great swimmer.

Do You…

Wish you could change something about your life?
Of yeah. I'm the shoulda, coulda, woulda type.

Like your nose?
It's much too flat. My mom used to pinch it with a clothes pin in an attempt to correct it.

Like salt and vinegar chips?
Nope, they're my least favorite kinda chips.

Eat salsa?
Sure, I use it to cook as well.

Own a boat?
Nope, not very nautical here.

What Is…

A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences?
Nepotism.

Your most macho trait?
I've always assume the role of the protector and sometimes it leads to confrontations and even bar fights.

The longest relationship you’ve ever had?
6 years, that pretty long in gay years, right?

Your most embarrassing thoughts?
Can't really share that with the world now, can I?

Your most shameful moment?
That's also kinda private.

This/That…

Bath/Shower?
I like bath and shower for different reasons, though 85% of the time is showers.

Markers/Crayons?
Markers. It's more saturated and fluid.

Pens/Pencils?
I love them both, mostly use pen these days.

Jelly/Cream Cheese?
For bagels it's cream cheese, for toast it's jelly. Which begs the next question...

Bagel/Toast?
Love them both, though 80% of the time it's toast. Bread comes a lot easier than bagels.

Finish…

My greatest weakness is…
Food and a handsome guy with a nice hairy chest.

I wish I was…
How long exactly do you have for this one?

Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are…
Kill a person, give up television, eat s**t.

The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is…
So many things, who can remember?

Firsts…

Credit card you had?
It was a Mastercard. They came to the campus and asked people to sign up for a t-shirt or something. I needed to build my credit so I got one.

Loan you got was for?
Student loan.

Paycheck was for how much?
It was a good few thousand Hong Kong dollar which is a few hundred bucks here.

Time you had stitches?
I ran into the corner of my mom's bed when I was 3.

Time you went to the hospital for something?
It would have been for the stitches I think.

Lasts…

List everything you ate in the last 24 hours?
Cavatelli pasta I made with onion, carrot, bacon, spinach, chicken broth and shredded chicken. I have a few plates of it throughout yesterday. I also had a piece of surprisingly good vegan chocolate cake from Whole Foods and a piece of lemon square that the boyfriend brought over. I also tasted the vanilla custard while making the above shown banana bread pudding that I'm going to bring to my friend's today.

Last thing you used a credit card for?
I would be a new leather chair that I bought online. The old one is falling apart.

What was your job previous to the one you have now?

The IT director for a small non-profit.

Last thing you celebrated?
Chinese New Year, just went out for a Chinese banquet dinner two nights ago.

Last time you were at a sports bar?
After the banquet dinner we went to a gay sports bar to watch the Olympics. A few skaters fell on their face. Oh, schadenfreude...

Alright guys, have a great weekend!

Read more...

Weird Apartments

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

I don't remember where I found this post about the world's weirdest apartment buildings. Apart from the noise which rarely happens in well built ones, I really do enjoy living in an apartment buildings. You always know that there are people around you and it makes you feel safe. When you have good neighbors, it even gives you a sense of community within the building.


Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada

Habitat 67 was built in 1967 as part of the World's Fair exposition in Montreal to demonstrate living habitat in the future when people will be forced to live in high density condition. The project was designed to create affordable housing with close but private quarters but demand's for the building's unit has since made them very expensive. There are 354 solid cubes constructed on top of each other and coalesced into 146 “square” residences, each equipped with a garden. I think I passed by it once on my way to a nearby casino during my visit to Montreal once.


Suite Vollard, Curitiba, Brazil

Designed by architect David Fisher, Suite Vollard was the first apartment building with floors that can rotate 360 degrees. Built in 2001, Suite Vollard stand 15 floors in height and 11 of those floors can turn clockwise or counter-clockwise, turning a full 360 degrees in one hour. Apartments in the building sell for $400,000 each.


Rødovre Sky Village, Copenhagen, Denmark

During the research on this building, I happened to stumble upon the Netherlands-based designing firm MVRDV who have designed one of the most jaw-dropping designs I've ever seen. The Rødovre Sky Village illustrated MVRDV's specialties in stacking. The 116 meter tall tower accommodates apartments, a hotel, retail and offices. A public park and a plaza. The building leans and hangs in order to create space for sky gardens. This stackable building is flexible to fulfill market needs, all the units can change their purposes. It's very Lego-like.


Turning Torso Building, Malmö, Sweden.

Right at the time that I'm reading the Kurt Wallander series recommended by Sue. A lot of storylines happens around Malmö. The Turning Torso building was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and opening in August 2005. The building reaches 54 stories tall and 623 feet in height, the second tallest building in Europe. Each floor consists of an irregular pentagonal shape rotating around the core and forms a 90 degree twist on the whole building.


Urban Cactus Building, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Europe seems to be the haven of interesting architectures. The Urban Cactus is a housing project accommodating 98 units in 19 floors. The riverside location dictates a lot of greens to be used on the building, the design on the curvy terrace provide space to appreciate gardening and the outdoors while also provide great views and sunlight. Too bad these don't spin around.


Elephant Building, Bangkok, Thailand

Elephants are Thailand's national symbol, so it's only "natural" for them to build a building resembling the creature. The Elephant building or "Chang" building consists of 7 parts and 32 floors of living, office, recreation and retail space. Although, does it really resemble an elephant?


Nagakin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Nagakin Capsule Tower looks modern but it was actually built in 1972. The building houses 140 prefabricated modules that measures 8ft x 12ft x 7 ft. Each module functions as a small office or living space, The compact apartments included a wall of appliances and cabinets built in to one side, including a kitchen stove, a refrigerator, a television set, and a reel-to-reel tape deck. A bathroom unit, about the size of an aircraft lavatory, is set into an opposite corner. A large circular window over a bed dominates the far end of the room. It was meant to be a flexible system where the user can add or subtract a module base on their needs but the building has fallen to disrepair and the occupants are voicing for it to be torn down.


Container City, London, United Kingdom

At the end of its lifecycle, shipping containers are repurposed, joined together and stylized to form housing units. The benefits of using these shipping containers include the material are made of high strength steel, it's environmentally friendly, the installation might only take days, it's low costs and it can be altered easily into various shapes to satisfy consumer needs. Container City 1 as seen in the picture took only 5 months to complete and it's made of 80% recycled material. Check their website for more pictures and information.


Cubic Houses, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam asked renowned architect, Piet Blom to design housing on top of a pedestrian walkway back in 1982. The design ended up being these cubic houses that resemble trees. The houses contain three floors:

* ground floor entrance
* first floor with living room and open kitchen
* second floor with two bedrooms and bathroom
* top floor which is sometimes used as a small garden

The walls and windows are angled at 54.7 degrees. The total area of the apartment is around 100 square meters, but around a quarter of the space is unusable because of the walls that are under the angled ceilings.

I find this even more disorienting than the rotating floors.


The Interlace/OMA, Singapore

The Interlace designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture is a soon to be realized addition to the Singapore landscape. The project is comprised by 31-six stories high apartment blocks "interlacing" and forming hexagons to maximize vegetation and outdoor recreational spaces. The project will house a total of 1,040 apartments of various sizes. The Jenga looks alike certainly doesn't look very aerodynamic, I wonder how it'll "stack up" to the typhoon ridden coast of Southeast Asia.

Read more...

Movie Review: 9

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010



These few days there's nothing much on TV other than the Winter Olympics and honestly it's not really that interesting to watch people skate around in circles like the human version of Nascar. So the other day the boyfriend and I went to rent a movie and we settled on an interesting animation called 9.

This movie came out last September and as I remembered, the trailer was a bit dark and the storyline ambiguous, that's part of the reason why I didn't rush to the theater for it. But like most animation, it aimed to please its target audience which usually are children, so it turns out not to be scary at all. Though the concept is a bit vague.

In a parallel universe, a scientist created a robot with an artificial intelligence that allows it to create machine weaponry. The robot was taken from the scientist prematurely and used for war, but then as expected it malfunctions and started to eliminate all humans. To save humanity, the scientist created little burlap puppets and imposed part of his own soul in them. As the final puppet came to life and the last bit of soul left the scientist's body, the journey of salvation begins.

The story expanded from an Oscar-nominated short film produced and written by animator Shane Acker. The short film was abstract, whimsical, concise and without any dialogue. The problem is, it is difficult to expand an abstract concept into a full-feature film and explain it in words. It opens up a whole can of worm; the world that can only exist in imagination have to be weighed down and linked up to a more realistic scenario and it didn't get anywhere.

While the animation is really well done, the story is a bit forced. The story started with only a small villain that's easily conquerable comparing to the upcoming feats. With a slight alteration, they could have lived in peace and never triggers anything else. The nine parts of the scientist's soul does not have distinguish traits to differentiate themselves from one another. Two of the dolls are twins, one is an autistic loner and one is a female dragoneer. I'm not too sure how it reflects the scientist's psyche. Other than that there are hocus pocus magic that doesn't quite fit the science/robot theme and the trigger for nature to revive is questionable too.

Personally I think the story could have altered a little bit and make the dolls programs of human traits that the malfunctioned "beast" can download and after they all sacrificed and uploaded to the beast. The beast will gain a "conscience" and start producing robots to reconstruct the world or even reconstruct the dolls for a happy ending, it'll be more plausible than magic, but I'm not the writer.

I still enjoyed it. Again the animation is flawless and beautiful, but the story reads like a misconceived video game. It would, however, be a lot more enjoyable if it were a video game. It is certainly something that the director can think about. B-

Read more...

Working Men Breaking Barriers

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010



In tough times, people get creative to think of new ways to make money. Old barriers are broken, new challenges are taken upon. Remember last month, Nevada's Shady Lady Ranch has anointed the country's first legal male prosti-dude, a 25 years-old ex-marine named Markus. Standing at 5'9", Markus is reportedly well endowed. The dude looks pretty good physically, facial features can be overlooked but apparently the guy is a douche... New York Post sent a reporter to check the guy out and it has met with some quite hilarious results. The dude compared himself to Lady Gaga, Moby and Van Gogh (for being an artist), then compare himself to Rosa Parks (for breaking barriers). Other than the egocentricity, he's also quite inexperienced when it comes to dealing with women and goes by the stereotype that women mostly just want companionship much more than sex. Markus requires $500 cash advance for any booking, though he only sees female clients "Because..." as he so skillfully put it, "my sphincter is not for sale."

And then there's this...



Jockstrap maid service. I guess it's really not a new concept, I think in the gay newspaper you can find people offering cleaning service in the buff for a slightly higher price. It's just that this one is better organized and have posted pictures so you know how the goods look like in advance. I have to admit that I was a little curious about that. It's constructive and erotic at the same time. Since cleaning and dusting is the task that I dread.

I have hired a guy once upon a time to clean my place, the guy was more than happy to get naked after he cleans and that turned into a very short term affair that ended eons ago. Nowadays I clean my own place, maybe naked at times but even though they don't have a representative here in Philly, I don't think I can be a jockstrap maid as my next career, or rather, no one would hire me with my clothes off. A friend asked me to teach him how to make cheesecake and that reminded me that my mom and her sisters have been instructors for housewives who want to learn how to be beauticians and florists alike, so maybe that's in my genes. Though nowadays, you'd have to be a chef or at least have a diploma of some kinds before you begin. Being ogled by elderly ladies is quite creepy and being naked in the kitchen is very dangerous.

Read more...

Music Invasion: Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss To Build My Dream On"

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

I think I've heard this song from a commercial and of course can't help but be drawn to Louis Armstrong's voice. These few days when I tried to call my family in Hong Kong, the phone card carrier that I use can help but be overwhelmed and instead of a friendly message apologizing and ask the user to try again later, they just hung up and play the first two notes of this song. So that's what I've been humming. Also the song is a bit festive for Valentine's Day. So here, I hope you enjoy!

Read more...

Happy/Merry/Chinese/Valentine's/New/Day/Year!

>> Sunday, February 14, 2010



Today happens to be Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day all packed up in one. It's the year of the tiger, I plan to go out and dine with friends at a Chinese restaurant this week to celebrate. At the home front, I just have to call grandma and my aunts though since everyone is calling China to wish their families and friends a good year, the phone card circuits are extremely busy.

For Valentine's day, the boyfriend and I will go to have some slabs of meat somewhere fanci-er. That and I already planned out to make some fruit and whipped cream filled crepes for breakfast and banana bread pudding for dessert using the Magnolia Bakery recipe. We agreed to not buy flowers or box of chocolates, they're not really the most practical thing.

Hope you're having a great day!

Read more...

Giving Up On Republicans

>> Friday, February 12, 2010

I understand there's a need to have at least a two-party system, a counter viewpoint, another opinion to make things better, to shape an idea into a more complete viewpoint and plan, but when the other party refuse to perform in a constructive fashion and blatantly refuse to make the common good a priority and succumbs to perform solely for the gain of power and other incentives, why do we still put so much weight on that?

Right now being a Republican either means you are a mouthpiece with misinformation to mislead people intentionally or you are dumb or bigoted enough to let these people riled up your inner racism or homophobia. To be fair, maybe there are indeed Republicans that resents these "extremists" who are taking their party hostage but they are holding their tongue until these people go away. But they won't ever go away if nobody speaks up against them.



Bipartisanship won't work. It could be because Obama is half-black, or maybe it'll be the same if he's white. I'm convinced that there's a list of talking points being passed around by the Republicans on how to criticize him as a president. A electronic newsletter or maybe they are fed through Fox News. I wonder if there's a more creative way to update us on his progresses. I do like how he's engaging the Republicans in televised summits to debate on issues. If only people would watch it and the stations will show it at full length. Lately Jon Stewart appeared in Bill O'Reilly's show and Bill O'Reilly did show some portions of the entire interview, Bill O'Reilly was arrogant, condescending and jerk-like throughout the whole thing and it's not until you see the full-length version on Fox News' website that you see the brilliant counterpoint from Jon. It's funny what editing can do.

Speaking of Jon Stewart, this week they did a special segment on the Republican National Committee that was held in Hawaii. You should watch the clip, the hypocrisy is hilarious.



Michael Steele saying that it's not a vacation while wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a lei around his neck. Going to Hawaii to talk about fiscal responsibility is almost too easy. I especially like the last minute when John Oliver was interviewing a lady and can;t help shaking his head, staring at the camera and says "wow..." just stared in disbelief. It is too easy.



The whole Hawaii RNC segment is really well produced and John Oliver was really great. Given he's interviewing lost sheep, but the skills! Love it.

This piece of nonsense...



New Hampshire Representative Nancy Elliot making her case to repeal same-sex marriage in her state. Apparently thinking doesn't come easy to her...

“This is not normal and I had to think about it awhile. What we are talking about? I started thinking. We’re talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it into the rectum of another man and wiggling it around in excrement, and you have to think. I’m not sure. Would I allow that to be done to me? All of us that could happen to you. Would you like that to happen to you? Is that normal? Is that something we want to portray as the same as the one-flesh union between a man and a woman? I don't know.”

"I heard yesterday from a mother that in 5th grade in Nashua, they were given as a part of the classroom instructions, naked pictures of a man, showing presentations of anal sex... This is directly to the bill because we have made a marriage of same sex. They are now teaching it in the public schools. They are showing it to our 5th graders how they can actually perform this kind of sex and they are condoning, they are saying that this is normal. And this is something they might want to try, that is the context of the lesson, that this is something that you as 5th graders may want to try. I see it as a real problem of our society, I see it as a real affront to our citizens that their children are subjected to this. So I think it is important that we revisit what we did, we made a mistake and we should repeal it."

Well, how many kinds of wrong can you find in her statements? It's almost like a game.

1. Anal sex is not exclusively homosexuals. Straight folks can have anal sex too. On the other hand Lesbians might not require it. Some gay relationship I know doesn't require anal sex either. Can they get married? And no, you don't necessarily have to wiggle your penis in excrement. It's called douching. Being a douche bag, she should know.

2. Would I allow that to be done to me? All of us that could happen to you. Does it mean that once same sex marriage is legal, everyone has to be fucked anally against their will? Given the gross-out strategy can be effective, but how did she come to that conclusion?

3. Is that normal? Define normal. Why do we all have to be normal? It's not normal to win the lottery and still tons of people invest small amounts to achieve this anormally. Food allergy is not normal, being a bigot is not normal, being 100% "normal" is not normal. What is "normal"?

4. Is that something we want to portray as the same as the one-flesh union between a man and a woman? By that, she means getting fucked up the ass. No, I don't compare sex with the "holy" matrimony between two drunks in Vegas. I don't go around marriage ceremonies and think of what kind of sex the couple is going to have and what the hell is a one-flesh union? Siamese twins that decided to wed each other?

5. I heard yesterday from a mother that in 5th grade in Nashua. How freaking convenient to start your story like that... wow! If there's really a school showing naked pictures of men to 10 years old and tell them you should start experimenting with bum-fuckery. You should sue them, the teacher might be loosening up the kids so he/she could do that to them. I'm calling bullshit on this one. I doubt that such a mother or school ever existed. The proof being naked pictures of a man, showing presentations of anal sex... It's like she's afraid of naked men and anal sex is only perform amongst men.

No doubt Representative Eliott is not having the best sex lives in the world. Her views on sex is that it's dirty and disgusting. It's probably a symptom on an unhappy marriage. Maybe she should try to improve hers before budding her head into others.

Read more...

Taylor Who?

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010



Start your engine ladies and gentlemen because young hottie Taylor Lautner has just turned 18 today, therefore he's legal and he's officially "game". Of course, you'd probably have to fight nail and teeth with girlfriend Taylor Swift first. Not to be on the side of Kanye, but I have a hard time processing the recent success of Taylor Swift. She kinda swept the VMA and the Grammys on unclear ground. I have heard part of her songs and saw her hosting SNL but I wasn't impressed, I don't even know the names of any of her songs. I gotta feeling that she's running on the route of teenage puppy love country sweetheart, and I'm not sure if that appeal to the masses. Feel like she's just a country version of Miley Cyrus. Of course, that's just my point of view. Folks at the heartland might just be eating it all up. Maybe we're just running in different circles, or maybe she'll just be an enigma that I can't solve just like Barbra Streisand. But I gotta feeling that it's not just me:



Since I regard last year as the year of Gaga, I thought she would get more awards than she had. Everybody is still talking about her. I was also puzzled by Beyonce for breaking the record for receiving the most Grammy by a female artist in one year. Music-wise I am... Sasha Fierce fell a little flat for me, the saving grace to that was in her video. I was surprised when Halo won the best female Pop vocal. I'm also a little miffed in the fact that the album was originally published in 2008 and have since published a deluxe edition, a platinum edition and then an I am... Sasha Fierce - The Bonus Tracks EP. Even if you're for supporting the artist, I think there should be a limit on how many times you should be forced to pay for the same songs, just so you get to hear the extras.

But I digress. Happy Birthday, Taylor Lautner! Have fun being the "New Moon"!

Read more...

Blatant Racism

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A week ago, my professorial buddy lamented that his students talked about "[they] don't know why [they] have to study about racism when really, no one is racist anymore. At least not overtly..." Of course, on the same night that buddy had to be walking down the street as a drunk guy across the street yelled and asked whether he and his slanty eyes have a problem. The students of my buddy are all white and resented the implications that they could be racists themselves in any way, but I wonder if any of can detect oppression if they are not part of the group who are being oppressed? We do live in a system that takes race/ethnicity very much into account on decisions we make and whether we like it or not, racism do exist.




I'm not one who's actively looking for hints of racism/sexism/homophobia and make a big fuss over it, I even consider the use of some hilarious but Tom Tancredo's speech was way beyond the limit. I always thought racism is more of a southern thing and wasn't expecting a former congressman/presidential nominee from Colorado to openly display his bigotry. It is not that I've never experienced racism myself, one of my insane ex-boyfriend had told me dead-seriously that the reason the upscale mall around the area is an hour away is because they didn't want black people to be there, he told me that I would be nothing without him even though I pretty much paid for my way and his way every time we go out. I was convinced for a while that all rice queens were racist and they were comfortable dating members of other races because they think they are far more superior than them. I know that it takes some self-hatred to come to this realization but I'm terribly terrified to find that traits in people close to me.

Read more...

Commercials That Don't Make Sense

>> Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Attending a party one night, the host got a little device that allow the user to go into Facebook on his wide flatscreen TV. Everyone in the living room was sitting around watching the tagged photos of every newcomer. I never liked my pictures much and not even showing the pictures I personally picked in my profile and go to some candid pictures that some other people took of me and show it to strangers I don't know had me embarrassed and flabbergasted. It also doesn't help that I was wearing one of my favorite shirts that also appeared "on TV" which made me realized that even though I had an adequate amount of winter clothes, I only like to wear certain ones. I need to get a few more items I liked. Passed by Old Navy today and their winter inventory is gone and they are selling short sleeve polo shirts and Bermuda shorts.

We just had close to 29 inches of snow while half of it is still on the sidewalks. I merely got by without wearing my boots and this coming Wednesday, it's said to have another 6 to 20 inches of snow again. So... who's buying short sleeve polos and shorts in this kinda weather? Maybe for chain stores, they lack the ability to adapt to regional needs and have to change seasons all at once so they don't have to advertise things in turns or maybe they just lack common sense in general.

Throughout the year of watching commercials and certain TV shows, I've somewhat been dismayed of the stereotypical portrayal of men and women. The male characters in the commercials are more often than not stupid, pervy, lazy couch potatoes that are pussy-whipped while their female counterparts are wise, smart, clean, the ones who really make decisions. I'm usually okay with it since I just play it off as that to be the stereotypical "straight" man and I understand that by having a girl to play dumb will generate a lot of comments calling it misogyny and there are no groups out there to protect the image of the male gender, but when a company is paying millions of dollars to cater and sell to a male-oriented event like the Superbowl, why put down the male sex?







Given I've already mastered the skill of tuning out on commercials but did they think that it'll make anyone wants to buy their products more?

And, do I have to watch/listen to this for the next 3 months?



What have I done to deserve this? It'll actually make me swear off Boost Mobile for the rest of my life.

Read more...

Philly Mini Tournament: Lemon Bar Edition

>> Monday, February 08, 2010

One of the things that both me and my boyfriend enjoy is a good lemon square. And during my trip to NYC last week, I couldn't find a single one in the bakeries that I've visited which I find to be odd. Are the upscale bakery shunning the ordinary pastry that is a simple piece of lemon square? Or maybe it's just not the season for lemon? I thought lemons were produced all year round.

I kept on my search when I was back in Philly. I thought Starbucks carries lemon squares but then I couldn't find them in 3 stores that I passed by. Apparently in this tough economic times, bakeries can't afford to sell lemon "squares" anymore. They have to be downsized to rectangular "bars" instead. After much further searches, I located 4 lemon bars to brought back for comparison.

1. Metropolitan Bakery



Metropolitan Bakery offers very rustic, country-style baked goods. While a lot of people raves about the place, I find their breads are usually too tough for any kinds of consumption. Other items in the counter are too small for their price. The only item I enjoy that is uniquely from them is their chocolate cherry rolls or loaf, but it'll still take me a good 10 minutes to chew down. Maybe they have long improved since I last bought anything from them or maybe the quality of their product is better in other branches, but the unfriendly saleswoman at Reading Terminal Market make me want to try their product any more than I have to. I was desperate to find a lemon square.

So the sad piece of lemon bar up there was seating behind the counter waiting to be adopted like a sad puppy. I wasn't about to buy it, but again I was desperate. We weren't impressed much with the taste either. It's like an egg custard with a butter crust with only a hint of lemon. Easily forgettable.


2. Brew Ha Ha!



I'm sure for a coffee shop like Brew Ha Ha!, their pastries could certainly be outsourced, there's no telling who the actual bakers were. The benefit for outsourcing though, is that the quality of their pastries are pretty damn good. The lemon curd is sticky and decidedly less sweet. The lemon flavor is strong without being sharp and the thin crust is light while the crumbs on top are buttery. It's pretty decent.


3. Whole Foods



Equally as good is this piece of lemon curd bar with a linzer crust from Whole Foods. Lemon flavors are heavily concentrated in the curd and it was a bit sharp, but then it was balanced out with the heavy dusting of powdered sugar. The linzer cookies in the bottom is soft and buttery, the whole thing is pleasant for the ones who enjoy tartness.


4. Flying Monkey



Definitely best of the bunch. Flying Monkey is one of the champions of introducing a cupcake shop in Philly. I've enjoyed many of their cupcakes, the espresso chocolate one being my favorite and of course, they have pretty high standards with all their products. The lemon squares have a rich buttery shortbread crust that taste above the rest. The lemon curd and the egg custard meld together perfectly, the lemon flavor is a bit tart but balanced well with the lightly sweetened custard and the powdered sugar. It is satisfyingly good.

Maybe one of these days I'll experiment and make some on my own, but that better wait until I lose 10 pounds.

Read more...

NYC Desserts Tournament: Fight to the Death

>> Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blame it on Serious Eats: New York for the inspiring Sugar Rush section that introduces all kinds of desserts and pastries available in the Big Apple. I was tempted to go and try them all, so I sorta did.
I went around town and collected 7 samples and took them back to share with the Boyfriend. We decided we'll just have dessert for dinner one night and load on carbs and sugar, hang on to each other and brace for the crash afterwards.

A few months ago I had a craving for zeppoles, a sugar coated eggy, springy doughnut. So when I heard about there's a place in New York that's specialized in Zeppoles, I flocked there. Led Zeppole is a cute little shop with a n extremely difficult door to open and close, someone has to fix it. With standing room smaller than an elevator, you're confronted with a counter lined with cannolis, cream puffs, funnel cakes, zeppoles and other fried pastries. The extremely friendly my fellow Asian shopkeep informed me that unlike other stores, everything you buy from their store is made fresh to order. The tons of pastries in the counter are just for show. The zeppoles are not balloon shape that I'm used to but more resembling a crooked blimpy doughtnuts. Powdered sugar were piled up like the blizzard we had out our windows. The price cannot be more reasonable. ($2.50 for 3) The shopkeep also further informed me that if I never had a fried Oreo, I should really get one and so I did. Fried sugary, chocolatey, crunchy and a bit spongey. Delicious. The zeppoles however did not fair so well, after a night in the fridge and reheated in the oven. I guess fried food must be eaten fresh from the fryer, so I guess I can't fairly evaluate them. If you ever find yourself in that part of town with fried food cravings, it's a spot that you must try.




Zeppoles from Led Zeppole ($2.50 for 3)

During a tour of New York a few years back, I was brought to near the World Trade Center and within the building there was this little pastry shop that have amazing looking pastries lined up in a very pretty way. I was in a rush and didn't get anything but I also though it'd be amazing to have the chance to go get some and of course I have forgotten the name of the shop. After browsing around, I found out that they were Financier Patisserie. They offer more classic and showy French pastries. The only thing that irked me was that the particular branch that I went to this time around time square was located in the same building that houses Fox News. It almost made me not want to go there.

The two pastries that I got from there were a coffee eclair and a chocolate chestnut cream dome. The shop specializes in French pastries and during different weeks, a different eclair was featured. When I went this time, they have their coffee eclair and a vanilla bean eclair. The coffee eclair I've got is filled with coffee cream and have a coffee flavored glaze on top. Slightly sweet, rich, I'm into the flavor so I liked it a lot, though the cream can be lighter and the whole pastry less sweet in general. The chocolate and chestnut cream bombe is also on the sweet and rich side. I guess it's hard to not be light that otherwise. When you cute it in half you can see the chocolate cream and the chestnut cream is separated clearly inside a crisp tart shell, the whole thing is covered in a layer of smooth dark chocolate. A cup of hot tea would be a great accompaniment.


Coffee Eclair ($3.25)


Chocolate and Chestnut Cream Bombe ($4.25)


On Towleroad, they reported Anderson Cooper had been raving about a little dessert called Crack Pie from a place called Momofuku. He has mentioned it on his tweets and a few talk shows. That got me interested since the name of the restaurant/bakery sounds Asian, the item's name has the word "Crack" in it, it's made of very simple ingredients and when some food items are being openly endorsed, I want to see for myself.

The crack pie doesn't look like anything special, a little too small for the $5 it costs, but the taste is really impactful. The custard in the middle tastes like brown sugar, eggs and butter, maybe with a little hint of condense milk. To counter the gooey goodness is a firm pie crust with an interesting chewy texture that comes from toasted rolled oats. People compared it with a pecan-less pecan pie, but it's a little more than that. I believe it's an educated calculation, not quite as addictive as it claimed to be but good.

I also got a piece of banana cake for good measure. The sudden fame of the Momofuku empire is in its new imaginative combination of different ingredients. To invent old classic and put ordinary ingredients in strange situation and see how it flourish, sort of like a reality show. Here we have a cake with too many layers for its own good. Banana cakes sandwiched between chocolate fudge with a hint of molasses, hazelnut fudge, hazelnut crunch and a light layer of salt on top to add to its complexity. There's no way I can eat a bite with everything combines, so was it supposed to be enjoyed compartmentally to get all the little different combinations possible? The cake is good in general, but it seems to have tried too hard.

One thing I forgot to get is their pork belly bun sandwiches. It's done to the style of a peking duck buns, with scallion, hoisin sauce and all. Sounds absolutely delicious. I swear I'll get one if I happen to be passing by next time.


Crack Pie ($5)


Banana Cake ($5)


While going to New York the past few times, I've noticed Magnolia Bakery around Rockerfeller Center having unusually long lines and while reading on Serious Eats, a lot of people seems to like the place for their cupcakes. Apparently they got a cameo in Sex in the City and people are flocking there. Philly have their trends of cupcake shops and honestly you can't really do anything outrageously awesome with good old cupcakes. The writers of Serious Eats shared my point of views and instead of going there for cupcakes, one of them swear by their banana bread pudding. Since the boyfriend loves banana and peanut butter, I got the bread pudding along with a piece of peanut butter ice box pie.

The ice box pie is light and mild. I thought it was a bit less sweet than I'd like but after a few more bites, I started to appreciate the subtlety. There's a light layer of peanut butter right on top of a flaky crumbly crust, then more peanut butter is whipped up into a light, light cream. Then piece of Reese's mini cup are sprinkled on top along with some toasted peanuts. Looks simple, but taste amazing.

The crown jewel of this trip turns out to be the banana bread pudding that is sold in a cup. The man behind the counter ask whether I wanted a small or a large one. Not knowing how good it'd taste, I opt for a small one. Looking back I would have gotten two large tubs or maybe even a $24 bowl that would serve 10 people. It would have been well worth it. Sweet vanilla pudding cream with fresh tasty banana pieces mushed into it and some hidden pieces of vanilla wafers. The vanilla wafers already absorbed some liquid and they turned very soft. The whole thing is so good, it's ridiculous. If I can only eat one dessert for the rest of my life... wait, why choose? That would be silly.


Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie ($4)


(The Best) Banana Bread Pudding (Ever) ($4.5 for 12 oz)


What about the diet again?

Read more...

  © Blogger template Romantico by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP