Wednesday, March 31, 2010



last night i went to the juilliard jewish student union seder.
it was my first seder without family.
it was the first time there weren't screaming children running and giggling everywhere,
it was the first time where the whole thing lasted more than fifteen minutes,
oh yeah,
it was the first time i actually heard the entire story of passover

because, usually, it's just like,
"ok passover story. didn't we hear this last year?
 i'm hungry
time for dayenu."

this seder was led by orthodox rabbis,
you're at a music school,
your dayenu better be in tune.


and did you know that in the orthodox practice,
matzoh balls aren't allowed at seders?!
why did i even go?!

ok but seriously,
it was all very interesting to share my holiday with people of all backgrounds and sects and even some first time sederers. 
as we went around each reading part of the story,
some of the people read in hebrew,
some in english...
and everyone brought some of their own traditions to the table...

the isreali dancers had some songs they sang for us,
the rabbis told their favorite stories about giving seders in siberia,
and i guess my tradition was 
eating as much matzoh as humanly possible so that i wouldn't gnaw off my hand before the three and a half hour seder was over.

is it so bad that the only thing i craved was a big honking hunk of soft doughy challah bread?!

it was super good matzoh though,
hand made in isreal,
and had a little bit of a chewy texture...

oh look at me, going about analyzing the school seder's matzoh.

despite the starvingness through the whole story,
it was super great fun.

enjoy your chocolate covered matzoh this week, lovelies!!
and matzoh brei 
and matzoh ball soup
and matzoh meal brownies



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

donuts are the new cupcakes.

stefani @ doughnut plant

love to magnolia,
love to crumbs,
love to sprinkles,

and love to every single one of the 
thousand million glamourous cupcake bloggers 
{and their headbands that match the color of the frosting}

in a world where outer beauty matters all too often,

it's time for the 
goofy kid to shine.

traditional donut @ bombolini

i know,
it's our natural instinct to suppress it,
seeing as how they are about a thousand times worse for you than a piece of cake,
but in this era of shamelessness
there's no better time than now to embrace the fact that



it's true.

it's no coincidence
opened kitty-corner to magnolia on the upper west side,

serving pb&j sammiches on donuts
opened a stone's throw from kyotofu

the same year that april decided to serve
ciabatta donuts at her new baby,

 the same year that
opened with bombolini on the menu

it's even rumored that
serves donuts.

apple cider donuts @ the 65th street farmers' market

enough beating round the bush,
here are reasons why donuts prevail:

1. like i said, everything is better fried... and that should be reason enough.

2. variety
yeasty, cakey, frosted, powdered, glazed, 
jelly-filled, creme-filled, square, round, hole, 
no hole, long and skinny...
ciabatta?!  #aprilbloomfieldisSUCHapimp

3. you don't have to let them cool before glazing them
when have you ever been served a warm cupcake with the frosting still in tact?
contrary wise, how often is the krispy kreme hot-now sign on?

4. they cost less moneys.
why buy a magnolia cupcake for over two dollars 
when you could go across the street to bombolini 
and buy a warm pistachio donut for $1.09?

5. they make excellent photo shoot props.

the traditional specs
w/ ciabatta donuts @ the breslin
the smiley face
above: of maria w/ an apple cider donut at the 65th street farmers' market
below: w/ blackout at doughnut plant
the mustache 
the i'm-a-man-and-i'm-not-sacrificing-my-masculinity-by-posing-with-a-cupcake-but-instead-i-am-cool-for-posing-with-something-doubly-as-bad-for-you
{welcome luke to the blog world, ladies}

6. let us also not 4get about the crème brulée donut
@doughnut plant

donuts are better.


challenge me, i dare you.
{i think meghan's already working on it...}
and i will personally bring you on a walking donut tour of manhattan 
where we will stop at the following:
{from north to south}

bombolini at 68th and columbus, for warm, filled italian donuts
the 65th street farmers' market for apple cider donuts & the homey farm boys that vend them
bouchon bakery at columbus circle for thomas kellerness
a voce at columbus circle for haute bombolini and a view of central park
holey cream in hell's kitchen
the breslin bar and dining room at 29th and broadway for chewy chewy ciabatta donuts
doughnut plant on the lower east side for outrageousness 
shopsin's at the essex street market for baby donuts

sheesh, that's enough donut porn for now.

who's with me?



Sunday, March 28, 2010

week 13: doughnut plant

it is 6:30 in the AM.
the sun begins to rise.
our* location: the lower east side

*high school friend stefani, bass player friend kris, kris' friend from alaska/john luther adams, and me

and whoever decided that this chilly weather is acceptable
is a doofus.

the past twelve hours have included:
white pizza, 
washington heights,
j.s. bach with drum set accompaniment {??},
 a former new york attorney general {????????}, 
salsa dancing,
steamed milk with almond {my new favvvvve}

the past twelve twenty-two and a half hours have not included:
save for a few minutes when i accidentally closed my eyes mid almond-milk at the yaffa cafe on st. marks.

it seems natural,
that a donut shop should be sampled at the start of its day.
{because that's just when you're supposed to eat donuts}
and at around 3:30am,
when we happened to be in close proximity to
we made the wise/educated decision
 that it simply would have been pointless to scale the island,
only to have to turn right back around to get there for its 6:30 opening.

so we muscled through the wee morning hours,
 engaging in various appropriate shenanigans, 
and killing time til opening time.

this is real research, people.

 we arrived at 6:23.
danced in the cold. {wanna see my new salsa moves?}

...prob took some pictures we weren't supposed to...
...and then went to town when, 
at 6:30 on the dot,
we were allowed in to
the teensy aqua hole-in-the-wall
that is doughnut plant.
the choices were obvious:

peanut butter and jelly
yeast risen, jelly filled, peanut butter frosting, peanuts
yeast risen, blackberry jam filled, will beat up any other jelly donut
yeast risen, chocolate donut, chocolate glazed
yeast risen, topped with seeds
tres leches
cake, white, filled with white stuff {grow up}, 
i don't know but it was definitely one of the best
cake, chocolate, more chocolate, more chocolate, etc

and we ravaged them,
as if we hadn't just had almost an entire white pizza ,
as if we hadn't just had an entire bagel/schmear schmorgesborg,
as if we hadn't eaten for months. 

it reminded me of the great krispy kreme ravage of '99,
when mum picked me up from the 5th grade with a dozen,
and they were all gone in seconds {blame an epic growth spurt}.

and just when we thought donuts were going to start popping out of our pores,
the donut man gave us a gifty
{i love gifties}

the crème brulée donut.

do you remember this?
{the out-of-this-world crème brulée from artisanal that i had circa early february}

imagine that between the cream,
and the turtle shell,
there is an ooey gooey
"weeeeeeeeeee!!!" the sound of excitement and joy
it was such a diva.
complete with crackly shell, caramelized to perfection,
cream dripping down your arm,
my heavens, it was in a league of its own.

the remains created about one full donut,
that would still put any dunkin donut to shame.
what separated these donuts from others,
was the outrageous abundance of thick glaze
{i watched as gloved donutmen plunged them into huge buckets of ____}
and total moistness in both the yeast and the cake.

disappointing was that,
even though we were the first customers of the day,
the donuts we got had been made at some point way earlier in the night,
and were not hot or at their height of freshness.

can a sista get some hot-nows for neglecting sleep in order to get these thanggggs?

also disappointing was the absence of donut holes.
what will the munchkins eat?

also disappointing was that they only take cash.
but maybe that worked in my/my credit card's/my gut's favor.

rumor on the street is that,
in the holiday season,
they have a marzipan donut,
which i will definitely need to go back for...

but until then,
glorious friends,
i've got 39 more restaurants to try...

and a freaking nap to take.



doughnut plant is on grand street between essex and norfolk in new york's sassy lower east side.
open tuesday-sunday 6:30-6:30
bills and coinz only.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


"whole wheat bagel with fat-free cream cheese," 
said the twig ahead of me. 
i doubt i'll hear words any sadder today.
frank bruni



Friday, March 26, 2010

life of a percussionist, part three

first, i would like to express my gratitude towards 
for designing these pencils to encourage followers of pop kultur to 
do something that i've done out of necessity for a future 
since high school. 

i'm glad jonathan adler is on my side.


the following is a paid advertisement*

i just got my new joseph pereira by jason ginter percussion timpanist sticks and they are neat-o!
joseph pereira
my teacher/timpanist in the l.a. phil/former esquire model
my surfing teacher/timpanist in the san diego symphony/stick company entrepreneur extraordinaire
just check out how pretty they are!!
and how glamourous the green handles are!!
they sound and feel fab,
they don't come from germantown or japantown {= cost less than germantown and japantown mallets}
and they're green.
and the bamboo is expertly matched by jason ginter.
the weight is good too.
tacos are good too.

*this advertisement was paid for by tacos {in the future}

{seriously, tacos aside, these mallets are really excellent}


despite the fact that composer man showed up to the opening night of
beyond the machine
{with instruments at hand}
three minutes before the downbeat
a.k.a. too late to use the original instruments
the piece was a great success.

i shattered a tile on the last note of the piece
and felt pretty glamourous about it.
and the original instruments 
made for great photo shoot props, post performance
{also semi-failed attempt at reenacting american gothic... not smiling is really easier said than done, i'm sorry}



a 9:30 pm so percussion concert at carnegie/zankel hall
ended my evening.

reasons why a concert would have been at 9:30 pm:

a. so that everyone playing the usual 8 o'clock concert 
could high tail it to zankel in time for the second half's steve mackey premiere
b. because the high decibels would have most definitely disrupted 
the san francisco symphony concert next door
c. because a concert with that programming is too damn hip to be as early as 8
d. because one cannot get nearly inebriated enough by 8

in any case,

i enjoyed it a lot.

and at one point, when the performers were pulling strings off the floor that looked like pieces of pink bubble gum to activate an alien nose, i thought my face was going to explode.

there was a solo wind-up toy part.
bet you violinists don't get to do that fun s***

love drums.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

burning fresh like _____

you owe reality nothing 
and the truth about your feelings
richard hugo




Tuesday, March 23, 2010

week 12: sacred chow

my week-long trial period of near-veganism culminated last friday,
with a trip to 
in the west village

it was recommended to me by vegan friend justin,
whom i did not know was vegan until he turned down an offer
for a cookie bar made by mum
{and you must know that no one turns down jody's cookie bars}

so in our post-concert rush,
we taxied downtown 
with just enough time to place our dinner {and dessert} order
by closing time.

and the style was 
and our appetites were

here's a list of what we ordered,
and my thoughts about them 
{in twitter form, of course}

sacred caesar salad
taste simulation at it's highest.
are you sure there are no anchovies in this, justin?
yes, pumpkin, i'm sure.

sunflower lentil paté
not too weird or grossly offensive,
but, alas, i've never had real paté so i don't know how this compared.

mama's soy meatballs
with sicilian sauce
reminded me of the vegetarian meatballs that an ex's mom made,
and since i wouldn't dare ask her for the recipe,
these compensated quite well.

baby root vegetable latkes
like soggy waffles.
no one likes a soggy waffle.
and last i checked, "crispy" is a word that is indeed in the vegan dictionary.

sliced ginger soba noodles
with spicy peanut sauce
by far my fave. 
it's hard to mess up peanut noodles, i know,
but i was afraid of the word "soba" 
til i tried these.

indonesian roasted tempeh
contrary to what i predicted, 
i didn't run the other way screaming.
the texture was new,
kind of like paper maché,
but i think i'd like to try it again to give it a fair shot.

roasted black olive seitan.
there's a reason it's so close in spelling to satan.
sort of.
i actually muscled through a whole piece of it thinking it was the meatballs.
and then the meatballs came out and i was like
oh no what did i just eat? that's such a terrible feeling.
 it tasted like that egg carton foam you put over your mattress. 
but edible, definitely edible.
sort of.

top to bottom: paté, tempeh, seitan

and for dessert:

brownie sundae
i didn't feel so guilty gobbling all of it up because
if it's vegan,
it must be healthy,
please let that be right.
because i pretty much ate it all.
and i couldn't believe it was vegan.
 i was, after all, that bitch of a little sister when lactose-intolerant stoop had to eat soy dream.


i really enjoyed my first vegan restaurant experience.
it was sort of like being on another planet...
most things were recognizable with their non-vegan counterpart,
but there were things, mostly textures, that distinguished them.
i mean, how close can one really get to simulating a chewy, still bleeding steak without a cow?

 but this new food world
is like discovering a new ethnic cuisine,
 it is so interesting,
that i just might extend my near-veganism
for kicks.
and because my jeans were looser this week.

i think i'll go back to sacred chow,
or try to incorporate more vegan things in the 40 restaurants that i have left...



sacred chow is on sullivan street between west 3rd and bleecker in the village. 
sun-thu 11-10, fri&sat 11-11.

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