Last Days of Summer: Mad. Sq. Eats

Today marks the last day of summer. Until next year my friend. To celebrate the last days of summer I decided to check out Mad. Sq. Eats, the pop up restaurants right across from Madison Square Park in the Flatiron section of the city. 

View from my seat while I ate

My first visit was luckily on a gorgeous day. Blue skies, no clouds, just beautiful. I ended up getting tacos and a drink from Jicama California Street Food. One mini crispy shrimp taco, one mini soft chicken taco with avocado and a drink. 

Tacos from Jicama California Street Food

I was satisfied with the food especially the avocados but I ended up having to eat somewhere else a few hours later because I was still hungry. I know it said mini but damn. I needed just a lil bit more. 

Just a little bit more tacos please!

My second visit I  went to Chingu New Korean. I wasn’t very hungry that day so we just got the Korean sweet soy fried chicken wings and beef and japchae dumplings. I liked that the skin on the wings was still crunchy even though there was a sauce on them. The dumplings were also very good. Added bonus, the staff was very pleasant!

More pics from my time at Mad. Sq. Eats below.

I definitely plan on coming back before the event wraps up October 7. I found the food somewhat pricy however there are so many different vendors selling such a wide range of food, drink, and dessert it’s worth it to me. On the weekends it gets a bit crowded so place your order, get your food, and take yourself to the park and eat over there. 

Check out the Urbanspace website for more information about Mad.Sq. Eats and the restaurant vendors at the event. 

Location is 5th Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets. The N and R trains to the 23rd Street stop will literally drop you off just two blocks away. 

Restaurant Review: Sweet Chick 

I ventured into the land of Williamsburg today to pick up some oils from Whole Foods. I was so frazzled by the color coded check out lines and the only thing that could soothe me was either a drink  (it was too early for that) or food (never too early for that!) This is how I arrived at Sweet Chick on the corner of North 8th and Bedford.

Now, I’m a fan of the whole chicken and waffle thing but still wary of getting fried chicken in this neighborhood. It can be hit or miss. Often I’ve found it looks delicious but tastes like it was baptized and seasoned with air and water. Just completely devoid of flavor. There’s nothing more disappointing than bland chicken. Something fried chicken should always be is tasty, okay?

Sweet Chick did not disappoint. I ordered the chicken and waffles, classic style with white meat. They have a variety of flavored waffles but I said let me just stick to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to.  I also ordered a sweet tea for my beverage. Slightly off topic, can someone please explain to me why New York restaurants serve plain tap water in bottles with no ice? Curious minds (okay, me) want to know. 

So the service was okay. There was just one, cute girl in some little ass shorts.  I thought she might be cold but she was okay.  She took my order and the food came hot and ready in about ten minutes. The waffles were crispy but soft, sprinkled with a little powdered sugar. On another plate  (not pictured) was butter, regular, strawberry, and rosemary. And the chicken was fried perfection, well seasoned, crispy skin, and hot! Yes! 

My only beef is about the portion size. I thought I was being a savage because there were no leftovers. I wasn’t. Well okay not completely. The chicken wing was small and the chicken breast appeared to be hacked in half. For $17, you would think you would get a whole damn chicken breast with your order but I guess. 

I did not take a picture of the restaurant. To me all the restaurants over there have that broke down old shabby chic vintage thing going on. Everything looks worn and old as hell but not so bad that you’re afraid to sit. 

All in all, I recommend this spot. I can’t vouch for everything on the menu but the chicken and waffles were on point. It seemed like a popular spot and was full at 11 a.m.

Sweet Chick has two locations. One in Williamsburg at 164 Bedford Ave, a block away from the L train Bedford Ave stop. The other is in the city at 178 Ludlow St. Check out the restaurant’s website here

Got To Give It Up

Living in this city where everyone is always on the go and in a rush I’ve seen many people push the limits while traveling. Cutting people off, running red lights, making left turns from the right line, sticking a leg in a train doors to stop it from closing. All kinds of wild behavior. There comes a point where you realize no matter how fast you run or what stunt you do it just ain’t gon’ happen for you. That was me today. 

As luck would have it (or so I thought) everytime I stepped on a train platform I didn’t have to wait. There was an arriving train each time. Praise Him!

So I’m at Jay Street Metrotech waiting for the iron chariot to whisk me back home. I get on the express train inwardly beaming at how today’s train ride has been so smooth. I was wrong. Oh so wrong!

“Due to delays on the C, this train will be making all local stops to Euclid Avenue. The next stop is Lafayette Avenue. Stand clear of the closing doors.”

And just that quickly my joy became sadness. The train quickly filled and I was sandwiched between a group of people who didn’t want to shut up. 

After I got off I saw my connecting train was just a minute away. My mind was telling me noooooo…and you know who am I to argue with my own damn mind? I shuffled to the escalator. It was like the human version of the cliffhanger game on the Prices is Right except that was no yodeling and no one fell off a mountain at the end. 

By the time I got to the top I saw the train I needed speeding into the station. I start to run until the many passengers stepped off the train. It was literally a wall of people, strollers, backpacks, and kids with their heads in their phones walking so slowly turtles could have passed them up. 

How do I compete with that? You can’t. I stopped running and started walking.  The next train was on the way and I was not going to miss it.   

Coney Art Walls

I went to Coney Island recently not expecting to see anything worthy of a blog post. 

My typical Coney Island visit goes like this: gripe about parking, park, walk the boardwalk, complain about how hot it is, and sit on the pier. Then get up and move from the pier, Nathan’s for a chili cheese dog and drink,  walk on boardwalk, complain, go home. In that order. 

During my visit,  I saw people taking pics of what looked like street art which I’m completely fascinated by most days. Then I saw it was an entire outdoor exhibit. What an unexpected surprise! Of course I checked it out!

My favorite two walls are the two seen below.  The first, to me, reminds me of what New York is and the second I was struck by the detail and talent it took to create this. I was so mad a truck was parked in front of it obstructing the view. 

Lately I’ve been watermarking my pics but I couldn’t bring myself to put my blog name on someone else’s works of art. Plates of food and pics at the park, yes. Artwork, no. Even I have to draw the line somewhere. 

I wanted to find out more about each piece and the artists and came across an article in the Huffington Post. Each mural was broken down and the artist is featured. Check that out here

Underground Torture

You want to know what hell feels like? Take a train on a hot, humid summer day like today. Inhale that stench, peer quickly at the miserable faces of people furiously fanning, sweating, and generally being unhappy. This is hell.

Getting on the train makes it worse. You’re happy as a what what to be out of the heat then you are immediately freezing. Some cars have to be set to North Pole. Or maybe unfortunately you enter a train where the AC said, “Nope! Not today!” And the overheated punishment from the platform continues until you finally get to your destination. 

If you see someone rocking either of the following stay clear: sweatshirts, winter coats, and Timberlands (construction workers get a pass). Anyone wearing any of this apparel is obviously one of Satan’s minions to wear such a thing in this heat or mentally off. Stay away!

The L Train Shutdown: Stop it, it’s not the end of the world 

It really isn’t.  This is coming from a person who rides this line daily and will be impacted by the scheduled closure in 2019.

During my time here, I’ve learned that New Yorkers are resilient and adjust to changes.  Of course people will complain and be irritated but it will be figured out.

This is how I feel about the L train closing.  I will figure out another way to get from point A to point B and life will go on.  Whether it really takes the MTA the proposed 18 months or longer my life can’t stop.  I still need to go to work to take care of myself and go out for fun. Life won’t stop. 

If that means having to take a bus to a train or take two or three trains instead of one so be it.  If it means biking or walking that will be done too.  Keyword here: adjust.  No one really has a choice.

What’s troubling about this is the media and blogs are only focusing on gentrified neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and parts of Bushwick when discussing the shutdown. I’ve seen so many pictures of crowds of people at the L train platform in Williamsburg. A New York Times article even quotes a Williamsburg resident who is concerned about how her housekeeper will get to her condo to clean it during the shutdown.  First world problems indeed.  The L line doesn’t start and end at the Bedford Avenue stop.   It serves Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville, and the last stop is in Canarsie.  These areas have far less travel options and income than Williamsburg.  The hipsters aren’t there anymore.  They can’t afford $3,000+  rent and $20 artisanal cheeseburgers.  The focus should be on how the shutdown will affect every rider on the line, not just those who live in rich neighborhoods.

Instead of the doom, gloom, and despair, this should be a time for the MTA and the residents of the city to explore other methods of travel that do not include the subway.  One option for me is the East River Ferry.  I see it makes stops in Midtown and lower Manhattan.  Also, as much as I despise the 3, A, C. and J trains those are alternatives for me as well.  I don’t know much about the bus system here but maybe it’s time I learn.

If a major bus route or train was closed for an extended amount of time in your city what would you do?

A is for Crazy, L is for Lunatic 

I had an earful this morning on the L and A trains. 

On the L, a middle aged woman with a heavy Jamaican accent decided to preach as soon as the train started moving. This went on for a good twenty minutes. She got louder and louder as more people got on. So today I learned I better act right and stop all this fornicating because Jesus is coming back. If not, I will burn in hell. Well good morning to you too ma’am. 

Next on to the A train which I lovingly refer to as the Crazy Train. Sorry, no A adjectives for crazy. I tried. Anyway, the Crazy Train did not disappoint! 

In the back of the train I hear a voice of what I thought was a child saying all the ugly ladies on the train move! All the ugly ladies on the train get out the way! Move for the ugly ladies on the train!!!

The voice is getting louder and moving closer to me. I see it’s not a child but a grown ass woman. Probably mentally ill or probably just annoying. Who knows. Anyway, she gets near me and says, “Ugly lady, hey! Ugly lady, what up! What’s up my ugly lady!!!”

I feel a way. One, because today I actually tried to be cute today and two, why did I have to catch the ugly lady not once, not twice, but three times? I just felt that was unnecessary and unwarranted but you know I lived to write this post. I’m gonna be okay. And I’m not ugly. Dammit. 

Never ever a dull moment riding the train.