Follow by Email

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Day's Worth of Urban Adventure

On Friday, Kimberly, Ian and I took Metro North into Manhattan for the day. We started the day off at the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit on the Silk Road, which connected Xi'an, China and Baghdad and served as the major east-west route for trade in religion, technology, and philosophy as well as for trade goods.

By mid afternoon, we had seen everything we wanted to see at AMNH and went off in search the second part of our day's quest: the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Ian discovered the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck online some time ago and has signed up to follow the BGICT on Twitter and Facebook, so it was no trouble finding out that the one-of-a-kind ice cream truck was at Union Square, at the corner of 17th & Broadway.

While I knew that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was something of a phenomenon, specializing in exotic topics like wasabi pea dust, bacon, cayenne pepper and olive oil, I was surprised to see a crew from the Food Network Canada was there, interviewing the guys running the truck and several of the customers. I was also surprised at the 20 minute wait to place our orders. When we got to the window, Kimberly and Ian both ordered the "Salty Pimp" cone (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate coating). When she placed her order, Kimberly managed a bit of an embarrassed giggle (both rare and priceless) which the guy at the window picked up on and teased her about in a truly fabulous way. I picked the "Monday Sundae" (nutella lined waffle cone with twist ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and whipped cream). We were all thrilled with our ice cream and proceded to eat it as we wandered through the Union Square Farmer's Market for a while.

Having finished our ice cream, we stopped to buy some pear cider from one of the vendors, then found a park bench to sit on while we enjoyed it. As we all sat chatting, a couple filmmakers came up and asked if they could interview us for a project they were working on about relationships. Kimberly and I agreed and Ian didn't object too loudly, so they started interviewing Kimberly and me about how long we'd been together and where we met. We laughed as we discussed the junior high school Latin Club banquet where we met and how Kimberly was frying squid when I met her and how I was wearing a bed-sheet toga (which was the unofficial uniform for the evening). After signing a couple release forms, the three of us walked up to 32nd St. and 5th Ave. to poke around Koreatown for a place to eat.

The block between 5th Ave and Broadway is a Korean restaurant paradise, with an embarrassment of riches. The first place we looked at was a mandoo (dumpling) restaurant, with a delightfully smiling woman rolling out the mandoo right in the front window. It looked like an inviting place, but we were looking for something a bit more meal-like and made our way up and down both sides of the block before settleing on NY Kom Tang Soot Bul Kal Bi, (32 W. 32nd St.) which claims to be the oldest Korean restaurant in NY and NJ.

Ian wasn't particularly hungry, so he got a large order of mandoo gui (fried beef dumplings). Kimberly and I were both attracted to the kimchi jigae (spicky pickled cabbage soup) and she ordered a combination meal with bulgogi (a Korean beef barbecue) and I had a combination with Kalbi (short-ribs). Seven or eight ponchons (small side dishes) rounded out the more-than-filling meal. Everything was fresh and flavorful. The prices were good. Even better, the restaurant isn't that far from Grand Central Station, so it is an easy place to get to when we're taking the train. We'll definitely be back.

The day finished up with a train ride back to Norwalk, with us arriving home before dark. Not a bad day for the first day of July's vacation!

No comments: