plus drinking nights out tend to make for monotonous pictures because everyone does the same "smile" pose.
Egg, She and i met up to go to a free art exhibit at the National Arts Club near Gramercy Park. the theme of the show had been Romance, as expressed through the photography of Chris Craymer. the exhibit was small, but nice. some of the photography was interesting, but had a very Vogue editorial style to it, which is appealing in the modern, general public sense.
one of the photographs presented at the exhibit.on the other hand, the National Arts Club was not what I expected. since it's located across from Gramercy Park (which is an actual park, which i knew, but had never really seen. in my mind i think i always just thought of it as a neighborhood-btw, after reading the Wiki entry, i kind of want to go back and re-examine the area now that i have historical context), from the outside it looks like any other brownstone house/apartment located on the street, which makes sense since it used to be Samuel J. Tilden's residence . it's also located right next to the Players' Club. we all stood outside of it skeptically when we first arrived, trying to figure out if we were at the right place. we were. then, when we entered, there was a distinct Rocky Horror Picture Show feel to the place, with a woman with a parakeet on her shoulder, dim lighting, Persian rugs, and a Lurch-like man to greet us at the door. once downstairs, it starts feeling more like a gallery. there were also 2 other exhibits that day, both were paintings and i wish it had been more clear as to who the painters were because the other exhibits were more intriguing than the photography.
after our art excursion, we headed to Cha-An for hot tea and set lunch/dinner. since it was around 6ish, parking around the area was manageable and free after 7 p.m. before i talk about Cha-An, i have to mention Sakaya, a sake store located on E. 9th St. i've been in the East Village often but never knew about this place until we happened to walk by it on the way to Cha-An. from outside it has such a bright and fun feel that we just had to go in. it also helped that they were doing a free sake sampling with chocolate (this happened around Valentine's Day). i highly recommend this place because the sake selection is extensive but not expensive (if you look around) and the owners are extremely helpful.i've attempted to go to Cha-An three times in my life, and every time i've been thwarted because it was closed (it doesn't open until 2:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and will also close if reserved for a private party). but not this time! i finally got to eat at Cha-An. hooray! and, i have to say, i really liked it. the place is small, but in a cozy way.
Egg and She shared an Afternoon Tea Set which consists of 2 kinds of sandwiches, scones, assorted sweets and choice of tea (they picked Earl Grey). the sandwiches are the size of tiny tea sandwiches, which is adorable and probably filling if for 1 person. She and Egg thought the Earl Grey tea was good, but different from what they usually drink.
i ordered the Cha-An Set B, which is the bigger and more expensive ($19) of the 2 choices but i was so excited to finally be there that i figured indulging was called for (plus i hadn't eaten yet that day). Set B consists of soup and vegetable, soy milk quiche with mushrooms and scallions, tea smoked salmon, 15 grain rice, dessert, and choice of tea. everything was really good, particularly the salmon and the vegetable salad, and very light. i finished the meal feeling full, but not heavy.when we finished our meal, i decided to order some macarons to bring home to the family. i've heard great things about their macarons, and they weren't lying. i opted for the green tea variety and the only negative thing i can say about them is that i wish i'd gotten more than 1 per person. however, at about $2 a pop they aren't cheap.
you'll notice that 1 of the macarons looks abused. it was. after the server had given me my to-go order of macarons, i placed it on the table to take my wallet out. while it lay on the table, i noticed Egg's friend, who had joined us at the end of the meal, point his finger and slowly approach the macaron.
it got closer. and closer. and closer.
and then it poked the macaron so hard that it cracked its shell!
his hand immediately recoiled and we, including him, had our mouths agape at what he'd just done. when we asked him why he'd done it, his response was, "i just wanted to see." he had never seen or heard of a macaron and had assumed it was made of a soft, cake-like texture, which it is not.
the incident was uproariously funny to me for many reasons: 1st, i can completely relate to that feeling of just wanting to poke/touch something and see what it feels like. i can relate because i remember having that feeling as a child. 2nd, even if the macaron was made of cake-like texture, i'm still not sure how i feel about him wanting to poke/smush it. is that really an appropriate thing to do someone's food? 3rd, how much pressure was he using to poke that, even after making contact with the macaron and realizing it was a hard shell, he continued to push it until it cracked?
all those factors combined makes it so that every time i see this picture it just makes me smile at the memory.