July 26, 2002

Cingular wireless service has launched a $20 million ad campaign as it enters New York's already saturated market. Subway ads, billboards, bus kiosks, and even entire buses display the trendy orange anthropomorphic logo.

In the West 4th street station, among several, was one that showed the little Cingular logo in the corner and a phone. The text read:

Studio apartment: $2000
Dinner for two: $425
Pre-school: $13,000
Cingular wireless service: $29.99

Somebody went at it with a big black magic marker and printed the text underneath the last line:

Unfortunately, it didn't last more than a week by the time I went by with a digital camera, and they replaced the ad altogether with a different concept. Perhaps they realized the power of Mastercard's campaign?
Kim comes to town this weekend and Saturday we head to the Ethyl Barrymore Theatre to see Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Otherwise, things seem pretty calm in New York and the heat has eased off a bit.

Last weekend, my cousin Chuong from Vietnam -- and my Vietnam tour guide extraordinaire was in town to visit Souris and Kaly, whom he hadn't seen in 21 years. In grand Vietnamese style, Chuong's family is full of doctors, lawyers, and seven of eight kids who went to Berkeley, most with post grad degrees. Surely their parents are proud.
funniest search hit in the last few days?
taco truck new york upper west side

July 21, 2002

The other day Kaly and I ate at a favorite and newfound vietnamese restaurant where we met the nice family from Hue who owned the place and got stuck there in the raging thunderstorm. We saw three people get up to leave and upon arriving at the exit, they scanned the severity, and the one TOOK OFF HER SHOES AND SOCKS as Kaly and I watched in HORROR as we anticipated her next unseemly move - to run BAREFOOT on the FILTHY rotten sidewalks of CHINATOWN. Streets filled with rubbish, rotten food, animal and human excrement -- disgusting. She pulled up in a car and picked up her friends who handed her shoes and socks back which they protected from the rain. Uhhhh... my feet are more valuable to me than ANY pair of shoes.
Today there was a major blackout in the grid below 14th Street and west of Broadway - wherein I live smack center. Turns out there was a tremendous explosion that cut out my electricity. I assumed it was the construction guys working upstairs on the apartment above me (they're renovating it while it's vacant) and I was waiting over an hour for Kaly to come down for lunch. Little did I know she was sadly stuck in the subway between 72nd and 59th. To kill time, I called Julia who lives at Union Square, and Dave, her husband, tells me they're out of power too - "Hey" I exclaimed, what a funny coincidence. But Dave tells me about the explosion at the ConEd plant on the east side. At least I felt better about Kaly being late, but as an hour and a half went by, I was pretty worried. Eventually I heard a knock on my door and realized Kaly was lucky enough to get in while someone else walked out, because the buzzers weren't working either... Ugh. It was an utter mess today below 14th with traffic and pedestrians all about, with no sense of whose turn it is to cross the intersections.

Chuong is in town and it's almost 4 a.m. (we're already reading the Sunday Times which we picked up at 3 a.m.) so off to sleep now and I'll finish later when I'm more coherent.

July 16, 2002

Untitled Mobile, 1942photograph © Calder Estate
Last Wednesday, Kaly, Souris, Silvio and I attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Summer Exhibitions opening reception. Good food, drink, and art. S & S's friend, David Lee extended the invitations as David's sister, Yvette, was the co-curator for the Joan Mitchell show - one of the five summer exhibitions. Meeting Yvette (whose name is painted on the wall!) was great - she told us how difficult it was to select just 59 paintings out of hundreds to showcase Mitchell's lifelong work. The other exhibit we browsed was Claes Oldenberg's drawings - of which the Whitney has the largest collection in the world. Of course, we quickly browsed Calder's mobiles, a favorite for Souris, David and myself.

Thursday we did the family thing for Kaly's birthday, and Friday I joined Kaly and her friends for a birthday dinner, was out late, got up 2 hours later, and headed to D.C. with Ed for Mike & Sue's Cherokee ceremony and purple and white outdoor wedding in Harper's Ferry.

Busy weekend; didn't even see mom and dad, and I'm back in the swing of work and the NY scene. I've thought of another job for myself - to work as a classroom assistant in a Jewish pre-school. I loved being in school with Mica in Atlanta, running around the playground, learning Hebrew, singing out of tune, and eating afternoon snack (ice cream on Fridays!). I think it suits me much better than working in a law firm...

July 07, 2002

The race has begun.
The 2002 Tour de France is already underway, with the prolog and Stage 1 complete. You can read minute by minute updates of the entire race under the newsflashes on their site and find out other cool info. Of course, with out satellite (heck, I am without TV!), internet coverage is next best. In fact, internet coverage is more interesting than my experience with OLN's coverage (as compared, also, to the former coverage by ESPN2) since they do such a bad job of editing the race for max info and excitement. As such, I'm still not motivated to ever buy a TV.

Just spent an incredibly lazy weekend with Les, who came in on Wednesday night, eating, drinking, and being merry in the Village. Independence Day went without a bang, as it was insufferably hot and we chose to nap over trekking to the East River. Dined in NY staples like Corner Bistro, John's Pizzeria, and Cornelia Street Cafe. I still vote for Lombardi's as NYC's best pizza place (in Soho on Spring Street).

Like I said, lazy weekend. Oh, except for the part where I biked six or so miles across Brooklyn Bridge (and paused to tip my helmeted head in the direction of the WTC) to meet Robert in Prospect Park for 21 more after a 23-month hiatus in the saddle. Though the legs aren't sore, I'm not the same cyclist I was at 23...

July 03, 2002


There's a REALLY bad Vietnamese restaurant at University & 13th Street called Annam. All the waiters are Chinese and only the busboy can speak Vietnamese. I ordered Goi Tom which is supposed to be made with red onions, pickled daikon & carrots (Vietnamese style), sliced boiled shrimp, lotus shoots, peanuts, cilantro and mint. Instead, I got boiled shrimp tossed over romaine lettuce. Uhhhh... they call romaine Vietnamese? BAD. So Kaly and I asked the busboy what dishes were ACTUALLY Vietnamese dishes there and he replied that there were only about four (he actually tried to tell me that the salad I received was, well, "lai" which means mixed culture to which I adamantly replied, "Sir, it is 100% NOT Vietnamese"). So if you go there, the only thing you can order really is the Banh Cuon with Thit Bo Nuong which is the Grilled Beef skewers with rice cakes (or rice noodles). Basically, just DON'T GO THERE. The absurdity is that underneath the word Annam on the door are the painted words, "A Vietnamese Restaurant."

July 02, 2002

Search Hits

I'm noticing that in the last week, many of my hits are coming from Google searches. The things people search!

The funniest search I've had:

and a few more...
for my Asian Pacific Adventures:
ten thousand buddhas, temple, niagara falls, restaurant
chinese lunar calendar 2002 good day to get married "good day to get married"
vietnamese wedding + reception
great gurus that impacted my life
turkeys airways bangkok (on Dutch Google)
names and themes of diners cafes
candy strangers frostbite
"dave eckert", cia
pretty + spider + driving + product -man

for this blog
japanese "locks of love"
"pork taco" dc
bus trips to bush gardens to williamsburg