Thursday, May 3, 2007

Mea Maxima Culpa

Mea culpa, mea culpa.
I am so behind with my blogging.
I could start with a list of dog (well in this case, Booboo)-ate-my-homework excuses like:
  • have been dealing with my taxes- hit another tax bracket which is great, but coughing up the money already spent to pay the taxes is not great.
  • have been dealing with my birthday-hit another age bracket which can be shocking and leads to re-evaluating what you are doing with life kind of thing and can lead to mild depression which leads to complete inactivity because it's hard to get anything done when one is feeling really low.
  • in the midst of all this stress, there was much work- thankfully for that because I work for myself and I need to pay above said taxes, so yes, there was emotional distress, financial distress on top of regular work stress.
Luckily all is well now and in place of tired excuses, I offer a birthday day celebration to the angry blog gods.

When I finally emerged from the fog, I discovered that it was a beautiful day- a fine day for a birthday. The trees in the building's courtyard had been blooming all this week and I hadn't even noticed. You'll notice bottom right-Fcat taking a pic of me taking a pic of the trees.

We were heading down to Chinatown to have vegetarian dim sum at where else but, Vegetarian Dim Sum House on Pell St. I love dim sum. It's such an integral part of chinese culture. On the weekends, families get together to go "yum cha" which is cantonese for "drink tea" and that means going to a dim sum place to eat lots of little dishes & to drink lots of tea. Dim sum is traditionally served by waiters pushing carts full of small dishes to each table and you pick what you like. Dim sum can be hard for vegetarians because the chinese love to sneak some pork or dried shrimp into everything, which is why I was thrilled to have dim sum- vegan style.

The place is not that big and Fcat thought it had a romantic feel because it's cozy and located on a small little street that you find through twists and turns. Compare Fcat's stance to the happy buddha on the banner.

And here a sampling of the goodies- char siu bau which is a steamed bun stuffed with sweet & salty roast pork & onions. This used to be a favorite and here's the veggie version. Don't forget to peel the paper off the bottom- hehehe, Fcat got some extra fiber from this dish...

The dim sum feast- starting from the right: a big pot of tea, sticky rice lotus leaves, char siu bau, "shrimp" wrapped in rice flour, seared turnip cake with little bits of mushroom, "meat" wrapped in rice flour, har gow- steamed "shrimp" dumplings & steamed spinach dumplings. Yum.

This is the sticky rice lotus wrap. Normally it is stuffed with chicken, mushrooms & nuts...I like this a lot better!

After our yummy feast, we were going to walk over to Babycakes on the Lower East Side for my birthday cupcakes. On the way over, we caught an polo match! It was playoffs between a NY team and a DC team.

Urban polo is played on bikes. It was really cool.

The NY team distinguished themselves with the Statue of Liberty in their spokes.

Ah, Babycakes...have been wanting to come here for some time now. Sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan bakery- so perfect, well- actually it's expensive, but good.

There's my Fcat ordering two gluten-free cupcakes in carrot & lemon and two spelt in chocolate & yellow cake. See that tiny little brownie cupcake- it was so delicious. I could have eaten the whole cakestand full. They also had cute little hostess cupcake-like cakes.

Here's a pic of my birthday goodies from Fcat- my yummy babycakes & my delicate gift from the jewelry store, Me & Ro.

Missy here thinks it's her birthday again- Booboo's birthday is on April 14th. She turned 5 and 15 days later, I turned 35. Meanwhile, I couldn't get her to pose with her candle on her birthday. Turns out, she loves spelt cupcakes.

And there you have it, birthday in a nutshell.

On another exciting note, Fcat & I put a downpayment on a pre-construction luxury condo in Long Island City, Queens. Yes, I know shocking that I would want to live in Queens after growing up there and couldn't wait to move to Manhattan, but it really is going to be great and so close to the city. I live on the Upper East Side now and soon I will be living on the East East Side as I see it. Won't be ready til the end of the year, giving us some time to scrimp & save & enjoy our time before we make the jump across the bridge.


bazu said...

Happy birthday! Dim sum and cupcakes- sounds damn near perfect to me! The pictures of NYC are gorgeous- all the various spring-like scenes. I love how boo-boo thinks it's her birthday again- hey, cat years go a little faster, right?
You should be so proud that you've "graduated" to new age and tax brackets- very auspicious signs right before your birthday.
Oh, and you're moving to LIC?? I am so very very jealous. When I lived there, I used to love to go to PS1 every weekend, especially in the summer... they have the best art, but also the best parties there! Hey, if you ever need a cat or apartment sitter, please call me. ;-)

Melody Polakow said...

Happy belated birthday!

Congrats on the condo... wow... very cool...

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Happy Birthday! I had fun going along with you & F-Cat. The dim sum feast looks spectacular - I've never experienced that and would really like to. and BABY CAKES - ooh, you are so lucky to have that perfect indulgent! What was in the jewelry box?? Give your lovely kitty a "you think it's your birthday" rubbing from me. oh, & congrats on your new condo -- that's exciting stuff, VKO!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sounds like an awesome birthday! And those cupcakes look yummy. I will have to check those out when I visit NYC for the first time at the end of this month, I am so excited! Any recommendations for your favorite vegan food in the city? Thanks!

scottishvegan said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a perfect day! Those Babycakes are gorgeous! Congratulations on the condo! You must be so excited…!!

laura jesser said...

How exciting--a condo of your own! Congratulations! And happy birthday--it looks like it was quite a nice celebration, and who knows? Maybe you'll like this age bracket better than the last one! ;)

Anony-mouse said...

Aww. You Day of Birth looked cute. :D

-I want to try Vegetarian Dim Sum!
-Urban polo= coolest thing ever.
-Babycakes looks yummy.
-Monkeycakes= cutest thing ever.
-what be in that box of jewelry? ;) I want a picture!
-yay for condo and new brackets! :D

KleoPatra said...

Happy belated birthday! And hey, you'll always be younger than i! :o) (There's something to not feel so bad about!)

And congratulations on moving on up to your new condo. How exciting for you... That is awesome!

Loved the trip to the dim sum restaurant - great cupcakes, too. i didn't realize dim sum eating was such a big part of the Chinese culture. Cool info! Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

KleoPatra said...

Urban Vegan said...

Happy b'day, VKO! 35? You're still a kitten (All is relative, I know. But trust me on this one and just enjoy.)

Dim Sum? Yum, yum. And those cupcakes looks good enough to swallow whole. F-cat spoiled you--and you deserve every second.

Congrats on your impending move. That's exciting news. It's funny how psychologically large borders can be--but you're just a few subway stops from wherever you need to be...just like now.

Neva Vegan said...

Happy Birthday. The dim sum feast is making me jealous! I do miss NYC eating!

Boo-boo is adorable. My kitties would not pose so nicely, they'd just attack the cupcakes (it's happened).

Congratulations on the condo and all the good news.

I'm not far behind you on the birthdays and I'm dreading mine this year. But life is good, and food and love, and all the messy business of living are good. Taxes, not good, but what can you do?

aTxVegn said...

Happy Birthday, youngster! Your birthday celebration sounds like it was perfect. The dim sum dinner looks awesome and then Babycakes - lucky you!

I love seeing the photos of NY. I haven't been there in a very long time. Congratulations on your condo purchase - how exciting!

Kati said...

Oh I have been dying to go to Babycakes! You are a lucky girl. I hope you enjoy your new brackets and your new condo (I for one, can't wait to "graduate" to the owning stage).

Your kitty is such a cutie! She apparently has no problem advancing in years as long as she can have some sweets - my kind of girl!

runswithdog said...

Glad to see you back :-) Happy birthday and congrats on the new upcoming home! Very exciting. I might be down in NYC in a few weeks. I hope to move the daughter and her roommate into a new apartment (that is if they can find one) and I just might insist payment for my moving services be in the form of vegan dim sum. :-) It sounds delish.

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