February 6, 2011 Small adventures: flowers, food, and fine art
Has it only been three weeks since the new semester started? It’s starting to feel like a drag already. The weather certainly isn’t helping either. I’m regretting not going to school somewhere warming every day (I’m only semi-kidding here). So I haven’t done a whole lot since I got back to New York, since I’d rather stay inside all the time and go into the snowy slushy mess that is Manhattan right now. But anyways, there are some things I wanted to share here.
I had lunch with a fellow Canadian girl a couple of weeks ago. I gave her some advice (she’s a freshman) and she’s so nice and gave me this cute little cell phone chain:
It has a charm of the mascot of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Haibao, and a tiny little hourglass. I like pretending that it’s a Time-Turner :D
On Thursday I attended a scholarship reception at Columbia. I didn’t bring my camera, which I regretted as soon as I walked through the doors. It was the fanciest affair I’ve been to in a while; tablecloths, floral centerpieces, jazz trio on the stage, hors d’œuvres, a wonderful buffet dinner… the type of thing that was designed to make you feel special to be a Columbian. I met some wonderful new people and have a lovely evening. I even brought home one of the centerpieces (of course, in Columbia colors blue and white), as I was alerted of this possibility by friend and fellow Columbian Jin. Isn’t it gorgeous? And it makes my room smell wonderful.
Then yesterday, to celebrate Chinese New Year, Yufei and I went to have lunch at Wa Jeal Sichuan Chili House. Reviews on Yelp compared it to Szechuan Gourmet, of which I am a big fan, so I wanted to try it out. We ordered the Sichuan dumplings with chili sauce as an appetizer, and it was nice and spicy, very good. Then we shared shredded pork with garlic sauce and kung pao chicken as entrees. The pork was cooked with water chestnut and mu-er, which added interesting texture to the dish.
I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the kung pao chicken, because for the first time ever the dish contained green bell peppers!!! Just like the way we make it at home! This has never happened at a restaurant before, so that was a huge plus for me.
Both dishes were delicious, though I think not as spicy as Szechuan Gourmet, as well as less oily. Anyways, I really liked the restaurant, the decor was more upscale than the typical Chinese restaurant and it wasn’t cramped at all, the service was great, and the check came with orange slices and fortune cookies! I would love to go back there sometime.
After lunch, we headed to the Met a few blocks away, where they had Chinese New Year festivities. We were rather late so we only caught part of the youth orchestra performance and the tea ceremony demonstration. We walked around the museum some more, as somehow we had missed the Asian art collection during previous visits. I really liked the beautiful Astor Court, modeled on a Ming dynasty scholar’s courtyard in Suzhou.
Since we were in the area already, we decided to go to the Guggenheim after leaving the Met. We had attempted to go last semester, but they required a current sticker on our Columbia ID’s for free admission (hey, MoMA never asked). So now armed with our Sping 2011 stickers, we entered the giant spiral building.
I really liked the structure of the museum, as walking through it felt very natural, not like most museums where one feels constantly unsure of where to turn next. The main collection on display right now, The Great Upheaval, is great as well. Must go to more museums before graduation!
And now it’s Sunday, and as usual I haven’t gotten any work done, so I better be off now!