Archive for November, 2008


Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2008 by Cristina

Consume LessAbout 3 or 4 months ago I decided to consume less stuff.  In an attempt at creating less waste, being a more socially responsible shopper, and also wasting less money on things I don’t really need, I set some rules for this endeavor: only buy used things or ones directly from the maker (i.e. no middleman), if something is bought new, it should be sweatshop free and if it isn’t, then I must donate an equal sum to a charity.  That last part was a tough addition to my new mantra, it meant that all the items in most stores I’m surrounded by would essentially be double the price.  I thought this whole experiment would be much harder and more temporary than it’s turned out to be.  I’ve more than satiated my shopping urge at the many fabulous thrift stores around here and it’s been too easy to find new handmade gifts online.  Nevertheless, I did buy some things in that last category and have accumulated a $120 donation tab which I just paid off today.  On the eve of World AIDS Day, I chose to give that money to Housing Works, an NYC-based service organization that helps so many HIV positive people.  Although this “consuming less” lifestyle is working out pretty well for me, I hope it wasn’t the catalyst for the economic crumbling that coincidentally began a few weeks after my vows…eeek!


Say it ain’t so!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2008 by Cristina


Taquito pyramid

I couldn’t believe my eyes when my sister showed me a Craigslist posting of a do-gooder offering 15 free taquitos that “do not taste very good at all” to anyone who might be interested.  15! Taquitos! Free!  This is either a fantastic example of unintentional comedy or a really dedicated humanitarian.  If anyone would actually consider mailing their leftovers to China, it would probably be this generous stranger.  This just shows that America is indeed a magical country: overabundance of food, big-hearted people willing to share said food, and an online forum that facilitates this sharing.  Now let’s hope that those folks desperate enough to collect these 15 frozen taquitos have internet access.

Turkey-less Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2008 by Cristina


No, I don’t mean tofurkey.  I mean, our Thanksgiving feast included a Smörgåsbord of every kind of meat BUT turkey, the only barnyard animal absent was the lamb as my mom narrowly abstained from buying one at the market… not because she didn’t want to overdo it, but because our fridge was too full of the other barnyard animals and the wily NY squirrels were doing their best to break into our food stash on the porch.  Yes, we were keeping fridge-overflow-food on the porch, that’s what the Puritans would have done.   As a budding vegetarian, I have to break it to them slowly that it’s possible to survive on non-meat products, they’re skeptical.  So I was a good sport and tasted a bite of everything, and even took them on a field trip to faraway Queens to explore a Romanian deli my dad had heard about.  My mom got glassy eyed when we walked in and were greeted by the curtain (visual and olfactory) of sausage: rows and rows of all sausage imaginable.  Half an hour later, we were $85 poorer and about 10 pounds of meat richer.  Perhaps not quite in the spirit of the holiday, but hey, we’re foreign!   In the end, I’m thankful that we’re healthy (my mom’s clogged arteries notwithstanding), relatively happy, squirrel-free, and that my parents took the meat stash back home with them!

What the…? Ice blocks!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 by Cristina

Street ice

I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation for this, I just don’t know what it is.  Walking to work in the morning, I came across gigantic chunks of ice strewn all over the Street.  They looked almost as if they’d been dropped from a 3rd story window but that’s unlikely considering the deadliness of something like that with gawkers like me walking by and taking pictures.  It was a curious scene and had it been summer, this might have made sense since ice blocks are an alternative cooling method for buildings. But it’s November, and nearly too cold for the ice to melt on the street.  hmmmystery.

Durian galore

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2008 by Cristina

During a recent jaunt through Chinatown, I stumbled upon something laughably strange: a 4-foot tall box overflowing with durian fruit.  I’ve only tasted this Southeast Asian so-called “King of Fruit” one time… and that count will probably stay at 1 for the rest of my life.  I’d mustered up the courage to get past its repulsive odor to the bite of slimy flesh that turned out to be sickeningly-sweet in a 10-years-too-ripe kind of way.  Brought to a 4th of July backyard soiree by a friend, it was quickly consumed by curious young folks and curious dogs (who, I remind you, also occasionally eat their vomit).  Chinatown’s gift to me: making the largest box of fruit Cristina’s EVER seen… be a box of Durio kutejensis fruit. 



Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2008 by Cristina

If this isn’t the saddest, most heart-wrenching door you’ve ever seen, then I don’t know what is.  Between the naked light bulb, the spartan concrete building, and Mr. Baldman’s expression, I wanted to give the whole scene a hug.  But alas, you can’t hug things like that.