Apr 24, 2013

Daily thoughts - Apartment hunting Day 1

Im off to Columbus Circle to submit paperwork for an apartment. I also have to swing by the post office to get a money order for the application processing fee. Freaking 100 dollars. Damn thats a lot of money. Same amount I allocate each month to feed the cats back home. To some that's nothing but breadcrumbs, but in my case I value ever penny I worked hard for. I think that amount could go to some shelter and feed many cats..So hopefully this fee goes toward something worth it! Every housing application form entails some form of effort (Look up the location, find out whether its safe, also if there are nearby grocery stores and if the subway is easily accessible) and unfortunately fees from the applicant/s. Whether or not you pass the screening, that deposit is theirs to keep. In short, even if they scan your paperwork and think you dont qualify (even without doing a background check) they can toss your documents to the nearest bin (or shredder) and they can just tell you oh sorry you did not qualify. And still keep your hard earned cash. That thought is somehow disturbing. Shit.

Anyway, thats part and parcel of dealing with brokers. There is no getting around it. Another important aspect of apartment hunting is doing one's homework. Research on the going rate of apartments the same size and within the vicinity of the one you have applied for. That way you know whether you are being ripped off.

Apr 21, 2013

Daily Thoughts - A crazy week

On Monday, a bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There has been 3 confirmed deaths and over a dozen with mangled extremities, more than a hundred with less threatening injuries. When I first heard of the news that day, there were no names tied yet to the casualties. Just the same, I was in a state of shock, disgust and sadness. Also a tinge of it-was-a-blessing-in-disguise-kind of relief for me not to have made it there for this year's race. Nevertheless, what happened was definitely not a blessing, it was a horrific crime. An act of shameless cowardice, stupidity and utter nonsense. The motive still a mystery though, but the feds are working on discovering why these kids (yes one was a teenager) pulled this stunt that will forever haunt this festive event.

The previous year I applied for both the Boston and the NYC Marathon.  I didnt qualify for either race. The NYC race however had a lottery for those who cant make the qualifying time.  No luck for me though, they took my registration fee anyway. It was only 11 bucks so I figured Ill treat it just like a donation. So when the race was cancelled I am not going to lie that I was sort of gloating over it. A bit because I was bitter, but moreso because I was upset over how insensitive the organizers were for not cancelling it sooner. I just thought it was not right to move forward with a race when a lot of people have been displaced, with no electricity, food, destroyed homes and worse deaths caused by Super Hurricane Sandy.

The cancellation of the NYC Marathon was mostly a disappointment to some runners and mostly the organizers and of course our "beloved" Mayor Bloomberg. I understand how the runners reacted to it since I believe majority of them saved and prepared for this big race. But there were those who also understood the need to cancel it and showed empathy to those affected by the storm. This should be the hallmark of a big event like the NYC Marathon, Unity, and not insensitivity and focus on monetizing especially in a crisis.

The Boston Marathon on the other hand, was not cancelled, yet the aftermath of the explosion rocked the state and the nation.

Another disturbing thing that happens during a tragedy like this  is when people spread lies. I despise it when some people are quick to blame one religious group especially when there is insufficient evidence. Nevertheless, spreading also a rumor and inaccurately making up a story especially alluding to a victim as a "fake" is just downright unfair and crass.

i saw this on my friend's facebook wall. 
The photo above is an example of such sheer stupidity. I was quick to point out to my friend that although I agree with her thoughts that people should not jump the gun and come up with conclusions that this act of Terror is a ploy to spread Islamophobia, I still find it very unfair to not have some common sense to do research or simply watch the news to know that the man on the left actually did lose his legs to the explosion. The man on the right photo is a totally different person.

Jeff Bauman Jr 
Jeff Bauman Jr was among the spectators at the finish line. He was waiting for his girlfriend when the bomb went off and cost him both his legs. If you doubt my story, ask Bradley Cooper, he visited the guy just recently. It is not right to play him for a fake just because some people want to prove a point.

The "good" news is, they have one of the suspects in custody, one killed I heard. The bad news, we all know that, still lingers however that beautiful lives were lost in this tragic event and others who are physically  and permanently disfigured. Lives totally changed after this event.

Criminals are getting bolder each day, its scary. But life has to move on. We gain nothing if we let the tragedy stifle us from loving what is beautiful with living.

Speaking of life, I quit my job because of an abusive boss. Im living off my savings for now and  I dont regret that decision although it was totally unplanned. I was coerced into resigning and it turns out that kind of behavior is sort of illegal in this country. I mean making it look as though someone voluntarily resigned when they didnt is not tolerated and has legal consequences . The long and short of is, my boss plan to get rid of me backfired on him. The event in Boston also made me  think of how uncertain our time here is on earth.It would have been very sad if I had died and I was still stuck in a job and life I hated.

Ive been on the lookout for a job that hopefully will be something I would enjoy doing though. I am not a demanding employee and if companies ask for qualifications, I too as an employee deserve to have a list of my requirements. Medical/Dental benefits, career growth, reasonable rate, feasible in terms of commute time and expense, and most importantly Respect. Unfortunately, you dont know early in the game whether you will get the last and most important one. So Im doing my best to research on all the potential offers I have been getting before I sign any paperwork. Fortunately, there are sites to find these information You can google it  up and indicate the name of the company then type employment and review. I discovered a bunch of scam/fake companies and it saved me a great deal of time, effort and MONEY. Yes some people were swindled because they were desperate to find jobs. There is a wealth of massive information on the wide web. But you have to do your homework. Most especially in a setting where the economy has gotten so bad that anyone is willing to take on any job to survive. 

Sure I need the job, but I am not desperate. I may be practical but I also want to be careful since it doesnt look good either on a resume if you keep hopping from one job to another. This week I have been in a few interviews for a new job. Also apartment hunting for a new place. Another fresh start. Im getting tired of the Lower East Side. I  mean, i love the restaurants here but the perpetual sound of sirens on the main thoroughfare gets old after awhile. I even sleep with earplugs now just to drown the noise. I do admit though that its kinda great to live smack in a spot where you find Kmart, Starbucks,  Staples, Whole Foods, DSW, Movie Houses, Trader Joes, etc and  St Mark's long strip of exotic and interesting restaurants.Plus there's the easy access to the subway that takes less than 20 minutes to get to Times Square and Central Park. Reality check though for me though  is  gentrification has made this part of the city too upscale for my budget. I'm currently hell bent on saving some dough  to further my education and take that dream trip to visit the Holy Land hopefully in 2016. So something's gotta give. In this case, a less expensive apartment hopefully not in the sticks somewhere.

Also, I have my misgivings about how NYC will handle another (God forbid) Sandy like catastrophe. The Lower East Side may not have been as unfortunate as other farther places like the Rockaways or Staten Island, still it was odd that past 18th Street, there was electricity after the hurricane. I never got around to sharing my Sandy experience because I have been so busy since November. Plus there werent a lot of photos to actually share since I didnt anticipate that a blackout would occur for a couple days (weeks, and months for some) at our apartment. Not too much photos to share except for a few and that of me and the spouse buying waffles in a dimly lit food truck, ironically parked in front of ConEdison's brightly and fully lit building (assholes).

I experienced having to walk the streets on a busy night and there were no traffic lights or even makeshift lights along the Lower East Side. I worked along 34th street and I walked to and from work for 4 days after the storm. There was no water, electricity, phone signal and the 911 and 311 lines were inaccessible. We had to check on grandma too because she lived alone in her building and we helped haul water all the way up to her apartment and get supplies. Price gouging was prevalent, yet there were people who showed kindness too. Chase bank for instance gave free food. Duane Reade on Chrysler building let us charge our electronics for free. B and H along 34th street also let people charge their electronics. Percy's Tavern on Avenue A gave away bagels the next morning and even allowed patrons and non patrons to charge phones/electronics on their generator. Its long overdue but Thank you guys! No love from Con Edison although the night prior to the hurricane, their vehicles were parked in front of Barnes and Noble (Union Square). Now in retrospect all I can say is the image they tried to project was an Overkill. Because those vehicles didnt serve us in anyway during the time we were crossing those dangerous streets those dark nights (Shame on you Conned Edison). 

And again Im putting off the detailed Sandy experience post for another day. But here are some of the few photos I was able to take using my low resolution phone. 

I ran for 11 miles on October 29 and found these at Union Square after my Long Slow Distance run.

Con Eds trucks ready for the storm: (pre storm photos)

The Day after the Storm:

power strip appropriated at Duane Reade Chrysler Building
Hubby bought a power strip at Duane Reade so we can charge more electronics. But he was also generous enough to let other people piggy back on our extension cord. He received profuse thanks for the offer.

Heart of India Dinner, Rogan Josh and Curry

Dinner in the Dark, Romantic! hehe

We bought our dinner from this place called Heart of India. Another restaurant we love. They have great authentic Indian food. We were so happy to find that they were open although the restaurant was barely noticeable because it was pitch black along 2nd Avenue.

B and H along 34th street
B and H along 34th street put out a long table in front of their store and let people charge their phones for free. 

Apartment on 8th avenue
This was quite a sight. I was walking on my way to work (an hour walk) and I saw this. My phone battery was almost dead but great thing I took a snap of this building. Later that day it was swarmed with reporters and I saw it also on the news.

waffle truck Wafels and Dinges

the building across the food truck is Con Edison 
And as you can see, all the offices inside Con Edison building is lit up while the rest of the Lower East Side grappled in the Darkness. 

a rainbow after the storm! free food! =)

Food truck giving away food sponsored by Chase

Thanks guys!

Its 12am and Im bushed. But it was a great day despite a hectic week. Im grateful Im alive, happy, blessed. Amidst the chaos in the world, I find solace knowing the Lord is there.. 

Happy Sunday!=)

Apr 16, 2013

Daily thoughts - The Boston Marathon Nightmare

This is one among the few elite, elusive, hard to qualify, yet to die for (figuratively), marathon events in the country. People from from all over the US and the world prepare for months and some even years to make it to this prestigious race. I am among these vast number of hopefuls training every month aspiring one day to take part in one of the most talked about running celebrations held annually. I didn't make the cut this year nor last, so I have to train more religiously for a few couple small shorter races in NYC, progressing to local state marathons, before eyeing the bigger leagues like the NYC and BOSTON marathons.

Last year a bunch of people were disappointed that the NYC Marathon didnt push through because it was a couple of days only after the wake of the Sandy hurricane. This time a worse kind of tragedy struck another marathon event.

I dreamt for years of running this and the NYC races, but that was before today. I am not sure anymore.

The Boston Marathon will never be same way because of what just happened today. Twitter and Facebook are on the brink of crashing due to heavy traffic about this topic. Both platforms were swarming initially with messages of sympathy and sadness and now its overflowing with condemnation of some religious sects. Its crazy! They havent even named a suspect yet and people are already pointing fingers. This is a total disaster on many levels.

People who ran the race are still in shock. Some relatives and friends of the runners are crying and horrified instead of celebrating this supposed day of triumph because finishing a distance of 26.2 miles is one daunting feat. Yet in this case, this will be more a day of mourning, sadness and let us admit, anger.

I am still in shock myself and I bet the rest of the world. I just saw a man on the news with his legs all torn up, a sidewalk covered in blood. Bodies immobilized by the blast. 2 confirmed deaths and over a hundred hurt. Its heartbreaking...God Bless this country.

NEWS about the explosion:





Daily thoughts - Follow up on beautiful Amber

On Thursday night I wrote an entry follow up about Amber, the dog at the North Jersey Community Animal Shelter (NJCAS). I posted it on some animal advocates' Facebook wall so we could get some help from other people to spread the word and somehow pressure this organization to reveal Amber's condition. The main purpose is to save the dog's life and give her a fair chance of being evaluated before inevitably putting her down.

A short back story : (from Mr Ted's facebook page as of April 12, 2013)

The North Jersey Community Animal Shelter insisted that Amber had a "lunging" problem and may bite. I proposed an all expenses paid assessment and training. I found a no-kill shelter who was willing to pull her from NJCAS contingent on a succcessful assessment. Both proposals were ignored as if I never made them. Amber may very well be dead by now. My repeated inquiries have been left unanswered. Ignored. Call or Fax Lisa Perry, Animal Control Officer, and demand an answer as to why my proposals have been ignored; why have they not considered them at all when they would save Amber's life; why is amber's status being kept a secret? EMAIL : lperry@bloomingdalenj.net ... Phone: 973-850-6767 ... Fax: 973-850-6768

I posted a short message on the NJCAS facebook page asking how Amber is doing :

I also wrote an email to the Mayor of Bloomingdale, NJ Jonathan Dunleavy and cc Ms Lisa Perry, the Head Animal Control Officer at NJCAS, Bloomingdale NJ. As expected, I didnt get any response. Maybe if my surname was Bloomberg, Rockefeller or Gates things would be different? Lol maybe. But if I had that kind of fortune, I would probably get the ball rolling and buy a big plot of land and adopt all the animals scheduled to be "destroyed" especially in high kill shelters.

So the question is, if there was nothing for NJCAS to hide, why not simply reply to Mr Teodoro's email? Why the need to even drag a lawyer to come up with a hostile and threatening letter with the lines below:

I am requesting that 
you immediately cease from emailing and communicating 
with Lisa Perry . In the meantime I will continue to monitor 
this matter on behalf of the Borough and consider all 
legal options.

If we stop emailing and communicating with Ms Lisa Perry, how will we know what is going on? Isn't the public entitled to get this kind of simple information? After all, it is through public information that shelters can get donations and volunteers to support them. The public also pays taxes. Or can we just state the obvious ,if we don't ask questions, then shelters can just execute euthanize with impunity. 

I did not get a reply to my incessant emails and I was a bit annoyed because I just thought it was kind of disrespectful.  But they didn't know me so maybe I did not deserve a response? But how about a volunteer who has come in every Sunday for the last 6 years? Devoting a portion of his leisure time to instead care for the animals than hang out at the mall or sleep? Doesn't he deserve a response at least? I have not even volunteered for anything that long in my life, hell I have not even held a single job continuously for that long period of time. 

Im thinking what youre thinking: Amber is probably dead =( 

Im sure everyone loves Crime shows. No? Nevermind, but do you notice on Crime shows like Law and Order for instance, if a perpetrator is guilty, they come up with delaying tactics when confronted by detectives. Most of the time, they deny, then delay, hoping it would just go away. But even in such shows,  the discomfort the detectives experience, not to mention the danger they face, do not deter them from finding out the truth eventually. Because the moral of each story is Crime does not pay.

We may not be detectives but we are animal supporters and the public who deserve answers. We are the voice of animals who cannot speak. We will be vocal, vigilant and persistent in our cause. Otherwise, shelters will cease to be, and instead be concentration camps. Animals will be slaughtered when its their "time", dictated only by those who want to act as gods.Turning us away with threats or lawyers' letters will not restrain us from pursuing the truth. 

We did get an answer, eventually. However it seems our efforts were too late...

From Mr Ted's facebook page:

UPDATE ON AMBER : After two weeks of stonewalling me about Amber's status, Lisa Perry, the Head Animal Control Officer at the North Jersey Community Animal Shelter in Bloomingdale, NJ, finally responded with an email to all the volunteers,CCing the Mayor, the town attorney, and even the Chief of Police, that Amber was euthanized. She did not even say as to when.

In this email, Perry stated that she brought in a local vet, a certified dog trainer, and a certified Master dog trainer to assess Amber. And all of them, according to her, found Amber unadoptable. I reckon these consultations occurred during the time she kept me in the dark.

This is a dog that was offered for adoption by this very same shelter for the last 10 months, and now suddenly she isn't. I reckon after 10 months a dog's time is up.

I wasn't invited to witness these evaluations although Perry knew I was questioning her judgment. The email was very defensive and denied that she was dictatorial. Evidently, all your emails to the Mayor and to Perry herself have taken a toll. There is a good chance that the town authorities had also looked into her conduct. 

Thanks for all your support.

Just as we suspected. 

We will be making an inquiry in connection to this tragic turn of event. These are the four important questions we will be highlighting to the Mayor of Bloomingdale (jdunleavy@bloomingdalenj.net)  and all those concerned: 

(1) why Mr. Ted Teodoro wasn't invited to Amber's evaluations
(2) Who are these experts; they were not identified 
(3) when exactly was Amber euthanized 
(4) How come the public's questions and requests for information was denied by Perry although she is a public official and the shelter a public facility, both paid by the taxpayers.
(5) As a member of the public, you want to know.

The shelter is endorsed by a former mayor to visit. But now the image of this place is tainted with this sad story. It doesnt have to be, only if certain people would be transparent and give us answers.

Here is an open email posted last year by the former mayor of Bloomingdale NJ where she urged the public to visit the shelter, donate and even volunteer. 

Photos of Amber courtesy of Mr Ted's facebook album

It is not over Amber. We will find out the truth in time. 

RIP beautiful girl.

Apr 14, 2013

Daily thoughts - Caring for the sick, elderly and the forgotten

Before my Dad passed away in September of 2010, I took care of him for 4 months and witnessed how he deteriorated. It was difficult but I could handle the physical aspect of it. Running errands, washing, changing diapers, cleaning his wounds were challenging but a night's rest always recharged me the next day. The hard part was seeing him fall apart before my eyes and not let my face betray how I truly felt. Ive known my father as a man who always looked for that silver lining amidst the gray clouds. Even at a time when he was obviously dying, he still told me that he was going to walk one day and do his daily routine. Sadly, I knew it was not going to happen yet I showed up each day and cared for him and patiently listened to him retell stories for the nth time. That was almost 3 years ago. I miss my Dad everyday and I cherish that time I was given that rare moment to take care of him hands on and experience what its like to be a caregiver, albeit without a certification. 

Ive taken care of other sick people in the past too. In Medical School  I had my first full blown diabetic patient who was not aware she was diabetic. The moment she showed up complaining of her painful leg, I could tell already it was very bad. I could literally smell it. Of course I didnt break the news to her. That was the job of the resident doctor. But I remember that experience vividly because I almost passed out when I took off the bandage from her leg. It was not just the overpowering smell that made me gag, it was the sight of maggots spilling out of the open wound that shocked me. I asked myself, how can someone have diabetes and not know they have it? You dont wake up one day and discover your leg is rotting. It starts from a small wound. If you notice a wound isnt healing no matter what antibiotic you put in it, you are supposed to go see a doctor. but this patient was very poor. Her family couldn't afford to pay for her medical expenses. 

In retrospect, I am more empathetic now with that woman and her family's situation because when my Dad was sick, we ran out of money to pay for his medication and hospitalization. And I left my job overseas because noone was there to take care of him at home.

Another experience of working with patients was during my duty for Psychiatry at a National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in the Philippines. I interacted with patients who had intact bodies but were undeniably mentally unstable by DSM standards. Or what lay people would jape as crazy, insane. I befriended one guy from the Chinese Pavilion. I am not sure how the name came about but most of the patients were male and hailed from Chinatown Binondo (there are different pavilions in that institution and it is based on the nature of the cases). This guy seemed so normal that I didnt believe he was a patient. He told me his unique and shocking story.I remember crying on my way home that day thinking about it. The man was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia upon admission. He has been hooked on drugs for a couple of years before his parents decided he needed treatment. His family occasionally visited him for a year. After one year, they stopped visiting him. He said they did send him letters and later on the letters stopped too. After 3 years, he was discharged. So he went home to his family only to discover they were gone. They have moved somewhere and the neighbors didnt know where they were. The man went back to NCMH and never left. I asked the Psychiatrist about this patient and he told me that he had a relapse and is now severely depressed. He doesnt want to be discharged and prefers to live among the crazy people there who are locked up..

It is not a glamorous job to clean up after sick patients and the elderly. But is a job that is noble and enriching, in a moral perspective of course. I would lie if I said I enjoy changing soiled diapers. Be it babies or adults, I just dont consider it something I want to do if I had a choice. Just the same, the experience with taking care of my  Dad and other sick patients (especially the elderly) has made me more mature as a person and not just a skilled "caregiver". Seeing that kind of vulnerability especially in a grown person (the sick loved one), makes you (the caregiver) more aware of the reality that one day you too will need someone who hopefully will take care of you with respect and patience.  I have a bit of a long way to go in terms of completing all the requirements for the profession I want, but the goal is clear. In my own way, I want to contribute in improving a sick person's quality of life. 

Apr 12, 2013

Daily thoughts - ALERT on the plight of beautiful AMBER

my "pigbull" Lazybone. 

I love pitbulls. I had a dog named Lazybone who unfortunately passed away in 08. He was the sweetest dog I ever had. A contradiction to the popular notion that pitbulls are dangerous. I wrote a post about it awhile back.

2 days ago I wrote a brief post about my friend's cry for help about a pitbull from NJ. He volunteers for this shelter called NJCAS (North Jersey Community Animal Shelter) and has a personal account on his interaction with the said dog and vouches that Amber is not a biter. Click this link to read the whole story.

Follow up on the story,  "a local resident was denied to see Amber, or any dog...that's a public facility and the ACO is a public official"

This is odd unless, Amber has already been put down. Kinda  reminiscent of Lennox, a pitbull looking dog from Belfast Ireland. Needless to say, Lennox met a tragic end despite a global outcry.

My friend said he sent an inquiry again to NJCAS about Amber's status and stated that he is a member of the public asking them, who are public employees about a dog, nothing else, and they must answer. Unfortunately, to no avail. 

Instead this is what he got in his inbox:

The Borough Attorney for Bloomingdale, where the shelter is located, sent me a mild threat. My reply follows beliow. Here it is:


Dear Mr. Teodaro

This office serves as the Municipal Attorney for the 
Borough of Bloomingdale and it is in that capacity 
we have been consulted about the aforementioned 
matter. I have been provided with your recent emails
you have sent to the Borough’s animal control officer.
In particular your recent email states as

. The whole world just might come down on 
your head if you act hastily.

Such communication is likely to make Lisa Perry, the 
Animal Control officer, concerned about her safety 
and candidly it is inappropriate . Accordingly it is the
Borough’s responsibility that our employee has the 
ability to work in a safe environment where there are 
not any type of direct or indirect threats of physical harm.

Therefore, on behalf of the Borough, in order to provide 
a safe workplace environment , I am requesting that 
you immediately cease from emailing and communicating 
with Lisa Perry . In the meantime I will continue to monitor 
this matter on behalf of the Borough and consider all 
legal options.

Very Truly Yours

Fred Semrau
Attorney for the Borough of Bloomingdale.


Get Real.

I know my rights and I am quite familiar with the law. 
You don't scare me. If you feel Ms. Perry should work in 
a safe environment, then you get your head in the game. 

Evidently, you don't understand us who work with animals 
professionally or in a voluntary capacity. Animal control and
shelter work have their intrinsic psychological challenges and
physical dangers, much more so than working in a law office 
churning out proforma letters.

Hey, saber-rattling aside, we have a nice pit bull at the no-kill 
shelter in Bergen County, would you be interested? 



Mr Ted still managed to show some sense of humor despite the hostility on the email he received (the words Attorney and legal option in a letter are supposed to incite the following reactions :cringe, shudder, hide!).

I wonder what NJCAS is hiding. Why the need to lawyer up when all the public wants to know is the status of Amber's condition. I rankle at the thought of how some people are incapable of just being transparent and would use stonewalling and intimidation instead. We simply want to know Amber's condition.

We have emailed the mayor and cc Ms Perry and we have not received any updates. Is this meant to make us just forget our cause and be tractable citizens shoved to a corner? 

What happened to Lennox in Ireland was a disgrace and the world got to know about it. Lennox birthday is on April 8 coincidentally same day when the article about Amber was penned and later posted on Mr Teodoro's blog. I wonder what the public's reaction would be if they find out that Amber met the same fate as Lennox, considering there was an outpouring of support for Lennox from a group in NYC.

In honor of Lennox and other animals like Amber whose voice can be heard only through us rallying for them, please help us find out whether Amber is still alive,and if she is, be given the chance to be evaluated.

Please visit NJCAS facebook page to see more photos of Amber.

Disclaimer : This post is not meant to villify NJCAS or any of the names mentioned who are assisting NJCAS. We just want answers. Thank you.

Apr 11, 2013

Gastronomic Excursions : The Hummus Place

I ran into a new friend named Nikki yesterday. We chatted for a bit about jobs, weird people,the awesome weather. I havent had lunch at that time yet so we started talking about food. She is from Israel and has a fascinating penchant for handsome men and delicious food (although the word delicious can be used interchangeably here). I was really enjoying our conversation but I felt I was about to drool about our delicious topic (yes, Bradley Cooper and yummy food)so I had to excuse myself to look for something to eat. She recommended I try this place which was not too far from where we live. Its called the Hummus Place. Im not really crazy about hummus per se and since thats the first thing that came to mind, I didnt eagerly consider it. But the way she described how the food tasted made me very curious. So I  met up with the hubby after he came home from school and we decided to give the place a try. 

It is officially spring now (although it felt more like summer) and more  people were out enjoying the very fine weather (82 F outstanding!) clad in skimpy but comfortable looking outfits. Just last week everyone still donned their down jackets, scarves, hats and boots. Now all of a sudden people are in short shorts and cropped tops. I noticed also that bars were streaming with patrons. 

We savored the beautiful day by picking out a fresh restaurant (not new, but something we havent tried yet) which was geographically desirable and highly recommended.

The restaurant is between first avenue and A along St Marks

The ambiance was very inviting. The smell that wafted from the kitchen was mouth watering. We quickly found ourselves a nice spot by the window and scanned the menus. I ordered a mint iced tea and the Shakshuka Halumi. The hubby ordered the Hummus Fava, same drink as mine and a Babaganush.

The wait time was only 8-10 minutes. I didnt really notice because my head was glued to my ereader and I was somewhere in the lands of Westeros.

My reverie was favorably interrupted by the sound of the server's  delightful "and here is your meal :

The gooey thing in the middle is the Babagaganush

My meal 

Shakshuka Halumi

The hubby's meal 
Hummus Fava
1) QUALITY (ie DELICIOUSNESS) : It was really very good. The consistency, flavor and the "symphony" of the combined taste was amazing. I could even commit to being a vegetarian if every meal was as great as the one I just had.

2) PORTION SIZE : I was satisfied with my meal. I couldve gotten an additional flat bread but the serving was sufficient to hold me over until midnight.

3) BANG FOR FOR YOUR BUCK : On this side of the city, the going rate for very good meals are usually 7USD up. Sometimes they even ask for more but the meal is crappy. The Hummus Place prices are very reasonable.


Although the lady server did ask us if we wanted more flat bread while she saw me trying to wipe out clean the bowl of babaganush, I did find it odd that we were served only one flat bread each. The interesting thing was the lady sitting next to us, had 2 flat breads in her basket. Or maybe the flat bread is only for one of our orders and the  server offering us more is complimentary. I honestly dont know. It doesnt even matter because the overall experience was splendid. We will definitely go back very soon.

YUM YUM METER VERDICT : Excellent, excellent, excellent

The yumminess didnt end here though. We capped off our chow experience with something a little sweet and salty. 

oh yes that is the name
I have to write a separate post about how good the icecream is at this place. Oh and by the way, they have a painting of a huge Unicorn on their wall. They also have a little unicorn inflatable toy and a unicorn toy with an action figure on the saddle. Im not kidding.

Daily thoughts - Let's save beautiful AMBER

Please visit this link and follow the instructions posted at the bottom. It wont take too much of your time. You'll never know it could be your email and your heartfelt intention to spread the word and help that could save Amber's life.