Personal space

Personal space. It’s something I like to both give and receive. But some people don’t seem to understand the concept. One of the things I dislike about travelling is sitting on a plane next to a stranger who doesn’t seem to mind getting a little too close for comfort. Or waiting in line next to one.

I’m totally neurotic about giving others enough space. I hate touching strangers and I hate them touching me even more. So on the plane, I never compete for the arm rest. But is that enough for some?

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Why must they venture into what is clearly my space? It’s not like I’m that little – I’m no fatty, but I’m tall with long limbs. What is wrong with people? Seriously, move the f*$@ away.

And what about people who seem to want to stand so close to you in line that they’re almost grinding up against your arse?! I encountered someone like that at JFK, so I stuck my foot out while standing sideways to keep some space between us. The result? They wanted to get so close that their bag just had to be touching my foot. WTF…?

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So please, people, respect personal space. Don’t stand too close. And don’t hog extra space on the plane just cos the person next to you has given you custody of the arm rest. Thank you.

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It happened 2 weeks ago…

M and I had 6 days in New York at the start of our trip. Somehow we managed to fit in 3 Michelin *** in that period. I know, it sounds a little crazy.

I’m just gonna do a little combo post now and highlight a few of our favourite dishes. I might do full posts in the future when I get home… if I feel inclined and not too depressed about not being on holiday anymore…!

Where did we go? Jean Georges for lunch, Eleven Madison Park for lunch and dinner at Daniel.

Jean Georges

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Above middle: trout and trout roe. Badly angled photo, but ridiculously fantastic dish.

Above bottom: shrimp with sea urchin. Quite possibly my favourite dish of the trip so far. And isn’t it just the prettiest?!

Eleven Madison Park

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Above middle: some kind of awesome fish dish that M loved.

Above bottom: lobster and avocado. And a whole lot of fabulousness.

Daniel

Dark photos alert! Daniel was very… formal. It had this old money, frequented-by-the-establishment feel to it. M had to wear a jacket, which he was not completely pleased about on a warm summer night. My favourite dish of the night ended up being my dessert – a passionfruit concoction. Light, tangy and visually enticing.

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My overall favourite? Jean Georges! Best dishes overall and I love the relatively more relaxed ambience. Oh, and lunch there was comparatively inexpensive too!

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I ❤ beignets

New Orleans. Cafe du Monde. Beignets. Fried dough dusted with icing sugar? Irresistible.

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M and I went visited Cafe du Monde twice in 3 days – once at their original French Market store and the second time inside the Riverwalk mall. Seriously, you have to try their beignets. Fried dough and sugar never tasted so good.

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Arnaud’s and jazz

Dinner at Arnaud’s was a little more expensive compared to some of the other meals we’ve had in NOLA (mostly due to the consumption of extra alcohol), but it was a very enjoyable experience.

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We dined in their Jazz Bistro section to take advantage of the live jazz being played during dinner. They actually come right up to your table at some point in the evening and play directly at you. It was kinda nice and kinda… a little uncomfortable, at the same time… I just didn’t know where to look, whether to continue eating while they played and whether my lack of head bopping and toe tapping was rude. Umm, I dunno… I’m not really into the whole audience participation thing. The best I can do is clap politely at the end. I know, so boring!

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Anyway, onto the food, which most certainly did not cause me any discomfort!

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Between the 2 of us, we shared 3 appetisers, a main and a dessert. Portion control, people. Apparently that’s how the French don’t get fat – have what you want, but just a bit of it. Okay, so roughly 2.5 courses per person isn’t exactly a light meal, but the portions weren’t large at Arnaud’s, which I was happy about!

We ordered the turtle soup (which apparently does have some turtle in it, but it kinda just tasted like a yummy beef stew), Louisiana shrimps in Arnaud’s special sauce, baked oysters and the crab ‘Karen’ (which was a crabmeat pie in puff pastry shaped like a crab!). In a word: delicious. Dessert was the bread pudding, which was pleasantly not overly rich.

The service was really good, but we’ve found the service in NOLA to be generally really good. Gotta love the southern hospitality!

P.S. apologies for the dark and blurry photos. Mood lighting and food photography are not friends!

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Gluttony in New Orleans

I love being on holiday. Really, I do. What is there not to love? Sleeping in, eating out, exploring new places… Sometimes I even manage to lose some weight – walking around all day can do that for ya.

But not this trip. Oh, no. Bye bye muscle definition. Hello pot belly. Meh! I’m actually looking forward to hitting the gym once I get back home.

Anyway, just 1 more week of gluttony left. I figured that one can only do so much damage in such a limited period!

So… Where are we now? Down south in New Orleans! First time in New Orleans and we’ve heard that the food here is fantastic. And boy, it really is!

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We had a quick lunch at Muriel’s today and it was fabulous! I had a gigantic oyster po’boy, washed down with a ridiculously cheap $4 Bloody Mary and M had a crusted fish fillet (which was also enormous) with a glass of Russian River pinot. The bill all up? Under $60 for the both of us, including taxes and tip.

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Dinner was at Mr B’s Bistro. I tried to be good. Really, I did. I only ordered 2 appetisers – fried oysters and a crab cake – and shared a dessert with M.

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Okay, so deep fried oysters don’t exactly scream ‘healthy option’. And that buttery pecan pie was positively sinful. But we’re in New Orleans. And we flew halfway around the world to get here. So if we want fat and sugar, we’re gonna have it, dammit. I’ll be healthy again when I get back to Melbourne. Promise!

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Japanese, Disney style

So we didn’t have high hopes for our meal options in Disney World, but surprisingly we actually found something very decent to eat. We had heard that the Japanese dining options weren’t too bad at Epcot, so we tried our luck at Tokyo Dining.

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My bento box was actually delicious. The ingredients were fresh, the food well prepared and our waitress was a very charming Japanese girl who was working in the US for a year. I think we’ll be back!

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Oceana, NYC

M and I caught the off-Broadway production of ‘Rent’ last week. The show was average, but the evening was not a total disappointment, thanks to a very lovely meal at the 1 Michelin starred Oceana.

Their $49 pre-theatre menu was pretty good value for 3 courses plus a side. I ordered the calamari, lobster and cheesecake.

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The servings were generous, the ingredients fresh and the dishes expertly executed. Oceana definitely impressed.

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