Shake Shack!

I’m not really one to jump in the bandwagon whenever everyone raves about certain foods, but Shake Shack I had to try because I kept seeing it on Instagram.
Grace suggested we go to the Upper East Side branch because it has a shorter queue than Madison Square Park.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack began in 2001 as a seasonal hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. It became popular with fans who lined up daily for three summers. Then in 2004, they won a bid to open a permanent kiosk in the park.
Sixteen stores later, Shake Shack is known for delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more.
Grace and I took a cab to 154 East 86th Street and found a reasonable queue

shake shack

I ordered the simplest burger and grabbed a table. Grace followed with this beeper and we waited.


As usual Grace and I were giggling because right next to us were four cute Catholic school boys about 1/3 my age.
Well that’s New York for you—cute boys are everywhere.
Minutes later the line turned to this. Our timing was lucky.

Shake Shack

The beeper lit up and Grace picked up our order

Shake Shack

The fries were hot and crispy—not bad—and I say this because I’m partial to hot, soggy fries.
I had very high expectations, so I thought I would be disappointed. But my burger was perfect. Probably the best burger I’ve ever had. The bread is soft and simple. The burger, crisp on the outside; tender, juicy inside. I like that they understand the meaning of a plain burger.
Perfect with ketchup and Coke

Shake Shack

Grace prefers her burgers normal :)

Shake Shack

A couple of nights later I was back with my mom, sister, and SIL. This time I ordered a strawberry shake because my sister said, what’s the use of going to Shake Shack if you’re not gonna try the shake.
The shake was thick and perfect. I couldn’t finish it though because each sip felt like 3,000 calories.
I also ordered a double burger because I thought double just meant bigger. Turns out it means two patties, which is much too much for me.
Oh and there were cute boys again. No longer 1/3 my age. Maybe half?

Shake Shack

Aside from the US, Shake Shack has two locations in the Middle East.
So I heard they partnered with a really huge F&B group in the Middle East (read: pera), so I wonder if they will ever open in Asia? If so, which country first?

Golden Unicorn, 17 years later

When I was a kid in the ’70s, I thought Kowloon House had the best siomai ever.
I remember the rather crude cardboard takeaway box lined with wax paper, with the piping hot siomai that was so magical.
I stopped eating it in high school after I saw some rats running out of its Park Square store back in the ’80s.

I don’t know exactly who introduced me to Golden Unicorn in New York back in the ’90s. All I remember was you had to wait in line and the food was really good. It was such a treat to take a bus there and eat with friends like Biden :)
Seventeen years later, I wondered if it would be as magical for me. Luckily I was able to drag Grace and Alexei to Chinatown last Sunday.
We had a kind taxi driver who had no idea how to get to 18 East Broadway.

Golden Unicorn NY

Spotted a couple of hipsters in the area

Golden Unicorn NY

And then that magical building

Golden Unicorn NY

We were lucky the line wasn’t bad when we got there around 11:30 AM

Golden Unicorn NY
Golden Unicorn NY

I had to look for the mirrored hall of rave reviews, and there it was (kabrokot ang mga utao)

Golden Unicorn NY

After a 15-minute wait, we got a go signal to go up to the 3rd floor.
Inside looks a bit gaudy/creepy with all the drapery, mirrors and funky tiles

Golden Unicorn NY
Golden Unicorn NY

We managed to call a few dimsum carts to our table and got the piping hot siopao, which was perfect

Golden Unicorn NY

I didn’t try this one. It was “bola-bolish”

Golden Unicorn NY

The best pork siomai in the world!! Exactly how I remembered it 17 years ago

Golden Unicorn NY

This one paled in comparison

Golden Unicorn NY

The perfect hakaw

Golden Unicorn NY

and golden-fried shrimp balls. No idea why it’s served with Pringles. It was good though :)

Golden Unicorn NY

Our bill was only $40. We had no soy sauce, no calamansi, no rice. If you want soy sauce and calamansi, you might have to bring your own. LOL. But seriously, it didn’t need anything else because it was perfect. Except maybe a glass of ice-cold Coke.

Where I used to live

From 1991-1995 I lived in midtown Manhattan, starting at my tita’s place on 333 East 55th.

100 UN PLaza

Right next to this is the church I used to visit daily—St. John the Evangelist.

St. John the Evangelist Church

It is known for its pipe organs.

St. John the Evangelist

and cute Catholic boys.
(Note: Church-going boys are a huge turn on, especially if they’re cute and not with their girlfriends. Even more cute if you see them in deep prayer. +1000 pogi points)

Catholic boy

Grace likes the green one

Catholic boys

During the ’90s I considered this a very modern-looking church, that’s why I loved this place.

St. John the Evangelist Church
St. John the Evangelist Church

It is very near the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Diagnostic Imaging Center


Lily van der Woodsen’s apartment

The Milan

And Bernie Madoff’s old office building.

Lipstick Building

This is where I used to buy groceries. It used to be called The Associated. Memories of buying roast chicken with Chelo and yogurt for my dad here.

It used to be Associated

After two years, my dad got me my own place at 100 United Nations Plaza

100 UN Plaza
100 UN plaza
100 UN PLaza

You will recognize it because of its iconic pyramid-like top.

100 UN PLaza

When I graduated, my dad had it rented out before finally selling it at a good price.
I honestly didn’t know if and when I would ever see this place again. I’m just happy to be here right now, but I don’t think I want to live here again.
More on the ‘hood later. :)

The Peninsula New York

If I were paying I would probably stay at the Andaz or Chambers.
But Mom likes the Peninsula, so here we are today.
We arrived at 8:30 PM or so

The Peninsula New York
The Peninsula NEw York

My sister checked us in two rooms

The Peninsula New York

This is my room (shared with my SIL)

Peninsula New York

I love these chairs

The Peninsula New York

Someone please explain the useless placemat

Peninsula slippers

The bathroom is perfect, with shower stall

The Peninsula New York bathroom

Counter sink and bath

The Peninsula New York
THe Peninsula New York

Separate toilet with door

The Peninsula New York bathroom

Luggage room and closets

The Peninsula New York

The minibar I will not touch. Ever.


Plus a view of Fifth Avenue

5th Avenue

Next, I’ll show you round the ‘hood.

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