Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 35: The Visitors

Photo of the Day: View from the Eighth Floor

They're here! My first guests in New York just so happen to be my two favorite women: my sister and my mom, who are visiting me for the weekend. I worked from home today and then met my guests at the Holiday Inn in Long Island City. Though it isn't in the most beautiful part of town, it is a surprisingly comfortable hotel with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, and it is conveniently located only two blocks from the subway station.

For their first night in town, I took my visitors around Queens to my neighborhood in Elmhurst. We went out for some of my favorite boba at Tea Ren, then swung by a well-reviewed Thai joint called Chao Thai. We were suckered into buying one of the most expensive item on the menu, a steamed fish seasoned with garlic, lime, cilantro, and chilis. Fortunately it was very tasty, so it wasn't a loss but still probably not the best choice for our budgets. Afterward I got to bring my Mom and sister to my apartment, and they met my landlords while I played host with coffee and cookies. Even though my place is hardly a city attraction, I think my mother most appreciated getting to see first-hand where I live, if only for her own peace of mind, and I really liked showing her how comfortably I've settled here. From my place, we took the bus (after a frustratingly long wait at the stop) to Flushing to experience New York's newest Chinatown. Following countless recommendations, we tried the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai and were blown away. They were so delicate and full of broth, and despite the paper-thin wrapping, they never tore or leaked. The soup dumplings are truly magnificent and delicious creations.

First day down, with only a few minor bumps along the way. After several less-than-favorable observations about the lifestyle here (too much walking, no central air conditioning, crowded, dirty, expensive housing, etc.), I've deduced that my mother is not terribly fond of New York. I've got two days to change her mind, so after a rocky start to the weekend, here's hoping that the rest of the trip goes better.

Another view from our eighth-story hotel window: the industrial remnants of Long Island City.
Mom making herself at home in our Long Island City hotel room.
First subway ride in New York! (Unfortunately, we were heading in the wrong direction at the time.)
Some very tender fish seasoned with chilis, lime, cilantro, and garlic at Chao Thai.
The famous soup dumplings from Joe's Shanghai in Flushing.
The soup dumplings were loaded with lots of yummy, soupy goodness!
Draining the dumplings of their treasured contents.


  1. mmmmm... those dumplings are simply divine!! i'm so glad you like them!! haha, i never thought to drain out the soup... i always bite into the dumpling and suck out the liquid like a vampire :-).

  2. Haha, that's what the spoons are there for! We always did it with the steamed pork purse dumplings at Dumpling King in Houston....also very tasty, but not nearly as soupy.

  3. now i'm hungry and want some Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings. :-(

  4. Go to Dumpling King on Westheimer! They're not as soupy as Joe's Shanghai, but I could argue the flavor is better.

  5. i can't go to dumpling king anymore without thinking of danny bang... and how he fell asleep at the table after his first meal there.

  6. Haha, I don't think I was there for that! If it satisfied Danny that much, maybe Michelle will have an equally excellent experience! It's in the genes....

  7. LOL. I remember that Daisy! I don't think I've been to Dumpling King since then. That was a long time ago.