Liz, V and I in the same place! At the same time! Four years of friendship in the making! And all I have to show for it is pictures of food, but is there really a better way to christen a friendship? A: NOPE
I’ve hung out with Liz and V on separately, but this marked our first time seeing each other collectively and it was a momentous occasion ♡ I also met Catherine for the first time and she is the absolute sweetest! So ridiculous about about shopping, makeup and shopping for makeup – a kindred spirit who really Gets Me and my terrible retail decisions. Together our quartet of hungry friends descended on NYC to eat eat eat!
I first met up with V and Catherine in Flushing and we headed Gu Shine/Ku-Shiang Restaurant for Taiwanese food. I DESPERATELY wanted to try an oyster pancake, but alas they ran out of oysters. OUT OF OYSTERS :( V taught me how to properly pronounce 蚵仔煎 for future reference, but there was a lot of quiet floundering on my part. One day I will taste sweet seafood success.
We ended up ordering way too much food and then moped about being too full to finish things – too much greedy hunger and not enough stomach. The impending food coma led us to cut the rest of the day’s plans and we spent the rest of it with bubble tea and all the stationary/beauty shops in Flushing. My hands were too full of MAKEUPPPPP to have any photos, but all kinds of “Look at this notebook! It’s so cute! I must have it!” and “How many face masks do I need??” ensued. I think we spent over an hour in Nature Republic alone and we each did some damage of our own. I picked up the mask & ampoule from my May beauty routine post.
Lunch the next day was a Smokestack and cheese fries from Shake Shack in Madison Square park and a view of the Flatiron Building, which is V’s favorite thing ever. Crying about a beautiful building, what a delicate soul.
We explored Eataly for a bit and then went to MORE MAKEUP SHOPS. My hands were busy swatching things so I have no photos to show for anything yet again, oops :/ In my defense, V also brought me a 6-pack of Montreal bagels all the way from Canada (TRUE FRIENDSHIP) so I had to juggle that as well. We checked out products at Origins and snagged some samples before spending a billion hours at MAC trying on lipstick. Somehow we exhausted ourselves enough to need drinks even though we hadn’t travelled more than a minute’s distance from our lunch table. It was nice though! A great opportunity to just sit and talk about people and places and exchange ridiculous stories about awful things that have happened to us. Afterwards, we stepped into Whisk where I had A Moment about glass jars and then we hit up Fresh’s retail shop where Catherine and I made it a mission to smell everything in the store, while V lounged like a tragic princess.
And then guess what? We went to Sephora. HAHAHAH Time stops when you’re in Sephora, magical utopia of beautiful things I can’t quite afford yet. It turns out the Sephora location in Union Square carries the incredible TokyoMilk Dark perfume collection which is awesome because TM is so hard to find in stores. I got a few foundation samples (that I’ll swatch for you all later!) and the three of us coo-ed over all the things we couldn’t have.
We had light meals at Cosi and I got to open V’s belated Christmas gift to me (pics at the end!) before we realized that V and Catherine’s train was going to stop running in a matter of minutes. MAD DASH HOME.
Day three was brunch, window shopping and finally meeting up with Liz! V picked out a super cute brunch spot called Café Select on Lafayette with the loveliest decor. Our travel timing was completely off, however, and so the three of us ended up at different tables from Liz and her friends. So close, so far and also so hilarious that we still had to resort to texting even though we were no more than 7 feet from each other. A big difference from the 2,000+ miles though. We somehow ended up in a booth that was tucked behind a wall; it was literally a hole in the wall that we were sitting in and clearly meant for dates of the romantic kind. I didn’t mind it too much because it was ADORABLE, but claustrophobia could be an issue for some people and it was an inconvenience getting out to use the restroom. What was weird was that there were two tables in the nook and so it was close enough for us to hear the conversation of the people at the next table, people who were actually on a date!!
Uovo Ticinese, two poached eggs on polenta and topped with pancetta
Bratwurst (?) veal sausage with vidalia onion sauce & potato salad
The food was FANTASTIC. It was so good! A little heavy handed on the salt, but both Catherine and I looooooooOOOoooove salt so we were both thumbs up about it. There was also bread and butter at the end of the meal and the staff was super nice. I’d definitely go back for something even more brunch-y (read: more eggs).
Afterwards, our groups went window shopping in SoHo for a while and then parted ways for froyo at 16 Handles. We had a chance to do more belated Christmas present exchanges and I tried (but failed) to get sneak photos of V and Liz. Liz gifted us with matching accessories so we can be gross friends forever (JK). A bit more store-hopping followed before we found ourselves at Caffé Bene in Times Square.
I’ve been wanting to go to Caffé Bene since forever and the dream has been realized. It’s lovely, but definitely as crowded as the rest of NYC. I went to the Flushing location a few weeks ago and it was so much more relaxed in comparison. I guess the TS location just suffers the THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN MANHATTAN syndrome. It was much needed sitting time, though, which V and Liz used effectively to cry about EXO (“182cm of sadness”) while Catherine and I looked on. BITTER CACKLING LAUGHTER. I hadn’t realized that falling into the black hole of EXO was inevitable – quick, someone invent a time machine so I can go back in time and tell myself “NO.”
Dinner plans at Sake Bar Hagi almost fell apart when we arrived and realized it was completely packed. There was an hour long wait for our table and we passed the time with a lot of whining and lounging in stores nearby. But, I’m SO GLAD WE WAITED
BECAUSE THE FOOD. WAS. SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. We didn’t go for drinks, but took advantage of the smaller plate sizes to order a ton of stuff to eat – some of which isn’t even pictured here?? I had my first okonomiyaki and it was everything I ask food to be. The chicken in the ponzu sauce was fantastic. The only dish that we weren’t too excited about in the end was the yaki soba – not anything special to write home about. I need a second trip to try more things on their menu like their fried chicken gizzards? Ugh give me!
It felt like everyone had a bumbling start on Friday and meeting happened terribly, but I found myself at MAC oggling lipsticks with V and Catherine yet again. HAHA. V had her eye on a really gorgeous vampy lipstick, but was debating it’s life-appropriateness. We apparently were there for so long that one of the associates blurted out, “You guys are back! You really like that corner,” and all of us wanted to melt into the ground from embarrassment.
At one point, V pointed out that my foundation had oxidized so I took the opportunity to shade match myself properly. Life Revelation. I realized I had been using NC25 as a shade reference the entire time when I’m actually a NC15, jeez. When I finished slapping foundation onto my face, I also played the foundation game with V’s and Catherine’s face – you’re real friends you let someone slather face makeup on you for their enjoyment.
When we finally met up with Liz (to whom I gave tragically wrong subway directions to), we made a beeline for quick Korean food at Kunjip where the boss lady gave us super judgmental looks because we wanted to share HA HA. Whatever! Needed more room for other stuff like coffee~
Up the street at Cafe Ele, Liz was incredibly gracious and treated us all to drinks and cake while we all chatted. Managed to convince one of the staff to help us take a commemorative group photo T^T
The girls headed to The Face Shop afterwards and I had to hightail it home for a family dinner so I bid them all FAREWELL GOODBYE and was super emotional on the train ride home AHAHA :'(. Sensitive babychild. I almost broke into tears while we were at the station previously simply because… my friends!!! We talk so much and so often that it’s always felt like we weren’t thousands of miles apart so to be able to fall into conversations easily when we are actually physically close is a wonderful experience. I miss you all so very much!
An accumulation of presents (heh) and shopping damage of my own over the week. Not going to go into specifics, but in particular ahhh the Tory Burch lunchbox from Liz and the Etude House Etoinette collection nail polish from V!! I love everything and my friends are the most wonderful (▰˘◡˘▰) Next time I’ll do the visiting!!
Gu Shine/Ku-Shiang Restaurant
135-38 39th Ave
Flushing, NY 11355
TEL: (718) 939 – 5468
135-80 Roosevelt Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
TEL: (212) 229 – 2560
212 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
TEL: (212) 925 – 9322
New York, NY 10019
TEL: (212) 586 – 2010
43 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
TEL: (212) 290 – 1414