HAPPY GREAT BAREKENDAN! Yes folks, today is Armenian Mardi Gras, or Carnival if you prefer. Live it up, for tomorrow is the first day of lent. Tonight we are going out for a big steak dinner, as soon as Zabel gets back from Boston. Then tomorrow, no more meat, and I may yet decide to do the strict bak
and become a vegan, but even then I have never gotten a straight answer as to whether fish is allowed or not. Anyway, it doesn't matter, it is all for the fun of it and to eat a little healthier.
Last night I met up with Khajag and his wife Gohar in Soho. We had drinks and explored the area a while. My first social outing on my own here, aren't you proud? They'll be keeping bak too, so we'll have to get together for some vegan eating. If you want to try some great Armenian vegetarian, vegan, or meat recipes, try the Adventures in Armenian Cooking Online
. Believe me, I will be using it as soon as I get bored of rice and beans, spagetti marinara, and buffalo wings.... juuust kidding about that last one. :-) Next I have to get together with Mike and Dikran, old LCO friends. This means I will have to leave the house again, but I will psych myself up for it and wait till it is forecast to hit 40 degrees, and not rain :-P
Tomorrow also marks my first month of being in NYC, and although I am still no expert yet, that is no reason for me not to be judgemental. It sucks. Alright, alright I am kidding again. As my Aussie cousins would say I am in a cheeky mood. No, I can really see what a lot of people see in this city that makes them love it so much, it is just that many of those things are not important to me in a city. For me the main negatives remain the weather, the cost of housing (although that has gone up a lot worldwide), the amount of time it can take for public transport to get you to a lot of places, the small stores with much less selection and higher prices, and as much as I love being able to not have a car, when I go shopping for anything bigger than a boombox, I sure miss having one. The positives are the selection of food you can have delivered to your door (something I have not fully taken advantage of) the fact that you really CAN get around without a car, the oldness of the city which allows for urban renewal which is an interesting phenomenon to watch and to see the outcome of, and I must say the cost of public transport is very reasonable. I think the city is a bit to big for my taste though. So I complain a lot, I compliment a little, what the heck do I want you ask? (or you don't but you keep reading to see where this twisted log is going, anyways). My preference would be a city anywhere in population from a quarter million to a million and a half (counting all of its suburbs and abutting population) with incredible architecture, beautiful gardens, squares, fountains and public spaces, built in a fantastic climate near the beach. There would be a very low crime rate (which I do not think is difficult if laws and the justice system was done right) and 3-6 months of annual vacation. How is that possible? I am about to speak blashpemy, and may be deported for suggesting it in the holy land of consumerism, but I am going to do it anyways. Consume less!!! Once housing and food are paid for, if people don't insist on consuming tons of unecessary things, they could work MUCH less. How much do people spend on fancy cars, fashion, name brands, stuff they never use, obligatory gifts which the recipient does not want or need, etc, etc, etc. Alright, lecture over.