Momofuku Milk Bar, 382 metropolitan ave, Williamsburg, NY
The Bean, 147 1st Ave New York, NY
Every nine months or so you lose something and you’re left to reconcile with that newfound sore in your chest that grew from holding nothing else at night but that comforter you’d originally never hold a black light to. I’ve working to move away from that conditional sappy soundtrack that consisted of The Kills, Daughn Gibson, and M83 and replacing it with Lady Gaga and Elle Goulding. M83 stays. I’m sticking true to my roots; booty bass, pelvic bass- the bass that makes me strut down 1st Ave. like a newborn superhero.
My guy left for Los Angeles to pursue his career as a badass.
We had to end his two years in style so we hit up the Momofuku Milk Bar on Metropolitan near the BQE where we’d be able to grab a cab to JFK.
The heat was sweltering. The humidity was like a wall of piss jell-o. He was rolling his brand new cobalt blue suitcase like he was on his way to the eighth grade with every stencil and coloring pencil he’d need for Pre-Algebra. I’m carrying a duffel bag with all his dirty clothes. All in all- 54 pounds. He’s taking everything that’s his. 54 pounds.
With an empty store so early in the morning, we stack all his belongings in the corner by the giant chalk menu that’s etched onto the wall. We order what we know would be essential; two cubano rolls, a pretzel shake, and two iced americanos. The barista goes on her way with prepping us two iced americanos with two shots of that muddy rich Stumptown espresso. We just look down. Then hold. Then look at the menu. Then I go to the cookbooks while my guy engages in a conversation with the barista about Austin, Texas and L.A. The cubano rolls are heating up. The smell is devilish and nostalgic. Coming down the back staircase, Pastry Chef Christina Tosi appears for only a moment. In sentimental, hungover shock we hold hands and look at one another. She’s the one responsible for turning childhood cravings into culinary marvels.
Take the Pretzel Shake. Creamy, smooth, salty, savory; I’m reminded of the times when I was younger and I’d be dipping french fries, pretzel sticks, or pizza crust into a frosty I’d gotten from the Wendy’s across the street. That same essence of nostalgia can be applied to most of the other treats the mik bar has to offer; including milk that’s soaked in cereal before being drained and being labeled as Cereal Milk or put into the soft serve machine. There’s also the compost cookie that’s loaded with pretezel, coffee, potato chips, and chocolate chips; the ultimate trail mix conglomerated into the ultimate cookie- I’m reminded of always purchasing $20 of sweet and salty mix before a two hour plane ride. Or my freshman-year hangover when I still blissfully unaware of the secret potential of Pad Thai.
We leave with our two Iced Americanos, our Pretzel Shake, and a giant brown bag filled with two heated Cubano Rolls, two packs of Kimchee Slaw, and complimentary blondie pie, Strawberry Lemon, and Mint Cookies n Cream Truffles. Our barista gave it to us knowing he needed snackage for his travels. She became our best friend that day. All in all, a decently priced affair; with its $7 combos (a croissant with kimchi side and a coffee drink) being one of the greatest deals in Williamsburg (If you wanna ignore the Post Office’s $1 oyster happy hour).
We feast in the taxi.
The Cubano is as perfect as ever; hot buttery croissant baked with flakes of sharp pickle. Inside, mustard, moist shredded pork, ham; it’s the best cuban flavor I’ve ever experienced in New York City and many a times in Miami. That’s demolished before we even get on the BQE.
We figured next up we ought to try the truffles and rip open the bag stuffed with three Mint Cookies n’ Cream truffle. It is insanely rich and flavorful. It was surprisingly heavy and hit our stomachs like wet cement, so after a truffle each, we sipped away at the Pretzel Shake. It can’t be beat.
He tells me to save the rest for myself. I pretend to be upset about this.
We get to JFK. have our cinematic moment. I’m a mess on the AirTrain and the A Train and the L Train and find that playing College on repeat is the only way to redeem myself from looking like a total jackass on the train with my sunglasses on, headphones plugged in, and a giant bag of Momofuku on my lap.
I go home and lay down on the floor where I pass out for five hours. I wake up, eat the entire packet of Strawberry Lemon cake truffles. The lemon goes a long way. It’s lighter and just as moist as the Cookies N Cream, with its tart slightly-undercooked cake that’s covered in strawberry and milk crumb.
The rest of the Mint Cookies N’ Cream go right after.
I attack the Kimchi Slaw. It’s the perfect accompaniment to all things Momofuku. Slightly Spicy and humbly green, the slaw is as much a palate cleanser as it is a reintroduction to the mindset that not all things delicious need to be a cake truffle or salty shake.
Then there’s the blondie pie to finish. Buttery Graham crumb and a rich nutty pie filling goes a long way and all of a sudden, I’m sleeping for another two hours.
I wake up and I decide it’s best to leave Brooklyn for a while. I need a break from it for a few days. I ignore the fact that I have a job interview less than a mile away from his apartment Monday morning at 2 PM. it’s an editorial position.
I work my way up to the near polar opposite community of Peter Cooper Village on the opposite side of the river where I make some raspberry, pepper, and mushroom crostini to snack on while watching Inception with bethany. Not a bottle of wine in sight and I’m feeling like a complete boss until I’ve realized I’ve replaced said wine with all the butter I used to cook those mushrooms.
I sleep for 12 hours in her bed.
I have a dream that I’ve found an underwater city that floats high above Miami before it tips over and everybody inside sipping Coors Lights falls through these giant holes and vanish in the clouds. I can only imagine they landed safely.
Today, I’m trying to get work done, so I’m writing a blog that I’m not getting paid for.
My current office is The Bean on 1st Avenue and 9th Street.
It’s sincerely remarkable how unpretentious the place is. It’s refreshing; with its exposed and sequined ventilation, exposed brick, hardwood, the mouth-watering aroma of toasted bagels and croissants smothered with butter, free wi-fi, the sign that reads open until midnight, the incredible friendliness of the waitstaff that has a conversation with you in lieu of wondering why the hell you’d ever take your iced coffee without cream and syrup.
There’s unlimited seating to match my limited bank account, so I find a table (out of twenty, at least) and rest my back against the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at Ninth Street. My neck’s getting a sunburn and this banana has never tasted so good.
I’m thinking nostalgia carries you either direction depending which way you control it. I dunno, maybe it’s like an arrow that shot its way to the part of your back you can’t ever reach and hurt like hell whenever anybody else tried to get it out for you because they kept rubbing it against a really bad nerve. I figure an arrow because I find I’m having trouble to breathe- the same way it did when I fell off a trampoline at my friend’s ten-year-old birthday party.
Maybe sometimes the best way to carry forth is to turn that bowl of cereal and milk into a soft-serve and open up a bakery that’ll start a culinary revolution. I know I’m better off working somewhere else rather than my apartment, but he introduced me to coffee and working in public settings and this damn hazy music that’s just popped up on my Spotify. Maybe I should have decided to work at a tea parlor. That was my idea originally and I found it to be just as productive, maybe even a little bit more.
Small steps. It’s only been a day and I still haven’t slept in my own bed yet.