I have to say -- Chinatown is really really REALLY cheap. I'm talking about the one in Flushing (which is decidedly far superior to the one in downtown Manhattan). Sea Bass for $4.99/lb?? Salman for ~$3/lb??? It's pretty much a steal compared to the prices around my area. Sadly, the better Chinatown is an hour away, so that pretty much limits my travels there. Otherwise I would go often. Very often.
I finally started using the kitchen too, but everytime I've done so, it's meant having to do nearly a complete cleaning on everything in the kitchen. We'll see how things go though -- we just had a suitemate move out so maybe things will be a lot better in the long haul. In other news, cooked a huge dinner for myself that's probably good for the next 4 meals or so. Pretty simple stuff, took me about 30 minutes to cook. I should probably compete with Rachel Ray for her 30-minute meals show.
The Hershey Store and M&M Store in Times Square
Things can get a little busy in New York, but when you go to Times Square, you really start to see the hustle and bustle flowing to and from the streets and stores and stands. Families, couples, friends, loners, all types of characters and caricatures make there way in a large throng that just surges en masse up and down the streets of Times Square. To exit the flow of people, I feel, is much like exiting from a highway. To do it smoothly, you have to slowly make your way towards the store entrance and out of the flow of traffic. Otherwise, you risk people running into you if you stop abruptly and try to turn into the store.
They've also started setting up these zones in Times Square where pedestrians are able to sit down in the middle of the street on these green chairs (meant for the color of sustainability apparently) to just take a rest. The whole point is to minimize congestion (I'm pretty sure they mean pedestrian traffic to move the slower people away from the sidewalks and into the greener areas where they are supposed to amble slowly along as the masses fast walk their way to their destination on the sides). What's ended up happening is the car density on the streets have gotten a lot higher, but what's new? I've been playing Human Frogger since Day 1 in New York...and it's all comparable to the car traffic in China/Taiwan.
But I digress...if you guys ever come to New York, you should definitely visit Times Square. They have a Hershey Store and an M&M Store with huge pillars filled with M&M's of various colors. To access those delightful teeny bits, you simply go up to a pillar with a plastic bag, pull the lever, and BAM! M&Ms of your color choice fall into your bag. I think you're charged by the ounce, but having spent my chocolate budget at the Hershey store already, I didn't bother buying M&Ms...
NYC Restaurant Week
Yet another reason to come to New York -- Restaurant Week. Basically, all the classier restaurants in New York will put out a prix fixe menu ($24 for lunch and $35 for dinner) and you get to choose what you want for a 3-course meal. It's excellently priced (given New York), and definitely a way for us poor graduate students to feel as if we were living the high life. That I went to 3 Restaurant Week dinners (Atlantic Grill, Persephone, Delmonico's) is a testament either to my love of eating, my love of good food, my inability to resist splurging on food, the great deals, or maybe all of the above. Either way, I was very satisfied those 2 weeks and definitely did not eat much else those days to prepare my appetite for the food =).
It's a little sad that I'm going to be leaving the lab soon. I've been in the lab from 9am-8pm with the other post-docs, a masters student, another MSTP student (my year), and the PI, and it's been a blast learning science from all these people, talking about our experiments, and really noticing just how much at the forefront Mount Sinai is in medical research. I won't go too much into detail about what I've done, but there have been some huge strides in tumor immunology and cancer therapies and there will be a lot more going on, and I never thought of myself as ever having anything to do with cancer research, but given my experiences in this lab (of which I will blog more about later so that I can return to those thoughts later when I make my final decision), it's definitely something I would like to investigate even further.
That's all for now folks! I wish I had more, but I really don't. I guess I'll do more touristy things at some point and take pictures if I can.