New York Hit List

Every once in a while I realize that there’s something from America that I want but can’t get in Georgia. I try to make a mental note (lately, I’ve been making real notes, which are somewhat more effective, assuming I don’t lose them) and get these things when I actually go to America; so far I have mostly failed.

But not this time!

It feels weird to realize that I am only in New York – at most – twice a year. I am still considering my options for this summer – whether to stay in Georgia, head to New York for a while, or go somewhere else entirely. It seems like I should take the opportunity to travel a little while I’m already on this side of the Atlantic, and there are tons of places I want to go; my latest craving is to hit up Beirut and cram myself full of as much delicious Lebanese food as I possibly can. I hear they have decent beaches there too. In any case, the point is, I’m considering not flying to New York in the summer, which would mean that the next three weeks (oh yeah, I leave tomorrow) might be my only chance for a whole year to satisfy my New York-based cravings.

It helps that more and more things are actually becoming available in Georgia (they have maple syrup now, although it’s hideously expensive) and that most of the things I miss about America involve food, and I can easily reproduce most dishes that I can’t find in restaurants here. I’m considering getting a meat grinder and a coffee grinder (sadly, two different machines – it would be cool to just have one all-purpose grinder, although I’d have to clean it really thoroughly which would be a pain in the ass) so I can start making real hamburgers and experimenting with the various coffee beans available in my neighborhood. So anyway, it’s not like I’m living an ascetic life of gruel and stone soup over here – on the contrary, I’ve been expanding my repertoire to cajun and southern food in addition to my standard Mexican and Indian influenced stuff, with overall good reviews – but there are a few specialty items that would really be icing on the cake.

Also, speaking of cake, I remain a shitty baker, and so one of my high priorities in the US is some of the specialty baked goods that you can’t find in Georgia.

So without further ado, I present my list of places to go, foods to eat, and items to buy to bring back to Georgia to enhance my overall quality of life here:

Foods to eat:
A Blockheads Burrito
My stepmother’s chicken cutlets
A Black and White cookie
BAGELS
A Bonnie’s Burger
Cheerios

Items to buy:
Cumin
Taco Spice (somehow when I mix my own I never quite manage the same exact flavor; plus it’s way easier to just use a mix)
Onion powder (maybe)
Advil Cold and Sinus (not available in Georgia due to Georgia’s imaginary meth epidemic or something)
Writing pads (8.5″ x 11″ – for some reason Georgia doesn’t seem to have normal stationery)
Polyisoprene Condoms (this material is just way, way better than latex)

So, yeah. Notice how the second year packing list differs drastically from the initial packing list. When I first came here I tried to minimize the number of consumable items I brought with me (for example, spices) on the assumption that they take up the space of non-consumable items (like clothes) but I’d run out of them. Now I’m pretty much set for clothes and stuff, and I have a very specific idea of what consumables I need and how much of them I go through in a year.

I’d love to hear what stuff from America y’all find yourselves missing/craving/wanting to bring back to Georgia from vacation.


Video: Uncle Tupelo, No Depression

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8 Responses to New York Hit List

  1. Amanda says:

    DId you just say y’all?

  2. Natarajan says:

    You know to get whole cumin in bulk at an Indian groc store or the like, right? (Kalustyans has such a wonderful spices section.)
    Consider a whirly blade coffee grinder for spices. Bosch makes am inexpensive one with an angled chamber that does a good job. Moot if you have a good mortar and pestle.
    What is your price point for a coffee grinder? (My standard non-espresso grinder recommendation is the Baratza maestro plus.)
    Finally, if you can get green coffee beans and lifestyle permits it, roasting your own is way cheaper/better.

    • panoptical says:

      Oh, yeah, Kalustyans is great. I do have a good mortar and pestle, in fact!

      Coffee grinder: not sure, but it has to be able to run on European voltage so I was thinking I’d just shop around Tbilisi. And actually I am looking to grind for espresso (well, Moka coffee, anyway). Not sure if I can get green coffee beans… I guess I’ll ask around. I’ve been using Lavazza’s pre-ground vacuum-sealed Rossa in a Moka pot; it actually comes out really good if you pack it right and take it off the heat in time.

  3. Left Eye Looking says:

    …and avocadoes. I always miss avocadoes and cilantro when I’m abroad. Red onion and corn tortillas. A good sharp cheddar cheese, jack cheese, , heirloom tomatoes, hickory flavouring, elephant-garlic, long green stemmed onions, chiabatta bread, aioli–especially when it’s homemade, sweet potatoes and yams, white potatoes with dill, habanero peppers, anaheim peppers, masa, yucca root, marsala, apple cider vinegar, sicilian blood oranges, a good roux, dirty rice, jambalaya, good cracked black pepper corns, mangoes and chile pepper, adobe spices, asiago cheese, thai chili peppers, homemade barbeque sauce, abuela hot chocolate, sun dried tomatoes, chile rellenos, rice with raisins, the good guacamole, papaya salsa, oh and regular salsa, mmmmm and well-cooked meat and this is coming from a vegetarian who hasn’t eat meat in years–too picky; good meat is an art form; smoked salmon, buttered bass fish, venison burgers, rabbit stew, home churned sweet butter, sicilian olive oil…oh yeah. Have fun in NYC!!!!!!
    I’m going to eat all of this before I take off for Afghanistan in March. From one traveller to another, Neal, Enjoy your food. *drools* Going to go eat now, hopefully I don’t get the -itis…..

  4. Pingback: I Love New York | Georgia On My Mind

  5. Bruna says:

    Holy shit I just posted on your wall telling you to come to Beirut and then read this!! It’s fate. You shall come to Beirut.

  6. Pingback: New York Hit List Revisited | Georgia On My Mind

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