Penang, Malaysia

We were recently in Penang, Malaysia for a whirlwind trip, due to some family events.  Usually for Asia trips, we try to have at least a week of actual downtime, just so we have the time to get over the jetlag, but this time we could only manage three full days on the ground.  One less layover, but weirdly, I think I preferred the two-layover flight, since sitting for fifteen straight hours makes you end up with cramps in places you didn’t even know you had joints.  Taking advantage of the airline’s little sleeping cubicles (full bed! not a scrawny twin!) was surprisingly small mitigation.

Still, landing in warm, humid heat was a nice change of pace from the dry cold winter back home.  The humidity was also merely sticky as opposed to a slap in the face, which helped ease the constant wooziness from the jetlag.  We took it pretty easy as well, going light on the tourist activities and concentrating on food.

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July 4th Weekend

So my work actually gave us the Friday before the 4th as well as the actual 4th off so…4-day weekend! Since I’ve been here for 2 years but never gone to the beach, we decided to fix that. Justtwomorethings had a good experience with airbnb on her roadtrip–and there was an added plus of finding people that wouldn’t mind a 3rd, fuzzy house guest.

Justtwomorethings: Finding a place that is okay with cats is definitely easier on Airbnb, but the selection is still pretty limited (although dogs seem to be welcomed in many, many places).

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NJ: Zinburger

Zinburger is one of those upscale burger joints–greasy diner fare reimagined for surbubia and deeper pockets. The logo is a cow, drinking a glass of wine, which I think sums up the concept rather well.


Snarkiness aside, its not bad. Not blow my mind good, but respectable.I’ve been there a couple times so far–prices are about right for what it serves, and its been pretty packed each time…the big TV screens showing sports games might explain. It’s certainly found a niche.

But the food is well…forgettable. The problem with pulling diner food upscale is that there is a reason cheap diner food got all that attention in the first place. Does that make sense? Kind of like how street vendors in Asia and elsewhere get awesome, diners spend years and years making the same kind of food and getting really really good at it. They don’t worry about things like saturated fats, excess sodium and cholesterol–the food is unapologetically bad for you but man does it taste good doing it.


New York: Momofuku Noodle Bar

I love noodles, and since the weather recently decided to take winter seriously, I’ve had a serious ramen craving.  A giant bowl of chewy noodles and luscious fatty steaming broth just sounds perfect when the chill’s hitting.  So when entropyenator finally booked time at a Manhattan cat cafe, I decided it was time to get the ramen on as well.

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Holiday Shopping in NYC


Since Justtwomorethings moved to the east coast, the Holiday Markets in NYC have been a favorite of hers to go gift shopping before the holidays. The past couple of years, she has taken me along too, since I’ve been in the area (alas, we always seem to go when Santacon is going on).

The Union Square Market, in my opinion, it still the best, but this year we went to Bryant Park Market as well. Its a bit smaller, but the vendors seem a little more upscale (probably owing to the fact they are housed in little glass huts instead of tents). There’s also a big ole Xmas tree right in the middle that’s decorated up quite prettily.