PT Brooklyn

I love Italian food. I could eat pasta every day of the week. And don’t even get me started about my obsession with basil (I seriously eat the leaves on their own). So when my sister told me about this quaint little Italian restaurant that she found where she lives, I knew I had to have her take me there when I went to visit. Consider this my love letter to PT.

PT is located at 331 Bedford St. in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. As a bonus, you can walk down Bedford and browse the funky little shops they have which will help you work up an appetite! We walked into the restaurant, past a few tables right by the open windows, and down a couple of steps into the establishment. I immediately fell in love the with place (and all without seeing the menu yet)! Its dimly lit with small candles on each table & the bar. The tables are all a dark wood which fits in nicely with the rest of the place. There is a brick walll and a fireplace that has tiny Christmas lights lit in it. The bar is sleek & clean and very inviting.  You really can’t help but feel at home in this establishment.

So lets discuss the most important thing – the FOOD! All I can really say is OH MY GOD. I don’t think I will ever have Italian this good, unless I actually decide to hop a flight to Italy. The meal always starts with imported, organic goat cheese flown in from Italy. You also get a basket of bread & seasoned oil, along with these wafer crisp, almost potato chip like things that I have yet to ask about but I should because they are addicting! Between the cheese & bread, I could easily fill up quickly on just that and wine.

I’ve actually eaten at PT 3 times in the past 3 months (yes, I visit NY as often as possible)!  Each time I’ve had something different and each time I’ve been completely floored by the excellence of the food. On my first visit I had the rigatoni bolognese. I’m picky about my sauce and this did not disappoint. The sauce had a nice zest and you could tell the meat was very fresh! This isn’t sauce that sits around for months on end. I’ve also had the spaghetti pomodoro, which comes with fresh mozzarella & fresh basil (refer back to the first paragraph and know my excitement of this feature). Perfect dish and I ate the whole thing, leaving satisfied but not feeling disgustingly full! Last dish I tried was the tagliolini all’emiliana – a nice homemade pasta with ham, peas, parmigiano & a cream sauce. It is so rich and creamy with flavor exploding on your taste buds from the first bite to the last!

I’ve also had the caprese salad and the calamari. Both excellent starters that will not disappoint. If you save room for dessert, make sure you get the tiramisu. It is one of the BEST tiramisu’s I’ve had…period. The sweet flavor isn’t overbearing and I believe they use something other than lady fingers in their recipe. Its light & fluffy yet decadent with that lovely espresso soaked kick. Trust me…get the tiramisu when you go.

The food, the service, the ambience – you couldn’t ask for a better place to eat. I am taking my husband there in a few weeks for his first time. I almost feel guilty that I’ve eaten there three times without him. With food that good though I can try to erase that guilt though.

Mangia!

 

Losing a friend

It was on July 5th, 2010 that I got a phone call no one can ever be prepared for. A good friend of mine, that I’ve known since I was 14, had been killed in a motorcycle accident. I couldn’t believe it. How was this possible? He was such a loving, caring soul who would have done anything for any one of his friends & family. It just didn’t seem fair.

A year has past. Events have come & gone. Lives have gone on.  That loss of a friend though still lingers throughout all of these things. It has taken the place of what once housed the existence of my friend. The group of friends that I have, that he was part of, are very, very special and what we have is rare. We’ve all pretty much been friends since we were in our early teens. Some of us longer than that & some of us shorter. Yet we somehow formed a bond that couldn’t be broken. We’ve moved apart and sometimes don’t talk or see each other for quite awhile. Some of us have married. Some now have families. Yet every time we do get together its like nothing has changed. We all still love each other just as much as we did when we were younger. A bond like that doesn’t come along very often.  So with that type of connection, the loss of one of us feels like a link is missing in our chain. It will never feel the same again.

As today marks the one year point of our friends death I found myself out of sorts and pondering my own life. I feel like we all have a guardian angel looking down on us now and I want to make him proud. I want to live my life the best I possibly can. I want to be able to make my friend proud when it comes time to meet again. All I feel I can do is love my friends and family & treat everybody as I want to be treated. He was an awesome human being who saw the good in so many. He will be forever missed and I can feel his presence every day. Rest in Peace Roma. You’ll always be a great friend to me even if its from a different plain of existence. XOXO.

 

The job search…

I have never enjoyed looking for employment. Its just a pain in the ass honestly. I can remember at the ripe old age of 14 looking for my first job. I applied EVERYWHERE. Most places looked at me with the “Aren’t you cute, getting your first job” look. It took awhile but I managed to squeeze my way in to the fabulous world of grocery store bagging. This began my adventure into the real world where you worked and got money. If I’d only known what I was getting myself into.

So fast forward twenty years and a bunch of jobs later. Here I am applying to a ton of places again. Only this time, its a BILLION times harder than it was back in 1991. Every application I want to fill out online takes AT LEAST an hour to complete. And what is up with the personality tests that some companies make you take? I feel so pressured answering what I would do if co-worker A was complaining about co-worker B that I sometimes just say screw it and give up. I feel like that portion of the application process should be saved for serious candidates only. I’m not going to even fathom how many of those quizzes I took and never even heard from the place.

Present times have also made it impossible to follow up with any job you have applied for. Every time I speak to my mother & we talk about my job search she says, “Honey just make sure you follow up with people!”  What my mother has yet to fully realize is that times have changed since she was in the professional world. Companies want nothing to do with you until they’ve decided you are worthy of them wasting their breath in an interview. Most places I apply have ghost email addresses so you can’t follow up. And forget about even trying to get a phone number.

With all of the unemployed people in today’s society, its a wonder that more of us haven’t gone completely mad during this application process. If you are in the state of Massachusetts, you have to make the minimum of 3 job contacts a week to keep your benefits. If you are really trying to find a job you are making much more than that. Your job search has become your full time job. Now imagine working a full time job and not getting any results for all the hard work you put in. That, to me at least, is what my searching feels like. I apply and apply only to never hear a word from the places I contact. If I’m lucky, I may get an automatically generated email, but those are few & far between. Frustrating? You could say that’s an understatement.

So here I sit…educated,job searching, with my pretty framed bachelors degree staring down at me from the wall.  I sometimes feel like its looking at me with disgust. Or maybe I’ve just been staring at this computer for too long. Either way I know that I sometimes feel defeated by my job hunting. I want other people that are in the same boat as me to know that they are not alone. I’m right here fighting the application process with you. That’s all one can really do. Keep fighting and hope that maybe, just maybe, the next resume you send may be the last one you’ll have to.

Anxiety & Insomnia

Contrary to popular belief there are a few perks when you find yourself unemployed. You no longer have to set your alarm & dread it going off in the morning. Those Sunday night jitters that always come because you know your weekends coming to a close? Yup, those are gone. You can watch Rachael Ray everyday – because really what else are you going to do while you browse the web for jobs?

There is one little hiccup in all this free time you finally have that keeps you from fully enjoying yourself. It’s called an anxiety attack. At first you may not have them because you are still too in shock from the loss of employment & living in the land of denial. Time goes on though and soon you find yourself 4 months out of work and starting to really wonder if you are going to find another job. The pressure is on. People keep questioning you about your job hunting. “Have you gotten any phone calls or interviews? NO? Oh well, don’t worry it just takes time.” Sigh. Yeah it does take time…but will it happen before I’m out of benefits?

So this brings us to anxiety attacks. Panic is setting into the deep corners of my brain & making my body do funny things. Pounding heart for example. Feels like its going to jump right out of my chest sometimes. Tingling arms? Check. First time I actually thought I was having a heart attack. Oh and here is the best part of the anxiety – it leads to insomnia. I love my sleep. I love my bed & the rest if provides me. My brain, however, has now decided it would like to work 24 hours a day and not take any time to rest. So I lay awake most nights now, dozing from time to time, thinking way too many thoughts for very early in the morning.  I do get to see quite a few TV shows & movies during this time (I wish I could say they were quality but we all know how late night television is).

I guess all I can really do is deal with the consequences of my bodies reactions to my current situation for the time being. I practice yoga roughly 4 times a week, which should help. I’m trying to meditate. And I figured by sharing all my fears with you maybe my brain will relax a little & decide to take a lunch break.

So be forewarned people that are unemployed – it may not be happening now but at some point your brain & body will turn against you. You will think you are dying. You will feel like your life has no purpose. But don’t worry…I’ll be there with you to guide you through it.

 

 

Vapiano’s Boston Review

So the hubby & I went and enjoyed the day in Boston yesterday. Started off by participating in the AIDS Walk Boston – what a great day for it & a great turn out! We personally raised $470 – not my goal but still good none the less. After the 6 mile walk we were slightly hungry & parched. I had heard of Vapiano’s on the TV show Phantom Gourmet so we decided to check it out.

The restaurant is located where the old Bennigans used to be down in the theatre district. They completely remodeled the place & it looks great! Clean, crisp, & modern. Inside there is a tree – which is a very cool look. They also have doors that open up to outdoor seating. Since it was 70 & sunny with a nice breeze we chose to sit outside. In New England you take it when you can get it. The tables were clean & surrounded by a border of plants which slightly separated you from the sidewalk – a very nice touch. If you go to Vapiano’s & its nice out I highly recommend you sit outside!

The restaurant concept is a little different. You are handed a menu & plastic credit card upon arrival. You then proceed to the station of what you would like to eat & order there from the chef. There is pizza, paninis, pasta, salads, & appetizers. One of the best things about this place is that all of the pasta is made fresh there, a key selling point for me when picking an Italian restaurant. You pick your pasta & what you would like on it. My husband got the chicken alfredo with fusilli pasta and I chose tagliatelle with pomodoro & mozzarella. We also ordered a bruschetta trio. You order, tap your card, and they send you on your way with a buzzer for when your food is ready.

You then proceed to the bar (if you are choosing to drink, and really why wouldn’t you be!). Same deal here – order, tap the card & the bartender provides you with your beverage of choice. We ordered a bottle of red and the bartender brought it out to us at our table, opened it and made sure it was to our liking. That was one of the best things about this restaurant – you don’t lack for staff service because it is somewhat of a self serve restaurant. Our bartender was so nice and we chit chatted with him for so long, that he actually went & got our food & delivered it to us! He went above and beyond my expectations as far as service.

The food – bellisimo!! So fresh & so good. The restaurant has fresh basil plants throughout it at each table that you can pick leaves off of for your dish. I can’t tell you how happy this made me & also how rare it is to come across!!!

The prices were reasonable too! Our total bill came to about $70 for the two pasta dishes, bruschetta, a bottle of wine, an additional glass of wine, and two mixed drinks. With tip we spent about $80. For what we got I thought that was reasonable.

Our entire experience – ambience, service, food & beverage – were all above my expectations. I was 100% satisfied with our dining experience and even though I live an hour away, I will definitely be returning! Check it out if you ever are in the area! You won’t be disappointed.

Unemployed…again.

Hi world, its Chrissy. Nice to meet you.

If you’ve read my “about the runt” then you know I am currently lacking a full time job. Its not the first time (and with the economy the way it is, probably not the last either) that I have been without full time employment. But to give you a general idea of how used to this I am, let me give you a brief history:

In the past 11 years I have been laid off from four full time jobs. I have been laid off from one part time job. And I worked for one company that was going down the tubes and I bailed – I would have been laid off from that place too had I stayed. Good times.

I’m not going to lie – some of those times the unemployment was great. I had money coming in and a leisurely life. But then the reality always hits – I need to find employment. The difference this time is that I’m 34 – which may not seem old to some of you but to me I feel like I’m carrying a giant clock around thats ticking at the loudest decibel possible saying, “FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE!!”

So that leads me to where I am today. Married, educated, unemployed and trying to figure out what I want to do with my professional life. The only thing I’ve ever truly loved to do is write. I love writing. When I was in college I can remember waiting until the last minute & staying up all night typing a paper with music blaring in my ears. It was a rush to me – I loved it! And I might add, I always got good grades on those papers. It was just a talent I had – writing under pressure.

So right now I’m at the point in my life where my path seems to have different options. Do I go back to school for a Masters Degree in Journalism? Do I move to Boston or New York and try to find work there? (New York has always been a dream of mine…we’ll go into that another time). Or do I just look for another basic full time job to take and end up possibly miserable there, doing something I hate? (The latter is my least favorite option). Decisions, decisions. Looks like I’ve got some work to do…

Thanks for listening world & don’t worry this is only the beginning. Check back often for updates on my life and whatever I feel like writing about that day!