Foodie Friday – Hawkers Asian Street Fair in Orlando, FL

Eathawkers.com

1103 North Mills Avenue

Orlando, FL 32803

Hawker’s chefs select the best authentic street food recipes fro macross Asia to the table for you to experience.

Two Chrysanthemum Tea is great for the immune system.

Crispy Roast Pork “Siu Yoke” Seasoned tender pork belly, roasted to a crisp and served with a hoisin dipping sauce. This is like bacon on crack. It was hot and juicy and sinful. Total food porn moment. I will do 20 crunches when I get home as punishment.
 

Curry Duck Noodles A Southeast Asian favorite. Egg noodles, vegetables and roadt duck stir-fried in Hawker’s own curry recipe. The curry sauce is perfect. So perfect. I don’t know what else to say.

A New Yorker in Florida: Top 5 Things that are Surprising to the NY transplant

In NY, particularly on Long Island, it is very common to hear neighbors and friend defecting to the Sunshine State.

“Geez, I can’t take this cold anymore! And my taxes are, like, 16k on my friggin’ house. I can’t take it! I’m soooo moving to Florida.”

Being a popular vacation destination for my fellow New Yorkers it would seem natural to want to live in the paradise that we visit a couple times a year.

Well, about a year ago, my family and I moved to Florida from Long Island, NY which was not a decision we took lightly. The winters had become too harsh and with the cost of living was going up exponentially, so we decided to cut the cord from our Motherland and become Floridians. Aside from the obvious changes, such as climate, we knew that our lifestyle would be altered drastically but there were a few changes that were surprising to this hardcore New Yorker.

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The speed is much slower.

Yes, this seems obvious but it’s far more jolting than what you imagine. On Long Island at least, there is an ever present urgency to get things done that I wasn’t aware existed in my day to day life until I moved here. Deadlines, schedules, and specific goals were always present which made everything from driving through traffic to grocery shopping a “gotta go, go, go” mindset.

Was I aware of it? Nooooo. When you’re living in a constant state of urgency you really are not aware that the rest of the world doesn’t roll that way. In Florida, it gets done when it gets done. Though I’m sure there’s exceptions,  for the most part, there’s not a whole lot of rushing around to get things done. It took several months to take things down a notch and even then, I’m still “that intense New Yorker”.

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Cookie Cutter Houses and HOA’s. 

I come from an area where the houses are often unique and personalized. You can have a Tutor home next to a Victorian and down the block a basic Cape. Each of them with their own personality that the family chooses to decorate with. Though there are some areas that have  their unique styles (see Cocoa Village) most areas are developments that have near identical houses with very few adornments to separate one house from another. This is often due to Home Owner Association (HOAs) that keep a certain standard so that property values stay consistent.

At first, this seemed very attractive. When you have lived next to a house that had an obsession with collecting beer and soda cans on the side of the house that left a certain aroma on hot summer days, yeah, an HOA would handle that.

However, as time passed, I can’t help but feel like I have been homogenized and sanitized to the point that I want to throw some funky colored paint on my house, put up a Gothic fence and a coffin mailbox just to stand out a little….or a lot. So get accustomed to accidentally pulling up to your neighbors identical house a few times or find areas that are pre-HOA. image

Photo credit to David Daniels

Photo credit to David Daniels

 

The Beaches are INSANE! 

I grew up on an island so living near the water seems necessary. Granted, I NEVER went to Jones Beach. The endless and expensive  parking lots, the loooong walk to the actual beach (through a smelly dank tunnel), then trying to find a spot that isn’t too close to the overflowing garbage cans….nope. Never appealed to me. Now I live a short trip to Cocoa Beach area. The parking is easy, inexpensive and is within steps of the beach. The walkway onto the beach is like a oasis of exotic plants. Each time I go, I use a different entry and they are all magical. The beach is so CLEAN yet mysteriously, there are no garbage cans in sight….apparently the locals take their beaches seriously. They leave nothing behind or volunteer to clean up regularly. I have gone to the beach about 2 dozen times since moving here a year ago, which is probably more than my entire life on Long Island.

In Florida for a year and I still can't get away from the black.

In Florida for a year and I still can’t get away from the black.

People don’t wear a lot of black.

 I know, it’s cliche but my entire wardrobe was black when I got here. This is partially because I’m a hairstylist and it’s what we wear but it’s also because I’m from Long Island. It’s a staple to our wardrobe and we have no idea how much black you really wear until you are walking around in the blazing sun. It’s a problem that I am working on. I think I have 5 items of clothing that have color now.

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Floridians are crazy friendly. 

Hey, New Yorkers have their own brand of friendly. Typically a little more formal and reserved, and only when absolutely necessary  but, yeah, we’re nice people, damn it! But here, it’s a whole different level of friendliness that, at first, I felt slightly off balanced. For instance, I go for a walk around my neighborhood, anyone who you cross, whether they are mowing their lawn, driving by or even just picking up their mail, they stop what they are doing and either wave or say hello.

No….I mean, EVERYBODY. It’s weird.

My friend came to visit from NY and we went for a walk. Every time we passed someone they said hello. He would stop talking, give them a suspicious look and say “Do you know them? Why are they saying hello?  Do they want something? Maybe we should avert our eyes” .

It’s not that we don’t like friendliness,  it’s just an adjustment. A lovely one but going back to #1, we are an intense breed of people and are typically too busy in our heads to say hello to every person who walks by.

 

I do have some honorable mentions because I can assure you there are more than 5 things that take some getting use to.

The skyline/sky…the sky should have it’s own show. Always changing and just so BIG with nothing impeding it’s view.

Flip Flops. It’s required so get a pedi and get use to your piggy a being free

Publix. One of the greatest grocery stores EVER.

Pop Up Neighborhoods. Just when you think you’ve gotten use to the lay of the land, a new neighborhood was built with a coordinated town square. Weird.

 

Foodie Friday – Orlando Food Trucks

Tasty Tuesdays  in Orlando’s Milk District was hot and muggy but the cold beers helped cool us down as we tried something from every truck! I was in heaven. They were crossing items off their menu as the night went on. I love the food truck culture and the blood, sweat and tears that goes into it. Please head to the Milk District on a Tuesday to support their food truck’s dreams. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

    

  

   
      
    
   

Wanderlust Wednesday – Chicago 

Day 1: Up bright and early to head to the Orlando International Airport on about 2 hours of sleep. Being a raging insomniac and a morning person is no joke! Anyway, I do my usual headphones and sunglasses to portray the “I don’t feel like chatting” vibe. It is all I do all day, everyday. Traveling is so peaceful to me because of the music in my ears and speeding through the airport hallways blurs the rest of the world. Zoning out of the airplane window let’s my mind wander, like dancing in a large field with an endless horizon, whereas at home it feels more like a whirlwind of unorganized thoughts. I dream when I am up in the air and feel like a bird that was just released from it’s cage.  
I fell in love with this cat sculpture at my layover in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

  

  


Day 2: Thank the gods for coffee and gatorade! I am at the Pivot Point outside of Chicago. We learned about everything from history and chemistry to culture and just learning about each other. Everything was very intimate as well as informative. 

Mandatory dinner at Prairie Moon in Evanston, Illinois. My brain is very full! Goodnight!

   

We met the publisher of Modern Salon! So much amazing information to soak in!

   

  

Day 3: 

So busy! Class is from 8:30am-6:00pm then mandatory karaoke at Trader Todd’s from 8:00pm-12am.   

   
 

Day 4:  Peter Coppola went to the Supreme Court in 1972 to fight for lifting the ban of men’s cuts in beauty salons. The next day, the term “unisex” was coined. What I love about this company is that we all come from different backgrounds and different cultures, ethnicities, genders, and we all have out own brand of crazy. The product line is not the reason we are here. It is genuine and unisex and simple. The products are amazing. They make our jobs in this industry more sufficient and effective. 

The name, the brand, is a culture. We want to inspire the industry with simplicity, safety and versatility. We are all equals. We are here to galvanize the beauty industry with something real and to unite our industry with inspiration, education and support. Humility is the secret to success. Mastery takes a lifetime. 

  
At the end of all of this, I found that I have found a family and others that I can relate to. It felt more like a spiritual journey for all of us. We all caught the feels. I cannot wait to see what happens next and where this journey will take me. 

  

Wanderlust Wednesday – Hanson’s Shoe Repair

  
Hanson’s Shoe Repair is the latest craze for a hand crafted cocktail. It is a small and hidden prohibition style bar that requires proper attire and a password to get in. Located in downtown Orlando, you will pass through an artsy bar to find a door upstairs.  You cannot come in and order a rum and coke or a vodka and Redbull. Instead, you are going to try something new and special that fits the speakeasy vibe. The lights are dim and the atmosphere feels like you stepped into a time capsule or are in NYC for the evening. 

For thirteen years, the sale and manufacturing of alcohol was prohibited starting in 1919. During this time, people got very creative in finding ways around this new law, thus inspiring  the “Speakeasy.”  

  

I tried the Au Revoir Ete which is made with St. Augustine Gin, Salers Aperitif, orchard peach, lemon, honey, and rosemary. Very strong and uniquely flavored. It was perfect. 

 

27 E. Pine Street in Orlando, Florida

Call 407-476-9446 to get the password! 

   
   
If you love bourbon as much as I do, try Through The Looking Glass.