11/12/2013 05:43 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Asian Girl in the City: Theater, Music, Food, Sex

I love New York City. I've been here for 8 years and have spent much of that time out and about, eating, drinking, smoking, dancing and instagramming.

In that time, most of my writing (and TV reporting) has been about food and fashion. Yet, all my friends who plan their weekends ask me for recommendations on what I do (and they should do) in my spare time.

So, here is my first installment of things I did this past week in the city and my recommendations for what you should do... if you can get in.

Currently, there's an awesomely quaint and underrated show playing in a theater above a Turkish restaurant on the Upper West Side. I'm not joking; you will think you are lost, but no honey, you are not. You are right where you belong... in my aaaarms. Ok, moving on.

At Stage 72, there is a show about music over the years called "On the Record: A Tribute to the Great Vocal Groups of the 20th Century." Long title, and a bit misleading. It was about an hour and 11 minutes into the show before I recognized a song. Beach Boys, which was played at my 5 year old birthday, far before I understood what it meant. Round round get around I get around... It's about cars, right?

It's really more about music from the early 1900s until around the 70s. There was no Katy Perry to be heard here. The audience was geriatric, save a few teenagers who were there to support their vocal teacher.

Yes, I was out of place, both as an Asian girl, and as someone who had never experienced Elvis live in concert. But, the show was extraordinarily entertaining. The cast is talented, with range that you rarely see away from Broadway. Director Bill Daugherty is pulling a double shift, also as a singer in the cast, often in falsetto to round out a female group sound. Amanda Savan was the star for me; she is emotive and genuine in her performance while flitting from one genre to the next.

Still, I wouldn't have minded hearing some Katy.

I was invited to the VH1 You Oughta Know concert to hear the scintillating sounds of Lorde, Lumineers, Emeli Sandi, Matt Nathanson, and few other people I'd never heard of. But Lorde really stole my heart. Sick beats and a stage presence that is not over the top (*cough* Miley Cyrus).

From what I understand, tickets to these VH1 little-known-concert thingies should be on sale next time around. So, yea, call your ticket broker or whatever and go.

I've never written this restaurant up because, well, the chefs don't really speak English so it's tough to construct an informative food-centric article. But, I live in Hell's Kitchen and this is the one of the restaurants I go to regularly.

...Fine, I didn't want to write it up because I don't want people to know. I like getting a seat immediately. And I love to sit by the bar with the crazy chef on the left or the calm chef on the right.

The restaurant is Shimizu. It's in some nondescript hotel on 51st street between 8th and 9th Avenue. It is legitimate sushi. Definitely not Masa, Nakazawa or Neta level, but it's also not like buying sushi from Whole Foods. It's better than Haru, Sushi Samba, or any of the sundry other faux-shi places. I just made that term up. It's fake sushi. Faux-shi.

Anyway, sit by the bar. Order the amazingly reasonably priced omakase. (Not triple digits, people!) And enjoy an everyday bottle of sake, also reasonably priced.


By "sex," I mean, things that will impress the man, woman or whatever mammal you prefer (no judgment).

Here's my tip that will probably get me banned from every single theater/concert I go to from here on out.


Hide a flask somewhere. In your shoe, in your bra, in your third nipple. You will not only be the coolest date ever, but also, if you are a sharer (and sharing is caring), everyone around you will LOVE you. Hashtag cut the line.

You can thank my Asian heritage for this kind of money-saving action. Hashtag cheap.

Knock yourselves out, New Yorkers!!