Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shopping Budget Update and Assorted Thoughts

The best teapots ever at Sunrise Mart in the East Village. 

First things first, I'm revisiting my earlier decision not to set a firm number on my shopping budget. Although I still have trouble predicting my needs (and reasonable wants), and have some trepidation about my ability to stick to a concrete budget, I now realize that it makes sense to have a maximum amount in mind each month. After all, there are real limits on how much I could and should spend each year. 

To that end, a maximum budget of $250/month ($3000/year) for clothes and accessories should be right for me. The amount should stay the same after I start work. When I go over, like I did in February, I will try to make up for it in future months. I will probably roll over any extra to future months. If I make any money from selling old items, I generally won't add that income back into my shopping budget. In practice, I hope that I spend significantly under that amount in the next few months. After my purchases last month, I don't need much for spring or summer. I'll be spending most of my time at home, studying, which means that I don't need anything new.

Cha-An is one of my favorite places. They don't take reservations and it is likely quite difficult to get a table for more than two.

The weather is finally starting to warm up in NYC, though it has yet to really feel like Spring. There was even a sprinkling of snow yesterday, which displeased me greatly. I've actually been to the tailor and had the Anthropologie Baikal dress hemmed. I was slightly shocked by the price ($110 with a coupon), though I believe it was a fair one for hemming a formal dress with a full lining, at least in NYC. Next time, I will admittedly shop around a bit more.

Most of my recent NYC food adventures were in the East Village, as usual. Cha-An is a lovely tea shop, with a good tea selection and a good selection of desserts. They also serve some light savory dishes, but I've never had any of those. Portions of food are dainty, though.

Dinner at Hakata Hot Pot. Most of the volume under the layer of thinly sliced pork belly comes from cabbage. Once the whole thing cooks, liquid is released from the cabbage and the pork, and then it looks a bit more like the hot pots that I'm used to.

Hakata Hot Pot seems to be a fairly new restaurant. The space is tiny, and they actually serve the same menu at the adjacent Sushi Lounge. (K and I made our reservation for Hakata, but were seated in the Sushi Lounge space.) We tried the okonomiyaki and one of their signature hot pots, and both dishes were great and moderately priced by NYC standards.

I decided to get myself a domain name, so the blog is now at I'm hoping that the transition to the new domain name does not result in problems with Feedly and Bloglovin subscriptions, though it remains to be seen. I had to fiddle a bit with Disqus too, to get it working.  

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