What is Project DUMBO?

Project DUMBO is a course offered by Elmira College where seven students live in a loft in an artistic community of New York City know was DUMBO. There are seven of us living in New York City this year, experiencing the ins and outs of the art world. This blog is about our various adventures in the big city. And yes, we all share one bathroom.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Greetings fellow Earth dwellers, I will be your assigned food critic for Project DUMBO 2010. So please sit back, relax and enjoy this riveting review of some of the exotic places that we have had the privilege to dine at.
Our first step into the vast culinary world that is New York City was more like a leap. We feasted on some great Ethiopian cuisine. Now this place is not for everyone, especially for people who are sensitive about people touching their food. Because at this place there is no silverware, you eat everything with your hands (really a brilliant way to save on silverware costs). We ordered several different dishes for us all to share, everything from lamb, chicken, beef, potatoes, eggs, and collard greens. As we sat at the table two giant platters of food came out (one platter to split among four people) with mounds of amazing looking food on it. Now the way you way eat the food is with this really great spongy bread, which we discovered makes a great noise when filled with the juices from the food. Not everyone loved the experience, but I believe it is something that everyone should do in their life at least once.

From Ethiopian we went to a week filled with both Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisine. First came Vietnamese and as with every big group dinner we ordered many different plates to share. Really great food, especially the duck, which Marc and I demolished. But the real highlight of the meal came at dessert. Most of us got ice cream of some nature, I had a great coconut ice cream, but nothing could compare the rainbow ice drink that Melissa got. It wasn’t rainbow colored favored ice as we all thought; it was a concoction of god knows what. With the highlight of the dinner being Melissa taking out what appeared to be a colored worm and said to the table “I have no idea what this is” to which we all died with laughter. Malaysian was much the same, except the drinks were a bit more predictable. For example I had a great coconut drink, with actual bits of coconut in it. Once again though, fantastic food, chicken plates, beef plates, veggie plates, just everything was brilliant.

We then went to some good ol’ American BBQ at Rub BBQ. Which I think I can safely say for the most of us was the most food we have ever eaten in one sitting in our entire life. Severe food comas ensued after the meal. Oh it was pure barbeque goodness the whole night, just everything was amazing. And in true barbeque fashion I’m pretty sure at least 100 paper towels were used in the process of eating. Marc ordered two whole ducks, yes, you read that correctly, along with a rack of ribs and another giant basket of ham, brisket, sausage, and tons more. Really it was a table of barbeque meaty goodness. So Marc pretty much ate one duck by himself, I’d say over half of one, and of course I had my good share. But the real show came at dessert time. Now before I continue I must give a disclaimer; do not attempt what we attempted, do not, it will cause terrible belly aches, sleepiness, and possible blurred vision, and especially do not attempt after consuming 15 metric tons in meat. Myself, Katya, and Willie had a fried Oreo eating contest. They were so good, like artery clogging good. Willie was the first to bow out, and it was great contest between me and Katya but eventually I gracefully bowed out and gave the title to Katya.

One of the latest meals was at Calcutta Restaurant. I know I am repeating myself, but just another amazing meal. So much food, so much great food. There was chicken curry, lamb curry, a chicken veggie dish, ect, ect. And the bread that was served was great; there was a plain type of bread and then a garlic one. The flavors were so bold and having a plate filled with them all was a bit overwhelming, but like a kid in a candy shop overwhelming. The experience was enhanced by the entertainment that started near the end of our meal. We were right next to the guy playing the sitar, the music was great, and it just enhanced the whole mood of the meal. It was one of those meals where we just kept ordering more dishes. A never ending amount of Indian food it seemed.

As you can see we don’t just look at seemingly infinite amount of art work, but we also eat what seems like an infinite amount of food. Food which is all pretty damn good. And it’s not just the great food that makes these group dinners great, but they also provided a time to bond. Jokes are told, stories are told, recounts of the day are told, we relay our highs and lows, further activities are discussed, little tiny drink umbrellas are smashed, side splitting laughter ensues. These dinners are not just dinners they are great life experiences with a great group of people and the greatest city in the world. We are truly lucky to have these types of nights together.

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