New Grass

Every year there's one of these, a late-arriving molotov cocktail thrown into the album-of-the-year scrum, showing up rude as shit after a lot of people have already published their top-however-manys and moved on. And this one seems to have come out of absolutely nowhere.

From what I can figure, this is a one-man project that this guy has been working on since 2012. At its core it's something that you could call post-hardcore, but underneath the howling vocals and helicopter drums, you can hear layers and layers of guitars and bass that absolutely sound like they've been fussed over for 9 years. It somehow jangles and crunches at the same time, slashes and arpeggis, transitions and breakdowns as knotty as a prog band. I'm not sure if there's a single melody to be found, and it certainly isn't going to turn the pit into a dance floor, Turnstile-style. But it's a deep, colorful listen that has a whole hell of a lot of energy, and thankfully I haven't published my list yet.

(Although it'll probably be something like, 8 or 9.)

Chun YangQueens
Toffee cheese foam cocoa latte

Best toffee cheese foam cocoa latte I've ever had.

Taiwanese pork chop sandwich

This place Partea (formerly Play Date, I don't know if the rebranding is a step up or down), is right in the heart of Flushing, and is basically an arcade that only contains claw machine games. I'm sure if you're into that thing it's probably pretty fun. But up front, they also serve bubble tea, and an assortment of fried chickeny things, and fries, and maybe some simple dumplings. I never thought much of this place walking by it, until one day they were advertising this new Taiwanese pork chop sandwich. Now, I'm sucker for a fried pork loin sandwich, which basically are impossible to find here, and I did once have a Tawainese pork chop (also in Flushing), and thought it was delicious. So yes, I was immediately interested. A few weeks later I was finally in the right place at the right time, so here we go!

You might notice above that I posted a picture of the advertisement, rather than the actual sandwich. This is because the actual sandwich I was served looked perfect. Exactly like the professional photo. It was remarkable really. And it tasted nearly as ideal. Subtle, not some extreme taste explosion, but just a really nicely marinated and seasoned pork, some five-spice flavor vibes, fried just about perfectly, topped with some cole slaw and that was it. Honestly, it was good enough that a restaurant could basically use it as the cornerstone product of the entire menu. Like "Omg you have to go to this new Taiwanese pork chop sandwich place!" The fact that it was just a new menu item at this place that sells boba tea and hosts claw machine parties is pretty wild.