Monday, January 11, 2016


Do children really look at the face of their snuggle toys?  One toy company has come out with Ugly Snuglies, “So ugly, they’re cute” or as they continue to say, “You don’t have to be perfect to be loved. It’s what’s inside that counts.”  Each of the extremely soft oversized “pets” has a built in surprise allowing kids to do more than simply snuggle.

Here is the lowdown on what’s in the Velcro pockets.  “Inside Porky Panda is a super soft blanket that’s perfect for sleepovers. Krazy Kitty has a light in its tail, so you can read at night, or in the car. Bizarre Bear has 5 secret pockets so you can hide all of your favorite stuff. Unusual Unicorn has an alarm clock, so you can wake up for school every morning by yourself. Rowdy Rabbit has a hidden FM radio, so you can listen to all your favorite music. Pouty Pig has a secret piggy bank inside…It’s the perfect place to save all your money.”  I guess it depends upon the age of the child as to whether they have money to put in there. 

I was able to sample three of the products with help from 3-year-old Quinn.  She was given Krazy Kitty and loved it.  Here dad told me, “She kept on insisting on putting it in the garbage can because I think it reminded her of Oscar the grouch and believed that it lived in the garbage.” After explaining that it’s not a character from Sesame Street, Quinn took it with her to bed.  

Unusual Unicorn is for an older child who needs to wake up for school.  It does take some manipulating to set a timer.   Of the three, Rowdy Rabbit would also work best for an even older child as the FM stations can be changed as well as the volume.   Then again, these days I have to ask a 6-year-old how to use my Smart TV.  Instructions come with the toy or you can go to their website of

On the food scene…it appears that Joe’s Shanghai is not the only soup dumpling in town.  Flushing restaurants have added this delicious delicacy to their menu.  I’m just giving you a sneak peek at one that recently opened “softly”.  It’s called Shanghai You Garden, located at 133-33 40th Rd. Unfortunately I popped in without my camera as I love taking food photos. 

My friend and I sampled a few of the items beginning with the dumplings.  One had pork, the other had crab (the real thing) and pork.  The skins are paper-thin with a good amount of “stuffing”. It comes with a vinegar-soy sauce-ginger dipping sauce although you don’t really need it as the soup is soooooo good! 

That would have been enough for lunch (6 dumplings per serving) but we became curious.  Laurie wanted to check out a cold dish, vegetarian appetizer, Braised Bean Curd.  Fortunately for me, Laurie does not like mushrooms so I was able to chow down on those and another fungus-like vegetable. 
We had a dessert called Sweet Rice Bowl.  In was warm and looked like gummy rice dumplings in an egg drop soup.  Different and pretty good. 

I got word that the owners of Shanghai You Garden own a few other restaurants in downtown Flushing.  One is a fast food eatery where you can get the more typical dim sum such as chicken feet and Peking duck in a bun.  Another has Szechuan cuisine and the other is a bakery!  Stay tuned for further articles.

On the movie scene.  I’ll simply give you a statement from Daniel Dromm.  "In Jackson Heights is a wonderful depiction of many communities within the community of Jackson Heights," said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst).  "With the film already being three hours long, obviously not every community could get equal time on screen.  The Jackson Heights depicted in the film is a large part of the Jackson Heights that I know and love, and is the Jackson Heights that people travel from around the world to visit.  Jackson Heights is hot."

"I was extremely honored to be asked by In Jackson Heights Filmmaker Fred Wiseman to accept the New York Film Critics Circle Award for this documentary at an event held at Tao Downtown.  I had never been in a room full of so many movie stars, directors and other movers and shakers in the film industry.  I was very pleased to receive the award from Susan Sarandon who grew up in Jackson Heights.  As Ms. Sarandon and I both stated at the event, In Jackson Heights has a lesson of tolerance and acceptance to teach to the rest of the world.  What an honor it was to be among so many important people." 

Interested in seeing the movie?  Not sure if and when it will be shown at “the theatre nearest you” and expected to come out on DVD this year.  MOMI has it scheduled from January 15-21st.   I hope there is an inter-pish-ion. 

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