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Se Ja Meh: New Korean Restaurant in Lower Manhattan

Tonight for dinner, I went to try out the newly-opened Se Ja Meh (meaning 3 sisters in Korean, and alternately spelled “Seh Ja Meh” and “Se Ja Meh” in their site and menu – oops, oh well whatever!).  It’s located at 114 Greenwich St, just up the street from my apartment building.  Now that I no longer work by Koreatown, I have started to really miss my 3-4 day-a-week Korean food lunches.  Se Ja Meh definitely compares in price and quality to my Koreatown fav, Seoul Garden. Now that I have a Korean place on the block, I can probably spare myself the trip up to K-Town.

I ordered the yellow tail scallion roll (above) for a starter.  Ok, sushi is not Korean, but I wanted to check it out anyway.  The sushi was decent; fresh fish and slighty too mushy rice – a problem all too common at sushi places in New York, so I’m not going to be too much of a sushi snob and pick on them for this point.  If I have another sushi craving, I’ll just stick to my usual local fav, Takahachi Tribeca.

And here’s the panchan (side dishes) below that typically come included with your meal at Korean restaurants.  Everything is on par in the panchan department.

For my main, I ordered the kimchi soondooboo (kimchi tofu stew).  The stew was rich with plenty of soft creamy tofu.  The kimchi and chili infused broth was flavorful without being too salty and in the right proportion to the tofu and other ingredients, in other words, not too much broth, two problems that plague lesser Korean establishments.  WaWa Canteen, I’m talking to you!

The place is clean, tastefully minimalist in decor and the service super nice, so I’ll definitely be back.  Plus, the location can’t get more convenient.

88Greenwich Activism

The 88 Greenwich community wins back radio controls

Update: Here is a follow up to my May 28th post about community activism at 88 Greenwich.  I got some good news from the property manager today:
Hi Lee-Sean. The Board reviewed your letter at this weeks meeting, and the covers on the Sirius controls have been removed.   Thank you for submitting a letter.
Enjoy !!
88Greenwich Activism Campaign New York News NYC Personal

Community Activism: Battling the 88 Greenwich Board & Management Company

Ok, so here’s the deal. Residents in my building, Greenwich Club Residences, have been trying to get our management company to removed plastic lock boxes from the Sirius Radio control units in the common areas of our building. When I first moved in, we had access to control the radios, as these radios in the common areas were offered as an amenity in the building and mentioned in the sales brochure. Here is a letter I submitted to the newly elected condo board today:

Dear Greenwich Club Residences Board:

I would like to bring up my concerns regarding the locking of the Sirius radio control units in the Billiards and Harbor Rooms. I am aware that other residents, including Serina Fojas and Jason Perkal, have also voiced similar concerns about how the situation has been handled. Echoing the sentiments made by above-mentioned residents, I would also like to suggest to the Board that the lock boxes be removed from the Sirius Radio units immediately. I believe that more proportional measures could have been taken to address the issues of excessive volume and channel selection on the Sirius controllers.

The lack of user-controllability of the radio units makes a mockery of the sales pitch promising “individual receivers capable of adjusting the music to the requests of residents” (from 88 Greenwich 5 Star Hotel brochure). To the best of my knowledge, I have not received an amendment to the offering plan that reflects a change to this amenity. In any case, I do not wish to engage in a petty battle over legalistic semantics and fine print, as this is a question of principle. I believe that this issue is best resolved through a spirit of civility and robust community consultation. I do not believe that this happened when the plastic enclosures were placed on the control units without notification.

The real issue is not so much that of plastic boxes over the radio controls, but the unilateral paternalism that characterized the handling of the issue. If excessive music volume is indeed an issue, there are other ways to deal with it short of locking the units. There are volume-limiting devices that can be installed, or perhaps the only volume controls, but not the channel controls should be blocked off. Or perhaps the units should be set on a station that only plays instrumental music, as to be minimally intrusive to the residents enjoying the space. These are just a few ideas to consider. I look forward to further dialogue about how to best address this issue.


Lee-Sean Huang