Sep. 23rd, 2012 10:25 am
I spent yet another weekend travelling to NYC - that's three of the last four. It is amazing to have that city this close to me.

This time, we went because [ profile] lunatopaz (who hasn't posted to lj in years) came to visit us and we decided we should go and see a show. We spent most of Saturday wandering around NJ -- farmers market, then Princeton. We headed into the city and did a drive by on Ippudo, but at 4:40, the line was already 30 or so people long, and I wasn't in the mood for standing outside for too long. So, we drove to Pommes Frites instead and grabbed delicious fries and dipping sauces. We then headed toward the Theater District and ended up eating at Smyrna, a Turkish place. It was fine, reasonably priced, but nothing overly memorable. We had hummus, falafel, baba ganouj, labneh, some eggplant salad thing, and a spinach/tomato sauce/rice dish, all with delicious Turkish bread. 

The main event was going to see Peter and the Starcatcher, which meant adding a new theater (the Brooks Atkinson) to the list of venues I've visited. Thanks to, the seats were reasonably priced, and the views were great - center of the second mezzanine, but that was really just the sixth row up in the mezz. In general, I liked the show. It was well paced, the humor was great, the staging was well done. There were places where I was a little sad that they were injecting so much of current popular culture into the script. it's harder to escape into a show when it keeps reminding you of things in the current day. The solitary female actor among quite a few males felt unbalanced, though it wasn't so far off from the portrayal in the book. Plus, I liked the way that the book treated the story quite a lot better, but there would've been no way to stage the book well as it was written. But, overall, I'm glad that I saw it, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book series.

Yesterday we were in near constant motion, so today I look forward to sitting on the couch. Tim is making tomato sauce, and he made baked apple pancake for breakfast. There is lots of leftover cornbread that I'll use as a base for my dinner, along with some italian sausage and the tomato sauce. I suppose I should do some planning for the rest of the week soon, too.
since [ profile] olaugh, was off gallivanting with spherulitic[ profile] wisemonkeydecided to come for a visit this weekend. got here saturday, we played a bit of scrabble, then went to Ajihei, a sushi place in Princeton that I've been meaning to try since I arrived in town. The pieces of fish were huge, and the rice was a great temperature, well-seasoned, and packed properly. I think the ratio was a little much fish for the rice, but it was some of the freshest fish I've ever had. We got seven piece chef's choice, which included two kinds of mackerel, tuna, salmon, yellowtail (i think), shrimp (which I didn't try), and one more that I've already forgotten. Also tried the eel and tamago, because they're my favorites.

Today, we trekked into NYC, met [ profile] dugy1001 and squeegman, and waited in line pre-opening to try Ippudo -- we were seated right away. Great service, great pork buns, great ramen. I had classic, but I'll have modern next time. Wandered over to Washington Square Park and met up with [ profile] sr_orangepants and his brother, but only had one Scrabble board between five players. Two tourists from London came by because they read in their guidebook that there was Scrabble in the park on Sundays. Random, especially since none of the people who regularly play in the park were there. Played two games of CSW, then some fry your brain, then went to Pommes Frites. Ducked into a coffee shop, played a bit more Scrabble, then to Chinatown to drop monkey at the bus, and get a giant container full of dumplings at Shu Ziao Fu Zhou for $3 (thanks for the recommendation, yelp!)

It took way too long to get home, but I had dumplings and flashcards and Tim to keep me company. 
Tim and I spent a near-perfect 12 hours in the big city this weekend. Left ME early Saturday morning and arrived in the Bronx in time for Thai food with a friend from grad school. We reconfirmed my potential shellfish allergy - I'm guessing the pad thai had oyster sauce, and I'm guessing that I'm allergic to oyster sauce, as I got my usual nausea/dizzy/sweating badness about 20 minutes after eating. Luckily(?), I've gotten good at handling it, through a combo of drugs and deep breathing and whatnot. Anyway. We hung out, laying low, in a bar on St Marks, where Tim had a beer and I sipped ginger ale. Once I had myself stable again, we headed to Pommes Frites, and indulged in the frites plus 2 sauces - mango chutney mayo and sundried tomato. It was supposed to scattered t-storm, but it didn't the whole day, so we basically wandered around the LES, bought some yarn, had a cupcake, people- and dog-watched.

We headed to the theater district around 5, so that we could beat some of the traffic that comes in for shows. Found a garage for $14/unlimited amount of time, just a couple of blocks from the theater. More wandering ensued, and we eventually found a good, non-touristy sushi place called Kodama. The maki was too rice-heavy, but the egg was done just right for me. And they had cute t-shirts, one of which I now own. Sushi was followed by frozen yogurt with mochi and blueberries at red mango. All of that was followed by The Lion King, which was basically what I expected it to be, and I'm glad that I finally saw it. If I had a million dollars, I'd go back and see Allison Janney in 9-to-5 while she's still in the cast. Love her.

We stayed in a hotel a bit outside of the city, and made it back in plenty of time to lounge around on Sunday, and take the kids to the beach.

So yeah, 12 hours in NYC = beer, fries, cupcake, yarn, sushi, yogurt, theater, and general quality time with the mthgeek. Hard to go wrong with that.
Left for NYC around 4:30pm on Friday with [ profile] crosstables, played with GPS, did flashcards, stopped for dinner at a Greek diner.  Arrived around 10, and joined up with [ profile] lunatopaz's birthday festivities, which involved a Harry Potter party for grown ups and an independent bookstore.  It was crazy-packed, but our little group carved out a space, and sat and chatted til midnight.  One of the people there is the daughter of a faculty member who has probably taught my sister [ profile] u4ic in classes at Columbia. Nifty.  After Rochelle secured her book, we stopped for rice pudding at Rice to Riches, and headed back to her apartment.  It was a good night for roaming the streets.

Saturday, didn't wake up til almost noon, which I never, ever do.  Went out right away for coffee to stave off any headaches, and played a game of Scrabble.  Met up with a friend from Grinnell who I didn't even know lived in NYC, which was a pleasant surprise, and then headed north for the Scrabble tourney.  On a day when I wasn't hauling my Scrabble board, I would've walked up to 45th, but I bused it instead.  Played some games, watched some afterhours games, went back, again asleep around 2.

Sunday, up late, out to Farmer's Market, back for tasty noontime breakfast of chicken sausage, eggs, bread, cheese.  Showering, and then back into the world for more Scrabble, some snacks, and then back home.  Got in around 10, read until the morning.

Took the day off yesterday to recover from the weekend.  And now I'm back at work. I think the tired was as much from so much with-people time and not enough by-myself time as it was staying up all night.  My body craves alone time as much as it does sleep.
Got up early, went to the Des Moines coffee house, which had passable coffee, but also free postcards, so that made up for the coffee. Bought a Sunday NYT, did the crossword puzzle (in pen, as I always do xword puzzles), only had to make up two letters (main ingredient in china clay, and one other one). Not bad, considering I haven't done a puzzle in about a year. I'm jealous that the one of the Chicago papers has Scrabble puzzles now. My mom cut a bunch of them out and sent them with a birthday package (my family is notoriously late with packages), but it's just not the same as doing them with your coffee in the morning.

Headed back to the apartment, picked up Rochelle, and went to 7A for brunch. I had wonderful, wonderful Brioche French Toast with raisins and walnuts, rum butter sauce, and syrup, plus bacon, home fries and fresh squeezed orange juice. Mmmmm. I miss living in a neighborhood where you can walk 4 blocks and pass 5 places that serve brunch. I think it's my favorite meal. We had to hit the road after brunch, but stopped in Delaware (land of no sales tax) and bought Charlie the Compaq laptop, plus a couple of CDs, and saved a decent amount of money. Yay for 18 month interest free financing, and being able to both use computers simultaneously. Charlie has already taken a trip to Starbucks, and has come in very handy in his two days with us.

Sunday evening was spent trying to do work. It didn't go so well, but it never does upon return from vacation. I did get three loads of laundry done.
this got a little long )
With beautiful weather like this, and the ease of an EZ-Pass coming through the Holland Tunnel, this weekend began wonderfully. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get from Baltimore to Rochelle's place, and we got to put the car in the safety of her lot, away from hooligans with eggs (of which there are many around here). We went to Wild Lily Tea Market first, just to make sure that we got there. I had an eight-treasure sticky rice dessert, which was sweet and lovely, with some caramel tea (my sweet tooth is acting up, probably in response to the trick or treatedness in which I'm not partaking).

Rochelle's a little not well, so Tim and I took a trip down to Seaport Yarns without her. I closed a yarn store -- woohoo! I bought two beautiful Bouton d'Or yarns that I'll hold together and make into a scarf on big, fat needles (I hope to finish that this weekend). I also bought a 'potluck pack' of Cherry Tree Hill hand-dyed worsted weight wool yarn -- 6 skeins/1680 yards for $60 -- that's a mile of yarn! And, it's absolutely beautiful -- all blues and purples and lovely. I'll have to take a picture in the light tomorrow before I start balling it up. It's enough to make a sweater, but I can't decide whether I'd rather do a bunch of scarf/hat/mitten sets. Or even felted bags. I finished up the bag I've been working on, and am looking forward to sending it through the washer when I get back to town. I also picked up a pair of 10 1/2 double point needles -- my first set of Brittany needles, in fact, so I hope I like em. Seaport is great -- the prices are reasonable, the people are helpful, I was able to find parking, and the selection is impressive, especially of hand-dyes. It would've been a little more convenient if they took anything but cash, but what can you do.

tasteless costumes spotted in nyc in here - don't click if you don't wanna know )

We had dinner at an Italian place right by Rochelle's, and it was quite well done, with great water service, music that wasn't too loud, enough elbow room between the tables, and little chocolates that came with the check. All in all, it has been quite the good first day.
There's so much to say about New York, I just don't want to wait until I'm at work on Monday on my much faster computer. Writing this entry will be a study in patience...

The only downside to the whole weekend was being really, really cold all the time. I feel compelled to mention it because I said it so many times this weekend. That said, here's some of the good stuff.

Friday turned out to be a snow day, which meant guilt-free sleeping in for me. I still wasn't feeling great, so it was nice to be able to sleep until 9 instead of 7, and it meant we'd be able to leave for New York a little earlier. We drove directly to the East Village, where my friend Rochelle lives, and my friend Rachel is visiting, and went to dinner at Rupali, the same Indian place we always go amongst the block and a half of Indian restaurants. We played a game of Scrabble, and headed back to our hotel around 11.

One of the best parts of our visits to NYC is that we somehow always manage to find parking in the Village. Maybe this isn't as amazing a feat as it seems to me, but in my neighborhood in Chicago, there's never parking, so I'm always pleasantly surprised to find spaces in big cities.

On Saturday, we met for Dim Sum at the Golden Unicorn, which is great because it has pictures and illustrations on all of the travelling carts so you can tell what you order. They have wonderful jasminey tea, and the food is lovely. We stuffed ourselves with lots of little dishes for $10/person. Stopped at bubble tea on the way to the train and curbed my craving, and then went our separate ways. Tim and I went up to the Times Square area and caught the matinee of Flower Drum Song (which was good and fun, as Rodgers and Hammerstein should be, and Lea Salonga was amazing as always, even though the songs were really low in her range). Headed back to the Village, drank tea at the Wild Lily, ate dinner at a place so new that it doesn't even have a name yet (but it's easily recognized by the large plastic tomato hanging outside) -- good panini, lots of food for not too much cost yet again (which is good, since I blew the month's budget buying Flower Drum tickets). Back to their place, and then on to the hotel, where we watched the Man Show (ridiculous as ever).

Slept in, got Starbucks beverages and Nathan's fries on the road, and now we're back here. Tim's making pot pie for dinner, so the house smells yummy, and I'm more relaxed and content than I've been in a long time. Forecast calls for snow tonight, and if we get another snow day tomorrow, that means I'll have had a five day weekend :) but I'm actually feeling ready to be back at work for a change, so that's a nice feeling...
anyone know the lyric reference above?

Which refers not to what I'm currently listening to, but to a wonderfully urban weekend.

On Wednesday, we found a dogsitter - a friend of a friend who lives nearby. Turns out her husband was trying to get to NYC this weekend, so we serendipitously found each other just in time for her to keep our dogs happy, and us to drive her husband up to the city, which also covered some of the tolls ($2.00 for 5 miles of Delaware!) and gas money, and gave me an excuse to sit in the back seat and alternately knit and nap while boy and Lucho (dogsitter's husband) discussed the differences between cultures in Latin America (T studied 3 summers in Mexico, L is Argentinian), and the joys of getting old and wanting to go to bed at 10pm, even in New York City.

On Thursday, I remembered that I should pack, and tried to think of things that I wanted to do in the city. I decided that all I really wanted to do was see our friend Rochelle (who lives there, with whom we stay when we visit), and do a bit of shopping. Thought about heading to the Museum of Sex, but since it's so new, braving the crowds didn't sound like much fun. We'll be in DC for at least three years, and Rochelle will be in NYC for at least the next couple, so we'll get there eventually. Maybe we'll make a whole weekend of sex - visit the museum, Toys in Babeland, that weird penis puppetry show, etc. But for now, that was a little too much excitement, and too much advance planning.

On Friday, we drove to the city, stopping for Nathan's Famous French Fries at a rest stop, which was more of a highlight than it probably should have been, but I'm rather obsessed with french fries (mental note: add to list of interests on lj user page). Traffic was lovely, I didn't hyperventilate going through the Holland tunnel, we dropped the Argentinian off at a Starbucks in Chinatown, found parking a few blocks from Rochelle's building (not an easy task near the Village on a Friday night around 9), ate lovely Japanese food, and played a game of semi-delirious Scrabble.

On Saturday, it snowed! and we bought a Scrabble clock (which I think most people would call a chess clock), and I found origami paper to use for holiday ornaments, and had my very first bubble tea with a wonderfully crispy mozzarella-arugula-pesto-tomato-tapenade panini, and walked and walked... We unintentionally came across the same street market that we unintentionally found the last time we were in New York, but alas, no cute fruit-and-veggie-shaped-magnets this time around. And of course there was Indian food, and more Scrabble, and tea at the White Lily Tea Room, and lots of just being relaxed and enjoying the calm before the storm of advising.

Another highlight that gets its own paragraph: the wonderful yarn store on Ave A! It's tucked in quietly to a very busy street, but when you enter, you're surrounded in the warmth and beauty and vivid color of yarn, floor to ceiling. No self-respecting knitter could go into such a store and not emerge with some new project, so now I'm knitting scarves for my nieces and my brother's woman, and I have the softest mohair I've ever found, and some new Lamb's Pride in beautifu shades of blues and purples, and everything is bulky weight, so I may actually finish some projects before the 25th of December. I knitted up a quick scarf over the weekend, and finished off my first hat ever made on circluars and double points (working on double points at 11:30 on a Sunday night is really no fun, but I just wanted to get it done, and now it is, and the world is good). I want to be at home just so that I can start the next project (a purple fluffy scarf made on 15s, so that I can have it done by a friend' birthday in a week and a half or so). Yay yarn store inspiration!

And now, I must try to track down a schedule report so that I can begin the blitz of 20 minute advising appointments that is to last until Dec 6. Sigh.



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