Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Celebration City

I've had a lot to post about lately, but have been too busy/distracted to get to it. Massive shoutouts needed for the Martha Clarke Garden of Earthly Delights (running through April - go see it!) and The Cherry Orchard & The Winters Tale which were performed at BAM through The Bridge Project (those have closed - hope you had a chance to see them.)

But for now, let me take another swig of coffee and recap the headlines from this past weekend.

My sister was interviewing with a company in Philadelphia. SO let's start with the first big cause for celebration: she got the job! This wasn't really a surprise (we were pretty sure it was going to go down that way) but it's still REALLY good news. And may develop into even better news if one of her future promotions brings her and her family out east.

They love Lori so much (how could they not?) that they arranged for her to fly into Philly, but out of Newark, just so she could have a chance to come up and visit me. Which brings us to the second big cause for celebration: she came up to the city and stayed the whole weekend! Lori got into town at about 8:30, and we went over to a new wine bar near where I live that I really like for some formaggio e vino. Yum! Then back to my place for another bottle of wine and more catch up.

Next morning, we met Richard and Peter at Good Enough To Eat on the UWS for brunch. Peter mocked us for calling a Saturday meal with a 10:30 start time (which he couldn't be bothered to make) "brunch." Whatever, dude. We had things to do. You better watch out - you're on my sister's list.

After brunch, Cory met us and we walked with Richard across the park to the Met. Went in and checked out the Beyond Babylon exhibit as well as parts of the permanent collection, then grabbed a cup of coffee and went out to meet Rashmi and take a bus downtown past the sights of 5th Avenue until we arrived down near Union Square Park. Then we walked West and did some shopping (my sister is a paper nut, so we went to a couple of those stationers in Flatiron) and met a bunch more people at City Bakery: Sherin, Molly, Rudy, Susan, Daniel. Oy, am I forgetting somebody? We ran the gamut of their offerings, and even had a small confrontation with a guy who wanted to steal one of our tables. Silly nastiness. Then we split off in a variety of directions, with 6 of us headed over to 5 Ninth for dinner. Mmmm... I've written about that place here, and once again, it was SO good. Try the wild mushroom gnocchi. And, of course, the pot de creme with bourbon infusion.

Pause for a moment to look at an image from the Met exhibit, from the Hittite Empire, 14th–13th century B.C.

It's a mug. Those Hittites knew how to party.

Then we went over to the Village Vanguard for the Lou Donaldson Quartet. Lori got a "let's not think about what would happen if there were a fire" kick out of how much of New York happens in what are essentially basements, and this spot was the epitome of that for her. The show was fantastic, of course.

At this point, Susan and Daniel headed home, and Rudy went back to his hotel to nurse a sprained ankle. Lori was wiped out and crashed, and Molly & I walked with Cory for what was yet another cause for celebration this weekend: Kristin's birthday! The meal part of her party had happened at a Brazilian place in Midtown, but they were at the Half King at this point, so we went over there and met them all dressed up in their birthday regalia and reveling in the occasion.

And then we put Molly in a cab, and that was Saturday.

Sunday had some of the wrong kind of drama. We went to brunch at 202, which Lori really loved for its Nicole Farhi design elements. But we had a late start, given that we still had to accomplish the acquisition of souvnenirs for Lori's kids. Dominic met with us for a small slice of time, then we did a couple loops on foot through Meatpacking, the Village and Chelsea. We were under the gun, but we managed to grab the needed "I Heart New York" t-shirts, and the snow globes, and... well, we couldn't manage the 'teeny tiny koala bear' that Anna wanted, but we got her a pretty damned cute stuffed penguin.

Then, a little later than we'd hoped, I drove Lori to EWR for her flight. Which was cancelled. Yup. We didn't find this out until I had almost found myself a parking space in Hoboken, but there was some kind of mechanical error, and the airlines being the fonts of customer service that they are these days, they offered my sister nothing to make up for her time or inconvenience. Well, that's not quite true: they offered to put her up in a motel in Newark, from which she would have been able to pay her own way to JFK the next morning in time for her 7:45 flight (this would be a $100 cab ride, for those of you who don't know the area). Gee thanks USAir!

Instead, she took a train back to Penn Station (it wouldn't have made sense for me to pick her up and drive her to the 'boken so we could then take a bus into the city) where I met her and brought her back down to Chelsea, where... we had a fantastic evening! No friends, no schedule, we just went out for pizza and beer (And what pizza! You can almost believe the hype about Co.) and walked around the neighborhood and went back to Cory's place to play Scrabble and have some beer and Kentucky Chocolate. It was actually kind of perfect.

The next morning, Lori got up really early to take a car to Kennedy and the rest of us went to work. All was well with her trip, and it turned out that Annie was pretty happy about her penguin. I know I haven't put much into this entry in the way of images (kind of funny that two fairly avid photographers didn't want to be bothered with taking pictures this weekend), but hopefully this one taken from Lori's cellphone will help make up for that.

So that was our weekend. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Oh, and by the way - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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