Tag: dining

What to do while stuck in NYC for an extra day

First, jkashlock and I had a big breakfast. Remember that I didn’t eat before my workout this morning, so I was pretty hungry when it was all over. We went to a little diner on the corner of 85th and 3rd and had eggs and bacon and hash browns and toast. Then we decided to do some book shopping. We went down to Strand Books. I’ve been to Strand many times and I’ve never been impressed with their science fiction selection, but with a dearth of used book shops remaining, it ranks as the only remaining large used bookstore that I know of in the city. I picked up two books while there: Son of Man by Robert Silverberg, and Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Next we walked to the other side of Union Square and headed briefly into a sporting goods store so that Jason could buy an $18 rubber band.

Then we went into Barnes and Noble. I didn’t buy any books there, but Jason did. All told, Jason got five books, compared to my two.

We headed into the subway and up toward Times Square for our next engagement: lunch with jen_ashlock (who was, apparently, one of the few people in the city who had to work today). We had a lunch at a hidden pizza place on 38th or 39th, and the pizza was quite good.

By the time lunch was over, we felt is was wise to head back home and catch up on some of our reading. But as we passed the apartment, I remembered my Cold Stone gift card, and we made a detour to Cold Stone so that I could get myself a large chocolate shake. Shake in hand, we climbed the five flights of stairs back to Jen and Jason’s apartment where I promptly fell asleep until just a few minutes ago.

And so there you have it, all the excitement one can dream of packing into an extra day while stuck in New York City!

P.S.: frustrated with the seat I was assigned for my 7:30 flight back home, I realized that the plane was a 757 and decided to upgrade my seat. The upgrade went through no problem, so while I might be getting home late, I am nevertheless flying first class.

In the city with friends

I didn’t go the gym on Saturday, but it wouldn’t have worked out, given the time constraints that I had. Instead, I went out to get some wrapping paper for Norm and Vicky’s gifts and then jen_ashlock was kind enough to help wrap the gifts, as I am a terrible wrapper. Now that Norm and Vicky have their gifts, I can tell you all that one of them was a set of note cards with their names on them, and matching envelopes with their new address. The cards were designed and created by Jen and Jenn and their company, Buttercream Cards and I thought they came out really well.

At noon on Saturday, I headed over to DTUT, which is just around the corner from where Jen and Jason live. That’s where Norm and Vicky’s “Jack and Jill” wedding shower took place. strausmouse and Ryane were already there, as were Norm and Vicky and many of their friends. We had the back room to ourselves and the whole event was really well done. I met Vicky’s mother for the first time. There were some games that were played, food and drinks that were served, and Norm and Vicky opened their gifts. Vicky deputized me as official photographer, apparently unaware of my total lack of talent when it comes to the taking of photos.

When the event wrapped up, we headed downtown. Ryane had a maternity massage treatment that Eric gave her for her birthday, so we dropped her off at the massage place, and then we parked the car and headed to Mickey Mantle’s, where we met Jen and Jason. We spent a few hours at Mickey Mantle’s (where Eric made fun of the guacamole) and where we had a few drinks. Then we went for a walk in the park while we waited for Ryane to finish up. Eric had to browbeat his way into a hotel bathroom, but other than that, it was a fun walk. The weather has been unusually warm, although it has also been overcast.

We picked up Ryane and then drove up to Norm and Vicky’s in Nanuet. We went to Martio’s for dinner. Afterward, we spent the evening playing games. I got my butt kicked in Apples to Apples (where the Albany contingent dominated), but I got my revenge when we played Phase 10. I won by 4 whole phases and more than 100 points less than the second place person. Shortly after that game, we all retired for the evening.

I was up at about 8 AM this morning, Sunday, my “free” day. Norm made us all breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon. This seemed to mystify Eric because Norm hates eggs and claims to never have tried them in his life, and Eric couldn’t understand how Norm could know the eggs were any good while he was cooking them. But the eggs turned out just fine and I wolfed them down.

Later in the morning, we headed up to Stony Point to walk through Norm and Vicky’s new house, which is getting ever closer to completion. Then we had to go to White Castle so that Eric could get his fix of mini burgers for the next several months. After lunch, Eric and Ryane headed back home, but not before we all got a chance to see Ryane’s new car. Meanwhile, Norm, Vicky and I headed back to their place and they proceeded to bombard me with questions from some trivia game. I actually did pretty well.

Sadly, I left Norm and Vicky’s place at about 3:30 and caught the 3:45 bus back to the city. It was actually an interesting trip because it took backroads through New Jersey. I fell asleep at one point, however, and when I woke up, we were at Port Authority and everyone was already getting off the bus.

I’m now back at Jen and Jason’s. As a thank you for their hospitality in letting me stay at their place this weekend (and three weeks ago), I am taking them to Ruth’s Chris for dinner this evening. We have an 8 PM appointment. Which means I need to get changed as we will have to leave in a little while. More later…

New York Minute

I got into New York around 7 PM last night. I would have gotten here a little earlier, but there was a ground-stoppage going into La Guardia so my plane sat on the taxiway at Dulles for 15 minutes until the stoppage cleared. I got to Jen and Jason’s around 7:30 and shortly afterward, we headed up 2nd Avenue for dinner at Taco Taco. The guacamole was terrific! I ordered the carne asada tacos and they were good too. I mostly ate just the meat, since I am not supposed to be having carbs for my last meal of the day. Jen, Jason and I shared a pitcher of passion fruit margaritas.

Afterward, we stopped by Jen’s friend’s house, Jenn. Then we headed over to Mustang where we were all very conservative in our drinking, as compared to recent occasions. We left the bar at 11:30 and headed back to Jen and Jason’s apartment and it was lights out shortly there after.

I was up at about 8 AM. Jen and Jason are still in bed. I am supposed to go to the gym this morning to do lower body, but it may not happen today. I need to eat an hour before I go to the gym. That means if I ate right this second, I could got to the gym at about 9:45. My workout takes about an hour and 15 minutes, meaning I’d be done at 11 AM. Norm and Vicky’s shower starts at noon. That doesn’t give me much time to shower, wrap their gifts, mail my manuscript and head over to the place where their shower is happening. So from a practical standpoint, I will probably have to skip the workout today, which bugs me a little, because I am doing so good. On the other hand, you really can’t argue with practicality.

Derail, delay, devour

When I got down to the metro station after leaving work, there were announcements that a train had derailed near Mount Vernon Square. I go through that station and there was no way through. I had to take the Blue line the long way around to Metro Center, switch to the Red line, take that to Fort Totten, and then change the the Green line to get home. Delays were inevitable. What normally takes 35 minutes took twice that long. However, from what I understand, only three people were hurt in the accident.

I decided to treat myself to dinner after weekend full of work and so I stopped at Outback. I started with an appetizer of their cheese fries (it’s my free day so I can eat whatever I want) and a Sprite. Then I ordered a steak with broccoli, a side salad and a tall Bud Lite. I devoured my food while watching the Giants game.

After dinner I went to the grocery store. It was just after 7 PM when I finally got home. The rest of the evening was spent doing chores. I put away the groceries, collected all of the trash, did a couple of loads of laundry, packed my lunch for tomorrow, cleaned the kitchen. I also mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors, vacuumed the house and in general neatened things up.

I’m going to bed shortly. I’ve got one more load of laundry that’s in the drier and then I’m off to sleep. I’m about 100 pages through The Engines of God and I’m enjoying that as much as Chindi. The next four evenings I’m dedicating to revising a story and working on a new story. I’d like to be done with the story revisions by Thursday.


I’m just home from dinner with AJ and Denisse. We went to Chevy’s and we had a nice dinner. It don’t get to see them that much and it was good to be able to spend time with them.

When I got back to the metro station tonight, my car was there, as if it had been parked there since this morning. There was no indication that anyone was annoyed with my having left it there over night. In fact, it turned out that I saved myself a little money. If I had left the metro last night, I would have paid $3.50 for parking. But because I left the metro today–a weekend–there was no charge for parking. It’s a little loophole in the system that I am sure they are aware of, and once in which I will not be taking advantage of again (I hope).

Anyway, I head back into the office tomorrow to finish up with the bug fixes. No workout tomorrow, however, since Sunday is my free day. I’m off to bed…

A good lunch

I decided to brave the Olive Garden once again, even though I had a bad experience there when the local franchise opened up not too long ago. This time, my experience was quite the opposite. I was seated at a good table. I had good food (chiante braised short ribs, salad and bread sticks, and of course chocolate gelato). Best of all was my waitress. She was very friendly, wished me a Happy New Year, and was really quite jovial without being intrusive. This, even when she had to work on New Year’s day. She would come by every now and then and ask how I was doing, and she would also ask how my book was (I read when I eat by myself). The clincher was when she brought the check. She brought two mints along with it. “One for you,” she said, “and one for your book.”

The bill came to $23 which would have ordinarily warranted a $5 tip for good service. I left her $10. Happy New Year!

Saturday afternoon

We did a lot of walking Saturday afternoon. We started by walking down to 59th and 5th in order to have a late lunch at Mickey Mantle’s. After that, we had an errand to run. Jen had to drop off some keys at her bosses apartment, so we made our way toward West End. On our way, we came across a Barnes and Noble and could not resist going in. It was incredibly crowded inside, with long lines (but the lines moved quickly) and after a bit of browsing, I picked up Jack McDevitt’s Chindi. I’ve never read anything by Jack McDevitt before, but the premise of this book looked so interesting, I decided to start it right away. Once we left the bookstore, we ran our errand and then caught a taxi back to Jen and Jason’s.

A few hours later, we headed back out. I had to stop at the Gap to get some nicer clothes (I didn’t bring any with me) because we were going to a pretty nice place for dinner. That place was August in the West Village. It was a nice place and the food was pretty good. But it was not quite what we expected. I ordered the beef stroganoff and it turned out to be beef stripes with a side of potatoes with a cream sauce. Very good, but not what I had in mind. Jason had marlin and Jen had a pasta which had some fish in it that she hadn’t expected. The milk chocolate gelato for dessert was very good.

After dinner, we took a cab back to 86th and 3rd in order to see if we could catch a showing of Rocky Balboa. We got there at the perfect time, picked up our tickets, got our seats and did not have to wait long for the show to start. And a good show it was. In my opinion it was better than all of the Rocky movies except for the first two. I really, really enjoyed it and think it was a worthy conclusion to the series.

During the previews to the movie, there was a preview for a drama adventure film about a woman who turns into a werewolf. At the very end of the preview, the title of the film was announced: Blood and Chocolate, and I kid you not when I say that the entire theater burst into laughter. The movie was not a comedy, but the title was so completely ridiculous that no one could take it seriously. It was the worst titled movie I’d come across since Snakes on a Plane.

The evening ended in a good mood after seeing Rocky Balboa.

Oh what a night

It must have been some night last night because as of 9:15 this morning, Jen and Jason are still sleeping. I have been up since about 7:30, doing a little reading and relaxing. I’m now dressed and ready to get some breakfast so that we can go to the gym a little later. At this rate, however, we won’t get to the gym until 11 AM. Clearly, my meal schedule will be slightly off today.

That’s okay, though, because we had a good time last night. We had dinner at a french restaurant just up the block from Jen and Jason’s. The food was excellent. I had hanger steak with winter vegetables in an excellent sauce and I cleaned my plate. Jen had the steak frites and Jason had the duck.

After, we went to Mustang and got some prime seats. We were there for a couple of hours, drinking, talking and even having a little dessert. The results were predictable. Perhaps that explains why Jen and Jason are still in bed, even though we went to sleep more than eight hours ago!

Lazy Sunday morning

Sunday is my “free” day as part of this new plan of mine. I don’t have to workout, I don’t have to stick to my 5-meals/day. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. I can have a lazy Sunday morning and that is perfectly fine. So it was that I slept in until about 9 AM and that was about the laziest part of my morning. After I got up, I ran out to do the grocery shopping for the week, stocking up on what I needed to get me through 30 meals for the week. When I got back home I did some house cleaning. I cleaned out the fridge, the cupboards, got rid of a ton and a half of trash, started some laundry, did some dusting and Windexing, and vacuuming up a few rooms.

For the 30 minutes remaining on this Sunday morning, I think I can finally be lazy. I’m thinking about treating myself to a nice lunch today, but I haven’t decided where I’d like to go. I’ve got a craving for In ‘n’ Out, but 2288 United miles seems excessive, even for something as good as a Double-Double.

Results of cable speed test

Whoa! Okay, here are the results. I compared 2 files of similar size, although they may be off by +/- a few megabytes:

DSL: 43 minute long episode of Battlestar Galactica: 54 minutes to download.
Cable: 45 minute long episode of Battlestar Galactica: 13 minutes to download.

That is pretty damn impressive!

All of this cobbling together of cables and wireless network has made me hungry. I think I’m going to treat myself to Outback tonight!

Dinner at Daniel’s

Doug had to work most of the day yesterday and he finally got home around 5 PM. Shortly after he got home, he, Mom, Dad and I headed out to the Keg to have some drinks and sit around chatting, while Rachel, Ruby and Carson got a break from our hijinks. We then headed over to the restaurant around 7:30 PM. We had to take two cars and we dropped Carson off at Theresa’s house on the way. Doug was playing Richard Cheese in the car and Dad was in the back seat and Doug managed to leave the car at the worst parts of “Baby Got Back” and “Badd”, leaving me to fend for myself.

Daniel’s in Bellevue is on the 21st floor of a hotel and when we were seated, we had a pretty nice view of downtown Seattle in the distance. The food was really good. I had a 13 ounce fillet mignon with a peppercorn brandy sauce, and a baked potato. I had some clam chowder, too. Ruby was with us and was very well-behaved. She had a hamburger and fries, and some root beer, all of which are among her favorites.

It was a very nice dinner and a very nice evening, and we were all wiped out by the time we got home last night. Now it’s 8:30 AM (PST) and I’ already hungry again! My flight leaves Seattle at 5 PM this afternoon.