Tag: nyc

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.

Workout #17 (Arms & shoulders)

Jen and Jason were kind enough to let me use their gym, New York Sports Club, this morning and we all went into work out about an hour after eating breakfast. The amenities of their gym (lockers, towels, etc.) are nicer than my gym but I didn’t like the layout of the workout rooms: many small rooms scattered over several floors. Still, that didn’t prevent me from getting in a good upper body strength workout.

Today’s workout

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!

Travel trials

Someone told me that it was going to be a busy travel day yesterday, and since I was flying up to New York, I’d better give myself plenty of time to get to the airport. So I did. My flight was at 2:40 PM and I left for Dulles at 11 AM, figuring that fighting all of the traffic and lines, I would get to the gate just in time.

I was at the gate at about 12:15 PM, two and a half hours before my flight was scheduled to leave.

I hate getting to the airport that early because I had to kill two hours, which was about 4 times longer than the flight itself. Actually, it turned out to be a little worse than that. The flight was delayed. At first, it was delayed 20 minutes, due to an equipment problem. Then, when they found that they didn’t have the part that was needed, it was delayed another hour and a half. So my flight, which was scheduled to leave at 2:40, was now not leaving until 4:30.

However, after a gate change, and a few more minor delays to allow the transfer of baggage, we were underway. The flight from Dulles to Laguardia on a 757 is 36 minutes. It took us closer to an hour. First, we were speed restricted because of all of the traffic going into New York. Then, we were held for about 15 minutes. When we finally landed, it was close to 6:30 PM.

With all of the delays, passengers commiserated and I was talking with two guys before boarding the flight, who were trying to get into New York. We talked about holiday travel trials. We also talked about where we were going and what we were doing for the weekend. One of the guys was heading into Manhattan as well, and so we shared a cab. It turned out that the taxi lines were not very long and moved quickly. And because we shared a cab, it cost me only $10 to get from the airport to Jen and Jason’s house.

And I was here by 7 PM, which is only about half an hour later than I would have been if I had taken the train the way I usually do.

Drunk off our asses

I think the subject is self-descriptive. Jen, Jason and I are just back from Mustang, where Jason and I had a few shots of Patron Silver, as well as several Margaritas. Jen had her fair share as well. I think we are all feeling good. Jen and Jason are currently in the “den” dancing to their wedding song, “A Kiss To Build a Dream On” (Shouldn’t that be “A Kiss On Which To Build A Dream”?)

Clearly, you can tell we are out of sorts, and if I hadn’t used the spell-checking it would have been even more obvious. (I was just doing an imitation of Louis Armstrong singing, “Hello Dolly” which had Jen and Jason in stitches.)

Catch-up

At this point everyone knows about the plane crash in NYC and that Cory Lidle of the New York Yankees was killed in the crash. There is nothing I can add to this other than my sympathies to his family, friends, teammates, and my praise for the firefighters and police for a quick response.

I ended up having to reschedule my training session with Bernard today. He asked to do it later, and because I am going to L.A. tomorrow and have errands to run this evening, we just rescheduled for next Thursday. This has been a lazy week for me with respect to workouts.

For computer science geeks, chapter 10 of Donald Knuth’s book, Literate Programming is a good one. I read through it this morning because it related to some documentation work that I am doing on software that I have been working on for the last month and a half. It is a kind of history of the development of TEX and the debugging thereof. Most people who read this blog (with the possible exception of kevnyc) will have no idea what TEX is.

Speaking of kevnyc, I did a video chat with Kevin last night. I was at home in my office and he was on the beach in Monterey, California, right around sunset. He even managed to capture a pretty cool screenshot of this while it was happening.


Lots of stuff to do before I head to L.A. tomorrow evening. I noticed that Zeke has been scratching quite a bit and I think I noticed a flea, which is weird since he gets regular monthly flea medicine. I’m out of the medicine this month so I’m stopping at the vet on the way home tonight to get some more for him. I’ve got to clean up, do laundry and some other chores, and of course, pack for my trip. I also need to squeeze in time for new episodes of Smallville and Gray’s Anatomy.

Autumn in New York

In over four years since moving back to the east coast, I have never had weather as perfect as the weather today in New York City. The sky was a deep blue all day long and the temperature rose into the 70s. It was cool in the morning and the evening and incredibly, not a cloud in the sky all day long.

Our morning started out with a walk into and across the Park on our way to meet Jon and a very pregnant Hollie for brunch. Their place on 81st and Columbus was being renovated, so we met them at Hollie’s parent’s place on 78th and Columbus. Hollie is due any day now and is looking very pregnant. We all chipped in the “cooking” of brunch. For my part, I dipped the challah in the egg mixture in preparing the French Toast; I also cut up the fruit. We ate brunch in the sunroom in the back of the brownstone, listening to an old jazz station. It was a very When Harry Met Sally kind of atmosphere.

After brunch, we headed out into the beautiful day. First, we stopped by a local open-air market so that Jon could pick up some vegetables. Then we headed to their place on 81st so we could see the rennovations. We also went up to the rooftop deck tht they have which has spectacular views of the Museum of Natural History and mid-town. If I lived there, I’d take a stack of books up on the roof and never come down. Finally, we made our way to the Park.

Jon, Jason and I tossed a ball around for a while, and then spend the rest of our time people-watching. And there were plenty of people to watch! We took a break for some ice cream, and finally made our way back to Jon and Hollie’s. By then it was almost 6 PM.

Jen, Jason and I headed back across the park and went directly to Mustang for dinner. I was craving a burger and both Jason and I had the burgers, loaded with guacamole. We also had margaritas and I had one of the better ones I’ve ever had: the 3 silver snake margarita, which has three types of tequilla and lime juice. Afterward, Jason and I waited in line at Coldstone for the second night in a row in order get some shakes.

We wound down the evening watching episodes of Scrubs. What a great day, though. It’s one of those rare autumn in New York days that you wish would last all week long, but in which you suspect won’t return until next fall.

Economy Candy

Jen needed to go to a candy store to pick up some special candy for some wedding invitations she is doing and so after our trek up to Grandpa’s old stomping grounds, we caught the train at 96th to head way downtown to a place called Economy Candy. When we got on the train, it was being held because of “police activity” at 86th and that meant that once we got going, it was a crowded train ride all the way down to 14th street. I tried to people watch, which you really couldn’t avoid doing since there were so many people on the train. I was amused to see one man board the train reading 1492, which I assumed he was doing in connection with some course on history attempting to relate its curriculum ot the upcoming Columbus Day holiday. Of course, it could have been a coincidence. More amusing were the two woman who nearly got into a fight because neither wanted to budge from their cramped space on the train.

We finally made it down to 108 Rivington Street, where Economy Candy is located and the first thing I noticed upon walking inside was that the whole entire placed smelled like Halloween. It’s not a very big place, but it is probably the largest candy store I have ever been in. Typical of famous New York shops with New York reputation, the sign above the counter read, “There will be a $5 charge for whining.” No one was whining. In fact, this place was a child’s dream, or a dentist’s dream, depending upon your perspective.

There were all sorts of candy, some of which I thought were long extinct. I took in as much as I could and finally turned to Jen and said, in a haughty tone, “I’ll be impressed if and only if they have Clark bars.” Jen reached her hand into a red box just under my nose and said, “You mean like this?” Sure enough, boxes and boxes of Clark bars. They had a 16 ounce jaw breaker that sold for $9. I estimated the diameter to be 4-5 inches. You literally had to lick your way to the point where it could fit into your mouth. Forget Tootsie Pops, how many licks would it take to get to the center of the “Mega Bruiser” jaw breaker?

Among some of the candy that could be found, that I had all but forgotten about: every variety of Pez you can imagine. There were pop rocks and lemonheads, and Boston baked beans. There were boxes and boxes of candy cigarettes! All of the parents seemed to afraid to allow their kids to buy a pack, even though it’s what all of the kids wanted to buy. There was a taffy kind of candy called “Mary Janes”, the name of which amused me. There were un-opened packs of 1988 Topps baseball cards. Could you imagine how stale that stick of gum must be 18 years later? They also had the Harry Potter jelly beans, complete with two new flavors: bacon and rotten egg.

As it turns out, Jen could not find the candy she was looking for in this candy emporium and so she had to make due with an alternative selection. She wanted to get me a Clark bar, but I refused. While I like looking at candy, I no longer eat it. She asked me what she should get for Jason and the answer was staring me right in the face: Sugar Daddy.

We took a bus back uptown and all of my observing must have worn me out. I slept most of the way.

A walk in the park

After the disappointing Oktoberfest, Jason headed off to a photoshoot and Jen and I headed over to Central Park. We entered the park at 84th and Park Avenue and made our way around in almost random fashion until we reached the North Meadow. On the north end of the north meadow, we climbed a rock and sat down to watch little kids and their adult counterparts play soccor and a variety of other activities. It was very pleasant.

From there, we made our way out of the park, ending up on 100th and Park, just a block shy of the Museum of the City of New York, where we visited earlier this year. It was at this point that I realized that we were not far away from where Grandpa had been born and I suggested we make our way over there. At first I thought it was 102nd and 2nd Avenue, but it turned out to be 105th and 2nd Avenue.

The Pinske hardware store that used to occupy the bottom floor of the building had been bought out about a year ago, we discovered, by Garcia & Garcia hardware. The letter and color of the sign had changed, but the hardware store that has been in the building for at least the last 86 years has remained.

I couldn’t remember on which floor Grandpa was born but I took a picture of the front of the building so that I could post it here. Every now and then your mind plays tricks on your. As I said to Jen as we were walking to the location, I had the irresistable urge, upon arriving, to call Grandpa and tell him where we were. Of course, nowadays, dialing 914-352-1149 will not get you Grandpa. It’s strange to think that Grandpa has come and gone but that the building he was born in still stands, aloof as ever, to his passing.

Octoberfest on the Upper East side

After breakfast (bagels, eggs, and bacon), we headed out for a walk around the Upper East Side. There was an Octoberfest street fair being held on 84th between 2nd and 3rd and Jen wanted to check it out so we wandered over there at around 11 AM to see what it was all about. Both sides of the street were lined with booths, some of which were still being setup. As we walked slowly down the street, however, I noticed that almost none of the booths had anything to do with Octoberfest whatsoever. Some booths were selling socks, for instance. Others were selling old-fashioned lunch boxes (I saw two lunch boxes that I thought Dan would have liked, one for the Ramones, the other for the Sex Pistols). There were other types of clothing and jewlery booths, but none had any particular German flavor to them. In fact, it wasn’t until we reached the far end of the street that we came across an band setting up, which looked as though it was going to play Octoberfest music.

It seemed like the street fair was taking advantage of what was clearly an ethnic celebration. It had very little to do with the celebration, however and I must say that I was somewhat disappointed by its blatent commercialism.

Friday night on Saturday morning

If it wasn’t clear from my perfectly coherent post last night, we did not end up going to the Whitney museum. I left work around 2 PM and was first in line to board the sold-out 3 PM Acela to New York City. I sat in the Quiet Car, as usual. This time, I have no idea if it was really quiet or not. From the moment I sat down, until the train ducked under the Hudson River, I watched the first 7 episodes of Scrubs Season 3 on DVD. It made the 2 hours and 50 minutes fly by.

Jen, Jason and I met outside crowded Penn Station.

And just as an aside here, Penn Station was really crowded. Perhaps it was because for some people it’s a 3-day weekend. But whatever the reason, during the middle of the weekend rush hour commute, in the midst of a massive pedestrian intersection in the bowels of Penn Station is not the appropriate place for that young woman to be standing perfectly still, talking on her cell phone. That’s just wrong!

It was decided to skip the Whitney and to find a bar at which we could watch the Yankee game. We took the subway partway and then a cab the rest of the way to Jen and Jason’s place. We stopped there for 5 minutes and then headed down to Molly’s, a bar on the corner. We managed to get a good table, and proceeded to spend the next several hours there, eating, drinking, laughing, and watching the Yankee game. (Jen and I were also trying to figure out if this bar was, perhaps, the Bar that barmaidblog works at.) We left the bar in the 8th inning and watched the rest of the game from Jen and Jason’s apartment.

I watching a couple of episodes of Scrubs before I went to sleep (around midnight). I was up this morning before 8 AM and spent the time reading more of Andy Rooney’s Out of My Mind.

Aside from the Yankee game at 4 PM this afternoon, I am told we are going to some candy shop that Jen wants to visit. We also have dinner reservations at what is supposed to be a great BBQ place in Harlem. And tomorrow morning we are having brunch with Jon and Hollie.

That’s all for now. I need to shower. Jason is making breakfast and I am hungry!

The heat is on

I got into the office this morning and the place is like an oven. Yesterday the inside temperature was perfect. Today, it’s boiling. I’m not sure why.

It rained most of the night and was still raining when I got up this morning. I took a taxi to the Metro station because you can’t leave your car there overnight and I have a 3 PM train to New York City, where I’ll be spending the long weekend (I have Columbus Day off). I’m lugging my good umbrella with me today, which is something I rarely do, but I’m supposed to meet jen_ashlock and Jason at the Whitney when I arrive in NYC and that may involve a little walking in the rain. There are some Picasso’s on display at the Whitney and Friday nights is “pay what you can” night.