New York City, 2007

Cris was working in NYC for three weeks, and I decided to join him for the weekend in the middle of his trip.

Fri March 2/07

I wasn't feeling horribly well, and after my appointment for a knee MRI at the hospital, went home and rested. I called in for the noon teleconference, but didn't feel up to actually coding, and didn't get out of my PJs until it was time to head to South Station. I'd just picked up a Charlie Card and it worked nicely to get me on the bus and the red line. The bus ticket had said to arrive an hour early, and when I saw the line snaking from the NYC gate, I understood why. I got into the line at around 6:05pm and just made it onto the 7pm bus that I'd bought a ticket for. I lucked out with a seat near the front on the aisle, with a quiet seat mate who ended up sleeping most of the way (and not on me). I read for a little bit, but then switched to headphones to block out the talkers and the loud movie (Clear and Present Danger), but had to concentrate hard to focus on the audiobook rather than hear the sounds around me. I listened to "The Old Man and the Sea" and really enjoyed it. I missed two phone calls while I was listening, texted Cris back to let him know I was close, and watched Manhattan scroll by. We'd made a brief stop in Sturbridge and I'd grabbed a bottle of water to sip at, but finished it as I got to NYC. I called Cris when I got off the bus, but he hadn't left the hotel room to meet me (the bus actually came in 20 mins early), so I started off on my own. I made it through the subway no problem to Penn Station, but managed to mistake the hotel address for being on 37th street, instead of just a block away, and walked in a big circle before finding the Affinia with Cris waiting for me outside. Up to the room, and ate the salad that I'd picked up in a corner store, and then crashed out.

Sat March 3/07

Woke up relatively early and were out of the room by 10-10:30am. Did some window shopping, limited by what opened at 10 versus 11 versus noon. Missed Other Music and Screaming Mimi's because we were too early, but had a good browse around Forbidden Planet.

Meandered our way to Smorgas Chef for brunch, arriving a bit early and snagging a table at the back. Service was slow and they seemed to not have a record of Raul's reservation for 7 people, so we got a bit friendly with 6 at the round table as Christina, Christine, Raul and Liza arrived. Took a bit of asking to get our drinks (the rose and cherry green tea was really good, in a tiny Henley's metal pot, but no offer for more hot water), but the food was good and the serving size just right for me. I was the only one who didn't do the full brunch, I just went with the regular lunch without alcohol.

We split up after lunch, and Cris and I walked to Chelsea market. Loved it. :) The building reminded me of Mass MOCA, all exposed beams and high ceilings. But it was stuffed full of food stores. Heaven. :) Got a divine stilton in the cheese shop, Cris got crispy bread and fresh produce and eggs. I was feeling a bit worn out and sat on a bench with his coat and shopping while he hit the last store, and a guitar busking duo set up near me - they did a Barenaked Ladies song and a few couples settled in with their kids to let the youngun's enjoy the music too. There was a young boy that had the oddest half walk half crawl to get around, he kept creeping up to the musicians and watching them very seriously, it was sweet.

Back to the hotel with our loot and rested a bit, reading and idly debating what we wanted to have for supper. We finally settled on sushi and headed out to Houston St, I think it was Ushi Wakamaru that we went to. We went with the omakase, putting ourselves in the chef's hands. All three sushi chefs took their turns making us dishes, it was a wonderful reminder of our meals on Yakushima, the food just kept coming and it was wonderful. :) We had all sorts of sashimi, nigiri, soups, I think a roll or two, and the green tea kept getting refilled, and the green tea ice cream that I finished off with was obviously home made. I enjoyed it a lot, it was worth it, I was almost drunk on the fishy goodness. :)

We rolled ourselves out of there and made our way to Angel's Share, via a short stop in the St. Mark's bookstore where I found a book for half price that I'd had on my wish list for a couple of years. We had a bit of a wait to be seated at the bar, it was quite busy. I had a mojito and Cris went with Scotch. The obnoxious drunk at the end of the bar left soon after we were seated. It was neat watching the bartenders make the drinks, they were formally dressed with elastics holding their dress shirt sleeves, and their movements were quick and efficient. The line was still long so we didn't linger after we finished our drinks. Back to the hotel and crashed out again.

Sun March 4/07

Cris went out for an early morning bike ride and I slept in, trying to recover my strength. I snacked on cheese and bread bought yesterday and read in bed. He came back around 11:30, we cleaned up and headed out for brunch/tea with Zoh. I gave Janette a call but got her answering machine. We actually caught up with Zoh as we were all leaving the subway station and walked together to Alice's Teacup. It turned out to be closed due to a permit issue, but the clerk came out and directed us across town to the other location. We got a cab and headed through Central Park for take two. When we walked in we were told that they weren't accepting walk ins as they'd taken on all the reservations of the other location, but they were able to fit us in when we told them that we were sent over. Lucky for us, a it was all delicious. Zoh and I went with the Keemun, and Cris had the Lapsang Souchong. My eyes were bigger than my stomach (though it was pretty big) and I tackled the Mad Hatter's platter, but was conquered. The cran-orange and pumpkin scones were delicious, so were the curried chicken and smoked salmon sandwiches, and the mousse, but the cookies were way too much. :) I had about half of the total boxed up and we headed out, splitting off from Zoh to walk across Central Park to the Frick Collection. It was pretty busy, I grabbed a free audio guide and tried to find quiet corners to listen to a few of the painting descriptions - I liked the ones where I'd get a bit of gossip about the painter and/or the subjects. I really liked the Turner ones, as well as the Titian samples, but the Gainesborough ones, while pretty, started to all look alike.

We headed back to the hotel, and then over to the bus station so that I could get in line around 6pm. The line was shorter, but there were fewer buses leaving it seemed, but I got on at around 6:45. My seat mate was quiet again, he had the same mp3 player as I do and listened to that and dozed most of the trip. I was in the front row this time, and didn't get bothered by motion sickness, though I couldn't read much. This time I listened to the "Siddartha" audiobook, though I kept dozing off, the narrator's voice was soothing. We had a short bathroom stop again, but still came into Boston early. Quick trip home, collapsed into bed.

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