Category Archives: pictures

Pt 3: The Whitney, The High-Line, and More!

A long line of picture posts has preceded this one, including the La La Land HBowl & the first few days back east, followed by the first half of our big day down at the WTC area.  That post took a long time though and I had to end it so I could get some sleep – but let’s try to finish up these pics, why don’t we?

When last we met, Larry & I had just left the One WTC Observation Deck (and 2 glasses of wine each), so we were a bit hungry now.  Across the street is a mall that has something similar to Eataly (Mario Batali’s high-end take on an Italian-based food market) but for French food, and that sounded amazing.  Thanks, Stuart, for the recommendation!  So we went there to get some delicious rotisserie chicken and then took a seat at the wine bar and savored the food with some beaujolais.  mmm….

After that, we then walked back to the Oculus to get on the subway and head back up north a little bit, close to the Meatpacking district.  Took a few more photos of the Oculus as the sun was out in full force by this point.

Wed, May 31 – Lunchtime and the Oculus revisited

Up at the Meatpacking district area, we walked west towards the hip parts, walking through and noticing some places weren’t there any more (goodbye Black Market, White Market?), before getting to the site of the new Whitney Museum of American Art.  I hadn’t been to this new location yet, as it had moved from the Upper East Side a few years back.  Larry had visited it and was up for seeing it again, and it has some pretty great vistas for just the surrounding area.  Happily, our LACMA membership got us free admission, and we were near the end of their opening hours, so we did a very quick run through of just a few floors, while also making sure to take in some of the rooftop sights.

The Whitney Museum

The location of the Whitney is also a fantastic spot for walking the High Line, NYC’s elevated park, which has an end point right there and allows you to meander north through 20-30 great blocks of NYC.  It’s a very rich area and while the park itself is very narrow, it’s a fun thing to do.  Although by that point, it must be said, our feet were killing us by the end of it.

Walking the High Line

That was our day of sightseeing!  It was quite exhausting but the day was gorgeous and totally worth doing.  Back at our hotel, we took a well-deserved nap to get some energy, as we weren’t exactly done with going out and doing stuff.  That night, Larry found us a cool ramen place that we could get reservations at in the Lower East Side called Ivan’s Ramen.  Larry even navigated us there successfully over subway and sidewalk!  There was a threat of rain, and while it did sprinkle a little, no biggie.  And our reservation actually was useful, as we only waited a little bit of time before getting seats at the bar.  It was a fun meal, with a very friendly waiter (and some particularly attractive waiters elsewhere in the restaurant).  The ramen was a unique take on it, and good, but it definitely varied from what you’d expect a ramen to taste like.  We ended up being one of the last few people there before closing (this was a Wednesday, so it’s not staying open until 2am), and we then had a nice journey back before crashing at the hotel for a well-earned rest.

Ivan’s Ramen

And that concludes that epic day and this post.  More to come from that week o’ fun.

Pt 2: Our World Trade Center Day

Because this series of pictures could go on forever, I had to take a break yesterday and thus break up the posts (the latest Twin Peaks was on and it isn’t gonna watch itself, people…twice).  The previous post was about the first few days of our week off, and so this one will focus on the remainder…

Wed, May 31, 2017:  Starting the day off

So this day, the plan was to visit the area down by the World Trade Center.  We were there when the project finally started getting built, but even by 2010, it was still not very much higher up than above ground level.  But in the last 6-7 years, definitely lots of progress was made:

Back in 2009 – just a large pit:

Then in 2011 – a giant amount of height achieved:

And in 2012 – we got a bit closer to see the progress:

By late 2013, the building had been topped out, but it still took a while before everything inside opened up, and it wasn’t until the last year or so that the observation deck and the 9/11 Museum were open, although by this point, the memorial waterfalls were open:


Anyway, it’s been a long road for this complex to be all open.  Beside the construction of One WTC (formerly the “Freedom Tower”), there is also the construction of the Oculus, the other-worldly train station adjacent to 1WTC.  It’s kind of stunning to see and very hard to describe, so here are the pictures I took when we exited the subway right into the Oculus….

Pics from our Arrival at the Oculus

We had reserved tickets for the morning to explore the 9/11 National Museum, which is quite an experience.  It’s built underground and includes quite a few artifacts from Ground Zero, as well as a lot of meaningful displays around that day.  Eerily, it has the footprints of the original towers as something you walk around, and a few galleries are within that original footprint.  The main gallery, and by far the most intense, is that which walks you through the day as it began, as it occurred, and the immediate and long-term aftermath.  They advise children not to enter this and I can’t see anyone under 10 ever going in there, as it’s quite intense to have everything brought back to you.   There are some quite graphic displays that make you mad and sad all over again.  Throughout the museum as a whole, it’s a combination of awe at how well designed and presented the museum while experiencing it with tears in your eyes.

The 9/11 Museum

Afterwards, it was a nice thing to go from remembering the horror of September 11 and then visit what has been built since…One World Trade Center.  It’s a quite impressive feat of engineering.  We had purchased a timed priority pass, so we could pass by the main line and go straight to the elevators.  And man, that elevator ride alone is worth the price of admission as it’s completely covered in video screens that show a chronological evolution of NYC from before the 1600s.  As you go higher (and you get to the top in a VERY short amount of time) you catch up to current time, with a brief view of the original Twin Towers.

At the top, you then line up against a railing looking at a video screen of NYC activity, and then triumphantly, a stunning reveal is made at the end of the video.  I won’t completely ruin it, but it really must be seen to be believed.  It was a fantastic, jaw-dropping moment before heading out to the main observatory floor.

The sun had finally come out by that point – happily, that was the case as the days before were gloomy and rainy.  So yeah, getting a view was a relief, although it wasn’t crystal clear.  But the view?  Amazing.  I need to find my pictures from when my dad and I walked all of Manhattan and visited the top deck of the old WTC, as this is quite a spectacular view.  I won’t bombard this post with every pic I took, but a few highlights are in order.   Before we left, Larry & I had to go and get a few drinks on the top of the world – so we grabbed 2 glasses of the exclusive ONE white wine each.  It’s a unique feeling to just drink and look down over a thousand feet to the world.

Visiting One World Trade Center’s Observation Deck

And the day was not over – but I think I need to get ready to go to bed.  So yeah, this is Pt 2 of my pictures posts, but really, it’s just the first part of this one day as we walked a LOT that day.

A Pictures-palooza From the Last Month – Pt 1

Normally, I’d insist on showing absolutely every picture I took….but I realize that will take a lot of time and effort.  So we’ll have to do a bit of editing, although I’m pretty sure it’ll still look as if I posted every picture I took.  What can you do?

It has been a busy month or so, since last I posted, whether it was work or vacation.  Work was especially intense and I can actually see a finish line for this engagement, if that can be believed. Probably shouldn’t jinx myself though, so I’ll leave it at that.

Sat, May 27, 2017: Starting Memorial Day Weekend with La La Land @ the Bowl

During Memorial Day weekend, Larry & I were heading out to New Jersey & NYC to spend the week with friends and family and to be able to attend our niece’s baby naming ceremony.  But before we headed back, I had bought us tickets to the La La Land in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl….and it was great and a wonderful way to kick off the Hollywood Bowl season.  The kicker in this concert was that the orchestra would play the entire soundtrack while the movie played, and for this, they also included a jazz band, and there was a fantastic piano player who quite deftly played all the Sebastian music.  Pretty great experience, and aided by fireworks that kicked in at various moments in the movie.  Gotta love fireworks!

Sun, May 28:  Flying to Newark

Happily, flying out of LAX in the middle of a long holiday weekend isn’t a complete shitshow, and even while you can’t ever escape traffic at the terminal, we were still able to get in and to the gate pretty easily.  Pro-Tip:  Get yourself Pre-Check.  Everything is easier once that’s accomplished.

I liked these pictures I took right after take-off, looking back at Los Angeles and the area around Rancho Palos Verdes.

That first night, we got picked up by Fran & Joel and hung out at their place, eating some delicious New Jersey pizza.  Then it was time to pass out and hope we could get some sleep.

Mon, May 29:  A Day with Jon, Alyssa, Stacey & Rachel

Our first full day back was going to be spent with the Rausches as we never get to see them.  Plus, the baby naming ceremony for Rachel was the following weekend and that was going to be a hectic, stressful day for them.  So here, we could just relax and have a nice day.    Which we totally did, as we hung out at their house for a while, chatting, having a few drinks, eating lunch, and getting to play with Stacey & Rachel.  We then went to the local zoo!  It may have been kind of dreary and rainy, but it was still fun.  It was back to the house for some more Lego Batman movie watching and games directed by Stacey before we then went to a wonderful dinner with just Jon & Alyssa as Fran & Joel picked up babysitting duties.  In other words, it was a really fun day.

Tues, May 30 – Larry’s Birthday!

So this day was a day with Fran in NYC as well as us starting a temporary hotel stay in the city for a few days to be tourists and enjoy the old neighborhoods a bit.  First on the agenda was heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the UES, as hello, it’s awesome there.  After Fran fearlessly navigated her way there – btw, the city seems to be a whole lot more crowded as lots of streets are under refurbishment? – we walked the few blocks to the Met and took in a few exhibits before heading to the roof.  It’s got a spectacular view of Midtown framed by a tree-top view of Central Park.  See for yourself!

We then had lunch at the Atlantic Grill, which was the restaurant that Larry literally lived right above when he used to live on 76th St.  When you’d walk up to his place, you’d walk right by the windows of the restaurant that faced his building’s little courtyard.  So we were back!  It’s a great seafood restaurant and was a very nice way to celebrate his birthday.

At this point, Fran dropped us off over on the UWS as she headed back to New Jersey, and we then grabbed an Uber to take us to our hotel in Chelsea, the Hyatt House.  It was a fairly new building with just a few rooms per floor as the building is quite narrow, and it didn’t seem very crowded.  Also, it’s in a great location as you’re near Midtown but not quite in it, while also handy to a few subway lines.  Anyway, after checking in and getting settled, we had a show to catch, as Fran had gotten us tickets to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.  It’s a fun show about a British shoe company that is down on its luck until it realizes there’s a market for drag queen shoes.  It’s an enjoyable, fun musical with some standout performances, notably by the main queen, Lola, as well as the young owner of the shoe factory, played here by the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco.  A lot of catchy numbers made for a very fun show – definitely recommended.

Afterwards, we walked over to Hell’s Kitchen to grab a meal at one of our favorite places, Five Napkin Burger…so goood.

MEANWHILE……!!!!!! (Twin Peaks returns in 2 days!!!)

25+ years dealing with the ending of Twin Peaks and thinking that was it, having to speculate wildly on what might happen next, and now?  Now, we actually will get to find out.  Will there be actual answers?  With 18 hours of Twin Peaks ahead of us, likely.  But almost without a doubt, this will be a journey of complete weirdness filled with disorienting visuals and themes.  I’m sure I’ll even be like, WTF.  But I eagerly await it regardless.

The World Premiere of this next season on Showtime is happening at the Ace Hotel in DTLA as we speak.

I didn’t make it to this world premiere like I did when the Missing Pieces ultimate blu-ray set had a premiere at the Vista:

Twin Peaks: Up Close and Personal

Talk about an amazing opportunity that was!  But yeah, I didn’t make it downtown this time as this time, the entire world is all about Twin Peaks excitement and the crowd that had assembled for what I saw in 2014 were a small group of diehards.  Can’t even imagine the excitement though at the venue – the pictures from inside look really cool.

I just can’t believe it’s happening.  It IS happening again!!!!

More to come in the next few days – I know I won’t be able to keep myself from writing about the first 4 hours.  Sunday will be insane:  the first 2 hours are getting released on Showtime on Sunday night, but then hours 3 & 4 will be available immediately via Showtime’s streaming apps….so yeah, I’ll be watching those too.  Can’t NOT.  Monday may be painful.

Visiting the Twin Peaks Pop-Up in DTLA

The premiere is being held at this same venue I visited as documented above – you can see my main picture above is from the marquee…only now it’s 2017!!!!!

Oh, and of course I ordered these Twin Peaks FunkoPOP bobbleheads:

Miscellaneous Picture time – because why not?

Larry & I enjoyed last Saturday afternoon’s beautiful temps and weather by finally visiting the outdoor wine bar at the Americana.  Wonderful way to have lunch.  Expensive way, also.

The next day we then went over to Mom’s for Mother’s Day!  Stister Stacie also was there and we had a great time playing Rack-O, drinking some wine, and having some good food.  Barbecued some burgers and hot dogs, Larry made his latest rendition of Blue Smoke-esque mac and cheese (I actually think he did it – no lie.  The secret:  champagne vinegar), I made cookies…it was a good day.

And I think that’s that for now.  Happy Friday and Cobol Wishes!

On to Year 2!

Somewhat shockingly, it’s been a year since our amazing wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown LA.  Where’d the time go???  Happily, we’re both still just in love as we were a year ago, and as much as we were when we first met.  I think it helps to be best friends with your partner, and we certainly are.  Anyway, we celebrated our anniversary a day early as who wants to go out on a Sunday night?  So we went to dinner at Cicada, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Oviatt.  It’s a striking art deco restaurant and we’d seen it briefly before when visiting the Penthouse before the wedding.  It was a great idea to go back – and apparently we were one of a few who wanted to be there that night, as the place was kind of empty.  Even the Oviatt Penthouse wasn’t having an event that night.  Kind of surprising, but what can you do?

We had a good time, taking an Uber there, and then indulging in the 5-course menu and enjoying a lot of Montepulciano wine.  We even saw a mid-level celebrity during dinner – Doug Savant – who had a whole bunch of his family there.  Anyway, here are pictures:

Apr 29, 2017 – Anniversary Dinner at Cicada

We had a very wonderful time at the restaurant, the service was great, the food was delicious (Italian-ish for the most part, although my main entree was a filet mignon while Larry had duck), and the ambience was just very nice and relaxed.  A great way to celebrate our wedding a scant 365 days before.

The next day, we had to recover a bit, but then ended up meeting Nicki & Austin at A.O.C., a very popular restaurant and at times, rated one of the Top 10 in LA.  So it was exciting to get to go there for brunch!  Nicki was very sweet and got us flowers and some supercool books by Abbi Jacobson (from Broad City), and also treated us to brunch.  We’re not worthy.

Anniversary Brunch @ A.O.C., April 30, 2017:

Afterwards, it was time to watch Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion and La La Land….ah, bliss.  And then of course the weekend ended and it was back to the grind.  But as a weekend, this one was not bad by any means.  In fact, kind of awesome.