After a great two days back east for work, it looks like tonight will be time for some fun, first at Blue Smoke and then drinks afterward! Then it’s time for home tomorrow morning!
As we found out this evening – our black car driver got pulled over by one after turning left while going south on 7th Avenue onto 46th St. Who knew that was actually a thing? We were so close to being back to the hotel too! Oh well, all is good now, except for the driver. Who amusingly was faking an inability to speak English to the (hot) cop.
Nicki, George & I are back in New York. Of course it’s timed to be when a second polar vortex temperature plummet has occurred. It’s ridiculously cold right now. We walked from the hotel to a ramen place over on 51st between 8th and 9th Ave and during that walk, I literally felt my nose go numb. It was cold.
I really would love to visit this city when it’s not this cold. But it is what it is, I guess. Honestly, I think I prefer going and visiting places when it’s cold. You can at least layer on tons of clothes and hats when it’s cold; when it’s hot, your options are SEVERELY limited and you just have to marinate in the nastiness of a sultry climate. I don’t miss Biloxi for 3 months in the height of summer and early fall. Nope, I do not.
Anyway, the flight out this morning was early but luckily there were no delays. There was a lot of fog, apparently, but not at LAX nor in the west side. It’s awesome as I was able to get some great shots from iPhone of the view below:
Views of Hollywood and Silver Lake while departing LAX
As we made progress east (I was able to do work periodically via the in-flight wifi; I also watched Rashomon for the very first time, but more on that in another post), it was clear how much colder it was getting. As can be seen here as we were getting ready to set down in New Jersey / Newark:
Arriving at Newark International
The cold was felt immediately from the point you left the plane and entered the jetway. Ridiculous. Anyway, after a nice ride in to the city while the night sky came in, George & I checked in and immediately went up to the top of the Sanctuary Hotel where the Heaven Rooftop bar is. Smartly, the bar is enclosed in the winter. It was nice and a good way to relax after a long flight.
Heaven, at the Sanctuary Hotel:
Nicki was on a different flight and got in an hour or so later. Once she arrived, it was time for dinner! This time, we made it to Ippudo Ramen on the west side, which is when we had the crazy cold to walk through. But it was worth the schlep, as the food was delicious. I’m just glad that we do have good ramen places back in LA too – I LOVE Ramen Jinya on Ventura near the lot. Here are some of the pics from tonight…
Dinner at Ippudo West Side, NYC
Just in time for there to be a new round of low low temps too! Larry is smartly not going on this trip; I think he’s learned to appreciate nice warm climates, which is all LA has been this January. It’s another quick trip and I’ll be back Friday. Yay!
Hey Hey Hey!
I bet no one is reading this, but that’s cool. I just wanted to write out some of the more recent things that have been going on since it is still cool to reflect on them from way IN THE FUTURE!
– Want to stab my eye out at work. It’s been so frustrating and annoying and I want to quit more often than not. I think it’s actually going to get better and right now I just have to survive it. But damn, surviving is sucking right now. Here’s hoping I can make it without hurting myself or others.
– Mila visited me this past Memorial Day weekend! Sveta was supposed to accompany her but like everyone else in the country, her job is sucking and threatened to basically fire her if she went on vacation this weekend. Bitches.
THURSDAY: She came in on Thursday afternoon – I was supposed to meet her at JFK but of course, work effed that up, so she ended up taking a cab to 30 Rock and meet me there at work. That actually worked out though, as that first day I was able to show her around Rockefeller Center (the SNL studios, the Top of the Rock observation deck where my Reserve AF card actually worked and got me a military discount – HELLS YEAH). Afterwards, we chilled in my hood, Upper West Side-style. Luckily she’s been to NYC before so there’s not a pressing need to march around to every tourist attraction in the city. That actually made it a nice trip.
May 21, 2009 – Mila Arrives at 30 Rock
FRIDAY: We left “early” to head to the Statue of Liberty. I put early in quotes because it wasn’t early enough. I was trying to go by what we did when Susan and Jeff were visiting in April – but I forgot that we were there really early to buy tickets because we went to the Today Show first to try to get on TV. When we made it to the ticket booth at the Statue of Liberty then, it was like 8:30am. We not only got Pedestal access tickets, but the line to the ferry was non-existent. Cut to Friday with Mila. The line to buy tickets wasn’t so bad, but all the Pedastal access tix were gone, so you can just go to the island and gaze upon the Statue but not in it. Then, we went to go to the ferry line – and ended up walking half of Battery Park just to find the end of the line. Holy god. It was nonsense. An hour and a half later of waiting and baking in the sun, we got on the ferry. Then of course, work starts calling and driving me absolute batshit nuts so I nearly have a nervous breakdown, but I digress.
We did make it to Liberty Island eventually, and it was a beautiful day. I’ll be posting pictures on my picasaweb tonight that has the pics, but it was a fun time. Thankfully Mila understands my stressed-outness and hung with me through the craziness. I calmed down eventually. We skipped Ellis Island (there’s really not much to see) and headed back to Manhattan. There, we went to Midtown, got some grub at an irish pub, then jumped in line at tkts to buy some half-price Broadway show tickets. I’ve been wanting to see ‘Rock of Ages’ so we got tix to see it. Larry joined us to do that after work and let me just say, the show is so much fun. It’s another “Mamma Mia” style musical with a collection of well-known songs, but in this case, it’s all classic late 70s/80s rock, from Pat Benatar to Journey to Def Leppard. It’s AWESOME. Highly recommmended. Even the show’s program is cool, as it’s made in the shape of a record album cover. Afterwards, we started the trend of not eating till way late in the evening and got some grub at the Coffee Shop restaurant in Union Square.
This whole time was also spent ensuring Larry passed the Mila test, and he did so with flying colors. They even connected on the Jewish level, which was fun to see. Needless to say, Charming Larry was super charming and fun and once again reinforces why I love him so much.
May 22, 2009 – Statue of Liberty Adventures with Mila
SATURDAY: On Saturday, we slept in a bit and slowly but surely got out the door of my apartment. We strolled up to a sweet restaurant on Columbus where we sat outside on the patio and had a delicious and relatively affordable brunch. It was a beautiful weekend and continued to be the entire time, so we decided to head to SoHo for some shopping. There’s a store there that Larry & I really like called UniQlo, which is a Japanese store that has very cool clothes for very Target prices. LOVE IT. I bought plenty of things plus I got to dress Larry up in some more flattering threads. We walked further through SoHo, found a gelato place and chowed down on that (YUM), and then found our way in Little Italy. There was a huge festival going on on the main strip and the smells of Italian food were insane. There was also a ton of Fleet Week sailors partaking in the festivities – it’s always nice to check out those goods too. Bwahahahahahaa! ;-p Little Italy is surrounded by Chinatown so you eventually end up on Canal Street, which is the crazy ass street you go to when you want to buy knock-off designer goods. It’s just so packed. We muscled our way through that, went back home to drop off the shopping, then went to the West Village for some good German food at the Lederhosen restaurant there. This place also happens to be half a block away from the exterior location used for the FRIENDS’ apartment!!!!!! It’s awesome. After dinner, we strolled to a gay piano bar called Marie’s Crisis. It is sooo much fun especially if you like showtunes (I know, it’s almost super cliche). We walked in at a perfect time though as the crowd, which is standing-room only all around a central piano, started singing all the songs from Cabaret, which is one of my favorite musicals ever. I think everyone in the place, besides us, had to have some connection to Broadway as everyone there sang really well. It was not your typical painful sing-a-long where most people have no business singing. 🙂 Anyway, it was a good time.
May 23, 2009 – Bummin’ Around the City with Mila & Larry
SUNDAY: Another slow lazy day. Larry went to Zabar’s and bought some Lox for he and Mila to share on a fresh bagel. I skipped on the lox. I think a lot of Rock Band 2 was played (with Mila ROCKING on vocals to James Brown’s “Sex Machine”) and some time spent on the Hudson River at my favorite riverside cafe there. It’s such a surprise to find this place as it’s not really obvious it’s there unless you spend time on the river. We were anticipating my friend Suzanna (from MHS) and her husband Brandon coming in that evening to visit, so we headed back once it looked like it might rain. They eventually showed up around 9pm, and after getting a little settled, we headed off to Cafeteria, which is probably my favorite restaurant in Manhattan. Love the food, love the restaurant’s style, love it. It’s also very hip/trendy, but not overly so where you feel completely out of place. Lots of catching up and story telling ensued. I believe quite a few Cafeteria cosmos were imbibed as well.
May 24, 2009 – Riverside Enjoyment, Rocking Rock Band, & Dinner at Cafeteria
MONDAY: Yesterday, the theme of lazy day continued, although we did emerge out of the apartment, so it wasn’t totally lazy. After getting breakfast at Utopia Cafe, we went into Central Park for some people-watching and sun-soaking. My place was packed the night before, so Larry didn’t stay over then. He had told us he was going to go running in the Park and amazingly, as we were walking along the main running trail, we ran into him during his run. That was surprising. We spent a few hours walking around, sitting and relaxing and overall enjoying the nice day. Finally we walked back to the West Side and got some snacks at the Shake Shack, which is always a great treat. We even saw Frances McDormand and her Coen brother husband, although I don’t know which one it is. Suzanna and Brandon left afterwards and then Mila, Larry and I had a home-cooked meal of chicken alfredo and broccoli while watching Dreamgirls and The Jazz Singer (Neil Diamond version, natch). Whew!
It was a good long weekend, and now I’m here at work spending time typing it all up. Whatevs. I probably should go now, but I’ll update on more stuff as I recall.