Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vacation Day 2

  Friday we woke up oh so early and headed to Central Park. On the way, we stopped at D's favorite bagel place, Bagel Smith and got a sesame seed bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese to split. Oh yes, it's as heavenly as it sounds. Every day I've been to work since I got back I stop at Old School Bagel Cafe and get the closet thing they have: sesame seed bagel with chive and onion cream cheese.

After the bagel filled subway ride, we waited in line to see Imagine Dragons on Good Morning America. It was quite the experience, seeing the crowd cheer on command and dancing through sound check only to hear the same four songs when we went live. I was not disappointed at all of course, just a different kind of concert than I'm used to. That being said - Imagine Dragons was incredible. They have great energy and seemed so chill. I want to see them in a real concert setting for sure! Then Daniel took me on a mini tour of Central Park, leading to one of the "must see"s on my list - the Alice statue. I could've sat there for days! We then went to the Central Park Zoo which I was really excited about because, even though it's smaller, they have an arctic and a tropic zone! We didn't get to see the snow leopard, but the penguins were in full comedic force and the red pandas actually moved around! We also saw a swan bite a guys shoe! Luckily, he was holding his son - I can only imagine how awful that would've been.


We explored 5th ave, stopping at Tiffanys for an obligatory picture of course, but what I ended up being most excited about was the Louis Vuitton window displays! I had read that they were going to be using dinosaur skeletons painted gold, but didn't know when or where and lo and behold - we found them! I hadn't even said anything to Daniel about them, we just happened to walk by! We went to the Apple Store also which was just massive and overwhelming, granted I think that about the one in Penn Square mall!

We went to St Patrick's, Daniel's favorite cathedral and I can definitely see why. I lit a candle for my grandma there and just gaped at the fantastic architecture and stained glass. The amount of effort and time put into churches always astounds me; how much we as humans are willing to do to show our love.

Then came Rockefeller Center, the Lego store, NBC studio store, and the Gorilla Cheese Truck. We both ate smoked gouda with bbq pulled pork and onions on wheat bread; mine with a sweet thai chili sauce. We took our sandwiches back to Smack Pack where Daniel works and ate in the AC. I loved his office, almost homey with doodles on the white board and every one's desk area just a little personalized.

After our little rest, we headed to the New York Public Library with one thing on my mind: Pooh Bear. The original Winnie and friends that inspired A.A.Milne to write the book are housed in the children's library; however, after we made our way downstairs we discovered that they were not. Going back to the main floor, we found The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter, a special exhibit. Not only did we find Pooh, but Alice (in Wonderland) and Max (Where the Wild Things Are)! They even had one of my favorite books as a kid on display: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. It was another unexpected treasure of our journey. The exhibit is on display until March 23, 2014 if you happen to be in NYC.

A quick stop at Grand Central station before heading to the MOMA for Uniqlo Free Friday... But wait. The line for "free Friday" was almost circling the entire block! Even though I didn't get to go the MOMA on my first trip either, we both decided it wasn't worth the wait and headed to Greenwich Village. A little ahead of schedule, we decided to get some Starbucks and chat before going to see The Accidental Pervert, an off-off-Broadway one man show. The show was definitely an experience. I found the content funny, but at times the delivery was a little awkward. The third wall was broken a little too often for my taste and took me out of his story. The ending was kind of abrupt, but I won't ruin it for you. The show itself was hilarious and interesting, but I just wish he would've stuck to the "script" a bit more. We met and took a picture with him afterwards and I found him to be a very nice stand up guy.

We stopped at a pub to split a salad and get a round of drinks before making it to Marie's Crisis. This was definitely a highlight of the trip. Marie's is a little dive bar, said with all the love in my heart, that is loudly and proudly "pro-gay". The bar itself is nothing impressive, take a few steps down to a room with a piano and not fifteen steps across the room is the bar. They only serve two ingredient drinks - rum and coke, vodka tonic, gin and soda - the fanciest drink I saw made a Bloody Mary. But baby, you don't go there for the drinks! You go for the singing! Broadway show-tunes, new and old; from Oklahoma to Annie to Les Mis, there's something for everyone. And surprisingly, in a a crowded loud bar, we met and talked to three of the nicest couples, all together 15+ years. I mean good conversation too about the hardships of being a gay couple in the south to the differences between our generation and their's. It was absolutely incredible.

Tipsy, tired, and thoughtful we took a cab back to Brooklyn.
I feel asleep humming "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vacation: Day 1

 On the Fourth of July I woke up in Williamsburg.

Daniel and I got ready and made our way down to Soho. The Strand book store wasn't open yet, so we slipped out of the heat into a small cafe across the street for coffee. I saw a butter croissant and couldn't help myself. I also bought my first macroon which I tucked away in my purse for later (it was lemonade and delicious). We sat for about an hour and just chatted. It wasn't anything that they would put in a guide book, but getting to catch up with one of my best friends was definitely a trip highlight. The Strand opened at 11 and we headed inside to browse. I ended up getting two of the three souvenirs I purchased for myself here: the Pride and Prejudice with the cover I've been looking all over for and a Strand tote.

We left and as we walked the streets, I couldn't help but pause and take pictures: the architecture, the graffiti, the street signs! We ate lunch at Katz deli (made famous by When Harry Met Sally) which won my heart over with pastrami on rye with mustard. Then we headed to the National September 11Memorial. I can't really describe how that experience was. I can't say it was "fun" or "great", but I'm so glad we went.
Next, to lighten things up, we headed to the Museum of Sex. My favorite part of the museum was the exhibit: The Sex Lives of Animals. Description: From same sex pairings and masturbation to dolphin blowhole sex and panda porn, The Sex Lives of Animals establishes a “new natural history” and exposes how humans may not be the only species in the animal kingdom engaging in sex for pleasure. I really liked the sculptures that were featured in this exhibit but I also just liked reading all the different facts. If you know anything about me you should know that I fucking love nature; as long it's not crawling on or biting me.

After we looked through the three exhibits we headed to the basement where the museum bar was located. I had a Sweet Tits which tasty like minty Christmas perfection. TVs around the seating areas were showing pivotal sexual moments in cinematic history (think Lolita and Mrs Robinson). The movie Daniel and I wanted to see based on its description was Caligula. The clip they kept showing made no sense to us and we analyzed the logistics of the sexual act being shown.

After our drinks, we headed to Eatly after this to browse all the yummy foods and of course we couldn't leave without some gelato. My chocolate chip was outstanding. Then, both tired, we headed back to Brooklyn to take a nap. Daniel woke me up just in time for fireworks on his rooftop. It was such a nice night, just sitting out and chatting. Definitely one of my best fourth of July's.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Vacation: Day 1/2

My mom dropped me off at the airport and I found my flight was delayed an hour due to rain in Atlanta I settled in with "Wolf at the Table" by Augusten Burroughs and some iced coffee.

When we landed in I got some lunch and people watched while I waited for my flight to LGA to start boarding. I had a window seat for this ride and was able to take some cloud pictures which are some of my favorite things. I was listening to "Welcome Home Son" by Radical Face when I got my first glimpse of NYC. Even though I was tired and ready to see Daniel when I saw the skyline my brain was instantly quieted. New York City! We landed, I got my little suitcase and got in a cab. The cabbie was talking to me, asking where I was from, etc etc, but I was just trying to take it all in. We were on the highway and there was not a very good view. Finally, a break in the concrete barriers and I saw it - The Empire State building (along with the Chrysler building of course). Again, my brain was silenced. I was here!

I got to Daniel's building and walked up his 5 story walk up for the first of many times on my trip. I was definitely not prepared in my maxi dress and roller bag. I tripped and almost fell many times as I slowly made my way up to his apartment huffing and puffing. (very important tangent: my phone had died or else I fully assure you D would've been helping his poor little fat friend up the stairs) I knocked pathetically on the door and his roommate Rachel let me in. I'm pretty sure I said something like "hiyou'rereallyprettyican'tbreathe" and walked right past her. I gave Daniel a nod and collapsed on his bed. Oh yeah, your girl needs to start exercising. After I stopped hyperventilating, we said our proper hellos. Then the three of us headed down the street to Traif.

We had a longer wait, but the manager offered to comp a round of drinks and dessert so I didn't really mind the wait. (Plus, I was in NEW YORK CITY.) I have to say this place was the perfect first restaurant. It's a tapas restaurant (small savory dishes, think appetizer size) and they have a mix of "heavy" and "lighter" options. We all picked a heavy and light option, sharing all six plates between the three of us. Here's our menu, light to heavy:

  • blistered shishito peppers, cantaloupe, marconas, feta, mint, orange
  • green asparagus, pistachios, shaved radish-celery-carrot, yogurt, tarragon, citrus vin.
  • baby spinach, sugar snaps, red grapes, currants, sunflower seeds, feta, spiced vin
  • bbq, braised short rib sliders, sweet potato fries, smoked paprika aioli
  • seared foie gras, yukon potatoes, bacon, sunny egg, maple, hot sauce
  • dayboat scallops, snap and english pea risotto, lemon-caper brown butter

The drink I got was a Dutch Apple Cider (new amsterdam gin, laird's applejack, jk's scrumpy cider, honey, lemon, and peychaud's), but the one I really loved was what D and Rachel got on their second round: a Red Pearl (chili-infused vodka, thai basil, kiwi and citrus sour). It was just so fresh and perfect. Get that drink if you ever go there. The food was all amazing too. For dessert we had bacon donuts, but I could only eat a bite or two after all the delicious food we had.
We headed back to the apartment and I made my way up the stairs again, Daniel assuring me that it would get easier by the end of the trip. This is going to sound cheesy, but I was so happy to be there I would've walked up 10 flights. I would've had to take some breaks but I would've made it. Shower, some planning, getting acquainted with Rachel's cat, and then bed time.