Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friends come to play in New York..

                 "Good freinds help you find important things when you have lost them...Your smile, your hope, and your courage."  Doe Zantamata

Another grueling week, professionally and personally.  Thank God, I can sleep on buses.  I am usually dozing at least before we even eave South Station in Boston.  I arrived in New York a bit refreshed and found a treat at the Hx3, Kristi.  We popped across the street to our neighborhood fav Sojourn for a bite to eat with (lamb meatballs and chicken satay with lovely Boujelais) to chat and catch up.
Saturday, very good Friends form home took advantage of New York’s 2nd annual Hotel Week (actually most of the month of January).  I met them at their Hotel just south of Time Square and we had the first of a full day of long leisurely walks.  Our first destination was a Gallery Tour of Chelsea with New York Gallery Tours.(  Rafael Rosenberg is becoming one of my favorite people to spend a Saturday afternoon with!  This is the third time I have taken his tour, and again bumped into Robin, the photographer who introduced me to him!  I highly recommend it!
El Anatsui
From the Jack Shaianman Gallery website
My favorite of the day was 68 year old African artist, El Aratsui.  In just 5 or 6 years, he has taken the art world by storm, literally, going from obscurity to one of Africa’s wealthiest artists in history.  Using trash, liquor bottle caps and the metal wrapping around the  necks of the bottles, he creates truly magnificent sculptures, while also employing young people to help in his creations!
My least favorite of the day was Carroll Dunham’s paintings, the Father of Lena Dunham the creator of the highly acclaimed new TV show “Girls”,. Although the New York Times gave his show a glowing review, his art simply wasn’t my taste, although his brilliant colors did remind me a bit of Gauguin.

Lighting the way
Chelsea Market
Amy's BreadFrom there, we meandered along the Highline Park over to the Chelsea Market and poked around, stopping to share an amazing baguette from Amy’s Bread!  From it’s website: Amy’s Bread is a NYC bakery that features hand-made breads, morning pastries, decadent cookies, old-fashioned layer cakes, unique sandwiches, healthy salads, and more. :: Our hearth-baked breads are crusty, chewy, with a moist crumb and lots of flavor. We use traditional European methods, and shape every loaf by hand. :: Visit any of our three cozy bakery/cafés in NYC, and linger for breakfast, lunch or dessert! :: Amy’s Bread supplies bread wholesale to many notable New York restaurants and specialty food stores.

The Campbell Apartment

Quelle heure est-il la?
Les Sans Culote
Then we walked up to Grand Central station by way of Bryant Park to have a drink at one of my favs, The Campbell Apartment.   Continuing along Park Avenue I took my Friends to one of my new fav places, Les Sans Coulottes.  They love all things French, and after reading my blog from last weekend, they knew where they wanted to eat!  Another amazing, and unbelievably priced, especially for New York.  After a great day, I meandered yet again,to Hx3, and collapsed!
Bar menu, full bar and extensive wine list
   Sunday was spent being wonderfully lazy with Kris, til she went down to Tribeca to watch the Patriots with Friends from High School (large contingent of those here in NYC). I did head out for a bite to at late in the afternoon.  The place I headed to was a zoo, not  in the mood.  Meandering towards home, I noticed a nice looking place just off 3rd Avenue on 75th Street, Fulton.  Stopped in and had a delicious bowl of. butternut squash soup drizzled with crème frachais and dotted with toasted pumpkin seeds, followed by crab cakes with a small bit of greens and apple slaw, washed down with a “pearinni”.  Delicious!


Monday, January 7, 2013

First weekend of a new year

                   "Some pursue happiness-others create it."    Ralph Waldo Emerson

               Feeling like it had been awhile, I headed down to New York after work on Friday.  Why do the shorter Holiday work weeks sometimes feel like they’re twice as long as a regular work week?  Thank God I can sleep on the bus.  Arrived at the Hx3 just in time to wish Kris a fun night going to a swing dance party at which she had a great time.  Makes me want to check it out!            
Full rack of sausage and basket of vegetables/fruit - a little overwhelming
               Saturday we lazed around and headed out to lunch.   I had read about a small French place in the Sutton Place neighborhood (my “old neighborhood from my Winter in Manhattan Odyssey two years a ago).  Larry Olmstead from USA Today gave a great review of Les San Culottes (“without fancy pants” ode to the Revolutions’s Blue collar guard) on 2nd Avenue @ 57th Street.  My Bosses went earlier this fall and were impressed, if not awed by the amount of food!  We loved it.  It has some amazing deals, and the food is simple authentic French.  I didn’t expect so many great small French places in New York.
                Home to nap, I love naps.  I later headed out with Kris when she left for work.  I continued to  Times Square, which even in January is a zoo.  But I now know how to navigate it.  It is a bit Disneyesque, as there are “characters” everywhere for tourist families to take pictures of…everything from Mickie and Minnie Mouses, to Sponge Bob, Batman, Pacman, and so many more.  I headed right to the TKTS booth and it was actually quiet. 
The Heiress, Jessica Chastain, David Strathairn, Dan Stevens, By Ruth & Augustus Goetz, Directed By Moises Kaufman
From the Official website of "The Heiress"
                I picked up a 50% off ticket for “The Heiress” with Jessica Chastain, Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey fame), David Strathairn, and Judith Ivey, among others. It was excellent. After the show I did something I’ve never done before, waited around the Stage Door with the crowd waiting for the Stars to come out. I was impressed. Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens were very friendly and gracious for quite awhile. The young actress who played the maid Maria, Virginia Kull, had snuck out unobtrusively ahead of them, but I told her she had done a great job. She smiled, said thank you, and just walked down the street. I pray someday my Daughter can walk down the street contentedly after performing on Broadway!
Photo: On my way to the theatre to see "The Heiress" with Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey)!Before the play I had time to meander over to Rockefeller Center to catch a close up of the “Tree” that I really hadn’t done during the Holiday rush.  It is always a wonderful treat that I never tire of.  I also got to see Saks  5th Avenue’s clever light show.                    
          After the show I visited Kristi at work at Valhala for a bit and giddily showed her my tourist pictures of the “Stars”!
             Sunday we had another lazy start.  Then we treated ourselves to one of New York’s biggest bargains, a mani-pedi in a neighborhood salon.  We shared a wonderful left-over dinner of trout almondine from Les San Culottes and Kristi headed off to a jam session with some Original Bindings friends.  I relaxed and wrote til it was time to catch my bus back to reality.