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Posts from September 2004

Another New York Moment

122_2243_r1_1Given the surreal and scary New York moment I had yesterday, it was somewhat fitting to have another completely contrasting New York moment last night. I met up with the new Mr. & Mrs. C to have some dinner and look at some wedding pictures. In the midst of the first album, Augie's cell phone rings and he asks us to hold up for a moment. He then proceeds to tell us how he had convinced a street musician to come up and play some music for us while we were looking at the wedding pictures; he was about to arrive at the apartment. We were somewhat befuddled, but when, a few moments later, we had shut off the iPod and were listening to the sweet, lush strains of a cello as it filled our friend Nic's apartment, it really did seem like a fitting accompaniment to the pictures. Augie had paid him $20 to play two pieces for us, and then a few of us bought CD's; he presented one to the newlyweds as a gift.

Only in New York, I tell you. Only in New York.


A New York Moment

I'll admit it -- I'm a New Yorker. I've lived here for over a decade post-college, and grew up outside the city. But until now, I have managed to avoid some of the more dramatic and/or dangerous moments -- things that, to outsiders, may seem somewhat stereotypical to life here in the Big Apple. Knock on wood, I've never been mugged, never had my apartment broken into, never been hit by a cab (I've come waaay too close to it for my personal taste, however), never seen a huge roach crawl across my kitchen counter. Wait -- that one I've experienced.

Today, like many days, I took a stroll to Whole Foods to get some lunch with my co-worker, Colin. We made our purchases, and had just stepped back onto Seventh Avenue, when we heard an incredibly loud pop. We spun around to see, about 70 yards away from us, in the middle of the intersection, a man in a red t-shirt on the ground, surrounded by three men in blue blazers, presumably police officers, pointing their guns at him, yelling at him to stop moving. They shot him at least once when he was already down. One of the officers yelled to the crowd to call 911, and several people did; a man standing near me had already gotten through. Within moments, several uniformed police officers arrived, followed closely by EMS, and oddly, several cameramen and photographers. We stood, transfixed, shocked, stunned, until we had composed ourselves enough to slowly walk back to the office. Colin and I wondered the whole time what this guy could have done to justify the shooting. Was he armed? We couldn't tell. Was he really struggling after he was on the ground? He'd just been shot; of course he was moving around. I keep checking NY1 to see if there's any news about it yet, but so far, nothing, except the closeby, yet unrelated fire at Penn Station, which has made my work neighborhood look like a disaster zone. I had never seen someone get shot; someone bleeding through his shirt as he lay on the ground, at least not outside of the movies or TV; I certainly never thought I would see it during the course of a seemingly normal, average day. That is one "stereotypical" New York moment, among others, that I never wanted to witness firsthand.

UPDATE: a link to some news coverage -- he did, in fact, appear to be armed.

FURTHER UPDATE: later news coverage reports that he was fatally shot by the police and that the gun he was carrying was an antique-style gun which wasn't able to fire.


A Wine Club Society Wedding

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The founder of our wine club society, Augie and his lovely fiancée Lauren got married last night. In typical wine club society fashion, the food and wine were amazing, the mood was festive, and we had way too much of a good time until the wee hours of the morning. Augie and Lauren are another couple who seem like such a perfect fit for each other, they complement each other wonderfully, and they have made it a point to bring people together to share the things they love. I'm touched and honored to have been part of the celebration and am thankful that we have become so close over the past year. Congratulations!

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You can see the rest of the pictures here.


Gettting So Much Better*

So after I survived the trials and tribulations of the first portion of the weekend, I had nowhere to go but up. And up it went. I spent Saturday with my friend Jenn. We attempted to meet up with the Run Against Bush event in Union Square, but somehow managed to miss it, as we were running a bit late. We couldn't quite figure out how we couldn't seem to find a pack of people wearing identical blue t-shirts who were supposed to be running conspicuously from Union Square to Washington Square Park. After changing, we ended up going shopping and diiscussing men. We were talking about our financial situation, and we concluded that the whole thing is somewhat of a vicious cycle -- we spend money on clothes we like so that we feel confident and attract men, but this leaves us broke, and if we don't spend the money, we don't attract them. We realized, of course, that this is merely a way to rationalize purchasing any given item. Jenn encouraged me to buy girly-girl clothes (when left to my own devices, I tend to buy lots of black and hang out in jeans, tshirts and hoodies). More on that later.

That night we went to a dinner party, hosted by our mutual friend Jeff, who was in town from upstate. After fresh pasta with delectable homemade pesto (loved the addition of the sun-dried tomatoes, Jeff), salad with feta cheese, olives, and a healthy dose of red wine, Jeff proceeded to go around the room and compliment each of us. He had brought together his friends from different facets of his life, and took great joy in having us meet each other. Taking the time to go around the room and highlighting what he likes about each of us was pleasantly eye-opening; it made me realize how rarely we take time to let our friends know what we love about them. We should do more of this as a general rule. So to all of my friends out there, you rock! Anyway, after the feel-good-fest, we were off to Winnie's for some solid dive bar karaoke. And speaking of friends, at Winnie's I ran into Dan, a friend of my friend Gaby, and through the magic of Dodgeball, my friends Matthew and Manhattan Transfer stopped by too. A good time was had by all, at least until we closed down the place and they kicked us out. Thanks to Jeff (pictured below) for a fine meal, good company, and a solid evening of revelry at Winnie's.

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The next day, after a brief recovery, I met up with my mom, to catch up and do a few errands before we headed off to foodie at a gallery downtown. This foodie was a six-country culinary tour, with stops in Mexico, India, Italy, France, Portugal, and the local tri-state area. I've put up the pictures (from both nights), but not sure I have the energy for a write-up right now. All in all, it was a good time, and a special thanks to mom for treating me! My attempts to go home and go to bed after foodie were futile, and we ended up at 'inoteca for some more wine and snacks. And as an aside, if you haven't had their chicken liver, you must go have some. Immediately. On my way out, my friend David introduced me to the two women he had been chatting up at the bar. They complimented me on my outfit -- lo and behold, it consisted primarily of the girly-girl clothes that Jenn had convinced me to buy the day before. Okay, you were right -- that stuff does look good on me, so thanks, Jenn!

Off to bed now, but I did want to note that tomorrow night I'm going to my first food event where I am using my Gothamist Food press credentials, Harvest in the Square. I get to check in at the press table and everything! Ok, must calm down. I'm sounding like a dork again here . . .

* A tribute to the Beatles' Getting Better


Catching Up

For some reason it seems like I haven't had the time to post as much lately. Maybe it's because I'm busy, but maybe it's because all my food-related writing is going to Gothamist Food, and the rest of my life isn't as much fun to write about with all the food stripped out of it! Not sure.

Then again, I had a good weekend. It started off poorly, but improved steadily, thank God. Friday night, after a busy week, I decided that I needed a night in (see, Dad, I am maturing, at least slightly). Armed with Young Adam (after all of Hugh's pimping, I figured I should see it), and two DVD's of the first season of Six Feet Under, I headed home to begin my first experiment with cooking tofu at home. I had gotten a recipe from Whole Foods, and as the tofu was marinating in its garlic and gingery bath, I popped in one of the DVDs, sat down, and noticed that there was no sound coming out of the TV. I switched discs. I cranked up the volume. I unplugged, replugged, and even tried a new cable. Nothing. Then I noticed that not only was there no sound, but there was nothing on the display panel. Cursing under my breath, I headed to the internet to find out where I might send the thing to be fixed, knowing full well that I'd probably spend less buying a new one. Lo and behold, I discovered that several other disgruntled consumers had encountered the same exact problem with the Toshiba SD-1700 -- after about a year and a half, kerblooey for no apparent reason.

Cranky and hungry, I extracted the tofu from its marinade, and proceeded to follow the recipe I had printed out. I eagerly tasted the results, and got . . . salty, garlicky sponges. Very sad. Still hungry, I settled in to watch TV, amusing myself with The Apprentice, What Not to Wear, and other random crap. I returned to finish up the dishes and saw . . . the biggest fucking water bug/roach/whatever the hell it was crawling across my counter. I let out a surprisingly girlish gasp, grabbed the Raid from under the kitchen sink, and sprayed the shit out of it. After calming myself, I sprayed more Raid in every crack and crevasse in the kitchen, scoured all exposed surfaces, threw out the tofu disaster, and drifted off into a disgusted and fitful sleep.

I was awakened at 8 am on Saturday by a clap of thunder so loud that I thought that either my building had been struck by lightning or that we had been bombed. So much for sleeping in. I will admit, though, that things greatly improved from then on . . .

I'm too tired to finish at the moment. Hopefully these graffiti photos I took will tide you over until I can finish the update. Stay tuned for a dinner party, a trip to Winnie's, shopping, and foodie (you see, I told you it got better)!

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A Sweet and Healthy New Year

Whew. Lately I've been feeling like I'm incredibly busy, yet I have nothing much to show for it. What the hell have I been doing, and why am I so damn exhausted? Well, let's see. Work is heating back up. I'm trying to clean up my financial act a bit, with the long-term goal of possibly buying a home somewhere (gasp! well, we'll see . . .), by cooking more and eating out less without cramping my social life, quitting one gym and joining another, and switching around some of my band accounts to eliminate the constant gouging by ATM fees. I've been running from hither to yon -- to DC for work this week and another business trip to Rochester (where I MUST visit Dinosaur BBQ this time to see what we're in for here in NYC) at the end of the month. Over the next month or so, each weekend brings a wedding or event, often involving travel (and certainly not helping my financial situation any -- I may actually break down and take the Chinatown bus for the first time ever). Of course, these are all fun events that I'm looking forward to attending, so I can't really complain.

Gothamist Food continues to go well, and my quest for good, cheap food continues to go quite well. Go take a look if you want to see the latest finds. And on another food-related note, I'm heading to my second Foodie on Sunday -- I've been looking forward to it since the last one.

Regardless, today is the beginning of the New Year, at least for us Jew-y types. I'm celebrating in a somewhat non-traditional fashion by getting my shit in order -- paying bills, cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, etc. It's pretty much in the spirit of the holiday -- the idea is to get your spiritual house in order so that you can start off the year with a clean spiritual slate, so to speak. Later, I'll be joining a friend and her family for some wine, and then having my brother and his girlfriend over for a decidedly non-Jewish, Cuban-style dinner of pork chops, rice and beans, and plaintains. Never fear, we'll serve apples and honey in a nod to our heritage. It's good to have a day to yourself before starting the new year -- and I also had the time to make homemade pizza for lunch, which came out with the thinnest, crispiest crust I've managed to create yet! Woo hoo!

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Recovery

Yes, it's Saturday night and I'm home. Alone. Blogging. Granted I had dinner with my brother, but I am happy to have some time to myself on the couch. Last night ended up much later than I had intended, and I have work to do before heading off to DC for work tomorrow afternoon, but I wanted to post some pictures before I left. First, the pictures from Maine. And below, some highlights from last night's festivities:

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