Friday, May 31, 2013

Moving On Up

We are moving to our new apartment tomorroooooow! ENDLICH. 
No more child-sized bed. 
No more fifth floor walk-up. 
No more bathroom in the kitchen. 
No more world's most uncomfortable couches. 
Finally, our own things in our own home. But first, we've got to move our junk. 

Turning off The Devil Wears Prada, dog.  Time to pack. 

Let's get organized, organized!

How on earth did our stuff multiply this much in three weeks?

Diet Coke and fro-yo. Absolutely necessary packing tools.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Morning Laundry Drop Off

Very full, very tiny space. Slightly terrifying, no?

Less than 48 hours until we finally move into our new permanent place, woohoohooooooooo!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Brooklyn Bridge

Took the train out to Brooklyn this afternoon! Several years ago, when DVC and I were here for Christmas, we walked across the bridge and loved the experience despite the chill of December, so have been very excited to head out there again. Today was warm, sunny and clear - bingo!

Took the subway under the river and exited at the first stop in Brooklyn: High Street! Wandered our way through Brooklyn Heights until we reached the water, then walked throughout the lovely park which runs along the river. The weather was gorgeous, so tons of people were out walking/running/biking along the water (plus BILLIONS of kids on scooters, never realized how many parents let kids bring their scooters all over town with them).

A frenzy of activity at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Fabulous views of downtown Manhattan!

After wandering a bit, we spent some time lounging in the park and admiring the view back across the river, then hiked up the hill to the base of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The walk across the bridge toward Manhattan is spectacular. Stunning architecture combined with breathtaking views in all directions. There's some construction going on, so scaffolding covers the walkway for about one third of the bridge, but it was actually nice to have a bit of shade to block the sun mid-afternoon.

Brooklyn Bridge in foreground, Manhattan Bridge in background.

On the lookout for Spot Conlon!

Never fear, Brooklyn is here!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

NJ Transit

Adding a state to my checklist - ventured out of Manhattan to visit DVC's cousins in New Jersey this weekend. My first visit!

We left out of Penn Station on 34th at 1pm on Sunday. To say Penn Station is slightly less spectacular than Grand Central might be the understatement of the year.  It's dark and dated and not very well-marked. 

Packed, snacked,
ready to roll!

I found the entire station super confusing, but DVC didn't seem to have trouble with it. The platform from which a train will be leaving isn't announced until just 10 minutes before departure.  So people cluster around the main kiosk, getting antsy and generally looking annoyed as they wait to see the track number posted; then the number flickers on and there's a scramble of madness as everyone begins hauling buns toward the correct track to board in time. Once our track was posted, we had a heck of a time finding it. Down a hallway and some stairs, left turn, right turn, another flight of unmarked stairs, good luck!  Yeesh.

The trip was about an hour long, and Dave's aunt picked us up at the station in New Brunswick. Their neighborhood is adorable and their house is really homey - their two daughters, son-in-law and only grandson were at visiting as well, so it was fun to be with a big house full of family. They had a BBQ'd ribs competition all ready to go when we arrived, so we immediately began tasting a variety of delicious recipes. Then we just hung around talking in the living room all evening, telling stories and laughing at old family lore. It was a really nice weekend, I'm so very glad we were invited to visit. Sadly, we took zero pictures at their house the entire time we were there. Even of Callum, the most adorable 7 month old ever. Lame, I know.  Next time. 

We stayed just 24 hours and were on the 10am train back to Manhattan the next morning. It was a really fun trip, if a bit of a whirlwind. Can't wait to visit Dave's cousins in Boston (I've never been!) and take the train out to New Brunswick again soon.
Racing to make it on time.
Farewell, New Jersey!

Happy Sunday Morning!!

A few minutes of calm before our first weekend getaway. 
Off to New Jersey in a few hours!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Battery Park

Today we took the train south and walked around downtown a bit. It was raining off/on and freezing, but that didn't stop us. Armed with Dunkin' Donuts, we visited the Freedom Tower (spire just went up!), watched tourists take their picture with the Wall Street bull (photo ops at the rear end are much more popular than I would have guessed), even briefly popped into Century 21 (strictly for an additional layer when the wind became too much, no time spent in accessories or shoes). Don't worry C21, we'll be back.

We ended up walking all the way down to Battery Park (southernmost tip of Manhattan), which is undergoing major construction and thus not up to its usual beautiful standard. The park was rather empty, as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are actually both closed at the moment, have been since Hurricane Sandy, set to reopen on July 4th. Don't mind that too much, since this is a tourist attraction I'd prefer to save until a family member visits and nobody's visiting before August (woohoo Mom!).

Castle Clinton.


Ahoy, Lady Liberty.

See you tomorrow, Jersey.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Night Thai

Since moving to this great melting pot of a city, we've made an unofficial pact to be more adventurous in our food choices. NYC offers the opportunity to sample new and exotic cuisines pretty much every night of the week, if so desired. So far, we've been quite careful about trying out something different each time we head out to dinner - quite a feat for these old fashioned diner lovers! Latest (fairly tame) adventure: Modern Thai Comfort Food.

The New York Times has an app which showcases their current 50 favorite restaurants in Manhattan. The list is constantly rotating and includes everything from tiny bakeries to full blown steakhouses, at a good mix of price points, so there's something for everyone in every neighborhood. Highlighted locations are shown as pinpoints on a map, which makes it a snap to hone in on a particular area of the city and find something new (and highly recommended). I'd been waiting for a chance to try it out... 

As a kick start to the holiday weekend I got out of work early, so I wandered over to Chelsea in search of interesting gallery exhibits. DVC called when he finished work to suggest we meet up for dinner. Sweet. Aaaand that I should pick the spot. Uh oh. In the past this girl has commonly been guilty of the "I dunno, whatever you wanna do" routine. But I've decided to ditch that indecisive gal on the west coast! Pulled up the handy dandy app map (ha!), found a spot roughly equidistance between us and gave him an address. 3rd and 13th. Beat ya there!  

Found the tiny place without any trouble, it looked really cute from the outside so I was instantly pleased with myself. Interesting layout inside, deep and narrow with the open kitchen up front at the street. Foregone is the traditional ceiling in lieu of exposed air ducts and pipes, making the lean space feel much more spacious. Cool lighting installations, marquee fixtures and words painted on the exposed brick walls. It was suggested we sit at the small bar overlooking the kitchen for a fun experience. Good call, as the cooks were friendly and entertaining (thanks again, app!).

We started with PRA MUK YANG (grilled calamari) and YUM JIN GAI (very rustic chicken soup), both delicious and perfectly at the top end of my spice-o-meter. Rounded out the meal with GHANG KIAW WAN (green curry with jasmine rice), which was amazingly tasty. So, so good. I can seriously still taste it. Can't wait to go back, though it might be quite a while, what with everything else out there to sample!

There was a platter of GIANT brownies near us that I eyed the entire evening (we're talking a good 6 inches by 4 inches each), but we were too full after dinner to even take one home. The chef explained they were dark chocolate and chili brownies. Yipes. Maybe next time.