Monday, November 1, 2010

NYC, November 2010, Day 1

Travel day.  We must get ourselves back to Dulles in that rental car and fly to New York City.  One of the evil things about advertising is that just now, in my mind, I heard an angry Texan in a commercial say in a sarcastic anger, "Newwww York City!?!?"  I have never eaten the advertised product, and I never expect to eat it.  Yet I will forever remember it solely because they have spoiled those words for me.  I think it is why I often call it Manhattan, just to avoid a clip from that commercial being played in my head.
Waiting for the car at the hotel valet.  I like when the environment frames a shot.
Yes, this is the last time you will have to see a picture of the Washington Monument.  Still, I love that I got such a great shot from the moving car.  The trees normally make that impossible.  Damn trees.

So... this is awesome.  We get to the airport Hertz and see the bus pulling away.  This meant that we would have to wait for the next shuttle.  Barbie casually mentions to the guy who checked our car in that we are in a bit of a hurry, and before I knew what was happening he called for another guy to come over and drive us directly to the terminal in the car we had just returned.  Seriously.  The best service imaginable.  I am not even sure I could imagine it.
The Hertz guy driving us to the Dulles terminal.  How often do you get an airport car rental experience that leaves you smiling?
I never tire of the airplane wing shot.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for the first time since March 17 of this year, we are in NYC.
It is too easy to take the Manhattan skyline for granted.  When skyscrapers look like the trees of a forrest, you have yourself something special.
I love philosophical graffiti.  And when you are dealing with a Colossal Waste, it does make sense to ask  if there is a point.
Crossing the Williamsburg Bridge into the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
An even better view of the skyline.

Some of you may remember, if you were reading the Waste back in March, that during the March 2010 visit to NYC I fell madly in love with Oreo Speedwagon, kitty extraordinaire.  We will be staying with our friend Denise for the first half of this trip, which means...
...Oreo!!!  This was the moment we opened the front door.  Is there a better possible greeting?
Oreo gets some loving from his Aunt Barbie.
Oreo gets reacquainted with Uncle Jeff.
There are few cuter faces than this one.

And, after getting some quality time with Oreo, we ventured into Denise's fantastic neighborhood for a meal.  Within three blocks there are around 20 restaurants to pick from.
Somewhat at random, we chose San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria.
I know not everyone loves the urban thing.  Some people want nothing more than a big house on a big street that is a twenty minute drive to a big parking lot where they can shop at big stores.  Personally, I do not think that you beat the urban neighborhood, with its small businesses and personal atmosphere.
The water bottle on the table was blue.  I experimented taking pictures through it.  Sue me.
First course, we are sharing the Meatballs, baked to order in mushroom marinara sauce, served with fresh bread.  Yes, that is verbatim from the menu.  Note how great those look, and note that the fresh bread is pizza dough cut in triangles, served hot.
We also shared Brussels Sprouts with pancetta, fuji apples and pecorino romano.  Seriously.  Do this at home.  Cook up brussels sprouts with slices of apple and ham, and eat them together.  Freaking delicious.
By the time we got our pizza, we were essentially full.  We took it home to share with Denise.  For the record, we ordered the Bianca; fontina, gorgonzola, speck prosciutto, and caramelized onions.  I ate one piece just to eat it.  Amazing.  There needs to be way more gorgonzola in my life.
I promise there will not be too many Oreo pictures this visit.  But come on.  He is adorable.  And if that is not a cat posing for his friend's blog...

After lunch, we took naps.  Then I woke up and met Kim, Denise's friend who is also visiting while we visit, while Barbie continued napping.  Kim is from Switzerland, by way of London, New York, Los Angeles, and Texas.  Kim already has plans, which means dinner is going to be Barbie and I with Denise.  Please note, Denise is such a gracious host that she has two gists from Los Angeles and one from Switzerland at the same time.
We went to one of Denise's local favorites for dinner, the Clinton St. Baking Company.
It was on the menu, and I could not resist it.  The chocolate peanut butter shake.  Consider this my starter, even if it is more like dessert.
Barbie got the butternut squash soup as her starter.
I ordered the short rib for my main.
Barbie got the beet salad as her main.

And with that, we have returned to New York.  Los Angeles is home;  New York feels like home whenever we are here.  For the record, you cannot really expect us to do anything touristy while we are here.  No broadway shows, no sightseeing.  Not much history for the Waste.  We are visiting with friends and eating great meals.  That is about all we have planned.  And we could not be looking more forward to it.

And for the record, the friends will not get the camera uncomfortably pointed into their faces, while the meals will be photographed religiously for you, the loyal Waster.

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