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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It's about time I posted these. I haven't been taking very many pictures but I have taken some. These cover the changing leaves, my brother's visit in October and my friend Katie's visit last weekend. There's more of this weekend but they're on my cell phone at the moment and it's tricky getting them off of there.

Autumn in New York

A few things I did this weekend that are of note:

Thursday, Katie and I took a cab from the airport, ate dinner here at my place, then went to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see An Education. Pretty good film, plus I love going to BAM because the theaters are so cool.

Friday morning, I had to work at 8am so I set Katie up to roam around on her own, purse full of maps of NYC etc. I got off at 5 and came and met her where she was circulating midtown. From Rockerfeller center, where I haven't been since around March (yeah, I tend to avoid Midtown), we walked to Fifth Avenue and then up to 59th and Lex, stopping at a few of the expensive clothing stores that line the route. Then we grabbed the 6 to Union Square and walked down through Washington Square to Caffe Reggio on MacDougal where we had a quick dinner. Caffe Reggio is famous for its owner who popularized the cappuccino in America back in the early 1900s. The decor in this place was amazing and none of my pics came out. They had all manner of old paintings and an early espresso machine on display that was designed to run on a coal or wood fire. The Manicotti was great as well as the pastries. I had something called Sfogliatella while Katie went with the chocolate cannoli. Satisfied, we went to the Hookah bar across the street and smoked some honey berry hookah and chatted with a few New Yorkers that were seated next to us, talking about how early they got up for the Yankee parade (in case you're living under a rock, which there's nothing wrong with, the Yankees won the world series). Passing by a Picasso sculpture on NYU campus, we headed to Broadway Lafayette and went home to sleep off exhausting day #1.

Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast, sort of taking our time getting out. Katie had a meeting at one of the art schools she's checking out up here at 2. So, even though the Manhattan D trains were running over the N line, adding a bus ride to our trip into the city, we had time to get out at 8 St. NYU and walk to Astor Place to get coffee. We were going to walk all the way to 9 st. and 3rd av, where my favorite coffee shop in the East Village is but we didn't have to. The Mud truck was parked in Astor Place. Imagine my glee. We grabbed a few lattes and then took our time getting up to Union Square and subsequently Madison Square Park via Broadway, snapping pics along the way. In Madison Square, in front of the Flatiron building, we met a few guys who happened to have a Holga almost like Katie's so we chatted with them a bit. I was planning on having Shake Shack while waiting for Katie to get done with her meeting down on 21st street. So after we looped through Chelsea, checking out a gallery and a furniture store, I dropped Katie off and headed back to Madison Square to stand in line at Shake Shack. The wait was only about 50 minutes from the time I first stepped into the line until the moment I grabbed my food. Not terrible, because these burgers are worth it. So tasty.

So, having two hours to kill and an interest in locating a French restaurant for dinner that night that I had eaten at before, I set off through Murray Hill on what would be a mostly fruitless search. I had my cousin, who would meet us for dinner later, on the phone since she knew the neighborhood, asking her if she could scour the internet for the place that I could neither remember the exact location of nor even the name of (I later learned from Karishma that it's called L'Express and is actually on 20th street and Park Ave. I was way off). We settled on a place called Serge on Madison and 33rd for after the MET. At 4, Katie came and met me in Bryant Park where I sat with my feet up attempting to give them some reprieve from the relentless pavement pounding that I had been doing. We strolled around the corner to the Kati Roll company on 39th street so she could partake of some of the best Indian Street Food I know of in NYC. After that we took the 4 train up to 86th street and finally hit up the MET. I think we gave ourselves about two and a half hours and managed to sort of scratch the surface of the museum and see some of the exhibits I hadn't seen before. There was an exhibit of photography by Robert Franck from his book, The Americans, then the Modern Art, The European Sculpture, the Medieval art and, one of my favorites, the medieval weapons!

Serge, our choice for dinner was a bit pricey but nice. I had escargots. Planning to be up at 8am Sunday, we headed back home to my place, watched an episode of the British Office and crashed.

Sunday, we kind of decided to blow off a lot of our plans in favor of having a more relaxing time doing the things we did end up doing. So, we went with my contingency plan of touring Brooklyn mainly. I took Katie to a ton of clothing stores in Park Slope, and then we finally went to Gorilla Coffee on 5th ave. Gorilla coffee, as I've been hearing, is pretty fantastic. The espresso is great and the baristas know their stuff, but, bonus, they have a maple latte on the menu, made with real Vermont syrup. Katie got one and it was pretty damn good. After Gorilla, we hit a few more boutiques and a thrift shop and then headed up Union Street to Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park where we rested for a bit before taking the 3 to Clark Street.

There we grabbed falafel at Heights Falafel, took it to the Brooklyn Heights promenade (one of the best views of lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn side) and ate it there. The Brooklyn Flea Market was not far off and I had almost forgotten about it being Sunday. So we just stumbled across it on our way to the Bridge, spent some time there checking things out, then walked up to and over the Bridge.

That night we had tickets to Avenue Q, so we went home to get ready and had some dumplings in my neighborhood from Prosperity dumpling on 44th and 8th. Avenue Q was moved off Broadway a few weeks ago and is now showing at the New World Stages on West 50th Street, a newer theater built on the site of the old Madison Square Garden. Pretty cool, I must say. And the show, we laughed our asses off at. Racist puppets. Afterward, we strolled up to 59th street Colombus Circle, so I could show Katie where I worked and so we could investigate the cost of a carriage ride around Central Park. Pricey. But we weren't tired, no! So we went in search of cupcakes. A search that led us up to 72nd Street, past Strawberry Fields, over to Amsterdam Avenue where the first shop was closed, on the 1 train down to the West Village where we detoured to Two Boots Pizza on 7th and Greenwich Avenues, and then finally down the street to Bleecker Street where cut northwest to hit up Magnolia, which was thankfully open. We sat and devoured our cupcakes and then moseyed over to the Riverside walk at Bank Street and sat on a pier out there for a bit until we were thoroughly chilled and headed home.

Did I say whirlwind in the title of this blog? Yeah, I still enjoy being a tourist here. Especially when I'm showing someone around. I love seeing reactions to things, although I probably was getting a bit annoying with the amount of times I pointed out the Empire State building from various vantage points throughout the city.

Anyway, I'm back from my second shift of work since the weekend and am again exhausted but strangely energized. I'm working 10 hour shifts this week to make up 40 hours because of difficulty in scheduling. Long story. Luckily, I have one more shift this week and then a lot of bill paying to do on pay day, which I will have off. Saturday night, I'm finally getting to jam with my new composer friend. I'll have more to say Thursday on some things that have been on my mind, more related to more troubling aspects of my life here. So long for now.

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