Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Eve Eve
At 11am my doorbell rang. Dan and Meg were here to start our day of fun.
First it was present exchanging time.
Meg opened hers first. Some favorite books I'd picked her up in London.

I opened my gifts. A great Yarnhead doll from Meg (I love it Meg!) A beautiful bracelet from Dan and a wonderful piece of Art (a cool print of a knitter - I still have to photograph it!) Then Dan carefully opened his gift as not to rip the nice paper. (JUST TEAR IT OPEN!!!)

Next it was brunch time! We enjoyed our brunch at Mama Mexico's - tasty as always! Meg enjoyed singing along with the roving Mariachi singer. He seemed to enjoy it too!

Onward! We went to Rockafeller to go skating, but the line - OY - the line!!! So we occupied ourselves at a bookstore before walking down to Bryant Park's rink, The Pond... Again, the LINE! There would be no time for skating now as we had tickets for a late afternoon showing of Charlotte's Web.
We all enjoyed the movie. What a great book! So glad the movie did it justice.

Walking back to Bryant Park, the line...was even longer! We grabbed a few cups of hot cider and sat to watch the skaters on the rink. Poor Meg had been carrying around her skates all day and was aching to be out there on the rink. This was going to be my first time on skates in over 10 years AND my first time in NYC!
Don't worry, we decided to come back the next day!

What's a girl to do? Go to dinner! We walked up to Trattoria Dopo Teatro. Yum as always!!!A lovely day was had by all. I needed to get home for a good nights sleep if tomorrow would bring skating with an 8yr old! I'm out of practice!

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Whose Dream?

Upon returning to NYC I wrapped my errands and enjoyed a coffee in midtown with an unexpected guest.

Time flew and I dashed to meet Sandi and Michelle for a viewing of Dream Girls at the big AMC/Loews on Broadway. Dream Girls... It was quite good. It played in the huge balconied theatre and the audience burst into applause a number of times. Jennifer Hudson put on a show...but...


I think some of it was wasted on me. It didn't grab me nearly as much as it did my two girlfriends. Not to say it wasn't enjoyable - it's just that I saw them brought to tears meanwhile I had the thought "We know, you don't want to go. Next?"

I also think Biancé did well with the part she was given - sadly it wasn't as strong a character as other roles in the show.
I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

A yummy dinner at Ollie's completed the relaxing evening!
Home to bed - tomorrow looks to be a long fun day!

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

No Muscle Shirts Allowed
After driving from NH to Rhode Island I finally arrived at a long overdue stop. Botticelli, my friend Jan's store in North Providence, RI.
She's really worked hard to build it up to where it stands today. She specializes in Plus-Size clothing, including everything from sportswear to bridal and under pinnings. "Generous clothing for the Curvaceous Woman." I tell her often but I'm not sure she really knows just how proud I am of her and her success!

If you're in Rhode Island, or heck, even Boston, it's a short drive to her shop!
Jan and I met one fateful day her freshman year of college. Both sarcastic and too big for our britches we hit it off from the get go! It's been a few years since I made it up to RI and thankfully her store has had her in NYC more often so we can at least have lunch! I know that I'm blessed to call her a friend even when we're far apart.

Remember, it had been a while since I'd driven before this trip...let alone driven behind Jan on roads I didn't know. Damn girl - you are crazy to follow! After checking out her store we cruised back to her place to await her husband for dinner. Sophie - their adorable pooch - greeted us at the door! Jan showed me to my room and I was greeted by this...

She knew I'd had a few rough months and had gone treeless for the first time in years...she said since I'd always made Christmas for her through college, she wanted me to at least have a tree! It's Fab! Such fun! Thanks! (This photo was taken at my house the next day.)

WG arrived home in time for us to have a lovely coffee clutch as I knit some of the cable knit vest for my father - and soon we were off to dinner.
They took me to a local favorite down by the water. As much as I love the photos above...this is my favorite Rhode Island photo. This sign greeted us on the front door as we entered this massive bustling restaurant.
I don't think I've laughed like that in ages. Jan laughed because she'd never noticed it was there! (She's a head+ taller than was at my eye level, I'll give her a break!)

Dinner was nice. Since I was in New England still, and knowing that I'd be in far-off lands during St. Patrick's Day this year, I went for the Corned Beef and Cabbage. I wish I'd put something in the photo so you could gauge the size -- massive! Massive portions! (I took it home and it filled 3 more meals!)

Retiring back to the ranch and staying up talking later than she's used to (it's my job) brought me back to the good old days of studio apartments in attics and Sunday night dinners over the deli. Good times that grew our friendship to a place where we are still able to just pick up where we left off.
Thanks for a wonderful time Jan. See you soon!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Denim and Witched and Friends - OH MY!

Today I got up rather early to say goodbye to Mom before packing my car and starting my southward drive. I hoped to catch the JCrew outlet (NH's sales tax free!) open to score a few pairs of jeans in their after Christmas sale...I've now lost 13lbs and am in desperate need of some well-fitting jeans!
After JCrew I headed to Portsmouth to pick up my friend Joe so we could dash to Salem, Massachusetts to meet up with Jo, Emanuel and the Singaporean crew that I'd enjoyed spending time with last week in NYC! 45 minutes after getting Joe we reached the Witches Brew Cafe where we'd meet everyone for lunch!

After lunch we walked over to see the Friendship - the ship they have docked nearby (Upper left) - on our way to a grand cup of coffee at Jaho Coffee and Tea. After waiting quite some time for our coffees, they arrived expertly made (left). We hadn't seen the motto of the place on our way in "Live Slow." So we did. If you're nearby, check them out.

From here we wandered past the sculpture in the town center to the Salem Witch Museum. Sadly it's... a bit of a let down. The show was a bit...low grade. I'm not sure what we were expecting - but we all seemed to have more fun talking about how bad it had been than anything. Of course there was also a bit of fun in the gift shop too!

Joe and I had to dash back to Portsmouth to meet his sister and her husband for dinner, but met the crew later in Portsmouth for a few drinks. Fun was had by all!! Once home Joe insisted on showing me his new fab Fryer... and made the best fried cheese I've ever had. Glad he invited his downstairs neighbors up for some -- my weight loss was in definite danger!!

Tomorrow I head to Rhode Island, the last stop on the New England Adventure!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Book Day!!!

I awoke to THIS --- SNOW!!! YIPPEE!!!

My niece and I had to get out there and play in the snow, even if only a wee little bit (since we weren't going to have time to change again if we got all soggy. So I made up the game "big foot little foot" where we walk next to each others feet and it looks like someone had stood there with one big foot and one little foot. This totally cracked Alana much so that I was asked to go in and bring out Nana to try the game as well!

We have a wonderful family tradition that takes place the day after Christmas. On Christmas day we each find an envelope in the tree with our names on it containing $25. This money is spent the following day at the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover, NH. We’ve done this since my brother and I were kids. Their clearance section has always been a great way to build our personal libraries!

Our wonderful friends, Brian and Anne Marie began to join us – gosh, how many years has it been now? We had a lovely lunch at the Dartmouth Inn and then were off to book shop!!

Once we’d spent our allotted money (and any extra .. ehem…), I dropped my folks and niece off at their house and I dashed to Meredith to meet up with my dear old friends Jen and Kate at Church Landing. They have a very nice and relaxing lounge that we ate dinner in leisurely as we chatted and laughed.
Another lovely day in NH. Tomorrow I head south!

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Monday, December 25, 2006


The day began with our traditional opening of the stockings. We all pile onto my parents bed as we have since my brother and I were children and we open the presents in the stockings.

From here we went downstairs... I love this photo of 9 month old Alex looking around the new wall! This used to be a totally closed wall -- let alone the addition of the hallway sky light! My father has done so much work on the house since I saw it last! Mom convinced him to wait on installing the new staircase until after the holidays... Just in case it wasn't done in time and we couldn't get to the top floor! The living room (some day dining room) is so much more comfortable with this added light.

And raced to see what Santa brought! Look -- the cup of milk, cookies and carrots - GONE!
And a lovely note left in their place!

Then we all had a bite to eat (even though I know it was REALLY hard not to just go open more presents...but nobody likes a hungry crabby-crab on Christmas!)

And then... it was gift opening time!!!

Some highlights...
*Alana and her pop-together jewelry set.
*Giving my Dad what was done of his cabled vest so far...of course I had to reclaim it to bring it with me so that I can finish it!
* Mom getting her serger from Dad.
* AC getting her lathe from Keith.
* Alex getting the beautiful bunting that Mom (Nana) knit for him.

After all of the gifts were opened, and before we went to our neighbors for Christmas dinner. (A wonderful spread as always!! Thanks!)
It was fun to watch Alana and OB (my Dad) make some fun things with her new pop-together jewelry set.
As the day ended... there was snow.
SNOW!! Let's see what it looks like tomorrow!

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve!

Snow update: No snow yet!!

I'm not used to having so much time in New Hampshire when I head there for Christmas.
Having this time enabled me some long overdue catch-up with old friends.

I hopped into the car and drove a few towns over to see my oldest friend, Deb, and her family (Kory upper left, Reid to the right and Nicole lower left.) Deb and I have been friends for almost 30 years. That in itself says a lot! I arrived bearing lunch and presents for the kids. Everyone seemed happy with their gifts. (Phew!) Including Nicole who seemed happy with her new knitting supplies. Yeah!!

Mostly though, it was just great to chat and catch up in person rather than over the phone or email. T'was also nice to see their new house. They've put a lot of work into it already. Craig has done beautiful tile work on the first floor and Deb did wonderful stenciling in all of the kids rooms.

I know, it's a never ending project!

From there I dashed back to my parent's house and got ready for our traditional Christmas Eve party where friends and family (my parents on the left and my brother with my niece and nephew at right) pop by as they can.

The buffet is laid out and, of course, there is always more than enough food for all.

I was so happy that Toni was able to stop by! It was so nice to be able to catch up and chat about the plans for her wedding in person. I'm Maid of Honor in her wedding in Puerto Rico at the end of February. It will be nice to share in her celebration. So much to do before is NOT the time to think about that though. I'm on vacation!

Before bed Alana put out cookies, milk and a carrot for Santa and his trusty reindeer. Then we each opened one gift...Alana helped AC and Alex open Alex's gift...his handknit Christmas stocking (yes, I got it done in time!!)

Finally we put out all of the presents under the tree and into the stockings in preparation for Christmas morning traditions.

Time for bed so Santa can come!

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Saturday, December 23, 2006


I was up and out in good time and began the 5 hour drive to Massachusetts through the pea soup fog, very excited to be picking up my niece for our first bit of special time together, just she and I.
I was surprised to see that the Mass Turnpike only had one person working in a toll booth, leaving the rest automated...which meant a 30+ minute wait at the tolls to pick up a ticket. Odd for a holiday weekend I'd think. Gladly, that was my only snag on the way up.

After a quick lunch, my brother put Alana's car seat in my Pontiac G6 (not a car I'd reccomend to buy) and we were OFF to Nana and OB's (my childhood home) in the mountains of New Hampsire.

As we were loading up, my niece looked at me while holding her pink Disney Princess Laptop and told me, "While we're driving I must do some work. I have a lot to finish before we arrive and my customers are DEPENDING upon me!"

Yes, she's 3.5 years old going on 30... I looked at my brother as he looked up hearing her version of parroting something he's likely said to her a number of times before. She's so smart.

We stopped and picked up pizzas /salad for dinner to share with Nana and OB, and made the 2 hour drive with only a little chatting before she fell sound asleep...I guess her customers will have to wait for her to finish some other time.

After our lovely meal, we all decorated the tree together.
Very fun. My neice is SUCH a good helper! Have I said how smart she is? Wow!
The things that come out of her mouth continue to astound me. She speaks with wisdom of someone much older.

Finally it was bedtime, but since her Mom and Dad hadn't quite arrived, she wore one of my Tshirts to bed. If that's not cute I don't know what is!
What a lovely way to start the holiday.
Come on Snow!!!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Ready, Set...

Tonight I picked up the rental car, ran some errands and then had my choice of parking with so many of neighbors having already fled the city for their holiday destination. My gifts are wrapped, my bag is packed and I'm ready to go in the morning!

I haven't had a copy of my license in 2 years (my wallet was stollen and I haven't needed a car, so why waste time at the DMV when a passport works perfectly well for most of my needs!) :-)
I'm glad to have it again. The freedom to be able to rent a car and leave NYC whenever I choose is nice to have again.

Looking forward to a nice whirlwind tour of New England and catching up with old and new friends!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Tonight I met up with the same crew from last night (Jo, Emmanuel, Suzanne, Derek & Honghui) for dinner and to see Spamalot. Jo had secured some affordable tickets that had full view! Thanks Jo!

We started the evening at Seeda Thai for a pre-theatre bite. It was quick, tasty and affordable!

From there we wandered back into Times Square to the Shubert Theatre watch Spamalot. It was indeed a funny show. Although I think you would laugh at more jokes had you seen The Holy Grail, you didn't need to (I was the only one who had seen it!)

Afterwards we popped over to Junior's Time Square for some coffee and dessert. I enjoyed my Rugulah and coffee and everyone else seemed to enjoy their Cheesecakes! Another fun night had by all! My last night out in NYC for a while!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Friends and Old - Always Fun!

Tonight my dear down-the-street neighbors, Jo and Emmanuel invited me over to meet their out of town guests -- Suzanne, Derek & Honghui -- in town from Singapore and Michigan (also originally from Singapore) to spend the holidays exploring the Northeast of the US. Fun!

As a special treat for me, Jo wandered all through Chinatown looking for the right ingredients to make LAKSA! She'd brought some ingredients back from her trip to Singapore too.

We were also treated to some lovely wine followed by Creme Puffs that I brought from
Thanks Jo and Emmanuel for such a fun evening! See you all tomorrow night too!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The iTunes Battle

Has anyone else had trouble with iTunes lately? Suddenly today my iTunes crashed and wiped out it's connection to my iTunes library... I mean I still had the music files loaded in but there was no connection to iTunes. This involved upgrading (reloading) everything (hours)... Which I had to do to set up iTrip for my travels later this week. I had just finished loading in a number of comedy shows to keep me company on the long drives ahead.

After all was running I left work around 10pm to let it all run (sync) over night.

I DID get the very last of my gifts wrapped tonight!!

Oh, and my PT is moving along VERY VERY well. I'm healing well. Feeling more functionality back in both the hip and shoulder. Yeah!! I highly recommend Activa Physical Therapy here in NYC if anyone is looking for a PT!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Cocktails anyone?
Tonight I swung by The Union League Club here in NYC for a holiday cocktail party thrown by American Color (their photographer, Jim, and his team shot my upcoming catalog).


Very GOB (good ole boy) and very historical (Click the link above to read about it's history.) Upon entering through the revolving door, my boss wasn't noticed but I was looked at and told which floor I was to go to... I immediately felt like I was a guest, not a member... Not saying that as though it were a bad thing at ALL. The dark wood paneling and staff in their uniforms... Getting off the elevator on the second floor I was greeted buy many dark wood, glass front cases containing memorabilia from wars past. (Medals, figurines etc.)
The spread and drinks were lovely and it was good to see the team from American Color again. A great bunch that I highly reccomend if you are in need of a photograher in NYC!!

I dashed from there up to

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