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

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dinner Party Birthday Surprise!
Tonight Dan and I went to Jo and Emmanuel's for SPICY SINGAPORE NIGHT!!! Yippee!!! When you get an ivitation like that there is NO WAY to say no!!! The food in Singapore was so very wonderful and I knew Jo had refilled her coffers when she went home for a visit last fall!

What was on the menu?
Fish Curry (usually with fish head - yum!) and Beef Rendang! I can't pick a favorite as they were BOTH so wonderful! Do you SEE the beautful bowl of veggies in the middle? Yum yum yum!!

After the meal we broke out into a game of Apples to Apples! Always fun!!

When we were ready for Dessert, the Prosecco was poured and a candle covered Brownie Puddle was served.

As we sang "Happy Birthday", Dan looked at me and asked, "who's birthday?"


It had been a while since he'd had a birthday cake I guess! His birthday is Friday! Happy 39th!!
I love seeing him so happy. He's got a wonderful smile!

Now to hurry up and finish the gift I'm knitting Dan!

So much to do before we fly to Seattle and I fly onwards to Asia.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paris -- swap or bust

The decision's been made! Michelle is joining me in Paris for Jo and Emmanuel's wedding in April! We're going to do an apartment swap using M's apartment in exchange for me buying her plane ticket with miles. A fair trade I think.

The swap posts are posted.
The emails to those with posts up themselves have been sent...
and we wait...

Keep those fingers crossed! Girls week -- April in Paris baby!! Woooo- whooooo!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Opera Monday

I went to the office today and sent Mom and Dad to see the Bodies Exhibit. If you have one of these exhibits in a city near you, GO SEE IT! It's amazing. They both enjoyed it. It really is fascinating. Afterwards they met me at my office to see the new line (Fall/Winter 2007). We went across the street to the Red Lantern for some Thai food for lunch. YUM!!
Then they went home and I went back to work for a few hours.

Dan started his photography course at the ICP today. It's all day every day this week. I'd LOVE to take a course like this. Perhaps one of these days I'll take a vacation week and do something like this...although I also want to attend a few knitting courses out west. So many fun options -- if only I had unlimited time and money, ya know?

The day is finally here!!

I bought the tickets for this production of The First Emporer at the MET back in August!! Yeah!!! Mom, Dad, Brian, Ann Marie and Robin had all journeyed down from NH to join Dan and I for this opera. FUN!

First, all of us save for Dan had a fantastic meal at Payard on the east side. SO YUMMY!! I want to go back for some breakfast pastries soon!!! YUM! Dan would join us at the Opera after his class. The photo, left, is of the dessert I had -- - wow chocolate heaven! The dinner had been so good, I wish I'd left more room for dessert. Killer coffee too!

During dinner, Robin gave us each a gift... see the photo at the right... What is it? Opera glasses from the M&M store in Times Square!! What fun! Thanks Robin! I'll continue to make good use of them!

After dinner I arranged two livery cars to be waiting for us at the end of our meal, and we were wisked across Central Park to Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera. Just as we arrived and were getting out of the cars, it began to snow! It was something like a fairy tale. Just beautiful!
When you go to the MET, Be sure to arrive in time to see the chandeliers raise into the eves. It's magical.
We were there to see The First Emperor, a opera world premiering at the MET, starring Placido Domingo. It was a visual buffet, but I think I would have enjoyed it better had it been completely sung in Chinese rather than in English with bits of Chinese. English is not really a great language to hear opera in. It's not as smooth as so many others.
I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it...I just think they will tighten it up and make a better showing of it after they spend some more time on it at their next stop in LA. Rumour has it that they aim to perform it in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. I wonder if it'll be in English or Chinese when they perform it in China?
It was a lovely night...a lovely weekend. I'll be sorry to see my folks head home tomorrow. It's too bad that they live far enough away that easy visits (meeting for dinner after work or seeing a movie) are not in the cards without lots of planning.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday is Jazz Day

Today was a FUN DAY! After a nice brunch with Morgan, my folks and I relaxed for the one point all of the men in the house were sleeping side-by-side on the couch (yes that's Dad and the three cats -- ooh and a sweater i knit for Dad years ago!!) Too funny!! Soon we were dashing downtown to meet Michelle at the restaurant called Colors. It's a co-op restaurant (meaning all of the staff has a stake in the restaurant.) This means everyone was eager to make sure you had a great experience. Decent food that switched with the seasons, and an interesting world menu.

Then we cabbed it up to Birdland to see Chico O'Farrel's 18pc Afro-Cuban Jazz Band. Yep, the same one I'd seen on New Year's Eve with Michelle. My parents hadn't been to Birdland in 20 some years -- they last time they were there it was not only in it's last location, but they saw Miles Davis!! (Sooo Lucky!!)

This time my parents friends and neighbors from New Hampshire had journeyed down for the weekend to attend tomorrow nights festivities, so they also joined us here. My Mom danced in her chair all night, and Robin wore a perma-grin. Everyone had a fun time!!

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday with My Folks
Day one of my folks visit! Lots of funin store for the weekend!! This morning I made a yummy oatmeal. I think I've finally mastered Dan's recipe! Yeah!! It is SO GOOD!!

From here we hopped the subway and rode downtown to McNulty's Tea and Coffee shop so I could restock my peppermint tea and coffee beans. This is a great little shop. It's been here since the late 1800s. Mom found a few interesting things to try too!
From here it was back uptown for lunch at Ollie's Noodle shop!! Cantonese soups were enjoyed by all!! Yum!! And the service there is always so quick and convienently located across from the Barnes and Noble and the AMC Cinema near Lincoln Center.
We popped over to Barnes and Noble so Mom could spend her Christmas gift card. She found some great books from her list!!

Upon returning home, Jo came over for knitting lesson #2. Her stitch has gotten really good, and so fast! She's a natural! Oh, and she's hooked! :-)

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Hot Date Friday night!

I had a date with a wonderful lass this
Tonight I treated myself to a Jamba Juice dinner and a lovely film...Miss Potter, the biography of Beatrix Potter, one of my favorite authors of all time (and I know I'm not the only one that feels this way since her books are the best selling children's books of all time.)

Although some of the critics hadn't seemed so fond of it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I believed Renée Zellweger's portrayal. I was completely sucked into the sadness and laughter that I watched. I had no idea of her life story nor the legacy in land conservation she'd left in the Lake District in the UK. Quite a woman!

Do go have a look. You won't regret it.

After the film I dashed home to arrive just as my parents arrived for our Winter Weekend-o-Fun 2007! This will include good friends, food, live jazz and world premier opera! What more could we ask for!

Time to go read some more on the stacks of trend information I must
absorb by next week.
Wait until you see what Spring 2008 has in store for the fashion world!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Goddess. You are constantly giving and are unconcerned with reward, you simply want others to love knitting as much as you do. If someone wants to knit miles of novelty yarns, you are there for them. If someone wants to learn short row shaping, you can help. There are no taboos in knitting, only opportunities to grow. Everyone should have friend like you around if they want to learn to knit, and there's a good chance that your passion has rubbed off on a few others.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jazz fun Tuesday night!

Tonight I met Allegra for some late night Jazz at Birdland.

We saw David Berger & The Sultans of Swing, Featuring Special Guest Vocalist Jon Hendrick play.

Wonderful!! Jon Hendrick (shown above right) is still the master after all these years and I'm so glad I was able to see him live!! The moment he takes stage, looks up and smiles -- you're done. He's got you and you aren't going anywhere until he tells you you can. His daughter also sung a few numbers with the band - she was enjoyable too!

What a lovely way to spend a Tuesday night.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007


Today was the day!! Time to pick up travel books for all of the upcoming destinations this spring!! First Dan and I went over to Labyrinth Books, a local neighborhood bookstore here on the Upper West Side. This was my third visit to this store...and the third time that I walked away empty handed. They don't even have a travel book section (although they are considering adding one.) They mainly seem to sell text books for Columbia University. To rev back up we stopped by Oren's for aome coffee, hot cider and a good muffin. I've lived in this neighborhood for nearly 7 years and have never thought to go to the Columbia University bookstore. It's now a Barnes and Noble (yeah member card!), and we were able to find everything on our list!
From here we dashed to Brooklyn to catch Asbury Shorts 2 at Lyceum. First we popped into Bogota Bistro on 5th Avenue (in Brooklyn.) YUM! The photos are from this meal. Double yum!! For more info and my review, click the link above.
Back to the Asbury Shorts...this time they were all award winners...darn some of them were funny!! The Brooklyn Lyceum seems to put on a unique variety of programs. It's not a typical theatre, but a large screen on the back wall of a warehouse like space with risers holding folding chairs on the other end. This leaves a large empty space in the middle that seem to be used for concerts and readings. An orchestra was packing up when we arrived. Neat space.
What a nice day. Now I've a heck of a lot of books to get's DEFINATELY going to take up some of my knitting time! Speaking of knitting... only 2 weeks left to finish the secret project.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

What a busy day!
I shot downtown this morning to meet Allegra for brunch at a sweet french cafe called Petite Abeille - YUM!! Great COFFEE and wonderful buttery steomp (a carrot-potato mash that comes on the side of most brunch dishes.)

From here I dashed through food shopping so that I could get home and start making turkey soup. Hours of cooking down the carcass paid of!! It is one of the best turkey soups I've made to date. Good freezer filler for those cold days ahead.

Watched Prarie Home Companion -- really dissapointed in it.
Oh, and somehow I came from behind and beat Dan in a good game of Scrabble!!!

Weeeeeeeee! A fun way to spend a chilly day!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Double Date Friday night

By double date I mean back-to-back dates. The first being a lovely dinner with Dan at Victor's Cafe 52 (yum!). We really enjoyed our meal!! The service was excellent and the food so tasty! You can never go wrong with pork at a Cuban place!!!

Then he walked me over to the New World Stages (a great theatre group that has multiple stages/shows going on at the same time each night) to meet up with Linda & Shinobyu for our late night girls theatre night...we were to see the 11pm showing of the Off-Broadway show: Evil Dead The Musical.

Evil Dead was PERFECTLY B-Grade fun. (Looks like a fun show to perform!!) Exactly what I'd expected!

It closes February 17th, so get there if you want to see it!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Joe's in Town!!
It's quite rare that I get to see so much of Joe, especially after having just had our annual Christmas visit. But - since he's on winter break from law school, he decided to pop down to NYC to visit.

We miss having Joe in NYC!

This also meant that Josh came out of hiding! Josh and Joe and I went to High School together, so being with them is like coming home again. Their humor and jokes are the same 20 years later!

Jo and Emmanuel has suggested we try dinner for the entire crew the day I left for Rhode Island. It took them a while to get here with Jo's is healing though! Phew!! It's also so cold outside! Winter is finally coming! (I hope people race out to buy hats!)

I hadn't seen Josh (right) in a stupidly long time considering we live in the same city. But, life has us both running fast and our stops don't line up nearly often enough. I'm pleased to see him so happy in life these days. Happy in love and enjoying his new job. Yeah!!!

The food at Awash was yummy! Josh and Joe had never had Ethiopian food, so they took our recommendations and we all dove in! YUM!!! The mixed platters were large enough for two, so Josh and I split one. Yum!!

From Awash, we wandered over to Henry's for a drink in the bar. I love Henry's. The dark wood bar, the nice staff. It's just a comfortable spot. As you can see below, we had some laughs for sure! After a drink we let the boys head downtown to continue their night of who-knows-what (my guess is a video game marathon since they were roommates for years!)
It was good to see you Joe! We're hoping you take a job in a NYC law firm!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh that little dog!

What fun! I was able to score some last minute Broadway show tickets ($3 each!!) for The Little Dog Laughed (with Julie White, Tom Everett Scott, Ari Graynor and Johnny Galecki (yes, the fellow currently on My Boys!)) for tonight! Jo and Emmanuel were able to join Dan and I - Yeah! Appropriately and simply described on their website as: "An agent on the phone. A movie star on the rise. A hustler on the prowl."

The various monologues performed by the lead female were wonderful! She grabbed your attention and didn't let go for a second!

I think seeing Jo's face at intermission, a bit surprised at the full nudity (both Scott and Galecki)...that was seen at the end of Act 1, well, that made my night. Apparently you wouldn't see anything like that on stage in Singapore. Ever. Meanwhile the man (in his late 40s) sitting behind me was heard telling his wife, "I know they said brief moments of full nudity with homosexual overtones would be seen during this show...but I assumed it would be WOMEN!"
His wife snickered and commented that she'd "thought it was just fine."

No, the nudity wasn't the point of the show - it was very brief - over almost before you realized they were nude, but it was funny to hear the buzz in the crowd.

If you can catch it during its run - do so! I enjoyed it! (I think we all did!)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... I'm moving right along with knitting secret project #1 that I'd begun last fall... only a few weeks to finish! Phew!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chinese lesson #1
In exchange for Knitting Lessons, Jo has offered to give me Chinese language lessons!! Tonight was the first class! Now I'll get my own copy of the chosen book and give her husband his copy back. Thanks for the loan Manu!

I think Jo's going to love knitting...just watch -- she's on her way to getting HOOKED!

I was asked along to Seattle today by Dan for a his birthday celebration weekend in early February! I'll go on my way to my first trip of the year to China.
It'll be fun to meet his friends and see where he lived for over a decade.

Time for bed...all I'm hearing in my head are the four sounds used in Chinese!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Symphony Space - another first

Tonight I met Linda at Symphony Space to see a Turkish film called Climates (Iklimler in Turkish.) Neither of us has ever been to S.S. -- which is sad because it's in the neighborhood! One of these days I'll see Selected Shorts here.
I hear it on NPR - might be night to see in person.

The cinema is small but adequate and seems to play some interesting films.
I'm torn on the film. It was...OK. A little slow for the mood I was in I think.

Either way, it was a nice night! Thanks for suggesting it Linda!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Art Day and Dinner Surprise!

As much as I often find it difficult to rise early in the morning, I do love NYC when it's peaceful and the streets are empty. Today was no exception. I couldn't resist taking this photo - it was so very beautiful in person. So hard to capture that beauty.
While waiting for Dan at the entrance of the Cooper Hewitt - National Design Museum (East 91st and Fifth Avenue) for the start of our Art Day. They are showing "Design Life Now - National Design Triennial 2006" right now.

GREAT!! It shows something for everyone!! It's showing through July 29, 2007. If you're in NYC, do take a swing through. They are also showing "Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces" through June 3, 2007. Beautiful model staircases from masters in France. As Dan arrived, Jo and Emanuel called and invited us for dinner!! YUM! We can't resist Jo's cooking or their fun company!!

It took a few hours to wander through the museum. Such interesting things they chose to include in the exhibit. Looking at art makes you HUNGRY! We popped into From here we wandered through some galleries around the east side before cabbing it over the the west side were we wove in and out of galleries all afternoon. Dan brought me to one he'd been to a few weeks prior while I was in NH -- the Sundaram Tagore Gallery -- to see the work they had by the artist shown in the front window. (Yes, I suddenly forget his name!) The work - beautiful!!! Just beautiful! If only I had the $K and tall enough ceilings!

My turn -- I brought him to the Morgan Lehman Gallery (317 10th Avenue between 28/29th streets) to see my friend Darlene's show. I am happy to say that Dan bought a piece of her work titled "Forrest of Indecision" (shown at right.) Yeah! Her show closes near to the end of January. Catch it if you can!!

Darlene will come back to town before her show closes to sign this piece, then it'll be picked up and possibly hung at my house.

I need to frame a whole bunch of pieces... sad to have them in tubes/between cardboard when they should be hung for all to see!!

Before we knew it the day had flown by and it was time for us to dash to my house to get some yarn options for Jo to choose from for her first knitting project ever, and a bottle of wine for dinner!
Although they live on my street, it's a number of long blocks across town, so we hustled the 15 minute walk there to be greeted by yummy smells!! Jo had made Mediterranean Pizzas!! Yum! And like me, olives don't like her (olive oil is OK) so there were none on the pizza! Oh happy day!!!

Dan plans to take a photography course at the ICP in midtown in a few weeks to learn more so he can take some amazing photos on his month-long journey through South Africa that's coming up. I wish I could meet him for part of it, but my schedule is bursting with my own travel plans. More on that later. All I'll say is that this spring I'll be in town for 3 weeks between Feb 1st and May 1st. Phew. Exhausting to think about - so lets not, yet.
Anyway - the boys spent a while exploring Emmanuel's camera that Dan was going to borrow for the class. Dan has a fab new digital camera, but this class would be using REAL FILM. I know, shocking!

After we'd played with cameras, listened to French Pop music while
watching Manu play air guitar... Jo brought out the treats! She's made individual Tiramisu for everyone!!! Otherwise known as YUM!!! She made it the way I apparently like it (I usually find it too liquory.) Jo's...Jo's was VERY VERY GOOD! How am I going to keep my 15lbs (yes, I've now lost 15lbs!!) at bay with such wonderful treats??
I decided to worry about that later and just enjoyed it!! Yummmy!

Before we knew it the Afro-Cuban music has us wiggling in our seats...which soon had Dan and I dancing round the room. Great Music (Orlando Cachaito Lopez) and wonderful company!

Look at that was had by all!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Yippee - The New Line is Released!

After four and a half months of work and bouncing over 3 continents, tonight I launched my new line. Hooray for Autumn/Winter 2007!! After the line has been out for a while I'll post a few pages of the catalog. I'm very very proud of it! We needed a new direction and this season caution was thrown to the wind and a new direction was had!

Now to see if our customer base of buyers agrees with the vast change that I made to the presentation! Keep those fingers crossed!!!

The launch itself went well. My sales team liked the line, both old and new sales people. Phew! You may be asking yourself - what's with the school bus? This is the mode of transportation that my boss hires each year for the entire crew to travel in to the restaurant. We used to use taxis, but then people get split up and one cab takes too long and the table is held etc. etc. etc. Some folks on the team are embarassed to board and ride in said school bus, but I think it's a riot.
This season, we went back to Mama Mexico's (East Side) for the after launch festivities. Margaritas, fresh tableside guacamole and other fab Mexican food. Oh, and a shot with some of my team. Thanks guys! We hadn't been there in a few seasons and the requests piled up to return.
Time for some shut-eye. Fun day ahead tomorrow!

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Dinner with friends, what can be bad about that?
Absolutely nothing... but...
Poor Jo had met with some angry snow 2 days before when skiing and arrived like this!
I sure hope she has a speedy recovery!! She's finally got her work visa and can become gainfully employed in the US...and she's on crutches with an injured knee! (Although I rather enjoy having her not work and cook us fabulous large meals and all to many yummy desserts!!) She has a good sense of humor about it atleast, "Hey, I get to use the crutches from last January's ankle injury!"

Dan and I met Jo, Emmanuel and the Singaporean crew (plus one) for dinner at Turkuaz up in our neighborhood. It's the one restaurant in my neighborhood that every time I pass it I say "I have to come try it"...but just never had!

My loss!

The food was both plentiful and YUMMY! Emmanuel said we MUST go back and try the brunch at some point! We will!

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Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve!!

There's nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning with the NY Times and a good pot of something hot! After my lounging was done I dashed to Bryant Park to wait in the line, carrying Meg's skates (I'd brought them home the night before -- not exactly what you want to carry to the opera!) She and Dan were at a Children's Opera at the MET and would meet me later.

I arrive at The Pond early, prepared to WAIT, and... I was SHOCKED... The line was 1/5 the size it'd been the day before! Fantastic! When my skating companions arrived there was a mere 20 minute wait and then, voila, we were rink bound!

It's true, ice skating is like riding a bicycle in that you never forget! After a few rounds to find my ice legs I was zooming forwards, backwards and sometimes sideways to avoid some of the wee daredevils out on the ice! We were all grinning ear to ear. What fun!! Wwat laughs! I gave a single skating backwards lesson to Dan to boot!

After we'd skated our fill we headed over to

What a fun day!

I said my goodbyes to Meg (she'd fly back west tomorrow) and they headed back to Brooklyn as I dashed home to change!

Now onto the night time plans!!

Michelle soon arrived and we were off to Birdland to ring in the New Year with some Jazz. Yippee!!!
A fruit/cheese plate and a good bottle of bubbley and we were shimmying in the night from our chairs. How can you sit still when listening to this music??? No way!!

I love Birdland. Love it. It's one of my favorite spots in town to see live Jazz. Great sound and good seats all around! Tonight we were here to help them celebrate the 11th year of the 18pc Chico O'Farrel's Afro-Cuban Jazz Band calling Birdland home. Hillary Kole joined in to sing a few lively and sultry numbers (Dan and I had seen her here last Valentine's Day in fact.)
What fun!
Great company, great music and a great atmosphere!
It was the best New Year's Eve I've had in years!

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