Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We are in Pennsylvania now, having been there and done that in NYC. We had a GREAT time. The flight over from Norway was packed, but we managed to score exit row seats, which was a nice bonus as the plane is small and Rich is tall. It took us all of 40 minutes to get through Newark, from start to finish including customs, immigration and luggage. I really think that was a new record. We were in NYC by 3:30, the flight having landed at just after 2!!!!!! We splurged on a cab, cheap by Norwegian standards and no having to hump the luggage up and down stairs at train stations.
Ok, so the scoop on what we did, where we ate, etc.
Short version if you don't have much time:
New Yorkers are very friendly
There is no such thing as bad food.
Lots of foreigners there.
Things in the US ARE cheap compared to Europe.
Stay at the Park South Hotel.
The toilets are very low as compared to the ones in Norway and it freaked me out constantly, I kept thinking I was falling.
Long version, if you have time:
Friday night we ate at a Mexican place (well, sort of nouveau mex) called Dos Caminos, on Park Ave and like, 26th or so. They made the guacamole at the table and it was the best I ever had. The main dish was ok, I had chicken tacos al carbon with oranges and guac and Rich had a yummy quesadilla with shrimp. Mine was kind of cold, and I softly mentioned it to the waitress, (thinking maybe it was more like a salad?), who apologized and seconds later came the manager, who apologized and then gave me a goodie bag with all sorts of stuff including their gorgeous new cookbook! The service there was OUTSTANDING. I'd definitely go back. Great margaritas and they apparently have the largest selection of tequila in NYC.
Saturday we gopt up really early, found a good diner and had a HUGE breakfast, with everything breakfasty you can think of. Rich then went to the Brooklyn Museum and I hared off to the stores on 5th Ave and around. I scored at BCBG (grey boots finally!) and Anthropologie (cute dress and sweater on sale) and Sephora, oh my, and then did a spin through Lord and Taylor and Barney's etc etc. I didn't buy much but what I bought I love. We met back up later and then went to Smith and Wollensky for dinner.
Our reservations were for 7:15 but we didn't get a table until closer to 8. The place was PACKED to the gills, standing room only in the bar. Jolly crowd, all very nice and all ages. We finally got seated at the tiniest table ever known to mankind, Rich looked like he was sitting at a kiddie table and I had some guy's shoulder hitting my left ear. This was not gonna work, so we let the maitre 'd know and he brought us back out into the waiting area with a promise of a better table (and he gave me a beer!)(we love him) . Another 20 minutes and we got a much better table.
We had calamari for a starter, which was excellent. We were served by a very competent, if somewhat brusque waiter, but he was one of those guys who warmed up to you quickly if you talked to him a bit and showed him you weren't an idiot. We both had the NY strip, Rich had bone-in and mine without. I have to say, the steaks were not the best we've ever had. His was fatty, mine was better and very nicely cooked, but compared to Austin Land and Cattle, which is the measure of all things Steak in my world, I give them a 4 out of 10. They were basically just large hunks of flesh, no finesse or anything special about them (except the Flintstone-like proportions). The baked potato toppings were many and generous, however, which was a very nice addition. I would go back to Smith and Wollensky, I liked the vibe, the atmosphere and the very friendly and efficient service, but I would order a smaller steak and make sure it was no bone. We were too full to do anything but go back to the hotel afterwards.
Oh! The Hotel! Great! I can highly recommend the Park South Hotel at Park and 28th for your stay in NYC. We got upgraded to a king sized bed from the queen we reserved and the room was a good size, nicely decorated, and quiet for NYC. Nice bathroom, great maid service, and breakfast included. We will definitely go back there.
We decided to stay an extra night, so on Sunday went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art but it was too packed, so we wandered down to Soho and Tribeca. We had excellent Vietnamese for lunch at Pho Bang and I checked out Prada (wow) and we had a great time at the Pearl River Emporium, a Chinese Department store, where I got the most gorgeous brocade coat. Rich got tin toys. It rained like mad and was pretty terrible weather, so we ended up in a pub called Puck Fair which was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and had some Guinesses. Back to the hotel for a rest and then we saw "Enchanted" which was cute. Skipped dinner. Still full from lunch.
My only regret is that we did not eat at Les Halles which was RIGHT around the corner from our hotel. They serve breakfast too. But we never managed to get there. Next time we will.
Yesterday we got up did some last minute shopping and then got a car from the hotel to take us to pick up our rent car at Newark. Easy peasy, and a couple hours later and no traffic, we made it to Pennsylvania. It's cold but no snow, and we have so far had a lovely Christmas day.
So now I finish this and say Merry Christmas!!!!!!! Hope yours is wonderful.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We also looked at Les Halles, as big fans of Anthony Bourdain, but as we can get to Paris relatively easy from Norway, AND I ate at a very similar place in London earlier this year, we decided to go for the Big American Style beef instead of the French Experience.
On the night we arrive we will hit Chinatown and eat there. (Big Wong sounds great, I might try to hit that on my own.) McSorley's is definitely on the list, this girl ain't missin' no good pubs (Bonoxious there is NOT a place called Burp Castle, is there?)(holy crap there IS!). I think Rich and I will try to have an Individual Day where he goes to museums and I shop until I puke. Ray's Pizza sounds like a must do for my shopping day, though will try to hit that post puke.....perhaps McSorley's might be the right place for pre puke? Though Burp Castle, which one reviewer said 'smelled like a warm beer fart', might be more optimal for pukage.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I have two days in NYC coming up. I've been a few times before, so am ready for ideas beyond the basics, you know? As it's only two days, things in central Manhattan are most appreciated.
I need your advice on:
- Where to eat (note: hubby ain't much for posh-poofty restaurants so no "tiny food" places.)(Any good Vietnamese joints? Good diners? Good ol' 'murcan food?)
- Shopping tips (I've been to century 21 and have previously hit all the usual shopping landmarks, wouldn't mind some new ideas. Quirky is good, as is any place with great deals. Any markets? Is Loehman's still around?) Everything in the US is cheap when you are coming from Norway, so I gots kroners to spend and strong arms to carry my purchases with!
- Funky bars, especially of a cozy/old/historical/good beer selection nature. Nowhere that Paris or Lindsay would go, no velvet ropes, please!
- Ok ok..... and cultural stuff too. The Met is already on the list.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
How to describe. Well, it's misty outside, and from far away it looks like fog. But close up, and when the sun (which is trying to break through the mist) shines you can see that the fog is not FOG but teeny tiny little shiny glittery ice crystals floating in the air all over. (If you've see "The Golden Compass" it is EXACTLY like Dust.) In other words, it is so cold outside that the mist is freezing into ice and then floating about aimlessly. So if you go outside you will be breathing ice. It's gorgeous in a furiously cold and painful way. Anywhere the sun shines there is a glittering rainbow made of ice particles and sun on a milky misty background.
Our thermometer outside registers 12 degrees fahrenheit. The one inside is 64. It's too cold to get the house any warmer than that. I can feel the cold pouring slowly from the baseboards of the wall.
In other news: Last night I had a Norwegian microbrew beer that cost 125 kroner for one half liter bottle.
Nøgne ø, Jul øl, (see bottle above.) At current exchange rates, that half liter of beer cost $22.50. Was it good? Yes, very. A very dark beer, a porter style, with a complex finish and a strong yet even mix of malt and hops. 8% alcohol content! It finished with notes of coffee and vanilla. I think it could have done with a year or so of sitting and aging, to take the edge off, there was a slight harshness at the very end. The one I had was at the very early end of its freshness date, which ended in 2012. But when that smooths out that will be one HELLUVA beer. At that price, it better be. Luckily it was for a work party and so I didn't pay it. Can you imagine 4 beers that cost a hundred bucks? Still, after so many years of really crap beer it was incredibly heartening to find a Norwegian beer that harks back to what I think the beer was like when beer was a common household staple, made with pride by every housewife.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Thing about this is......
If you have been a semi-regular reader of my verbal meanderings (Beer! Beer makes me semantically gifted!) you know that I am a girl who will always choose wearing a skirt over pants of any sort. Skirts are easy, comfortable and they don't squeeze your yum yums.
Problem is... I HATE WEARING HOSE OR TIGHTS OF ANY KIND.
Which means my ass was COLD TODAY. Even under a long suede skirt and boots and a slip and a long coat. That air just crawls RIGHT up there.
I'm going to have to wear tights for a while, my ass is too cold.
Rich made us a reservation for a hotel in New Effin' York for a few days over the Christmas holidays. Shopping? I think so. Since I'll be there and all, might as well.
Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to
her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine
and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug".
She got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
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Saturday, December 08, 2007
Today for example. I was on what I can only call an Angst Walk. This is when, as lately, things get to be a Bit Too Much and so I grab my iPod and go for a walk, playing very loud very angry music, sometimes wandering into the woods where I can cry and rage and sniffle whilst Trent screams dire things in my ears. Catharsis, Karla Style. I am an angry girl lately. Watch me rage.
So, there I am, in the woods, hauling ass down the path that cuts through My Favorite Meadow, raging and pissed off, when a man fell out of the sky. I tell you what, there's nothing that will stop you crying quicker than a dude falling out of the sky right over your head. You're all "WAAAAAAA!...aaaaa......um...huh?.......(snifff)?????"
Then another dude floated down, and another. All these tall gorgeous blonde men falling from the sky, hanging from big poofy parachute thingies. It was like Christmas and New Year's and my birthday all in one. Only thing that would have made it better is if a) they were naked and b) I had my camera.
Then a helicopter landed next to them. There was all this noise and air and men in tight suits and macho hugging and high fiving (all in Norwegian, but hey, international language of "DUDE THAT SO KICKED ASS" is pretty easy to understand). And then they got in the helicopter, it lifted off, after first doing some very extreme show-offy helicopter acrobatics (who knew they did that, I didn't) and then up they went for another man rain shower.
It rained men four times.
Basically (and girls, this one is for you) if you go to a place where there is dancing and there is a handsy little bastard who keeps dancing on you and you tell him DO NOT DO THAT and he does it again and you tell him DO NOT GRAB ME and then he does it again and you push him away and say again DO NOT GRAB ME I'M SERIOUS and then he rubs his bony little ass up against you and you say STOP THAT I AM NOT KIDDING and then he says "Hey we're just having fun so DANCE WITH ME BITCH!"......what would you do?
Considering that this is a dude who grabs or insinuates himself in an offensive manner every damned time I see him (and he does it to every other woman as well, and honestly, any warm body on the dance floor) and he doesn't SEEM like a stupid guy? I mean, he has a JOB that apparently SMART people are supposed to do?
How much NO can you put in NO before this person understands NO? I will TALK to you but I will NOT tolerate you putting you hands on me in that insinuating way. Just because I am a woman does NOT mean you can grab me. (And believe me, I am VERY tolerant of the flirtation, nudge-nudge-wink-wink and general drunken abandonment that happens on a typical night at the pub/club. I mean, VERY tolerant, even, at times, enthusiastic. ) I do have a nice curvy figure, yes, but I also have a HEAD and BRAINS and you do not get to DISREGARD those and aim straight for the yum yums, as if that was ALL I AM.
So what did I do, you wonder.
I killed the little slimy bollocked bugger.
Ok, ok I lie again. After he said "Dance with me bitch", I stopped dancing, flashed green lasers out of my eyes, turned around and stalked off the dance floor. I mean I STALKED. I FLOUNCED. I think I even STOMPED.
I wish I had slapped. (One of the highlights of my collegiate career was the time Bookhart and I were at a bar and a guy was sort of rude to us and Bookhart ever so elegantly threw her drink in his face. Seriously, the ballsiest move EVER and another reason why she rules. If I had a drink in my hand last night I would have thrown it in his face, but I only thought of it now and seriously, drinks are sort of expensive to just go throwing them in slimy bollock's faces?) But when I flounce, man, you KNOW it's serious. If I ever flounce in your vicinity, you want to tread lightly with me from then on......
I've tried being pleasant to this person, I mean I AM Southern and we Southerners always try to be nice to everyone, but he is off my list and there is no getting back on my list once you are off. I've flounced and that is IT.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I went to a Christmas cookie slash wine drinking party tonight. This is my "Xmas family in Thailand". She's wearing a teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini. Full disclosure, I did not decorate the one in the middle. The other two are mine.
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
That happened to me today.
I'm confused. But right now the bad is winning out in my mood, mostly because the bad can overcome the good if things don't work out as I would hope. (The bad and good are sort of all tied up in one package. Sorry to be vague, it's all work related, but just trust me, it's a good news bad news scenario.)
It could all go horribly pear shaped.
(Thought...why is something going pear shaped bad? I like pears...and have an affinity for the shape, sort of having that shape myself.)
Screw the pears, I want pepperkake.
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
As exampled by:
Dinner, last night: Cookies.
Dinner, tonight: Red wine, pasta carbonara, and cookies.
Fuck it, and fuck the diet. I lost, like, two pounds anyhow. Though, I will say, I've changed my diet habits a little in that everything carb-ish in our house is now whole grain, which is good. Who knew I liked brown rice?
I am oddly bereft, as I heartily enjoyed NoMoBloMe or whatever the fuck November is, where everyone was blogging? Because all my best friends who don't normally blog all that often blogged ALL THE TIME and I LOVED it. And now they have stopped and I feel like my favorite source of information, news and happenings is GONE and I am SAD.
Well, also a little drunkish as I had WINE for dinner. And COOKIES. Pillsbury cookies, that I had saved in the freezer. The weather was so bad this weekend it merited cookies. Cookies and movies.
And now it's Monday again....damn.