Posts Categorized: Life in New York

Oct 23 2011
1

Rebecca in the City

You may remember back in summer we spent a very humid weekend Upstate to celebrate our niece Rebecca’s graduation.

For her graduation present we decided to give her a weekend in the city.

Rebecca loves cooking and when we did our Le Pain Quotdien baking class earlier in the year we knew we wanted to be able to get her to come down to visit and do the class as well. We thought we would throw in a Broadway show and it would make for a memorable gift.

On Friday after we visited the 9/11 Memorial we headed Uptown and decided to try Schnipper’s for dinner while we waited for Rebecca’s train to arrive. I had heard about their amazing Sloppy Joes and they did NOT disappoint – everything we ordered was absolutely delicious BUT it is definitely only one of those places where you go for a treat. Bill rates their burgers as on par if not better than Shake Shack. Yep – everything was THAT good. When my 4-cheese grilled cheese sandwich arrived I thought it would make me feel so ill afterwards just because it was so cheesy. I was totally wrong – it was delicious and easily the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten. I’m not sure if it is their quality ingredients or what but everything was so good and we didn’t get that ‘Maccas Feeling’ afterwards!

Check out our calorie fest –

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

We ordered – a sloppy joe to share, bacon cheeseburger, cheese fries, grilled cheese, a strawberry milkshake and a coffee milkshake. Every single thing was delicious and they weren’t huge meals – just really, really good!!

The Sloppy Joe was amazing. Here is a close up –

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

It had such good flavor without being overly salty and had a really nice kick!

Here is my out-of-this-world-I-will-forever-dream-about-it grilled cheese –

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

By the time we got home we all watched the Soup and fell straight asleep. For us it was fantastic as it was our first normal, full night of sleep in nearly two weeks. Our jet lag has been horrendous and it felt amazing to wake up at 8.30 on Saturday, fully refreshed.

We took Rebecca to one of our brunch favorites, Freemans, while we found it was not as good as all the times we have been previously (hoping it hasn’t started to go downhill!) it was lovely as we were in one of the very back private dining rooms.

After a very quick spot of shopping in SoHo (Uniqlo and I made my first ever Forever 21 purchase) I left Rebecca and Bill at their baking class, while I went to get theater tickets.

Here she is learning the skills of the trade!

Rebecca's Baking Class

The baking class was just as wonderful as last time and they came home with another swag of bread and a lot of it went back up to Albany today!

We only had a short time to relax before it was time to get ready to head back into Manhattan to see Memphis. Walking through Times Square at 7.30 on a Saturday night was interesting – there were so many people there. For some reason, it just makes me smile every time I am there… while I am also grimacing to get everyone else out of the way!

Here is Rebecca and Bill right in the middle of the madness!

Memphis the Musical

Outside the Shubert Theatre –

Memphis the Musical

Memphis the Musical

We had great seats and it was a really good musical – the wardrobe was amazing with so many gorgeous dresses and some really good songs. Rebecca loved it and I think it has made me realize that I really should make the effort to go to more theater with all of these amazing shows on our doorstep!

By the time we got home it was nearly midnight and we all had to be up early this morning for Rebecca to return home. Talk about a whirlwind weekend… now we’re just counting down until Thanksgiving in Albany so we can see everyone!

Oct 21 2011
1

9/11 Memorial

After work today we headed across the road for our first visit to the 9/11 Memorial. When reservations first opened I thought that choosing today would mean that crowds may have shrunk a bit. No such luck. It took about 30 minutes to get into the Memorial. There isn’t much to say other than that it is very, very well done. The sound of the water flowing drowns out the noise of the city and the conversations of those nearby. The space of the area means people are not all crowding around a single spot. It felt clear, spacious and with lots of areas for reflection. When you get up close to the two areas, you realize the space that the buildings once took up in the area. You also cannot help but think about how this place looked at this time ten years ago. It is sad.

The development of the new World Trade Center is coming along nicely. After seeing it grow from a few floors, to where it is now I feel this may just end up being my new favorite sky scraper. I love the edging and it is just huge. These photos do not seem to reflect just how big it is.

If you are in the city, definitely go and see it. I am really looking forward to the museum opening next year and cannot wait for the whole site to be open and accessible to all. Here are some photos we took.

The tree that survived –

9/11 Memorial

Security cameras. Seriously, this area would have to have the most security cameras for an area of that size in the whole world.

9/11 Memorial

The backlighting of the names is stunning.

9/11 Memorial

World Financial Center One – where I work!

9/11 Memorial

There is so much development in the area. It is going to be great when it is finished.

9/11 Memorial

World Trade Center 1 –

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

The grouping of the names by company/area makes it even more personal than an alphabetical list of names.

9/11 Memorial

Memorial and Trade Center base –

9/11 Memorial

The lights take on the same look of the old Towers. The water falling also looks similar.

9/11 Memorial

World Financial Center in the background again –

9/11 Memorial

There is so much going on in this picture due to the reflection –

9/11 Memorial

The water falling gives makes for a stunning effect –

9/11 Memorial

More World Financial Center-

9/11 Memorial

Will be amazing when the trees will have grown more –

9/11 Memorial

Oct 19 2011
0

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

The DMB Caravan was supposed to be over the weekend of Hurricane Irene.

Emily and I had three day passes where we would be in Dave Heaven for 3 days straight but unfortunately, weather got in our way. We saw the Friday night show and then the Saturday and Sunday were postponed.

Oh and before I go on.. I just have to randomly show this photo with Dave just because this was when I met him in Melbourne in 2005 and you know.. I just had to share it. Now THAT experience was epic.

Dave and I

Now, back to the Caravan. The Friday night show was great BUT it was not enjoyable. Here we were, in the middle of New York Harbor on Governor’s Island wondering if in 48 hours the island would even exist. Or if Lower Manhattan be totally washed away. Or if New York be a city of devastation and destruction. Quite simply, it was a buzz kill. Getting to the island was also a drainer. Organizers cancelled the Brooklyn Ferry so we had to go into Manhattan and get on the Island ferry at the Staten Island Ferry terminal and then walk 5 million miles to the stage. Coming back was worse and what should have been a 30 minute journey ended up being nearly two hours. Gah! To make it worse, the weather was oppressive. It was so humid and the air so thick, sweat was just pouring out of every pore in my skin. You could hardly breathe. Mix that with thousands of other people who are all standing too close to each other and you can imagine how it felt. Not very nice! Taking into account the anxious three days of refreshing all the fan sites constantly to see if the show would even be running, it was a relief just to get there.

There was plenty of ‘those guys’. If you are a PCU fan (one of my favorite movies of ALL time) you will know what I mean.. if you don’t –

It was at this concert that I had one of those “Oh my gosh – I am in America.. this is America… I live in New York.. oh my gosh.. this is SO American!” moments. To see frat boys in their polo shirts carrying multiple beers and wearing loafers, people lounging on the lawn in tiny tank tops.. the multiple uses of the word “Awesome!” “You guysssssss!” and “Mannnnnnn….” it was like I had been transported to a Midwest college… it was SO much fun. To turn around and see the Lower Manhattan skyline… absolutely beautiful.

Hearing him play Crush was beautiful. When he played Good Times, Bad Times… I was that loony, screaming girl that people look at and shake their heads. It was tops. People on the Ants Marching board (a DMB fan site) slammed the show though and blasted Dave for not totally ‘bringing it’ to a show that could have been the only show for many fans as they wouldn’t get back to the city for the rescheduled shows. I thought while they were not energetic, they played well. This was the setlist –

Don’t Drink the Water
Squirm
Grey Street
Shotgun
You Might Die Trying
Stay or Leave
Spaceman
Jimi Thing
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Too Much
Out of My Hands
Lying in the Hands of God
Crush
Good Times Bad Times
Blackjack
Granny
Funny the Way It Is
All Along The Watchtower
Encore:
Like a Hurricane
Time Bomb
Two Step

It was then announced that they would be holding the Caravan at Randall’s Island (right up at 125th Street) for three days… the weekend before we left for Australia. WIN WIN WIN!!! Even more amazing? That first Friday night show ended up being a free show. All of us who had three day tickets were having the whole three days honored for Randall’s Island. Thanks Dave!

The three nights were… EPIC. On the Friday night the crowd was so small it actually felt intimate. We had a fab position – right on the barrier where the people who paid for VIP were! We had room to dance and it was a really chill show. We felt lucky to be there. The stage was set up in such a way that the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital was facing the crowd so it was a little creepy when it got dark. Getting us off Randall’s was left to a stack of MTA buses that took us straight to 125th. We got the train from there straight to Brooklyn and made it home by 12.30am. After standing on concrete for five hours we were sore and weary. We also had to do that for another two nights.

The was the 2nd Friday night setlist –

Everyday
Seek Up
Crash Into Me
#27
Seven
Granny
Say Goodbye
Funny The Way It Is
Dive In
Grey Street
Black Jack
Spaceman
Rhyme And Reason
Lie In Our Graves
Pantala Naga Pampa
Rapunzel
Shake Me Like A Monkey
Sweet
Gravedigger
Tripping Billies

The Saturday night show was a different experience. We still got to be in the same position we had the night before but it was not nearly as comfortable. The crowd was huge and it had more of that festival feeling. Drive In Drive Out was SO good and he sang Whiter Shade of Pale beautifully. Here is the setlist for that show –

One Sweet World
Big Eyed Fish
Bartender
Break Free
Why I Am
Stay Or Leave
Crush
Shotgun
Drive In Drive Out
You and Me
#41
Cortez The Killer
So Much To Say
Anyone Seen The Bridge
Too Much
Stay (Wasting Time)
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Two Step

On Sunday night we got there early and Emily took the lead and we followed a group of people who were going to meet their friends down near the front. With a lot of squeezing past people we ended up in a little haven of space. We actually ended up chatting, doing photo taking swaps and dancing with them and we had a comfortable space to see the stage and sing loudly. We were in a great position and Dave was on fire. In fact, these three shows were so energetic and they played so well – it was just breathtaking! You don’t want to know how it felt getting up at 6am on Monday to go to work.. but it was worth it.

Here is the Sunday night setlist –

The Stone
Squirm
Alligator Pie
Don’t Drink the Water
Proudest Monkey
Satellite
Warehouse
Write A Song
Burning Down The House
Out Of My Hands
Lying In the Hands of God
Jimi Thing
Corn Bread
Digging a Ditch
American Baby Intro
American Baby
You Might Die Trying
Sister
Lie In Our Graves (reprise)
Ants Marching (tease)
Halloween
Ants Marching

In a nutshell, we love, love, LOVED the whole Caravan experience!!! I am also sure Bill loved the peace and quiet at home once we got out of the house!

And of course what would any concert be without some dodgy old iPhone photos –

Emily and I taken by our ‘friends’ that we followed into the crowd –

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

Sweet –

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

The stalls and festival setup was really well done –

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

The sky as the sun was setting –

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

How it looked in daylight –

Dave Matthews Band Caravan

Oct 18 2011
0

Torrisi

I just got home from dinner at Torrisi – a catch up night with Deb, Katie, James and Anna. That link is to their dining policy. Yes, a policy. I kid you not.

We got an 8pm sitting. It was awesome.

It was strange though that I hopped onto my Tumblr dashboard when I got home (to calm down from the insane cab ride home!) to find another blog post that sums Torrisi up perfectly and you can see photos! I took the whole “No photos in the dining room” warning very seriously so didn’t take one.

I ate a whole lot of stuff that I wouldn’t normally order… but the warm mozzarella was to die for. For the main, I got the veal shoulder and it was delicious. A very nice Fall dish.

I cannot wait to take Bill there and if you haven’t been you should definitely try it out. It was a lovely experience and yes, it was worth all of the policies!

Oct 17 2011
1

Labor Day Weekend

A few weeks ago we celebrated the unofficial end of Summer with a trip Upstate for Labor Day weekend. It was going to be a relaxing few days. A family dinner back at the Carolina House (where we had our wedding party) and a trip to the Columbia Country Fair. I am a sucker for fairs so I was super excited to see what an American one would be like! Unfortunately, it was also the weekend where Upstate got even more post-Irene rain so we had to make the most of any time outside!

The fair reminded me a bit of the Whittlesea Show with a real focus on agriculture and country living. I loved the displays from the 4-H Clubs – if I had grown up there I think there would be a 100% chance of me being a member!

Here are some photos of our afternoon in Chatham before an amazing thunderstorm moved through. It was so much fun – I think next Summer I may spend every weekend forcing Bill to drive me around to all the fairs around the state because I can never get enough of the smell of cows and having corn dogs for dinner!

Columbia County Fair

The entrance – quite different to getting off the train at Flemington!

Columbia County Fair

Retro New York State Police car.

Columbia County Fair

Sheriff!

Columbia County Fair

4-H Events

Columbia County Fair

The 4-H displays were great.

Columbia County Fair

They handed out a lot of ribbons!

Columbia County Fair

As a genealogy nut, I loved this Family Tree!

Columbia County Fair

The 4-H Milkbar!

Columbia County Fair

Horse shoes.

Columbia County Fair

The blacksmith display.

Columbia County Fair

Basketweaving.

Columbia County Fair

Amazing tapestry.

Columbia County Fair

Woodworking.

Columbia County Fair

Chicken coops! The smell was…

Columbia County Fair

The Educational displays.

Columbia County Fair

On the menu…

Columbia County Fair

This popped kettle corn was delish!

Columbia County Fair

Mooooooooooooo!

Columbia County Fair

Loved seeing everyone learning so much at the milking parlor!

Columbia County Fair

The Ferris Wheel was cute.

Columbia County Fair

This is for Ev and Matt – Slurpee HEAVEN. They had so many flavors!

Columbia County Fair

Yes. You are reading that correctly.

Columbia County Fair

Check out these delicacies!

Columbia County Fair

Fries, fries and more fries!

Columbia County Fair

This is America!!

Columbia County Fair

More America!!

Columbia County Fair

Bring on the Waffles and Maple Syrup!

Oct 16 2011
0

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

Yesterday we basically slept all day.. but with good reason! We desperately needed to catch up on the days of sleep that were severely in deficit and also last night we had the Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party. This was to help kick off the hundred year celebrations of our gorgeous church. I have to say, it is so good to be able to get dressed up, go out and only walk one block home! I had helped out on the organizing committee – so it resulted in Wednesday night being spent in the Rectory with Martha and Stacy until 10pm finalizing the guest list – but it was lots of fun!

Having been all jet lagged and all over the place this week, I had no idea what to wear. Even though it is now Fall, last night was still warmish so I found a skirt from Sussan’s that somehow made the trip over and it is one of those skirts I have had for ten years and haven’t worn for ages. It did the trick!

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

The Lower Church came up beautifully. It is amazing to think that during the week this is where the school pupils have their lunch!

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

The band we had were awesome and played great instrumental smooth jazzy beats!

Queen of All Saints Cocktail Party

One lucky guest won an iPad 2!

I’m not sure where Father Joe heard about the caterers, but they were fantastic. We had lots of good food – yummy mini-italian meatballs, penne vodka pasta, bruschetta and lots of good Hors d’oeuvres. For the dips with carrots/celery and bell pepper sticks, they had little glasses that were a bit bigger than a shot glass and put some ranch dressing in the bottom and then the sticks in the top – awesome idea to save people from dripping dressing all over the place.

Last night kicked off a whole lot of events that we are going to have and it was wonderful to have so many people there. Another bonus was I was lucky to get to know so many more wonderful people through helping out on the committee!

Oct 16 2011
0

Back!

We got back from our trip from Australia on Tuesday and I have so much to blog about!

It has been a crazy few weeks, that is for sure. We packed so much in, it was a wonderful break and apart from the horrid flights home, we came back rested and feeling great.

So bear with me, a lot of these posts will be reflection posts back on the time we spent away.

Also, my blog (and other sites I have on my server) as well as many, many others that are hosted on Dreamhost were recently hacked with malicious code. It has taken me some time to remove it all but it is all done and passwords have been changed and everything has been updated. I apologize if you were one of those that visited this blog and got the very confrontational Google malware warning. Happy reading!

Sep 13 2011
1

No news is…

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a news junkie I am. I basically follow news 24/7 – US, Australia, UK, radio, TV, internet – it doesn’t stop.

I found this love of mine was an absolute detriment when I moved here in 2008, even though I was in the land of 24/7 news. With the economy crashing, the constant barrage of bad news affected me greatly. When you are hearing something over and over 24/7, you tend to believe it unequivocally. As there was mass layoffs there was NO way I was going to get a job, I would end up back in Australia and it went on and on.

Well, I did get a job, I didn’t have to move back and ‘switching off’ for a bit really helped raise my spirits.

Lately, I’ve slipped up. With everything going on here, I’ve been soaking it all up. My 3 day Hurricane Irene-fest of 24/7 news was the pinnacle.

Normally, I have 1010 WINS the news radio station playing for most of the day. Every day, Bill and I have lunch together and hear CNN blaring bad and negative news constantly. There are people arguing and talking about the no hope economy, jobs and suicide bombers in the Middle East. This is clearly not an ideal background for some lunch downtime. Today, I was sitting there listening to how so many millions are in poverty in the US and how a lady is living on $400 per month. I can’t handle this barrage any more. It is not about being blissfully unaware of things that are going on – it is about knowing when enough is enough.

So, now – 1010 WINS is off, I have Chris Isaak playing and there are these three sites that are perfect –

http://goodnewsnetwork.org/
http://www.happynews.com/
http://www.goodmood-news.com/

I read some of these stories and wonder how different things would be if ‘pundits’ discussed more of these than the usual.

I will still watch the news and know what is going on but not with this 24/7 need to soak everything up. That will do me just fine for now.

Aug 31 2011
4

Juicy!

Since I moved here my only juice of choice has been a carton of Tropicana Orange Juice. BB (before Bill) it would be Lots of Pulp. AB (after Bill) it is now Some Pulp. I think that even Some Pulp is too much for him!

If you love orange juice you would the Tropicana choice here…

  • No pulp
  • Some pulp
  • Lots of pulp
  • Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Lots of pulp with Calcium and Vitamin D

It was the best surprise last week when I saw the new Tropicana design.

We’ve gone from this –

To this –

How gorgeous is this?! I never thought I would get excited over orange juice packaging but it is almost too nice to keep in the fridge!

Which reminds me, back at mum and dads in the garage I have an original set of a 70s orange juice carafe with matching glasses that I got of eBay after I fell in love with the carafe they would always use in the kitchen on Family Ties.

If you are a fan of Family Ties you will notice just how much they drink orange juice in the kitchen… like you can see below.

I never thought I’d do a post about Orange Juice but there you go…! I love groovy carafes, Tropicana Juice and Family Ties and I got them all in to one post. Genius!

Aug 30 2011
1

I feel the earth move (twice)

So another frightening thing happened last week and that was the earthquake that shook the east coast.

It was one of the worst feelings ever. I do not want to experience it again even though this wasn’t my first experience of an earthquake… read this from 2005.

Bill had meetings in the afternoon so I ate lunch at my desk. Then I felt like I was going to pass out even though I was sitting down… I felt all dizzy and that something was moving. It was the vertigo like feeling that a lot of people experienced with the first rumbles as you don’t know what it is. It was almost immediately that everyone was saying “WHAT IS THAT?!” “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” A PC on a desk next to mine was rocking and my chair was bouncing. The feeling that I could only describe it like was it felt like I was sitting on a waterbed. It was very unsettling to be feeling this on the 30th floor of a building that is next to the World Trade Center site. It was absolutely awful.

It was in about 30 seconds we all picked up our stuff and ran to our meeting area and made the decision to evacuate down the fire escape stairs. Of course, in this time there are many things and visions going through your head and none of them are nice. I tried to convince myself that maybe the kitchen on the upper level had had some sort of explosion. I thought it may have been an earthquake BUT things didn’t rock and shake like I expected… they rolled.

So the stairs beckoned and we ran down them so fast that we did the whole 30 floors in about 10 minutes.

When we got downstairs, there was no cell coverage and my legs were shaking like I was freezing. I didn’t know whether it was nerves or from the motion of running downstairs but I couldn’t stop them. Also, I was not puffed or sweaty or anything – I had done it on pure adrenaline. Just ran. Adrenaline is crazy stuff and I couldn’t really collect my thoughts.

Someone then said it had been an earthquake. We went to our evacuation area and then decided to head back. All in all, it was about an hour of waiting and calming down. In that time, I also couldn’t get hold of Bill. It ends up he was in a meeting on the 39th floor and didn’t evacuate. It was SO good to get his text message (calls still couldn’t go through) and as I went back to my desk it was a case of just trying to think about normal things other than what had just happened.

There is a story on NY1 about our buildings on the day.

When I got home, I just collapsed on the couch. It felt so good to be home and I was truly exhausted from the panic and adrenaline. Bill and I spent the night lazing around very quietly. I thought I felt great after running down the stairs though this sentiment would not be repeated on Wednesday or Thursday when I could hardly walk. My legs felt like they had weights on them and were so sore. All in all, now I guess it is one thing crossed off my ‘have to experience’ list but I wish I didn’t have to experience it at work.