New places, restaurants…and baby watch…in NYC

So, as you know from previous posts, I love visiting A&K in NYC…first and foremost to see them and just hang out enjoying their company….but also to roam the city and discover something new. There’s always a new exhibit or restaurant to try and this weekend trip was no different.

I came in, as usual, on the redeye and the plan was to head up to a cool sculpture park up North called Stormking. So, we hopped in the car, the gps took us through the city and it ended up taking 3 hours and by the time we got there they had just closed it due to capacity limits. UGH…what to do now?! We decided to make the best of it and stopped up the road for a quick drink overlooking the Hudson….then moved on to another cute place for lunch…and then back to the city. A little adventure, with some beautiful leaf-peeping. We’ll get to Stormking another time!

My niece, Erin, just started her freshman year at Barnard and I’d heard it was a gorgeous campus. We had reservations for dinner and a play, so instead of heading back to Carroll Gardens, A&K indulged me and took me past Barnard (which is closely tied to Columbia University) to walk around a bit. What a gorgeous quad and it really feels like a college campus in the city…whereas, I think NYU just doesn’t have that “campus” feel. I love that she’s going there and so proud that in her first month of college, she was selected to join the staff of The Spectator, Columbia’s newspaper.

It happened to be parent’s/family weekend at Barnard, so my sister was in town too…bonus! We had tickets for a show and there was a restaurant I’ve had on my list for awhile that I wanted to try.

My new favorite restaurant in NYC is RedFarm. The core of the menu is Asian influenced, but the array of sauces and combinations are mind blowing…and so creative! Since we were going to the theater, we went early to the upper west side location. Our waiter gave us an exhausting, fast talking, run-down on the menu and the chef’s concept in creating the menu. We needed a nap after listening to him! Here are some pics of our yummy dinner….

Katz’s Pastrami Egg Roll…c’mon, ridiculously good!
“Pac Man” shrimp dumplings…yes, they looked like little pac men
Great Peeps!! Love them all (except the strangers at the end…it was a communal table)l!!

….then it was on to see Desperate Measures, starring Conor Ryan, the son of a friend of mine. It was a fun, lively, production at the intimate York Theatre…and the play has been extended twice. He’s awesome! Go see it if you’re in NY before Nov. 26th….the ticket price is so reasonable compared to other shows.

Sunday was an early visit to the Morgan Library ’cause they had an exhibit of “Master Drawings…” from a bunch of famous artists…Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and many more…that I really wanted to check out. Didn’t disappoint (on view until Jan. 7th). Next, back to Brooklyn to meet Kate, the great, for lunch at a new place called DeKalb Market. It’s reminiscent of the Grand Central Market in downtown LA or the European markets, like Copenhagen Street Foodalthough it’s in the bottom of a mall, so a little different environment. Great vendors, like Katz’s deli, a cheese shop, charcuterie, paella, boulangerie, frites…and more. Cool vibe!

imagine having this library…with secret staircases to get to that second level!!

We went back to A&K apartment, where Austin built a rip-roaring bbq fire, grilling steaks and vegies, while we sat enjoying the beautiful evening and yummy food.

SOOOOO GOOD!!

Monday was my day in the city…subway into the city with A&K, roaming and reading in my favorite spaces in Central Park with some beautiful fall foliage here and there…and then playing a game of mah jongg with a very large group of ladies. It’s another thing I’ve had on my bucket list “Mah Jongg Mondays”! It was fun and I look forward to playing the on one of my future visits (it’s a commitment of 12-4, but Linda was nice enough to let me drop in, play a game and see what it’s all about….I’ll be back for a full session in the future!)

this was only one of the two rooms where mah jongg games were goingThe highlight of the trip, by far, was going to the doctor with A&K and seeing a sonogram of the baby…the Dr. would only show the head area, so I still don’t know the sex…but I offered to bribe her…she wouldn’t budge! It was amazing!

dinner on the patio at La Lanterna di Vittorio
…had to get a final “baby bump” pic in our jammies

As always, a great visit with A&K, experiencing city life through their eyes and day to day life. I love their joie de vivre and sense of adventure…and can’t wait to see that little baby in 6 1/2 weeks…give or take a few days/week.

recent pic of “pizza monday”…matching outfits with Rowan (as my friend, Val, says “what pizza, matching outfits…I only see a cute baby!)

(next stop, Charleston & Savannah…)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Mondays…Gratitude (again)

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings…..William Arthur Ward

(my favorite motivational quotes remind me to always be grateful…so, yeah, there have been a few gratitude quotes these past three years…and there will be more! YUP…this months marks three year’s of blogging for me!)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Be My Eyes….

Okay…there’s been so much sadness and tragedy the past couple of weeks and I could go off on a rant about gun control (that is necessary by the way!!)…but I decided to share something that is good and where you can help.

There is an app called Be My Eyes that is such a simple concept, but so incredible!  From their website…”Be My Eyes is a FREE mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. With the press of a button, the app establishes a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers. Every day, volunteers are lending their eyes to solve challenges both big and small in the lives of the blind and visually impaired.”

So, for instance, if you are a visually impaired or blind person you can summon the app on your phone and a sighted volunteer, who also has the app, can help you with tasks (through a live feed) that we might think are easy, but to a visually impaired person it is not. For example (from their website)…the blind person goes in their fridge and isn’t sure if their milk is still safe to drink (obviously it’s not sour enough yet to smell that it might be bad). They summon the app on their phone, connect with a sighted volunteer and can point the camera on their phone towards the tiny expiration date. The sighted person says, “It’s fine” or “throw it out!” It’s that easy! …or you might have to help someone with directions somewhere.

It’s been available on the i-phone for a while, but will just became available on Android today! By the time you read this I will already have it downloaded and ready to help someone! You could do the same?! You download the app and you can decide when you want to “go live” when you have a little bit of time to help someone else in need. No contracts or time constraints…just people helping people.

Come on…how easy is that!? Not much commitment on your part to help someone who really needs and appreciates it. If you want more information, watch the developer’s Ted Talk here.

Have a FABULOUS Thursday…and a great upcoming weekend!

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday….Commit!

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

Invest in people who invest in you!

…and a little “mood booster” for the week…this little girl likes what she sees

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!