In the morning after a nice breakfast, a lie by the pool...
We were certainly looking forward to seeing them.
They took us to their lovely apartment, overlooking the Hudson River on Westend Av.
a lazy day was started on Sunday.
After a walk around the neighbourhood, looking at the excellent food shops, we all toddled off to the movies to see Johnny Depp in “The Libertine” which was great. Into another culture for dinner, Chinese at Ollie’s, home to bed.
Monday was the big walk around shopping for Dale. To Bloomingdales we went and a new jacket, shirt and casual pants were bought and for that we got a Bloomingdale bag...
Off to the Nicole Farhi store, where there is a lovely restaurant very stylish,
“Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter and Amoretti” for moi,
Fish and Chips for Dale
Spiced Beet Salad for Yvonne. I like the breads and oils at the table when you arrive (gratis) in every restaurant so far (not the Chinese of course.)
It was Italian for dinner a noisy Nosey restaurant Trattoria Dell’arte,
where they have lots of famous noses Verdi, Dante, Jimmy Durant as their livery!!! even wrapped around the napkins…it is just opposite Carnegie Hall.
I had an entrée of hot Italian Sausage Salad with a combo of different coloured sliced peppers sautéeed... Yum then Duck with Pasta and a Mushroom and Marsala sauce.
Dale got to have Sea Bass sitting on Spinach…see they even cater for him in New York.
We all shared a Chocolate Cheesecake, very nice...
Then off we went to watch Les Paul, who is 91 not out.
Still a real crowd pleaser very funny and very careful to play the notes he can handle…
very clever. Bought a T Shirt for Heinzies brother.
Drank Drylands Sauv Blanc and then home to drink and dial NZ and watch Frank S, and Michael Buble – Guess what noise control arrived.
Obviously the neighbour has no taste, you would think nothing nice than Frank and Michael, albeit loud...
Tuesday 14th March
Welcome to Wellington it was so windy outside the apartment, which is almost on the Hudson River looking over Jersey, while Yvonne and I walked the dog, you almost needed something to hold onto. Dale and I took off on our own and experienced our first NY subway ride into Times Square.
When we were here on previous visits, it was too dangerous to take the Subway.
The Broken Windows Policy cleaned up the city and now The Subway, safe as.
Here we are in 1990, at a show in Times Square
Went guitar perving for Dale at Mannys Music and Sam Ash Guitars,
took a fancy to a Fender 12 string guitar, Mr, not me, of course.
Treated ourselves to yet another culture, Japanese, a little Sashimi and Tempura. lovely Miso Soup. Fortified, we found the Florsheim Shoe shop and Dale splashed out
(Yes more retail therapy) and bought 4 pairs of shoes only $308USD.
Pretty bloody good value, and then took subway home...the old people got a little confused and ended up further from home than originally expected.
It had an upside tho, I got to buy a new pair of casual walking shoes.
The arthritic feet giving Dale a hard time
Barely time to change and off out in hired car (chauffeured by Mitch the lovely man who picked us up at the airport.) to August Wilson Theater at 52nd Street to see Jersey Boys.
Spectacular Show The Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons story.
All the hits, Fabulous.
Had a quick sangria at a wee Cuban bar over the road before the show.
We cried, sang, laughed, clapped loudly throughout the show, finishing with a standing ovation.
Mitch, then drove us further downtown to an excellent Mexican Restaurant, Dos Caminos Park,
Park Av down around 27th Street.
Excellent Guacamole and, good Margaritas –
Dale had 3 types of Ceviche, Stu and Yvonne had mixed Tacos and black Refried Beans and Rice
(just like New Orleans beans, not as spicy but nice.)
I had slow cooked Lamb shredded in a Jus. With little finger potatoes and string beans, lamb very tender and juicy. Home to peppermint tea and 12.15 to bed.
According to my drugs (I have been very diligent) we have been here 6 nights.
Stu’s birthday March 15th.
Going to be a slow start and a big dinner tonight The Ides of March - Stu’s birthday- Stu has now taken a few days off work so that he can be rested for the next few days.
Another culture, French Bakery… (Le Pain Quotidien, 65th West street off Broadway, not far from the Lincoln Centre, so not far from Rubin Hilton)…for lunch...superb breads & pastries.
A lovely open Shrimp and Avocado sandwich on a country rye for me,
surprise, surprise, Salmon for Dale;
Egg salad with Capers for Stu and Yvonne had Black Bean soup...
Time then to shop off the calories. Dale needed posh T shirts to go with his new jacket and shoes nothing else but the Boss shop would do, very smart…
Bought a very funny card for Stu, gave him the Phaic Tan and Molvania Books
Good choice of present, he has been laughing all day.
All home to rest, waiting for the big night out at Ciprianis… a very 'in' restaurant,
from "Those, that gave you Harry’s Bar in Venice".
After a champagne start, the driver Mitch arrived to pick us up and we took the outside ring roads to lower east – It looked very busy in the restaurant.
We squashed in- bought a drink…stood with elbows, pushed in ,sipping the wine…
waiters pushed past carrying 5-6- plates,
God what a job… stomachs sucked in to let them go. Still no sign of our table coming free.
After an eternity, Yvonne was fab, really tried using all her persuasive methods on the Maitre ‘d,
but if the guests don’t want to vacate what can one do!!!
If you were seated by the bar, you were lucky if you didn’t get a drink down your back.
So, as trendy and as excellent food, as it might have, we left.
Nice Mitch was on hand to take us to Maruzzella, Stu’ and Yvonne’s club house. Italian…
Stu has been going there since his first visits to NY many moons ago.
Well what a change we were welcomed with open arms, lots of hugs,
of course the plate of bread and lovely oils and onto fab food,
Artichoke Salad with fried garlic slices for me, followed by Filet Steak and Mixed Mushrooms-
so much, virtually the whole Château Briande, for 1 person.
Very tender excellent. Dale got Stuffed Mushrooms and Seafood Insalada,
Stu had the Seafood Salad and Breaded Veal topped with Arugula, ditto Yvonne.
The owners were fun and then the bottles of Grappa were brought out.
Oh dear, while we were working through divine Chocolate Cheesecake (shared)-
a little voice from one member of the Party, said to Nicky the owner “I like the way you think”
a little face got very blurry… time to go home- Taxi!
Call the trusty Mitch and we left. Yvonne very kindly offered her shoulder for Dale to lean on and they limped out to the car…last time they attempted this kind of rescue, was when they lived in Torbay and Yvonne and Dale ended up on the ground after tumbling down steps… it was so funny, of course no one raced to help immediately. She actually landed on top of him but he really didn’t break her fall instead she broke her collarbone. Dear me. This time was lucky.
You're a beggar for punishment Yvonne.
Sunday dawned again (Every day seems like Sunday here in the Upper West. In fact, we are living in a month of Sundays). Very lazy day. Girls went for manicure & reflexology-
Dale walked miles taking many photos…
Comfort food for dinner-Macaroni Cheese and smoked fish pie.
Early night in preparation for St Paddy’s day.
Once again divine day, temperature on the low, single figures but nothing hats, gloves, scarves can’t handle. I could have done with one of my winter coats, the alpaca wraps not quite enough but I haven’t frozen yet.
NY was abuzz with people, lining up to see the parade, Of course the wearing of the green was prevalent
A lot of pretty little girls freezing their butts off in skimpy outfits.
The cold wind made holding banners and standards a little difficult.
Managed to get in a Loo Stop
So off to Times Square
Looked across to Virgin Records and across to Stu's office
Wow what a building, Dale has shots to show when we return (It won’t be compulsory!!!)
We saw Bill Chlapp? performing the music of Vernon Duke (who, you might ask?)
Remember “April in Paris”…”Taking a Chance of Love”…”Autumn in New York” to name the ones I recognized. It was great…the sax player was called Houston Person!!!
The singer was an old lady called Ethel Ennis who was superb, very Ella.
But the piece de resistance was the auditorium As we sat in our semi circle around the stage the backdrop was the biggest ever glass wall, looking out down over Central Park toward 5th Av all the lights, stunning… How spectacular is that?...Mind-boggling.
Dale took this shot from the ground floor, This amazing glass wall goes all the way up to the theatre and this was the view we had. Stunning.
Mr Heinz, you should have been there. Music to die for, we are going back on Tuesday to see Wynton Marsalis.
We returned to the Clubhouse (Maruzella). They remembered us!!!
And this time I had Ravioli stuffed with Cream of Truffle and Porcini Mushrooms, so, so good and a nice little bow tie pasta with some Parma Ham, Peas Parmesan etc.
Dale is in love with the Stuffed Mushrooms so he had them again, then Spinach Ravioli with a Light Tomato and Basil Sauce.
Stu had Seafood Salad and Spag & Meatballs and Yvonne had Snapper.
Of course the Grappa appeared but we didn’t overdo it.
Stu and Dale stayed up late, listening to Boz Scaggs.
Our days seem to start after 10 30 and finish early morning except for yours truly,
who is working her way through Stu’s very extensive DVD library while everyone else is sleeping in. Am very disappointed with the Food network here
Doesn’t start till 9am, finish midnight, only have American chefs and quite often run programmes, back to back. Bring on John McCready, the lifestyle channel here is equally boring, get a little of British stuff on BBC America, but nowhere like the variety we get in NZ.
We don’t know how lucky we are...
Saturday 18th March
DJ the dog, Stu and I took a stroll through Central Park, first time I haven’t had a red face from exercise here, I guess due to the cold weather, or maybe not walking so fast.
On our return after household chores, Yvonne and I took a cab down to Zabars.
This is the ultimate grocery and deli store, a cheese bar unequaled, I reckon.
Anyway I won’t bore you, suffice to say, I have to mention the 20 different types of smoked salmon, from all over the world. Home for the Jewish deli lunch, pickled herring, smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese dill pickles the lot.
Should have had a shot of frozen vodka. but we are restricting our drinking to the evenings
Saturday 18th continued Boys are thrilled about NZ winning the Gold in Rugby Sevens… & Blues and Crusaders both winning. Its hard to get on the computer to do this diary, as rugby watching is taking over, it is the only way to see the games you see.
Am trying to look like a NY resident, you know stop staring up at beautiful buildings and being over awed by song titles… I mean “We took the A Train”
It’s like our first real visit to LA in 1976, we went on "Ventura Highway",
Dale drove me down there for the thrill, then we drove past "Hotel California", then up north and "Do you know the Way to San Jose" etc etc etc.
Anyway to finish off Sat we had dinner with 3 new friends Cliff, Dawne and Guy, we wandered up the road to Café Luxembourg.
There is famous photo of 3 naked women taken in 1930’s standing at the bar…
they are not there now though!!! it is so cold but everyone is well wrapped up.
Would you believe, Dale and Yvonne had Snapper “It came from NZ” and not only that
but it came with spinach. Lucky Dale
Unfortunately, we returned to shoot up tequila. Guy gave Stu a bottle of good stuff for his birthday- Cliff and Dawne who had to drive to Long Island didn’t imbibe, and sensible Yvonne gave it a swerve but the remaining 4 of us consumed it, along with shots of chilled tomato juice, very nice too.
Guy passed out on the couch. His excuse in the note left on the bench in the morning
“I think somebody drugged my tequila” Dale disagrees..he reckons it was the tomato juice.
Sunday 19th March
On the way back to their house, we visited a shop that sold 630 brands of beer, including their own brew. Which they sold by the half gallon jar which people could take in and refill.
What does that remind you of Kiwis? Didn’t see any NZ Beer though, could have made it 640 beers! They also had a "small" choice, 250-300 kinds of cheese plus they specialized in Chocolate – something about this city it is amazing.
Back at the Jackie and Harvey’s Brick house, we sampled some cheese and some very good French red, then back onto the F then onto the A and then a cab home, to Sunday night Rubin Hilton roast- which was beautiful – we watched Forrest Gump and shed a few tears…good little movie.
Below: the Brooklyn Bridge
Monday 20th March
Yvonne Dale and I went to Mr Broadway Deli for lunch. Stu met us…
It is a real NY deli, not too touristy, like the Carnegie Deli.
I had the Pastrami special on Baguette, about 10 layers thinly pastrami, sliced with pickled red peppers- they delivered a delicious coleslaw to pick at and some pickled cucumbers,
it’s very very good, the deli was down on 34th & Broadway..
We walked off our lunch home to 64th street and across 4-5 blocks to Westend Av.
We stopped and window shopped a little- actually trying to find a coffee shop other than the Starbucks, which is on nearly every corner.
We ended up at the French bakery, Le Pain Quotidien, that we went to a few days ago…
they serve real coffee in real cups,
Soup for dinner a la Ms Rubin - beautiful and after we watched “Who Want’s to be a Millionaire” (hate to always compare, but Eddie is far superior to Regis!!!) then finished off the night with
“Walk the Line” from Stu’s fantastic library. Excellent choice.
Trying to book seats on the bus to Boston was a little “trying”, my credit card got bounced back with “wrong address details” Nothing for it, but on the train downtown to buy the tickets in person.
All sorted, Joyce told me to buy this noble.com phone card for $US20, gets us 8 hours of talking to NZ. Telecom take note it's a wonderful idea.
Tuesday March 21st
Now came a very special occasion, Picture this an oval auditorium, 3 tiers of seats all around.
Stage at top and the side seats were like little boxes only 4 people in each, comfortable seats, great view, fabulous sound…welcome to the Rose Room @ Jazz at the Lincoln in the Times Warner building. We are here to experience Wynton Marsalis and his septet. Curtis Sturgee(?) was the opening and a very classy performance from his ensemble. Along with his own compositions, he interprets Beatles, Randy Newman etc –
Then Wynton & the boys.
Spectacular, they are so cool The music was so exciting and then there was a little tap dancing trio,
3 young men dancing to Wynton, we were on the edge of our seats.
After they finished their solos, they would casually walk around behind the Drums,
so as not to take the limelight off the soloist.
We just loved it then to top it all off Little Asian tapas at “Rain”-
Squid-charred, Spicy Beef-Green Papaya Salad with a chili kick- Vietnamese Vege and Prawn rolls washed down with a little Sake Fusion Asian, I guess you would call it.
Home at midnight. Stu is working on his Preso and we are up early to go north…
so it’s Good night from them and Goodnight from us.
Through our friends Jackie and Harvey, we took their advice and rode on the Chinatown Bus.
The houses look naked the grass is brown. No flowers, all bare trees,
a few ever greens (pines) dotted around. I can see why everyone goes mad in the spring.
The houses look desolate, it looks like new sub divisions that haven’t been landscaped yet-
also the terrain is really flat not a hill for miles. Arrived at Boston South Station.
A breeze to get to the car hire at the airport, quite a few changes on the red line train,
but all very easy to follow, an excellent subway and then the Thrifty shuttle bus-
Dale moaning about delays, but really for a city this size. I thought it was great.
We drive straight to Plymouth, the freeways are long straight and well marked.
Booked into the Radisson…after never hearing about this chain of hotels,
we now are almost frequent fly point people there.
Found a great bar on the water front Cabby Shack – you can play bar trivia – consoles for all players on the bar all thru the telly, its nationwide-they have tournaments.
We started off really well, but teetered as the questions became more parochial.
Our food arriving was a good excuse to withdraw from the game.
The best potato skins I’ve ever had was our appetizer- then, Lobster fresh, steamed- made a mess opening, but we were supplied with the little plastic aprons-saved the clothes,
then fried Coconut Shrimp with a Pineapple tasting Mayo and Calamari.
I don’t know what they do to the squid but it is really tender, the rings are small.
Probably younger squid, than they use in NZ. Got friendly with people at the bar, they bought us a bottle of wine, pays to be chatty.
The Radisson room was great, with a bed that you dialed up for comfort.
I don’t think we got it right but it was pretty comfortable-wonderful anyway, white Egyptian cotton sheets, big soft duvet, it enveloped us. Wonderful
Thursday March 23rd We are the real tourists now all round the sights of Plymouth, including Plymouth rock, very small!!!
A real easy drive, no arguments with the navigation as all is well marked.
Stopped at British Beer Company (BBC) Pub for lunch. Oh quick, go back, I forgot to mention. Breakfast in a lovely little café The 3 Brothers, ham, cheese, scrambled egg on English muffin, very simple but so delicious with little chunky hash browns, broccoli omelette for Dale.
The people were very sweet of course they are charmed by our accents. I am being so nice, the conversation loaded with lots of superlatives. Joyce take note!!! Once you get out of the cities the quaint NZ accent really wins them over straight away.
He thought it a bit rich, it was very thick and not over laden with clams, pity!
I "Ploughman lunched", bit different than we’re used to, shredded turkey on mixed salad greens, pickled onions, cranberry relish- brie (no skin), the turkey did have a nice roasted flavour and a baguette... Actually very nice glass of wine each.
Big on the Pinot Gris here- got some great quotes off the wall of the pub, saving them for Rex!!!
Back on the road again looking for somewhere to stay, got as far as Dennis- drive to the beach-
they know how to do beach living here, all Cape Cod styled houses-no Tuscan Villas-Santa Fe!!!-Glass Monstrosities- (Dale has photos) all sitting amongst the sand dunes.
Of course we are too early for the seaside B&B and motels, so we turned back to South Yarmouth and are now ensconced for the night in a nice tidy motel, price of last night’s accommodation, but fine for us.
It’s 5.20pm, sun nearly gone, time for a cleansing wine Dale watching “The History Channel”
Note for Dan and Helen we nearly stayed in “Sangwich”, just so I could say it and make you laugh. Tomorrow we are not sure what we will do, decision will be made in the morning.
Dinner: Found 902 Main-fine dining- pity we were a little under dressed but the NZ accent (quaint and charming) and the Platinum Amex helps…Joking!!!.
The “Maitress’d” was charming, food superb, little freebies of Baby Endive with Lobster filling and little Crostini with Soft Blue Cheese. Asparagus bisque, truffle oil, Sorbet made from Seville oranges to cleanse the palette-
Dale a Vege delight and for moi, Foie Gras-White, Asparagus, little grapes. The Foie Gras is US raised, apparently they can’t import it from France, so they have force fed their own birds.
Let’s not think about that!!!
So low rent motel- high class food = budget Med rent Hotel- med class food = budget.
Wonder if we can keep this up.
Friday March 24th Left Yarmouth, lots of driving around, down to the beach past all sorts of quaint shops. Nothing over 2 stories in this part of the world- hard to get landmarks.
Ended back in Sandwich. This is the oldest settled town in USA.
Found motel and drove around taking lots more photos.
Booked in for dinner at Dan’l Webster Inn- had lunch in another
BBC-very good chain of British pubs. Lots of deep-fried but I had a good Caesar and Dale a Portabella mushroom sandwich.
However, back to Dan’l Webster
That was a treat, sat in the Tavern part of the establishment but still had access to fine dining menu. We shared a sample of the 3 soups on the menu,
I love the way Americans do that a real tasting, once again nice warm Fresh Ciabatta bread (comp) with nice sweet butter.
Then I had Pork Shank they called it Pork Osso Bucho- a dream, just melted in my mouth, going to have to try to make that.
At Yarmouth beach, got some shells for Sherl.
You can see how the Cape Cod interior design look was evolved, it is all that whitewashed look, they obviously get inspiration from the shells (fabulous white) and the beach, gorgeous white sand and even the scallop shells had that white washed look about it Chilly Saturday morning, back to Boston.
The ride up had a few eventful tantrums, got on the wrong route north but as Pollyanna Gilli said… ”we are seeing a different part of Massachusetts”. Getting off the freeway was interesting, or not getting off as the case may be., we ended up too far north but logic kicked in and we finally made it to the desired location. Glad we hadn’t booked on the phone, we didn’t like the hotel so decided to go over to Cambridge, the home of Harvard Uni,
These kind of good things keep happening to us… keep on seeing the half full glass I say!!!
Had my first burger for lunch, very good it was too, Dale, fish and chips, home to rest then a quick brisk walk around the streets, and back to finish off the bottles of wine we had bought for our journey.
Dinner at Grafton Street, another winner, once again the nice little cup of soup/chowder. Excellent… pour moi-tomato and vege for Dale, then he had brie stuffed with spinach, pine nut or pine needles as he kept calling them-garlic, wrapped in puff pastry and baked,
then I devoured delicious crab cakes sitting on nutmeg flavoured squash puree, with elegantly dressed little dice of tomato and herbs thrown around the plate. Australian Sauv Blanc. Pinot Gris seems to be the first choice of white wine in pubs not a lot of Sauv Blanc. Those in the know revere NZ Sauv Blancs.
Sated, we waddled home to watch the comedy channel & pass out.
Tomorrow, now really off to Boston, catching the T train.
Ah Boston and Sunday Brunch.
What a pretty town, we walked for miles
Dale took pictures of almost everything, we just had to make sure that the ever increasing
girth of mine was not in any of the shots
Hard to find really good coffee, in a real cup, here in the States everybody drinks out of those ghastly polystyrene cups. Anyway, back to brunch in Boston. American Joe’s, oops first…we stopped at the Cheers Pub of course had to buy a Bloody Mary so I could go to the bathroom, it’s a cute pub they do them well here, decided against eating brunch-a little bit touristy,
Down to the T Train, we had to go on a green line, where the trains are dressed up to look like trams, how cute is that, when they stop you can get off either side just like a tram, remember.
Then we caught a normal train back to Cambridge.
All we could do was to lie down and watch Comedy Central.
A movie called the Blue Collar tour... four non p.c. comedians a group of southern Billy Connolly’s, so, so funny, we never left the room, too full, and too tired.
Monday 27th March
Caught the Chinatown bus back to NYC. We drove along the highway through Westchester, Terry and Ngaire country and I think Darielle and Skid lived there as well. Got some great views of the suburbs, once again, only because there were no leaves on the trees. One of the saddest things about living in a city of skyscrapers sometimes, must be the lack of sun on the streets…continual shade. N.B. Boston Public transport is super, even Dale didn’t moan, just step off one train, across the platform, onto the next, till you reach your destination all for $1.25 each, Fantastic.
Nice to get home…dear Yvonne waiting for us with “Sunday Roast” Baby or should I say milk fed veal stuffed with herbs, some baked roast vege, stir fried greens.
We eat like Kings and Queens here, who needs restaurants.
Tuesday 28th March
Today is Emeril Day, John McCready used his influence to get Yvonne and I into the 'Emeril Live show'-
We took off downtown to the Chelsea markets where The Food Network is located.
The markets are interesting, like to they tried to do in the viaduct in Auckland,
but of course with the size population here, it is easy to attract shoppers and eaters.
AND be successful.
Even so, they tried to mix and match shops and it seems only the food oriented ones have survived. There are soup kitchens, Amy’s Bakery, which supplies French and Italian style bread for all over town, fish shops, novelty food items, and an Italian grocer.
A good kitchen shop like Millie’s. Didn’t see a lot that you couldn’t get in Auckland
(Oh in Amy’s bakery they sold red velvet cup cakes, I bought one, not as chocolately as the one I make, very rich frosting).
Nicole Farhi the English designer has a casual restaurant, with clothes and homeware interspersed around the tables. Just simple café food, we had a nice lunch.
I had a salad with Warm Goats Cheese, Proscuitto, Figs and Pistachios - minus the figs?…didn’t have them that day. Why put them on the menu I say.
Yvonne had soup. We finally went to the filming-
Rules and regulations-
Don’t look- Don’t touch Emeril-
We were in the VIP bunch and were seated on the second row of tables,
Goodie I thought, samples, but neither wine nor food made it past the first row.
Minghy ! buggers. Dozens of workers buzzing around, setting up.
The warm up girl, very funny, must be tiring though, getting everyone worked into a frenzy twice a day. Of course, one has to clap and shout, all the things that annoy you when you are watching at home.
Seems a little churlish to sit po faced while all around you,
everybody is making a fool of them selves though!!!
The show is running in May in US; guess it will be a couple of years before John gets it for NZ,
I should think.
Today a Miami theme-Tasty-Sashimi Tuna dipped in a Asian styled marinade, onto a lettuce leaf, topped with deep fried won ton strips seasoned with sesame oil, a few jalapeno slices some hot sauce and wrapped up.
Then he made Crab Cakes with a Pineapple Salsa.-
a Smothered Spicy Chicken with Black Beans and to top it all off, a pineapple cheesecake,
He’s a charismatic man, gave a lot of time to a teenage cerebral palsy boy, who just loved it.
It was a good show, pity about no samples.
So from Dr Feelgood we popped across to Ground Zero. Of course now it is almost built up to Street level, just a huge empty space.
More moving, was St Pauls, the oldest church in New York, which was just across the street and miraculously survived- it was the scene of feeding and resting the wonderful rescuers, who worked day and night clearing the site of bodies and rubble.
One of the most poignant sites was the fences covered in messages from relatives and friends, seeking their missing people. They have re-created a section of it and it is in the church, very moving. Meanwhile in the next block with the best view of Ground Zero is Century 21, the biggest designer discount store a huge Dressmart.
Very famous names in there, bought a new handbag.
Taking Dale on Wednesday-real bargains but so/too much choice. Chef Rubin fed us “left overs”, couldn’t let all that beautiful roast veal got to waste. A quiet night.
Wednesday 29th March…some people got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, so it wasn’t was one of our more successful days Mr Twenty past 8 hung around for most of the day, we found a great little Italian Spaghetti Western on Reade and Broadway, which was nice little reprieve,
Vege lasagna for Dale and Prawn Linguine for me delicious. Then after a few “words” we did, successfully, make it down to Century 21… couldn’t find anything for Dale, unfortunately, AND then I kept him waiting, while I managed to find a present for Joseph and to snatch 3 tops for me
(it is warming up and I don’t have many spring clothes), then I had to stand in line to try them on... then run downstairs…oops bad girl.
I know its annoying but you really don’t have much choice in those big department stores. It always seems easier to shop for men.
Never so crowded…no waiting time. Picked up the train at the World Trade Centre and we got off too late to transfer and ended up in Queens. We had to go back on another train, oh dear, and when we got off at a station, we recognized… it seemed too taxing to get on more trains, so finally, silently,
we got a cab home.
The Rubin Hilton had vege pies and lovely salad waiting.
Of course while watching TV, out comes a platter of fruit, cheese, home baking- our Hostess is the Mostess. Sleeping pills to ensure good nights sleep tonight and better moods for the next day.
Thursday 30th March
Our trip to Connecticut. First down to Grand Central Station home of the Oyster Bar and restaurant.
We met Jay and Ellie on the Silver Whisper a couple of years ago and we really enjoyed their company. We all did the Trivial Pursuits Quizs (about our only activity on the ship) and had lots of funny times together.
He told us then that they owned a few shopping malls.
Bit of an understatement, he has been part of major real estate and construction in New York City and surrounds .. Around the board room is maps of all these shopping malls, pictures of Jay with President Bush, Reagan, God like being in Stuart’s house,
Stu is with famous entertainers and Jay with famous dignitaries. Isn’t that fab.
The lovely Ellie arrived and along with their son-in-law Wing, who is their business partner we went to lunch.
Rules-no jeans- so we ate in the bar/dining room-very RNZYS. What a view (Dale has pictures) over the Long Island sound so beautiful, Victor Borge (to name but one), lived around there, all these beautiful homes on the waterfront.. They had pennants hanging down from the ceiling in the bar, which were personal ensigns for the members, lined up from the oldest serving to the newest.
We want to send Jay a Royal Cajun Yacht Club flag to hang, he is only a winter member as he doesn’t sail anymore, just goes there for lunch so may be it is not appropriate.
I had a nice oyster stew and Atlantic scallops which are so huge, seared and tasty but very rich I couldn’t complete my meal.
No point in moving as they have to pay too much capital gains tax if they sell, but why would you it is so lovely. Not huge… just a real nice family home.
Unfortunately due to it being a school day we didn’t get to meet with Cathy, their daughter and the 2 gorgeous granddaughters. A very close family. Pity.
Wing was a lot of fun it would have been nice to catch up with the rest of them… there could be a trip down under in their future travel agenda. Our turn to look after them
They plan was to take us to the 21 Club. During prohibition there were 32,000 speakeasies in NY City… even more than the legal saloons before prohibition, shows you how effective prohibition was! The Wine Club Hidden Cellar at 21 is one of the few remaining clubs from that era- Of course, to get in doesn’t only require “no jeans” but a real shirt and tie and jacket as well, to top it off.
He was the project manager of this enormous project- Jay was also responsible for lots of major construction in this city.
He was also Commissioner for Housing for New York City
He and Ellie are such unassuming people-warm-friendly-funny –superb…
Of course we had lots of laughs about the well dressed Dale, ( I took photos) Jay autographed a copy of his book with “I want my Clothes back” on the bottom! Dale emailed him back that he would return them only if he didn’t get a better offer on Ebay.
When you see the photo you will see how fetching he looks. I digress.
Popped into the Ritz Carlton for a cocktail-great view over Jersey and the famous lady. “Libertaire” then onto the renowned Club 21.
The tie worked we got in!!! Jay is of course well known here and the staff treated us real nice!
Dale Ellie and Jay had the Striped bass and I had tender pork steaks-
Scotty the driver dropped us off home and a wonderful day came to an end.
Friday 31st March
A quiet day lazy day before Stu comes home, took Yvonne to Le Pain Quotidien-the real coffee in cups, me egg salad, sandwich Yvonne soup, Dale had Salmon-
Bought a few books from Barnes and Noble… completed the day with me in the kitchen.
I’ve almost forgotten how to do it!
Salmon for a change, pan-fried with lemon and wine sauce over sweet potato mash and braised leeks.
Watched a lovely DVD on Kirk and Michael Douglas.
Saturday April Fools Day
Supposed to rain, NY really needs it, it has only rained once since we got here…
by the way I have forgotten to mention how the spring is springing every day,
there are more flowers and blossoms coming on the trees just gorgeous.
Below the Trump Tower, with it's lovely trees, Spring came early to Mr Trump
Bit of a stupid thing to do on a weekend but first, we had lunch at the Brooklyn Diner a New York Icon.
I have to have ribs and a Benihana lunch (for all times “sake”) before we go. Dale had Salmon and Eggs.
MOMA was crowded of course, silly us, so we cabbed it home, to greet Stu home from Madrid- we all had a wee rest unfortunately there was an error in the booking of the tickets for “The Threepenny Opera” that we were going to see at Studio 54, but who cares… we went to Calle Ocho part of the “Rain” chain. Mexican (as opposed to Mexican't) We all shared a Ceviche platter and Stu and I had Cuban styled steak, spicy, nice piece of meat served with Yucca Fries….I could make this at home from our Yucca in the garden…The said Yucca circa 1993
They grow like weeds
Just have to found out which part of the Yucca they use. Tastes like taro. I went onto their website and turns out the steak and chips are recommended eating… good one Stu!!!
The bread that came with the drinks was little balls, I think they rip the dough into balls, dip in cornmeal and deep fry – then roll in something sweet.
Like a brioche but more bready very yummy. I couldn’t complete my meal yet again too much food too little time – Home to fall asleep in front of the 2000 year old man.
Dale’s birthday April 2nd
Wandered around Soho lovely sunny day, great little shopping area, will go back
I hope before we leave. Home to movie marathon, ‘Bad Santa’-‘Best in Show’ and the ‘Wild Bunch’. Of course we had to have something to eat, nice little sour dough, cheese and tomato on toast. Monday April 3rd
Downtown on train, just a simple shopping day to buy luggage from Century 21. Successful shopping then walking around, found Tony Boudain’s Les Halles...so we lunched.
I had Moules et Frites. Beautiful tender baby mussels with peppers, garlic, wine and cream and a bob’s worth of chips. Dale had Salmon.
I was excited about Les Halles but Jackie told me that the one on Park Av is the one to go to.
Never mind we enjoyed what we had. Got the train home…perfect, it was an express that got us back uptown in about 8 mins.
Yvonne made fish and chips and pudding
Another movie marathon, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Once upon a time in Mexico’ and finishing with Danny Kaye and ‘The Five Pennies’. This was to be our last quiet night
Tuesday April 4th
Yvonne got tickets for us to go and see The View being filmed.
ABC, the network is just a block away from her house. I ended up going on my own, as Yvonne was busy preparing for dinner. Stu has invited Roy Orbison’s widow.
I stood in line reading Jay’s book about Battery Park City and when it was time to enter found myself right in the second row.-Big studio-3 movable sets (I have phone pictures)- 5 stroppy women- Barbara Walters was presiding…she hasn’t been on for a while, so it was a bonus to see her.
She’s tiny. In the first break, it is filmed live, the women walked around the audience.
I shook hands with Barbara and Meredith. It was very enjoyable and got a copy of Broke Back Mountain DVD. We spent the afternoon reading and relaxing.
Dinner with Barbara ‘O’ was interesting she met up with Roy as a teenager- a buxom woman, would have been stunning when young, still looking very good. German. Obviously didn’t realize The Rubins are Jewish, as she came out with “The Book of Jewish War heroes joke!!!
She didn’t bat an eyelid so we think she was totally unaware. Stu thought it was really funny but was glad Max wasn’t there. She is carefully managing the “Roy” property and I would think has made a fortune. She is smart and of course holds the floor like a Queen.
Quite a lot of name-dropping but of course she knows a lot of names!
Yvonne made a stunning dinner, Chopped Herring, Asparagus and Mushroom Soup-Lemon Sole accompanied with Herbed Potatoes and Beetroot, finished off with little berry tarts and apple tart and truffles. Meanwhile, Dale and Stu had had lunch earlier, with John Denver’s manager-
Dale had Ravioli stuffed with Mushrooms. A day devoted to dead people.
Wednesday April 5th
Getting panicky not many days left. It has gotten cold again- but everyday the city is getting prettier (Dale has pictures) - Goodness, it is snowing as I write.
Started off with snow flurries but then big fat flakes but not cold enough to remain. Melted as soon as they landed. Simple day. Out again tonight.
Stu’s ex secretary Karen, organized Dinner for us tonight. Buddakan. This is only a month old
It is a very successful restaurant in Philadelphia and they are now taking on New York. She is friendly with Kelley who is the Vice president of Operations, which must be an amazingly stressful job. What a site.
It is enormous must seats about 500 people but you would never know.
You walk into a really buzzy bar, it is trendy already. Pick up place for singles, I would think.
Then we were taken to our table…quite a power table in fact, you walk down into a big banquet hall we were in the back left hand corner in a semi booth looking out at everyone. Apparently, Tyra Banks has already baggsed it for her special table when she eats there.
The food is fusion Asian and really delicious.
Everyone here eats fresh green Soybeans “Edamame” blanched and dipped in salt, as a low cal snack very tasty. Need to try to buy them in NZ, think “Asian green grocers”.
Anyway this restaurant made them into a paste with truffle oil and this in turn became Dim Sums sitting in a little broth….fantastic – Tuna Devilled Spring Rolls, Charred Lamb on Lettuce Wraps, Lobster wrapped in Won Ton, God we just ate all sorts of appetizers.
In addition, we had the most delicious crab fried rice.
More like an Egg Fu Yung tossed around with the rice and crab so moist and beautiful.
We thought we had died and gone to heaven.
Then when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, 6 desserts, courtesy of mine host, arrived for a tasting. Plus we found out he had shouted us a bottle of wine (also good for the wallet, as this is not a cheap place…).
The desserts were to coin a phrase “to die for”. I should have written this yesterday, I have already forgotten what we had and I ‘never’ thought I would.
But Chocolate reigned; I am going to have to get Yvonne to prompt me. A little Choc Mousse sitting on a beautiful crust, a Choc Wafer 3 layer sandwich, with Banana Sorbet wedged in between the layers. A beautiful Seville orange gelato.
A coffee sort of cheesecake I’m sorry I can’t be more graphic… it was all too much for a white girl. (Oops sorry bit non PC but who cares))
We then waddled out and off the Soho Club. where Stu and Karen are members. They have a poolroom. and you are allowed to smoke, little wafts of smoke drifted out into the bar, the first smoke I have smelt almost since being here.
Like NZ… all bars restaurants, any public place non-smoking... Sad for smokers, but such nice atmosphere for the rest of us.
Now beat this…bottle of Cloudy Bay $106USD is that mad or what… we didn’t drink that of course, you can buy French champagne for almost that price!!!
Anyway, that was fun, but we were getting weary and full so off to catch a cab and home – no story, straight to bed for these travelers
Thursday April 6th was our catching up with Jackie and Harvey again.
Dale and I went down town to Times Square for a final souvenir shop… found in 7th Av a nice little Pizza place called Bella Vista. Obviously frequented by local workers.
You know I had to have this…Spaghetti and Meatballs. I mean you can’t be closeish to Tony Soprano country and not have partaken of same. It was excellent;
Dale had Spinach Ravioli with the same tomato sauce, that was on my spag.
No wine for a change, then we walked the 20 blocks back home to try to wear off some calories.
We also popped into Toy R Us.
They have a Ferris wheel inside the shop about 3 stories tall.
Each cart is devoted to famous children’s characters so gorgeous. Little kids just love it.
I would have gone on it actually, but it seemed wrong…where were Sophia, Joseph and Mia.
Anyway back to dinner. Indian this time. Devi- Contemporary Indian food- we shared some Samosas, Chicken stuffed with Lamb, Naan Bread stuffed with Spinach and Goat’s Cheese-Salmon and Crab Cakes.
The mains, Harvey and Jackie wanted to try the Tandoori Lamb. to see if it equaled the same dish they had in London…it almost did.
I would have liked the meat a bit more med than rare and the Tandoori marinade a little drier but other than that it was nice.
Stu had beef curry, we got Dale spiced potatoes and some Dahl,
Yvonne got green beans cut up in little rings looking like peas, more naan and I had Spicy Chicken stuffed with some Indian cheese. With a little tomato pilaf on the side.
The design of the restaurant was colourful, Taj Mahal,, kinda look very nice actually reviewed in the Sunday paper Got a good review.
We are now on a roll with the desserts, and Stu got a couple of small tasting plates, for us to “taste”, a lovely little Rice Pudding and couple of other things, tasty, but I can’t remember what they were.
Over all I am not enraptured with Asian desserts normally.
Friday April 7th
A lazy day we are all getting a little bit tired. The weather was yuk, good excuse to prepare ourselves for dinner that night. –
Raouls, downtown-another NY icon, French Bistro-trendy-nice.
A place to be seen and to watch. Once again the dark panelling and lots of mirrors.
To go to the toilet was a mission, there was a very tight spiral staircase, it was easier to hold on… than attempt what would have become a trip up Everest, after a few drinks.
We were joined by The Rubin’s good friend Brian King…
Well hello Laurie Bushell – Brian is from Manchester, dark swarthy, very chatty,
the resemblance was uncanny.
We all got on like a house on fire and he even paid for our pleasure. How bout that!
Nice man. I had Country Pate, (oh first we all had fab Martinis) and then Poussin with Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes, lovely but chicken could have done a little more time in the oven, not pink, but didn’t fall off the bone as it should.
Dale had Fish and Fish- Smoked salmon and Tuna this time. Brian ordered extra French Fries and Brussell Sprouts to share. Yum.
We went to the Mercer Street Bar to top up the drinks, which of course we really needed, farewelled Brian and home to sit up all night listening to music and making sure there wasn’t any open bottles remaining.
Saturday April 8th
We are all too old for this – all the signs of getting ready to go home are showing,
Getting tired, getting fatter, running out of toothpaste, deodorant, conditioner…
Only a couple of squirts left in my perfume bottle.
Even the battery on the toothbrush is slowing down.
We were all feeling slow Yvonne had to cook for 8 people.
Luckily she had set the table, all individual setting s and very pretty they were too… with our names…she wrote up her menu on the great little blackboard she that she has, and did most of the prep the day before so, there were only the finishing touches to complete.
Stu, Dale and I watched King Kong and loved it. Yvonne took a well deserved rest.
The guests arrived: Heinz has worked with Stu since his Aussie days.
He is German and has the sense of humour to go with it. He is currently a judge on German Idol and he likes to be the Kingpin at the party. We were warned…
He was very pleasant but he and Dale had a couple of clashes as the drinks rolled on.
Whoops, but we got over that.
His 3rd wife Phoebe turned 41 that day and Yvonne had made a lovely Mexican dinner for her. Ceviche-Guacamole…mains…Spicy Chicken marinated for 24 hours very flavourful, some Spicy Beef and a black bean corn and tomato salsa., chilli and garlic roast potatoes and a couple of dipping sauces… one made from Chipotle (smoked jalapeno) peppers designed to try and blow your head off excellent for Mr Heinzie!!!
For the birthday cake she made these gorgeous little marshmallows in muffin tins, 4 different colours Pretty pastel, she decorated each one, they were very spectacular. Phoebe was thrilled.
There was apple slice and truffles left over from the other German… Mrs O’s dinner.
The other guests were Don and Brenda. He is a very smart NY lawyer very funny,
She was lovely and also fun, . 5 boys 3 grown up from Don's first marriage and then 2 more 11 and 9. There is a grandson aged 1... Brenda reckons they don’t know how to make girls in their family.
They have the apartment in the city, then the big house at the lake about 2 hours away
Sort of like Pauanui or Omaha. There were loads of jokes- Heinz was a bit prickly he doesn’t really do jokes, everyone pussy foots around him a little.
Stu does give him heaps though... by the way if you get a chance, get Stu to do the Pancho Villa one joke, hilarious.. Anyway lucky for us (the residents)…all over by midnight.
Sunday April 9th –
Off to finally see The Threepenny Opera at the matinee at Studio 54. Loved the show, didn’t know anything about it other than it featured “Mack the Knife”
Studio 54 must have been amazing in it’s heyday – where the decadent New Yorkers once sat at tables consuming anything they could lay their hands on, these tiers are now theatre seats - apparently it was a theatre originally.
So not difficult to redesign either way…Great chandeliers, all very grand.
The song Mack the Knife is the overture and the story follows on from that.
It was a dark decadent production, the costumes - cross between Cabaret and Rocky Horror Show. Cyndi Lauper played a whore and a Scottish Guy called Alan Cumming played Macheath...
He looked like Rodney from Good shirt it was an amazing resemblance.
(Now of course, he is famous for being Eli Gold, in the Good Wife)
We loved it. Because of the stuff up with our tickets we were not allocated seats, and had to wait till the “no shows” didn’t show, which wasn’t going down very well with Stu.
He said he would go home if they gave us bad seats…anyhow after all that
he was the one who got a seat in the front row.
Dale was not complaining but then again Stu had paid, so he was justified to be a little grumpy.
The rest of us got 3 rows back pretty good seats as it turned out.
There was a little drama, poor Dale and Yvonne had to move at half time- … late arrivals,
(who have to forfeit their seats till half time) demanded their allocated seats…
but luckily they only had to go 2 rows back. Not too much of a strain really.
Stu suggested a snack on the way home, we popped into a Chinese restaurant on 7th,
a few dumplings & fried rice later we strolled home – watched some Mel Brooks and waited for the Taymacs. They arrived, we drank champagne it was great to see them, and then off to
the Club House, Maruzella.
We were welcomed with open arms. Romero even remembered that I had eaten the steak on our first visit… maybe he has been reading my log!!!
It was a fun night, I had Clams smothered with Seasoned Breadcrumbs and then I followed Stu and Yvonne with the Bread Crumbed Veal topped with Arugula and Tomato salad –
Dale and John had Porcini Risotto, JT had Pasta,
Stu preceded his veal with Seafood Salad and John and JT tried to work their way through rather large Boccacino, Tomato and Pepper salad… We foolishly got 3 desserts to share, Cheesecake and Tiramisu…it was too hard, and we were full as bulls.
It is divine food, we shall miss it. I couldn’t even get the Grappa down, which is a first for me, just all too much. Went home and watched Blazing Saddles, laughing our calories off.
Monday 10th April
Dale had a sleepless night with “the runny nose” obviously getting “the cold” as Mia puts it.
He was pretty miserable I got up at 5.30 and watched Broke back Mountain.
He didn’t even make the final trip –downtown to buy his chess set, never mind, maybe next time… We have been chasing elusive chess sets for over 25 years. Somehow either we couldn’t afford them or we would go back and it had been sold.
So I guess we will just have to go away again later.
Packing became a marathon, too much stuff…we then went for our last trip to Time Warner Centre to buy birthday presents for Helen and Kate…popped into Le Pain Quotidien the French café, where we got real coffee in real cups… very nice soft boiled eggs, side order of ham for me and Dale had salmon.
Farewelled Yvonne and our friend DJ
… young Mitch drove us to the airport, check in a breeze, plane not full
13 hours to Tahiti. Dale had a vegetarian meal…I had salmon…