Saturday, January 9, 2010

What we did in NY

I know I already metioned NY briefly, but I wanted to have an electronic list of our Manhattan trip so I can throw away paper... But then what if the Kindle apocalypse happens? Oh well. I'll still have the vague memories. (Note: The Kindle apocalypse is the theory that you should still have real books and not put everything on your Kindle, in case the government takes over and tries to control our literary pool of knowledge.)

  • Fly to NYC
Josh and Henri at La Guardia Airport

Henri atop Emily's apartment building
  • Eat dinner at Rock & Roll Thai (mmm sushi and Thai iced tea)
  • Walk Bailey in Central Park
  • Group run around Jackie O's Reservoir in Central Park (21 degrees F!!! and F doesn't stand for Farenheit)
  • NY Bagels at H&H
  • Fight Yankees at the Post Office
  • Dylan's Candy Store (real candy in the steps, cool but we had to evacuate because it was absolutely insanely packed)
  • NY Pizza for lunch (never fails to be awesome, but I always wish I had ranch to go with it!)
  • See the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (nightly room rates range from $1,000 to $14,000 but they allow ANY type of pet!)
Chandelier at the Ritz

  • Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Tower
  • the Broadway musical Billy Elliot (AMAZING!!!) at the Imperial Theater (where my uncle, a stagehand, once "performed" in Chess - there were moving stage parts and my uncle had to sit inside of one for 8 hours at a time - at least he had a TV)
Imperial Theater Chandelier
  • Dinner at the Cosmic Diner
  • Kristen turns 24 in NYC
  • Josh and Henri run (no Kristen and Emily, since we maintain sanity occasionally)
  • Shopping at H&M - why can't there be one in Austin? (Incidentally, H&M is a Finnish clothing company and the Finns view the store as akin to Wal-Mart clothing... They replace H & M with "Huono & Mauton" which translates to "Bad & Tasteless.")
  • Finally bought tights at a store called Strawberry Jam - only to find them cheaper at a Houston Target
  • Saw Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk at Madison Square Garden
  • Ate Indian food at the Tandoori Oven
  • Went to the Comic Strip comedy club
  • Family sang Happy Birthday badly to me :) and Em made me a delicious cake which I graciously shared
  • Woke up to SNOW!
  • Went shopping at Goodwill and found an awesome pea coat on tha cheapz
  • Walked through snowy Central Park
Pictures in Central Park
  • Museum of Natural History (left much to be desired...)
  • Dinner at Johnny Rockets (They were supposed to sing, but apparently we went to the wrong one. They did, however, have mini-jukeboxes at the table so you could commandeer the entire restaurant with your choice of music.)
  • Henri and I watched fireworks over a lake at Central Park. There was also a 5K starting right at midnight in the same place.
  • Kristen drank 2 shots and Long Island iced tea at local bars, followed by champagne and Irish cream at Em's. She rediscovered her relationship with the porcelain god.
  • Kristen recovered and Henri stayed with her, while Mom, Em, Josh and Haley went shopping in Union Square and the East Village, and saw the shopping cart escalator at Whole Foods.
  • A loooong airplane ride back home :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

The ties that bind

They're always present
But they may float us or tether us down
Keep us apart or together
I'm not sure where I'm at right now
Transparent windows blur the edges
I feel red and blue.
I can hear you.
I want you to be free,
To unleash dangerous beauty
But I'm a criminal framed
And too many others have broken glass
So let the judgement be,
I don't think it can be me
Whoever sets you free.
I can't give bravery.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to reduced chaos

I started off the day seeing my children, as my wonderful husband and mother retrieved them from doggy boarding. I was extremely relieved to see that Ender had not ripped off any nails or broken teeth attempting to escape from her cell. So now Henri will more readily agree to boarding them.

New York was a great trip. Not perfect, of course - mom and Henri had a few battles, but it was all okay in the end. We went to visit my cousin and best friend, Emily, in her new Manhattan apartment. She just graduated nursing school and landed a job at one of the top hospitals in the US as a pediatric ICU nurse, because she's a badass. So Em and her fiance rented an apartment on the upper East side (right before it gets scary). I was really impressed that all 7 of us fit in that tiny apartment. Manhattan is a crazy place. Affordable apartments are tiny, and it's akin to the dorm life, except that your neighbors aren't as friendly. It's unrealistic to have a car, but my subway experience has been positive. We only had one scary experience, and it involved my big camera that I shouldn't have been flashing around. These two men nearby were acting really sketchy, so we switched subway cars and they didn't follow. Lucky for them, I didn't hafta get cruuunkkk H-town style :P

Obligatory NYC Subway Pictures
Josh doing what Josh does best - giving us all a heart attack
It's definitely a lifestyle I could adjust to, if I really had to, if there was a really great job in Manhattan, etc. But at this point in my life, I am just a little too spoiled by my two room duplex with a backyard and the winter temperature range of 65-75 F.

The highlights of the trip were:
  • Billy Elliot, a musical on Broadway about a kid growing up in a coal mining town who wants to become a ballet dancer. It was the first musical for Henri to see, and he was amazed - which is a difficult thing to make happen for him. He's quite the skeptic analyst. But the stagehand work, music, and vocal and dancing talent were all up to his standards. My heart goes out to the kids in that show - most 8-12 year olds can barely get their homework done, much less deliver a stunning Broadway performance.
  • The Comic Strip, a comedy club on the upper east side, and one of the places where Jerry Seinfield started out. My favorite part of the night was when one of the comedians said, "I've been missing Lil Wayne since he went to jail, he was the source of a lot of good material." Someone from the crowd: "Actually, he won't be in prison until February." Comedian: "What are you, Lil Wayne's attorney?" Same person: "Well, one of them." Haha, it was the only time I saw any performer that night at a loss for words. What are the odds? Of course, I also got harassed since it was my birthday and my lovely family members weren't willing to keep it a secret. He asked me what my occupation was and I told him I was going to vet school, which prompted questions about rectal examinations. Lovely. My mother also got harassed. One of the comedians was telling the audience, after a joke that went over most people's heads, "You know, you guys have to KNOW some things in order to laugh at my jokes. Otherwise, I'm just a black man dancing in front of a bunch of bricks. And you're sitting there thinking, ooh, those are nice colored bricks... cinnamon?" My mom found this last part hilarious, chuckled loudly and then repeated "cinnamon." Of course, that got her some attention. And when asked whether she liked her son-in-law, she paused a realll long time before answering "yeeeahhh." Comedian: "So, I guess he wasn't your first choice?" Lol.
  • For New Year's, Henri and I walked to Central Park to watch the fireworks. There was also a 5K run that started at the very first second of the new year. What a great way to start off the new year - with a run. We were content just to watch, however,
  • We did go running in Central Park. When it was 21 degrees. Crazy? Yes. Fun? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.
Em and I running around Jackie O's reservoir in Central Park
Fireworks in Central Park

It was a fantastic trip, and I'm sure I'll have a few more things to share. But it's always good to come back home, back to chaos.