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Family, General, Life

New York

08.13.09 | 3 Comments

Last weekend I went to see Amanda on her new turf. We had such a great time. Being with my sister always feels like a cozy, comfy pair of fat pants, and I love her.

It occurred to me then and occurs to me now as I upload to Flickr the few pictures from my trip that our agenda had much to do with food. I am a gastrotourist. What do people do if not go from eatery to eatery? This is not to say that we ate a lot. We ate a rather conservative amount, and surprisingly, the only things we bought at any of the cupcake shops were not cupcakes – Amanda got Zoe a Magnolia “I (cupcake) NY” shirt, and at Crumbs we got coffee. Otherwise we just smelled. Anyway perhaps because of my fugness with the braces, or so I didn’t look like SUCH a tourist, I didn’t take many pictures, and the majority of the ones I did take are of food. Tickle me fat.

Now we did get one of each of the Levain cookie flavors and shared them over two days. For all the hubbub in the baking blogger community over these cookies, I must say my expectations were a little high. They were super yummy cookies, and definitely inspirational in terms of cloning efforts, but now that I’ve had one part of four, I think I can put the fascination to rest.

We walked several miles per day, seeing the sites. I loved the subway, as I always have been fascinated with mass transit. As for the cabs, I never did fear for my life, and I found at least one of the cabbies to be extremely pleasant. Amanda’s roommate’s boyfriend’s birthday was Saturday, so Friday night we made him a cake. I say we, but really it was Amanda; my contribution was to color frosting and fondant, eat cake scraps, and get in the way. But I’m glad she tolerated me, because I love to be in the kitchen with her.

We also got to catch up with Duke over some delicious fancy pizza before we headed to Chelsea Market and shopped. Everyone should have a Duke hug at least once a year. Saturday the aforementioned birthday boy was celebrating at Central Park with a softball game, so we spent some time there. I loved the park. The grass felt like heaven’s carpet on our tired feet, and I enjoyed meeting Amanda’s friends.

We met another of Amanda’s friends from work later for dinner. We stumbled upon a Middle Eastern restaurant with delicious gyros. The original plan was to end up at Pommes Frites, but we were so full that we got them to go and continued walking. I had seen these Belgian fries featured on the Food Network years ago and decided I must have them some day. After fatting around at home for a little bit, we decided to catch the night’s last showing of 500 Days of Summer. I recommend it – very cute and clever.

Saturday night/Sunday morning saw a very heavy storm, which was great for sleeping. When we got up, we found a street fair and falafel, walked through Times Square, and then on to Levain Bakery. More walking and shopping, dinner at a very lovely and tasty Thai place, followed by Julie and Julia, which was great. I am now as in love with Julia Child as my Dad has professed as long as I’ve known him. She was the only woman for whom my Mom gave him a pass. After the movie we scooted in the door of Tasti D-lite with a minute to spare before they closed.

Monday after Amanda left for work, I piddled around, just walking wherever I decided to go, ducking into shops and delighting in the fact that the streets are laid out such that even a geographically challenged bumpkin such as myself can navigate them without too much hassle. I wish I had 1. seen my cousin and his girls, 2. seen my friend who just moved there, 3. seen the World Trade Center memorial, and 4. walked to the edge of the island to see the ocean. But I ran out of time before I headed to Amanda’s work to meet for lunch. Always leave something to see on the next trip, right? We ate where she eats most days, Digby’s, whose iced hazelnut coffee is commendable.

After that Amanda got me into the MoMA before heading back to work. I shuffled about, sort of half-heartedly looking at drawings and artifacts and generally being a little blah, probably because I was leaving. I shaped up when I realized HEY, YOU’RE STILL HERE, and decided to see what I love – painting and sculpture, which were upstairs. I’m so glad I did. Without sounding too cheesy, I was moved. Even with a lot of people around, it felt calm in there, and I was able to focus on things and be excited without feeling ADD about it.

After a little more shopping, I went up to Amanda’s office with cute pictures on her desk, and then we walked home to get ready to leave. She walked me to the subway – goodbyes are hard – and I did my first truly embarrassing, idiotic thing of the trip. I wedged myself and my luggage in the turnstile and missed the window for turning it to get through. Ah, well. AirTrain, JFK, and JetBlue – check, thumbs up, for the most part.

Of course along the way were sister chats and the delicious worst of TV (Toddlers and Tiaras, for one). New York is a pretty amazing place with a lot to see and do. I continue to be impressed at Amanda’s gumption, her move to Manhattan, and how she acclimated so quickly and so well. I can’t wait to visit again, and thank you to my parents for the funds and encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’m really glad I got to go on that trip before school starts. Which is Monday. I think the anxiety about that peaked yesterday, and now I’m just focused on being prepared. Instead of “Don’t eff it up” on a hamster wheel in my head, I’m trying to tell myself, “You can do this!” Cognitive behavioral therapy for the win. I hope.

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