Sunday, April 25, 2010

East Coast Catch-Up

**Update: Sorry I wasn't clear about where the pictures are. You can click on my Picasa link if you scroll down and look to the right, or just go here.**

Apparently my lack of blogging of late has led some to speculate that I am off the wagon. Never fear! I have simply been jam-packed busy in the last three weeks with east coast antics.

The good news is, today is a rainy, overcast day and I've been busy with administrative updates. Not only did I label the photos I uploaded weeks ago, but I've uploaded and labeled TWO NEW ALBUMS. You read that right, folks. If you need a serious time-killer, check them out. I think there are about 200 of them spanning Argentina, New York, and Philadelphia.

The rest of my time in NYC was really pleasant. I got one beautiful sunny day which I used to admire Central Park and go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time in my life. I've been studying art history for a course I'm producing and it was so much fun actually knowing something about the artworks. Kim met me there and then we went back through the park for a snack and a stroll. Isn't springtime the most incredible, inspiring season? I stuck my nose in every blooming gardenia I could find.

That night we went to Kim's boyfriend's sushi restaurant which was divine, and the next day was sunny but a lot cooler so our return to the park left Kim, Beth and me shivering a bit. Still worth it! Every time I go to NY I try to see a Broadway show but my plans are always foiled. But they were very accomodating of my wish to see some sort of live theater and we settled on a hilarious, family-fun spectacle called 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes. They were an Australian group and totally nailed it! Afterward we had dinner reservations at a fancy spot but we were all beat so we went back to Beth's, ordered take-out, and watched TV. It was heaven.

I was also able to connect with two dear friends from the Engman family who happened to be in town, Charlie and Kathleen, for brunch on Sunday (my second American brunch in two days - no complaints here) before heading to Philadelphia with Matt. That was Easter Sunday and they invited some friends over for dinner and egg dye-ing fun. Then all of a sudden it was Monday morning and I was back to working in an actual office setting for the first time in 7 months.

That's part of what's been keeping me so busy: work is a madhouse this time of year and will be until at least July 1. Of course I've been fitting plenty of fun in. I am notorious for organizing group events while in town, which so far have included:

  • A day of watching Roller Derby (what an exhilirating and entertaining sporting event!)
  • A night of Quizzo aka Quiz Night
  • Two work happy hours plus a Tuesday late-night karaoke session followed by Little Pete's
  • A Saturday adventure just like old times with Matt, this one including a trip to a taco truck and then Home Depot, resulting in the creation of an an herb garden, and the construction of an anti-squirrel cold frame

Many meals out including Reading Terminal with the visiting Ruzzo sisters, BYO dinner at the famous La Viola, and an evening with Adam and Lydia at the world-famous Vetri (considered by some master chefs to be the best Italian restaurant in the country - I had to make reservations 3 weeks in advance and yes, it was INCREDIBLE)

Here we are after our meal at Vetri with the awesome sommelier Bill. He was friendly and funny and most importantly, helpful. I knew it was fancy when we had to ask our server what half the items on the menu were, and yet it managed to avoid being pretentious while still delivering the highest standard of service I've ever experienced. We created our own version of a tasting menu which included a warm salad with coddled egg and panceta (accompanied by Prosseco/a Manhattan), another salad with thinly sliced seppie fish, watercress and peas. Then we moved onto pasta: melty, delicate spinach gnocchi with brown butter; fettucine with morels and sweet breads; papardelle with duck. Then baby goat and soft polenta, all accompanied by a greaet bottle of Italian red. We finished off with a chocolate souffle and vanilla bean ice cream and shared a glass of red-wine-esque port. A very memorable 2.5 hour dinner with Mark Vetri himself working the dining room.

On the horizon is a trip to Six Flags (I've never been!), another karaoke bash and a Phillies game. I love this city! Though I wish I could get a warmer spring in the next two weeks before I'm back in Seattle...

I'm still thrilled to be back and not feeling any sort of cultural shock, regret at leaving Argentina, or a desire to be anywhere but where I am.


AmberAnda said...

So happy to hear the update! Wow, sounds like a lot of good friends and food in the last couple weeks. The Italian meal sounds amazing. I also really like the black and white dress you are wearing in the NY picture. Okay, live roller derby?! After reading your post, I had to look to see if there is a Seattle league. Can we please go together when I get back to Seattle?! Good luck with work, and enjoy the rest of your time on the East coast!

Erica said...

I'm so glad to see a post about Philly!! When is the planned Phillies outing? The Philly Roller Girls are having another double-header on the same day as the Great Adventure trip! And I love all your planned outings, you're a great coordinator!

Momma Archer said...

Good news! Theresa Kasen is on a roller derby team! I think they are called Tilted Thunder. We must go see them when you get back.

Philadelphia and New York City sound like the best way possible to reconnect with the US. We are eagerly awaiting your arrival in Seattle soon:)