Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coney Island's finest garden

I guess March 2009 was a quiet month for the Parks and Rec garden competition. Still, here it is, Coney Island's best garden. A little round patch of hope and shrubbery in the wasteland between Nathan's and the boardwalk.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The charming history of Coney Island

As my last post indicated, I didn't exactly fall in love with Coney Island.

One of the disappointments we faced was that there was no Sideshows by the Seashore performance on the day we visited. Sideshows by the Seashore is a modern freakshow, featuring the world's most tattooed woman, and a man known as the human pincushion, and various like-minded buddies.

It looks a bit like the one on Venice beach TLOML always pooh-poohed. I guess life in New York has brought out his darker side because he was actually looking forward to Sideshows.
Sideshows is run by an artists collective who also operate the small, slightly dusty, but fascinating Coney Island Museum. We swallowed our disappointment about the show, paid our $1 entrance fee and headed up their staircase to look at the exhibits.
There we learnt about the madness of Coney Island's glory days. Back in the day Coney Island was home to some far crazier spectacles than the human pincushion.

Apparently they used to have incubators with premature babies in there - being cared for by nurses - on display on the boardwalk. A community of Filipinos were somehow, um, persuaded to relocate to Coney Island where they lived in an 'Igorot Village' that daytrippers could pay to look around. And there was a 0.5 scale replica of Nuremburg, populated by 300 little people (or midgets, in 1900s-speak).

Also popular were some crazy re-enactments of terrible disasters. Like the San Francisco earthquake show, or the Galveston Flood show. Both were hugely successful recreations, peopled by actors and with elaborate sets and effects, which were showing within a year or two of those disasters. Kinda like if someone did a Hurricane Katrina IMAX film. Very odd.

So, that's what people did at the beach before the invention of the Kindle or the frisbee.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New York's very own seaside resort

Ever since I saw Annie Hall, where Woody Allen claims to have been brought up under the rollercoaster, I've wanted to visit Coney Island. That's why I put it on that bucket list.

So this weekend TLOML and I took the C and then the F out to the wilds of coastal Brooklyn. It took an awfully long time to get there. We began passing through overground stations with strange names. We were definitely not in Manhattan anymore. The train emptied.

On arrival, the first thing we saw was the legendary Nathan's hot dog place. It cheered TLOML up immediately, and the journey already seemed worthwhile.

Which is a good thing as frankly, it went downhill after that.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting it to be Vegas - or even Brighton. But I was hoping for an out-of-season, picturesque desolation. Not just actual desolation.

Okay, it's November. But somehow I can't imagine Coney Island being any more cheerful when its packed to the gills with screaming children and red faced sunseekers.

I was a little relieved ChaChas was closed. Grandpa Chacha's home style wine is probably the last thing we needed.
There's something about the backdrop that just, well, it aint' pretty.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fromage de Florida

TLOML and I passed through Palm Beach airport again this week. This time we did not dally at Sam Snead's golf bar. Instead we headed straight for the gates.

There, we made a startling discovery.

Cheese in the shape of Florida.

I don't believe Florida is known for its dairy products. Well, maybe thanks to the ingenuity of the folks at Jim's American Cheese, that's about to change.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey day traditions

TLOML and I started Thanksgiving with a gentle jog across to Palm Beach Island and back, in anticipation for the food fest that was to follow. His mother makes a mean turkey, and takes no prisoners on the side dishes either. Preparation would be key - we needed to kick start the metabolism (sluggish after 4 days of lazy gluttony in Jamaica) so we could make the most of the spread.

While TLOML's mother slaved away in the kitchen - in our defense, we had our jobs to do later in the day - I was introduced to another holiday tradition:  the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

In this strange spectacle, a long parade go past the big tatty Macy's on 34th Street. There are large sinister balloons being steered by crowds of people in matching outfits. There are many marching bands with dancers, a little like the Stanford Marching Band only way more orderly. And the Navy glee club, belting out the Star Spangled Banner with Miss America grinning away next to them. And many many floats sponsored by the entertainment business. My favourites were the high school marching bands and dance troupes.

I wondered, aloud, how they choose the kids who get to be in the parade. TLOML tells me they are all descended from the pilgrims and the Indians at the first Thanksgiving. Fair enough. Doesn't really explain the presence of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club and the Smurf movie float though.
After that we attended to our kitchen duties. And the football, of course. After plenty of chopping, steaming, mashing, basting, and browning we had a feast fit for a king. Or at least, TLOML, his mother, and me. We tucked into excellent turkey with cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, asparagus, corn and gravy. And candied yams, which involves baking sweet potatoes with sugar - or a rare Indonesian tree sap in TLOML's mother's case - and marshmallows. Sweetness trebled! Ouch, it was good.

And then, we took a long walk to fight off the sleep inducing-tryptophan. We were home just in time for the end of the football, and to tuck into some pies. That's right, pie plural. All these things (except maybe the jog and the Macy's parade) are the reason TLOML calls it 'the most magical time of the year'.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Or 'Happy Turkey Day' as many Americans seem to say. Perhaps they have forgotten the day's origins. For the confused and the non-Americans who read this, allow me to provide a brief summary.

Thanksgiving is basically a harvest festival type festival. While in Britain harvests are over by September, after which time only sprouts can be harvested, here in the land of the free they harvest right up until the 4th Thursday in November.

The first thanksgiving was celebrated in the States when a bunch of pilgrims celebrated their harvest with prayers, like the devout Christians they were. As they sat down for their elaborate meal of roast turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn, pumpkin pie and cherry pie ('cos not everyone likes pumpkin) they saw some smallpox-ridden native Americans scavenging for seeds nearby. 'Hey! Thanks for the land you guys,' the pilgrims shouted. 'Want some turkey?'

And so the tradition began. (According to Wikipedia it may not be quite this simple. Do your own research if you really want to know.)

In today's America it is illegal to eat anything other than turkey or pumpkin at Thanksgiving. Some Americans dodge this law and trick the Thanksgiving police by making other food in the shape of turkey or pumpkin, like this 'turkey bread'.

That's about all I know about Thanksgiving. But I would like to leave you with a little reminiscence. Harvest festival makes me think of the childhood nickname my sisters and I had for the enormous bellywarming knickers we scorned. After the words to the harvest hymn, 'all is safely gathered in, 'ere the winter storms begin', we used to call those big pants 'harvest festivals'. Still makes me giggle.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A resort for cheapskates and romantics and those who are both

TLOML and I were surprised that we weren't the only Aveda freeloaders at The Caves.

When we checked in, TLOML asked the nice front desk lady 'How many people do you see coming through here with the Aveda points?' (with a wry smile that said 'We know we're a rare breed').

'Of the three parties who checked in today,' she said, 'You're all with Aveda'.

So the good news is, I'm not the only person who spends that much on Aveda. In fact it's very common. Phew. The other good news is that picking out the other Aveda freeloaders provided hours of entertainment.

This was a relief because there really was very little to do. Magazines to flip through, turquoise water to swim in, rum to sip and lounge beds to lounge on. The ongoing drama of our Gin Rummy series (he's beating me about 30 games to 10 so far) could only occupy us so far.

We quickly ruled out the couple celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary. And the pair who we guessed, by her fluffy white 'bride on tour' flipflops, were honeymooners. But the crunchy looking girl from Colorado, who was holidaying with her mother was surely a candidate. We speculated for half a day.

That night at the bar, emboldened by his second Blackwell rum, TLOML ventured to enquire, 'if you don't mind me asking, are you...' (and he lowered his voice to a whisper, so as not to offend those money splashing honeymooners) ' with Aveda?'

Bingo! She was. Which left one other couple to be identified. We ruled out the couple on their first wedding anniversary. Then we narrowed it down to the triathlete and her husband, or the two middle aged ladies. As neither couple ever appeared in the bar, after that second (or third) Blackwell rum, we never found out.

I felt a little bad for the honeymoon and anniversary celebrants. We had just exactly as romantic a time as them. Only for free. Which makes it even more special to these two lovebirds: we have a wedding to save for after all, so thrift is the ultimate in romance.

We hope to return to The Caves one day. We'd like to go tomorrow. But otherwise, once I've saved my points for another two or three years, will be good enough.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our freebie holiday

You know you might have spent too much money at Aveda when you have earned enough points for a free Jamaican holiday.

I like Aveda, because of they use wind power to make their products, and give you liquorice tea while you shop. Oh, and the stuff they make is pretty good too. I keep shopping there because of their loyalty scheme. When I was a singleton in London I used to earn enough Aveda points to get a free haircut two or three times a year.

A few days after I moved in with TLOML we went to the Beverly Center (LA's ugliest, yet extremely useful, mall) to stock up Aveda. TLOML saw the loyalty scheme ad with a picture of the spa in Negril, and immediately challenged me. Why was I throwing my points away on free haircuts when I could be saving for Jamaica?

I knew he was right - as he annoyingly is about so much. I immediately focussed on the bigger prize. I marked double points days in my calendar, and bought six months worth of shampoo at a time. TLOML converted to Aveda hair products. Aveda became our fallback for gift buying. It was like a very focussed, middle class version of 'Extreme Couponing'.

And now... two years later, we have made it. Four nights in a cliffside spa in Negril, Jamaica. With air miles covering half our flights, and Aveda taking care of the hotel, it's pretty much a free holiday. Though as I said, I wonder if I may have spent rather more than I needed to on shampoo in order to get it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I’ve been away for a couple of years now but from my memory, here’s how the countdown to Christmas works:
  • At some point in October the shops start putting up their Christmas decorations and people get all sniffy about it. ‘Christmas already? It’s only October!’
  • In November the Christmas ads start, and people get a bit sniffy about that too.
  • By the time Christmas rolls around most of you are heartily sick of the Christmas rah-rah.

I am never sick of it, because I love Christmas. I love the whole festive shebang: the music, the window displays, the cheesy ads, and all those eating and drinking opportunities.

So I really like the way the Americans do it. By making Halloween into a big card-buying, party-throwing, event, the holiday 'something's in the air!' season can legitimately start in October.

Then comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the best of all. It’s just about getting together for food and drink and football (and you know how I love football). No gifts to buy, just a lot of turkey and candied yams, cheesy family-oriented Thanksgiving ads, and everyone taking a long weekend off. So festive!

It’s not till the end of November that you can really get thinking about Christmas. Up until now it's been lurking in the background, one festive theme among many. But now all the Noel stuff can come right to the forefront. So the true run up to Christmas is nice and short. And yet, that festive holiday season has been rumbling on for weeks. It suits me perfectly.

The only thing the Americans are missing out on is Boxing Day. Maybe I can introduce that little tradition this year in New York.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Britipride does not work...

Thank you to The Love Of My Life for contributing this very compelling reason why sartorial Britipride doesn't - and shouldn't - exist.


On the escalator today my eyes were at butt level with a man wearing Ameripride jeans. I googled it. It's a clothing company making durable, practical clothes - not exactly fashion denim, but the hardworking kind. It's also a brand people actually wear, in their own time.

Can you imagine a Britipride brand? I'm not talking about that 'cool Britannia', ironic, Ted Baker stuff. I mean pure, honest, patriotic denim. No, me neither.

I think as a Brit I'm typically neutral on patriotism. I'm happy that I'm British, and I'm proud of stuff like the NHS and the Lake District. But I wouldn't exactly go about wearing a Union Jack on my chest or a 'British Pride!' on my bottom. I leave that for the Barmy Army and the types who hang St George's flags on their houses during the World Cup.
Yes, there's definitely something slightly unappealing about British (or English) patriotism. Which makes the American version so refreshing. It's nice to be surrounded by people who are simply proud of their country, in an unironic way. And people who wear an American flag without suggesting they might glass you if you look at them funny.

I'm not rushing out and buying my Ameripride jeans just yet, but I applaud those who do.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The water towers of New York

I am making poor progress on that Bucket List. I still haven't made it to Coney Island. But I am getting a bit more clarity on that water tower question. (The question being 'why are there so many?')

Whenever you look up in Manhattan, as the skyline so often draws you to do, you see a water tower. Often, more than one. They are those dirty looking cylinders, that sit on top of buildings old and new. I first noticed them from our little rabbit hutch, which has what a sage New Yorker told me is 'a classic water tower view'.
The view from Rabbit Hutch Towers - about half a dozen water towers, on a clear day.
Soon I started seeing them everywhere. This is because, in fact, they are everywhere.

A Soho water tower.

A water tower perched up high in Tribeca
A couple tucked away just north of Canal Street.

I like these friendly looking tanks, with their nice little pointy hats. I like the way they appear in every view, strangely anachronistic, yet completely at home in today's city.

Water towers were essential to create enough water pressure for tall buildings. I guess the engineering evolution of high pressure water pumps lagged behind the technology of whole steel-reinforced multistory buildings. That doesn't really explain why there are still so many now, when most of them must be redundant. Apparently they are viewed as so attractive, and such an intrinsic part of the New York city skyline, that many are protected landmarks.

I don't know of any other modern, Western city with so many water towers. In London we pretty much get our water fresh, via some leaky Victorian pipes, from the mains supply. And I would suggest, the London skyline is the poorer for it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bucket list

So, about that bucket list. I didn't know what a bucket list was till I moved to the States. Lots of people, at least on TV, have them here. It is a list of everything you want to do before you kick the bucket.

Here's Andy's bucket list, from Parks and Rec (a show which is very high on the list of things we will miss in the UK):

[I hear this clip doesn't play in the UK, where Parks and Rec has yet to land. Sorry - and you're missing out on a great show. But FYI this clip is just a dufus running through his bucket list which includes things like 'outrun a hippo' and 'remake the movie Kazam! with Shaquille O'Neal playing a genie, and get it right'. I assume you get the picture.]

Mine isn't so much a 'before I kick the bucket' list. It's more a 'before I leave the US' list.

Now, to be clear, it's not like we're leaving for ever. We'll be back in the country a decent amount, I know. In fact, if we had a dollar for every time we daydreamed about a little holiday trailer in Paradise Cove we'll be spending half the year in sunny California.

Still, till the Malibu daydream comes true they might be flying visits (for me at least), and I'll be too busy catching up with people to really do anything. Plus at some point we'll have kids in tow. So the next couple of months represent my best window of opportunity to work my way through the bucket list.

I picked up last week's Time Out, thinking it might help me with the list, make sure I don't miss anything brilliant.

It did not help. It was full of things like 'Best place to kiss a stranger' and 'Best warehouse party'. My New York bucket list has a slightly dorkier vibe:
  1. Go and see Coney Island
  2. Spend a little time in Brooklyn. Park Slope to be precise (have done Williamsburg).
  3. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Hmmm, could kill two birds with one stone there.
  4. Go to a DQ - done!
  5. Visit the Intrepid. This one's for TLOML. It's only ten minutes away and he'd really like it.
  6. Drink at the Chelsea Hotel - could be tough, that one...
  7. See something, anything, at the Lincoln Center
  8. Get to the bottom of the water tower thing. Why are there so many? (More on this later).
  9. Mooch around the galleries of Chelsea. There are about 8 on my block alone, and the Gagosian is just around the corner. Shame on me for passing them by every day.
  10. Bang on the bonnet of a car in the road and shout 'Hey! I'm walking here!'
What am I missing? It seems a little short. Am I really so jaded that I can skip the Statue of Liberty and live with myself? Probably. But I'd hate to miss some quintessential New York experiences. Bucket list suggestions please...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dairy Queen... off the list

The highlight for me of my recent trip to Atlanta was that I finally got to visit a Dairy Queen.

There were no DQs in LA so far as I know. And I have never seen one yet in NYC either. I have wanted to visit one since I saw this ad.

I know, it's kind of stupid. But there's something about kittens in bubbles that just speaks to me.

But it wasn't till I saw  Waiting for Guffman and heard about the blizzard that I got really interested. Parker Posey, as Libby Mae Brown, talks up those blizzards like nothing else.

I can't find a video of her brilliant DQ monologue anywhere, but here's what she says: 'I been workin' here at the D.Q. for about, um... eight months? Seven? I don't know, somethin' like that, it's fun. Just do the cones... make sundaes, make Blizzards, 'n... put stuff on 'em, 'n... see a lot of people come in, a lot of people come to the D.Q... burgers... ice cream... anything, you know? Cokes... just drive in and get a Coke, if you're thirsty.
Imagine my delight when I saw a DQ in the basement of the Peachtree Center Mall. Next to a Chick-fil-A, naturally. I had the blizzard of the month. Obviously. It had peanuts, marshmallow and caramel, all blizzarded up with icecream. It was good.
So that's one less thing on the 'Things to do in America' bucket list (more on that later...)

Monday, November 7, 2011

A distinct absence of peach trees

Big Corp sent me down to Atlanta for a couple of days, to an office in the Peachtree Center.

I've been to Atlanta before, or at least, to a lovely northern suburb of Atlanta, to spend time with TLOML's family. So I know it to be leafy and green, populated with charming people with gorgeous accents, and with an abundance of mighty fine food. They know what to do with poultry and dairy down here (make fried chicken and waffles, that is).

I imagined the Peachtree Center to be, well, filled with peach trees. Georgia is famous for its peaches. We buy them in Chelsea Market: all the other peaches just say 'peaches' on the label, but Georgia peaches say 'Sweet Georgia peaches' on the label. The state license plate options include one with peaches on it.

And there are over 40 streets in the city of Atlanta named after peach trees. Peachtree Creek Road, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Drive, Peachtree Plaza, Peachtree Way, Peachtree Memorial Drive, New Peachtree Road, Peachtree Walk, and Peachtree Valley Road and, well, I could go on.

So Peachtree Center, in the heart of downtown Atlanta, will surely be a veritable soft fruit orchard of a place?

Alas, no. Peachtree Center is about 6 blocks of the city, between World of Coca Cola and Margaret Mitchell Square (two good Atlanta icons for different reasons), which is made up of high rises with skybridges and underground malls. The office complex my client are in has a Marriott, a Hyatt, a Hilton and a Westin all interconnected by said underground malls and skybridges. Most disconcerting going from one air conditioned marble floored hotel lobby to the next, looking for the right check in desk... They're the same, yet not the same.

I have been here for 12 hours, going from metro station to office, from office to food court, from office to hotel, without breathing fresh air. As my BigCorp colleague said, 'where's the casino? It's like Vegas without the slot machines'. I can't believe I'm looking forward to going back to the fresh air and open spaces of, um, downtown Manhattan.

Having said that, I just googled for these images and learned that there is, in the Peachtree Center mall, an 'Agatha's A Taste of Murder Mystery Dinner Theater'. Could be worth a return trip... I do love a theme restaurant after all.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Fall tableau at Rabbit Hutch Towers

Barely a week after the spooky Hallowe'en display was removed, this creation has sprung up in the lobby of Rabbit Hutch Towers.
What is it? Why is it there? What is it for?

TLOML is on his way home as I type. I will ask him. It's a full time job, explaining American life to me, sometimes.

Me: 'Did you see that thing in the lobby with the trees and the wheelbarrow and the pumpkins? What is it?'
TLOML: 'I didn't even notice' (note to readers - this display is 10 foot tall) 'It must be for Thanksgiving. Harvest! It's harvest time!'

That explains it. Makes an attractive, if selfish, change from those cardboard boxes with felt-tip 'donate tins here' signs on them that decorate lobbies for British harvest festivals I suppose.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The missing ingredient

In excited anticipation of TLOML's return I am making gumbo. When I told TLOML I was going to make gumbo he did not make the usual 'mm-mmh' sound I like to hear. Instead he sounded almost worried.
'Okay',' he said. 'But you have to make sure it's good and hot.'
'Of course,'  I said.
'And you'll need to find okra,' he went on to insist. 'It's not gumbo without okra.'
'I know,' I said, a little sharply. 'Look, I'll just make a chicken pie if you think I can't do it right.'
Like the wise man he is, TLOML withdrew, insisted he was sure I'd do a great job, and we left it at that.

The terrible truth is that in his secret heart of hearts, TLOML does not believe a white person can make good spicy Cajun food. I beg to differ. I think I can transcend my Redcar (where an avocado was exotic as a child) roots. I think a good cook can make any food they enjoy. And I used to love the gumbo at Jack'n'Jills in LA. Plus I'm an American cook these days, blending cuisine cultures with ease. I hope. So with that in mind I'm making a gumbo. (And the chicken pie, just in case I need to redeem myself).

I started it today and so far it's going pretty well. I made some topnotch shrimp stock and patiently patiently stirred my roux for 50 minutes till it got nice and dark. The smell once the celery, green pepper and onion  - apparently the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine - hit the pan was reassuringly authentic. At least, it smelt like that gumbo I used to like at Jack'n'Jills. As I type this, the sausage, all manner of seasoning, tomatoes and stock have been bubbling away for twenty minutes or so, and it looks and tastes really good. Tomorrow when TLOML gets home I will toss crab, shrimp and clams in (no restraint on the seafood front as usual).
Here's how I hope mine will look this time tomorrow

There's just one problem which is eroding my confidence. There was one ingredient I could find anywhere. Attempts to find it resulted in helpful shop girls bringing me saffron, star anise, and salsify. None of which are the one ingredient I really needed. I won't tell you what it is, as I don't want TLOML to be sniffing out its absence. I have substituted it with a couple of other things which apparently have some similar qualities. Eeek... I wonder if he will notice.

Well, if it doesn't work out, there's always the chicken pie.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When the cat's away...

...this little mouse can play! When TLOML is away I can do whatever the heck I jolly well want.

I can stack the dishwasher in a space-inefficient manner.
Look at those big gaps, and everything all wonky! He'd go nuts!
I can experiment endlessly with meat-free salads.

Monday lunch: hazel-nut-tastic
On reflection, that was about 8 hazelnuts too many
Lunch on Tuesday: the genius addition of blackberries.
By about 2pm Monday he would be scouring the fridge for 'lunch meats'. But as for me, well, I'm thinking tonight I'll skip the blackberries and have little chopped dates instead. Yes, that's the same salad concept taking me through the week...

I can watch endless episodes of Sex and the City. And Caprica, though maybe I shouldn't shout too loudly about that one. HBO historical miniseries, Fame, and The Wonder Years, oh really just any old bobbins I choose.

Bartenders give me their number. (I promise I was wearing my ring. I'm sure he was just being friendly.) That never happens when TLOML is at my side, for some reason.

I can schlep about in sweats and not worry that the romance has gone. Don't get me wrong, I schlep about in sweats anyway but when TLOML is away it is worry-free.

And the list goes on...

Yes, I certainly do have a lovely, self-indulgent time when TLOML goes away.

So why do I miss him so jolly much? I'm so bored and just a little lonely without him here. I'm so beyond ready for him to come home, I am already planning what to cook for his return. I am literally going to spend the next 3 days planning Sunday night's dinner. Hurry home TLOML!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaving no stone unturned

The legendary Chelsea Hotel is 3 blocks from our rabbit hutch. For generations of aspiring artists, a stint at the Chelsea - their room rent paid in art - was a rite of passage into the New York art scene. It's where Sid's Nancy died, and Dylan Thomas too. I know of it from Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan and more recently the brilliant Patti Smith's Just Kids.

I walk past it all the time. There's a Doughnut Plant I enjoy on the ground floor, and I like peering in at all that bad art in the hotel foyer. El Quijote, just visible in this picture, has been there since the 60s, and retains a faded artsy grandeur which I suspect the Chelsea Hotel bar does too. I've been dying to go in and check it out. Roughly once a week since April I've been saying to TLOML 'Let's check out the bar at the Chelsea Hotel tonight / this weekend / sometime soon.' But there was always some other bar, or it was too early, or too late...

Finally, about a month ago, the stars aligned. It was a little after ten, on a Thursday night, and we were walking home with just enough energy for an exploratory whisky. So we pushed at that door we had walked past so many times. Only to find it was closed.

The hotel has been bought by a developer and I suspect when it opens will no longer accept weird papiermache masks as payment. Shame. And we missed it by a matter of days.

So, the fear has set in. We're leaving New York in a couple of months, and I don't want to miss out on anything else. Sure, we'll be back plenty, but we'll never have an opportunity like this to get to know the city. I am making a list. So far it includes Coney Island, Park Slope, about 8 steak houses, and the Intrepid (that one's for TLOML).

I will leave no stone unturned!