Wish me luck, tomorrow (Saturday) I am giving notice. So no more relaxing in Federal Plaza after work...and back to the job hunt...
New York can at times feel like a small town. Because there are fewer trains per hour, the likelihood is greater of seeing the same people repeatedly in the same train carriage, sometimes even on the way home. I've seen at least 10 so far.
Last Sunday I went to dinner with Chris, Vera, and Vera's father who was in town for a couple of days to see her before she flew back to France.
Vera's father escaped from Berlin when the wall went up. Since then he has lived in Barcelona (where Vera grew up with her mother), NYC, and Houston, where Vera lived for a few years and where we went to university together. He has a very German way about him, although his three wives have all been Hispanic. I was rather amused at the end of the evening when I shook his hand, he did a little German bow and clicked his heels! I tried to see the similarities between the two, but although Vera looks German, she has a Spanish soul and has little in common with her father.
Photo taken by a helpful NYC cop
We met in Chinatown and ended up at a Malaysian place where the service was silly but the food was awesome, so good that we actually decided to return regularly. It was a veritable feast where Vera's father ordered about 6 items for the table and then told us to order what we wanted too. There was loads of food but all so great we finished it between the four of us!
After that we rambled through Little Italy during the last night of some saint's festival, so the streets were lined with food and fairground stalls. The restaurants are very reminiscent of Italy, with the covered terraces as extensions of the inside, the placement of the menus in glass cases outside the awnings, the little tables with those Italian woven round-backed chairs. We stopped at a Franco-Italian style patisserie where we had coffee/tea/hot chocolate, biscotti/rum baba/gelato/granita. It looked like any I've visited in Paris down to the repousse tin ceiling and high counters.
This is what I love about NYC. Every day I can feel like I'm in another country...
St Stephen's Episcopal Church uptown east which reminds me of a Greek Orthodox basilica or somewhere like Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome
St Paul's Chapel near World Trade Center downtown, built in the 1740s as a relief chapel for residents who could not walk to Trinity Wall Street. Although unstuccoed it resembles any one of Sir Christopher Wren's neoclassical churches in the City of London.
One day after work this week, a coworker and I went to a Japanese market in SoHo where I picked up spicy seaweed strips, crispy tofu, some yellowtail sushi maki, and daifuku for dessert (which I usually call mochi). I had enough energy to lay it out on my roomie's Japanese platter and was pleased with the result:
Today roomie and I spent the day in our jammies, surfing the net on our respective computers, feeling a little blah because autumn arrived in force today. The leaves are starting to change, that's one thing, but we have swapped weather with London! Today was like summer in the UK: grey, rainy, and breezy - although a few degrees warmer than it usually is there. 21C (65F). Not complaining too much.
In the evening, we squeezed our summerized feet into autumn boots and headed out for dinner at the Chip Shop here in Bay Ridge. It was founded by a Brit who sounds like he's from oop north so next time I may ask him. My poor roomie had a bad experience with fish n chips in London a few years ago, but we ordered some excellent cod and haddock in light crispy batter, and her faith is restored - they even have Sarson's vinegar, a staple of any British chippy. We started with a delicious salad of mesclun leaves, granny smith apples, walnuts, crumbled stilton, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette - definitely going to make this again at home. Roomie boldly ordered the ball of battered deep fried macaroni - so bad it's good. And she managed to choose one of the 30 British beers on offer. Stuffed to the gills, we enjoyed a brisk walk 30 blocks home, which really only takes 10 minutes.
On the way home we walked through the traditionally Irish section of Bay Ridge (I am told we are in the Italian part). Lots of pubs with names like Mooney's or O'Sullivans. Ironically, while waiting to cross the street an older gent asked us to guess the distance to Tipperary. We guessed 3,000 miles, but then he laughed and started singing "It's a long way to Tipperary" because he had got us on that one. I guess he needed a listening ear and that was his way of breaking the ice because as we crossed the street, he went on to say that he is a widower attempting to get back into the dating game, and that tonight he has to go to a singles event at a nearby restaurant. He sounded genuinely frightened and I felt sorry for him. He said it was easy for young people our age or his grandkids, but it's too hard for him, so I wished him good luck, he wished us a good evening, and went away. Roomie and I thought that was the most random encounter we've ever had, but so typical of this city. We also thought that he had probably imbibed some liquid courage before attending the event...