May 31, 2009


It's Sunday early afternoon, and my parents just arrived at LaGuardia to hopefully catch a flight earlier than their 8 p.m. back to Detroit. (pregnant pause--KB ran errands then kept posting...) They arrived in New York to visit us last Thursday evening, and we had a really fantastic time with them, filled with good eats, a lot of walking and even a Mets game at Citi Field so that they could see our endeavor. Thursday night we ate dinner across the street at Zebu. I haven't posted enough about my new accomplishment, if anything at all yet, which is that I was a contributing bar review writer for a publication called Thirsty? New York City, which was released at a book launch party last Tuesday. The book launch party took place at the Audrey Lounge in the W Tuscany at E. 39th between Park and Lexington. The first hour was for press and contributors only, followed by public access. The turn out was really very good! And Craig joined me when he was able and I learned that the Hungry? City Guides organization is looking for a Hungry? New York City guidebook editor. I am going to pull together a resume of sorts and send it to one of the L.A. girls tomorrow, which is all too exciting, if it pans out! Anyway, we met up with my old best friend from college and her friend at a bar following the book launch party. That night resulted in quite the fog for the day at work the next morning (rock star?? I think not), then in the evening, my parents arrived, and while we had planned on going down to either Rosa Mexicano or Pete's Tavern for dinner, followed by bowling, we instead elected to cross the street and eat at Zebu. We had a divine experience there, and I reviewed it for the Hungry? City Guides blog page, which is another thing I've assigned myself to do commitedly. Anyway, after Zebu and its delicious Brazilian fare, we headed to Biddy's for a few beers, only to happily learn it was trivia night! So, we played trivia and drank Guiness and it was quite a riot with mom & dad! Friday morning I went and picked up bagels for everyone. Mom & dad left to see the Intrepid, and Craig and I relaxed while I waited for my contacts to arrive. Around 2, we left to meet them in Washington Square Park, after which we ate lunch at this new most awesome NYU bar called The Half Pint. The food is super upscale bar grub, with the option to build your own sandwich comprised of an array of ingredients, most of all which I love, which means I could eat there a number of times and not exhaust my options! We then walked around for a while before heading to Flushing for the Mets game. Jenny (college bff) and Mary joined us, and it was pretty fun showing off the digs to them. They were all really sweet about it, and we had a blast. Jenny and I were almost crying, we were laughing so hard, which is just about exactly how we are together. I wish I could have spent more time with her, but she was here with Mary to attend the Book Expo at Javits Center (Sunday, the Thirsty? guide was on display!) so that put a dent in many plans. But it was still an amazing weekend. Saturday, my parents were graced with long overdue and well deserved gorgeous spring New York weather, so we walked through Central Park, found the Bow Bridge, which Craig and I have never seen, then traveled to the Meatpacking District for an adult beverage (which was altogether surreal and I realize why we do not go/fit in there! Ack!) then we shifted to Union Square to browse artwork. Craig and I found another wall piece, this artsy high contrast photograph of the Manhattan Bridge shot from DUMBO with a puddle of water in the cobblestone street in which the bridge is reflected. There is what appears to be shoe polished or dark painted masking tape that frames the photo (a technique I love from long ago) and it's basically pretty fantastic. It was $20! That's yet another ridiculously incredible thing about this town. Anyway, we came back to clean up and have a beer, then took a cab to Brick Lane for Indian food. My parents were extremely adventurous and we so appreciated their open-minded approach to something so unfamiliar to them! Our meals were unspeakably delicious (although I will be reviewing Brick Lane for the Hungry? site) and then we came home and watched a few DVR'ed shows before mom & dad went to sleep. Craig played Sims City and I watched Role Models and we finished off a few beers that were in the fridge. This morning, Craig and I slept in until like 10! My mom, each morning she spends here with us, quietly slips out to have coffee at Dunkin Donuts around the corner. She places my dad's cell phone by his head, and when she's ready to return to the apartment, she calls him and he meets her downstairs. I know, why not take the keys, right? :) It just has to do with the weird quantity of keys on my keychain and how many different keys it takes to get in and out of a New York apartment building. So, she and dad were up super early but Craig and I slept like rocks (I awoke around 7 to gear up the TV for dad, seeing as our gadgets differ from his in confusing ways) and then when we did finally rise, the 4 of us cleaned up and went to the Corner Cafe for brunch. Craig had the idea that we should take them to the north part of Central Park to show them the lush gardens (statues seen above) and it was a wonderful and relaxing hour. We snapped tons of photographs, and I almost felt as if I would never leave, because the photo opps were multiplying and I was experimenting with settings on the Nikon and just really, really enjoying the sun on my face and the peace that can be found in that part of the Park. After our hour or so there, we walked back to the apartment and packed up mom & dad to cab it to LaGuardia. It sucks - their flight is not until 8 tonight, and we sent them off way early for that late of a flight, but they tentatively planned to try stand by on an earlier one, otherwise they understood that Craig and I would like the afternoon to ourselves to unwind and gather ourselves up to face another work week. Since they have left I've gotten a lot done, and I'm pleased with the weekend overall and feel confident that this week will be a strong and good one. Today, I joined a gym. Slap palm of hand to forehead. I joined a gym. A gym. What happens at gyms? What am I supposed to do with myself there?? But it's long, long, long overdue. Since the months leading to opening the stadium found me throwing Weight Watchers into the wind, I've found 10 lbs. that I have shrugged off as Who Cares lbs. I don't have a terrible issue with my body - it has its awkward quirks, like my knobby knees and blotchy arms and knotted fingers and I could go on, but that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that working out is healthy no matter what is the end goal. As a teenager and young adult, I always felt so comfortable in my skin. Near my late twenties, that feeling dissipated with the onset of no longer being invincible to aging. Now, no matter what, if I can get back on track with healthy eating and lifestyle (which includes fumbling with a dial on a treadmill several times a week??), I think everything else will come together in a natural, happy, healthy and tolerable fashion. Craig is out right now exploring his options as gym memberships go. I joined the more affordable $106/per month, month-to-month gym, whereas he might be more inclined to join the pricier, more sophisticated, more expensive gym called Equinox. I know no difference, only that by paying a monthly fee, I hope I am fueled to at least wander in and throw some cardio into motion a few times a week. We'll see how things unfold.*Tonight I'm making sauteed chicken breasts with a creamy white sauce, orzo and asparagus. And I'm contemplating updating craigkristin, although, that's a hefty endeavor considering I have not updated it since trips to Brooklyn, Baltimore, portions of Manhattan and many Citi Field adventures. But, possibly I can condense recent history to a brief photographic summary. I'd like to get back to being me again. I'd like to find that balance.*

May 14, 2009


I've become obsessed with soft clean smells bottled up behind simply designed labels. Escada started it, and yet I haven't worn that one in a while because I keep adding to my collection, and each new one one ups the previous scent. The fresh scent came next, which I adore because it is like sitting in a smoky speakeasy with bluesy music playing. Then because my friend recommended it, I swung by a Sephora one Sunday after brunch with Craig on the West Side and purchased Amazing Grace by Philosophy. Then my other friend commented that she loves Pure Grace, also by Philosophy. Again I found myself near a Sephora, so I indulged on Pure Grace as well as the cute little bottle of Falling in Love. I think I'm covered for a while.*It's been quite some time since I posted. This isn't for any reason other than spring fever, freedom from work stress, eating out way too many nights, and a basic lack of motivation to sit at the computer. There are events I wish to recap but can't even begin to do justice, such as the Lauren~Jeff girl/boy parties followed almost immediately by their enchanting wedding, all which happened last weekend. To tag a few memories: Lauren's girl party was held at an organic vegan restaurant, and I've never walked away so satisfied as with what I ate!, Craig came home so late following Jeff's boy party (early? 4:30 a.m.?) that he slept until something like 1 o'clock the next day! And I learned later that Steve, the guy who accompanied Craig out that late, was eternally grateful for Craig accompanying him out that late and the guy also bunked at Amanda's that night, and according to her, "landed with a thud" on the floor when he got home because he didn't make it quite to the bed. Ha! And I also learned more recently that Craig "napped briefly" at one of the bars he took Steve to, then "rallied after that." Oh, sweet Craig! Other things happened in the spaces between those events, such as work, a trip to Brooklyn to hang out with Niki, Matt, Adam and Craig to watch Arrested Development and eat Bojda Burgers (those were just so good) and later play Rock Band and then head to an awesome tiny beer garden right by the subway station, although we cabbed it home from Brooklyn to Manhattan after the beer garden!, and the wedding happened on Sunday (May 17th) in Central Park at the Boat House. First of all, every time Craig and I have ever traveled to a wedding has been via airplane. But, we hopped in a cab and traveled 5 minutes to 72nd and 5th Ave, then transferred easily to a shuttle marked "Boat House Shuttle" and traveled another 3 minutes to the Boat House for Lauren and Jeff's wedding...well, that travel time has all other wedding travel times beat, by a landslide! The first thing we did was sip champagne outside on a patio with all of Lauren's and Jeff's nearest and dearest. Then we were ushered into the ceremony space to the tune of a xylophone. The wedding! Oh, the wedding. Hands down, there is nothing like seeing two people you know and love so deeply marrying one another in front of what feels like the most devoted fans of those two. Seriously! I'd love to go minute to minute but I think that their video footage will say it all! Lauren and Jeff each had just their brothers standing up, Matt and Dave, which was perfect. No string of moist-eyed bridesmaids or goofy groomsmen, just the two bros. And behind the ceremony, outlining the Park, was the City Skyline, which is awe-inspiring. I could ramble forever about each perfect, delicate moment of their wedding, including the classy reception following, and how our table of friends rocked and how we got to cheer on Lauren and Jeff's reception to our table not just once, but twice! Because, all of the girls at our table cheered so loudly that when they approached to greet Lauren said, "That was fun, let's try that again!" and then they backed away and approached us a second time and we cheered just as loudly. :) Whoa, long story, but in summary, I've never felt such bliss and as elated as I did at their special day. It was literally like being one with what the Universe is trying to tell us. There were such waves of love filling the entire space of the Boat House - romantic, familial, and so forth and so on.*Also someplace in the mix, Craig and I traveled to Baltimore. That deserves its own post because it was an impressive adventure. We took the Amtrak train, utilized cheap cabs, saw Fells Point (which is amazing and old and wonderful!), ate the World's Most Amazing Crabcakes, and went to a game at Camden Yards, which is hands down America's finest stadium. What else? Baseball games here in New York, new bars and restaurants, I have my first "published" work book party next Tuesday at a ritzy lounge in a W hotel (bar reviews...will dedicate a post to the book later). And it's Memorial Day Weekend! Just the start! We kicked it off last night with Lauren, Jeff and Amanda for Lauren's birthday (insert: Lauren and Jeff are headed to Greece in July for their honeymoon, but have to get through their musical theater month of June first) - we ate at a raw bar down in the LES called something like "pure food" (don't know for sure) and our entrees were breathtaking. Then, after a righteous experience at this place (located at E. 17th and Irving Place), we walked to Momofuku Milk Bar, per Craig's insistence, for Lauren to have a birthday treat. The line was intimidating at first, but once we were in the door, we were golden. Lauren ordered a milkshake comprised of their chocolate-mint softserve and choco milk. Jeff and Craig ordered slices of cake, both which smelled heavenly. I can't remember what Amanda J ordered? But what I selected, as a weirdly not good but decent recommendation from the cashier, was a fireball softserve~wild strawberry milk combined milkshake, and WOW, was it kicking. I passed it around to Craig, Lauren, Jeff and Amanda, and they all wanted more of it! It was weird, good, and rocked! Craig and I both swear, that place, overseen by David Cheng, must be the City's Most Popular and Amazing Dessert Venue. Their stuff is so strange! And good! Stuff you'd never imagine tasting good thrills the tongue! Anyway, I should probably review it for the restaurant guide blog I'm working on now.*There are so many things more that I'd love to mention, but Craig's awake and showering, which means my day is about to begin. I plan to return with other stuff, stuff we've done, seen, heard and loved. I swear, living in this City is like living in a whole different realm.*