Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Catching Up! Our (Mid-July) Week in NYC

So when I last posted, I was in my hotel room in London, working madly on negotiations that concluded at the end of the week.  Now I'm back in Hong Kong, but my blog posts are so far behind because I last left you guys in the Outer Banks, when Michael built a brand new deck!  That was over two weeks ago.

This post is to catch up on all the stuff that happened in New York upon our return from North Carolina.  I headed back a few days earlier than Michael, and he met me for the second half of the week, just in time for his parents to come out and hang out with us altogether for a couple of days.

I caught an amazing sunset on the plane ride back up to NYC.  Views out of airplanes will never get old for me.  At moments like these, how can you not feel nearly breathless with wonder at the beauty of our majestic planet?
 I was slated to work out of the New York office during this week, but I managed to find some time to hang out with friends.  I kicked off Monday night with a great dinner consisting of Italian pizzas and small plates, at Marta in Gramercy.
 I crashed with my sister for one night.  She was working at a law firm this summer (ah, brings back memories of my own 2L summer - I can't believe that was a decade ago!) and this is the sweet view of the Empire State building (and surrounding cityscape) from her apartment.
I took advantage of the hot, bright summer weather to walk the streets to work the next morning, cutting through the beautiful Bryant Park on my trek cross-town.
 It was nice to walk past all the familiar sights and sounds, including the MetLife building and Grand Central to the south as I crossed Park Avenue.  It was HOT.
 At home, I just sat around enjoying my family's company, playing some mahjong, going for walks in the neighborhood, and trying to eat dinner with the folks as much as possible.  My uncle and aunt were still with us, which was really nice.  I got to eat one of my favorite dishes, a sesame noodle dish mixed with stir fried string beans, sauteed pork and bean curd and carrots, julienned cucumbers, and a tart garlic sauce.
 I sat in a "library" subway car, which was super cool - the free wifi allowed you to access books to read while you're on your commute.   While I appreciated the idea, it seemed the wifi was too slow to be practical for actual use.  I really liked the way they painted the car though.
 I also paused to enjoy some street art.
On one of the days in the city, I had a lovely, satisfying lunch at Avra Estiatorio, with a former colleague who is now in house.  It was great catching up with her.  Then on one of the quieter days, I was able to accompany my parents and aunt and uncle to the outlets in Deer Park, where we picked up a bunch of Coach bags and other little "necessary" odds and ends.  That was fun.

When Michael's parents came to New York, we also stayed in the city and enjoyed this fabulous view from the hotel rooftop:
We walked to dinner in Tribeca at The Little Branch.  Along the way, I snapped some pictures of the city.

We ordered a bunch of plates to share - so much so that at one point I felt like we had pretty much ordered the entire menu!
Everything tasted amazing, but most importantly we had a great time.
After dinner, I chatted with my sister and Michael until late, just hanging out and enjoying the fantastic views from our hotel room and rooftop.

In the morning, the views remained the same.

And just to add one more cityscape to the picture, this is the panoramic view I had in the office I had in New York.  Visiting lawyers often get partners' offices, so that's nice also.
On Friday, we were done with the city and swung out to Long Island to have a huge family dinner.  We put Michael's parents up at a sweet little inn on the Manhasset Bay in Port Washington.  It was surprisingly calm and beautiful.

Then we all piled into two cars and went to a huge dinner with everyone, where we feasted on a bunch of food at our favorite restaurant in Little Neck.

After that whirlwind week, I found myself on an American Airlines overnight flight to London, which I haven't taken recently.  It's only a five and a half hour flight, which was enough time for me to get some shut-eye, but not enough for me to feel like I had properly slept.  (Living in Asia has completely changed my concept of what constitutes a "long" flight).

I was in a backwards facing seat though, which was a bit disconcerting on a plane (for some reason I couldn't tell as easily that we were going backwards - perhaps because it was a late night departure and, with my windows shut, I had no visual markers to provide guidance).
The seat was pretty new and decently comfortable, and all of their seat fixtures looked brand new.  I didn't opt for dinner or even click on the entertainment, so I have no idea if their food or movies any shows were good.  I did immediately snatch the eye mask and ear plugs out of the Cole Haan amenities kit (bonus points - that was a nice kit) and fall fast asleep.  Next post, London!

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