Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We have a rabbi in the family now. Cousin Avi, after years (10, I think) of studying and countless grueling tests is now official. We are very proud!

Cousin Rabbi @ closing ceremonies in Israel

I know, you can hardly tell us apart, he's like my Israeli twin!


Saturday, June 20, 2009


For my sister's birthday this year I took her on her first trip to NYC. Like all trips to NYC, this one was great. However this one had a few bonuses.

The day sister left for NYC, her 7 year old daughter gave her a frog keychain, named Lucky Frog, as a bon-voyage good luck charm. Lucky Frog obviously has power. When we checked into our hotel room in Midtown we were expecting the ususal 250-sf room with no view and no counter space. What we discovered was a full living room with 2-stories of glass forming a 180 degree view over looking midtown Manhattan. Then we discovered the full kitchen. Then the 20x20 bedroom with floor to ceiling windows. It wasnt until later that we discovered the hallway with the other 2 bedrooms and bathrooms. They had given us the penthouse suite on the 41st floor. We were the 41st floor.

Sister checks out the penthouse terrace

View from the bedroom

Lucky Frog welcomes you to NYC!

We had a whirlwind tour: Avenue Q on Broadway, Central Park, The Met, Battery Park, Ground Zero, Uppper East Side, Chelsea, Times Square, Hells Kitchen, and many interesting and delicious organic vegetarian meals!

Winners for this trip were

Double Crown
316 Bowery @ Bleecker

Holy crap! This newcomer to Nolita is fantastic. We loved the English ruled India theme, which manifested itself in a wonderful drink called a Kumquat, Red Chili and Elderflower Mash. A citrusy whallop with spicy undertones and almost no sugar! The food is comparably amazing. Randomly pick an entree since they will all satisfy but dont forget to have the Yellowfin Tuna app, easily the best use of tuna on the planet!

Guy & Gallard
120 East 34th @ Lexington

Why am I getting so excited about a coffehouse? Easy, its not Starbucks and they have a salad bar with several kinds of marinated tofu. Then there's the fresh juice bar, the better-than-Starbucks coffee and options for breakfast that don't include the 1200-calorie blueberry muffin (aka, pie in a muffin tin)

Lucky Frog recommends Guy & Gallard

The Met
1000 5th Ave

We really wanted to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the Gugg, but it had just opened so all of Manhattan was there. Instead we were thrilled to walk several blocks to the infinitely larger Metropolitan Museum of Art. I've been to this museum literally dozens of times but there is always something new. This time sister and I became quite fascinated with the Asian Art wing.

Right, you aren't supposed to take pictures inside The Met. But then I have a Lucky Frog and you don't :)

The last day I treated sister to a subway ride from Park & 33rd down to Battery Park. She loved the subway! I wanted her to see Battery Park; the view to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as well as a casual stroll around Ground Zero. Battery Park was particularly busy as it was a warm sunny day. We stumbled across this 9/11 memorial of sorts. I think it was once stationed around Wall St. but as you can see it was somewhat damaged in the attacks. I thought it was very cool to preserve it in its battered state in Battery Park.

On the cab ride back to La Guardia sister was asking just how she could fit her 150 pound puppy into a 500 SF apt. Well, NY'ers are known for making the seemingly impossible, possible.

It's why we love them.

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