City and Suburb
So Bats, after blogging ad nauseum about the train ride, what the heck did you do once you got to New York City? Well...
Unfortunately, I really got to spend one day in the City before heading to the burbs. But it was a pretty good day.
Perlick was celebrating being done with this semester of classes, so we went out to a cocktail bar in SoHo that he learned about from Thug--once again, it's awesome knowing people more hip than you are. It was called Pegu Club--fantastic on all counts (warning: flash-a-riffic website). A series of reviews captures a lot of what I thought of the place. Fantastic atmosphere, a great hidden away feel, and fabulous drinks.
We were soon joined by Probe--yay! He (and 'Becca and Sophia) were in town for the holidays, visiting Probe's mom. It was wonderful to see him... plus they'll be at Bradley & Janie's wedding in the Bay Area.
But back to the drinks. The first one I had was great--a "Harry Palmer," which was a Manhattan-like cocktail (rye whiskey, antique sweet vermouth, and a French aperitif called Suze). My kind of drink--has some sweetness, but definitely leaves no doubt that there's booze involved. In case you're wondering about the name, Wikipedia to the rescue--it's named after a fictional spy written in a very different direction than James Bond. In November 1962, soon after the release of the first James Bond film Dr. No, The IPCRESS File was published. Unlike Ian Fleming's Bond, Deighton's spy is hindered by bureaucracy, wears glasses, shops in supermarkets, lives in back street flats and seedy hotels, and is in need of a pay rise. He is a lowly army sergeant who was forcibly recruited to secret work, first for Army Intelligence and then for the Foreign Office, in order to work off a sentence for black market activities.
I asked the waitress what type of rye they use... gaffe!... "For your drink, we used Michter's, but we use other rye for the other drinks..." Duh... obviously... my bad [blush].
The second drink was a "Fiddy-fiddy"--a martini, but made 50% gin/50% vermouth (with a twist of lemon). I thought it was worth trying, for no other reason. Disappointingly, I have to say that a martini works better with the vermouth as an accent, as opposed to a main ingredient. However, I still think that vermouth belongs in a martini--I'm not one to "forgo vermouth completely and instead bow, drink in hand, in the direction of France." That line, and a variety of other descriptions of ultra-dry martinis, were found on this website.
We got there early (~5 PM on a Saturday night) so we could actually get a seat, so after a few rounds, we headed out to grab some dinner. Sushi ended up being the plan:
I was delighted to find that it was another place that makes tempura-fried shrimp heads when your order the amaebi!
Unfortunately, I couldn't convince Probe or Perlick to partake of crunchy shrimp ("If we took the shell of, it wouldn't be crunchy!"). Ah well.
The next day was The Moscow Cat Theater in TriBeCa with the family--my sister's idea. It was kinda fun (cats that balance on balls, do daring leaps, ride around on cars, hit switches), but half of it was just old-fashioned circus acts (clowning, juggling, balloon animals, slapstick, etc.)--not too inspired, although it worked pretty well for little kids, I think.
We then headed back to Long Island--I'm now going through my list, trying to keep myself busy:
- Replacing the water filters
- Flushing the hot water tank
- Doing a Home Depot run, and installing replacement CFLs
- Replacing a broken outdoor light
- Checking out the damage to the garage door, after dad tried to drive the car through it
- Figuring out if a broken chair is repairable or not (nope)
Note that my repairs are hampered by the fact I'm using whatever tools are around the house and my pocketknife.
Well, family togetherness tomorrow for Christmas, one day after that, and then the Bay Area! But in the meanwhile, my mom's cooking rocks. Check out the sushi dinner she put together for the family.
Oh yeah--merry Christmas, for any of you celebrating it!