Meet the Parents...

Soooo... last weekend (Memorial Day) was when my sweetie, Sarah, got to meet my family (both parents, and my sister). It actually went incredibly well, and we all had a nice time.

We drove down on Friday night, and my dad spent Saturday morning with us, giving us the Long Island quick tour: malls, suburbs, and seashore. We stopped by Oyster Bay--very nice out that day:

Then a quick 24-hour jaunt into New York City... first a stop at the new roof lawn at Lincoln Center (as described in this New York Times article):

A new two-story structure, which will eventually house new facilities for the Film Society and a high-end restaurant, rises from ground level just to the west of the stair; its roof, covered by a vast, tilting lawn, overlooks the plaza. The project’s most dazzling space, the lawn warps up on two sides, so that climbing it can make you feel as if you were about to float off into the air on a carpet of green.

Pretty neat. But apparently, five days after they were there, they had to close the lawn, due to damage. Bummer.

Next up--dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar... it turns out that I'd talked it up so much, that Sarah really wanted to go. No objections here! Just as a sign of how popular it is: we got there at 5:40 (it opens at 5:30 PM), and there was already a 20 minute wait. However, we happily passed the time with tasty soju (Korean rice vodka) slushies.

Dinner rocked... the signature pork buns, baby bok choi, chilled spicy noodles (Sichuan spiced sausage, spinach, cashews), and roasted foie gras (celery root & miso pureee, brown butter, pineapple).

Next up... jazz (Ahmad Jamal) at the Blue Note. A great set... piano, bass, drummer, and percussionist. The percussionist had a huge array of chimes, gongs, blocks, talking drums... he was almost like the sound effects guy on an old radio show.

And after that... I'd talked up Dessert Truck in the past:

On the night before Halloween 2007, like a figment of some calorie-deprived dieter’s fevered imagination, came DessertTruck, quite possibly the first haute confectionery on wheels. The vehicle, parked strategically outside an NYU dorm, dispenses the sort of lavish concoctions you’d have to go to cooking school to learn how to make—as did co-owner Jerome Chang, a French Culinary Institute graduate who left a cushy berth in Le Cirque’s pastry kitchen to sell $5 cups of crème brûlée out of a retrofitted postal truck.

It turns out that they no longer run the truck... but they have opened a storefront (Dessert Truck Works). on the lower East side/alphabet city area.

Warm molten chocolate cake (with olive oil ganache center + vanilla ice cream), and warm chocolate bread pudding (with bacon custard sauce). Serious nom. And providing an object lesson to me: bacon and chocolate does work. Hot damn.

Sunday was a morning at MoMA: for those of you who don't know, Sarah is an awesome avid photographer, so we headed to the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit. He did a huge range of subjects--from Ghandi's funeral, to portraiture, to the Great Leap Forward in Communist China, to trips to Mongolia and Indonesia. It seems like his photographs were a strong presence in Life Magazine through the 1950's and 1960's. My understanding, from the exhibit, is that he is one of the primary reasons why photography is now regarded as a serious art form.

Next was lunch with my sister and her boyfriend, and then a train home. Sarah and I had a wonderful geek-bonding moment: my dad was complaining trying to extract video from the the cable company-supplied DVR--he could record it onto the VCR, but not in HD. S. and I quickly fired up internet research... figuring out that the entertainment industry works really hard to keep you from extracting HDMI output into any useful form. We looked through a variety of options, and concluded that an external eSATA hard drive was probably the way to go... which I quickly ordered off of newegg.com.

But my dad commented, "I really think that you two were talking some alien language that has nothing to do with what the rest of us humans speak." Yessss.

Then... then... we have to delve into my sordid, nerdy past. Back in high school, I was the captain of our quiz show team, which was recorded on the local PBS station ("Brainstormers"). So my parents had carefully recorded all four episodes (we made it to finals--Long Island second place!), in their VHS glory, and have been plotting for the past 22 years to humiliate me by showing it to a visiting girlfriend. There I was, in my ultra-serious, question-answering, hornrim glasses, sweater-vest and bow tie glory. Oh cripes.

Okay, we all got a good laugh out of it. If I can get a screen capture next time I'm down there, I'll post it for sure.

Mom made a very tasty dinner--the whole family was there--followed by lunch the next day, out on the back porch:

Yep... think the family likes her all right. All good.

A blissfully traffic-free road trip back up to Boston on Monday... and then back to a four-day workweek.


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