Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

We started off the day with packing up ingredients and big enough pots and platters for our Japanese meal I (with Celia's help) are making Temaki Sushi (means make each by hand and put in what you want) for 12 for dinner. 
We managed it in in 3 bags and a trolley! 

We'll have Miso Soup with spring onion and tofu, The sushi with a choice of raw tuna or swordfish, cooked prawns, avocado, asparagus, cucumber, red pepper, egg roll, alfalfa sprouts, pickled ginger and wasabi. We will also have green beans in miso sauce, Celia's Japanese cabbage and Pork. We will serve this in paper cups a la Mary & Steve caterers. Of course there will be wine and Champagne. Celia and I will head off about 4pm to be surer we are there early enough to do the preparation, and people are arriving about 630. Seems very early for a New Year event, but the roads of access are blocked off as the crowds arrive for the Times Square bash and from history we know you may not be able to get to where you want to go.
We will while away the time with some concert DVDs We have Leonard Cohen, Dixie Chicks as well as Kath & Kim  and The Librarians.

As we walked up, the street was already being set up with Police in groups receiving briefling or just adjusting the corrals. They tend to herd people in groups and gradually let them move closer to Times Square.
We went on up to Columbus circle to get the fish and walked it back to the fridge then went back for lunch (Only 2 blocks) We had lunch at a new Italian place De Voce,  delicious, then headed back to eth Apartment tillt iem to elave Celia ahd  anap and I did some emails.
We left at 4pm to walk up 8 blocks just up Broadway Already there were huge crowds be in marshaled to get on to Broadway & down to Times Sq. We went back to 8th Ave and walked up a few blocks and could cross over to Broadway again; rang Sue to warn her of crowds.
We prepared a Japanese Temaki sushi banquet which was very well received.
Martha, the artists Celia had met selling outside MoMA was there as well as Bernard an artist who does etching. We filled the time talking, watching the view down Broadway, watching and singing along to Mama Mia. kept us all in singing mood for the countdown We all had a champagne toast to 2011.
We stayed a bit longer as the crowds dispersing would take a while, we all (only Aussies left) ended up watching first episode of Thank God You're Here!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Clear Up

When I went out this morning the road was closed off as they were doing the clear up of the snow.
I hadn't throught about what you do with the snow when you clear it off the road. It has to go somewhere so there are big trucks taking it away. I also saw a truck load of salt they were laying down. The whole of the section of Broadway I crossed was also closed as they worked to get it clear for New Year celebrations. I have learnt to recognise thin slush vs an ankle deep puddle with slush on top!
There has been a lot in the media about how slow the clean up has been with anger at the Sanitation execs who ordered a deliberate go slow over funding demands. Everyone blaming someone!
                                          A Truck of salt

 Trucks on Broadway and our local 48th Street

I went down to the MoMA store and bought Sue some gloves she had been dreaming about.
Pretty ordinary they may look but they have a special bit sewn onto the fore finger and thumb. Why you may ask? It means you can use your IPhone without taking your gloves off. 
Didn't realise they didn't work gloved up.
They only come in red or big men's size in black if anyone want me to bring some home Not the season really is it?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brooklyn Museum

Today we went to see a fabulous exhibition of Norman Rockwell's Not the paintings themselves but the huge collection of photographs he used to set the design of the planned painting. He carefully staged each photograph, selecting props and locations even changing locations as the idea developed. the lovely picture of The Runaway, a small boy sitting on a counter stool with a policeman beside him was originally set in a  modern diner, but later change it to an older looking place to signify the boy had got further to a small country town area. He often used the  same child models, or his sons in many paintings. The photos were fascinating , also showing how he propped the actors to better enable them to stay still for lengths of time.

After we went for a walk in the adjacent Botanic gardens all covered  in undisturbed snow It was calm and sunny so even warm -2 degrees!!

We had lunch at a great spot Eataly a sort of food hall like none I had seen. Each section of meat, fish vegetables, pasta had it's own eatery bar or tables. A great concept hard to reproduce at home without the population and turnover to support it. There were more people out today as the roads were cleared and transport back to 90%
After we went for a walk down to a view of the Flatiron Building and near there a great view of the Empire State Building. It was made more interesting by the sun shining directly on it.

Celia at the vege Bar!

Rows of packets of pasta

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Central Park

Sally was scheduled to leave today but with the heavy snow and delay at JFK we were not sure how she would get away. But we had plans to go to Central Park to seethe snow in pristine condition The park s used as the place to measure snow fall and they said that it ha been  a record fall so we expected great   things! We traveled by subway down to the Cnr where the Dakota Building was, home of John Lennon , then crossed 5th Ave to the Park. The Park was wonderful, huge smooth areas of snow with trees   cover here and there. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Day

 The storm went all night and by morning, a record fall of snow and a Blizzard first since 2006. A sight I had never seen, snow knee deep on the footpaths and roads completely blocked. We went out later in the morning just by train to where we could reach. Getting rugged up was an event in itself ; boiling before you hit the street,then trying to re wrap the scarf to cover each little gap in the insulation. We went down to Macy's to buy some homewares, a new kettle and saucepans all greatly reduced! The pictures say it all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Not really a holiday in USA but we decided we wanted a slow day. We all repaired to Bernadette's apartment on the 32nd floor (she had the bigger TV screen) and we holed up to watch DVD's all set in New York. So we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's generally deciding we did not like the character of Holly Golightly; Serendipity, especially with snow in N.Y. This was especially great as small snow flurries started at about 2pm, with regular reported by self and others as it built up on the veranda. We watched Working Girl, a favorite of us all, esp Harrison Ford and followed up with 27 Dresses that we were not too enthusiastic about, but all loved !
Lots of places I recognized and others Celia said we would see.We were certainly maxed out with the box but a great lazy day
The snow started about 3pm and the view was soon obscured. The snow kept falling and was forecast as a Blizzard for the next day. A blizzard by definition is not the amount of snow but the wind force accompanying it and it was to be windy. We could hear it starting to roar as we went to bed.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas Day

The day started well with forecast of snow. But no actual fall in the day.
We started off the day with opening Xmas stockings left by Santa aka Celia.
I had brought her one from OZ so there were many local favourites for her. A great one I got was a decal to go on my Mac laptop. The apple sits right in the middle of the Magritte bowler hatted man. Sue's had Snoopy lying down with the Apple icon on his head!
Sue's sister Sally was with us and we had lunch with Bernadette, Kate and Margie all Aussie consultants
Xmas gifts exchanged after breakfast was a great time with us slowly opening one at a time!! Took a couple of hours. Celia gave me a lovely Pandora necklace and a Nambu kettle (Japanese iron ware) I also received some travel items from Sue and Bernadette ideal for my walk to work and general travel style!
We went for lunch at The Water Club on the East River with views to Brooklyn & Queens. The food was divine. Just a view of the superb Apple tart. 

 A small world: I realised half way through the meal, that at the adjacent table (slightly behind us so didn't notice at first, was Peter Barnett and his family, a paediatrician in emergency at RCH. He was on 6 weeks L.S.L.

The day finished with plans for Boxing day and planning for snow.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas Eve

As with a tradition established here in New York Celia and Sue host dinner for Xmas Eve. A mix of Aussie consultants and friends alone at Xmas join then for dinner. This time it was planned for 12. Sue's sister Sally was here as well as me, two artist friends Martha and Bernard, Miranda and Patrick also came; Miranda is Di Leighfield's daughter, a friend of mine from PMYC, working here as a printer.
Celia and I cooked between setting the table, working out a time line, mixing hard sauce etc Just like old times!
We started with nibbles and Champagne, then dinner and the whole trimmings. Turkey,ham (in true Aussie style enough to last for a few weeks into the new year. We had roast veges, ratatouille,gravy but no stuffing .. we don't like it so we didn't make any! We had Xmas pudding, hard sauce and custard. A treat for Patrick who ahd never had it before He also ahd never seen Bon Bons but got into the mood by wearing his gold crown hat with the rest of us. Even wore his crown home on the Subway.
We had a Kris Kringle round that was very good each ending usp with suitable gifts. I got a hand warmer!
A great evening was had by all

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Washington Museums

After my experience at the Valentino exhibition of terrible back ache after days of walking around museums I planned to do 2-3 at most a day I slept poorly, waking at 2:30 am and not getting back to sleep till 4 so had a late start.
I went by subway one stop (to avoid the cold) and then walked 3/4 of the block to get to the entrance of the Museum of the American Indian. The building is wonderful and has been designed with huge consultation with all the native groups of America, Canada, and South America and Mexico.The building is one of layers of concentric circles, and the displays are all circular leading in to the next one. The range of displays is modern as well as of history but especially about the place of the American Indian in society today. Lots of displays of different community groups and how they manage their affairs as well as maintain identity in their regional homeland.
I bought a beautiful pendant in silver and black pottery shard.

After that I headed to the Museum of the History of America.
This was a mix of popular culture history and iconic USA. There was a huge section on America at war covering WW1,2, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan. There was also a big exhibit about the Star Spangled banner. The original flag on display as well as the story of where it came from and how the national Anthem was written...Added meaning to the lyrics. The sight of the flag flying meant an American victory over the British....Oh say can you see by the dawns early light,etc. (Just had a sterling rendition by Celia and Co.)
There was an exhibition of dresses of the First lady worn at the Inauguration Balls. Photo is of Michelle Obama's, and had a sticky beak at Julia Child's kitchen.
I stopped at every video display there was to rest my back and had lunch break as well, but after the late start only managed the two museums.
I returned to the hotel for a rest before heading out to the DC Light Tour.

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