I HEART NEW YORK

I arrived in my beloved New York on a beautiful early fall day. The traffic was horrendous so my cousin let me off in front of his hotel at 61st & Park and I walked to mine at Central Park South just beyond the Plaza Hotel. Why didn’t I stay at his hotel? By the time I went to book it, it was exorbitant.

I dropped my stuff off and immediately went to Chinatown to Excellent Dumplings, because as the name says…

The place is less than attractive but those dumplings. Here is what it looks like…

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Then I took my dumplings, took a bite and the insides of it oozed down my blouse. OH SO attractive. A mom whose baby drools on her can get away with it, not a grown woman with no children.

WHILE eating the dumplings, I walked over to Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles and ordered a bowl of noodles in broth with spinach to go.

I am not a noodle person. I do not know what he does to make these noodles so bloody good, but they ROCK! Here is a picture of him making them…again…if you could see the seating area. It is even less attractive than Excellent Dumplings, but when you taste the noodles….you realize ambiance is so unimportant.

Tasty Noodles

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Noodle man

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

I stopped in a bodega (little market) for a Coke and I took the subway up to Grand Central and boarded the shuttle bus to the US Open that is only for players and press and hoped they wouldn’t notice that I had yet to pick up my credentials. They were not about to come question me after I sat in my seat and began to slurp my noodle soup and eat my spinach with chopsticks and devour my remaining dumplings.

Oh yes, I was home…

I arrived at the tennis and picked up my credentials and ran into an old friend Olivier (but you pronounce his name O-Live-e-a) he is from France and was hired to the company I worked for for several years and he was hired over 20 years ago. He still has a head of hair you want to run your fingers through and he is French so he is automatically sexy. I took my credential in hand and entered through the President’s gate into the Arthur Ashe stadium. I walked down the halls past all the photographs taken by Russ Adams the head photographer. He used to come to the Cincy tournament and I have known him since I was a kid. Look at his work…

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And then the other photos are pics of the Programs at the US Open from year to year.

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Then I immediately went to the Press Room to see my friends. I was so excited to see my friends. It is summer camp, I tell you. A little weird to be in the Press Room without Bud Collins and his wife Anita, and I was bummed to miss seeing my friends Jon and Scott from Sports Illustrated, even though I saw Scott in Cincy.

I first had to stop and see Lizz and Mindy! (Nick is over their shoulder to the right.)

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I saw my friend John who used to be on ABC World News and now is a Columbia professor and a photographer and we met because I saw him on the news every night in the Peter Jennings days and I went and talked to him at the tennis several years ago and admired his work and we have been friends ever since.

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I went and found my friend Robbie who works for AP. Robbie and I have a long, long tradition of him stopping by my desk, giving me the signal it is time for his smoking break and for me to go with him and we stand and chat the length of the cigarette. (You are going to hate this pic, Robbie. Hopefully, you are in New Orleans and not seeing it!)

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Ran into my friend Rick who works at AP too, and I had not seen him in years. Ran into a New York Post writer who I saw in Cincy and my favorite photographers the Mullanes, heart of gold people.

Here is Susan. Sorry Susan, I know you look like a deer caught in the headlights…

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I took pictures of the grounds because the place is always changing….

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Here is a picture of the Press Room. When I left there were 400 different press people here.

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In the Armstrong stadium, the press box was at the top and you could see the court from there and it was a killer view, but in Ashe, you watch it on t.v. You can go up to a section of seats designated for the press, but nothing spectacular. In Ashe, the seats that would have been press seats brought in too much money to give them to the press. Those are now box seats!

Here is a picture of where the players come to be interviewed after a match. The gals to the right transcribe the interview and it goes to the room next door, 400 copies made and passed out to the press people.

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I went up into the CBS Box where the famous or infamous John McEnroe sits to announce the matches with people like my friend Mary Carillo.

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And here is a pic of the television camera that looks down onto center court…

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Leo and I have been friends since I was 18! He makes these FAMOUS brownies, which we all go insane for and when they are gone, they are gone. He brought 6 dozen! Well, I went to see him in the Batcave…that is what we call the room of all the Stats Operations and he said that in a blog I mentioned someone else’s brownies as being my favorite and not his, so he handed me a brownie, which ya’ll know I devoured. And I promised that I would get on the blog and make a public correction or he is going to stop reading my blog (he really wouldn’t) and say I left him off my list of favorites. This is a pic of one of Leo’s Grand Slam (remember we are tennis people) brownies and Leo is right behind it! Thanks for the yummy brownie, Leo!

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The staff at the Open has a cafeteria where we go to eat our meals twice a day. It is less expensive than the food for the public and far more convenient in location and a MUCH shorter and faster line. This year they added outdoor seating that the public can’t get to us and the seats and the flowers are awesome!

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This white flower planter is the start of where they are going to put the posts for the new roof to go on Ashe stadium…there is one of these in all four corners OUTSIDE Ashe stadium.

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I hope this makes sense. The museum of pics of the way it was and the way it will be was closed so I took a pic through the window…

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I took the shuttle back to the city. Saw Greg the guy who owns it and he had a MASSIVE crush on an old friend of mine named Kayla…so he remembers me by association.

Next day, I woke up and went in search of a bagel, not just any bagel.  I would have gone up to H & H, but it was too far and I didn’t want to take that much time. I plugged top NY Bagels into my phone and the closest good bagel was at Essa-bagel. The line was INSANE…..good sign…look:

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Then I went across the street to one of my favorite coffee places called Oren’s….

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It took me 20 minutes each way from hotel to bagels and back. I sat on my bed and ate my everything bagel with cream cheese and drank my coffee and brushed my teeth so I didn’t go to my board meeting with poppy seeds in my teeth. THAT would have been pretty!

This is why New Yorkers are thin…even though I had a bagel with cream cheese…I had to walk for 40 minutes to eat it!

The Board meeting was long and involved but it went relatively smoothly.

Afterward, we went to that French restaurant I hate with the AMAZING bread and I finally, FINALLY found a dish on the menu that I thought was really good….Quiche Lorraine. I will be eating that every year! Not Thomas Keller’s but pretty darn tootin’ good.

After the meeting, I went to meet my friend Karen to discuss a book and get her thoughts. She brought in her team and we brainstormed and it went well. More to come..I will keep you posted…

After the meeting in Brooklyn, I took the train to Columbus Circle and went into Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and got a cup of coffee, forgot to get decaf, and a chocolate almond croissant. Before the coffee and croissant…

I walked into C Wonder, which is Tory Burch’s hubby’s store, and it is half the price of Tory’s stuff and cute…check out the zebra…

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Then I took my croissant and coffee with me to take a walk in Central Park.

This is what is left of the croissant!

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I called my friend Temple down in Atlanta and I walked around the lower loop in Central Park at dusk as the lights came up…

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Loads of people were out exercising after work. Then I walked over to the plaza where the CBS guys used to set up for Sunday morning football. Now an area with tables and chairs were placed across from Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, in front of Cartier, near FAO Schwartz and next to The Apple Store. I sat there and talked to Temple and looked at this glorious city.

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I went home…now 8:30ish and changed my clothes and took the subway to my favorite sushi guru’s place called Nobu Next Door. On my way there I saw this old clock in a window…isn’t this cool.

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Here is a shot of the sushi bar @ Nobu Next Door…..

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Here is a glimpse of what he prepares….a snap shot of the menu…

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I bellied up to the sushi bar and this is what I ate…

First, I had roasted beets and soft shell crap with a Yuzu black garlic vinaigrette.

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Then I had yellowtail with scallions and a piece of tamago

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Finally, my favorite roll, which is salmon and avocado

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Then of course, I went next door and said hi to my longtime waiter Lee. He was working in the fancier restaurant.

I walked out and it was almost 11pm and the street was all torn up and you could see the pipes and I looked down at that…

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Then across the street was a Hispanic man, who was dressed like a construction worker and he was leaning on the building and taking a picture up in the sky. I looked to see what he was taking a picture of and it was the beams of light from the 9.11 sight.

I stopped to take the picture too and told him I was so glad he was doing that and I saw him or I would have missed it.

Here it is…

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Then a group of people saw us taking pics so they stopped and took pics…

And then I had this wonderful, truly New York moment or moments…

I was walking down Franklin Street in Tribeca, it was kinda dark and the construction worker was walking with me.

I said, “Where were you that morning?”

“I was working a job on 14th Street,” he said. He relayed his story.

“I was on 14th too,” I said. “I was home when the planes hit but I was on 14th when the first tower came down. I saw it, did you?”

“Yes,” he said.

We hit the corner and told each other how nice it was to chat and we waved goodbye and wished the other well and went our separate ways. It was such a great NY moment.

I decided to walk home…or most of the way…I stopped and pet a dog named JJ that was so cute and attached to his parents who were eating at a sidewalk café.

I passed a bread baking company that the smell overwhelmed me and made me hungry all over again and I was stuffed from dinner! The sight of the bread was inviting…

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Then…my favorite hot chocolate (chocolat chaud) in Paris is at a place called Laduree and they now have a Laduree in Soho! WOW! DO NOT MISS IT!!!

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I passed two outfits that are the new and latest trends in fur…a fur mask/hat and a fur dress

There is a nutty guy in my building that was promoting gas masks in case we have a 9.11 here, but if we do have to wear them. This really makes a statement.

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But I prefer the fur dress…

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And then I turned around several blocks later and took a pic of the lights that I could still see in the sky…

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The point being that from almost ANYWHERE in the city you could see the Twin Towers and in memory of all those that day…you could see the lights from almost anywhere pointing up to heaven to where they all went…at least that is what I was told years ago the first time they did that honoring the people lost that tragic day.

I finally went to a subway in the Village that my ex-boyfriend Ian and I used to take to his place from mine. Flood of old memories. Then I subbed uptown to the closest stop to my hotel. I walked the last 5 blocks to it…walking in this city is always a treat and a treasure.

The next morning, I woke up and walked through the Park up to Levain’s. I got smart and called ahead for 2 chocolate brioches to be put on hold. I was so glad I did as the line went out the door and up the stairs. I was going to get a third, but they had held the last two for me. I also bought those hockey puck sized chocolate chip cookies, my gift to Jo and Dave for watching Dulce.

I went to Citarella and bought a fresh squeezed orange juice to drink with my chocolate brioche.

LeVain’s chocolate brioche is the BEST!

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I am sure chocolate was all over my face, teeth and hands…ask me if I cared. I was in bliss!

I walked, ate and drank as I walked to the  Eastside via Central Park and passed this to get there…

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and when I was on the other side, I passed The Met and walked up 5th Avenue till I arrived at Dean & Deluca. I bought an iced cappuccino and sat in my window and did what I did a thousand times. I drank my iced capp and watched the people walk by…

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Inside of Dean & Deluca…

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I walked down Madison with the rest of my capp and water…all done!

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I hopped on a subway and took my suitcase down to my friend Michael’s in the Village and then went to meet my friend Kathleen from my CBX days at Haru for lunch.

Kathleen is lovely and was my confidant when I was at CBX aka Colemanbrandworx. Since those days, her young son is now at NYU, she and her hubby split, kinda like my mom and stepdad, and she moved to Manhattan.

Kathleen used to live in Westchester and she would ride her bike to the train out there, train into the city and then ride her bike from Penn Station to our office on 21st and B’way! Very cool.

She is a neat lady! We had a nice time and yummy food!

She told me a colleague of ours died. A woman named May. It was jarring. Kathleen and I are both breast cancer survivors. She is further out then me. We had similar treatments. May had breast cancer and was not even staged!!! It came back, they didn’t catch it, she ended up with a double mastectomy and was slow to get the treatment, in part because of her heritage as a first generation Chinese woman and the rules and ways of her family and she died! I still have moments since that lunch with Kathleen that I don’t understand how someone Stage 0 is no longer alive and she was MY age! Heart breaking.

I left Kathleen and wandered in ABC Carpet….so fun!

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I went to this cute little food shop called WHISK and they had a lot of cookie cutters and I told them what I wanted and they told me they could make it with a printer for a few bucks….HOW AMAZING is THAT!!!!

Went to Fish Eddy’s. They sell plates, cups, cool joint and they are selling a plate in there with well known landmarks on it and it is so controversial…you have to read the story to believe it. I bought this plate there almost a decade ago and suddenly the port authority in NY is outraged by this cute plate?

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Then of course, I went into EATALY…Batali, Mario’s brilliant Italian shop and it is BRILLIANT…he must be minting money! The place was packed. The lines for the espresso and the gelato are long. The restaurants inside are packed…It is well laid out, thought out, designed and so appealing…

Then I went outside and sat at a table with the EATALY to my right, the Madison Square Park to my left and the Flatiron building straight ahead…sitting in a space at 23rd & 5th in what used to be the street and now is seating…with umbrellas!

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I was bad I ate a second lunch…but I couldn’t resist…my favorite corned beef and pastrami sandwich is at Eisenberg’s…look at this!!!!

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LOVE the shirt!!!

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Then I took the subway up to 66th and B’way and I got out of the subway and saw a guy named Steve that I worked with at CBX!

I was out on the street and ran into my friend Mary’s husband named Tom! Feeling small world in NY. How odd!

I went to Century 21, which is an awesome store. I like the one downtown better!

I sat in a park and watched people….I usually have myself booked solid with friends but so many of my friends were gone for Labor Day week that they weren’t there and I had all this free time to walk, wander and relax!

I went to meet my friends Natalie and Sabrina, two sisters that I am friends with and we met at The Atlantic Grill.

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We sat at the bar and drank Sake and ate sushi. It was yummy and so fun!

I LOVE my friends!!!

I MISS my friends!!!

AND I love visiting with them!!!

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Then me, who is rarely buzzed made my way down to Michael’s in the Village via the subway. Michael and I sat on the couch and talked for an hour and then I had to crash!

The next morning we sat around talking and he made a pot of coffee. We walked over to a place he said I must try if I never had…Caffé Reggio. I am SO glad he took me there. I lived in Manhattan for 6 years and I walked by the place a MILLION times not knowing that it was the home, the start of the first cappuccino and they are good!

outside Caffe Reggio

 

This is where Michael and I sat in the window seat!

Caffe Reggio

The ORIGINAL cappuchino machine!

 

old capp maker

original capp

Then I went up to Sloan Kettering to do some research for a book!

Then I went to THE BACK SEED down in my old neighborhood of Nolita and tried a wood fired bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, and capers. It was yummy!

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I walked past my old apartment. When I lived there there was a bodega (sm. Market) across the street the size of a small seven eleven and now my favorite salad place CHOP’T is in that space.

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Next to my building was a shoe shop and now it is a place to buy crepes!

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Then I just walked ALL over the place.

I went to Union Square and the first thing I saw was this seemingly naked man in a g-string playing some music.

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Love the food market at Union Square…

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First they put chairs in Harvard Yard so you can sit in them instead of on the lawn and now the same thing has spread to Union Square Park! Why did you wait till I was gone to do this!

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Why pay a lot of money on overhead for a store when you can just pull up in a truck and sell it out of there?

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I saw this in NY and then came back to Cincy and they were doing this at City Flea in Washington Park. If they can sell food out of a truck, why not clothes?

 

I saw a man that needed to hold the back of his friends pants. Threat of a wedgie? I am not letting you go? You can not walk in a straight line? Who knows why!

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Listen hot, gay man…I am a yellow lab and I can walk myself and hold my own leash..you talk to the other hot gay guy to your right that you are ignoring me for…

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I went to Dean & Deluca and got a sandwich for dinner on the plane. I went back to Michael’s grabbed my bag and in the pouring rain he took me down to a cab and we said goodbye. My dear, dear sweet, fascinating, informative friend.

And then my flight was ALL messed up! They took everyone at my gate and divvied us out to various gates to get help on re-routing. I started calling friends ALL over the place to meet me for dinner if I flew through their towns…friends in Charlotte, Atlanta, Boston!

Finally, I got home! Jo and Carolyn picked me up at the airport and I gabbed all the way home!

I already miss New York….

My true, true love….

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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