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Monday, May 23, 2011

"Meet me under the Golden Arches"

It was great fun having my sister in town! She decided to extend her stay for part of the weekend, so we enjoyed dinner at Jane on Houston Street Friday night with Neil, Nate and Patrick. It's one of Neil's favorite restaurants, and we had a great meal. The guys all had steaks, LA had pork tenderloin with cheese grits, and I had fish with a caper beurre blanc sauce over cous cous and kale.

The boys went for a drink afterwards, but I had to go home and make some edits to a speech I'd been working on all you can imagine my delight on Saturday when I got an email informing me the speaking engagement was canceled. Time well spent!  

Saturday morning, Leigh Ann and I made plans to meet up in Chinatown. I descended the steps of the ACE line at 10:30 and began a journey from hell that involved a rerouted C train, discontinued local service due to construction, a missed stop due to excessive map reading, kicking myself when I realized how easily I could have just walked, jumping the turnstile when my unlimited access card temporarily stopped working, and several "Do you understand this sign? I don't think the train is coming, do you?" conversations with foreigners who were even more confused than I was. In summary, I had to go from the West Village to Grand Central to get to Chinatown. Good times!

Arriving in Chinatown an hour after my journey began, I called my sister, who suggested we rendezvous at one of Chinatown's finer restaurants.
(Flashback to China, September 2009. I pride myself on not being the sort of traveler who would deign to set foot in McDonald's, but the Smith girls did enjoy our Chinese cheeseburgers as much as any meal on that trip...)
Anyway, our destination was Jing Fong, which my friend Karey in Charlotte had described this way:

Dim Sum:  There is an amazing dim sum place on Elizabeth in China Town. Jing Fong is the true Cantonese style with the ladies and the carts. Get there super early (no later than 11:30) or you will wait forever.
It was quite an experience; you sit at banquet-style tables (with strangers if your party isn't large), and ladies wheel by with carts to offer you small portions of steamed dumplings, meats, vegetables, desserts, etc. We chowed down on quite a variety of dishes but agreed it would have been better with a larger party so you could sample even more flavors. Karey was right about the crowds; the sidewalk outside was packed when we left.

I bought a bunch of cherries and blackberries on the street. After about 20 minutes of "You want purse? Handbag? Wallet? What kind you like?" in the junky shops, Leigh Ann decided the faux Longchamp bags were too faux for her tastes, so we zipped up to Fifth Avenue and bought the real thing at Saks before she headed home.

I then napped for almost three hours to rest up for my night out in Tribeca. My friend Robin (of the fabulous wedding last month) and her husband AJ had invited Travis and me over for drinks at their super-cool loft. We met there at 9:30, opened a magnum of Champagne, watched a slideshow of photos from their Italian honeymoon, then went to a swank new drinks spot called Whether Up. I had a fancy mojito with grapefruit juice and ginger.

Sunday I met my new friend Ginger at Christ Church on Park and 60th; we got connected when my pastor in Charlotte emailed the pastor at CC to ask him to make me feel welcome. Ginger is a North Carolina girl who went to Wake Forest and lived in Charlotte before moving up her four years ago or so. We split a spinach salad with goat cheese and a Margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella at Serafina.

Following a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond for more hangers, the afternoon was spent organizing my wardrobe and tidying up the apartment. After a warmer day on Saturday, it was back to the 60s again on Sunday, but I still figured it was time to fold up my sweaters and sub in some of the summer clothes I picked up last week in Charlotte.

At 7, I met Neil, Nate and Patrick to see "Bridesmaids" at the theater in Union Square. We all laughed 'till it hurt.


Dee Stephens said...

Girl! You are a machine!! We want to see bridesmaids this week. Heard it's great.

Neil said...

Cancelled?? You didn't tell me about that part! That stinks!

Emily said...

LOL! I love the part about McDonald's in China - my husband wouldn't have survived the trip without. We love keeping up with your new NYC adventures! Glad it's going well! Em (and Wade)