Why Not Look At All These Friends

Here's a post several postponements in the making, it started with one fortuitous week in early July where I had three seperate friendly visits. "Ah!" I thought, "This could make a nice little blog post." But then friends kept turning up, and I kept thinking "Oh! I could add this to that blog post." But now July is completely over and August has totally begun and I've decided to cut the post postponements off (No more friends! Friendship is canceled!) and get these photos online.

(You might be surprised to find some eating mixed in with these amigos)

All the friend-times began when Andrew was in town for a day with his dad (who I hadn't seen for a good number of years) and his nephew (who I had not seen for very many years) on their way back west from a sailing trip. We had lunch at the Momofuku Noodle Bar. 

Our New York Noodle Bar has added an Extremely Spicy Noodle to their menu. They had an Extremely Spicy Noodle at the Toronto Noodle Bar when I went. I found both to be, yes, spicy, but not murder spicy. The East Village one is topped with cheese and comes with a chocolate milk, in Toronto it was just soy milk. Again: Spicy, but not murder.

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The next day Lucas was in town and we finally went down to Hank's Juicy Beef so he could try it out and so that we could take a TOPS reunion photo with Henry.

And if you're into what's going on in the world, you have probably heard that our friend Carol is engaged. She and her fiancee and his children were in New York that week, they had a nice picnic Friday night for lots of friends to come meet Geoff and the kids, but then on Saturday Carol and I lunched at Olmsted and really talked turkey.

The next day, a Sunday, I went to Claire and Evan's roof to participate in a Cookbook Club dinner. I didn't take any pictures that weren't of the sunset of clouds. But we've got a really good dinner coming up soon that I definitely should try to remember to take photos at.

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Then a day or two later Lucas (still in town) and I went to the Nintendo Store so that he could decide he wasn't in the mood to buy a Switch yet.

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At the end of that week I headed out to Corona, Queens...

And met up with Jeff at Torterillia Nixtamal, providers of tortillas to countless Mexican restaurants in the city and providers of tacos to people that stop by in Queens

And from there we talked over to Cienega las Tlayudas to meet up with Tara and her mom (hmm, not pictured, oddly) to have us a very nice dinner of super real deal horchatas, tacos, tostadas (not pictured) and a tlayuda (very much pictured).

That Sunday a little dinner was thrown to honor our outgoing Sunday School committee. No pictures of the dinner or the committee or anyone but just LOOK at these decorations (and they're not even all the decorations)

In the middle of the next week Mallory was in town so I had her meet up Jeff and Michael and Tessa and Kristin and me at the Hank's Juicy Beef 2nd Anniversary Celebration (July was a big month for going to Hank's, too)

Now here's a little detour...I got invited out the Hamptons (my first time in my 15 years as a New Yorker!) for Becky's birthday. A house with a pool had been rented and we all just chilled out around the house or the pool. I somehow did not pack my swimsuit so I got to go on the Target run Saturday morning. I also wore this cat shirt I got from Grandma's house last year. It was just going to be my pajama t-shirt but it was such a hit at breakfast I just kept it on all day. Anyway. Here's some pictures from the weekend, I didn't take a ton. Whatever you do, don't miss the birthday cake Heather made.

And then, if you can believe it, Carol was in town again. We went to Frenchette, a buzzy new bistro everyone's talking about. But what they're not talking about is how small the tables are. Sheesh! Also of note: the perfect saltiness of the butter, the sauce that came with the blowfish tales, the exceptional merguez sausage, and the fries with the duck frites, and the colors of the roasted carrots.

One rainy Wednesday I got lunch at Ma La Project with Victoria. I ordered my beef dry hot pot "super spicy" and you know what? It was spicy. At last. 

Then this Saturday morning I went and saw the new Mission Impossible with a bunch of amigos at the Dolby Cinema at the Magic Johnson and, listen, this is how I want to see all my action movies: Dolby Cinema style. Such good pictures, such rumbly, super loud sound. AND Jamar was in town, that's what I was keeping secret until now, and a nice little handful of us went and had lunch at Go Go Curry. And now, finally, I'd say I've shown you every friend that was around from early July to early August. 

Being All the Uncle I Could Be

The other weekend Kristen and Cory were in New York with their kids for the first time ever (ok Ellie actually came here once as a baby and we'll get back to that later). They were on their way to Europe and basically I had 48 hours to show Blake, Rachel, Ellie and Walker the true meaning of uncle.

We started off with a Saturday morning trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I'd never been to the Statue of Liberty before, but I had been to Ellis Island. What was great was the kids weren't super interested in it and the crowds were very light so we went to those two islands and back pretty quickly.

Back in Manhattan, things were now in my hands. I walked them up Broadway to Hamilton's tomb and past the New York Stock Exchange (which, yes, isn't on Broadway, ok, I know) and to the Shake Shack for lunch.

While everyone was using the bathroom I was able to run over to Fulton street for Broadway tickets and back before they were even finished. Then we walked through the Oculus to the 9/11 memorial.

Considering they arrived in the middle of the night the night before and had to get up early to get to that statue, some of the group went home to nap and some of us stayed awake and kept walking! We walked up Church street to Hank's (no photo) and I took the kids to see Taylor Swift's house and the Ghostbuster firehouse but since they didn't really care, no photos. We went to Washington Square Park and walked through the Village then met up with everyone else at Frankie's. As we often cook from the Frankie's book, is was time for the kids to see how their uncle's cavatelli compared to the originals.

From there we took a nice walk up the Highline, and then 10th Avenue, all the way to our Broadway show. The nice walk turned into a brisk speed walk but we made it to the show on time, considering the needs for bathroom breaks, it was a minor miracle. But also I believed in our team the whole way and knew we'd make it.

The show that we saw was the Play That Goes Wrong, which I had seen with Mom and Dad in November and I had a feeling the kids would laugh at. Walker liked it so much he sat with his hand in his mouth for most of it. But the big surprise: after the show star Ashley gave us a backstage tour. I hope the kids someday understand that this doesn't happen after every show. And after the show: a little Times Square time plus some cookie time before I bid the crew adieu.

Sunday morning we caught some church before looking around Lincoln Center and using the bathroom there. Then we had lunch at Sweetgreen where they acted like they'd never prepared seven salads before. Still, those salads and bowls were a hit.

From there, a walk through Central Park to the Met

At the Met I gave a speedy tour of stuff that I like and think is cool, plus a visit to the stuff I hadn't seen yet on the roof. Was surprised to find all the Edwards stopped dead in their tracks by the Catholic clothes exhibit.

Then, a little Levain break before I took everyone open to have their eyes opened at the Breuer. After the Breuer we walked down 5th Avenue to St Patrick's and since everyone had been so well-behaved they got to take a Subway Ride as their reward (everything else had been walking or Ubers for these Utah fancy-pantses). Here I realize that there were so many things I didn't take photos of!

The train ride really re-energized the group and everyone had a pretty good time looking at expensive sneakers at Stadium Goods and then, while Cory took most of the crew to Laduree I went with Kristen and Ellie to recreate a photo from Ellie's visit in 2007. Look at these two masterpieces! 

They look a little better together on Instagram than here.
After the photoshoot we joined everyone at Laduree and then got down to business with a little food tour that also included Prince Street Pizza, elotes from Cafe Habana, tacos and gorgons at Otto's Tacos (which my visitors attacked like a bunch of Dickensian orphans) and then Cory came through with the take out Honeybutter Chips and Ice Cream from Oiji.

Then on Monday I got to eat with the kids while their folks had a crummy meal at Cosme.
We decided to go to Eleven Madison Park.

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Just kidding, actually we ate a TON of Korean fried chicken above a Korea town food court. And then got a little dessert at Made Nice, which actually is run by the Eleven Madison Park people, a factoid the kids found interesting enough.

And then Kristen and Cory showed up and I had to get back to work and they had to get to London!