Monthly Archives: December 2009

Ringing in 2010!

An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. 

A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves. 

My husband and I are having dinner at Minetta Tavern with our best friends tonight to ring in the New Year – thankfully, they don’t have a pre-fixe menu. They just wanted a deposit and then we can order as we please, which I prefer much more than having to choose from a list of six courses and feel guilty if I don’t eat every last bite because it was a flat price of $300 per person…

After dinner we may stop by the Soho House for their 20’s themed soiree – our outfits tend to look like their from the 20’s most of the time anyhow (my husband is known for his double-breasted suits), so we shouldn’t have any problems fitting in. Then, we will likely close out the evening with some board games at our friends’ apartment! Last year we played “Scene It“, which was fun but also challenging for a group that consisted of one American (me), an Italian, an Australian, and a Dominican! This year we’re bringing “Loaded Questions – the adult version” – it basically will just make us all roll over and laugh for awhile…hahaha

I have always wanted to know the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, but have never been able to do much besides immitate other people’s mouths as they sang it. You know the feelings – move your mouth and make mumbling sounds to the tune…gets me by! To ring in 2010, however, I am going to try to remember this:

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll tak’A cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Happy New Year! 

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Back home in NYC…

My husband, younger brother and I drove to Pittsburgh to spend Christmas with my family. It was great – except for the fact that I was wearing a cast on my righthand which severly interrupted my normal activities. We were able to see my parents, maternal grandparents, two sisters, their husbands and their combined 6 children!

Our activities included: shopping at the mall (which has become more like an observance of facinating characters and clothing trends after 7 years in NYC), watching blueray movies on my parents’ huge tv (which feels more like you’re actually inside the film than watching it from a couch that is so comfortable I would like to bring it to NYC to replace my bed), cooking dinner for large groups of family (in a kitchen that can fit my entire NYC kitchen in the center island), going to Starbucks with my mom each morning (our ritual to have some alone time to finally discuss all of the little details of our lives that just can’t be portrayed over the phone), sleeping in (on a king-sized bed that my husband loved because it prevented my ability to hit him with my cast while tossing and turning), grocery shopping at Giant Eagle (which could house an entire NYC grocery store in the produce section), chatting with family (aka – sharing funny old stories that we have shared a million times before), meeting up with old friends (aka – comparing jobs, husbands, clothing styles and drinking in an old bar in town that was “off-limits” when we were in high school), visiting with my grandparents (wishing they could still enjoy themselves as much as they did in their past – if only their bodies were as young as their souls)…

There’s definitely more involved in a visit home, but that pretty much gives a good picture of what I have been up to over the past week!

As my husband, brother (who lives in Tribeca) and I drove into NYC last night, I felt a sigh of relief to finally be back…Pittsburgh will always be special in my heart, but it has had to step down to NYC as my HOME….

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Cease & De-Cyst…

I am VERY limited in my typing for the next week because I had surgery on my right wrist to remove a ganglion cyst. I had my surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. My doctor was Dr. Steven Lee – in case anyone needs to have an Orthopedic Surgeon – he’s fantastic! They were very nice to me since it was my first ever surgery, IV, anesthetic experience. I was put fully under for the surgery and now I have a cast covering my stitches until next tuesday. Being that I am right-handed, this causes quite a few issues for me! You really don’t realize how much you use your fingers and thumbs until you can’t!

since I had never heard of a ganglion cyst until I noticed a bump on the inside of my wrist….and after an MRI to make sure it wasn’t someting worse…found out it was a cyst that i could remove, I think I should share the definition: 

ganglion cyst is a swelling that often appears on or around joints and tendons in the hand or foot. The size of the cyst can vary over time. It is most frequently located around the wrist and on the fingers. Ganglion cysts are idiopathic, but reflect a variation in normal joint or tendon sheath function. Cysts near joints are connected to the joint and the leading theory is that a type of check valve forms that allows fluid out of the joint, but not back in. The cyst contains a clear thick fluid. They are most often found around the wrist joint which accounts for 80% of all ganglion cysts.

some people call them Bible Bumps because you can burst them by hitting them with a large book (perhaps a Bible?) – after watching this video, I would go for surgery any day – especially since they just return if you burst them:

I found my cyst a few weeks before my wedding and my doc didn’t want to have me all bandaged up for my big day so we waited till I could take some more vacation and not need to work on the computer…………ummm this blog doesnt count and I’ll be taking a few days off from blogging till next week…my left hand is tired 🙂  

Just wanted to keep you all up to date – sorry for the unpleasant  topic – maybe it will educate someone!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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Snowy, snowy Saturday…

On Saturday, the snow started coming down…down…down in NYC…

My husband and I were out trying to take care of some last minute shopping – btw NEVER attempt to go to Macy’s at Herald Square on the Saturday before Christmas – there was no miracle happening on 34th Street. Once we realized that the snow was not going to slow down, we headed home and enjoyed being “stuck” inside to watch movies and cook dinner. We watched the snow blowing on East 18th Street, and admired our still street being covered with a blanket of white. The rooftops from our bedroom window looked so soft and heavenly like they were covered in marshmallow fluff. Bellissimo!

I love NYC in the snow! As long as it’s fresh snow – the next few days…weeks…months after a beautiful snow tend to be one big blur full of slush…I’m glad I was able to enjoy Saturday’s little Christmas present!

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Green Card!!!

old green card - actually was green

Yesterday, my husband and I had his green card interview downtown at 26 Federal Plaza! We have been leading up to the interview for months since we got married. Some people wait a while to apply for green cards, but my husband and I wanted to get moving on the whole process because we knew it would likely be tedious and long.

We had a lawyer organize all of our documentation for us and submit it shortly after our wedding and then we had to wait until they scheduled our interview. All in all, it took 6 months to get to the interview, which I am told is VERY fast compared to how it was right after 9/11.

My husband obtained two important permits while the case was pending – a temporary work permit known as the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a temporary travel document, advance parole, which allowed him to leave the country and return.

Our documentation for the case included photos of our entire relationship, envelopes addressed to both of us at one address, employment letters, tax reports, joint bank statements, wedding invitation, etc. The interviewer also drilled us with questions about how we met, when we got engaged, what my husband does in the U.S., and a few others that were obviously not hard for us to answer – imagine the scene from The Proposal. In the end, he went ahead and approved my husband and he will be receiving his green card in the mail in a few weeks! Relief!

interview scene from The Proposal

Now, we’ll wait two years to do it all over again for him to maintain his green card. After 3 years, he can apply for citizenship – which provides a passport and the rights of all Americans. I will also apply for Italian citizenship to receive an EU passport – nice!

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Cantina Latina

My friends and I needed to get some dinner after our Christmas-tinis last night. We wanted to stay in the area, and we also wanted to try something different. One of my friends suggested a new place she had read about – Cantina Latina. It is on 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

It’s a great new Cuban restaurant by the same owner as Tilman’s and Permanent Brunch. Catina Latina adds to their restaurant roster with another great design and a delicious menu full of tacos, ceviche, tequila, and all of the staples that you would hope to see plus some unusual Cuban recipes.

I tried the ceviche as a starter and an entree from the ‘Para Ti” section – the Brazilian Style Chatham Cod. It was all very fresh and very good…I think even my Italian husband will enjoy this spot!

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Cibar – Fireside Christmas-tinis

I am going to meet up with two girlfriends who I haven’t seen in a long time tonight. We wanted to try to get together before Christmas to catch up. Being that the three of us enjoy cozy, more romantic atmospheres and we typically become more girly when we’re together, I figure that a good place to meet would be Cibar.

They have a couple of fireplaces that feel perfect for some Christmas-tinis and the red velvet couches welcome you in the same way Santa’s lap did when you were little. Cibar is downstairs on Irving Street, which makes it feel like a secret gem. They also have a back courtyard that’s wonderful during the milder months.

 

With such martinis as the Alice Twister, Beauty School Dropout, Lemonicious, and the Vanilla Manhattan – we’ll have plenty of fun trying a few! They also have edamame…perfect!

Cibar

56 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-2314
(212) 460-5656

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tea cups & biscuits

On Saturday, I cohosted a baby shower for my good friend – it was so scrumptious – especially the place I chose to host it. Sweetiepie will be my choice for baby showers from now on! Just look at these photos from the tables…

They printed special menus specially for my friend – with extra vegetarian tea sandwiches since she is a vegetarian.

I mean – when butter and jam looks like this – how can you NOT want to eat it?!?!?!

These mini cakes were so sweet and the perfect size to not make you feel guilty…

The tea sandwiches were all adorably cut into triangles – with NO CRUST! This was my dream as a little girl because my grandpa used to tell me crust would turn my hair curly – even though my hair does have naural curl, this threat scared me…

Meringues that look like they came from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory!

One of our party favors was these little baby bottles with gum inside…

The tables were also decorated with random baby names – to get all of the guests guessing. The parents-to-be don’t want to know what the sex of the baby is – so there were tons of names to consider!

All in all, it was an adorable shower and I think the venue truly added to the charm of the party!

Sweetiepie

19 Greenwich Ave (between Christopher and 10th), New York, NY, 10014

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holiday happy hours…

Last night, my best friend and I wanted to meet up for our usual Thursday happy hour/catch up/has your week been as crazy as mine session…

Typically, we have a table waiting for us at Japonais, but there was some sort of an investment bankers’ holiday party taking up the entire bar area. It would have been easy for me to speak with the manager (who knows me and my friend very well), but then we would have had to be in the middle of all of the people anyhow. So, we walked (in the freezing cold) to Pete’s – where there was another abnormal amount of investment bankers and their floozies. We then proceded to check Haru and Olives (both crazy crowded) before deciding on going to Blue Water Grill.

The upstairs bar was pretty full, so we headed downstairs to the bar in the lounge/dining room with live jazz music. It was a nice ambiance -especially with the music, but they don’t have saketinis or edamame…which are 100% necessary for my friend and I to feel comfortable. We settled with martinis, chatted non-stop, waiting for my husband to join us and then decided our time there had met its end.

We then headed to Underbar in the W Hotel. It’s on the 16th Street side of the hotel with an entrance that leads downstairs. It was surprisingly not over-crowded. At first the waitress put us in one of the red velvet private rooms, but that felt unnecessary and too private for me, my girlfriend, and my husband…so we hopped onto three bar stools and enjoyed another drink and some delicious grilled serloin skewers. These were so good – we were pleasantly surprised and much happier to have something in our bellies…

It was sooo cold outside that trying to get the three blocks home was a trial…we also had to ride the Vespa home because my husband continues to brave bone-chilling degrees on that thing…soon he’ll realize he is THE ONLY one driving around on a Vespa still 🙂

Long story short, it was more difficult than normal to enjoy our Thursday happy hour/catch up/was your week as crazy as mine session…we hope that all of these holiday people will soon go back to wherever they normally reside on Thursday evenings ♥

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Holidays @ Grand Central

If you’re looking to experience more of the holiday spirit in NYC, but don’t want to be stuck braving the cold, head to Grand Central Station! There is so much going on – from a spectacular light show to the holiday fair to the train show.

Light Show

The light show will delight viewers with high-tech winter wonderland images on the famed Astrological Ceiling in the Main Concourse 125 feet above their heads. One show happens every half hour.

Holiday Fair

The annual Holiday Fair is a shopping extravaganza held in the magnificent Vanderbilt Hall. With over 70 vendors selling unusual, beautiful and exotic goods that cannot be found elsewhere in the city, you will definitely want to look for gifts here for that frustrating brother-in-law or your father who has everything.

Vanderbilt Hall, November 23 – December 24, 2009. Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 8 PM; Sunday, 11 AM to 7 PM, Closed on Christmas Day

 

Holiday Train Show

The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex in Grand Central Terminal presents their Holiday Train Show See model trains running through a beautiful holiday landscape. New York’s regional commuter rail network is on track and ready to roll – in miniature – on a bi-level, 34-foot long track through a Manhattan cityscape towards Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. Admission is free.

Location: Shuttle Passage, next to the Station Master’s Office.
Through January 16, 2010. Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day
For more information, call 718-694-1600.

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