how did you not explode?

that's
 what
 you will be asking
 at the end of this post

 upfront
 I am going to admit
after a glass of Malbec
 on Friday evening
 I didnt care
 if I took photos of the food
 or not 

AND
 I only had the iPhone
 in fact
 all the food fotos 
are iPhone-otos
 possibly a new word

 lunch at Land on Thursday
 included 
perfect size portions

 fried calamari may be my favorite food


after our adventures at Top of the Rock
we went to dinner

chicken soup took the chill off


there were Gingerbread people for sale
in 
Sugar and Plumm's bakery




Friday 
we went to brunch

 which by the way 
felt 
decadent 

brunch on a weekday

 at 
Ditch Plains


fried jalapeño rings


and
cheddar jalapeño biscuits


salt water taffy
accompanied the check
and
included a dentist recco
no
it didn't
I am kidding

we walked off brunch 
in Central Park
but not before stopping 
for
this
 Dinosaur with wreath 
on the steps
 of 
the 
Museum of Natural History

Toonman says
 if I would crop it
 just so
 it 
would be a whole other photo


we walked through the park


down to 72nd Street
take the obligatory


Strawberry Fields photo

the crowd at the
 Imagine mosaic 
was 
nutz


after the park
 a cornfield segue was necessary
we were headed to Times Square 
fortunately that's
where 
my office 
is

back home to regroup before cabbing it to 
Robert
which sits on the 9th floor of the Museum of Arts and Design our table looked out over Columbus Circle and up north over Central Park

this photo was taken last year the evening before Thanksgiving

we had some amazing food
 but 
as I said 
I didnt get any photos 
of 
the entrees or salads

 I am betting
 Kate did
 check out her blog

I did get some dessert shots 

 before and after
a chocolate mousse with a raspberry on top
'gifted' to us by the chef!

 hazelnut ice cream


carrot cake 
those are actual carrot slices
 and
 that's
 cherry ice cream


Bombolini 
delicious
 ricotta dough balls
 lightly fried 
dusted with sugar 
three dipping sauces
 dark chocolate
 white chocolate
 and
 salty caramel 
oh 
my

I actually weighed myself this morning
 I may be fasting until 2013



out and about with friends

okay 
I am warning you
 this is a long post
 filled 
with
 many photos 
none of which are signed
 because
 I am a sloth

 you're welcome

 it would have been forever 
before
I got these signed and posted

 so
 go get some coffee or tea
 and 
make sure you use the facilities

 its gonna be a long one

it started
 when Kate arrived
 on Thursday 
she had to go to 
Fishs Eddy
 so
 off 
we 
went


we got back uptown
to find
Janice, Sam and Maria arrived
starving

lunch at Land
on Amsterdam Avenue
delish


lunch included
a discussion 
of
 what was next

the decision:
Fifth Avenue

we took the subway
very
efficiently


to the 
Fifth Avenue station on the N/R line

stepping out 
onto 
Fifth Avenue
along with half the world


we joined them 
oogling
the 
holiday windows
 of

Bergdorf Goodman
from 
afar


from 
up close



Bulgari
was
sort of
vulgar-i


wrapped in a snake(s)!



less ornate
was
a watch shop 
decorated
in 
clock work snow flakes


Harry Winston
 is a 
class act
in
understated
tiara-like
window trim


Henri Bendel
 showcased
a
retrospective
 of their past

 that suit 
is made of vintage ads


Fendi
was wrapped
in
glittering
belts
dripping icicles



Cartier
added
 glowing
panthers




to the
tradition red ribbon
wrap



at that point
 the kids decided
 they wanted to shop
 the adults
 opted
 for a sit down 
at an espress bar


having fortified ourselves
 we headed 
to 
Rockefeller Plaza 



specifically
30 Rock's 50 Street entrance
to
The Top of the Rock



Matt
Kate's son joined us


there was an amazing elevator ride 
which I did not chronicle 

we got to the second level observation deck
 where
 Janice decided
 she was going to hang onto the building
 while admonishing
 anyone
 who could hear her
over the wind:

everyone is way too close to the edge
 keep back
 dont lean
 watch out
one good gust of wind and surely you will fall off
 get away
 you're going to fall
humans were not meant to walk around at these heights
gravity is proof of this




  I am not exaggerating

we ignored her

this
was shot with my BIG lens
 between 
 the plexiglass shields
 that keep people from falling 


we lured
 Janice out
for a group photo  
with the promise 
we would be fast 
and 
we'd hold on to her tight


she wasnt happy
 about them standing there
 but 
they didnt listen 
either




this is the last one, right?
and
 with that
 she ran inside 

Kate, Matt and I went up to the very top deck


 to get this shot at sunset





leader of the pack


I had the week off
 but
 it wasnt a week 
of lolling about
 friends came into town
 from Virginia
from Maryland
 we ate
 we drank
 we walked
 we walked
 we ate
 we drank
 and
 we walked some more 
we also took cabs
 and
 lots of photos 

we went
 up 
to the Top of the Rock
 looked out
 over NYC
 some of NJ

 a day
 that started off
 with rain
 turned into a lovely evening

  good friends
 good times

 after a lunch
 at 
Land
 on
 Amsterdam Avenue
 we were
 on 
our way
 to wander
 gawk 
the windows
 on 
Fifth Avenue

 I spotted
 these pups
 waiting for their owner? 
their dog walker?
  whichever

 outside
 Cafe Con Leche 
I am guessing
 he or she
 was 
fueling up

 it was cold out there

where in the world is she


I'm here 
behind the camera

 spent the day
 with
 a few of my close friends
 as soon as
 my out of town company
 departs
 I will catch you up on all the high jinx

slowing it down

my week off
 is
 getting away from me

 I need to slow it down

 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas 
if you celebrate


 if not 
I hope
 you had a nice day
 a nice dinner 

 speaking of dinner
 my friend Donna cooked
she always cooks amazing holiday meals
 but
 this was a first
 a venture
 into new recipes
 she kept saying
 'its all new to me so if its not good just wait there will another course coming'

 lets see what did we have

first off
 champagne or proseco
 to toast 
good friends and family
 being together
 and
 to those no longer with us

 then some chit chat while the cook, er, chef finished things up

disclaimer  
please do not enlarge these photos
 most are crap
 not focused
 should be deleted
 I took the new D7000 with the 35mm with me
 I need to learn to stand stiller
 to not slam down the shutter
 I need to concentrate
 so things are in focus

'cause
 when I did
 those things
 the photos
were
sharp
crisp
and
made me smile

like this


not so these that follow




come on lets sit down


amazing Sicilian egg drop soup
 that's the best description
 it was delicious
 a salad
 of
 finely chopped celery and green olives 

pasta primavera
 with 
squat thick macaroni
 chunks of seasonal veggies
 like eggplant 

wonderful crisp garlic bread

a choice
 of 
filet migon and/or swordfish
 cooked under a blanket of spinach, mushrooms, onions delish

wash it down with lots of lovely wine
 then indulge in eggnog pie
and
hope 
you do not explode!


while you are digesting the menu
 I am entertaining
 friends from out of town
 today and tomorrow
  all our adventures 
will be recapped 

see you later

looking up


I hope
 everyone's
 presents are wrapped
 and
 under the tree 
or 
hanukkah bush

 if you baked
 I know
 you're putting out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk 
for Santa

get ready 
'cause
 he's on his way! 

Ho 
Ho 
Ho

yesterday
 after beautifying
 I went to B and H
 to trade in
 my D90 for a D7000

  Toonman
 came along to keep me company
 to guide me
 through
 the
 overwhelmingness
 that is B and H

 the place is so well run
 the lines
queues
 move along
 smoothly

 you wait in line for your turn with a sales person


it took about 10 min
to be next



 to get to
sales counter #27
to
say
 I'd like the D7000 body please

 ta da!

got an extra battery
 it came with a 16 gig memory card
 I put an 8 gig card in the back up slot
how cool is that
it has a back up card
and
LowePro a camera case

for anyone who could possibly
 fill up a 16
 even on the highest res
 I've
never
 filled
 that 8
 in full disclosure
it could be
 due
compulsive
 downloading

going out today to give it a whirl!
see ya later!