Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Return to NYC with Annie (and Leslie!)

I finished finals LAST WEEK--huzzah!!  The earliest semester of MY LIFE.  Finals and everything done before 5/1? New record.  I guess there IS a perk to starting school on Jan 8 (when NOBODY else in the collegiate universe is in class).

Nothing updated in two weeks because of said grading and whatnot, but I did squeeze in another trip to New York to see Annie and Leslie joined in at the last minute.  While the weather was good (no rain), it was also really chilly (good or bad depending on how you look at it ... I hate sweating so I'll take a 60 degree day over an 80 degree day pretty much any time ... which is why I love San Francisco so much).

Annie couldn't meet us at Penn Station this time, so Leslie and I had to travel south on our own.  I figured we would take a cab, but Leslie was determined to use the subway. I still had my pass from last time and I knew we only rode the train for one stop to get to Annie's, and then we come above ground and turn one corner to get to her door ... but which train? and which stop? and which corner???

I have no idea how we figured it out so quickly (without Ron--shhh! don't tell him) but we did.  Leslie later said to me, "Oh, I never would've done it on my own--I only did it because YOU were here."  To which I replied, "But I only did it because YOU were here." And then we both said, "huh ... oh well."  There's probably an important lesson in there somewhere.

It was so exciting to knock on Annie's door because ...

Miss Gemma answered!!

Annie's mom sent me up there with this mat for wet paws.  It was immediately tossed on the floor whereupon Gemma started chewing it like crazy.  "She destroyed my bath mat. Gone. [shrug]  This one is clearly going to meet a similar fate."

Leslie and I were STARVING so out we ran for brunch.

I have walked by this guy in Annie's hallway maybe a hundred times, and I forgot this time and he scared both me and Leslie.

Ok, ready to walk with us to Monument Lane? let's go:

A word about Annie's coat: I said to her halfway through the day, "Take me to where you bought this because one of my students was wearing it the other night, and now you have it, and I'm buying one." She replied, "I bought it last year next door to my nail salon. [shrug, ie, it's gone]"  A few nights later I caught up with that student: "WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT COAT?"  "Oh, that thing? People make fun of it all the time--you really want one? I found it for $5 [FIVE DOLLARS] at the Exton Mall--they had a zillion just last month because who would wear it, right?"  An hour later I showed up at that store: Gone.  This coat is nowhere to be found, people.

In retrospect, I'm really glad none of those ambulances went off because it would've freaked Gemma out.

We had to wait for a table, and with Gemma it had to be an outdoor table.  So we walked around the block a few times and waited for something to open up.

Everything was so dead and ice-crusted the last time I was here.

These two really had a moment.  (Wait: do I mean the owners or the dogs? hmmm ... maybe both.  12th and 6th, Annie, 12th and 6th.  See? I put things away for everybody--a completely democratic memory!)  He looks just like Charlie, right Jess?

Waiting in front of the restaurant, I would say 80% of the passersby stopped and talked to Annie because of Gemma.  Every kind of person wanted to ask about her dog: old people, young people, men (lots of men! ooo la la!), women, rich people, not-so-rich people, white people, black people, purple people ... everybody.  And Annie talked with ALL of them.  People running for president don't talk to this many strangers in a day.

Too much to pick from: Leslie and I both had the grilled ham and cheese, Annie had the scramble, and there was a lemon poppy scone and carrot bread (ie, cake) in there too.

Of course, all the tables in the sun were seated with men (who are always complaining they're too hot).  All the tables in the shade were seated with women (who are always too cold).  Poor planning (on their part--not ours!  If Jess and I were in charge of the world, dumb mistakes like this would never happen).  We were freezing by the end.

Worst attempt at focusing ever, but damn that carrot cake was good.

Leslie's Bloody Mary (with amazing pickles) and the champagne lemony-thing that Annie and I both picked.

Such a good meal, but then we really had to work to warm up.

I had to buy a tea because my hands were numb all the way to my wrists.  That rose tea was really good.

So many tulips everywhere!

I've known Annie for half my life: I've never seen her so happy.  That's what animals can do for you.  Period. The End.

This lady was going on and on about her favorite pet store.

Inside Bond No. 9: this place is the size of my closet--which is not impressive--and somehow ten people are inside at any given moment.

EVERYBODY asked about Gemma and the guy who worked there basically talked to her like she was a real person (which is fine with me because that's how I talk to my cats).

So pretty much everything I wear is from TJMaxx and nearly everything I love there always happens to be Cynthia Rowley, so I went in her W. 10th store ... yeah, none of this stuff makes its way to TJMaxx, I can tell you that for sure.  I looooved this door, but the guy behind the register gave me the stink eye when I took a picture of it. Whatever.

Inside NARS again--Leslie was stocking up this time.

Black tulips--my fave

And of course, over to Paper Source ...

Now I don't have a picture of it, but moments after I took this shot, Gemma introduced herself to another bigger dog and while Annie was all, "Come on, let's go" down the sidewalk and Leslie was messing around on her phone, I was the only one who noticed that said dog had Andy Cohen (ie, Bravo's Andy) on the end of his leash.  Completely bizarre. I realized later that my mind did some math in that moment and concluded, "Wow, so people on TV are real and don't live inside my TV? huh."  Annie later remarked, "I didn't notice--I only saw the dog" and Leslie said, "Are you SURE?"  Yes, I am sure.

We dropped Gemma off and then headed right back out because Leslie remembered that you can buy $3 bottles of wine at Trader Joe's in NYC and there is NOTHING a Pennsylvanian loves more than buying cheap booze and smuggling it across state lines.  I bought two reds and a vinho verde for $11 (TOTAL, not each. TOTAL).  Pennsylvania: WHY DO YOU MAKE IT YOUR JOB TO SUCK SO BAD???????????????

Then it was off to meet one of Annie's friends at Morandi.

Finally, the four of us went off to dinner at L'Artusi.  I have never--in one single day--consumed so much amazing bread in my life.  Unfortunately, we didn't have much time here before Leslie and I had to dash for the train home.  Next time, I won't leave a minute before 9pm.  Annie, I think we need to come back here next time so we can linger without Amtrak breathing down our necks!

Leslie and I were sad to leave, and it felt too early. But then we sat down on the train and in less than ten minutes both of us felt brain dead--soooo tired.

What a great day--thank you, Annie, and we will be back!  I hope you come home soon with little Gemma.

* update * Do these photos look pixelated on your screen? I think I may have exported them incorrectly. Leave a comment if they look blurry to you--I'm still learning with Light Room ...


Cat Lady Esq said...

the pics look clear.

We are so bundled up in every pic!! so glad its not cold anymore...

Cat Lady Esq said...

Also, I should probably take the clearance stickers off the bottom of my shoes....

Linda C said...

The photos look nice and clear to me. I enjoyed seeing the streets of NYC in bloom (the tulips!) and meeting Gemma.

Jess said...

Exactly like Charlie!