Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New York

  1. Tom and George and I had delicious dim sum on Friday for lunch. We ate all sorts of delicious goodies. My favorite was the taro cake with oyster sauce, I think, though I like the beef noodle. We also liked the shrimp-wrapped-in-bacon, dusted-in-rice-flour, then-deep-fried-until-crispy-and-dipped-in-mayo, but we don't like to admit that because it just sounds wrong.
  2. I got blisters on my feet from walking in pouring rain in sandals that were too big.
  3. The Royalton rocks, even by my extremely picky industry insider standards. It's hip without being stuffy, the bar has a nice, relaxed atmosphere, and the rooms are pretty big for NYC. It's an Ian Schraeger design property that is part of the Morgans Hotel Group. The rooms are white and cherry wood, and feel vaguely like art deco steam ship cabins meeting modern, clean line sensibility. The beds rock...very comfortable, and great for sitting and reading. Huge closets, which I like. My room had a gigantic shower, but I know others have huge bathtubs, as well. The shower has a rain shower head AND a strange little wand-like device that was the brunt of many jokes by the group. I will stay there again, and I know Jane is going to make it her work hotel because her NYC office is around the corner and she travels there frequently.
  4. The Royalton Bar makes killer cocktails, but at $15 a pop it's a little difficult to justify more than one.
  5. The Algonquin is across the street, and I like to go there and pretend I'm Dorothy Parker, except without all the suicidal thoughts.
  6. There is a diner across the street near the corner of 44th and 6th called The Red Flame, and it's like the waiters are magic...before you finish annunciating the final syllable of your order the food appears on your table. I went there by myself for some NYTimes reading early Saturday morning when my jetlag dragged me out of bed at 7.
  7. When I was done with breakfast, I went back to the hotel and Jane and Lauren called me and invited me to their room for a chat while they got ready. Upon arrival, they presented me with a fabulous tiara that I wore ALL DAY, EVERYWHERE WE WENT. No one noticed. Okay, one tourist in a cab even gave it a second look, but I passed a thousand people. One in a thousand rounds to no one.
  8. J, L, and I returned their rental car and then wandered a street market on Lexington near GCStation. I bought fake purses, one for me, one for my sister-in-law, whose birthday was earlier last week.
  9. Bought the best cheese EVAH at Murrays in the Grand Central Market. Holy crap, it was good. I don't usually swoon for cheese, but JEEPERS.
  10. Had martinis at the Oyster Bar, and the waiter told us we all looked about 32. We do, but we liked hearing it anyway. Big tip for him.
  11. Talked to my mother, who was just up from a nap. She got a bit confused when I told her we were going to see a jazz singer that night and then out for dinner, what since Al Jolson is dead and Neil Diamond isn't exactly my speed. I corrected her. (This will now be referred to as the birthday where I went to a blackface show in family circles. We're not normal.)
  12. Blossom Dearie is magical, and the next time you are in New York you must go. No words can do justice to her spectacularness. She looks like a white-haired version of my grandma, but when she starts to play she becomes this sexy woman with style and grace. It is unbelievable.
  13. SushiSamba has great food, but the service is lousy and the place was freakishly hot. Plus there were too many hipster boys in straw cowboy hats and four-buttons-undone shirts, leading their cookie cutter model girlfriends around by the hand. We were glad to leave.
  14. We ate decadently good pastries at Cafe Rafaella. Yummy.
  15. On Sunday AM we checked out of the hotel and went to the MOMA. I love museums, I love New York museums, and I love the MOMA. Had not been since the remodel, and it is truly a work of art. Did not have enough time to explore, and will be going back in a few weeks to really chew on some of the Kandinskys. (That is not literal, FYI. Chewing on art is not good for your teeth.)
  16. Tommy picked us up and we went to Brooklyn. We stopped at a grocer for some last minute items, and I was overwhelmed by the choices in pickles and soda pop. Bought some killer kosher garlic dills that were out of this world, but could not decide between the diet chocolate Canfields or the cream soda.
  17. Had delicious blueberry cocktails and buckets of fabulous wine, courtesy of Tom, George and Imran.
  18. We walked to the Chinese restaurant for dinner. We had a private room with a karaoke machine. George had preordered an amazing meal, and the food just kept coming and coming. Tom will be getting me a copy of the menu, and I believe we have pictures of everything. Foods ranged from jellyfish and Chinese cold cuts to sharkfin soup to buddha roll to Cantonese lobster to flounder to the best chicken I've ever eaten. We listened to the entire 40@40, and I gave commentary for each song. Periodically, we'd get up and dance. (I believe the biggest dance hits were Walk This Way, You Shook Me All Night Long, and Soul City.) The waiters had difficulty making sense of us, but kept walking by and giggling.
  19. Had some cool drinks and orange almond biscuits in the garden by candlelight, then went to bed.
  20. Flew to Minneapolis, which you know.

16 comments:

lulu said...

We do look 32. And no one noticed the tiara because you looked so right in it. Very natural.

If you want the rest of your gift before you go back to England, you need to email me an address to send it to.

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dale said...

Whirlwindy fun! The Red Flame is fantastic for brekkie and I wondered about the Royalton which I thought looked a bit much on the web but may have to check out. Thanks so much for all the detail. The Algonquin is fun too for drinks and hanging around. The whole post makes me long for NYC, perhaps in the fall.

Coaster Punchman said...

Let us know if you come down, we'll show you a good time.

Coaster Punchman said...

A few items missing:
1) George's ceasar salad upon your arrival
2) Don't forget the wine selection at dinner. Four different varieties of white in five different bottles. That's a bottle every 2nd course.
3) Menu was:
a) Jellyfish with cold cuts
b) Sauteed squid and conch with veggie
c) Beef with macadamia nuts in a bird's nest
d) Sharkfin soup
e) Buddha tofu skin rolls
f) Shredded crab meat over broccoli florets
g) Lobster with ginger & scallion
h) Whole crispy skin chicken
i) Flounder filet served on a crispy frame
j) Fried rice and long-life noodles
k) Red bean soup and fresh fruit
l) Assorted fortune cookies

Miss you!

Dale said...

But will you wear Mormon underpants?

Coaster Punchman said...

Depends.

lulu said...

You'll wear Depends?

Coaster Punchman said...

I don't know. Depends.

I'm funny!

Dale said...

I'm staying out of this. Because I'm innocent.

lulu said...

I'm not sure how this degenerated into a conversation about CP's undergarments....I'm with you Dale, I'm walking away from this one.....

Dale said...

He started it Lulu, I'm only here for the Royalton review and the next thing you know....

lulu said...

The Royalton was lovely. ALthough as Mindy said, there was a weird black hose-thingy in the shower that gave us pause.

Thr Rooms were really nice, the beds were great, and the staff was very cute and friendly.

Dale said...

Cute and friendly can be very important. I'm glad the Royalton was nice, I may check it next time I go.

I was looking around at some hotels and checking the tripadvisor reviews and I think it was the Rihga Royal where it said their new suites don't have bathroom doors. What?

lulu said...

You know, no matter how close you are to someone, I don't think you're ever to close for bathroom privacy.

Dale said...

You're a wise Lulu, Lulu.