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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

On the way to the inner sanctum of Food Network, our new best friend Chef Rob told us about two things we should experience. He didn’t exactly have to twist our arms, since the first suggestion was chocolate.

chocolate

Not just any chocolate: luxury chocolate

Jacque Torres chocolate. These are not your basic supermarket sweets, so the deliberation and decision-making took some time…
choosing chocolates

Decisions, decisions....

We ended up with an assortment, including a mystery chocolate. It was a legitimate mystery, too–not even the girls behind the counter knew what was in it. Every batch includes three flavors and the people who make them don’t tell what they are. We detected hazelnut, caramel, and…a mystery. Then there were chocolates with wine, with salt, with lavender, with…well, I’d better stop before revealing how seriously piggy we were.
more chocolate

We snarfed down two before remembering to pull out the camera

Stuffed with chocolate, the only thing to do was walk it off. Fortunately, suggestion number two was this: High Line park sign It’s a rather wonderful park up above the street… High Line Park railing And when you look south, you can see all the way to the Statue of Liberty.
View of Lady Liberty

It's tiny, but it's out there

The other direction is this fun building… twisted building and along the way, many beautiful flowers. tulip It was a lovely walk and we enjoyed it very much. If you find yourself in the area, stop in for a box of chocolates then take yourself for a walk in the park. And if you see Chef Rob, tell him the girls from Texas said, “Hi.”

P.S. This is how New Yorkers park their cars. The mind (the minds of us from wide open spaces, anyway) boggles.

tall, scary parking structure

How do they get them up there?

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Our happy foursome at breakfast.

Yes, we're eating again.


After our triumph at Carnegie Hall, many (most?) of the orchestra and chorus went home the next day. Not our little crew. We had shows to see, food to eat, and adventures to enjoy! But first, we had to move.

Oh, you know us better than that by now. First, we had breakfast.

omelet & bagel

Ham & cheese omelet. The potatoes tasted much better than they looked.

lox & bagels

Rosemary & Vikki opted for lotsa lox.

Technically, we could’ve stayed put and paid a small fortune for our hotel rooms, but thrifty souls that we are, we had found an apartment to rent. Upper West Side, doorman building, just around the corner from John Lennon’s last (living) address. So off we went.

Apartment living room

Beverly getting cozy on the couch.


apartment bedroom

A VERY comfy bed.


apartment kitchen

Apparently this is considered spacious by New York standards


I highly recommend going the condo/flat/apartment route over most hotels when traveling, it usually costs less and is often more comfortable. At least, that’s been my experience!

Once we moved in–which only required one extra trip to enlist the doorman’s help getting the door unlocked–we hopped on the subway to head back to Chelsea Market. Remember I said there were stories yet to tell from that place? It was the high point of my trip, possibly my year . . . and I’ll tell all in my next post.

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Please be advised that the taking of photos inside Carnegie Hall is strictly forbidden, even during rehearsals, so I have no idea where this came from.

View from the stage at Carnegie Hall

The fact this is the view from my seat on the stage is a cosmic coincidence.

And yes, by the way, that round thing in the middle of the picture is a gong. The stage is not so big and we were practically seated in the percussion section. In my usual back row seat I had four rows of altos to muffle the sound but I pitied the front row peeps.

No matter how many times I perform there, I find it impossible to be on that stage and not think about those who have stood where (or darn close to where) I’m standing. Tchaikovsky conducted the opening concert. The Beatles were there…though they had to scrap the live album recorded that night as the only sound was that of fans screaming. Judy Garland did a show there, with Carol Burnett, I believe. Stars of stage, screen, and every kind of music have been there and done that. It’s an icon, and as the t-shirt says, “If you haven’t played it, you haven’t made it.”
Carnegie quote

So, we played it. Unlike previous gigs, when we performed with the Opera Orchestra of New York, there was no audience for the rehearsal, which was a good thing. At one point someone . . . someone very close to me, possibly in my chair . . . came in two beats early with a perfectly beautiful “K” sound and a rich, ringing tone. I blame Vikki for leading me. . . er, whoever it was. . . astray. But never mind, it was just rehearsal, and as our bass soloist said when he missed an entrance during the recording session, “It may have been early, but it was fabulous.” I’m pleased to report there was no such foolishness from our section during the actual performance.

The piece we performed (with our own Dallas Symphony this time) is called “August 4, 1964” by Steven Stucky. You can read all about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/arts/music/dallas-symphony-orchestra-at-carnegie-hall-review.html?_r=2&ref=arts And when you do, please notice the little vague blob on the very top left corner of the photo. That’s me. My shoulder, a little hair, and edge of my glasses are about all that made it into the frame, but it’s better than nothing, right?

The performance went extremely well, the audience was enthusiastic, the after-party was lovely, and the after-after-party cheesecake was a chocolate lover’s dream. (Benash Deli. Terrible service, yummy Snickers cheesecake.) What more could a girl want?

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Eataly road sign

You are . . . here?

No, not Italy. Eataly. It’s the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world. It’s a Mario Batali (and friends) production. It’s . . . a temple of food. Like most temples, they’re big on doctrine. Eataly’s includes statements like:

“FOOD UNITES US ALL.
Good food brings all of us together, and helps us find a common point of view.
We believe that one of the greatest sources of joy is what happens around a dinner table.”

and

“EAT. SHOP. LEARN.
This is a store with stories. Here, you won’t just discover what you love, you’ll also learn about what you love.”

We wandered in, split up, and when we found each other again Vikki said to me, “You have to see the meat counter. It darn near brought Rosemary and me to tears, it’s so beautiful.”

Eataly meat counter

The last time I saw "whole rabbit" it was hopping across my yard.

I realize if you’re not a foodie the glory of beautiful food may not move you, but in my crowd it’s pretty touching stuff.

Then there was this:

more Eataly

Land of ham . . . and cheese.

and this:
Close up of Italian hams

Seriously . . . food as art. Delicious art.

and this cheesemaker, whom I gather was having a bad day.
Mozzarella maker

He's making fresh mozzarella...which apparently just went horribly wrong.

Then there were fruits…
beautiful fruit

Mostly unfamiliar, but aren't they pretty?

and not just vegetables, but rules for enjoying them.
The 8 Rules of Vegetable Enjoyment

The 8 Rules of Vegetable Enjoyment. Now you know.


It’s quite the experience. We’d have lingered, but there was the little matter of a rehearsal and subsequent performance at Carnegie Hall to get to, so we gave a last lingering look at the cheese and strolled out onto the sidewalk.

My advice about Eataly? Go. Go hungry. Chat with the various experts who are stationed around the store. Then eat, preferably with friends and/or family. Because I have also found it to be true that “…one of the greatest sources of joy is what happens around a dinner table.”

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We had the morning free to make a pilgrimage, so after only a few false starts on the subway we found ourselves here:

Chelsea Market, NYC

Chelsea Market...or as we like to call it, "Foodie Mecca"

The Food Network lives here. So do several other media outlets and a lot of good food, but that’s beside the point. It’s a rather fabulous building that used to be the headquarters of the National Biscuit Company. You may know them as Nabisco. NAtional BIscuit COmpany, get it?

Tile mosaic

Apparently this used to be the front entrance, before they added vowels.

Oreos were born here. That alone would make it a place of interest, but the inside is packed with lovely little places to eat and odd steel pieces, a fountain, etc. It reminds me of the old Olla Padrida shopping center of my youth. After wandering from one end to the other in a vain search for the Food Network logo, we stopped at Amy’s Bread for breakfast.

Bread and tea

A perfectly proper breakfast

Not only was it delicious–that’s chocolate in one of those twists–we had a view of the bakers at work while we ate.

man making bread

Not Amy. At least, I don't think so.

We ate, gawked, and shopped. I bought salt & pepper shakers. Finally. Now the snowman & Christmas tree can stop appearing on the table at summer dinner parties. We rode up in a random elevator hoping to find the Food Network, but alas, it was just TV station NY1. (We mumbled excuses and hastily hit the down button.)

We also wondered at a number of posters advertising something called a “pop-up” from the James Beard Foundation. They mentioned “steak of the day” and other delights, but we couldn’t find it. So, eventually tiring of our fruitless search, we set off to visit another foodie fantasy, Eataly. (More about that tomorrow.) Along the way we saw this, which certainly does not look my local purveyor of construction supplies:

Home Depot

Toto, we're not in Texas anymore.

It would not be our last trip to Chelsea Market. Oh no. There were adventures yet to be had there. But that’s a story for another day. Until then…

Hydrangeas

They're just so beautifully blue

These have nothing to do with anything, but aren’t they gorgeous? If only I could get mine that color…

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