Sunday, 25 March 2007

in between America and Australia

It's been a while since I posted, but work has kept me quite busy, what with a business trip to New York and all. It's a yearly thing and it's always nice to go - NY is starting to feel a little bit like home, I have friends there, and, last but not least, it's good for some serious SHOPPING!
As usual, S came with - every year he says "I don't think I'll come this time", but every year he changes his mind and comes anyway. Which I don't mind at all of course. Last week Friday, while I was at work, S roamed the Big Apple with his camera and took this lovely picture in Central Park - 6 inches of snow last Friday, so beautiful. If this had happened in London, the whole city would have come to a standstill and the public transport would have gone all haywire. But it's NY, so everything kept on working just fine. Although getting a cab was near impossible.

Last Sunday I had the day off, so I went on my yearly pilgrimage to (the holy shrines of) Kiehl's and Aveda - a bit like going to Lourdes I would imagine. Maybe it will not bring salvation for my soul, but salvation for my skin is a given. It was a nice and sunny day, so S and I walked, and who else did we run into but Tim Robbins, speaking at an anti war demonstration. How cool is that. And we ended the day with a lovely home-cooked dinner, at our friends' home in Harlem. They have a ginormous flat (to NY standards at least) and it was nice to visit an area where tourists normally don't go. Still a bit rough around the edges (but then again, so is East London, where I live) but lovely open spaces and river views.

Apart from Sunday, work kept me quite busy, so I didn't have much time for fooding. Most of my food experiences were limited to Midtown, within five blocks of my hotel and work place, and are not really worth writing about. Apart from saying I still cannot get over how big American portions are. It's a good thing I only stayed a week, any longer and I might not fit in an economy seat on the plane any more. There was a whole list of places I would have loved to try, but didn't get the chance to. I did manage a cocktail or two with friends, and a lovely Japanese sushi dinner at St Marks Place though. Oh, and I did fit in a quick trip to Williams Sonoma and Wholefoods, where I finally found cocoa nibs (I've been searching high and low for those in London, but to no avail), some Scharffenberger Serious Chocolate (serious as in 99% cocoa) and vanilla bean paste.

Off to Australia tomorrow (I know, I have such a hard life), for a long holiday and a friends' wedding. No big foodie plans for Oz, but I'll be meeting up with W, an old university friend in Singapore, who will finally introduce me to the pleasures of chilli crab. And Jen from Milk and Cookies gave me some nice suggestions for Sydney food places.

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