Happy To Me

Best birthday in many many full moons. Spent with my favorite people. In my favorite place. Wining. Dining. Zero whining. Now, that’s a perfect birthday.

Springtime in New York. Crocuses up. Italian marketing at Eataly after a 70-degree afternoon stroll with Dr.H through Madison Park. He fêted me with a wonderful dinner at ParkAvenueWinter: PithyV, Original MadMan, mAdBen, Joey3Sticks, Alicat. Joy and laughter. And lots of Sancerre. Lots.

GemQueen and BlogisQueen enjoyed the mid-day sun apres dejeuner at ABC Kitchen with Meryl Streep and hubby just a couple tables down. My lobster was a succulent, sweet treat. Best part was being there with BFF. Then, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, superb Southwest supper with Ben. And…DimSum lunch at Hurricane Club with Betsey fun across from fab Giraffe.

Plus great gifts. A Victorian glass dish, handmade fan, valise with ducks!

Paris v. NYC

Nifty gift from mAdBen. He met graphic artist Vahram Muratyan and got me a signed copy of his new book, “Paris Versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities”. It is a clever delightful artistic comparison of la vie quotidienne, daily life in each city. Laugh-out-loud brilliant fun. Motivation to get back to gay Paree.

It was highlighted this weekend in the NYTimes along with a book about women on Madison Avenue during MadMen days. Jane Maas recounts her time at Ogilvy & Mather in the 60’s, in “MadWomen”.  A real-life portrait of Peggy Olson.

Before we leap tomorrow, let’s wish a very happy 87th to Betsey! If her mother Birdie could have only waited one more day, she’d still be in her twenties.

Morning Blahg

How does Santorum’s sweep change Republican race? “Anybody but Romney. Connecting and charisma are not in his DNA. Compared to Mitt, Barack seems like Mr. Warmth.” JackCaff last night. Morning Joe, Ralph Reed. Really? Regression therapy. Pro-life until there is a life born. Then let them eat cake.

Hot eateries in Manhattan to date: Joey3 @ Sandro’s, Cafe Boulud, Upper East. Melba’s Harlem for Alicat’s bday. With mAdBen @ West Bank, 42nd & 9th. Betsey fete soon @ Lincoln Center Ristorante. PrezO will be @ ABC Kitchen on March 1, to test the food and give us a review for our March 8 lunch there.

Table’s Turn

Ending the year on an up-note. Family trek to New York produced several excellent dining experiences. The best was Ciano on Park Avenue South, a few blocks from our still favorite hotel, The Giraffe. Ciano has a farmhouse cozy warm ambience with fresh simple fare. Monkfish loin, Berkshire pork tenderloin succulent, cooked perfectly. Wine “program” a little much and it’s pricey, but worth it for a change. Lure remains our consistently fun FishBar stop in SoHo.

Enjoyed a quintessential bistro steak frites lunch with Betsey, who savored every morsel at Bourdain’s original Les Halles. Earlier lunch attempts at Zinc in New Haven and Alta in Lenox less satisfying, but nice just to be together with family and friends over the holidays. Happy healthy New Year to all SideTrekkers.

Buy Table’s Edge on RecipeDetours page.

Hudson’s Edge

  Windswept Hudson River’s Edge. Clinton, Hudson Yards, Hell’s Kitchen Trek. Circle Line, cruise ships, helicopters launch. Busses, carriages, trains sleep. Back stage bustle to Manhattan’s main show. Photo by B.L. His view.

Ink48 Hotel has huge windows to see city and Ogilvy on 11th Avenue. Trendy crowds, too loud. 10th Avenue’s freeze is thawing with some cozy boites. 44X is a Hell’s Kitchen oasis. Behind the scenes people, sophisticated palates. Clear cross-town on 1st Avenue good morning fare and fond friends at Cafe Luka. Back home, the only team I can’t root for against New England? Dallas.

TrekBooks review- Rules of Civility.

1 Rm Riv Vu

Hudson River and City from 25th Floor. Congrats to Ben on his new home! Doorman, pool, tennis courts, gym, roof deck. Just a coupla blocks from work. It’s good to be Ben. He’s earned it.

More SanFran Buzz. Northampton’s former Circa owner, Dane Boryta’s new restaurant Bottle Cap is slated to open in a week at the site of Ed Moose’s old ‘WashBag‘ in North Beach. See Travel Treks for more Bay Area Treks. Last night Jack asked if Repubs will go light on social issues in order to win in 2012. He read what C. said.   Can we finally kiss that weiner goodbye?

May Beary

Home from a wonderful week in New York. Grad glow indulged. I’m a proud Mama Bear, what can I say?
Re-entry. Started A.S. Byatt’s, The Children’s Book. Cubistic Carroll-esque journey, but I digress.

So, I’m quietly reading on the porch, and look up to see Goldilocks’ family crossing the street! We don’t live in Manhattan, but geez. Where’s my banjo? Mama took her cubs to play in our back yard. It’s a Mama moment.
And Dr. Dad’s wonderful photos, of course.

Ben Meets Frank

When Ben Levine was invited to sit in on a New York Times editorial board meeting yesterday, he ran into a familiar looking guy. Frank Rich. “Frank” asked what brought him to the meeting. Ben told “Frank” that he was the Editorial Board Chair of NYU’s newspaper.  “Frank” said, “oh, the Washington Square News!” Ben was surprised and impressed and had a great time sitting in on the meeting- found the discussions to be heady and educational. Outsiders are rarely invited to the ‘Times’ inner sanctum, so quite a coup.

See Trek Books for March List.

ETrek Theater, Sightings, Lunch

Liberty Square Review:  NY- “Time Stands Still”, Donald Margulies’ play about an Iraq war-torn couple features Laura Linney and Brian d’Arcy James.  They struggle with the psychological and physical toll of their experiences, as Alicia Silverstone, a “spritely” girlfriend of their friend, steals the show.

Sightings- Joey “Three Sticks” at Via Quadronno on 73rd and Mad, sipping wine with his lovely companion and a high profile criminal attorney during the blizzard Wednesday afternoon… a prominent insurance lawyer from Springfield recently dining at Commerce in the West Village with a lively group… local Judge & real estate exec canoodling on St. John…AND a very happy bday to the “hottest” business magnate in San Francisco

Movies:  Word is that Benicio del “Lobo” will cause nightmares for weeks in the new “Wolfman” remake.

From the frig, Zucchini “Cordon Bleu”: (sort of), for lunch:  See Recipe Detours.

CandyPants(on the Ground)Rant:  Why all these new commercials featuring old people with big bellies in 50’s underwear?  eeeeuuuu