I left Wednesday for an Index conference for the S&P/Investortools Municipal Bond Indices. I met up with Dad at Laguardia and we headed into the city. We scouted the city for some lunch and ended up at a Pan-Asian place with amazing sushi. We checked out the conference center and headed over to Bayard's for dinner. Back in July '01 Dad, Mike from S&P and I had all eaten there and it was one of my fodest memories. Dad and I went for old times sake and had an incredible meal - the food was still spectatular! We dawdled over dinner, enjoying the ship-motif, dim lighting, and fine wine. It was great. I had roast duck that was succulent.
I was rooming with Keri and she was a lot of fun. She has a 1 year old so I got to see some really cute pics & hear stories. She's known me since I was a tadpole, so that's cool. (i.e. Mom was pregnant w/Noah) The conference went really great, it was a great opportunity to be there w/the title "Manager of Index Operations." That says it all.
Funny story: Keri was noticing there wasn't a minibar in the room, so I opened the armoire and saw a little white box w/numbers on the front sitting on the bottom. I said, "Yeah but it has a microwave!" and she was like, "Really? How would you keep the food cold?" and I was sheepishly like, "Nevermind, nothing. They don't have one." She came over to look and to my shame she saw... The Safe!! Well, it looked like a microwave!
So another wonderful dinner at Keen's Chophouse to celebrate the conference. It was 3 S&P guys, and we 6 Investortools people. My filet mignon with Bernaise was superb! I tried to take it home, but it didn't keep. :(
Friday we visited a client and then headed to the airport so Dad & Scott could go home & I could meet my husband!!!! He took an early flight and got in a 3:30. Now, neither of us have been in the city that much and used mass transit, except Boston once and London once. I have more, but Dad was always handling everything. So it was an adventure, but I must say I don't think we ever did anything too wrong - never got on a wrong train anyway. It was really cool using the MTA, and we learned to navigate it very comfortably. Just read lots of signs and carary a map!
We checked into our steal of a deal hotel and it was really nice - one of the top 5 nicest hotels I've been in. What a blessing! We headed out to spy our eating places and settled on Mesa Espana (A Taste of Spain). The atmosphere was just charming - Mediterranean countryside/seaside paintings, large ornate mirrors, stucco walls/ceilings. We loved our little romantic tucked-away corner seating... Then we walked a few blocks and to the Empire State Building. The view at the top was amazing - give you height fears if you had them! New York sparking with thousands of lights, things vaguely discernable and others obviously identifiable. My only complaint is it was very crowded! We got a pic of Jonathan not getting a signal on his cell w/the Verizon building viewable over his shoulder... "Can you hear me now?" was his desired caption!
Our Saturday began bright and early with a lovely breakfast and much walking! We were going from Gramercy Park district up to Central Park to the Natural History Museum and the Metropolitan Meseum of Art (never made it there). On the way we passed right through Times Square and Broadway, scouting out our theatre for the evening play. There were a plethora of cool stores just calling my name!!! I resisted all but the Hershey's store, where they were giving out free mini Take 5's. When we got up to the Park it was breezy, warm and there were lots of bikers, joggers, dog-walkers, and kids. It was really lovely. Later there was even some musical performance, and canoes to rent and ride out! 843 acres of beautiful land right in the middle of bustling Manhattan! Who'd have thought?! The park's history is cool, too.
The Natural History Museum was just chocked full of room after room of interesting things to see/read. If we weren't so tried of walking and standing, we could've stayed for hours more. We headed to Carnegie Deli for late lunch - a true NY experience. They serve bowls of pickles and mounds of corned beef, swiss, cabbage and rye and they call it a "Ruben"! It was more like a mountain! It's fast paced and you eat elbow to elbow, the walls covered with pictures of famous people who've eaten there. Fonzie from Happy Days was up there!
We walked through Times Square some more, this time stopping and buying a few things!!! :) Then back to the hotel to change for the play!!! We arrived just in time and it was a hilarious and wonderful show! We had reservations at a very upscale French restaurant for dinner - our 2nd choice at recommendation, since the 1st was booked up. Undoubtably the food was marvelous (especially the DESSERT sampler, not in sample sizes!!), and the atmosphere romantic, but the service and art were lacking. However, Jonathan and I being the resiliant and optimistic people we are, we didn't care and had ourselves such a lovely, incredibly memorable evening!!!!!
Sunday we met up with our friend Sean for breakfast and church. We ended up at a not so hot place, but at least enjoyed talking. He agreed to go to church with us, and we headed to one of our SG sister churches in Brooklyn, Sovereign Grace City Church. It was only about 50 people, the church just a year old, but the worship and message were great, and the people friendly. It was a profitable way to spend the morning.
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to go to the Statue of Liberty (they'd stopped the ferries!), visiting Wall Street & showing Jonathan where I worked (my "corridors of power"), and more Times Square shopping. Exhausted, but with more time on our hand, we ducked into a little Irish pub called The Pig 'n Whistle, where Jonathan got a stout and I a martini. Then ready to finish, we walked back to the hotel, got our bags, and headed to the airport. What a terrific trip!!!!!!!! We were blessed beyond measure!
Central Park Entrance Fountain
NYC Sykine from Empire State Building. Can you see the Statue of Liberty??
Hilton Theatre (caught off guard)
A snake bird, called so b/c of its shape. Only its head stays above water as it swims.See the baby eating on the right?
T--Rex at Natural History Muesum
"The Bull" on Wall Street... Where was "The Bear"?
Jonathan at Times Square
Jonathan, Denise, Sean