Man Date

Official Man-Date June 2010.  Last night Dan arranged an amazing meal and night out for Tanner and I.  At 7:45 we piled into a cab and headed across town in a cab over to Chelsea, where we were dumped out at the base of a large set of stairs.  As it turns there is an amazing raised park that runs through Chelsea and into the West Village called Highline Park!  The city has converted the old raised train tracks that ran through that part of town into a beautiful green walkway.  The architecture, foliage, and view is incredibly stunning!  As you wander through the raised park you get to take in the city all around, the river a block away with sailboats skimming by, and you are surrounded in lush flowering plants, it is surreal!

After this wonderful and appetite inducing walk suspended amid the city we descended once again to ground level the the front door of our next dining adventure, Colicchio & Sons.  Tom Colicchio is the owner of the Craft Restaurants, Founder of Gramercy Tavern, and the Head Judge on Top Chef!  I have been trying to eat at one of his restaurants for ages, almost as to size up his expertise in order to better understand his critiques of the Top Chef contestants.  Dan had made reservations at Colicchio & Sons for us, and had also prepared a three bottle wine tasting, for which Tanner had the corking fee waved since he began his culinary exploits at Gramercy Tavern with Tom Colicchio.  The space at the restaurant was amazing!  A towering ceiling and enormous space which is divided in the center by a two story glass wine cellar, separating the lounge from the main dining room.  Huge two story floor to ceiling windows overlook the river.  The decor is modern but not obnoxious.  Just a really cool place.

Colicchio & Sons

We began with a glass of champagne in order to toast to a guys night out, and the dove into our tasting.  Dan had sought out three vintages of the same wine in order for us to do a vertical tasting, Hanzell 07,06, and 05. Amazing wines on there own accord, but such a cool thing to taste the different years right next to each other!  Obviously similar, but shockingly different.  Really great wines.  As we tasted we scrounged our way through a couple of course, Ricotta Ravioli with morels; Halibut with Artichokes, being my choices.  Capping everything off with a great cheese plate. It was a fabulous three hour meal.  It feels so nice not to be rushed, and to savor every bit of your meal.  Also interesting is the attention you give your food when you start to think about having to recreate something like it someday, I now over scrutinize everything.

Our table was just a field of wine glasses.

After we left the restaurant we caught a cab back to the East Village for a night cap at a new bar Summit.  Great cocktails and beer selection.  As we sat down to enjoy our negronis and something infused with coca leaves… we were browsing through the menu and found out that they exclusively sell Dan’s salami!  Suddenly Dan was a celebrity to the staff behind the bar, and proceeded to take shots with the owner.  After that we had all had far too much to drink and headed on our way back home.  All and all it was truly a phenomenal summer night out with the guys.

Here are some last pictures for you that we took somewhere on our walk home.  Tanner found a tree that he liked and had me take a couple of pictures of it, and for some reason everything seemed to come together to produce these.  How it happened I have no idea.

Insane Night Willow Pictures.

Tanner and his Tree.

Everyone is a Pro Photo Taker

Not too much to report…

So I finally made Shannon pull out her uber camera.  She has kept it stashed and away the whole time we have been here, and has been solely relying on point and shoot cameras. (Albeit my point and shoot Canon rules)  So we finally rolled out the big guns.  I made Shannon spend all day teaching me how everything functions on a way over my head SLR, and then snapped off a trillion pictures.  You can see how that turned out below.  I spent most of today in the gallery space at the Chelsea Hotel with Shannon.  She was manning the Mikael Kennedy show alone, which consists of sitting in the room from 12-8 and helping the 17 people who came in, and so we were able to mess around with camera all afternoon and evening.

Last night Shan and I made it back down to the Lower East Side to the Living Room/Googlies Lounge to catch a live show one of Tanner’s friends was putting on.  The venue was a quirky little upstairs place filled with lots of odd colors, but the show was a success, Sara had an amazing voice, refreshingly different.  We have had a lot of fun getting out to these live concerts.  We have seen a ton of good talent, and I have been taken back by the actual talent of the performers.  It seems so funny to me that these singer/songwriters will be so nice to listen to, and yet Shannon and I are 25% of the crowd.  Anyways, it is a great and inexpensive way to get out during the week, I just wish I had a way to share the music with you!

Anyways, here are some pictures that you are going to want to keep forever as they are the first run put out by The Willey, Pro Photo Wrangler.

Googlies Lounge

Sara Blacker

Sweet Birdhouse!

Just some stairs that lead to a window: 6th Floor Exit.

Let’s just keep rolling with it…

Lots of blog action these last few days!  I hope I am not exhausting you guys with this.  I would give it a break for a few days but everything would just pile up on itself, and I do like having this journal to really mark dates and times for when I am looking back on it.

Our first kickball game was a success!  The ‘Booze on First’ team gains its first win 5-4 over ‘Who’s on First’ (Instant rivalry?) and we are primed and ready to put down our next foe next week.  We meet at an elementary school playground and play on the blacktop, under the Manhattan Bridge.  It is a really relaxed and fun way to blow off some steam, and it gets us killer discounts at the sponsor bar right down the street from our house!

This afternoon I got to go and visit Shannon at day 1 of her new gallery internship.  She is interning for a famous photographer in town who owns his own gallery.  She helped unveil a new show today at the famed Chelsea Hotel, and I dropped in for some free wine and a gander at the art.  The show itself is really amazing, it is a collection of 500 Polaroid pictures, and at first I was pretty skeptical about the value and the scope of the show, but as soon as I got into the room where it was being shown I was actually blown away.  It is amazing how Polaroid as a format really just endears you to the photo.  I am not going to critique the show as I would make a fool out of myself.  The venue on the other hand was absolutely incredible.  The Chelsea Hotel is a famous art hub in the most artistic and renown neighborhood in New York for art.   It is an old and worn hotel plastered with art.  As far as I can tell all of the rooms are suites, and are essentially great old apartments.  The room they used for the show is on the 5th floor, rundown, needing work, and up until this installment was storage space.  I snapped off a few photos just to get the gist of things, but Shannon already said that when she has the gallery all to herself early next week she would try and really capture the show in photo in order to put it up.  It was really cool to get out and see though.

I decided to make use of the great weather today and walk back home across town from the show.  Every time I let myself walk though new neighborhoods I am blown away by what I stumble into.  I know I have repeatedly voiced how small Manhattan technically is, and yet seems endless, but I am seriously astounded by the fact that the very limited area I have haunted still catches me off guard with what is hidden here.  Today I came across this amazing little square, Gramercy, which of course is famous and has its own neighborhood named for it, but which I had never previously been in.  It is a perfectly manicured lawn and flower laden oasis in between insane avenues.  I could barely hear cars while I was lost in there.  I have only recently realized how many of these small wonders exist in this city and have purchased a pad to write down the coordinates, ex: E 20th + 3rd (S), which deciphers to, “East 20th Street at 3rd Avenue (Shannon Would Really Like This)”  Dan and Addie, I hope you are ready for some walking this summer when you get out here, as I have categories on this list with your initials plastered to them as well.

Anyways, here are the days pictures.  The soundtrack goes as follows: Passion Pit, Bon Iver, and Local Natives.