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.

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Happiness: The Better Alternative

So yesterday Shannon and I decided to go out into the world and make the most of an uncertain day.  We got ourselves ready and marched out of our front door in search of anything wonderful we could find.  We wanted to go and explore our new favorite part of New York City, the part where I finally feel like I could fit in and truly enjoy, the part that is most likely one of the most expensive places in the city to live, and the part where we love to spend our time.  So we marched right out of our front door and on to the train and rode over to the West Village.  The funny thing about Manhattan is that it is split up into so many little sub-communities: Chelsea, East Village, Greenwich, Soho, Noho, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown… etc.  Where we visited yesterday, and I hope to move to the first chance we get, is only 1.4 miles, but to get there we passed through East Village, Greenwich Village, and then into the West Village.  Which means that all of those neighborhoods are less then 800 meters wide, and they all have extremely different feelings and appearances.  Anyways, we happen to love the West Village.  Tree lined cobble stone streets, with beautiful old brownstone, english looking walk up buildings.  Every corner has a wonderful little bistro tucked under it, and as you can see below, every tree, shrub, bush, and open space is packed with flowers and green.  So we made our way into the West Village to have some lunch.  We stopped into a Scandinavian Bistro and sat down on their patio to enjoy some delicious food and a glass of wine (lush).  After slowly enjoying our lunch we walked through the beautiful streets enjoying some time away from the always loud Avenue A, and made our way to the Hudson River.  I always forget I am on an island.  There is rarely a reason, or opportunity, for me to see the water that is constantly flowing around me, in spite of it always being less then a mile a way.  We wandered down the river walk basking in the cool air off the water, and enjoying that briny sea smell from where the fresh water smashes into the salty water.  We watched barges float by, and took in the sights.  After taking in some open air and open water, we ventured through the Meat Packing District, and to complete the cliche there was actually a model photo shoot going on.  We took the train home, and relaxed before heading out for the night.

Last night was another great new experience for us as we got to enjoy the music of one of our good friends live in a cool venue.  We went down to the edge of Soho to a little performance space/bar  to catch Tanner Walle and his band play the night away.  Live music and a drink is always a nice night.  Even better: when it is your friend playing.  Even BETTER is when the music is good!  I would share the videos with you, but you are going to have to do with just pictures, as the videos are very large files.  After Tanner finished his set, we lucked out to have another solo guitar player and his trumpet playing friend (who we found out just finished his masters at Juliard) play so really nice laid back songs, which we ended up loving.  Great night at the Rockwood Music Hall.  After that we wandered home, split a bottle of wine, and crashed.

We really did attempt to make this day consistently enjoyable from start to finish.  It was our goal to get up and make the most of our day, and use all of the amazing world we have around us.  I think it was a success, and I think it is important to say that it was also a tribute.  There is never a reason to say no to making the most out of the situation you are in.  Something that my sister, myself, and most importantly my father have learned and made the most of thanks to my mother: your first instinct should always be, “yes,”  I think I shall go out and do that.  Let’s make the most of it.

Here are the many pictures we took from yesterdays adventures:

Our lunch table at Smorgas.

My Lunch Date

The West Village, and our waitress.

Lunch

Everything is blooming!

Manhattan

New Jersey!

Empire State!

Goons.

Tanner Walle: Rockwood Music Hall

This is the unnamed guy and trumpet player.